Alleluia: How Beautiful!

Friday of the Eighteenth Week in Ordinary Time
August 5, 2022

Today’s Readings

https://bible.usccb.org/bible/readings/080522.cfm

Today, in God’s Lavish Mercy, our readings offer me an invitation to write a more personal reflection than usual.

Recently, our community has experienced the deaths of two dearly loved sisters. Readers might remember that I mentioned Margery’s funeral a few days ago. And just yesterday, Clare Miriam died. Each of them was an amazing minister of the Gospel and lover of God’s poor.

See, upon the mountains there advances
the bearer of good news, 
announcing peace!
Celebrate your feasts, O beloved,
fulfill your vows!

Nahum 2:1

Because most of us live in communities – familial, social, and religious – we all move through ever-turning circles of hellos and good-byes. In those turnings, we touch one another’s lives in a thousand obvious and subtle ways, hopefully causing our own lives to spin ever closer to God.

Funerals – even though we don’t look forward to them – are times when the circling pauses. We see a beloved person’s complex and amazing existence like a still life masterpiece. We see the graceful details we may have overlooked or taken for granted. We appreciate the lights and shadows of their struggles and triumphs. We see God standing behind the easel of their story inviting us to deepen our own graces as we pray.

In a large and long-loved community like the Sisters of Mercy, we accompany one another through many funerals and many home-goings. It can feel a little heavy sometimes because of the love we bear another. But, oddly, it can also give an unexpected buoyancy to our hope and faith to honor these precious lives – one after another – so lovingly given, so faithfully lived, so beautifully completed.

For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it,
but whoever loses his life for my sake will find it.
What profit would there be for one to gain the whole world
and forfeit his life?
Or what can one give in exchange for his life?
For the Son of Man will come with his angels in his Father’s glory,
and then he will repay each according to his conduct.

Matthew 16:25-27

After Margery’s funeral Mass, my friend turned to me and said, “What a tribute to a truly beautiful soul …. and we live in a community full of them!” Indeed, and now another, dear Clare has lifted her life up to God as the rest of us sing, “Brava! Alleluia! Amen!”

Whenever I attend one of our sister’s funerals, of course, I consider my own. Sometimes, while the soulful music plays, I design the Mass booklet in my mind and the cover says this: 

My dear Sisters of Mercy,
thank you 
for the privilege and gift 
of living among you!


Poetry: The Neophyte- Alice Meynell

Who knows what days I answer for to-day?
   Giving the bud I give the flower. I bow
   This yet unfaded and a faded brow;
Bending these knees and feeble knees, I pray.
 Thoughts yet unripe in me I bend one way,
   Give one repose to pain I know not now,
   One check to joy that comes, I guess not how.
I dedicate my fields when Spring is grey.
 O rash! (I smile) to pledge my hidden wheat.
   I fold to-day at altars far apart
Hands trembling with what toils? In their retreat
   I seal my love to-be, my folded art.
I light the tapers at my head and feet,
   And lay the crucifix on this silent heart.

Music: The Circle of Mercy – Jeanette Goglia, RSM

Alleluia: An Ageless Love

Wednesday of the Eighteenth Week in Ordinary Time
August 3, 2022

Today’s Readings:

https://bible.usccb.org/bible/readings/080322.cfm

Alleluia, alleluia.
A great prophet has arisen in our midst
and God has visited the people.

Today, in God’s Lavish Mercy, our readings carry the themes of Hope and Restoration.

Jeremiah tells the people that, even after all they’ve been through, God has an age-old love for them and therefore will not abandon them.

Jeremiah continues with a description of the future coming of the Savior, promising that Israel will be restored:

Yes, a day will come when the watchmen
will call out on Mount Ephraim:
“Rise up, let us go to Zion,
to the LORD, our God.”
For thus says the LORD:
Shout with joy for Jacob,
exult at the head of the nations;
proclaim your praise and say:
The LORD has delivered the people,
the remnant of Israel.

Our Alleluia Verse announces that this expected Savior has arrived in Jesus Christ, the Divine Shepherd, Lord, Guardian and Redeemer whom Jeremiah describes in our Responsorial Psalm.

Alleluia, alleluia.
A great prophet has arisen in our midst
and God has visited the people.


Matthew’s Gospel today, which can seem a little contentious in tone, actually demonstrates the surprising truth that Jesus came not only for the sake of Israel, but for all people — for us.

We are all beneficiaries of God’s age-old love for us.

