The Times of Our Lives

Saturday of the Thirty-third Week in Ordinary Time
November 19, 2022

Today’s Readings:

https://bible.usccb.org/bible/readings/111922.cfm

Today, in God’s Lavish Mercy, our readings are challenging. 

Revelation, a very complex book of the Bible, uses symbols, prophecies and allegorical references to make its point. There are huge bodies of scholarship written in the attempt to interpret these passages.

Our Gospel has Jesus describing what it will be like in heaven – when our human perceptions will be erased and we will finally be absorbed into God’s understanding.

These are BIG thoughts and my mind, at least, needs some more manageable inspirations for my morning prayer.  So here’s how I prayed with these readings today.

Lit yr flowerJPG

What both passages share are continual references to time – past, present and future. They reference then-time, now-time, and to-be-time. These passages, and others in Scripture like them, talk about time like this:

  • “in the days before” (then time)
  • “in the days after” (to -be time)
  • “in the day of” (now time)

So what is this day, November 19th, for me?
How is God revealing Love to me in this, my time? 

Today is among “the days after” the last memorable thing that happened in my life – maybe a good thing, maybe not so much. In “the days after”, we spend time with a completed event – learning, savoring, or perhaps regretting and recovering. The “days after” are a time to pray for grace and blessing over what cannot be changed.

Today is also among “the days before” the next big events of my life. So my prayer includes a petition for new and continued courage, hope and enthusiasm for life.

And, most importantly, today is “a day of”. I ask God to help me see and receive the graces of this present moment – not to miss them because I am looking only back or forward. Let me look God square in the eye on this day, which is the only place that I can really find the God Who is always Now.


The entire liturgical year is built on this understanding of time. 

  • Advent and Lent are “the days before”, the days of preparation, anticipation, imagining, creating, hoping.
  • The feasts like Christmas, Easter and Pentecost are “the days of”, days of celebrating, loving, being with.
  • The various Octaves are “the days after”, days of remembering, thanking, appreciating, understanding, mourning, forgiving and savoring
lit yr

Where are you today in the times of your life? It may be in a very different place from what is printed on the calendar. The events of our lives create their own personal liturgies.

No matter where that happens to be, let us meet God there with full and open hearts.


Poetry: from Burnt Norton by T.S. Eliot

Time present and time past
Are both perhaps present in time future,
And time future contained in time past.
If all time is eternally present
All time is unredeemable.
What might have been is an abstraction
Remaining a perpetual possibility
Only in a world of speculation.
What might have been and what has been
Point to one end, which is always present.
Footfalls echo in the memory
Down the passage which we did not take
Towards the door we never opened
Into the rose-garden. My words echo
Thus, in your mind.
But to what purpose
Disturbing the dust on a bowl of rose-leaves
I do not know.
Other echoes
Inhabit the garden. Shall we follow?


Music: God of All My Days – Casting Crowns

Promises, Promises!

Friday of the Thirty-third Week in Ordinary Time
November 18, 2022

Today’s Readings:

https://bible.usccb.org/bible/readings/111822.cfm

Today, in God’s Lavish Mercy, we pray with our longest Psalm 119. 

This morning, we take one little morsel from its extended string of reflections :


The word “promise” can evoke a range of responses from us. Indeed, they are sweet as the psalmist says. But they can also be elusive, ephemeral, and easily broken. I know I’ve have made a few promises in my lifetime that have fizzled away unfulfilled. Haven’t you?

On the other hand, there are some promises, kept, that have rooted and defined my life. These, made in the bud, have blossomed in a long, tendered fidelity. They have dug the deep roots of trust for the essential relationships of my life with God, beloved neighbor, and all Creation.


