The whole universe was stilled as if listening for a voice. For the space of one heartbeat there was peace on earth. For one fraction of a moment there was no deed of violence wrought on earth, no hatred, no fire, no whirlwind, no pain, no fear. Existence rested against the heart of God, then sighed and journeyed again.
Water, wind and birdsong were the echoes in this quiet place of a great chiming symphony that was surging around the world. Knee-deep in grasses and moon daisies, Stella stood and listened, swaying a little as the flowers and trees were swaying, her spirit voice singing loudly, though her lips were still, and every pulse in her body beating its hammer strokes in time to the song.
Could you understand the meaning of light if there were no darkness to point the contrast? Day and night, life and death, love and hatred; since none of these things can have any being at all apart from the existence of the other; only the indolence of human nature finds it so hard to pierce through to the other side.
The dawn came - not the flaming sky that promises storm, but a golden dawn of infinite promise. The birds came flying up out of the east in wedge-shaped formation, and the mist lifted in soft wreaths of sun-shot silver. Colour came back to the world. The grass glowed with a green so vivid that it seemed pulsing, like flame, from some hidden fire in the earth, the distant woods took on all the amazing deep crimsons and purples of their winter colouring, the banks were studded with their jewels of lichens and bright moss, and above the wet hedges... Read more »
Jean was visited by one of her rare moments of happiness, one of those moments when the goodness of God was so real to her that it was like taste and scent; the rough strong taste of honey in the comb and the scent of water. Her thoughts of God had a homeliness that at times seemed shocking, in spite of their power, which could rescue her from terror or evil with an ease that astonished her.
There always comes, I think, a sort of peak in suffering at which either you win over your pain or your pain wins over you, according as to whether you can, or cannot, call up that extra ounce of endurance that helps you to break through the circle of yourself and do the hitherto impossible. That extra ounce carries you through 'le dernier quart d' heure.' Psychologist have a name for it, I believe. Christians call it the Grace of God.