#10 – The Eternal Mystery of Love

To repeat continually ‘for his mercy endures forever,’ as the psalm [136] does, seems to break through the dimensions of space and time, inserting everything into the eternal mystery of love.
— Pope Francis

The “eternal mystery of love” is not as pressing as getting to work, shepherding kids, and making meals. The immediate that has to be done occupies the mind and motivates the hands. The big picture is often lost; small pictures, one after the other, monopolize. 

Yet Psalm 136 holds together the eternal mystery of love and the practical plans of survival. After each recital of some aspect of creation, covenant, and human need, the psalm remembers, “God’s mercy endures forever.” (Sometime “mercy” is translated as “steadfast love.”) “Who remembered us in our low estate, for God’s mercy endures forever. Who gives food to all flesh, for God’s mercy endures forever…” 

As we wake in the pre-dawn darkness, God’s mercy endures forever. 

As we realize we love the people we are with, God’s mercy endures forever. 

As we worry over the health of ones we love, God’s mercy endures forever. 

As we make decisions without knowing all the consequences, God’s mercy endures forever. 

As we struggle to include those with less in more of the goods of the earth, God’s mercy endures forever. 

As we thrill to the work we do, God’s mercy endures forever. 

As we dance at weddings, God’s mercy endures forever. 

As we hold the hands of the elderly to steady their steps, God’s mercy endures forever. 

What the Pope is trying to tell us, via the psalm, is that our lives are more than they seem. If we can bring that more into our minds and hearts, meaning and purpose will run through every fiber of our being. Our lives will be richer.

Try it.


© Jack Shea