“We have to renounce far more than we accomplish.”

–Paul Tournier, The Seasons of Life

“How can we possibly entertain the idea that we are different from other men, when we shout, cry, feel afraid, lack determination, and behave atrociously just like everybody else?”

–Carlo Carretto, Letters from the Desert

“When you have done something really healing, it happens so often that the only way you know it at first is by your own feeling of emptiness. Even Our Lord experienced this; when the woman who touched the hem of His garment was healed, He knew it by the sense of something having gone out of Him, an emptying ‘[power] has gone out of Me.’ 

It is the same for His followers—we know the moment of healing, not yet evident, not by exaltation and triumph but by emptiness and a sense of failure! That demands huge faith, but you have it!”
Caryll Houselander (1901-1954), in a letter to a friend

“Let Mass be the center of your day. Everything must flow for you from your daily Mass, and everything must culminate in it. Your day, because you will have willed it, must be a thanksgiving for the Mass you attended that day and a preparation for the Mass you will attend the next day. That does not mean you should think all day about your morning Mass or that of the next day; it means that you will have said to Jesus, making these words the disposition of your soul , ‘I want all of my life to be centered on the altar of the Mass, to depend on it, and to culminate in it, to be a thanksgiving and a preparation for my daily Mass–all my life, all my days, all the beatings of my heart.'”
–Father Juan du Coeur de Jésus d’Elbée (from August 7, 2023, Magnificat reflection)

Always, I’m reflecting here in Ireland, I’ve been in the world but not of it. One foot in; one foot in heaven, or the world beyond. Always the divine restlessness. So this is just another little leg of the journey. I’m no closer to knowing where I belong, if anywhere, where I’ll end up, how or who will be with me, again if anybody, when I die. And I’m kind of at peace with it all, just for today. None of that really matters.

As Carlo Carretto says in Letters from the Desert, all that matters is our prayer. We in a sense are our prayer—nothing more, nothing less. And my life has been nothing but a huge, unending cry of the heart….Ireland is the cry of my child’s heart that never quite got answered or hushed–that never quite does for any of us–and that I’ve been crying all my life…

I’ve always thought Thomas Merton lacked humor but he did say one really funny thing:

“The man of solitude is happy, but he never has a good time.”
–Thomas Merton

“When will I come to the end of my pilgrimage,
and enter the presence of God?”

2 Replies to “SEASONS OF LIFE”

  1. Betsy Acciani says: Reply

    Thank you for all those thoughts, especially your own. And as always, thanks for your photos. So beautiful.

    1. HEATHER KING says: Reply

      Beautiful, Betsy, so glad you are accompanying me on my travels! Blessings on your own journeys, inner and outer.


Discover more from HEATHER KING

Subscribe now to keep reading and get access to the full archive.

Continue reading