Pilgrimpace's Blog

“Nothing is of any use to me now but the power of giving”

I’m reading Our Holy Ground: the Welsh Christian Experience by John Morgans and Peter Noble.  I really recommend this – it’s giving me great insight into Wales, building on the walking I have done and that which awaits me (and the book increases this – I read about Llantwit Major and think, I could work out a route to take in that too …)


This quote from Rhygyfarch lamenting the destruction wrought by the Normans speaks to me:

Nothing is of any use to me now but the power of giving: neither the law, nor learning, nor great fame, nor the deep-resounding glory of nobility, not honour formerly held, not riches, not wise teaching, not deeds nor arts, not reverence of God, not old age; none of these things retains its station, nor any power.  Now the labours of earlier days are despised; the people and the priest are despised by the word, heart and work of the Normans.

I can think of so many places now where similar laments are being sung and it seems such a time of sunset rather than sunrise.

And yet I am struck by the first line: Nothing is of any use to me now but the power of giving

I am privileged from time to time to spend some time with a group of people who have been profoundly broken and who are engaged in the long process of rebuilding and transforming their identities.  Recently a couple of them told me that everything happens for a reason.  When I asked what this meant, they said that the evil and terror they had suffered had led them into a wonderful community and their new selves.  We talked about the need, if it is possible, to make something positive of what we are given.

Nothing is of any use to me now but the power of giving

Again, I am drawn back to John of the Cross’s Saying:

Where there is no love

pour in love

and you will find love.



2 Comments so far
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I grant you this is indeed a profound quotation and the amazing thing is that it will speak to many “of age” today as it has to you, all these years later. Surely one generation cannot have been saying this of the other for so long!

Comment by G J Wheeler

Thank you for this message.
While I was reading it, my thoughts immediately went to “The Hiding Place” and the Ten Boom family. A family brought up to only think of giving carried on only thinking of giving In the face of grave danger and death. The memory of their powerful giving lives on.

Comment by revdamanda

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