Poetry: You are the future, the great sunrise red – Rainer Maria Rilke

You are the future, the great sunrise red
above the broad plains of eternity.
You are the cock-crow when time’s night has fled,
You are the dew, the matins, and the maid,
the stranger and the mother, you are death.

You are the changeful shape that out of Fate
rears up in everlasting solitude,
the unlamented and the unacclaimed,
beyond describing as some savage wood.

You are the deep epitome of things
that keeps its being’s secret with locked lip,
and shows itself to others otherwise:
to the ship, a haven — to the land, a ship.


Music: I Have Loved You – Michael Joncas 

I have loved you with an everlasting love, I have called you and you are mine;

I have loved you with an everlasting love, I have called you and you are mine.

Seek the face of the Lord and long for him: He will bring you his light and his peace.

I have loved you with an everlasting love, I have called you and you are mine;

I have loved you with an everlasting love, I have called you and you are mine.

Seek the face of the Lord and long for him: He will bring you his joy and his hope.

I have loved you with an everlasting love, I have called you and you are mine;

I have loved you with an everlasting love, I have called you and you are mine.

Seek the face of the Lord and long for him: He will bring you his care and his love.

I have loved you with an everlasting love, I have called you and you are mine;

I have loved you with an everlasting love, I have called you and you are mine.

Alleluia: God’s Word Brings Grace

Memorial of Saint Alphonsus Liguori,
Bishop and Doctor of the Church
Monday, August 1, 2022

Today’s Readings:

https://bible.usccb.org/bible/readings/080122.cfm

Today, in God’s Lavish Mercy, our readings convey compelling stories and life-changing miracles.

The passage from Jeremiah tells the tale of the false prophet Hananiah. He didn’t tell the people the truth. He was a kind of ancient “prosperity preacher” who spun a message similar to one we might hear today.

Prosperity theology (sometimes referred to as the prosperity gospel, the health and wealth gospel, the gospel of success, or seed faith)is a religious belief among some Protestant Christians that financial blessing and physical well-being are always the will of God for them, and that faith, positive speech, and donations to religious causes will increase one’s material wealth. Material and especially financial success is seen as a sign of divine favor.

Wikipedia

Prosperity religion in centered on “me” and what I have to do to have “enough” and “more than enough” material goods and spiritual assurances.


Alleluia, alleluia.
One does not live on bread alone,
but on every word that comes forth
from the mouth of God.

In our reading from Matthew, Jesus acts out the true Gospel. It is centered on others,especially those in need.

Picture the moment. Jesus has been gut-punched by the barbarous murder of his beloved friend and cousin John. He wants to be alone to mourn. Watch him, in your heart’s eye, as he rows alone across the lake to a place of longed-for solitude. Every swish and pull through the water is a memory of John, is a hope and fragment of the dream they shared. Every oar’s dipping is a word with his Father to understand the “why”.

And yet, on the lake’s other side, where the needy crowd has found him out, he sets his own need aside. Jesus heals. He feeds. He teaches. He IS for the other not himself.

His words summarize what his actions model. He tells the gathered people that he has fed their bodies – met their material needs. But there is so much more to spiritual wholeness. Every word from the mouth of God — even the word that John had died — every word brings grace, and the call to feed and heal the world around us.

Alleluia, alleluia.
One does not live on bread alone,
but on every word that comes forth
from the mouth of God.


Poetry: Not By Bread Alone – James Terry White

If thou of fortune be bereft,
And thou dost find but two loaves left
To thee—sell one, and with the dole
Buy hyacinths to feed thy soul.

But not alone does beauty bide
Where bloom and tint and fragrance hide;
The minstrel's melody may feed
Perhaps a more insistent need.

But every beauty, howe'er blent
To ear or eye, fails to content;
Only the heart, with love afire,
Can satisfy the soul's desire.

Music:  Not by Bread Alone- M. Roger Holland II

Alleluia: You were BORN beautiful!

Eighteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time
July 31, 2022

Today’s Readings:

https://bible.usccb.org/bible/readings/073122.cfm

Today, in God’s Lavish Mercy, our readings focus on “vanity” – its threats and remedies.

Often, we think of vanity as a physical emotion – that Narcissistic self-absorption that keeps us in front of a mirror for inordinate amounts of time. Our culture promotes this kind of vanity by working endlessly to convince us that without certain products we are “not enough” on our own. 

mirror statue
Vanity gazing in its mirror

Historically, this kind of rhetoric was directed primarily toward women, spawning a nearly $500 billion global cosmetic market! But men are catching up! The men’s market is forecasted to reach nearly $30 billion by 2023.

