‘We fools accounted his life madness, and his end to be without honour: how is he numbered among the children of God, and his lot is among the saints! Therefore have we erred from the way of truth, and the light of righteousness hath not shined unto us, and the sun of righteousness rose not upon us. We wearied ourselves in the way of wickedness and destruction: yea, we have gone through deserts, where there lay no way: but as for the way of the Lord, we have not known it.’
One can see how the sufferings of the Lord and our sufferings mingle in these lines. The image of the Suffering and Glorified Christ embraces − sums up − the life of all. When we see the wounds of our life, people’s suffering or derailed hopes: we are not left with this negative image. God wants us to see the ‘positive image’, that of his Suffering Son. Our sufferings are a reminder of His redemptive suffering for us. All Saints, and All Souls (we) meet this way − in Christ.
‘For the hope of the ungodly is like dust that is blown away with the wind; like a think froth that is driven away with the storm; like the as the smoke which is dispersed here and there with a tempest, and passeth away as the remembrance of a gust that tarrieth but a day…we were consumed in our own wickedness. ’
We are also reminded of our own failures. The Bible is a realistic reminder of the human condition. These sober lines show when we are not part of the image of Christ.
Yet, it is not the final word. We are given the most positive image to contemplate: the joy of the just who have recognised Christ in their sufferings and life-journey. ‘But the righteous live for evermore; their reward also is with the Lord, and the care of them is with the most High. Therefore shall they receive a glorious kingdom, and a beautiful crown from the Lord’s hand: for with his right hand shall he cover them, and with his arm shall he protect them.’
So let us enter this see of positive vision. Let us admit, as the ultimate experience of adulthood, that our life is like ‘the voice of many waters’. Life grows into an unconscious, impenetrable see that we cannot control. That is why we need the ‘voice of many waters’, who embraces us and holds our complicated ways together. This is ‘the voice of mighty thunderings, saying: Alleluia: for the Lord God omnipotent reigneth. Let us be glad and rejoice, and give honour to him. And this is so beautiful to discover that this very voice is pronounced to us in every Holy Mass when the Host is elevated before the Communion. ‘Blessed are they which are called unto the marriage supper of the Lamb.’
These are verbal Icons, expressions of how the world is seen from Saint Augustine's..