Tuesday, January 31, 2017

I elude your presence (Denise Levertov)

  Lord, not you, 
it is I who am absent. 
At first 
belief was a joy I kept in secret, 
stealing alone 
into secret places:  
a quick glance, and away – and back, 
I have long since uttered your name 
but now 
I elude your presence 
I stop 
to think about you, and my mind 
at once 
like a minnow darts away, 
into the shadows, into gleams that fret 
unceasing over 
the river’s purling and passing. 
Not for one second 
Will my self hold still, but wanders 
everywhere it can turn.  Not you 
it is I who am absent. 
You are the stream, the fish, the light, 
the pulsing shadow, 
you the unchanging presence, in whom 
all moves and changes. 
How can I focus my flickering, perceive 
at the fountain’s heart 
the sapphire I know is there? 

--Denise Levertov, “Flickering Mind”

Monday, January 30, 2017

The illusion that I am in control (Henri Nouwen)

   While realizing that ten years ago I didn’t have the faintest idea that I would end up where I am now, I still like to keep up the illusion that I am in control of my own life.  I like to decide what I most need, what I will do next, what I want to accomplish, and how others will think of me.  While being so busy running my own life, I become oblivious to the gentle movements of the Spirit of God within me, pointing me in directions quite different from my own.
--Henri Nouwen, Here and Now

Saturday, January 28, 2017

A heart of humility (Matthew Henry)

  Meekness is calm confidence, settled assurance, and rest of the soul.  It is the tranquil stillness of a soul that is at rest in Christ.  It is the place of peace.  Meekness springs from a heart of humility, radiating the fragrance of Christ. 
 --Matthew Henry, 
A Quest for Meekness and Quietness of Spirit 

Thursday, January 26, 2017

Sunday Gospel Reflection, January 29, 2017: Seek the Lord, all you humble of the earth...

Do you need God? 

   When the prophet Zephaniah exhorts the people to seek justice, seek humility, he is offering them a path to finding God.  For, in order to seek justice, we must first make room for God in our lives, embracing humility; justice flows from our willingness to be in right relationship with God, to be a people humble and lowly who take refuge in the Lord, recognizing that it is only through God that any human action is possible.  And, after all, Psalm 146 reminds us that it is precisely the humble – the oppressed, the hungry, captives, the blind, those who were bowed down – who receive help from the Lord, and who can then, in turn, bring life-giving justice to others, God’s justice, born of right relationship.

   In Matthew’s Gospel, Jesus elaborates on the promise of Psalm 146, beginning with a blessing for the poor in spirit and the meek, those who know they need God, who seek not control but a measure of God’s love in their lives.  From beginning to end, the Beatitudes invite all of us to live in a way that demonstrates that we do need God, for God is necessary to the fullness of life; without God, after all, what depth of meaning can we find in human existence?  In the epistle, the Corinthians seem to have forgotten this lesson; Paul reminds them that God chose the foolish of the world – the humble of heart, the poor in spirit – to shame the wise, for God can only work through humble hearts open to God’s action in their lives.  In that kingdom of inversion, the only kingdom in which true justice is possible, we seek the Lord, struggling to hold him, rather than worldly distractions, at the center of our lives.  Isn’t this why we come to church each week, to recognize our need for God, the fact that God has a place in our everyday existence?  Yes, we need God:  we need God’s presence; we need God’s love.  To walk the path of justice can only mean a self-emptying humility that recognizes this imperative need, and opens to it.

This post is based on Fr. Pat’s Scripture class.
Image source: Wordle

Monday, January 23, 2017

I pray we'll find your light (D. Archuleta & N. Pacheco)

  I pray you’ll be our eyes, and watch us where we go, 
and help us to be wise in times when we don’t know. 
let this be our prayer, when we lose our way, 
lead us to the place, guide us with your grace 
to a place where we’ll be safe. 
La luce che tu hai                             The light you have 
I pray we’ll find your light 
Nel cuore restera                              will be in our hearts 
and hold it in our hearts. 
a ricordarci che                                 to remind us that 
When stars go out each night 
eterna stella sei…                             you’re our eternal star. 

Nella mia preghiera                         In my prayer
Let this be our prayer
quanta fede c’e                                 how much faith there is
when shadows fill our day.

Lead us to a place, guide us with your grace.
Give us faith so we’ll be safe.

Sognamo un mondo senze piu violenza 
un mondo di giustizia e di speranza.
Ognuno dia la mano al su vicino, 
simbolo di pace, di fraternita.
We dream a world without violence,
a world of justice and of faith.
Everyone gives a hand to his neighbors,
Symbol of peace, of fraternity.

La forza che ci da                              The strength that he gives
We ask that life be kind
e il desiderio che                              is a wish that
and watch us from above
ognuno trovi amor                           everyone find love
We hope each soul will find
intorno e dentro se                           around and inside.
another soul to love.

Let this be our prayer,
Let this be our prayer,
just like every child.
just like every child.

We need to find a place, guide us with your grace
Give us faith so we’ll be safe
We need to find a place, guide us with your grace
Give us faith so we’ll be safe

    E la fede che                                      And the faith that
hai acceso in noi                               you lit in us
            sento che ci salvera                          I believe it will save us.

To hear David Archuleta & Nathan Pacheco 
perform this song of light and faith,
click on the video below:

Saturday, January 21, 2017

Emerge into the light (Helen Keller)

      Faith is the strength by which a shattered world shall emerge into the light. 

 --Helen Keller