Several years ago, while flying home from a business trip, I was seated across from two young women. As we approached home, the one nearest me began to prepare for landing. She initiated an elaborate cosmetic ritual that involved no fewer than ten brushes plus an array of tubes and compacts. At first, it struck me really funny. Then I realized how very sad it was.

This maturing child was no more than eighteen. She was naturally beautiful with the vigor of youth. But she had obviously spent a lot of money and time not believing in her natural beauty.


Society considers vanity as a kind of pride and pomposity. I think just the opposite. I think vanity is really fear, self-dissatisfaction, anxiety and pain because something has convinced us that we are inadequate.

Vanity damages souls as well as bodies. It makes us behave in greedy, self-absorbed and careless ways toward our neighbors. It makes us pretend we are more than we think we are. It saps us of the strength to be generous, trusting, honest and hopeful.


Paul, in his letter to the Colossians, tells us to get over this kind of vanity:

Put to death, then, the parts of you that are earthly:
immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire,
and the greed that is idolatry.
Stop lying to one another,

since you have taken off the old self with its practices
and have put on the new self,
which is being renewed, for knowledge,
in the image of its creator. 

Col3_10 new image

What if that sweet girl on Flight 419 had been able to look in her mirror and see the image of her Creator? What if we could all do that? How might we spend our time and money differently if we were convinced of how beautiful we – and every creature – are to God?


Poetry: a repeat poem which is well worth repeating:

The Divine Image
William Blake

To Mercy, Pity, Peace, and Love
All pray in their distress;
And to these virtues of delight
Return their thankfulness.

For Mercy, Pity, Peace, and Love
Is God, our father dear,
And Mercy, Pity, Peace, and Love
Is Man, his child and care.

For Mercy has a human heart,
Pity a human face,
And Love, the human form divine,
And Peace, the human dress.

Then every man, of every clime,
That prays in his distress,
Prays to the human form divine,
Love, Mercy, Pity, Peace.

And all must love the human form,
In heathen, Turk, or Jew;
Where Mercy, Love, and Pity dwell
There God is dwelling too.

Music: How Could Anyone Ever Tell You – Shaina Noll

I have added two versions of this beautiful song which never fails to leave me misty-eyed. Let God sing it to you in your prayer today.

Alleluia: Welcome the Word

Saturday of the Sixteenth Week in Ordinary Time
July 23, 2022

Today’s Readings 

https://bible.usccb.org/bible/readings/072322.cfm

Today, in God’s Lavish Mercy, we are reminded that God’s Word dwells in us and will bear fruit according to our “welcome” – that is, to the degree that we nourish it.

Alleluia, alleluia.
Humbly welcome the word 
that has been planted in you
and is able to save your souls.


Our readings ask and answer the question “Where does God’s Word dwell?”.

  • In the compassionate heart. 
  • In the mutuality of sincere community. 
  • In reverence for all Creation.

And there are conditions for that indwelling.  Jeremiah defines them clearly:

Only if you thoroughly reform your ways and your deeds;
if each of you deals justly with the neighbor;
if you no longer oppress the resident alien,
the orphan, and the widow;
if you no longer shed innocent blood in this place,
or follow strange gods to your own harm,
will I remain with you in this place,
in the land I gave your forbears long ago and forever.


Jesus tells us that our desire to meet such conditions will be tested by a selfish and sinful culture, like the good wheat which struggles to thrive amidst the weeds.

He says that only at the harvest will the crop’s value be affirmed, indicating that we must be patient, persevering and steadfast even in the moral confusions of our world.

“Master, did you not sow good seed in your field?
Where have the weeds come from?”
He answered, “An enemy has done this.”
His slaves said to him, “Do you want us to go and pull them up?”
He replied, “No, if you pull up the weeds
you might uproot the wheat along with them.
Let them grow together until harvest;
then at harvest time I will say to the harvesters,
‘First collect the weeds and tie them in bundles for burning;
but gather the wheat into my barn.’”


Psalm 84 beautifully captures our longing to be this kind of dwelling place for God. You might wish to pray with the following interpretation of this psalm.

Poetry: Psalm 84 – Ease by Christine Robinson 

The sparrow has a place in the rafters.
The swallow raises her young in the nest she has made.
They live and move easily in their places.
They flit and soar around Your world altar.
They are home.

