From Wendy Farley’s The Wounding and Healing of Desire: “Contemplative desire awakens us to the unity of the love of God and neighbor, but it does not accomplish the perfection of this love; it rather incites our thirst for it. When Helen Keller crouched by the water pump while Annie Sullivan poured water over her hand and spelled the word for water over and over, in her blindness she experienced nothing but water and the strange movement of fingers on her palm. We are “commanded” to love. Love pours over us like water, and the meaning of love is spelled into our hand over and over. But, like Helen, we are blind and enraged by our blindness, and we cannot understand its meaning. But suddenly Helen grasped the connection between the fingers in her palm and the water pouring over her hand. Grasping this connection did not itself open all of the world of language and meaning and human relationship to her, but it fired her desire for these things. Over many years, her desire continued to burn. It took her from the solitary confinement of darkness and silence to friendship, social activism, and intimacy with God.”



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