You become what you do. We are shaped from the outside in ... So we do the Works of Mercy, we bend and we kneel, even when our head is clouded and our spirit is grudging. We cross ourselves even as our faith fails. We light candles and sing "O Radiant Light, O Sun Divine," even when the world seems dark.
- Mary Margaret Nussbaum, from her essay "Hope Is Our Means"
Even in the midst of great pain, Lord,
I praise you for that which is.
I will not refuse this grief
Or close myself to this anguish.
Let shallow men pray for ease:
"Comfort us; shield us from sorrow."
I pray for whatever you send me,
and I ask to receive it as your gift.
You have put a joy in my heart
greater than all the world’s riches.
I lie down trusting the darkness,
for I know that even now you are here.
Psalm 4, adapted from the Hebrew by Stephen Mitchell