Chris Dyczek OFM
Mercy is widely named as a remedy for conflict, but this is often viewed as a matter mostly for state interventions. The reconciling divine presence shaping the process must not be trivialised, writes Chris Dyczek. The author runs a distance learning programme at the Franciscan International Study Centre in Canterbury.
Mockery has always been a widespread habit, needing cautious responses. When I was a child my mother was concerned that I should never even think of laughing at a person who was blind. Looking back, I believe that she wanted to teach me a crucial lesson, a caring appreciation of mercy. Vulnerability is a dimension of life which poets have often aimed to express, with varying degrees of sensitivity. This can also invite readers to set out on a path of spiritual discoveries about life’s fragility. In his poem, Blind Man, Michael Hamburger sketched the intangible factors for a person who needs experiences yet is not managing to achieve them:
Shapes he has fumbled to feel fall back
Into unbroken space when his hands forget them,
And still are present in his no man’s land.
Above the nightmare tamed by light’s extinction
The apple that hangs unplucked, grown fabulous.1