It is not so easy for me.
I long for that ease of being and pray
for the grace to live in the world as at Your altar.

Happy are they who live in the Pilgrim way;
They walk through desolate landscapes
and find your springs.
They toil through mountains and discover your peaks.
They set themselves to the tasks of love and service
and know deep satisfaction

One day lived in this grace is better than a thousand spent
at our own devices.
When we walk our appointed path in peace,
We find our home and our way.

Music: How Lovely Is Your Dwelling Place – Jesuit Music Ministry 

Alleluia: Innocence!

Thursday of the Sixteenth Week in Ordinary Time
July 21, 2022

Today’s Readings:

https://bible.usccb.org/bible/readings/072122.cfm

Today, in God’s Lavish Mercy, Jeremiah images Israel as a bride, the sacred betrothed of God:

I remember the devotion of your youth,
how you loved me as a bride,
Following me in the desert,
in a land unsown.
Sacred to the LORD was Israel,
the first fruits of his harvest;
Should any presume to partake of them,
evil would befall them, says the LORD.

Jeremiah 2: 1-3

These passionate verses portray a heartbroken and angry God lamenting Israel’s ingratitude and unfaithfulness.

Be amazed at this, O heavens,
and shudder with sheer horror, says the LORD.
Two evils have my people done:
they have forsaken me, the source of living waters;
They have dug themselves cisterns,
broken cisterns, that hold no water.

Jeremiah 2:12-13

This reading from Jeremiah is about a loss of innocence, and the spiritual fragmentation it can bring. Our Alleluia Verse, on the other hand, leads to a Gospel that proclaims the restoration of an “eternal innocence” rooted in “knowledge of the mysteries of the Kingdom of heaven”.

Alleluia, alleluia.
Blessed are you, God,
Creator of heaven and earth;
you have revealed to little ones
the mysteries of the Kingdom.

There is a human innocence that comes from not knowing any better, a kind of blind trust that hasn’t yet been “burned”.

But don’t confuse “innocence” with naïveté.

The Gospel innocence Jesus describes isn’t blind and it isn’t naive. It does know better. It recognizes and chooses the cost of a faithful life. That recognition and choice yield a profound spiritual freedom that is the ultimate innocence.

Blessed are your eyes, because they see,
and your ears, because they hear.
Amen, I say to you, many prophets and righteous people
longed to see what you see but did not see it,
and to hear what you hear but did not hear it.

Matthew 13: 16-17

Poetry: The Divine Image – William Blake

from The Project Gutenberg
To Mercy, Pity, Peace, and Love,
All pray in their distress,
And to these virtues of delight 
Return their thankfulness.

For Mercy, Pity, Peace, and Love, 
Is God our Father dear
And Mercy, Pity, Peace, and Love, 
Is man, his child and care.

For Mercy has a human heart ; 
Pity, a human face ;
And Love, the human form divine ;
And Peace, the human dress.

Then every man, of every clime,
That prays in his distress, 
Prays to the human form divine :
Love, Mercy, Pity, Peace.

And all must love the human form, 
In heathen, Turk, or Jew,
Where Mercy, Love, and Pity dwell, 
There God is dwelling too.

Music: U2 – A Song for Someone from Songs of Innocence

When you listen to this highly poetic song, could God be your “someone”?

Alleluia: Shadows

Memorial of Saint Bonaventure, Bishop and Doctor of the Church
July 15, 2022

Today’s Readings:

https://bible.usccb.org/bible/readings/071522.cfm

Alleluia, alleluia.
My sheep hear my voice, says the Lord;
I know them, and they follow me.

Today, in God’s Lavish Mercy, our readings are woven through with themes of life and death, time and eternity. These are fundamental realities at the core of our lives. Yet they are so huge in scope that they elude our comprehension.

Photo by Rui Dias on Pexels.com
  • How often do we ask ourselves, “Where did the time, the day, the years go”?
  • Despite all our acts of faith, aren’t we still undone by death and bereavement in our lives?
  • When we try to imagine heaven, doesn’t the image slip through our efforts like a wet sunfish lost back to the sea?

In our first reading, Hezekiah faces the same kind of bewilderment. Informed that he is about to die, he laments:

“O LORD, remember how faithfully and wholeheartedly
I conducted myself in your presence,
doing what was pleasing to you!”
And Hezekiah wept bitterly.

