Wednesday, February 8, 2023

The Grace of a Word . . .


Image courtesy of Doris Klein, CSA

Blessing That Undoes Us

On the day you are wearing

your certainty like a cloak

and your sureness goes before you

like a shield or like a sword,


may the sound of God’s name

spill from your lips as you have never

heard it before.


May your knowing be undone.

May mystery confound your



May the Divine rain down

in strange syllables

yet with an ancient familiarity,

a knowing borne in the blood,

the ear, the tongue,

bringing the clarity that comes

not in stone

or in steel

but in fire, in flame.


May there come one searing word –

enough to bare you to the bone,

enough to set your heart ablaze,

enough to make you

whole again. By Jan Richardson, Circle of Grace

The Gift Within the Darkness . . .


Humming In The Darkness                                               

     Hope means to keep living

amid desperation

and to keep humming

in the darkness.

Hoping is knowing that there is love,

it is trust in tomorrow

it is falling asleep

and waking again

when the sun rises.

In the midst of a gale at sea,

it is to discover land.

In the eyes of another

it is to see that you are understood . . .


As long as there is still hope

There will also be prayer . . .


And you will be held

in God’s hands.                                


Henri Nouwen ~ With Open Hands


Be A Learner . . .


Baruch 3:13-14 

    “Walk in the way of God

That you may learn

       where there is wisdom,

       where there is strength,

       where there is understanding,

        so you may at the same

       time discern where there                 

       is length of days, and life, 

       where there is light for the eyes,

  and peace.”

Photos: courtesy of MAF

Wednesday, February 1, 2023

Too Muching . . .!


Sometimes It Just Seems to be Too Much

Sometimes, God, it just seems to be too much:
too much violence, too much fear; too much of demands and problems;
too much of broken dreams and broken lives; too much of war and slums and dying;
too much of greed and squishy fatness and the sounds of people
devouring each other and the earth; too much of stale routines and quarrels,
unpaid bills and dead ends; too much of words lobbed in to explode
and leaving shredded hearts and lacerated souls; too much of turned-away backs
and yellow silence, red rage and bitter taste of ashes in my mouth.

Sometimes the very air seems scorched by threats and rejection and decay
until there is nothing but to inhale pain and exhale confusion.
Too much of darkness, God,
Too much of cruelty and selfishness and indifference. . .
Too much, God,
Too much, too bloody, bruising, brain-washing much.

Or is it too little,
too little of compassion,
too little of courage, of daring, of persistence, of sacrifice;
too little of music and laughter and celebration?

O God,
Make of me some nourishment
For these starved times,
Some food for my sisters and brothers, who are hungry for gladness and hope,
That, being bread for them, I may also be fed and be full.
(From Guerrillas of Grace by Ted Loder)

A Blessing to Ponder . . .


A Blessing of Courage

I cannot say

where it lives,

only that it comes

to the heart

that is open,

to the heart

that asks,

to the heart

that does not turn away.


It can take practice,

days of tugging at

what keeps us bound,

seasons of pushing against

what keeps our dreaming



When it arrives,

it might surprise you

by how quiet it is,

how it moves

with such grace

for possessing

such power.

But you will know it

by the strength

that rises from within you

to meet it,

by the release

of the knot

in the center of

your chest

that suddenly lets go.


You will recognize it

by how still

your fear becomes

as it loosens its grip,

perhaps never quite

leaving you,

but calmly turning

into joy

as you enter the life

that is finally

your own.


Jan Richardson  

The Cure for Sorrow

Tuesday, January 31, 2023

A Story to Ponder . . .



“When you do things from your soul, you feel a river moving in you . . .”

(Coleman Barks)


Once upon a time there was a town that was built just beyond the bend of a large river. One day some of the children from the town were playing beside the river when they noticed three bodies floating in the water. They ran for help and the townsfolk quickly pulled the bodies out of the river. One body was dead so they buried it. One was alive, but quite ill, so they put that person into the hospital. The third turned out to be a healthy child, who they then placed with a family who cared for it and who took it to school. 

From that day on, every day a number of bodies came floating down the river and, every day, the good people of the town would pull them out and tend to them – taking the sick to hospitals, placing the children with families, and burying those who were dead.

This went on for years; each day brought its quota of bodies, and the townsfolk not only came to expect a number of bodies each day but also worked at developing more elaborate systems for picking them out of the river and tending to them. Some of the townsfolk became quite generous in tending to these bodies and a few extraordinary ones even gave up their jobs so that they could tend to this concern full-time.  And the town itself felt a certain healthy pride in its generosity. However, during all these years and despite all the generosity and effort, nobody thought to go up the river, beyond the bend that hid from their sight what was above them, and find out why, daily, those bodies came floating down the river. 

(Source/Author Unknown)