Soul of Christ

Newly added

THE EARTH: Consider The Stars by Diana Butler Bass

From Grounded  Outside of Guelph, Ontario, is an old Jesuit monastery.  There are only a few monks left, but the place still hums with energy.  Rechristened the Ignatian Spiritual Centre, the complex includes offices for nonprofit organizations, an organic farm, an old-growth forest that is [...]

Consolations

  • Help by David Whyte
    From Consolations Help is strangely, something we want to do without, as if the very idea disturbs and blurs the boundaries of our individual endeavors, as if we cannot face how much we need in order to go on.  We are born with an absolute necessity for help, grow well only with a continuous succession of extended hands, and as adults depend upon [...]

Heaven on Earth

My Brilliant Abyss

  • Hive Of Nerves by Christian Wiman
    From My Bright Abyss It is time that the stone grew accustomed to blooming, That unrest formed a heart. (Paul Celan) At a dinner with friends the talk turns, as it often does these days, to the problem of anxiety: how it is consuming everyone; how the very technologies we have developed to save [...]

All Things New

  • Our Restoration by John Eldredge
    From All Things New He knew something about growing up in a motherless home, and about the hole it left in a boy’s heart.  He knew about the ceaseless drive to make oneself whole, and about the endless yearning. (Daniel Brown, The Boys in the Boat) I had a surprising emotional breakthrough the weekend my father died. Like for many people, my relationship with my dad was kind of a mixed bag.  My boyhood days were very precious.  My father [...]

My writing

  • When The Prayers You Make Make You
    My mother, not a kind or generous mother, told me that my first words were the Lord’s Prayer. I have always treasured that knowledge, holding it close as an affirmation of who I am. My badge of identity, as it were. But after the past year or so I have come to a new appreciation of that choice of mine. To reach out into the air and decide which words I was hearing around me were the ones I [...]

Holy Spirit

Earth Psalms

  • Staying Close To The Master by Francine Rivers
    From: Earth Psalms Care for the flock that God has entrusted to you.  Watch over it willingly, not grudgingly – not for what you will get out of it, but because you are eager to serve God. (1 Peter 5:2) Both dogs and cats have taught me lessons about faith. A dog loves unconditionally, accepting [...]

Psalms

  • The Cursings (Part 1) by C. S. Lewis
    From Reflections on the Psalms In some of the psalms the spirit of hatred which strikes us in the face is like the heat from a furnace mouth.  In others the same spirit ceases to be frightful only by becoming (to a modern mind) almost comic in its naïvety. Examples of the first can be found all [...]

Grounded

  • “Where Is God” And The Sky by Diana Butler Bass
    From Grounded  The question, “Where is God?” appears several times in the Bible, perhaps most famously in the book of Job, but it occurs frequently in the psalms as well.  Psalm 115 offers a lyrical meditation on the question: Not to us, O Lord, not to us, but to your name give glory, for the sake of your steadfast love and your faithfulness. Why should the nations say, “Where is their God?” Our God is in the heavens; he does whatever [...]

Nature writing

  • The World’s Biggest Membrane by Lewis Thomas
    From The Lives of a Cell Viewed from the distance of the moon, the astonishing thing about the Earth, catching the breath, is that it is alive.  The photographs show the dry, pounded surface of the moon in the foreground, dead as an old bone.  Aloft, floating free beneath the moist, gleaming membrane of bright blue sky, is the rising Earth, the only exuberant thing in this part of the cosmos.  If you could look long enough, you would see the swirling of the great drifts of white cloud, [...]

Contemporary Christian poets

  • A Dubious Night by Richard Wilbur

    POETRY: A Dubious Night by Richard Wilbur

    A bell diphthonging in an atmosphere Of shying night air summons some to prayer Down in the town, two deep lone miles from here, Yet wallows faint or sudden everywhere, In every ear, as if the twist wind wrung Some ten years’ tangled echoes from the air. What kyries it says are mauled among The queer elisions of the mist and murk, Of lights and shapes; the senses were unstrung, Except that one star’s synecdochic smirk Burns steadily to me, that nothing’s odd And firm as ever is the [...]
  • The Man Who Couldn’t Believe by David Citino