Hezekiah’s pleading gains him another fifteen years. (Would that our prayers could so prevail!) His bonus is delivered accompanied by a sign:

This will be the sign for you from the LORD
that he will do what he has promised:
See, I will make the shadow cast by the sun
on the stairway to the terrace of Ahaz
go back the ten steps it has advanced.


In our Gospel, Jesus doesn’t need bonuses or signs. Jesus himself is the embodiment of Life over death, Eternity over time. In today’s passage, the Pharisees try to judge and limit Jesus’s spiritual freedom by invoking the old law against him:

Jesus was going through a field of grain on the sabbath.
His disciples were hungry
and began to pick the heads of grain and eat them.
When the Pharisees saw this, they said to him,
“See, your disciples are doing what is unlawful to do on the sabbath.”


Jesus tells them clearly that he is the new law of mercy and love. He is beyond time, death, and the judgments of human law:

I say to you, something greater than the temple is here. 
If you knew what this meant, I desire mercy, not sacrifice,
you would not have condemned these innocent men.
For the Son of Man is Lord of the sabbath.

Let’s pray today with our God Who is greater than time, death or human judgments. Let us trust that God has power over any shadow that might darken our lives.


Poetry: The Shadow of Thy Wing – Susan Dickinson (Emily’s sister-in-law)

Weary of life's great mart, its dust and din,
Faint with its toiling, suffering with its sin,
In childlike faith my heart to Thee I bring.
For refuge in "the shadow of thy wing."

Like a worn bird of passage, left behind
Wounded, and sinking, by its faithless kind,
With flight unsteady, seeking needed rest,
I come for shelter to Thy faithful breast.

Like a proud ship, dismantled by the gale,
Her banners lost and rifted every sail,
In the deep waters to Thy love I cling,
And hasten to the refuge of Thy wing.

O Thou, thy people's comforter alway,
Their light in darkness, and their guide by day,
Their anchor 'mid the storm, their hope in calm,
Their joy in pain, their fortress in alarm!

We are all weak, Thy strength we humbly crave;
We are all lost, and Thou alone canst save;
A weary world, to Thy dear arm we cling,
And hope for all a refuge "'neath Thy wing."

- "Original Poetry." Springfield Daily Republican, March 1, 1862

Music: Cavatina’s “The Shadows” played by 2Cellos

Alleluia: Be Mercy

Fifteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time
July 10, 2022

Today’s Readings

https://bible.usccb.org/bible/readings/071022.cfm

Today, in God’s Lavish Mercy, our readings take us on a centuries-long journey from Sinai nearly to the foot of Calvary. 

Our guideline for the pilgrimage is the Word:

  • given first to Moses
  • cherished in Psalms
  • and finally revealed in the full glory of the Incarnated Christ.

Throughout the ages, each of us receives the same direction to holiness as that given by Moses thousands of years ago:

If only you would
heed the voice of the LORD, your God…


The young man in today’s Gospel requests such direction straight from the mouth of Jesus. And he receives it in the form of an iconic story which holds in simplicity all the ponderous theology of the ages:

Which of these three, in your opinion,
was neighbor to the robbers’ victim?”
He answered, “The one who treated him with mercy.”
Jesus said to him, “Go and do likewise.”


With this story, Jesus translates into action that age-old Biblical Word:

  • Hear Mercy
  • Love Mercy
  • Do Mercy
  • Become Mercy

Poetry: Ramadan –  Erik K. Taylor

It was the month of Ramadan, 
the month when Muslims fast. 
From the day’s first light, 
when they could tell a white thread from a black one, 
until evening hid the difference again, 
they did not eat, did not drink, and 
– here in rural Liberia – 
did not even swallow their own spit.

We were three thousand miles from home 
when the telegram came. 
My mother’s father had died. 

From Gbapa, three miles away, 
five dark-skinned Mandingo men 
came walking to our house. 
Students from her English class, 
a class in a building with mud-brick walls 
and a tin roof that pinged in the rain. 
She drove to them several nights each week, 
teaching them to write “hut” and “mat” and “cat,” 
drawing little pictures beside the words. 

But this day, they came to her, 
walking over dusty, rust-colored roads, 
under the African sun. 
They came to sit with her, 
to offer what comfort they could.

We could not offer them water or coke or tea. 
For a few hours they sat, talking in soft voices, 
stepping out occasionally to spit. 
Then home again… 
waiting for black and white to merge back into one.

Someone once asked Jesus 
what it meant to love our neighbor. 
He said it was to be those men.

