Beyond human concepts

First, scenes from Center City Philadelphia recently, when the afternoon light was casting City Hall’s shadow onto the rich brickwork of the old Market Street National Bank building across the street. A new glass tower will be built adjacent to this building in the next few years on top of what’s presently a surface parking lot. A large mural on the side of the old bank building will be lost, I think.

Second, I saw the excerpt below shared on Instagram earlier this week. A page from a book was shared, and this excerpt stood apart from the rest to me. I searched a bit, but couldn’t readily find whatever book this came from:

Saint John of the Cross and Thomas Merton are just two voices in a huge choir of seekers who, throughout the ages, have understood this concept [of goodness despite disappointment and loss] clearly. It is not in getting what we want that we find true joy. We find true joy when we give up wanting. Then we can discover the beauty and joy inherent in what is. Immaculée Ilibagiza, author of the extraordinary book Left to Tell: Discovering God amidst the Rwandan Holocaust, is another, more recent member of this choir. Having watching her entire family and most of her friends brutally beaten, raped, tortured, and murdered, Ilibagiza shares a story of survival that is an astounding portrayal of miracles and forgiveness. The greatest miracle of all is her ability to both love and forgive those who tortured and murdered her family. Through witnessing humanity at its worst, she was catapulted into a pure, unconditional love beyond all human concepts, values, and limitations. …

God is within us. Always within us. But we have forgotten. We don’t notice. We mechanically stumble through life thinking that we know what we need to be happy, and we know where we can find it. Yet we keep looking in all the wrong places.

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