A friend, who returns home time and time again exhausted in spirit and body from her work in the soup kitchen, writes: “I’m happy. In a very sad kind of way. I am happy with the poor-exhausted. It makes no sense. Like all of His paradoxes, it only makes love, not sense.”
Who are they who choose love over what makes sense? To whom does this kind of sacrifice, to the point of complete spiritual, emotional and physical exhaustion, bring profound joy? To the Holy Fools. We all know them in our own lives. We know them also from history – St. Francis, Mother Teresa, Dorothy Day, and our beloved Catherine Doherty, to name but a few. My friend would deny being in the same category as these, yet even if the scope of the work is not as broad, the calling is the same; the kenosis is the same; the exhaustion is the same. Catherine Doherty writes:
Sitting at the very edge of the pine forest in the eventide, I look down. Suddenly I am not there at all! I am where my heart has always been; I am with the poor. A love, a joy, a simple, childlike joy fills my heart and I tell myself, “I am descending the holy mountain to go to the poor.”
I was tired beyond my own understanding, and, I think, beyond the understanding of many. I knew that the people chosen by God to bring his message to the world were always tired. But I did not know how tired. Did you ever feel this numbing, crushing tiredness that takes hold of you and seems to crush you into powder? There you are, lying on the road, a little handful of powder.
Don’t you understand, don’t we all understand, that we must begin to share? We must! It is not a question of tithing. It is a question of sharing, because unless we share, we will become atomic dust.
And from the winds came the familiar voice, “Now you know how tired I was when I hung on the Cross. But love overcomes tiredness. Mine did.”
From: “Urodivoi. Holy Fools. The Prophetic Call of a Modern Fool for Christ”, by Catherine Doherty.