Jesus Christ

WANDERING: Wandering And Lamaze by A. J. Swoboda

February 17, 2018

From The Dusty Ones This is what the Lord says about this people: “They greatly love to wander.” (Jeremiah 14:10) This book is about wandering. It wouldn’t be fair to say I make my final approach to the topic of wandering out of nowhere or free of baggage.  I’ve checked some heavy bags for the flight.  Indeed, I bring myself with a cargo load of luggage from my own story that’s sure to affect the way I reflect upon it.  For one, I approach the topic of wandering as a preacher.  Preaching is my trade, my vocation, and my life’s passion.  Preaching is also my paycheck – it puts food on my family’s table.  But my preaching isn’t entirely driven by economic forces alone.  I preach because I am a Christian.  And as a [...]

POETRY: Eleven Addresses To The Lord — 11 by John Berryman

February 9, 2018

Germanicus leapt upon the wild lion in Smyrna, wishing to pass quickly from a lawless life. The crowd shook the stadium. The proconsul marveled. “Eighty & six years have I been his servant, and he has done me no harm. How can I blaspheme my King who saved me?” Polycarp, John’s pupil, facing the fire. Make too me acceptable at the end of time in my degree, which then Thou wilt award. Cancer, senility, mania, I pray I may be ready with my [...]

SIMPLICITY: Jesus Of Nazareth by Philip Harnden

February 8, 2018

From Journeys of Simplicity Jewish carpenter whose life and teachings inspire the Christian faith. “And what I say unto you, I say unto all: Watch.” JESUS SENDS FORTH THE TWELVE Take nothing for your journey save a staff no knapsack no bread no money not two coats be shod with sandals Go, preach Heaven is at hand heal the sick cleanse the lepers raise the dead cast out [...]

POETRY: Eleven Addresses To The Lord — 10 by John Berryman

February 7, 2018

Fearful I peer upon the mountain path where once Your shadow passed, Limner of the clouds up their phantastic guesses. I am afraid, I never until now confessed. I fell back in love with you, Father, for two reasons: You were good to me, & a delicious author, rational & passionate. Come on me again, as twice you came to Azarias & Misael. President of the brethren, our mild assemblies inspire, & bother the priest not to be dull; keep us week-long in order; love my children, my mother far & ill, far brother, my spouse. Oil all my turbulence as at Thy dictation I sweat out my wayward works. Father Hopkins said the only true literary critic is Christ. Let me lie down exhausted, content with [...]

POETRY: Matins by George Herbert

February 7, 2018

I cannot ope mine eyes, But thou art ready there to catch My morning-soul and sacrifice: Then we must needs for that day make a match. My God, what is a heart? Silver, or gold, or precious stone, Or star, or rainbow, or a part Of all these things, or all of them in one? My God, what is a heart, That thou shouldst it so eye, and woo, Pouring upon it all thy art, As if that thou hadst nothing else to do? Indeed man’s whole estate Amounts (and richly) to serve thee: He did not heav’n and earth create, Yet studies them, not him by whom they be. Teach me thy love to know; That this new light, which now I see, May both the work and workman show: Then by a sunbeam I will climb to [...]

PRAYER: An Epiphany Prayer

February 5, 2018

From The Voice  Father, we thank you for revealing yourself to us in Jesus the Christ, we who once were not your people but whom you chose to adopt as your people. As ancient Israel confessed long ago, we realize that it was not because of our own righteousness, or our own superior wisdom, or strength, or power, or numbers. It was simply because you loved us, and chose to show us that love in Jesus. As you have accepted us when we did not deserve your love, will you help us to accept those whom we find it hard to love? Forgive us, O Lord, for any attitude that we harbor that on any level sees ourselves as better or more righteous than others.  Will you help us to remove the barriers of prejudice and to tear down the walls of bigotry, [...]

PARABLES: The Tares by Richard Chenevix Trench

February 4, 2018

From Notes on the Parables of our Lord Another parable put he forth unto them, saying, The kingdom of heaven is likened unto a man which sowed good seed in his field: But while men slept, his enemy came and sowed tares among the wheat, and went his way. But when the blade was sprung up, and brought forth fruit, then appeared the tares also. So the servants of the householder came and said unto him, Sir, didst not thou sow good seed in thy field? from whence then hath it tares? He said unto them, An enemy hath done this. The servants said unto him, Wilt thou then that we go and gather them up? But he said, Nay; lest while ye gather up the tares, ye root up also the wheat with them. Let both grow together until the harvest: and in the time [...]

