Christmas morning I read a page from Incandescence, Readings with Women Mystics, and familiarized myself with one Marguerite d'Oingt, a French nun and celebrated mystic, who lived in the thirteenth century and is recorded as one of the earliest of French women writers. In her recorded meditation, Marguerite d'Oingt meditates on carrying the child Christ and then the crucified Christ in her arms. She reflects on how the latter was just as light as the former. Christ had come into the world virtually weightless and left the world virtually weightless. I thought of how compassionate acts create lightness, and Christ's act of coming into the world, Christmas, is a manifestation of His first great act of compassion; His last, being the crucifixion. I meditated on this and then my father burst through. His spiritual geyser had reached me and I burst myself- into tears. My father must live there, in Christ's compassion, as a massless being, as energy, light, pure love. My father, as I have witnessed, has the power to do (this is the Physic's definition of energy, to do, to make change) and that is exactly what compassion is, love in action. He's behind the scenes, working at our lives, enriching them. I have no direct evidence of this; it is only what I know viscerally.
Compassion is always the answer. This is something I tell myself. For me, compassion is the intersection of Christianity and Buddhism. (Thich Nhat Han said once that “Buddha and Jesus are brothers” or maybe that is the name of one of his books?). The Christ of compassion and not dogma, is the one I seek. His compassionate acts can be divided into two types, those we can understand: consolation and teachings with parables, and those we cannot understand: miracles. I believe Christ's capacity for compassion was so intense, it had reached a mystical level and this gave him a certain lightness, to walk on water, to turn 5 fishes and loaves into 5 thousand, to resurrect the dead.
I have not been so compassionate as of late due to my discomfort with this pregnancy. I am always ready to rip someone's head off. A few weeks ago I went to my sister's house and there was a car blocking her driveway. The house next to hers was having an estate sale and the short, narrow street was crowded with cars everywhere. I was annoyed, furious someone could be so inconsiderate. A man came out of the house and I curtly asked if the car blocking the driveway was his. He said, calmly, that it was, and that he was very sorry if he had caused me any inconvenience. He would be out of my way in a minute. The compassion in his voice effectively diffused my fury. I noted this, was ashamed afterward.
I want this pregnancy to be an act of compassion, but I struggle with it being so. I have always been so free to do whatever I want and now I feel so restricted, so heavy. It's been 41 years of selfishness. I am also terrified. If I feel this uncomfortable now, what is going to happen to me in four months? How heavy-footed will I be then? Fear pummels me and my mind flashes up all sorts of ugly scenes of bed rest and preeclampsia and bursting hearts. What have I done? I ask myself at night, when I can't sleep, can't rest, and my mind spins.
And then in the morning, it is different. I want so much to see their faces, feel their warm bodies, love them, be with them. But I am already with them. Through the Christ in me, my compassionate Christ, I can meditate on this.