To Be Everyone

purple heart leaf

Purple Heart (photo source unknown)

What am I? And who am I? One who dies a thousand deaths yet stays alive. One who hangs upon a cross not made of wood, but of days and nights that merge and dance their endless dance of pain and of delight.

One who walks shrouded in silence, yet speaks for those who cannot speak, in an endless sea of words that storms, pleads and batters away at hearts of stone—which send my words right back to me: fiery wounding darts of painful ecstasy.

One who is torn apart by the pain of all those who hunger and who thirst, whose shelter is dusty tropic streets, or snowy desert wastes.

I am the millions who seek him, and yet I have found him. How can that be? Why must I live as I were all others? It seems to me that I am torn apart, and that each piece of me is someone else in search of him whom I possess. I must go and walk upon my God, for he is the Way—which means I walk upon Love itself.

But he who walks that way stands still, for how can one walk on feet that are nailed and hands made fast to beam and cross?

The mystery is great. I walk and yet am crucified. I am silent yet I shout. I am filled yet hungry, sheltered yet shelterless, warm yet cold, cold yet hot.

What am I? Who am I?

I am everyone, because I love him: my Lord. I am everyone whom he loves. This is my agony. This is my ecstasy. This is who and what I am.

To be everyone for love of him is to participate in the fullness of his passion.

He said: “I am the Way.” I know this is true because I have walked that Way a thousand yesterdays and walk it still today. 

~ A Meditation by Catherine de Hueck Doherty

The Mystic

mystic heart by deborah nell

Mystic Heart, art by Deborah Nell


The mystical state is one of loving. Only love can build a bridge. Graces given and received are the materials that go into making this immense, indestructible bridge between earth and heaven. The graces used call for more grace, and the bridge grows, and eyes that are quiet behold God everywhere.

But seeing is not enough. It is seeing and arising and giving all of oneself to him, in all his creatures, that builds the bridge in spans immense. A mystic is a lover, a bridge-builder, a heart made ready for the burning fire that is the Lord. A mystic is rest amid turmoil. A mystic is a broken vase that had been filled with perfumed oils and now lies in pieces, wet with tears. A mystic sees God’s love in every face; and the Father sees another, full of grace.

A mystic is a miracle of love who, at one and the same time, hangs crucified upon the hill of skulls, and rises up in Christ’s ascension, and rests upon the heart of God. The mystic alone can stand the burning coal upon his lips, the burning coal of love and fire that cleanses and makes it possible for men to hear the voice of God again, spoken as men speaks. A mystic is a vessel of peace, while he himself is nothing but a flame of pain.

A mystic is a humble soul to whom belongs the earth as well as heaven. A mystic is silence enclosed in speech. He serves all men, and is served by angels. A mystic bears the seal of God, yet doesn’t know he is a mystic, except to catch an echo here and a glimpse there, of things unseen, unheard by other men. Such are mystics, builders of bridges and houses of love.

~ A Meditation by Catherine Doherty, ‘Madonna House Apostolate’