Let yourself be in the dark. Pray the questions and the longing. Trust that God withholds what you cannot bear now. Look for lights given in the night. Give thanks for twinkling grace.
Br. Luke Ditewig, SSJE (from email on December 5, 2022)
It’s the birthday of Pre-Raphaelite poet Christina Rossetti, born in London in 1830.
She published her most famous collection, Goblin Market and Other Poems (1862), when she was 31 years old. And most people today would probably recognize one of her poems as a well-known Christmas carol.
In the bleak midwinter
Frosty wind made moan,
Earth stood hard as iron,
Water like a stone;
Snow had fallen, snow on snow,
Snow on snow,
In the bleak midwinter
–From The Writer’s Almanac with Garrison Keillor, December 5, 2022
O say can we see,
by the Gone’s early flight,
What so loudly we failed
at the mornlight’s past gleaming,
Whose flawed stripes and strifed scars,
through the perilous plight,
Our wan hearts, we watched,
stirred and valiantly screaming.
And the rifle’s dread glare,
bullets bursting in air,
Gave truth in our sight
that our flag was not spared.
O say does that scar-mangled banner yet save
Our land of the free and the home of the brave?
– Amanda Gorman –
(July 4, 2022)
Amanda Gorman is the first National Youth Poet Laureate of the United States.
Eternal Spirit, Earth-maker, Pain-bearer, Life-giver,
Source of all that is and that shall be,
Father and Mother of us all,
Loving God, in whom is heaven:
The hallowing of your name echo through the universe!
The way of your justice be followed by the peoples of the world!
Your heavenly will be done by all created beings!
Your commonwealth of peace and freedom sustain our hope and come on earth.
With the bread we need for today, feed us.
In the hurts we absorb from one another, forgive us.
In times of temptation and test, strengthen us.
From trials too great to endure, spare us.
From the grip of all that is evil, free us.
For you reign in the glory of the power that is love, now and for ever.
– The New Zealand Book of Prayer | He Karakia Mihinare o Aotearoa
This article reinforces the attention to life approach. Take a gander…
What if you thought of it
as the Jews consider the Sabbath—
the most sacred of times?
Cease from travel.
Cease from buying and selling.
Give up, just for now,
on trying to make the world
different than it is.
Sing. Pray. Touch only those
to whom you commit your life.
And when your body has become still,
reach out with your heart.
Know that we are connected
in ways that are terrifying and beautiful.
(You could hardly deny it now.)
Know that our lives
are in one another’s hands.
(Surely, that has come clear.)
Do not reach out your hands.
Reach out your heart.
Reach out your words.
Reach out all the tendrils
of compassion that move, invisibly,
where we cannot touch.
Promise this world your love—
for better or for worse,
in sickness and in health,
so long as we all shall live.
—Lynn Ungar 3/11/20 (Read in Richard Rohr’s Daily Meditation From the Center for Action and Contemplation, July 11, 2020)
I commend this Letter, “Speaking of Freedom,” to you. Listen or read. Let it sink in. Let it change us.
“Chrysalises both inspire and baffle me. The thought that a caterpillar can crawl into a sac made of its own body and dissolve its form and come out as a butterfly is a cliched image of transformation, but holy crap. Stop for a moment and really think about that. Does the caterpillar know this is going to happen? If it does that shows some tremendous trust. If it doesn’t, then that shows some incredible courage. It just hangs out there, isolating itself from the rest of the world and changing in ways it can never understand.”
—from “Into the Chrysalis” by Chris Corrigan
Words that don’t translate at https://eunoia.world/
Relationships are made of common understanding and an uncommon depth of attention.
–Joan Chittister, from the Heart, Monasteries of the Heart, January 19, 2020
” Marriage is the truest test — to make a good life with your best-informed critic…”
–Garrison Keillor, “The art of love in the far North,” Garrison Keillor Newsletter, January 15, 2020