06 February, 2014

Ten Thousand Places: What It's Really All About - A reflection on a teaching from Catherine de Hueck Doherty

I think we should jump into God’s mercy, so to speak, as if it is a bottomless sea. It is not necessarily unpainful, because there is a mercy there, which I don’t even try to fathom, but it comes to me every time, because I am a Russian and his mercy means so much to me. But at the same time, every time I plunge into that mercy, somehow, somewhere, someplace, I find justice.

The mercy always unbinds the hands of the justice, but the justice is there, and you kind of realize without realizing the depth of this mercy because it can untie the hands of his justice. It comes from the depths of his heart! Because if we were judged by his justice, we wouldn’t have a chance, let’s face it! But he unbinds the hands of his justice, like Peguy says, and opens the hands of his mercy, and you go deeper and deeper and it is bottomless, and somewhere the justice is going to show his mercy and the two will show his infinite love.

And you kind of go into both and you stand there and thus know... a hope springs into you like a sort of - or from you, or passes through you, or gets at you - with such a power that you almost begin to sense what it is, because hope is a very elusive virtue. It might be a theological one, but it is awfully difficult... But when you’re touched by it, you kind of see that this mercy is bottomless, that there is no bottom to it, and that always it binds the hands of his justice and things fall into the rhythm of love.

And as years go by, God’s love overwhelms you, and that is what seems to call forth from you the most incredible hope that you can be a saint. I think that is the biggest hope for us to really think about... anyhow for me it is.


Catherine de Hueck Doherty, Unpublished talk, March 3, 1970
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Ten Thousand Places: What It's Really All About

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