All original written and photographic material on this site is the property of the author, and is not to be used without permission.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Poetic Last Days, March

It's that time again, when a little poetry comes to the aid of the heart that seeks to meditate and pray. May God bless your Lenten journey. 

The Chalice at His Side

Cracked and dry am I,
Shriveling in this air.
Empty inside for I
Did not want to share.

What irony I find,
That given this fine wine,
Harbored within myself,
A bitter and toxic mind.

Was I to pour it out,
To waste such potency?
Why give it away,
When it was given to me?

Something more to this wine,
Potent at a cost.
The fullness of its sweetness,
Was premised on the loss.

Freely given to be given away,
Pungent as it flows,
Richness seen as n'er before,
Delight only the Lover knows.

Remain with me, I cry,
Not wanting to lose this wine,
Sustain me, O, I pray,
To last yet one more day.

Yet shriveled and sick am I,
Barren inside and dry,
What remains is only the muck, 
Of one who would not love.

Deeper I must delve down,
Within the depths of me,
To seek and hunt for the source,
Of that sweet and holy Spring.

Dig and work and crawl,
Find the clay below,
Until my hands are wet again,
And the Wine once more will flow.

And now I understand,
What I could not see before,
Only in the pouring out,
Where the rich is made poor.

There in the giving of all I have,
There in the emptying out,
The wonder of the Life remains,
The Light does not go out.

O, Sweet Wine, had I but known,
Would that I have seen.
Only in giving what I have now,
Am I truly the one who receives.

Remain with me, I cry,
Sustain me, O, I pray,
Do not hold back all that you are,
I will give it all away.

Flow through me now, O Sweet Wine,
I will not hinder you.
This heart beats once again,
This soul is fresh and new.

The dryness has been swallowed up,
The emptiness is filled,
My cup overflows in generous Love,
My restless spirit stilled. 

What kind of Love is this, I ponder,
That only in giving is known?
What miracle is present here,
Grapes crushed as seeds are sown.

That Well within springs from your Side,
This Wine comes without cost,
Let me give it freely with all I am,
That true Life may not be lost.

"Go and learn the meaning of the words, 'I desire mercy, not sacrifice.' I did not come to call the righteous but sinners...No one patches an old cloak with a piece of unshrunken cloth, for its fullness pulls away from the cloak and the tear gets worse. People do not put new wine into old wineskins. Otherwise the skins burst, the wine spills out, and the skins are ruined. Rather, they pour new wine into fresh wineskins, and both are preserved." (Matt. 9:13, 16-17)

"I will sprinkle clean water upon you to cleanse you from all your impurities, and from all your idols I will cleanse you. I will give you a new heart and place a new spirit within you, taking from your bodies your stony hearts and giving you natural hearts." (Ezekiel 36:25-26)

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Desert Solitude

My dear friends.

Thank you for your patience. The number of things I cannot wait to write on (and yet, have been forced to wait to write on) will soon enough be flowing forth from my itching fingers. However, the last round of comprehensive exams is upon me, and so the month of March has been devoted to relearning all that I've learned. 

So for your great delight and pleasure, I am honored to share a reflection written by my boyfriend that I believe is very true to form with the nature of this blog and also a wonderful Lenten reflection. 

The soul that rejects God's love fissures like the veins of an arid desert.

It is in the solitude of the desert that man learns to survive on his own. Left only to his instincts, he learns to become self-sufficient in this harsh world. He becomes primal. He lives off of the land and develops mechanisms to adapt to the rugged terrain. He hardens his skin and his heart so as to protect himself. His world without God is treacherous and any vulnerability to love can be attacked by the beasts that prey about him. They search as a lion in the night for him. They know him better than he himself, and they exploit and rape his conscience. As a sculptor takes to the rock, they begin fashioning an image and likeness of themselves within the man. There's immense gratification in breaking the sanctification of man, and they feast on his soul as ravenous birds.

But with no warning, the storm clouds quicken and the sky becomes as black as sack cloth. Thunder rolls and the beasts flee from the promise of Rain. The man cannot prepare for the inevitable outpouring of Grace that is to come. Lightning rips through the sky and the downpour commences. As the desert terrain swells with living water, so too does the soul flood with the flowing mercies from God. It rushes in a torrent and carries the life of the man away in the darkness.

The life that once was lived is now lost.

Awakening he sees Light about him. The stark landscape has transformed into an alien planet of colors and beauty. Wandering from plant to tree, he breathes in the fruits of God's grace and weeps from joy.

As the desert is primal in nature, so too is the soul of the man. To survive is possible, but he surely cannot thrive in this desolate wasteland alone. Inspired by this, the man ventures forth into the desert in search of beauty, love, and grace. Living from storm to storm, he prays and hopes that he finds his paradise.

He knows now that there is something greater beneath the surface of all things and that all of creation yearns for living water.

May the Lord guide and protect us always. "May your kindness, LORD, be upon us; we have put our hope in you." (Psalm 33:22)

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Poetic Last Days, February

Seems that I might consider renaming the poetry series "Poetic First Days," since my timing seems to miss the mark each month!

Here's a little fun from the great Gilbert Keith (G.K) Chesterton:

A Prayer in Darkness
This much, O heaven—if I should brood or rave,
Pity me not; but let the world be fed,
Yea, in my madness if I strike me dead,
Heed you the grass that grows upon my grave.

If I dare snarl between this sun and sod,
Whimper and clamour, give me grace to own,
In sun and rain and fruit in season shown,
The shining silence of the scorn of God.

Thank God the stars are set beyond my power,
If I must travail in a night of wrath,
Thank God my tears will never vex a moth,
Nor any curse of mine cut down a flower.

Men say the sun was darkened: yet I had
Thought it beat brightly, even on—Calvary:
And He that hung upon the Torturing Tree
Heard all the crickets singing, and was glad