POETRY: Eleven Addresses To The Lord — 9 by John Berryman

February 2, 2018

Surprise me on some ordinary day with a blessing gratuitous. Even I’ve done good beyond their expectations. What count we then upon Your bounty? Interminable: an old theologian asserts that even to say You exist is misleading. Uh-huh. I buy that Second-century fellow. I press his withered glorifying hand. You certainly do not as I exist, impersonating as well the meteorite & flaring in your sun your waterfall or blind in caves pallid fishes. Bear in mind me, Who have forgotten nothing, & Who continues. I may not foreknow & fail much to remember. You sustain imperial desuetudes, at the kerb a [...]

SERMON: The Testing Of The Apostles by Origen

January 28, 2018

The Lord going into the boat his disciples follow him. They were not weak men, but strong and steady in faith, kind, good, and unworldly: nor were they two-faced, but simple of heart. They followed him, not alone in his footsteps, but also walking with him in holiness of life, striving after justice. And behold a great tempest arose upon the sea. For since the Lord had wrought great and wondrous signs upon the land, he now crosses over the sea that here also he may show yet greater wonders, that he might make plain to all that he was master both of the sea and of the land. Entering therefore into the little boat he caused a storm to arise upon the sea, and caused the winds to blow and the waves to swell up. Why did he do this? That he [...]

POETRY: Eleven Addresses To The Lord — 8 by John Berryman

January 26, 2018

A Prayer For The Self Who am I worthless that You spent such pains and take may pains again? I do not understand; but I believe. Jonquils respond with wit to the teasing breeze. Induct me down my secrets. Stiffen this heart to stand their horrifying cries, O cushion the first the second shocks, will to a halt in mid-air there demons who would be at me. May fade before, sweet morning on sweet morning, I wake my dreams, my fan-mail go astray, and do me little goods I have not thought of, ingenious & beneficial Father. Ease in their passing my beloved friends, all others too I have cared for in a travelling life, anyone anywhere indeed. Lift up sober toward truth a scared [...]

PRAYER: Prayer For The Third Week Of Epiphany

January 22, 2018

From The Church of England Almighty Father, whose Son our Saviour Jesus Christ is the light of the world: may your people, illumined by your word and sacraments, shine with the radiance of his glory, that he may be known, worshiped, and obeyed to the ends of the Earth; for he is alive and reigns, now and for ever. [...]

POETRY: Third Sunday After Epiphany by John Keble

January 21, 2018

When Jesus heard it he marveled, and said to them that followed, Verily I say unto you, I have not found so great faith, no not in Israel. (Matthew 8:10) I mark’d a rainbow in the north, What time the wild autumnal sun From his dark veil at noon look’d forth, As glorying in his course half done, Flinging soft radiance far and wide Over the dusky Heaven and bleak hillside. It was a gleam to memory dear, And as I walk and muse apart, When all seems faithless round and drear, I would revive it in my heart, And watch how light can find its way To regions farthest from the fount of day. Light flashes in the gloomiest sky, And Music in the dullest plain, For there the lark is soaring high Over her flat and leafless reign, And chanting in so [...]

POETRY: Eleven Addresses To The Lord — 7 by John Berryman

January 19, 2018

After a Stoic, a Peripatetic, a Pythagorean, Justin Martyr studied the words of the Savior, finding them short, precise, terrible & full of refreshment. I am tickled to learn this. Let one day desolate Sherry, fair, thin, tall, at 29 today her life the Sahara Desert, who never has once enjoyed a significant relation, so find His lightning [...]

PRAYER: Epiphany

January 15, 2018

From First Vespers of Christmas in the Greek Church What gift shall we bring to Thee, O Christ, since Thou as man on Earth hast shown Thyself for us, since every creature made by Thee brings to Thee its thanksgiving?  The angels bring their song, the Heavens bring their star, the Magi bring their gifts, the Shepherds bring their awe, Earth gives a cave, the wilderness a manger: and we the Virgin Mother bring.  God before all worlds, have mercy upon us! [...]

SERMON: The Beginning of Miracles by John Keble

January 14, 2018

Thou hast kept the good wine until now. (John 2:10) Epiphany means “manifestation,” the manifestation of God on Earth: the eternal Son showing himself in sundry ways when he had taken our nature upon him, and had been made true Man as we are, of the substance of the Virgin Mary, his Mother. To outward appearance, he generally seemed as any other man; but every now and then tokens of Godhead broke out through the veil of his flesh, as flashes of lightning from a dark cloud; and these were so many Epiphanies, so many manifestations of his true self. The day, which we call the Feast of the Epiphany, is remarkable for three of these manifestations, three of the most glorious and blessed and most exactly set down in scripture. On [...]