    POETRY: The Man Who Couldn’t Believe by David Citino

    He was the sort who entertained doubts. Even in early childhood when his mother would call out “Your daddy’s home,” he’d look up from toys that were nothing more than toys and, with a smile both knowing and superior, shake his head from side to side. When Sister Mary Appassionata asked “Why did God make you?” he looked her straight in the eye. “Damned if I know,” he answered. Even love was out of the question, a series of motions out and in, crescendo, diminuendo. “You’re no [...]
  • New Year’s Eve In Bismarck, North Dakota by Kathleen Norris

    POETRY: New Year’s Eve In Bismarck, North Dakota by Kathleen Norris

    Flying in Before snow closed the airport, Waiting For a way out, Drinking at the Patterson, Peppermint schnapps For the season, The town, The storm. The bartender joins in. He’s old, and wears a black String tie. A cowboy, drunk, says “You’re lookin’ good. Got a figure like a bombshell. Like an angel. An angel from outer space. Some guys’d up n’ say, ‘C’mon, you’re gonna have some.’ I believe in God. I’d never say that to a girl.” It’s ten below in Bismarck. They say [...]
  • After The Last Words by Scott Cairns

    POETRY: After The Last Words by Scott Cairns

    By now I’m dead. Make what you will of that. But granted you are alive, you will need to be making something more as well. Prayers have been made, for instance, but (trust me) the dead are oblivious to such sessions. Settle instead for food, nice meals (thick soup); invite your friends. Make lively conversation among steaming bowls, lifting heavy spoons. If there is bread (there really should be bread), tear it coarsely and hand each guest his share for intinction in the soup. Something to [...]
  • Loves Of The Puppets by Richard Wilbur

    POETRY: Loves Of The Puppets by Richard Wilbur

    Meeting when all the world was in the bud, Drawn each to each by instinct’s wooden face, These lovers, heedful of the mystic blood, Fell glassy-eyed into a hot embrace. April, unready to be so intense, Marked time while these outstripped the gentle weather, Yielded their natures to insensate sense, And flew apart the more they came together. Where did they fly? Why, each through such a storm As may be conjured in a globe of glass Drove on the colder as the flesh grew warm, In breathless haste [...]
  • The Wild Rose by Wendell Berry

    POETRY: The Wild Rose by Wendell Berry

    Sometimes hidden from me in daily custom and in trust, so that I live by you unaware as by the beating of my heart, suddenly you flare in my sight, a wild rose blooming at the edge of thicket, grace and light where yesterday was only shade, and once more I am blessed, choosing again what I chose [...]
  • The Father by Maura Eichner

    POETRY: The Father by Maura Eichner

    Luke 15:11-32 Never had the old man made such a journey. His robes enfolded him like driving wind. No one remembered the old man running. Even fire had never moved him. His estates were the light of the town. Yet, there he was, running to a dark figure huddling the road. Love was flood-water carrying him forward. Some tried to dike the water; nothing could hold him. Love loosed a wind of words: “My son is coming home.” Dark grief behind, the father ran, arms open as light. He had to lift [...]
  • On The Feast Of Saint John The Evangelist by David Brendan Hopes

    POETRY: On The Feast Of Saint John The Evangelist by David Brendan Hopes

    The solstice moon rides within a ring of ice gleaming blue silver, blood silver, silver, mist silver. The snow is blue; cobalt silver on the moon-struck mountain. In the corner of the porch roof, against the moon, a spider spins a warped web. She is dazed with cold. Hunger. She stops. She starts again, spinning badly, past her time, utterly hopeless and beyond help. I cannot decide if this is beautiful or horrible. Either way, it cannot be looked at very long. The ice halo spreads and pales, [...]
  • We Will Now Hear The Word Of God From Each Of Our Beloved Chaplains by Daniel Berrigan

    POETRY: We Will Now Hear The Word Of God From Each Of Our Beloved Chaplains by Daniel Berrigan

    1. Rev Stump is believe it or not for real as a stump to a grown tree so he to the verdant gospel this corpulent burgher this fictitious rubbery stamp Stump a huckster’s a hack’s gospel Stump wormwood miles of smiles 2. the priest an irish caricature wheels up in his Cadillac each a.m. an alderman to a cobbler’s funeral we the dead faces his asperges hisses on have yet like Lazarus in hell one cold Christian curse bestowal, [...]
  • The Liar’s Psalm—Repentance by Andrew Hudgins

