Once I had a friend who sat for days on the white stone steps of St. Patrick’s Cathedral in Manhattan, finally going in to pray. Her prayer was for Jesus to show her his love — or more precisely, to show her “what this love was that he had.”
Jesus did, too, because it was as if my friend lived on the other side of a sheet of glass. She was physically strong, yet her face at twenty eight was riven with emotion– and her hands shook so violently it was all one could do not to grip them.
At other times, if one looked down as at a clear pond, one might imagine her floating past, at rest under its surface, like Ophelia with her long maple colored hair. She had a way of being that I could see, and feel, but that was out of my reach.
You were mine, but you were God’s more. – Nicholas Samaras
I had a glimpse of her reality one afternoon when we stood in a thunderstorm that spilled sheets of rain onto the summer fields and shot the sky with silver electric light.
To live as she did was to live in a reality exiled from the human — and for a few hours, I lived in it with her. At the same time, I had a recognition that this world of hers, and this world she had accessed, was not yet mine. It was not my time, no matter how I wished it was. I had go back and do my time and my work in the world.
To live is Christ, and to die is to gain. But if I live on in the flesh, this will mean fruit from my labor; yet what I shall choose I cannot tell. For I am hard-pressed between the two, having a desire to depart and be with Christ, which is far better. Nevertheless to remain in the flesh is more needful for you. And being confident of this, I know that I shall remain and continue with you.