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Katie van Schaijik

Purposeful emptiness

Mar. 15 at 4:58pm

For Lent I am reading Caryll Houselander's book about Our Lady, Reed of God. It deserves a long thoughtful post, but since I lack time for that, let me at least share one beautiful passage.

Emptiness is a very common complaint in our days, not the purposeful emptiness of the virginal heart and mind but a void, meaningless, unhappy condition.

Strangely enough, those who complain the loudest of the emptiness of their lives are usually people whose lives are overcrowded, filled with trivial details, plans, desires, ambitions, unsatisfied cravings for passing pleasures, doubts, anxieties and fears; and these sometiems further overlaid with exhausting pleasures which are an attempt, and always a futile attempt, to forget how pointless such people's lives are.  Those who complain in these circumstances of the emptiness of their lives are usually afraid to allow space or silence or pause in t heir lives.  They dread space, for they want material things crowded together, so that there will always be something to lean on for support.  They dread silence, becasue they do not want to hear their own pulses beating out the seconds of their life, and to know that each beat is another knock on the door of death.  Death seemst o them to be only the final void, the darkest lonelinest emptiness.

They have no sense of being related to any abiding beauty, to any indestructible life: they are afraid to be alone with the unrelated hearts.

Such emptiness is very different from that still, showless ring of light round which our being is circled, making a shape which in itself is an absolute promise of fulfilment.


 

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