Off Halfpoint

A Reflection from the Interpath Traditions
by Thomas P. Bonacci, C.P.

I came across a story concerning the depths of the mystical life. It is a lovely story. One can only hope it is true. I also came upon some evidence it might very well be true. It is my blessing to share the mystical insight with you.

While the story has many variations across the traditions of humankind, I particularly like this rendition since it is the one I remember. The mystical story informs us that thirty-six people hold all reality together. These individuals are unknown and, perhaps, do not know one another. They hold the World together because they have learned the precepts of Heaven. Their virtue is inspiring, and their lives continue to bless the World, giving us hope even in desperate times. 

I love stories like this. I honor the mind that thinks them, the courage that proclaims them, and the people moved by them. Mystics have a wonderful way of appreciating what we might be tempted to believe is extraordinary or typical. They can see something wonderful even when sorrow and tragedy are all too real. The mystics “suffer” the pains of others and the World as they challenge us to be people of virtue in difficult times.

I do not mean to be presumptuous, but I am convinced I have met one of these thirty-six mystics who hold the World together. 

As I was on my way into a grocery store, I saw a man and his dog sitting on a curb, bewildered, hungry, and lonely. As I was on my way to see him, a car passed by and stopped. The man did not even look up. Suddenly the window rolled down, and a little girl leaning halfway out the car window showered the man with food, drinks, love, and joy. She even had a gift for the dog, who was excited to see her. 

I was touched. Joy filled my heart. The man bowed before her in gratitude as her mother drove her to help another struggling person. I believe this little girl with a heart as big as life itself is one of the thirty-six mystics who hold the World together.

Blessings to you, Holy Community, for being one of the thirty-six people who bless the World, who strive for the blessings and wisdom of Heaven as you hold the World and its people in your heart.