Desert Day 43: On Coming Home …

In the parable of the prodigal son (Luke 15:11-32), there are two sons: the younger son, who runs away from home to an alien country, and the older son, who stays home to do his duty.  The younger son dissipates himself with alcohol and sex; the older son alienates himself by working hard and dutifully fulfilling all his obligations.  Both are lost.  Their father grieves over both, because with neither of them does he experience the intimacy he desires.

Both lust and cold obedience can prevent us from being true children of God.  Whether we are like the younger son or the older son, we have to come home to the place where we can rest in the embrace of God’s unconditional love. Continue reading “Desert Day 43: On Coming Home …”

No One Leaves Home Unless …

no one leaves home unless
home is the mouth of a shark
you only run for the border
when you see the whole city running as well

your neighbors running faster than you
breath bloody in their throats
the boy you went to school with
who kissed you dizzy behind the old tin factory
is holding a gun bigger than his body
you only leave home
when home won’t let you stay. Continue reading “No One Leaves Home Unless …”

Advent Day 14: Comfort and Joy …

They shall beat their swords into plowshares
and their spears into pruning hooks.
One nation shall not raise the sword against
another nation;
nor shall they train for war again.
— Isaiah 2:4

While external clutter is rather easily cured with a big waste basket and a donation bag, internal clutter is a more difficult matter. During the holidays, relatives can sometimes seem hard-wired to cause us hardship, co-workers can more readily get on our nerves, and our stress levels can elevate completely out of control. Unlike cleaning our closets, we can’t collect our stress and donate it to someone else. Our stress is our own, and we have to deal with it. We live in a stress-filled world and can only do what we can to manage stress. We want to be constructive with our stress, “beating our swords into plowshares and our spears into pruning hooks.” We want to quit “training for war” and use the energy of our stress for peace. Continue reading “Advent Day 14: Comfort and Joy …”

For Those Who Have Far to Travel (A Blessing for Epiphany) …

If you could see
the journey whole,
you might never
undertake it,
might never dare
the first step
that propels you
from the place
you have known
toward the place
you know not. Continue reading “For Those Who Have Far to Travel (A Blessing for Epiphany) …”

Every Human Is An Artist. The Dream Of Your Life Is To Make Beautiful Art …

All true artists, whether they know it or not, create from a place of no-mind, from inner stillness. The mind then gives form to the creative impulse or insight. Even the great scientists have reported that their creative breakthroughs came at a time of mental quietude.
— Eckhart Tolle from The Power of Now: A Guide to Spiritual Enlightenment
Continue reading “Every Human Is An Artist. The Dream Of Your Life Is To Make Beautiful Art …”

There Is A Homelessness …

There is a homelessness, never to be clearly defined.
It is more than having no place of one’s own,
no bed or chair.
It is more than walking in a waste of wind,
or gleaning the crumbs where someone else has dined,
or taking a coin for food or clothes to wear.
The loan of things and the denial of things are possible to bear.

It is more, even than homelessness of heart,
of being always a stranger at love’s side,
of creeping up to a door only to start
at a shrill voice and to plunge back to the wide
dark of one’s own obscurity and hide.

it is the homelessness of the soul in the body sown;
it is the loneliness of mystery:
of seeing oneself a leaf, inexplicable and unknown,
cast from an unimaginable tree;
of knowing one’s life to be a brief wind blown
down a fissure of time in the rock of eternity.
The artist weeps to wrench this grief from stone;
he pushes his hands through the tangled vines of music,
but he cannot set it free.

It is the pain of the mystic suddenly thrown
back from the noon of God to the night of his own humanity.
It is his grief; it is the grief of all those praying
in finite words to an Infinity
Whom, if they saw, they could not comprehend;
Whom they cannot see.

—  Sister Miriam of the Holy Spirit, OCD (Jessica Powers) Carmel of the Mother of God, Pewaukee, WI. More poetry from the author: The Selected Poetry of Jessica Powers