Learning to See Life as a Glass Half Empty

One summer morning in Jerusalem, I attended the funeral mass of Sister Gila Levy. Born into an assimilated Jewish family in France in 1925, she has quite a fascinating biography which is available here.

The gospel reading that day was the Beatitudes and during the homily, Fr. Rafic spoke about having asked the others in Sister Gila’s community which beatitude the deceased had lived most fervently. Different sisters had chosen different beatitudes and had to conveyed to him the concrete ways that this sister had lived meekness, a hunger for justice, and solidarity with those who mourn.

Fr. Rafic then spoke about how, usually it is seen as pessimism when someone regards a glass as half empty. However, there are those who, seeing a glass half empty, know that it’s up to them to fill it. Such persons, like this sister, have a sense of responsibility and take action.

I was greatly impressed by this tribute to her. Even years later, this fundamental existential attitude has stayed with me – to see anything lacking in the world as waiting for us, summoning us to fill it.


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