Thursday, February 26, 2015
Wednesday, February 25, 2015
|(Picture found here)|
opens air to iris blue,
glint of frost through the smoke
grains of mica, salt of the sidewalk.
As the buildings close, released autonomous
feet pattern the streets
in hurry and stroll; balloon heads
drift and dive above them; the bodies
aren't really there.
As the lights brighten, as the sky darkens,
a woman with crooked heels says to another woman
while they step along at a fair pace,
"You know, I'm telling you, what I love best
is life. I love life! Even if I ever get
to be old and wheezy--or limp! You know?
Limping along?--I'd still..." Out of hearing.
To the multiple disordered tones
of gears changing, a dance
to the compass points, out, four-way river.
Prospect of sky
wedged into avenues, left at the ends of streets,
west sky, east sky: more life tonight! A range
of open time at winter's outskirts.
Tuesday, February 24, 2015
Just as from the heavens
the rain and snow come down
And do not return there
till they have watered the earth,
making it fertile and fruitful,
Giving seed to the one who sows
and bread to the one who eats,
So shall My word be
that goes forth from My mouth;
It shall not return to Me void,
but shall do My will,
achieving the end for which I sent it.
Monday, February 23, 2015
and not to selfish gain.
Turn my eyes from looking at vanities;
give me life in Your ways.
Confirm to Your servant Your promise,
which is for those who fear You.
Turn away the disgrace that I dread,
for Your ordinances are good.
See, I have longed for Your precepts;
in Your righteousness give me life.
~Psalm 119:36-40 (partial re-post)
Sunday, February 22, 2015
Christ suffered for you,
and left you an example
to have you follow in His footsteps.
He did no wrong;
no deceit was found in His mouth.
When He was insulted,
He returned no insult.
When He was made to suffer,
He did not counter with threats.
Instead He delivered Himself up
to the One who judges justly.
In His own body
He brought your sins to the cross,
so that all of us, dead to sin,
could live in accord with God’s will.
By His wounds you were healed.
For you had gone astray like sheep,
but you have now returned to the
Shepherd and Guardian of your souls.
~1 Peter 2:21-25
Wednesday, February 18, 2015
|(Picture found here)|
If we review the various ages of history, we will see that in every generation the Lord has offered the opportunity of repentance to any who were willing to turn to him. When Noah preached God’s message of repentance, all who listened to him were saved. Jonah told the Ninevites they were going to be destroyed, but when they repented, their prayers gained God’s forgiveness for their sins, and they were saved, even though they were not of God’s people.
Under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, the ministers of God’s grace have spoken of repentance; indeed, the Master of the whole universe himself spoke of repentance with an oath: As I live, says the Lord, I do not wish the death of the sinner but his repentance. He added this evidence of his goodness: House of Israel, repent of your wickedness. Tell the sons of my people: If their sins should reach from earth to heaven, if they are brighter than scarlet and blacker than sackcloth, you need only turn to me with your whole heart and say, ‘Father,’ and I will listen to you as a holy people.
In other words, God wanted all his beloved ones to have the opportunity to repent and he confirmed this desire by his own almighty will. That is why we should obey his sovereign and glorious will and prayerfully entreat his mercy and kindness...”
Tuesday, February 17, 2015
“A brother said to an old man: ‘There are two brothers. One of them stays in his cell quietly, fasting for six days at a time, and imposing on himself a good deal of discipline, and the other serves the sick. Which one of them is more acceptable to God?’ The old man replied: ‘Even if the brother who fasts six days were to hang himself up by the nose, he could not equal the one who serves the sick.’ Here we learn that love is above fasting, that we must not presume to put our fasting above ‘the more excellent way,’ the ‘new commandment’ to love one another.”
“It was said about an old man that he endured seventy weeks of fasting, eating only once a week. He asked God about certain words in the Holy Scripture, but God did not answer him. Then he said to himself: ‘Look, I have put in this much effort, but I haven't made any progress. So now I will go to see my brother and ask him.’ And when he had gone out, closed the door and started off, an angel of the Lord was sent to him, and said: ‘Seventy weeks of fasting have not brought you near to God. But now that you are humbled enough to go to your brother, I have been sent to you to reveal the meaning of the words.’ Then the angel explained the meaning which the old man was seeking, and went away. Along with fasting there must be humility! Fasting opens the way; it is a means to an end; it is not the end itself.”
“I myself once harshly judged a monk whom I saw drinking milk during the Great Fast. He did it so routinely that I thought, ‘Why, he must think nothing of the ascetic life.’ It was I who had forgotten the rule of the inner life -- that one judges himself and excuses others. I later learned that the monk was ill and had to have milk to ingest his medication. I learned something about hasty judgments...”
