No Miracles, Please

remember barsabbas pastel

[When I wrote and scheduled the following post prior to leaving for school two weeks ago, I intended it to be a gentle comment on divine action. Then Dylann Roof happened. And because he wanted to start a race war, he killed nine black men and women who had welcomed him, their killer, to study the bible with them. The subsequent words of forgiveness spoken to Roof by some of the victims’ family members shows in the most heartbreaking, inspiring, and incomprehensible (for most), way that a different kind of miracle is possible. Hating the hater only brings about more hate. These families have shown us another way.]

What I love about the following poem by Ranier Maria Rilke, aside from everything, is his preference for an organic, and generative manifestation of God’s love in the ordinary over a display of divine power in the form of a miracle. It’s true, the fruit of our spiritual ripeness—shown through acts of love for God, neighbor, and all of God’s creation—is capable of generating new and vibrant growth well beyond our own sphere of influence. I know my part is to choose to be a carrier of the law to love God and neighbor, to actively be Christ, and see Christ in each person I meet, to be Eucharist. It’s not easy. Nobody ever said it would be easy. Still, I try.

No Miracles, Please
by Ranier Maria Rilke

I would rather sense you
as the earth senses you.
In my ripening
ripens
what you are.

No miracles, please.
Just let your laws
become clearer
from generation to generation.

—No Miracles, Please. Ranier Maria Rilke, From The Book of Hours II, 15

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