Monday, August 29, 2011

Riding the bus to work

On my left hand rests my watch,
Ticking entropically toward oblivion

On my right rests my prayer rope,
Repentant rhythm revealing rest

Friday, June 17, 2011

Odd pairings

I combine here silence with appetite. I'm quite unsure whether it works.

May your words be charged with the hunger, hope and longing of your Silences
May your deeds overflow with the urgency of what remains undone

If you have no Silence within you, no sense of your work’s incompleteness
Then you must Stop speaking, Stop doing

Until there be “Fire shut up in your bones”
That you not become incessant busyness, a clanging cymbal

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

On Writing

O Merciful and man loving Creator of all

All things are in Your hand and the truth of all things is written by You.
My hand of flesh trembles, then, as I take up the pen.
How can I, foul and corrupt through my many sins, ephemeral and dead by birth, write of things unseen?
How dare I write Of Your Divine Majesty, of Your Incarnation, of Your Life-creating death and most Holy Resurrection?

What can I do of myself but compound old errors and make new ones?
Yet You command and so I obey.

I obey with the hope that Your Mercy may yet lead me in the way of repentance.

I obey with the hope that because You are Just, none might be lost through my many sins, my errors and the weakness of my explanations.

I pray You, Divine Master that my hardened heart which cries out against You as “a hard master, reaping where you did not sow”, might at least relinquish my hand to You that somehow repentance might work in me.

That by Your grace my fist be unclenched and my hand begin to write.
That by writing the truths I do not yet believe, I might begin to believe,
to repent and to be saved.

Friday, November 13, 2009


Bright autumn light
Sparkling frost
Skittering brown leaves
Whispering of summer lost
In a voice from Bradbury’s Mars

Sunday, May 31, 2009


O sweet eternal Light

Your descent has raised us up to heaven

O Flame which cools the passions, Sword which heals all wounds

O Most Holy Spirit

In Your Silence begins all true speech

In Your Stillness is the root of all life

O Spirit of the Living God
Descend upon us
as you did upon the Apostles

That our deeds might bring your living stillness
That our words might carry your healing silence

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Just enough...

There is just enough light
The stars glimmer and fade
The sun rises and sets
The moon waxes and wanes
All in season and rhythm

Not enough truth?
Not enough answers?
As well complain the moon wanes too soon,
the sun sets too early and the stars are lost in cloud.
Why complain when you can trust?

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Where does the pain go?

Pain is sometimes a very lonely thing. We've all encountered the fresh pain that comes from clumsy comforters who say things like "It could be worse!"and "Look at the bright side!" as they hastily retreat from our presence. Then there are the "rescuers", just as damaging in their own way. They have such a hatred of pain that they compulsively try to "do something" to erase it.
Sometimes it's possible to fix things, just as sometimes we need to 'buck up' etc. But sometimes we are simply in terrible pain and no one can "fix" it. In periods like these when the problems are not yet soluble "seeing the bright side" is more anesthetic than curative and "fixing the problem" would require either a time machine or full-blown psychosis. So where can we put our pain to keep it from overwhelming us?

In Fr. Lev Gilet's book "In Thy Presence" he writes about God's entry into every intimate detail of our condition in the Incarnation, especially all our sufferings. He mentions the story of the three Hebrew children who survived the fiery furnace they were thrown into when they would not commit idolatry. There appears a fourth figure, a "Son of Man" who is with them in the furnace. He does not take them out of the furnace, nor does He turn off the heat. Until reading this I always thought of it as God keeping them from experiencing the heat by simple fiat. After all, we believe that "When God wills the order of nature is overruled." But what if God did not apply invisible asbestos to them? What if they experienced the suffering and He suffered with them and their intimacy with Him preserved them in the suffering?

What if the One Who "changed the fiery flames into dew" did so by taking on the suffering of His servants, entering into their pain rather than erasing it? Don't we see this in Lazarus' death where Christ sorrows with Lazarus' family? Jesus says to His disciples that part of the reason for Lazarus' death is that they might believe. John spends a good deal of time recording the grief of Lazarus' family and friends as well as Jesus' reaction to all this pain. He suffers with them and then resurrects Lazarus. What are the disciples learning to believe? Not only that Jesus has power to resurrect but that he is willing to taste of death, His own, but also that of His loved ones.

By the time Gethsemane arrives, He has already drunk deeply from the cup of human suffering. And in that place of dreadful glory what is revealed to us? His immediate knowledge of suffering alone. After entreating His followers to stay, to watch and to pray with Him, He is abandoned by all.

What if the answer to our suffering is His suffering with us? What if the answer to my question is "Straight into the Heart of our Maker?"...