    POETRY: The Liar’s Psalm—Repentance by Andrew Hudgins

    I repent the actual. It has never got me anywhere. It is nothing against principalities, against powers. My father will die and I will carry on. I dread his death more than mine because it will come sooner—knowledge I repent. In lies he will outlive the liar. And that’s me. The lie itself will carry on, is itself a child, a separate life, a blow against the gods of objects. Who are not happy with me or with their densities. They are not worth their flawed kingdoms. And neither do I love [...]
  • What My Teachers Taught Me I Try To Teach My Students by Maura Eichner

    POETRY: What My Teachers Taught Me I Try To Teach My Students by Maura Eichner

    A bird in the hand is not to be desired. In writing, nothing is too much trouble. Culture is nourished, not by fact, but by myth. Continually think of those who were truly great who in their lives fought for life, who wore at their hearts, the fire’s center. Feel the meanings the words hide. Make routine a stimulus. Remember it can cease. Forge hosannahs from doubt. Hammer on doors with the heart. All occasions invite God’s mercies and all times are his [...]
  • Dash It by Annie Dillard

    POETRY: Dash It by Annie Dillard

    How wonderfully it was all arranged that each Of us had not too long to live. This is one Of the main snags—the shortness of the day. The whole wood was whispering, “Dash it, dash it….” What joy—to walk along that path! The snow Was so fragrant in the sun! What a fish! Whenever I think of death, the same stupid Question arises: “What’s to be done?” As for myself, I can only speak of what Made me marvel when I saw it for the first time. I remember my own youth when I was in love. [...]
  • Juggler by Richard Wilbur

    POETRY: Juggler by Richard Wilbur

    A ball will bounce, but less and less. It’s not A light-hearted thing, resents its own resilience. Falling is what it loves, and the earth falls So in our hearts from brilliance, Settles and is forgot. It takes a sky-blue juggler with five red balls To shake our gravity up. Whee, in the air The balls roll round, wheel on his wheeling hands, Learning the ways of lightness, alter to spheres Grazing his finger ends, Cling to their courses there, Swinging a small heaven about his ears. But a [...]
  • The Chimes Of Neverwhere by Les Murray

    POETRY: The Chimes Of Neverwhere by Les Murray

    How many times did the Church prevent war? Who knows? Those wars did not occur. How many numbers don’t count before ten? Treasures of the Devil in Neverwhere. The neither state of Neverwhere is hard to place as near or far since all things that didn’t take place are there and things that have lost the place they took: Herr Hitler’s buildings, King James’s cigar, the happiness of Armenia, the Abelard children, the Manchu’s return are there with the Pictish Grammar Book. The girl who [...]
  • Imagist At Coney Island by Maura Eichner

    POETRY: Imagist At Coney Island by Maura Eichner

    One decade into the 20th century, Pound, with his back to Brooklyn, pointed his beard to the Atlantic. Simply to receive the kingdom, Ezra linked arms with John Butler Yeats. Their shoes filled with sand. Pleasure rode the water, solid as Staten Island Ferry. At dusk, lights rose like a fever chart. Coney Island “marvelous against the night.” In the amusement park Yeats rode an elephant on the merry-go-round, “smiling Elijah in the beatific vision.” Pound leaned against a railing [...]
  • Apple Fools by David Craig

    POETRY: Apple Fools by David Craig

    Apple fools we are Ripe as cups of cider and the horse’s clodded wake let the wet mornings come ring out green beans beneath the leaves pumpkin piping on the vine Speckled corn aloft Indian feathered high on the door Squash squats on the rafters pot belly bent legged Buddha stove boots and coveralls Give us this grace and all this day the crowded table the pinions’ [...]
  • Fire And St. Francis by Andrew Hudgins

