Arise My Fair One: Journeying with the Divine Beloved in Dark Times


Arise My Fair One: Journeying with the Divine Beloved in Dark Times


This is the text of a talk given by Dr. Wendy Farley at the Companions on the Inner Way Retreat, August 2020.

17 pages unnumbered. 5,146 words.

Full Title: "Arise My Fair One:” Thoughts on Radical Compassion and Contemplation In the Work Against Racism.

This is the text of a keynote talk given at the on-line Presbyterian retreat for Companions on the Inner Way, August 8, 2020. It has been lightly revised so it can be read, but was composed as a talk rather than an essay. It begins with a passage from the Song of Solomon, moves on to an extensive excerpt about the work of the Spirit among us for justice by Howard Thurman, draws from the Didache, a first century Christian text, the ministry of Jesus to explain metanoia - not to mean repent but to recognize that the kingdom of God is among and within us, right now. It also includes personal Presbyterian stories/memories as Dr. Farley explores the question: What does it mean to fall in love with the gospel– again, still, more deeply – knowing that we live in a world in which deception and domination structure so much of our experience? 

It is easy to feel overwhelmed and discouraged: pandemic, confronting the reality of racism, corruption, economic vulnerability, suffering immigrant populations. But our Divine Beloved entered history during fragile and violent times, inviting us to embrace radical compassion, joyful community, and deep interior peace. Let us arise and find our way back to intimacy with the divine, that we may be bearers of light in dark times.

A leading theologian, Wendy Farley has written extensively on women theologians and mystics, religious dialogue, classical texts, contemporary ethical issues, and contemplative practices. Dr. Farley is the Director of the Program in Christian Spirituality, Rice Family Chair of Spirituality, San Francisco Theological Seminary, Graduate School of Theology, Redlands University.

Companions on the Inner Way website:



August 2020





Wendy Farley, “Arise My Fair One: Journeying with the Divine Beloved in Dark Times,” Antiracism Digital Library, accessed June 25, 2024,