Such vital promises can be made and kept when we act in the image of God, the loving and faithful Promise Keeper described in Psalm 119:

Your word, LORD, stands forever;
it is firm as the heavens.
Through all generations your truth endures;
fixed to stand firm like the earth.Psalm 119: 89 – 90


Like the psalmist, we pray:

  • to be imitators of God who is always faithful.
  • to be promise-keepers in response to the trust God has placed in us by the gift of our creation.
  • to meditate on, and understand in our hearts, the divine order of God’s immutable Law of Love

Poetry: Psalm 119 – Christine Robinson

Dear God, The seed of your love is deep within
every molecule of the universe, and it abides through time.
The laws of the cosmos serve your purpose to the end.
If I remember this, I can abide all manner of trouble.
If I delight in this, it gives me life.
I belong to you to my very core.
Holding firm to that knowledge, I can live my life in love.
All things will come to and end.
And in the end all will be One
My mind is filled with your Way
Making me wise like a teacher or an elder.
Mastering my life in your way gives me purpose.
Many times I use it to guide my steps.
My mouth waters and my heart softens to consider your Way.

Music: God Hath Not Promised – Annie Johnson Flint

This charming 19th century hymn captures the faithful spirit of it composer whose life, though beset by suffering, radiated faith and joy. 

Read more about her life here

A Dance of Praise

Memorial of St. Elizabeth of Hungary
November 17, 2022

Today’s Readings:

https://bible.usccb.org/bible/readings/111722.cfm

Today, in God’s Lavish Mercy, we pray with Psalm 149 which calls the community to sing and dance because God has delivered them.

This happy, celebratory summons is set, contrastingly, between two readings that mention weeping.

Then I saw a mighty angel who proclaimed in a loud voice,
“Who is worthy to open the scroll and break its seals?”
But no one in heaven or on earth or under the earth
was able to open the scroll or to examine it.
I shed many tears because no one was found worthy
to open the scroll or to examine it.

Revelation 5: 2-4

As Jesus drew near Jerusalem,
he saw the city and wept over it, saying,
“If this day you only knew what makes for peace–
but now it is hidden from your eyes.

Luke 19: 41-42

The readings leave us with a sense that there is a secret to eternal life –
a secret to which only grace can open our eyes and hearts.


John writes that “the Lion of Judah” has the key:

One of the elders said to me, “Do not weep.
The lion of the tribe of Judah, the root of David, has triumphed,
enabling him to open the scroll with its seven seals.”

Revelation 5: 5-6

Jesus, Uncreated Grace, is the Lion of Judah. He has incarnated the sacred key in his Life, Death, and Resurrection. For those who receive him and share his life, the door is opened, the scroll unrolled.

So what is the path to such union with Jesus? 


Our psalm contains a brief line tucked at its center which foreshadows the entire message of the Gospel. 

Let them praise God’s name in the festive dance,
let them sing praise with timbrel and harp.
For the LORD loves us,
and adorns the lowly with victory.

We will find a dancing, singing joy when we give ourselves to these truths:

  • God loves us irrevocably
  • We can fully receive this great love to the degree that we become like Christ whose image we find among the poor, lowly, and suffering.

Poetry: Dance from Rumi

Come to me, and I shall dance with you
In the temples, on the beaches, through the crowded streets
Be you man or woman, plant or animal, slave or free
I shall show you the brilliant crystal fires, shining within
I shall show you the beauty deep within your soul
I shall show the path beyond Heaven.
Only dance, and your illusions will blow in the wind
Dance, and make joyous the love around you
Dance, and your veils which hide the Light
Shall swirl in a heap at your feet.

Music:  Psalm 149 – Antonín Dvořák

Our Splendid God

Wednesday of the Thirty-third Week in Ordinary Time
November 16, 2022

Today’s Readings:

https://bible.usccb.org/bible/readings/111622.cfm

Today, in God’s Lavish Mercy, we move deeper into the final weeks of Ordinary Time. Our readings continue to offer us images about what it will be like at the end of time.  

In our passage from Revelation, we are given an ornate and exuberant description of how the author envisions God’s “headquarters”, so to speak. With all its gems and thrones and crowns and flaming torches, the passage can be a little overwhelming. But what is the core message? I think it is this:

God is the Splendid Creator. Despite time’s destruction, Creation will be ultimately perfected by our Perfect God. Believing this, we are called to awe-filled worship and gratitude, as spoken in these two verses from the passage:

“Holy, holy, holy is the Lord God almighty,
who was, and who is, and who is to come.”

