Thursday, December 13, 2007


Thanks to Jane Stranz for reminding me about this prose-poem from Reinhold Niebuhr, which embodies the shape of Advent hope very well. It commits us to the impossible, but in the form of the demandingly possible; to God shaping a supremely human life; to the 'more' that stretches every 'enough' forward; to a transcendence which transcends its own infinitude by stooping into finitude, and so on. It also chimes with Oscar Romero's remarkable Prophets Of A Future Not Our Own prayer - one of my favourites.

"Nothing worth doing is completed in our lifetime, Therefore, we are saved by hope. Nothing true or beautiful or good makes complete sense in any immediate context of history; Therefore, we are saved by faith. Nothing we do, however virtuous, can be accomplished alone. Therefore, we are saved by love. No virtuous act is quite as virtuous from the standpoint of our friend or foe as from our own; Therefore, we are saved by the final form of love which is forgiveness."

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