“Abba Lot went to see Abba Joseph and said: ‘Abba, as much as I am able I practice a small rule, a little fasting, some prayer and meditation, and remain quiet, and as much as possible I keep my thought clean. What else should I do?’ Then the old man stood up and stretched out his hands toward heaven, and his fingers became like ten torches of flame. And he said: ‘If you wish, you can become all flame.’ We must never be shortsighted about the goal of our Christian life with all its efforts. It is nothing less than theosis, union with the Living God, becoming ‘all flame.’”
Monday, February 16, 2015
The common thought: Perhaps that lord was dead,
And only a story now and a wandering word.
How could I follow a word or serve a fable,
They asked me. ‘Here are lords a-plenty. Take
Service with one, if only for your sake,
Yet better be your own master if you’re able.’
I would rather scour the roads, a masterless dog,
Than take such service, be a public fool,
Obstreperous or tongue-tied, a good rogue,
Than be with those, the clever and the dull,
Who say that lord is dead; when I hear
Daily his dying whisper in my ear.
Sunday, February 15, 2015
"Eternal God, the cloud of Your splendor and the fire of Your love revealed Your Son on the mountain heights. In the mundane predictability of our lives, grant us moments when sight gives way to insight and the paths of earth become the road to heaven. Amen."
Saturday, February 14, 2015
|(Picture found here)|
And the rivers with the ocean;
The winds of heaven mix forever
With a sweet emotion;
Nothing in the world is single;
All things by a law divine
In another's being mingle--
Why not I with thine?
See, the mountains kiss high heaven,
And the waves clasp one another;
No sister flower could be forgiven
If it disdained its brother;
And the sunlight clasps the earth,
And the moonbeams kiss the sea;--
What are all these kissings worth,
If thou kiss not me?
~Percy Bysshe Shelley
Thursday, February 12, 2015
|(Painting by William Wray - found here)|
~Henry David Thoreau
Tuesday, February 10, 2015
But in order to dance with such freedom we must first unlearn all those encumbering adult habits that fill us with slavish fear and chain us to the earth, all those corrupting tendencies that inhibit the heart from recognizing that God alone is great and that before him we are all children.
We must work at making ourselves very small, until the greatest joy of our hearts will be to exclaim to God with boundless trust: Abba! Father! (cf. Rom 8:14-15). Only this password, in the Child Jesus’ mother tongue, will gain us admittance to the Kingdom.”
Monday, February 9, 2015
Big questions bruised my mind but still I let
Small answers be a bullwark to my fear.
The huge abstractions I kept from the light;
Small things I handled and caressed and loved.
I let the stars assume the whole of night.
But the big answers clamoured to be moved
Into my life. Their great audacity
Shouted to be acknowledged and believed.
Even when all small answers build up to
Protection of my spirit, still I hear
Big answers striving for their overthrow.
And all the great conclusions coming near.
Sunday, February 8, 2015
Thursday, February 5, 2015
Wednesday, February 4, 2015
But what comes after.
If it ended completely
At loss, the rest
But you go on.
And the world also.
And words, words
In a poem or song:
Aren’t they a stream
On which your feelings float?
Aren’t they also
The banks of that stream
And you yourself the flowing?
Monday, February 2, 2015
|(Picture found here)|
Your word has been fulfilled:
my own eyes have seen the salvation
which You have prepared in the sight of every people:
a light to reveal You to the nations
and the glory of Your people Israel.
Sunday, February 1, 2015
Day unto day takes up the story
and night unto night makes known the message.
yet their span extends through all the earth,
their words to the utmost bounds of the world.
There he has placed a tent for the sun;
it comes forth like a bridegroom coming from his tent,
rejoices like a champion to run its course.
to the furthest end of the sky is its course.
There is nothing concealed from its burning heat.
it revives the soul.
The rule of the Lord is to be trusted,
it gives wisdom to the simple.
they gladden the heart.
The command of the Lord is clear,
it gives light to the eyes.
abiding for ever.
The decrees of the Lord are truth
and all of them just.
than the purest of gold
and sweeter are they than honey,
than honey from the comb.
So in them your servant finds instruction;
great reward is in their keeping.
But who can detect all his errors?
From hidden faults acquit me.
and let it not rule me.
Then shall I be blameless,
clean from grave sin.
May the words of my mouth,
be acceptable in thy sight, O Lord,
my rock and my redeemer.