The Lenten Blessing — A Franciscan Benediction …

May God bless you with discomfort at easy answers, half truths, and superficial relationships, so that you may live deep within your heart.

May God bless you with anger at injustice, oppression, and exploitation of people, so that you may work for justice, freedom and peace.

May God bless you with tears to shed for those who suffer from pain, rejection, starvation, and war, so that you may reach out your hand to comfort them and to turn their pain in to joy. Continue reading “The Lenten Blessing — A Franciscan Benediction …”

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A Little Of This Mystery Each Day …

One cannot help but be in awe when he contemplates the mysteries of eternity, of life, of the marvelous structure of reality. It is enough if one tries merely to comprehend a little of this mystery each day.
Albert Einstein (memoirs of William Miller – Life magazine, May 2, 1955)

Remembering Winter: The Season in Silence

Ice wine, as every drinker knows, is sweetness made from stress. That’s not news, or not exactly. All good wine takes its essential sugar from the stress of its circumstances: pinot noir, the grape of the cold country of Champagne, gets flabby and soupy as the climate warms. But ice wine is extreme sweetness made from extraordinary stress. Continue reading “A Little Of This Mystery Each Day …”

Welcome Home …

I could not be a poet without the natural world. Someone else could. But not me. For me the door to the woods is the door to the temple.
— Mary Oliver from Upstream

Welcome Home

Alone in the alien, snow-blown woods,
moving hard to stay warm in zero weather,
I stop on a rise to catch my breath as the
setting sun—streaming through bare-boned
trees—falls upon my face, fierce and full of life. Continue reading “Welcome Home …”

A Prayer of Hope For the New Year …

God as this new year dawns,
Let us see the newness you are birthing.
May we not be blinded by darkness,
Or paralyzed by the fear.
That consumes our world
May we remember:
Out of winter’s night you bring forth light,
Out of winter’s death new seeds emerge. Continue reading “A Prayer of Hope For the New Year …”

Eternal Now (Christmas Meditation) …

Time is too slow for those who wait,
too swift for those who fear,
too long for those who grieve,
too short for those who rejoice,
but for those who love, time is eternity.
— Henry Van Dyke from Music and Other Poems

The LIFE WITH GOD posture is predicated on the view that relationship is at the core of the cosmos: God the Father with God the Son with God the Holy Spirit. And so we should not be surprised to discover that when God desired to restore his broken relationship with people, he sent his Son to dwell with us. Continue reading “Eternal Now (Christmas Meditation) …”

Blessed Are You Who Bear the Light (Advent/Winter Solstice) …

Blessed are you
who bear the light
in unbearable times,
who testify
to its endurance
amid the unendurable,
who bear witness
to its persistence
when everything seems
in shadow
and grief. Continue reading “Blessed Are You Who Bear the Light (Advent/Winter Solstice) …”

Making Room (Advent Meditation) …

And she gave birth to her firstborn son and wrapped him in swaddling cloths and laid him in a manger, because there was no place for them in the inn.
— Luke 2:7

Refugees

They have no need of our help
So do not tell me
These haggard faces could belong to you or me
Should life have dealt a different hand
We need to see them for who they really are Continue reading “Making Room (Advent Meditation) …”

God Is Everywhere (Advent Meditation) …

To look at the last great self-portraits of Rembrandt or to read Pascal or hear Bach’s B-minor Mass is to know beyond the need for further evidence that if God is anywhere, he is with them, as he is also with the man behind the meat counter, the woman who scrubs floors at Roosevelt Memorial, the high-school math teacher who explains fractions to the bewildered child. And the step from “God with them” to Emmanuel, “God with us,” may not be as great as it seems. What keeps the wild hope of Christmas alive year after year in a world notorious for dashing all hopes is the haunting dream that the child who was born that day may yet be born again even in us and our own snowbound, snowblind longing for him. Continue reading “God Is Everywhere (Advent Meditation) …”

Uninvited (Advent Meditation) …

As dark misery settles down on us, and our refuges of lies fall in pieces one after one, the hearts of men, now at last serious, will turn to refuges of truth. The eternal stars shine out again, so soon as it is dark enough.
Thomas Carlyle from Past and Present

The Time Of No Room

Into this world, this demented inn
in which there is absolutely no room for him at all,
Christ comes uninvited.

But because he cannot be at home in it,
because he is out of place in it,
and yet he must be in it,
His place is with the others for whom
there is no room. Continue reading “Uninvited (Advent Meditation) …”