UNITED NATIONS. DAG HAMMARSKJOLD

 

15 AUGUST 2008

DAG HAMMARSKJOLD

Give me a pure heart that I may see Thee.
A humble heart that I may hear Thee,
A heart of love that I may serve Thee,
A heart of faith that I may abide in Thee.


Never, "for the sake of peace and quiet," deny your own experience or convictions. The only kind of dignity which is genuine is that which is not diminished by the indifference of others. Pray that your loneliness may spur you into finding something to live for, great enough to die for. Never measure the height of a mountain until you have reached the top. Then you will see how low it was.

God does not die on the day when we cease to believe in a personal deity, but we die on the day when our lives cease to be illuminated by the steady radiance, renewed daily, of a wonder, the source of which is beyond all reason.

It is now, in this very moment, that I can and must pay for all that I have received. The past and its load of debt are balanced against the present. And on the future, I have no claim.

It is not we who seek the Way,
but the Way which seeks us.
That is why you are faithful to it,
even while you stand waiting,
so long as you are prepared,
and act the moment you are
confronted by its demands.

I am being driven forward
Into an unknown land.
The pass grows steeper,
The air colder and sharper.
A wind from my unknown goal
Stirs the strings
Of expectation.
Still the question:
Shall I ever get there?
There where life resounds,
A clear pure note
In the silence.


Your cravings as a human animal do not become a prayer just because it is God whom you ask to attend to them.

Your position never gives you the right to command. It only imposes on you the duty of so living your life that others can receive your orders without being humiliated.

There is a pride of faith, more unforgiveable and dangerous than the pride of the intellect. It reveals a split personality in which faith is "observed" and appraised, thus negating that unity born of a dying-unto-self, which is the definition of faith. To "value" faith is to turn it into a metaphysical magic, the advantages of which ought to be reserved for a spiritual elite.

In our era, the road to holiness necessarily passes through the world of action.

It whispers: all is waiting here,
Kept safe for thee, year after year,
Beautiful songs in thousands;
Where hast thou been, where, where?


***

Tomorrow we shall meet,
Death and I -.
And he shall thrust his sword
Into one who is wide awake.

***

Life only demands from you the strength you possess. Only one feat is possible -- not to have run away.

***

He broke fresh ground -- because, and only because -- he had the courage to go ahead without asking whether others were following or even understood. He had no need for the divided responsibility in which others seek to be safe from ridicule, because he had been granted a faith which required no confirmation -- a contact with reality, light and intense like the touch of a loved hand: a union in self-surrender without self-destruction, where his heart was lucid and his mind was loving.

***

The more faithfully you listen to the voice within you, the better you hear what is sounding outside. And only he who listens can speak.