Revelation 4:8

“Worthy are you, Lord our God,
to receive glory and honor and power,
for you created all things;
because of your will they came to be and were created.”

Revelation 4:11

Today’s Gospel about the talents reminds us that we each have been given particular gifts with which to build up God’s Creation. Like the watchful Master, God expects – and needs – us to use these gifts, and to increase their value by sharing them with our sisters and brothers.

Sometimes we think we have no real gifts to give. But the witness of a simple, faithful, generous life is beyond price.

We may want to spend some prayer time reflecting on the many gifts we have been given – by God and by those who love us, and how we might offer these in worship to our Splendid Generous God.


Poetry: Advice to a ProphetRichard Wilbur (1921 – 2017) was an American poet and literary translator. One of the foremost poets of his generation, Wilbur’s work, composed primarily in traditional forms, was marked by its wit, charm, and gentlemanly elegance. He was appointed the second Poet Laureate Consultant in Poetry to the Library of Congress in 1987 and received the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry twice, in 1957 and 1989.

In Wilbur’s poem, we get a different vision of what the end of times might be like, and how we might respond to the prophet who describes such times.

When you come, as you soon must, to the streets of our city,
Mad-eyed from stating the obvious,
Not proclaiming our fall but begging us
In God's name to have self-pity,

Spare us all word of the weapons, their force and range,
The long numbers that rocket the mind;
Our slow, unreckoning hearts will be left behind,
Unable to fear what is too strange.

Nor shall you scare us with talk of the death of the race.
How should we dream of this place without us?—
The sun mere fire, the leaves untroubled about us,
A stone look on the stone's face?

Speak of the world's own change. Though we cannot conceive
Of an undreamt thing, we know to our cost
How the dreamt cloud crumbles, the vines are blackened by frost,
How the view alters.  We could believe,

If you told us so, that the white-tailed deer will slip
Into perfect shade, grown perfectly shy,
The lark avoid the reaches of our eye,
The jack-pine lose its knuckled grip

On the cold ledge, and every torrent burn
As Xanthus once, its gliding trout
Stunned in a twinkling.  What should we be without
The dolphin's arc, the dove's return, 

These things in which we have seen ourselves and spoken?
Ask us, prophet, how we shall call
Our natures forth when that live tongue is all
Dispelled, that glass obscured or broken

In which we have said the rose of our love and the clean
Horse of our courage, in which beheld
The singing locust of the soul unshelled,
And all we mean or wish to mean.

Ask us, ask us whether with the worldless rose
Our hearts shall fail us; come demanding
Whether there shall be lofty or long standing
When the bronze annals of the oak-tree close.

Music: We Have Gifts to Share – Susan Kay Wyatts – This is a childlike song, but the point is profound. For those with young children and Grands, you might like to share this song with them.

The Wish to Climb

Tuesday of the Thirty-third Week in Ordinary Time
November 15, 2022

Today’s Readings:

https://bible.usccb.org/bible/readings/111522.cfm

Today in God’s Lavish Mercy, the author of Revelation says some pretty tough stuff in the name of God!

To the Church at Sardis:
You have the reputation of being alive, but you are dead.

To the Church at Laodicea:
Because you are lukewarm, neither hot nor cold,
I will spit you out of my mouth.

As most of us know from experience, it’s never really easy to accept negative feedback.  But, couched in gentle, encouraging tones, it can be accepted and acted on. John of Patmos, author of Revelation, missed that lesson in coaching techniques! 

How effective his words were with the under-performing churches is a matter left to history. For us, they may perhaps inspire us to be more honest with ourselves regarding our vitality and ardor for the Gospel.


zaccheus

In our Gospel, Jesus takes a different approach to inspire repentance and commitment. His inclusive, forgiving words to Zaccheus proved very effective.  Jesus doesn’t even address any shortcomings (not to make a pun) in Zaccheus.