    POETRY: Fire And St. Francis by Andrew Hudgins

    1. As he sat eating by the fire one night a spark was lifted on a wisp of air and set on the folds of cloth that wrapped his groin. But when he felt the heat so near his flesh he wouldn’t raise his hands against the fire or let his worried friends extinguish it. You mustn’t harm the flames or spoil their play, he said to them. Don’t these bright creatures have as much a right as I to be happy? For seconds his disciples stared as the flames climbed up the cloth and nearer to his skin. And [...]
  • From A Woman's Life by Maura Eichner

    POETRY: From A Woman’s Life by Maura Eichner

    What Mary knew was just enough for the usual day; pull water, flint fire, bake bread, smile, pray the dark orations, sleep, wake wait. When pain hones a nerve, when birth or dying clotted an hour, she leaned to the curve of living, resilient to fear, laughter, suffering. Partings are a little death. Each one’s journey is a thing wholly without precedent. She looked at the sky for compass. None. She, too, created a road to travel [...]
  • Teresa by Richard Wilbur

    POETRY: Teresa by Richard Wilbur

    After the sun’s eclipse, The brighter angel and the spear which drew A bridal outcry from her open lips, She could not prove it true, Nor think at first of any means to test By what she had been wedded or possessed. Not all cries were the same; there was an island in mythology Called by the very vowels of her name Where vagrants of the sea, Changed by a wand, were made to squeal and cry As heavy captives in a witch’s sty. The proof came soon and plain: Visions were true which [...]
  • Francis Meets A Leper by David Citino

    POETRY: Francis Meets A Leper by David Citino

    He heard the bell toll, erratic in a palsied hand, and smelled the goatish scent before he saw the figure moving in mist on the road to Assisi, a traveler gloved and shod, as was the law, to hide the sores, a man’s inhumanity, missing fingers and toes, and tried to unmask the face, slack muscles showing nothing but astonishment, lower lids keeping eyes open always to our providential decay, flesh soft and thick as rotten wood. Francis saw in bleary eyes, near to him as his mother’s [...]
  • A Wonder Of Origins by Daniel Berrigan

    POETRY: A Wonder Of Origins by Daniel Berrigan

    flower points to a bird, bird cries like a closed eye I see your dreams. Things like my heart I never see, but see hearts bird-shaped, flower-shaped, the radiant weightless shadow my heart casts—upward, to ground; a rose, a wintering bird. They meet, they summer plummet and signet, in Hero’s [...]
  • The Misery Cord by Les Murray

    POETRY: The Misery Cord by Les Murray

    In Memory of F. S. Murray  Misericord. The Misery Cord. It was lettered on a wall. I know that cord, how it’s tough to break however hard you haul. My cousin sharefarmed, and so got half: half dignity, half hope, half income, for his full work. To get a place of his own took his whole lifetime. Some pluck the misery chord from habit or for luck, however they feel, some to deceive, and some for the tune— but sometimes it’s real. Milking bails, flannel shirts, fried breakfasts, these were [...]
  • October by David Brendan Hopes

    POETRY: October by David Brendan Hopes

    It’s nuthatch on the box elder outside the window. He’s making his clown’s voice, nnink, nning, nnink, pecking to grubs, seeds, scraps. The first snow powdered down last night while he slept, and as birds have dreams there’s snow in his song now. Nighthawk heard it. He is gone. Warbler heard it. She is gone. Thrasher went. Finch went. You could hear them at night, little bells so far off you thought they were the stars ringing. I sat on an empty hill and said goodbye. [...]
  • Whole Wheat, Decaf Black, A Morbid Curiosity by David Citino

    POETRY: Whole Wheat, Decaf Black, A Morbid Curiosity by David Citino

    We study the paper, fingers darkening with the stinking ink of the daily news, as Dad bangs Mommy’s head against the bedroom wall, the thud like coming thunder, as baby’s shaken until the crying stops, as the sniper’s scope X’s-out another enemy of the tribe, all for ethnic cleaning, as, at the mall, boys dressed in street colors change forever the face of other boys with semi-automatic rage, as women of the village bind the girl, legs spread wide, the oyster cut from [...]
  • Letter From Santa Cruz by Maura Eichner