Music: Kyrie ( Lord, have Mercy) – Robert Gass

Alleluia: Heaven’s at Hand

Wednesday of the Fourteenth Week in Ordinary Time
July 6, 2022

Today’s Readings 

https://bible.usccb.org/bible/readings/070622.cfm

Today, in God’s Lavish Mercy, our first reading and Responsorial Psalm encourage us to seek God. 

Sow for yourselves justice,
reap the fruit of piety;
break up for yourselves a new field,
for it is time to seek the LORD …

And our Gospel proclaims that we have already found God through Jesus Christ.

Jesus sent out these Twelve
after instructing them thus,
…. “As you go, make this proclamation:
‘The Kingdom of heaven is at hand.’”


The word “seek” is one we don’t use frequently, except to describe games that hide things from us – “Seek and Find”, “Hide and Seek”. In these games, someone is trying to fool us or outwit us.

But God is not trying to hide from us. Our scriptures are about a whole different kind of seeking. We might think of it like this:

Have you ever opened a kitchen drawer looking for a particular utensil but been unable to find it? You might exclaim aloud, “Where’s that darn corkscrew???!!!”, just as your sister leans in and picks it out of the drawer for you.

It was right there in front of you all the time. You just couldn’t see it — couldn’t put your hand on it.

Jesus tells us it is like that with the Kingdom of Heaven. We may be seeking it with all our effort while all the while it is right at hand. We sometimes fail to see the “touchable grace” in our lives because we throw a camouflage of unawareness or ingratitude over it.

Alleluia, alleluia.
The Kingdom of God is at hand:
repent and believe in the Gospel.


The poet Mary Oliver offers the antidote to that kind of blindness:

Instructions for living a life.
Pay attention.
Be astonished.
Tell about it.

Mary Oliver

Today, let’s pay attention to the wonder of our lives. Let’s seek God’s face in our ordinary circumstances. God is not hiding – we just have to look with the insightful eyes of faith, love, and hope.


Poetry: Rumi

Your task is not 
to seek for love, 
but merely 
to seek and find 
all the barriers 
within yourself 
that you have built 
against it. 

Music: Seek God’s Face – Jules Riding

Alleluia: Unmuted!

Tuesday of the Fourteenth Week in Ordinary Time
July 5, 2022

Today’s Readings:

https://bible.usccb.org/bible/readings/070522.cfm

Today, in God’s Lavish Mercy, a double-sided theme runs through our readings

Our first reading references idols of silver and gold, “the work of artisans, no god at all”. 

The Responsorial Psalm describes in detail how the power of God’s creative Word  contrasts to these mute and powerless idols.

Our God is in heaven;
whatever God wills, God does.
Their idols are silver and gold,
the handiwork of men.
R. Alleluia.

They have mouths but speak not;
they have eyes but see not;
They have ears but hear not;
they have noses but smell not.
R. Alleluia.

They have hands but feel not;
they have feet but walk not.
Their makers shall be like them,
everyone that trusts in them.
R. Alleluia

In today’s Gospel, we see the power of the Living Word, Jesus, to release the mute man from his demons. As we pray with this Gospel, we can think of the word “mute” in many ways.

Wherever truth, integrity, kindness and respect are stifled – whether in us or in others – God’s desire to speak to and through us is muted. 

Sometimes we mute ourselves by burying our true voice under a blanket of pretenses, frivolities, excuses, or useless ambitions. We can mute others by our prejudices, judgements and indifference. And we can do it all so easily, like flipping a button on the TV remote!

Let’s pray to be amazed today, as were the Gospel crowds, at the power of Jesus to free the Word in us!


Poetry: In Silence by Thomas Merton

Be still.
Listen to the stones of the wall.
Be silent, they try
to speak your

name.
Listen
to the living walls.

Who are you?
Who
are you? Whose
silence are you?

Who (be quiet)
are you (as these stones
are quiet). Do not
think of what you are
still less of
what you may one day be.

Rather
be what you are (but who?)
be the unthinkable one
you do not know.

O be still, while
you are still alive,
and all things live around you

speaking (I do not hear)
to your own being,
speaking by the unknown
that is in you and in themselves.

“I will try, like them
to be my own silence:
and this is difficult. The whole
world is secretly on fire. The stones
burn, even the stones they burn me.
How can a man be still or
listen to all things burning?
How can he dare to sit with them
when all their silence is on fire?”

Music: Echo of Our Souls – Kerani

Some lovely instrumental music to unmute the Word as we pray.