POETRY: Eleven Addresses To The Lord — 6 by John Berryman

January 12, 2018

Under new management, Your Majesty: Thine. I have solo’d mine since childhood, since my father’s blow-it-all when I was twelve blew out my most bright candle faith, and look at me. I served at Mass six dawns a week from five, adoring Father Boniface & you, memorizing the Latin he explained. Mostly we worked alone. One or two women. Then my poor father frantic. Confusions & afflictions followed my days. Wives left me. Bankrupt I closed my doors. You pierced the roof twice & again. Finally you opened my eyes. My double nature fused in that point of time three weeks ago day before yesterday. Now, brooding thro’ a history of the early Church, I identify with everybody, even the [...]

POETRY: Eleven Addresses To The Lord — 5 by John Berryman

January 5, 2018

Holy & holy. The damned are said to say “We never thought we would come into this place.” I’m fairly clear, my Friend, there’s no such place ordained for inappropriate & evil man. Surely they fall dull, & forget. We too, the more or less just, I feel fall asleep dreamless forever while the world hurl out. Rest may be your ultimate gift. Rest or transfiguration! come & come whenever Thou wilt. My daughter & my son fend will without me, when my work is done in Your opinion. Strengthen my widow, let her dream on me thro’ tranquil hours less & down to less. Abrupt elsewhere her heart, I sharply hope. I leave her in wise [...]

POETRY: Eleven Addresses To The Lord — 4 by John Berryman

December 29, 2017

If I say Thy name, art Thou there? It may be so. Thou art not absent-minded, as I am. I am so much so I had to give up driving. You attend, I feel, to the matters of man. Across the ages certain blessings swarm, horrors accumulate, the best men fail: Socrates, Lincoln, Christ mysterious. Who can search Thee out? except Isaiah & Pascal, who saw. I dare not ask that vision, though a piece of it at last in crisis was vouchsafèd me. I altered then for good, to become yours. Caretaker! take care, for we run in straight. Daily, by night, we walk naked to storm, some threat of wholesale loss, to ruinous fear. Gift us with long cloaks & adrenaline. Who haunt the avenues of Angkor Wat recalling all that prayer, that glory dispersed, haunt [...]

POETRY: A Christmas Carol by G. K. Chesterton

December 26, 2017

The Christ-child lay on Mary’s lap, His hair was like a light. (O weary, weary were the world, But here is all aright.) The Christ-child lay on Mary’s breast His hair was like a star. (O stern and cunning are the kings, But here the true hearts are.) The Christ-child lay on Mary’s heart, His hair was like a fire. (O weary, weary is the world, But here the world’s desire.) The Christ-child stood on Mary’s knee, His hair was like a crown, And all the flowers looked up at Him, And all the stars looked [...]

POETRY: Nativity by John Donne

December 25, 2017

Immensity, cloister’d in thy dear womb, Now leaves His well-belov’d imprisonment, There he hath made himself to his intent Weak enough, now, into our world to come. But O!, for thee, for Him, hath th’inn no room? Yet lay Him in this stall, and from th’Orient, Stars and wise men will travel to prevent The effects of Herod’s jealous general doom. See’st thou, my soul, with thy faith’s eye, how He Which fills all place, yet none hold Him, doth lie? Was not His pity towards thee wondrous high, That would have need to be pitied by thee? Kiss Him, and with Him into Egypt go With his kind mother, who partakes Thy [...]

POETRY: Eleven Addresses To The Lord — 3 by John Berryman

December 22, 2017

Sole watchman of the flying stars, guard me against my flicker of impulse lust: teach me to see them as sisters & daughters. Sustain my grand endeavors: husbandship & crafting. Forsake me not when my wild hours come; grant me sleep nightly, grace soften my dreams achieve in me patience till the thing be done, a careful view of my achievement come. Make me from time to time the gift of the shoulder. When all hurt nerves whine shut away the whiskey. Empty my heart toward Thee. Let me pace without fear the common path of death. Cross am I sometimes with my little daughter: fill her eyes with tears. Forgive me, Lord. Unite my various soul, sole watchman of the wide & single [...]

SERMON: On The Gospel [Matthew 11:2] by Hilary of Potiers

December 17, 2017

Now when John had heard in prison the works of Christ: sending two of his disciples, he said to him, “Art thou he that is to come or look we for another?”  Did John in his prison not know the Lord?  Did so great a prophet know not his God?  But as Precursor he had foretold that he was to come; as Prophet he had recognized him standing in their midst; as Confessor he had venerated him before men.  Did error creep into so profound and varied knowledge?  The subsequent testimony of the Lord concerning John does not permit us to think so.  Nor can we believe that the light of the Holy Spirit was denied him in prison, when the Light of that same Power was to be given to the imprisoned apostles. Why John sent to Christ But a clearer [...]