    POETRY: Letter From Santa Cruz by Maura Eichner

    I do not know the date. Calendars have no meaning here. One hundred miles north (or maybe more) from Santa Cruz our families live or try to live (and fail) farming rice. Five years ago only monkeys talked and swung in jungle trees. There is a road, but not when there is rain. It had been raining long when Marta died. Months ago, a doctor passing through told Marta that she ought to get to Santa Cruz. Some time, some time, Marta said, she would. She was busy at the well when the growth was big [...]
  • Litany by David Craig

    POETRY: Litany by David Craig

    Mother of Sorrow, Mother of stars and night fires, arroyos, tossed tequila bottles, the dead drunk. Mother of the streets, of the violent, weekend golfers, cut off, and a windshield smashed with bare fists; the knife, the absurdity, the day in court. Mother of amphetamines, the aging speed freak, who looks to kick around an oval track in a beat up stock car. Mother of the subways, the swaying lost. Mother of day laborers, children, early mornings, in the fields. Mother of Guatemala, of empty [...]
  • Ascension by Kathleen Norris

    POETRY: Ascension by Kathleen Norris

    Why do you stand looking up at the skies? (Acts 1:11) It wasn’t just wind, chasing thin gunmetal clouds across the loud sky; it wasn’t the feeling that one might ascend on that excited air, rising like a trumpet note. And it wasn’t just my sister’s water breaking, her crying out, the downward draw of blood and bone…. It was all of that, the mud and new grass pushing up through melting snow, the lilac in bud by my front door, bent low by last week’s ice storm. Now the new mother, [...]
  • Our Christmas Tree by Wendell Berry

    POETRY: Our Christmas Tree by Wendell Berry

    Our Christmas tree is not electrified, is not covered with little lights calling attention to themselves (we have had enough of little lights calling attention to themselves). Our tree is a cedar cut here, one of the fragrances of our place, hung with painted cones and paper stars folded long ago to praise our tree, Christ come into the [...]
  • POETRY: Immersion by Denise Levertov

    POETRY: Immersion by Denise Levertov

    There is anger abroad in the world, a numb thunder, because of God’s silence. But how naïve, to keep wanting words we could speak ourselves, English, Urdu, Tagalog, the French of Tours, the French of Haiti… Yes, that was one way omnipotence chose to address us—Hebrew, Aramaic, or whatever the patriarchs chose in their turn to call what they heard. Moses demanded the word, spoken and written. But perfect freedom assured other ways of speech. God is surely patiently trying to immerse us in [...]
  • Excerpts From The Angel Handbook by Kathleen Norris

    POETRY: Excerpts From The Angel Handbook by Kathleen Norris

    Be careful how you unfold your wings— there are some in the world who are not content unless their teeth are full of feathers You may find employment with the Sanitation Department or at any laundry When you ride subways wear ornate silver shoes and always stand near the door When you cross at intersections look both ways, then up It will often be expedient to altogether remove your wings from your back, where people will first think to look for them, and carry them around inside you— at [...]
  • Canaan by Geoffrey Hill

    POETRY: Canaan by Geoffrey Hill

    I They march at God’s pleasure through Flanders with machine-pistols, chorales, cannon of obese bronze, with groaning pushcarts, to topple Baal. At crossroads they hoist corpses and soiled banners of the Lamb. The sun takes assize. Aloof the blades of oblation rise, fall, as though they were not obstructed by blades of bone. II Fourier’s children their steeds, kazoos, the splashed fetlocks— deliquescent manna that most resembles a sudden urban sleet— shedding innocent blood [...]
  • The Bibliographers by Geoffrey Hill

    POETRY: The Bibliographers by Geoffrey Hill

    Lucifer blazing in superb effigies Among the world’s ambitious tragedies, Heaven-sent gift to the dark ages, Now, in the finest-possible light, We approach you; can estimate Your not unnatural height. Though the discrete progeny, Out of their swim, go deflated and dry, We know the feel of you, archaic beauty, Between the tombs, where the tombs still extrude, Overshadowing the sun-struck world: (The shadow-god envisaged in no [...]
  • Luke 14, a Commentary by Kathleen Norris

