Soul of Christ

  • Chapter Eleven (Part One)—In The Hour Of My Death, Call Me And Bid Me Come To You by Marie Paul Curley
    From Soul of Christ The final petition, which is so rich it will take two chapters to cover, is a prayer for the last moments of our lives.  It reminds us of the eternal purpose for which God created and sustains us. In the hour of my death… Like the Hail Mary, the ending of this prayer focuses on the end of our journey here on Earth, the decisive moments when we are about to enter eternity.  Our faith can be strengthened when we consider the moment of our death, a practice recommended by [...]
Newly added

JESUS CHRIST: A Battle Worth Fighting

We can wander into Renaissance Festivals and see people all made up to be people of that time. We can watch the news and see how a group of people have assembled to recreate an historical battle, complete with swords and drums and even working muskets. There was a time when young people liked to [...]

Consolations

  • Destiny by David Whyte
    From Consolations Destiny always has a possessor, as in my destiny or your destiny or her destiny, it gives a sense of something we cannot avoid or something waiting for us, it is a word of storybook or mythic dimension.  Destiny is hardly used in everyday conversation; it is a word that invites belief or disbelief: we reject the ordering of events by some fated, unseen force or we agree that [...]

Heaven on Earth

  • Where, Oh Where, Is My King? by R. Alan Streett
    From: Heaven on Earth A long series of military rulers, or judges, leads Israel on a roller-coaster ride of moral ups and downs, typified by the words, “In those days there was no king in Israel; all the people did what was right in their own eyes,” (Judges 21:15).  The judges are accountable to God for assuring justice throughout the land, [...]

My Brilliant Abyss

  • From My Bright Abyss I am struck by this: “But we can so easily forget what our laughing neighbor / neither confirms nor envies.”  What about these “laughing neighbors”?  Surely we have all had the experience of having an intensely inward perception deflated within us by some non-reaction of the world, by pure indifference.  [...]

All Things New

  • The New Earth by John Eldredge
    From All Things New He thought his happiness was complete when, as he meandered aimlessly along, suddenly he stood by the edge of a full-fed river.  Never in his life had he seen a river before – this sleek, sinuous, full-bodied animal, chasing and chuckling, gripping things with a gurgle and leaving them with a laugh, to fling itself on fresh playmates that shook [...]

My writing

  • God's Bill Julia Marks
    This edited reposting was first published on July 10, 2012. For the most part, intuitively, we understand how prayer works.  When I tell you that a prayer must be a telling of a truth, you nod because that makes perfect sense.  When I write that you must be aligned in your prayer, that is, you must want the result of your prayer in your thoughts, in your feelings, and in your actions (after [...]

Holy Spirit

Earth Psalms

Psalms

  • Psalm 150 by W. Robert Godfrey
    From Learning to Love the Psalms With Psalm 150, we come to the culmination of praise.  Here, we have praise without a shadow or deflection of attention from God.  Thirteen times the call to praise is repeated.  The psalmist is full of joy and delight in the Lord for his great salvation. The fullness of praise in Psalm [...]

Grounded

  • Let Justice Roll On Like A River by Diana Butler Bass
    From Grounded  In the eighth century BCE, a Jewish farmer named Amos railed against the rich who were manipulating credit to seize land from small landholders.  The woes of Amos’s time were real.  Traditional farms fell into disarray, as the poor were kicked off their native lands.  An extended drought had reduced agricultural production, and people had little water to drink: “One field [...]

Nature writing

  • The Mosquito by Rodney Jones
    I see the mosquito kneeling on the soft underside of my arm, kneeling Like a fruitpicker, kneeling like an old woman With the proboscis of her prayer buried in the idea of God, And I know we shall not speak with the aliens And that peace will not happen in my life, not unless It is in the burnt oil spreading across the surfaces of ponds, in the dark Egg rafts clotting and the wiggletails expiring like batteries. Bring a little alcohol and a little balm For these poppies planted by the Queen of [...]

