Monday, July 28, 2008

A teaching of great consolation

Oh my. So many people who come to talk to me are full of dismay because they can't fix the wrongs of the world or even their small bit of it. It is so easy to get discouraged when our little effort seems like a drop in the vast ocean of suffering and need and we are tempted to think that our contribution to the betterment of the world can't possibly matter. But do look at this and think about it:

Even though I never did an evil deed, yet, if I have the will to do evil, I have the sin as if I had done the deed; and I could, by a total will, do as great a sin as if I had killed the whole world, though I never actually did anything. Why, would the same not be possible to a good will? Yes, indeed, and even much more so. Surely, I can do all things with the will. I can bear the sorrow of all men and feed all the poor and do the work of all men and whatever else you may think of. If it be not the will that fails you, but only the power, then truly, before God, you have done it all, and no man can take it from you or even hinder you for a moment; for to will to do as soon as I can is the same before God as having done it.

-- Meister Eckhart

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