    POETRY: Luke 14, A Commentary by Kathleen Norris

    So he told a parable to those who were invited, when he noted how they chose the best places, saying to them: “When you are invited by anyone to a wedding feast, do not sit down in the best place, lest one more honorable than you be invited by him; and he who invited you and him come and say to you, ‘Give place to this man,’ and then you begin with shame to take the lowest place. But when you are invited, go and sit down in the lowest place, so that when he who invited you comes he may [...]
  • A Prayer To Eve by Kathleen Norris

    POETRY: A Prayer To Eve by Kathleen Norris

    Mother of fictions and of irony, help us to laugh. Mother of science and the critical method, keep up humble. Muse of listeners, hope of interpreters, inspire us to act. Bless our metaphors, that we might eat them. Help us to know, Eve, the one thing we must do. Come with us, muse of exile, mother of the [...]
  • In Memory Of Jane Fraser by Geoffrey Hill

    POETRY: In Memory Of Jane Fraser by Geoffrey Hill

    When snow like sheep lay in the fold And winds went begging at each door, And the far hills were blue with cold, And a cold shroud lay on the moor, She kept the siege. And every day We watched her brooking over death Like a strong bird above its prey. The room filled with the kettle’s breath. Damp curtains glued against the pane Sealed time away. Her body froze As if to freeze us all, and chain Creation to a stunned repose. She died before the world could stir. In March the ice unloosed [...]
  • Mrs. Adam by Kathleen Norris

    POETRY: Mrs. Adam by Kathleen Norris

    I have lately come to the conclusion that I am Eve, alias Mrs. Adam. You know, there is no account of her death in the Bible, and why am I not Eve? (Emily Dickinson in a letter, 12 January, 1846) Wake up, you’ll need your wits about you. This is not a dream, but a woman who loves you, speaking. She was there when you cried out; she brushed the terror away. She knew when it was time to sin. You were wise to let her handle it, and leave that place. We couldn’t speak at first for the bitter [...]
  • Genesis by Geoffrey Hill

    POETRY: Genesis by Geoffrey Hill

    I Against the burly air I strode Crying the miracles of God. And first I brought the sea to bear Upon the dead weight of the land; And the waves flourished at my prayer, The rivers spawned their sand. And where the streams were salt and full The tough pig-headed salmon strove, Ramming the ebb, in the tide’s pull, To reach the steady hills above. II The second day I stood and saw The osprey plunge with triggered claw, Feathering blood along the shore, To lay the living sinew bare. And the [...]
  • The End Of The World by Scott Cairns

    POETRY: The End Of The World by Scott Cairns

    The end of the world occurs with the first thaw. Waking from his first restful night in many months—a night without shivering, without cramp- ing muscles—the last man lifts his head from the straw, hears snow-melt trickling, sees morning light through the window’s ice, smells the scent of earth, lies back, and dies because he cannot bear to go through it all again. But that is a very limited view of the event. The end was more than the final exhaustion of the last man. Actually, some [...]
  • What The Figtree Said by Denise Levertov

    POETRY: What The Figtree Said by Denise Levertov

    Literal minds! Embarrassed humans! His friends were blurting for Him in secret: wouldn’t admit they were shocked. They thought Him petulant to curse me!—yet how could the Lord be unfair?—so they looked away, then and now. But I, I knew that helplessly barren though I was, my day had come. I served Christ the Poet, who spoke in images: I was at hand, a metaphor for their failure to bring forth what is within them (as figs were not within me). They who had walked in His sunlight [...]
  • On Slow Learning by Scott Cairns

    POETRY: On Slow Learning by Scott Cairns

    If you’ve ever owned a tortoise, you know how terribly difficult paper training can be for some pets. Even if you get so far as to instill in your tortoise the value of achieving the paper, there remains one obstacle— your tortoise’s intrinsic sloth. Even a well-intentioned tortoise may find himself in his journeys to be painfully far from the mark. Failing, your tortoise may shy away for weeks within his shell, utterly ashamed, or, looking up with tiny, wet eyes, might offer an [...]

Robert Bly

  • A Month Of Happiness by Robert Bly
    A blind horse stands among cherry trees. And bones shine from cool earth. The heart leaps Almost up to the sky! But laments And filaments pull us back into the dark. Night takes us. But A paw Comes out of the dark To light the road. I’ll be all right. I follow my own fiery traces through the [...]