He simply says, “Come down from your tree.  I’m coming to your house for dinner.” In other words, I’m coming into your life — now what’s your response?

Zaccheus is radically changed by Jesus’s lavish mercy. He responds,

“Behold, half of my possessions, Lord, I shall give to the poor,
and if I have extorted anything from anyone
I shall repay it four times over.”

Today, we pray to have a simple, trusting faith. Sometimes, like Zaccheus, we get ourselves “up a tree”, all twisted and stretching to find God – or maybe to ignore God – in our lives. And all the time, God has been walking straight down the path of our heart, smiling at our efforts, planning to stay with us tonight, tomorrow and forever.


Poetry: AND HAVE YOU ALSO WISHED – Leonard Nathan (1924 – 2007) an American poet, critic, and professor emeritus of rhetoric at the University of California, Berkeley. Among other honors, he received the National Institute of Arts and Letters prize for poetry, a Guggenheim Fellowship, the Phelan Award for Narrative Poetry.

And have you also wished to leave the world
of unforgiving surface and hard time,
to enter mist and climb an autumn slope,
becoming all but invisible below
a gray and dripping baldachin of boughs
that lead to the little clearing in the woods
where much will be revealed, what love and dreams
had promised before you woke and had to leave?
And have you, even as you wished this all,
passionately wished it, nevertheless continued
in the old direction, stretching out
and out to dust, foregone and trampled flat,
because you were told to once or because—who knows—
you said you would, or something shallow as that?

Music: Zaccheus – Medical Mission Sisters:

The Divine Adventure

Monday of the Thirty-third Week in Ordinary Time
November 14, 2022

Today’s Readings:

https://bible.usccb.org/bible/readings/111422.cfm

Today, in God’s Lavish Mercy, we earnestly begin the Book of Revelation. These twelve days of passages will close out the liturgical year before Advent.

Rev 2_4 first love

The Book of Revelation, also commonly known as the Apocalypse, is one of the most controversial in the Bible. Scholars disagree as to its author, its meaning, its literary genre and even its place in the biblical canon.

Wherever we might fall in this spectrum of interpretations, the book still can inspire us to prayer and reflection.

In today’s passage, the author addresses the first of seven churches to whom he will write – the church at Ephesus. He praises them and says that God is pleased with their work, their endurance and their fidelity. That must have made them feel pretty good, right?

But then, the heart-breaking line:

Yet I hold this against you:
you have lost the love you had at first.

We might easily find ourselves in this passage. We’re trying hard to be faithful Christians. But, depending on where we are in our lives, have we lost that first fervor?

The continual grind of work, ministry, family and community responsibility can dim that first fire. Maybe the fresh flower has been choked in the daily weeds. Just the accumulation of years may obscure it. Just the unnoticed indifference within and around us can smother the love that once propelled us to choose God as our Everything.


Perhaps with the blind person in our Gospel, we might beg God to let us see where our faith has become dim or even blinded:

The people walking in front rebuked the blind man,
telling him to be silent,
but he kept calling out all the more,
“Son of David, have pity on me!”
Then Jesus stopped and ordered that he be brought to him;
and when he came near, Jesus asked him,
“What do you want me to do for you?”
He replied, “Lord, please let me see.”
Jesus told him, “Have sight; your faith has saved you.”

Luke 18:39-42

Today, let’s try to remember that first love which turned our hearts to God and to God’s work in the world. Let’s ask our generous God, Who longs for our love, to renew our passion and energy for the Divine Adventure.


Poetry: Consumed in Grace – Catherine of Siena

This poem is from a wonderful book which I highly recommend to you:

I first saw God when I was a child, six years of age.
The cheeks of the sun were pale before Him,
and the earth acted as a shy
girl, like me. 

Divine light entered my heart from His love
that did never fully wane, 

though indeed, dear, I can understand how a person’s
faith can at times flicker, 

for what is the mind to do
with something that becomes the mind’s ruin:
a God that consumes us
in His grace.

