ECHO THAT YES

“Our Lady said yes.

She said yes for us all.

It was as if the human race were a little dark house, without light or air, locked and latched.

The wind of the Spirit had beaten on the door, rattled the windows, tapped on the dark glass with the tiny hands of flowers, flung golden seed against it, even, in hours of storm, lashed it with the boughs of a great tree—the prophecy of the Cross—and yet the Spirit was outside. But one day, a girl opened the door, and the little house was swept pure and sweet by the wind. Seas of light swept through it, and the light remained in it; and in that little house a child was born and the Child was God.

Our Lady said yes for the human race. Each one of us must echo that yes for our own lives.”

–Caryll Houselander


I’m always telling myself, Wow, you should really figure out how to describe whatever the hell it is that you do, or have to offer. A platform, a frame, a brand. Partly to be fair, in order to “get my work out there,” and partly, to be honest, in order to increase my income.

Try as I might, I have never quite been able to do this.

Try as I might, every time I try to fashion a “mission statement” or “elevator pitch” or some corny thing like that (or even to sit down and write for more than ten minutes), I receive an email asking me to pray for a wayward daughter, sick husband, errant priest, drunk employee, or vocation; thanking me because my work, it turns out, has for many years accompanied and helped shore this person up; or asking me to donate some service that will require time, sweat, and heart that I absolutely feel I don’t have but to the best of my ability generally try to give anyway.

Never have I been more aware that this way of life has been given to me as a mystery and a stupendous gift.

The other day, to that end, I was contemplating the difference between charity and sharing. Charity is bestowing from your excess, or doing for free what you would otherwise have been paid for; a comic doing a benefit, for instance. God knows there’s nothing wrong with that!

But sharing is giving from your substance, like the widow who gave her last two mites. Christ’s entire life is an example.

There’s no barrier, no artificial “You stand on that side of the line and I’ll stand on this side and afterward we’ll all go home to isolate. ” We of course maintain an appropriate zone of privacy, as Mary did, beyond question.

But women or men, we’re called both to give ourselves fully and to open ourselves to receive the world into our “wombs.” In order to protect, shelter, embrace. In order to mother and father forth new life into the world.

To be “pro-life,” that is for all of life, calls us to examine our consciences, acknowledge the many areas in which we are holding back, and to venture forth, in fear, trembling, uncertainty, vulnerability and awkwardness, to offer ourselves up in ways that, for me at least, are often wildly uncomfortable.

“Let it be done unto me according to Thy word.”

Both yes! And Ouch!

Blessed Solemnity of the Annunciation. I attended live streaming morning Mass.


“All things therefore are charged with love, are charged with God and if we knew how to touch them give off sparks and take fire, yield drops and flow, ring and tell of him.”

― Gerard Manley Hopkins

6 Replies to “ECHO THAT YES”

  1. Happy feast day, Heather!
    With J, M, and J,
    Yvette

    1. Thank you, Yvette–wonderful to have Pope Francis as our spiritual leader and to be praying in communion with the rest of the world…wishing you peace, hope and joy.

  2. Christopher Niven says: Reply

    Hello Heather, just wanted to say a BIG thanks again for all of your stuff. I use a lot of your material working with offenders to help them move on and find a reason to live. Light the fuse of life, especially those who are addicted to drugs and alcohol.
    Please, please, please keep writing. Its your gift 🙂

    Chris
    Probation Officer
    UK
    XX

    1. HEATHER KING says: Reply

      Oh Chris, many thanks. “When did we visit you in prison, Lord?”….Bless you, your work, the men and women in your care…that is all we can do…hold up and hand off, insofar as we’re able, a tiny flame of light. All of which is ever more needed in this time of darkness…

  3. I love this so much, the distinction you make between charity and sharing. And I love Gerard Manley Hopkins! He was one of my father’s favorites. “Glory be to God for dappled things…”

    1. HEATHER KING says: Reply

      Kat, I’m so touched you thought to read one of my blog posts, thank you!! And yes, I, too, am a huge fan of GMH–never have we more needed to remember to thank God for dappled things, and so much else…Very excited about your writing as well–xx

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