Contemporary Christian poets

  • Julian of Norwich author

    POETRY: On A Theme From Julian’s Chapter XX by Denise Levertov

    Six hours outstretched in the sun, yes, hot wood, the nails, blood trickling into the eyes, yes— but the thieves on their neighbor crosses survived till after the soldiers had come to fracture their legs, or longer. Why single out the agony? What’s a mere six hours? Torture then, torture now, the same, the pain’s the same, immemorial branding iron, electric prod. Hasn’t a child dazed in the hospital ward they reserve for the most abused, known worse? The air we’re [...]
  • 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 [...]
  • On Being by Denise Levertov

    POETRY: Of Being by Denise Levertov

    I know this happiness is provisional: the looming presences— great suffering, great fear— withdraw only into peripheral vision: but ineluctable this shimmering of wind in the blue leaves: this flood of stillness widening the lake of sky: this need to dance, this need to kneel: this [...]
  • 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 [...]
  • foxes

    POETRY: Some Further Words by Wendell Berry

    Let me be plain with you, dear reader. I am an old-fashioned man. I like the world of nature despite its mortal dangers. I like the domestic world of humans, so long as it pays its debts to the natural world, and keeps its bounds. I like the promise of Heaven. My purpose is a language that can pay just thanks and honor for those gifts, a tongue set free from fashionable lies. Neither this world nor any of its places is an “environment.” And a house for sale is not a [...]
  • 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 [...]
  • communion of the body

    POETRY: Disciplinary Treatises—(4) The Communion of the Body by Scott Cairns

    The Christ in his own heart is weaker than the Christ in the word of his brother. (Bonhoeffer) Scattered, petulant, argumentative, the diverse members generally find little, nothing of their own, to offer one another. Like us all, the saved need saving mostly from themselves, and so they make progress, if at all, by dying to what they can, acquiescing to this new pressure, new wind, new breath that would fill them with something better than their own good intentions. Or schemes of community. Or [...]
  • POETRY: Setting Out by Scott Cairns

    Pilgrim: What is it that you do here? Monk: We fall, and we get up again. In time, even the slowest pilgrim might articulate a turn. Given time enough, the slowest pilgrim—even he—might register some small measure of belated progress. The road was, more or less, less compelling than the hut, but as the benefit of time allowed the hut’s distractions to attain a vaguely musty scent, and all the novel knickknacks to acquire a fine veneer of bone- white dust, the road became then somewhat [...]
  • 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 [...]
  • sacraments

    POETRY: The Sacraments by Louise Erdrich

    1 Baptism As the sun dancers, in their helmets of sage, stopped at the sun’s apogee and stood in the waterless light, so, after loss, it came to this: that for each year the being was destroyed, I was to sacrifice a piece of my flesh. The keen knife hovered and the skin flicked in the bowl. Then the sun, the life that consumes us, burst into agony. We began, the wands and the head crowns of sage, the feathers cocked over our ears. When the bird joined the circle and called, we cried back, [...]
  • 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 [...]
  • 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 [...]
  • Adventures In New Testament Greek—Nous by Scott Cairns

    POETRY: Adventures In New Testament Greek—Nous by Scott Cairns

    You could almost think the word synonymous with mind, given our so far narrow history, and the excessive esteem in which we have been led to hold what is, in this case, our rightly designated nervous systems. Little wonder then that some presume the mind itself both part and parcel of the person, the very seat of soul and, lately, crucible for a host of chemical incentives—combinations of which can pretty much answer for most of our habits and for our affections. When even the handy lexicon [...]
  • Lachrimae Amantis by Geoffrey Hill

    POETRY: Lachrimae Amantis by Geoffrey Hill

    (Note: lachrimae amantis means tears of the lover in Latin) What is there in my heart that you should sue so fiercely for its love? What kind of care brings you as though a stranger to my door through the long night and in the icy dew seeking the heart that will not harbor you, that keeps itself religiously secure? At this dark solstice filled with frost and fire your passion’s ancient wounds must bleed anew. So many nights the angel of my house has fed such urgent comfort through a [...]
  • 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 [...]
  • O Taste And See by Denise Levertov

    POETRY: O Taste And See by Denise Levertov

    O taste and see that the Lord is good: blessed is the man that trusteth in him. (Psalm 34:8) The world is not with us enough. O taste and see the subway Bible poster said, meaning The Lord, meaning if anything all that lives to the imagination’s tongue, grief, mercy, language, tangerine, weather, to breathe them, bite savor, chew, swallow, transform into our flesh our deaths, crossing the street, plum, quince, living in the orchard and being hungry, and plucking the [...]
  • 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 [...]
  • POETRY: Idiot Psalm 10 Scott Cairns

