Friday, February 23, 2024

A Prayer of Practice . . .


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



A Pondering . . .


Stand still. The trees ahead and bushes beside you
Are not lost. Wherever you are is called Here,
And you must treat it as a powerful stranger,
Must ask permission to know it and be known.
The forest breathes. Listen. It answers,
I have made this place around you.
If you leave it, you may come back again, saying Here.
No two trees are the same to Raven.
No two branches are the same to Wren.
If what a tree or a bush does is lost on you,
You are surely lost. Stand still. The forest knows
Where you are. You must let it find you.


                                                           -- David Wagoner

A Tired World . . .


Sweet Darkness

When your eyes are tired                          
the world is tired also.

When your vision is gone                       
no part of the world                     
can find you.

Time to go into the dark     
where the night has eyes                        
to recognize its own.
There you can be sure           
you are not beyond love.
The dark will be                          
 your womb tonight.
The night will give you a horizon
further than you can see.

You must learn one thing.                
The world was made                                  
to be free in.

Give up all the other worlds
except the one to which you

Sometimes it takes darkness
and the sweet confinement
of your aloneness
 to learn

Anything or anyone
that does not bring you alive
is too small for you.

- David Whyte

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)

Thursday, February 15, 2024

Angels ministering . . .



The Spirit drove Jesus out into the desert,

and he remained in the desert for forty days,
tempted by Satan.
He was among wild beasts,
and the angels ministered to him.

Gospel of First Sunday of Lent . . . 

Artist: James Tissot
Created: 1894
Brooklyn Museum

Lenten Blessings, Lenten Practice . . .


May God bless us with discomfort
at easy answers, half-truths and superficial relationships,
so that we may live deep within our hearts.
May God bless us with anger
at injustice, oppression and exploitation of people,
so that we may work for justice, freedom and peace.
May God bless you with tears
to shed for those who suffer from pain,
rejection, starvation and war,
so that we may reach out our hands to comfort them
and to turn their pain into joy.
And may God bless us with enough foolishness
to believe that we can make a difference in this world,
so that we can do what others claim cannot be done.
Author Unknown

Sunday, February 11, 2024

Lenten Poem . . .


Poem: "For Lent" by Monica Lavia

What are you giving up for Lent? Adam asked of Eve.

Well, Eve said. I am thinking I should give up apples.

And what about you, husband of mine?

Adam replied, I think I am going to give up taking advice from you.


What are you giving up for Lent?

Abel asked his brother Cain?

Cain replied, I am going to try to give up my anger

Lest in a weak moment, I injure someone I love.


What are you giving up for Lent?

Jacob asked his twin, Esau.

Apparently, my birthright, little brother of mine.


What are you giving up for Lent?

Moses asked of Aaron?

I am going to give up worshiping false gods                                                

Especially the golden calf variety.                                                                 

What about you? Aaron asked Moses in return.                                         

I am giving up my need to see the promised land.       


What are you giving up for Lent?       

Eliphaz, Bildad, and Zophar asked Job.                                                         

I am giving up trying to understand the mind of God.    


What are you giving up for Lent?  I asked of Mary.

She whispered her response so softly

I had to move in close to her to hear her hushed reply:

My only Son