Attentiveness

  • Learning To Be Inattentive by Leighton Ford
    From The Attentive Life Attentiveness is a learned practice; so is inattentiveness.  I learned to be selectively inattentive, and the roots of my inattentiveness go back to my childhood. I grew up in Chatham, Ontario, a few miles north of Lake Erie, surrounded by the farmlands of southwestern [...]

The Peaceable Kingdom

The Humanists

  • A Devout Prayer (2) by Sir Thomas More
    A prayer made after Sir More was condemned to die and before he was put to death. Almighty God, have mercy on N. and N., and on all that bear me evil will, and would me harm, and their faults and mine together, by such easy, tender, merciful means, as thine infinite wisdom best can devise, vouchsafe to amend and redress, and make us saved souls in Heaven together where we may ever live and love [...]

A Quote From Thomas Merton

Prayer

 

My Lord God,

I have no idea where I am going.

I do not see the road ahead of me.

I cannot know for certain where it will end.

nor do I really know myself,

and the fact that I think I am following your will

does not mean that I am actually doing so.

But I believe that the desire to please you

does in fact please you.

And I hope I have that desire in all that I am doing.

I hope that I will never do anything apart from that desire.

And I know that if I do this you will lead me by the right road,

though I may know nothing about it.

Therefore will I trust you always though

I may seem to be lost and in the shadow of death.

I will not fear, for you are ever with me,

and you will never leave me to face my perils alone.

 

Amen.

Psalm 109

Psalm 109. Deus, laudem.

 

HOLD not thy tongue, O God of my praise; * for the mouth of the ungodly, yea, the mouth of the deceitful is opened upon me.

2 And they have spoken against me with false tongues; * they compassed me about also with words of hatred, and fought against me without a cause.

3 For the love that I had unto them, lo, they take now my contrary part; * but I give myself unto prayer.

4 Thus have they rewarded me evil for good, * and hatred for my good will.

5 Set thou an ungodly man to be ruler over him, * and let an adversary stand at his right hand.

6 When sentence is given upon him, let him be condemned; * and let his prayer be turned into sin.

7 Let his days be few; * and let another take his office.

8 Let his children be fatherless, * and his wife a widow.

9 Let his children be vagabonds, and beg their bread; * let them seek it also out of desolate places.

10 Let the extortioner consume all that he hath; * and let the stranger spoil his labour.

11 Let there be no man to pity him, * nor to have compassion upon his fatherless children.

12 Let his posterity be destroyed; * and in the next generation let his name be clean put out.

13 Let the wickedness of his fathers be had in remembrance in the sight of the LORD; * and let not the sin of his mother be done away.

14 Let them alway be before the LORD, * that he may root out the memorial of them from off the earth;

15 And that, because his mind was not to do good; * but persecuted the poor helpless man, that he might slay him that was vexed at the heart.

16 His delight was in cursing, and it shall happen unto him; * he loved not blessing, therefore shall it be far from him.

17 He clothed himself with cursing like as with a raiment, * and it shall come into his bowels like water, and like oil into his bones.

18 Let it be unto him as the cloak that he hath upon him, * and as the girdle that he is alway girded withal.

19 Let it thus happen from the LORD unto mine enemies, * and to those that speak evil against my soul.

20 But deal thou with me, O LORD God, according unto thy Name; * for sweet is thy mercy.

21 O deliver me, for I am helpless and poor, ~ and my heart is wounded within me.

22 I go hence like the shadow that departeth, * and am driven away as the grasshopper.

23 My knees are weak through fasting; * my flesh is dried up for want of fatness.

24 I am become also a reproach unto them: * they that look upon me shake their heads.

25 Help me, O LORD my God; * O save me according to thy mercy;

26 And they shall know how that this is thy hand, * and that thou, LORD, hast done it.

27 Though they curse, yet bless thou; * and let them be confounded that rise up against me; but let thy servant rejoice.

28 Let mine adversaries be clothed with shame; * and let them cover themselves with their own confusion, as with a cloak.

29 As for me, I will give great thanks unto the LORD with my mouth, * and praise him among the multitude;

30 For he shall stand at the right hand of the poor, * to save his soul from unrighteous judges.