A Letter to His Majesty the King of Heaven and earth

“I shall keep my sheep in view”   Ezekiel

My Lord God, this week as I pondered over your Word from this week’s Mass readings, I often wondered why you care for us as you do.

In fact I used to wonder why my father – a very sensible man – ever bothered to rear sheep at all,  troublesome creatures that they are – headstrong and so stupid they would break your heart.

And yet My Lord, YOU keep us in view and we indeed  did break your heart, piercing it through with a lance until blood and water poured out, and I know You would do it again for even one of your children in trouble.

You are truly our Shepherd King; deeper than all else is your Fatherly care for each one individually. I can’t even imagine how you do keep each one of us, your so wayward children, within the beam of those gentle and merciful eyes of yours, and yet ‘twas yourself who told us that the very hairs of our head are numbered—not by angels but by yourself – and that we matter more to you than many sparrows.

Long ago, you spoke to us through your prophet telling us “I myself will show my sheep where to rest, I shall bring back the stray, bandage the wounded and make the weak strong” and allow me to remind you that there are many  many of your children suffering for the sake of your Name these times.

And Your Majesty, if I may make so bold as to ask You one more question, why, oh why, why do you really love and care for us so much ?

Perhaps the poet Francis Thompson caught a glimpse of this mystery when he wrote his beautiful poem “The Hound of Heaven.” I quote,

“Alack, thou knowest not how little worthy of any love thou art!

Whom wilt thou find to love ignoble thee save Me, save only Me.

All which I took from thee I did but take, not for thy harms, but just that thou might’st seek it in my arms.

all which thy child’s mistake fancies as lost, I have stored for thee at home,

Rise clasp my hand and come.

Halts by me that footfall, Is my gloom, after all, shade of His hand, outstretched caressingly?

Ah fondest, blindest, weakest, I am He whom thou seekest!   

Oh my Lord you are truly our ‘beautiful beautiful beautiful God breathing your love – in the hearts of us all.   cf Patrick Kavanagh.