“And so we begin to think about all our prayers and vigils and fastings and abstinences, and the offices and sacraments of the Church that have gone up to the throne on behalf of the sufferer. They have, apparently, been lost in the blue. They have vanished, as no sparrow, no hair, has ever done. Hey, what about that? And we know that this is false. It is nonsense. All right then—we prayed, with much faith or with little; we searched ourselves; we fasted; we anointed and laid on hands; we kept vigil. And nothing happened.
“Did it not? What angle of vision are we speaking from? Is it not true that again and again in the biblical picture of things, the story has to be allowed to finish? Was it not the case with Lazarus’ household at Bethany, and with the two en route to Emmaus? And is it not the case with the Whole Story, actually—that it must be allowed to finish, and that this is precisely what the faithful have been watching for since the beginning of time? … And is not that Finish called glorious? Does it not entail what amounts to a redoing of all that has gone wrong, and a remaking of all that is ruined, and a finding of all that has been lost in the shuffle, and an unfolding of it all in a blaze of joy and splendor?
“A finding of all that is lost? All sparrows, and all petitions and tears and vigils and fastings? Yes, all petitions and tears and vigils and fastings. ‘But where are they? The thing is over and done with. [She] is dead. They had no effect.’
“Hadn’t they? How do you know what is piling up in that great treasury kept by the Divine Love to be opened in that Day? How do you know that this death and your prayers and tears and fasts will not together be suddenly and breathtakingly displayed, before all the faithful, and before angels and archangels, and before kings and widows and prophets, as gems in that display? Oh no, don’t speak of things being lost. Say rather that they are hidden—received and accepted and taken up into the secrets of the divine mysteries, to be transformed and multiplied, like everything else we offer to him—loaves and fishes, or mites, or bread and wine—and given back to you and to the one for whom you kept vigil, in the presence of the whole host of men and angels, in a hilarity of glory as unimaginable to you in your vigil as golden wings are to the worm in the chrysalis” (“On Brazen Heavens,” from The Night is Far Spent).