Sunshine and grief

We are in mid-June: our days are mostly full of blue-skied sunshine; blooms and greenness abound, and balmy, light evenings languidly stretch out for hours. Today, though, London's sunshine is cloudy and permeated with grieving, and green has a sad significance, as we recall the devastation and death in Grenfell Tower, already a year ago. And there is anger mixed in with all this, at inequality and injustice, fatal cost-cutting, blunders and the treatment of survivors.

We can often find it hard to reconcile sunshine with anger or grief. My parents' funerals took place in February and November, in wintry cold and beneath a brittle, chilly sun, which matched how I felt, much more than unending blue skies and blossom. And yet, sunshine and grief can and do go together - they often have to. And the other day it occurred to me that the same can be said of my last two blogposts. They also don't appear to co-exist, or even belong in the same week. On the 6th June I wrote of a singing silence; of beatitude and balm, tranquility and birdsong. Two days later, for the Feast of the Sacred Heart, I wrote about the pierced Heart of Jesus; about pain and woundedness, the anguish of humankind and our call as RSCJ to go into this Heart, in order to go to the heart of the world.

Beatitude and pain, only two days apart... and somehow they can and do co-exist, and are part of the same whole. Somehow I can marvel at dragonflies and unexpected poppies, even as I can grieve, not only for Grenfell, but for what our world is so awfully becoming. Sophie Barat once wrote that There is room for all in the wide wound of Jesus, and surely there is room for so much more; surely the Heart of Jesus is big enough to hold all the world's chaos and grieving alongside all its beatitude and joy. And somehow, my heart is able to hold something of all this too. Our Constitutions say that the pierced Heart of Jesus opens our being to two things: the depths of God and the anguish of humankind; and it is my life in those very depths of God which enables me to also live in so much ambiguity and pain, to reconcile sunshine with grief - and, crucially, to hold on to hope, that it may be kept alive.


  1. I am new at blogging and just stumbled upon your blog. You are a creative and eloquent writer.

    I am sorry about the passing of your parents.

    May God bless you.


  2. Thank you Melissa - and welcome to blogging! I hope you find it fulfilling, stimulating, helpful, cathartic, creative... whatever you need it to be, to help you on your journey with God.


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