Sunday, September 04, 2005


"[W]hen we take human existence upon ourselves in its starkest and most humiliating misery—a misery in which nothing, really nothing, has meaning—[then] we can win through to the only possible way to live. The first step is to grasp human destiny in its deepest contradiction… A genuine feeling for life will show a person the deepest contrast between extreme happiness and extreme pain. It is only when we taste the lot of all, when we become involved deeply in world suffering, one in heart with the need of [humanity], that we can win through to that vocation which is the calling of [human beings], and which, therefore, [is true] joy… Only when the conscience becomes active, only when love is born out of suffering, only when hardship leads to liberating action, is victory near." (Eberhard Arnold, from a lecture held in Berlin, 7 April, 1919. )

Picture: coutesy of Mennonite Disaster Service. The main canal leading into the town of Bayou La Batre, Alabama, where three-quarters of the town was destroyed by Hurricane Katrina's floodwaters. Donate to MDS here.

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