Saturday, August 2, 2008
Friday, August 1, 2008
St. Francis was a poet, but in the sense that He was responding to God's activity in his life. He wrote a poem called "Praises of God" after an intense such experience. The original writing is preserved in the Basilica of St. Francis in Assisi and is the following:
You are the holy Lord God Who does wonderful things.
You are strong. You are great. You are the most high. You are the almighty king. You holy Father, King of heaven and earth.
You are three and one, the Lord God of gods; You are the good, all good, the highest good Lord God living and true.
You are love, charity; You are wisdom, You are humility,
You are patience, You are beauty, You are meekness,
You are security, You are rest,
You are gladness and joy, You are our hope, You are justice,
You are moderation, You are all our riches to sufficiency.
You are beauty, You are meekness,
You are the protector, You are our custodian and defender,
You are strength, You are refreshment. You are our hope,
You are our faith, You are our charity,
You are all our sweetness, You are our eternal life:
Great and wonderful Lord, Almighty God, Merciful Savior.
Thursday, July 31, 2008
This, and my heart beside –
This, and my heart, and all the fields –
And all the meadows wide –
Be sure you count – should I forget
Some one the sum could tell –
This, and my heart, and all the Bees
Which in the Clover dwell.
- Emily Dickinson
Wednesday, July 30, 2008
I saw America from way high, up-up-up. I could see the whole nation from coast to coast. I could see waves coming OUT of America from many directions (especially east and west). The waves were not good things. There was pornography among them, and the license to abort children. There were other things as well, essentially I saw in the spirit that America was exporting unrighteousness. I'm not going to use this experience as an occasion to bash the nation, I love this country. America has stood and in many occasions still stands with some true virtue. But this is not an issue of "balance" where if we do enough good then our evil is excused. How we treat women and children is a strong statement of our commitment as a society, for the rule of law is given expressly to protect the weak and the innocent. If I want to love my country well then I need to love what God loves and hate what God hates. Because when all is said and done, our country exists to please Him and be a means for a people to enter into life with Jesus Christ. Yes, we have freedoms, amazing incredible options like very few have known. But to what end? To export what into the rest of the world?
Ecce homo, America. Ecce homo.
18 For this is what the LORD says—
he who created the heavens,
he is God;
he who fashioned and made the earth,
he founded it;
he did not create it to be empty,
but formed it to be inhabited—
"I am the LORD,
and there is no other.
19 I have not spoken in secret,
from somewhere in a land of darkness;
I have not said to Jacob's descendants,
'Seek me in vain.'
I, the LORD, speak the truth;
I declare what is right.
20 "Gather together and come;
assemble, you fugitives from the nations.
Ignorant are those who carry about idols of wood,
who pray to gods that cannot save.
21 Declare what is to be, present it—
let them take counsel together.
Who foretold this long ago,
who declared it from the distant past?
Was it not I, the LORD ?
And there is no God apart from me,
a righteous God and a Savior;
there is none but me.
22 "Turn to me and be saved,
all you ends of the earth;
for I am God, and there is no other.
23 By myself I have sworn,
my mouth has uttered in all integrity
a word that will not be revoked:
Before me every knee will bow;
by me every tongue will swear.
24 They will say of me, 'In the LORD alone
are righteousness and strength.' "
All who have raged against him
will come to him and be put to shame.
25 But in the LORD all the descendants of Israel
will be found righteous and will exult.
- The Spirit of God given through the prophet Isaiah, chapter 45
And from John's gospel, "the disciple Jesus loved", he wrote this about Jesus in chapter 8:
When they kept on questioning him, he straightened up and said to them, "If any one of you is without sin, let him be the first to throw a stone at her." Again he stooped down and wrote on the ground.
At this, those who heard began to go away one at a time, the older ones first, until only Jesus was left, with the woman still standing there. Jesus straightened up and asked her, "Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?"
"No one, sir," she said.
"Then neither do I condemn you," Jesus declared. "Go now and leave your life of sin."
When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, "I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life."
Tuesday, July 29, 2008
Monday, July 28, 2008
To pull the metal splinter from my palm
my father recited a story in a low voice.
I watched his lovely face and not the blade.
Before the story ended, he'd removed
the iron sliver I thought I'd die from.
I can't remember the tale,
but hear his voice still, a well
of dark water, a prayer.
And I recall his hands,
two measures of tenderness
he laid against my face,
the flames of discipline
he raised above my head.
Had you entered that afternoon
you would have thought you saw a man
planting something in a boy's palm,
a silver tear, a tiny flame.
Had you followed that boy
you would have arrived here,
where I bend over my wife's right hand.
Look how I shave her thumbnail down
so carefully she feels no pain.
Watch as I lift the splinter out.
I was seven when my father
took my hand like this,
and I did not hold that shard
between my fingers and think,
Metal that will bury me,
christen it Little Assassin,
Ore Going Deep for My Heart.
And I did not lift up my wound and cry,
Death visited here!
I did what a child does
when he's given something to keep.
I kissed my father.
-- Li-Young Lee, ©1986