    POETRY: Idiot Psalm 10, by Scott Cairns

    —a psalm of Isaak, breathed beneath the chirp of evening swallows O Hidden Hand upholding all wrought works now flourishing before us, O Mad Architect of exuberant abundance, of flora both sweet and acrid, and lo, of all furred fauna frolicking the field, both the mild and the less so, baring tooth and claw and, lo, so often leaving in their wake so many tufts of plumage, tattered fur. O Great Zookeeper attending all such critters in Your ken, both microscopic and immense, the countless [...]
  • 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, [...]
  • Re-Rooting by Denise Levertov

    POETRY: Re-Rooting by Denise Levertov

    We were trying to put the roots back, wild and erratic straying root-limbs, trying to fit them into the hole that was cleancut in clay, deep but not wide enough; or wide but too square—trying to get the roots back into earth before they dried out and died. Ineptly we pulled and pushed striving to encompass so many rivers of wood and fiber in one confinement without snapping the arteries of sap, the force of life springing in them that made them spring away from our hands— we knew our own [...]
  • The Fountain by Denise Levertov

    POETRY: The Fountain by Denise Levertov

    Don’t say, don’t say there is no water to solace the dryness at our hearts. I have seen the fountain springing out of the rock wall and you drinking there. And I too before your eyes found footholds and climbed to drink the cool water. The woman of that place, shading her eyes, frowned as she watched—but not because she grudged the water, only because she was waiting to see we drank our fill and were refreshed. Don’t say, don’t say there is no water. That fountain is [...]
  • 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 [...]
  • The Slip by Wendell Berry

    POETRY: The Slip by Wendell Berry

    The river takes the land, and leaves nothing. Where the great slip gave way in the bank and an acre disappeared, all human plans dissolve. An aweful clarification occurs where a place was. Its memory breaks from what is known now, and begins to drift. Where cattle grazed and trees stood, emptiness widens the air for birdflight, wind, and rain. As before the beginning, nothing is there. Human wrong is in the cause, human ruin in the effect—but no matter; all will be lost, no matter the reason. [...]
  • 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 [...]
  • The Beginning Of Wisdom by Denise Levertov

    POETRY: The Beginning Of Wisdom by Denise Levertov

    The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom: and the knowledge of the holy is understanding. (Proverbs 9:10) You have brought me so far. • I know so much. Names, verbs, images. My mind overflows, a drawer that can’t close • Unscathed among the tortured. Ignorant parchment uninscribed, light strokes only, where a scribe tried out a pen. • I am so small, a speck of dust moving across the huge world. The world a speck of dust in the universe. • Are you holding the universe? You [...]
  • That Day by Denise Levertov

    POETRY: That Day by Denise Levertov

    Across a lake in Switzerland, fifty years ago, light was jousting with long lances, fencing with broadswords back and forth among cloudy peaks and foothills. We watched from a small pavilion, my mother and I, enthralled. And then, behold, a shaft, a column, a defined body, not of light but of silver rain, formed and set out from the distant shore, leaving behind the silent feints and thrusts, and advanced unswervingly, at a steady pace, toward us. I knew this! I’d seen it! Not the [...]
  • 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 [...]
  • A Recuperation Of Sin by Scott Cairns

    POETRY: A Recuperation Of Sin by Scott Cairns

    I suppose we might do away with words like sin. They are at least archaic, not to mention rude, and late generations have been pretty well-schooled against the presumption of holding anything to be absolutely so, universally applicable, especially anything like sin which is, to put it more neatly, unpleasant, not the sort of thing one brings up. Besides, so much of what ignorance may have once attributed to sin has been more justly shown to be the end result of bad information, genetic flaw, [...]
  • The Fountain by Denise Levertov

    POETRY: The Fountain by Denise Levertov

    Don’t say, don’t say there is no water to solace the dryness at our hearts I have seen the fountain springing out of the rock wall and you drinking there. And I too before your eyes found footholds and climbed to drink the cool water. The woman of that place, shading her eyes, frowned as she watched—but not because she grudged the water, only because she was waiting to see we drank our fill and were refreshed. Don’t say, don’t say there is no water. That fountain is there among its [...]
  • 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 [...]
  • A Letter by Wendell Berry

    POETRY: A Letter, by Wendell Berry

    (to Ed McClanahan) Dear Ed, I dreamed that you and I were sent to Hell. The place we went to was not fiery or cold, was not Dante’s Hell or Milton’s, but was, even so, as true a Hell as any. It was a place unalterably public in which crowds of people were rushing in weary frenzy this way and that, as when classes change in a university or at quitting time in a city street, except that this place was wider far than we could see, and the crowd as large as the place. In that crowd [...]
  • 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 [...]
  • Ascension Denise Levertov

