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Center for Action and Contemplation

It Can’t Be Carried Alone: A Lectio Divina Practice

March 9th, 2022
It Can’t Be Carried Alone: A Lectio Divina Practice

We invite you to engage in the practice of lectio divina with “It Can’t Be Carried Alone,” a poem from Father Richard Rohr written in response to the suffering of the Ukrainian people and as a meditation on the experience of watching events unfold from over 6,000 miles away.

Read the following passage slowly four times. With the first reading (perhaps aloud), listen with your heart’s ear for a phrase or word that stands out for you. During the second reading, reflect on what touches you, perhaps speaking that phrase or word aloud or writing it in a journal. Third, respond with a prayer or expression of what you have experienced and to what you are called. Fourth, rest in silence after the reading.

It Can’t Be Carried Alone

How can we not feel shock or rage at what is happening
to the people of Ukraine—
As we watch their suffering unfold in real time
from an unfair distance?
Who of us does not feel inept or powerless
before such manifest evil? In this, at least, we are united.
Our partisan divisions now appear small and trivial.

Remember what we teach: both evil and goodness are,
first of all, social phenomena.
The Body of Christ is crucified and resurrected
at the same time. May we stand faithfully
Inside both these mysteries (contemplation).

In loving solidarity, we each bear what is ours to carry,
the unjust weight of crucifixion,
in expectant hope for God’s transformation.
May we be led to do what we can on any level (action)
to create resurrection! The people of Ukraine
have much to teach the world.

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