POETRY: Eleven Addresses To The Lord — 2 by John Berryman

December 15, 2017

Holy, as I suppose I dare to call you without pretending to know anything about you but infinite capacity everywhere & always & in particular certain goodness to me. Yours is the crumpling, to my sister-in-law terrifying thunder, yours the candelabra buds sticky in Spring, Christ’s mercy, the gloomy wisdom of godless Freud: yours the lost souls in ill-attended wards, those agonized thro’ the world at this instant of time, all evil men, Belsen, Omaha Beach,— incomprehensible to man your ways. May be the Devil after all exists. “I don’t try to reconcile anything” said the poet at eighty, “This is a damned strange world.” Man is ruining the pleasant earth & man. What at last, My Lord, [...]

POETRY: Eleven Addresses To The Lord — 1 by John Berryman

December 8, 2017

Master of beauty, craftsman of the snowflake, inimitable contriver, endower of Earth so gorgeous & different from the boring Moon, thank you for such as it is my gift. I have made up a morning prayer to you containing with precision everything that most matters. “According to Thy will” the thing begins. It took me off & on two days. It does not aim at eloquence. You have come to my rescue again & again in my impassable, sometimes despairing years. You have allowed my brilliant friends to destroy themselves and I am still here, severely damaged, but functioning. Unknowable, as I am unknown to my guinea pigs: how can I “love” you? I only as far as gratitude & awe confidently & absolutely go. I have [...]

PRAYER: The Empty Chair (an exercise in prayer) by Anthony de Mello

November 27, 2017

I developed this exercise as a result of hearing the story of a priest who went to visit a patient in his home.  He noticed an empty chair at the patient’s bedside and asked what it was doing there.  The patient said, “I had placed Jesus on that chair and was talking to him before you arrived.  For years I found it extremely difficult to pray until a friend explained to me that prayer was a matter of talking to Jesus.  He told me to place an empty chair nearby, to imagine Jesus sitting on that chair, and to speak with him and listen to what he says to me in reply.  I’ve had no difficulty praying ever since.” Some days later, so the story goes, the daughter of the patient came to the rectory to inform the priest [...]

POETRY: The King of Love my Shepherd Is by Henry W. Baker

November 14, 2017

The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want. He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters. He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name’s sake. Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me. Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over. Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever. (Psalm 23) The King of love my Shepherd is, Whose goodness faileth never, I nothing lack if I am His And He is mine forever. Where streams of living [...]

PRAYER: Four Prayers by Frances Caryll Houselander

November 13, 2017

Descend, Holy Spirit of Life! Come down into our hearts, that we may live. Descend into emptiness, that emptiness may be filled. Descend into the dust, that the dust may flower. Descend into the dark, that the light may shine in the darkness. Amen. Be born in us, Incarnate Love. Take our flesh and blood, and give us your humanity; take our eyes, and give us your vision; take our minds, and give us your pure thought; take our feet and set them in your path; take our hands, and fold them in your prayer; take our hearts and give them your will to love. Amen. By your heaviness and fear in Gethsemane, comfort the oppressed and those who are afraid By your loneliness, facing the Passion while the Apostles slept, comfort those who face evil alone [...]

SPIRITUALITY: Divine Presents, The Sacramental Mysteries—The Sacramental Mystery of Baptism by Gregory Collins

November 11, 2017

From Meeting Christ in His Mysteries O useful element and clear! My sacred wash and cleanser here, My first consigner unto those Fountains of life, where the Lamb goes! What sublime truths and wholesome themes, Lodge in thy mystical, deep streams! Such as dull man can never find Unless that Spirit lead his mind, Which first upon thy face did move, And hatched all with his quick’ning love. (Henry Vaughan) In holy scripture this mystery has such an overwhelming significance that a great variety of images and metaphors are used to describe it such as illumination (Ephesians 5:8), rebirth and renewal (2 Titus 3:5), and clothing with Christ (Galatians 3:27).  One of the most suggestive images, the one which has most influenced [...]

POETRY: The Invisible Seen by Saint Athanasios

November 8, 2017

When our dull wits had so declined as to set us mid the squalor of the merely sensible creation, the Very God consented to become a body of His own, that He as one among us might gather our dim senses to Himself, and manifest through such incommensurate occasion that He is not simply man, but also God, the Word and Wisdom of the One. Thereafter, He remained His body, and thus allowed Himself to be observed. His becoming joined to us performed two appalling works in our behalf: He banished death from these our tendered frames, and made of them something new and (take note here) [...]