    POETRY: Ascension by Denise Levertov

    Stretching Himself as if again, through downpress of dust upward, soil giving way to thread of white, that reaches for daylight, to open as green leaf that it is. . . Can Ascension not have been arduous, almost, as the return from Sheol, and back through the tomb into breath? Matter reanimate now must relinquish itself, its human cells, molecules, five senses, linear visions endured as Man— the sole all-encompassing gaze resumed now, Eye of Eternity. Relinquished, earth’s broken Eden. [...]
  • Wanting The Moon by Denise Levertov

    POETRY: Wanting The Moon by Denise Levertov

    Not the moon. A flower on the other side of the water. The water sweeps past in flood, dragging a whole tree by the hair, a barn, a bridge. The flower sings on the far bank. Not a flower, a bird calling hidden among the darkest trees, music over the water, making a silence out of the brown folds of the river’s cloak. The moon. No, a young man walking under the trees. There are lanterns among the leaves. Tender, wise, merry, his face is awake with its own light, I see it across the water [...]
  • Christmas Trees by Geoffrey Hill

    POETRY: Christmas Trees by Geoffrey Hill

    Bonhoeffer in his skylit cell bleached by the flares’ candescent fall, pacing out his own citadel, restores the broken themes of praise, encourages our borrowed days, by logic of his sacrifice. Against wild reasons of the state his words are quiet but not too quiet. We hear too late or not too [...]
  • 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 [...]
  • Look It Over by Wendell Berry

    POETRY: Look It Over by Wendell Berry

    I leave behind even my walking stick. My knife is in my pocket, but that I have forgot. I bring no car, no cell phone, no computer, no camera, no CD player, no fax, no TV, not even a book. I go into the woods. I sit on a log provided at no cost. It is the earth I’ve come to, the earth itself, sadly abused by the stupidity only humans are capable of but, as ever, itself. Free. A bargain! Get it while it [...]
  • 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’ [...]
  • Another Song by Scott Cairns

    POETRY: Another Song by Scott Cairns

    Most mornings I wake up slowly. That’s just the way I am. I wake up slow as I can, listening first to one thing, then another. The milk bottles chiming just outside the door, then the milktruck idling in the street. If I’m lucky, the girl through the wall will be singing and I’ll hear her next, singing while she dresses. Maybe she’s brushing her hair, or tying the ribbon for her stocking —that would be nice. And out in the hall, some man will probably kiss Miss Weitz [...]
  • A Homecoming Wendell Berry

    POETRY: A Homecoming by Wendell Berry

    One faith is bondage. Two are free. In the trust of old love, cultivation shows a dark and graceful wilderness at its heart. Wild in that wilderness, we roam the distance of our faith; safe beyond the bounds of what we know. O love, open. Show me my country. Take me [...]

Robert Bly

  • Things To Think by Robert Bly
    Think in ways you’ve never thought before If the phone rings, think of it as carrying a message Larger than anything you’ve ever heard. Vaster than a hundred lines of Yeats. Think that someone may bring a bear to your door, Maybe wounded and deranged; or think that a moose Has risen out of the lake, and he’s carrying on his antlers A child of your own whom you’ve never seen. When someone [...]

Attentiveness

The Peaceable Kingdom

The English Reformation

  • Petition For The Presence Of The Holy Spirit by Nicholas Ridley
    Written during his final imprisonment O Heavenly Father, the Father of all wisdom, understanding, and true strength, I beseech thee, for thy only Son our Savior Jesus Christ’s sake, look mercifully upon me, wretched creature, and send thine Holy Spirit into my breast; that not only I may understand according to thy wisdom, how this temptation is to be borne off, and with what answer it is to be [...]

A Quote From Thomas Merton

I came home walking along the shelves of shale that form the bed of the creek. Our woods are beautiful. The peace of the woods almost always steals over me when I am at prayer in the monastery.

Psalm 150

150: Praise ye the Lord. Praise God in his sanctuary: praise him in the firmament of his power.

 

2 Praise him for his mighty acts: praise him according to his excellent greatness.

 

3 Praise him with the sound of the trumpet: praise him with the psaltery and harp.

 

4 Praise him with the timbrel and dance: praise him with stringed instruments and organs.

 

5 Praise him upon the loud cymbals: praise him upon the high sounding cymbals.

 

6 Let every thing that hath breath praise the Lord. Praise ye the Lord.