I have seen what you want;
it is there,
a Beloved of infinite
tenderness.

Music: Power of Your Love – Hillsongs

 Renee Yann, RSM  Disciples

The End Times

Thirty-third Sunday in Ordinary Time
November 13, 2022

Today’s Readings:

https://bible.usccb.org/bible/readings/111322.cfm

Today, in God’s Lavish Mercy, our readings carry the full flavor of the “end times” warnings, those repeated annually as we move closer to Advent (which is only two weeks away!) When I was a kid, these readings scared me. And now, even as an elder, I’m not particularly in love with them!

But, nevertheless, you gotta’ love Malachi! What a powerful poet! His message of impending judgement and necessary repentance definitely hits the mark.

Lo, the day is coming, blazing like an oven,
 when all the proud and all evildoers will be stubble…

Malachi 3:19

Wow! Really? Depending on where we stand in our moral life, our reaction to this announcement might range from:

Good! Go get ‘em, God!” 

to

Oh, dear God, I hope it’s not me!!!”.


Nobody wants to be “stubble” when the final fires blaze. So how can we avoid that? Paul resets us on the right track, from both “cheer” and “fear” to commitment. He instructs his readers to do their job, living and honest simple lives. He says something like this:

Listen! You must imitate your teachers in Christ.
Live with integrity, justice and generous mercy.
Navigate the world with these as your compass.
Then you will welcome the end times.


Lk21_19 perseverance

In Luke’s Gospel, Jesus offers an equally dire prediction of the end times. When we read the list of disasters and betrayals Jesus describes, we must admit that every one of them occurs somewhere in our world everyday. In essence, we already live in the “end times”, trying to welcome and foster Divine Grace in our piece of the universe.


Photo by Stas Knop on Pexels.com

Today’s readings are an alarm clock. They call us to recognize the geopolitical world we live in as the emerging Realm of God, and to do our part to bring that realm to full realization.

It is likely impossible to communicate God’s vision for the world in the language of politics.  Scripture offers us the transcendent gift of the eloquent prophets Malachi and Jesus describing not only their own times but ours as well.


Walter Brueggemann says this:

The prophet’s task is to imagine the world as though Yahweh, the God of Israel and the creator of heaven and earth, were a real character and a lively agent in the life of the world.  I believe that such a claim, then and now, has to be articulated poetically in order not to be co-opted by political absolutism or theological orthodoxy.

Our readings today give us this poetic vision and challenge. Read them with great longing to hear God’s voice for our times. The world so sorely needs the answer that will blossom by the perseverance of our lives.


Poetry: A Song on the End of the WorldCzeslaw Milosz

Czeslaw Milosz ranks among the most respected figures in 20th-century Polish literature, as well as one of the most respected contemporary poets in the world: he was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1980. 

On the day the world ends
A bee circles a clover,
A fisherman mends a glimmering net.
Happy porpoises jump in the sea,
By the rainspout young sparrows are playing
And the snake is gold-skinned as it should always be.

On the day the world ends
Women walk through the fields under their umbrellas,
A drunkard grows sleepy at the edge of a lawn,
Vegetable peddlers shout in the street
And a yellow-sailed boat comes nearer the island,
The voice of a violin lasts in the air
And leads into a starry night.

And those who expected lightning and thunder
Are disappointed.
And those who expected signs and archangels’ trumps
Do not believe it is happening now.
As long as the sun and the moon are above,
As long as the bumblebee visits a rose,
As long as rosy infants are born
No one believes it is happening now.

Only a white-haired old man, who would be a prophet
Yet is not a prophet, for he’s much too busy,
Repeats while he binds his tomatoes:
There will be no other end of the world,
There will be no other end of the world.

Warsaw, 1944


Music:  Let Justice Roll – video of the Salvation Army

Living Justice

Memorial of St. Josaphat
Saturday, November 12, 2022

Today’s Readings

https://bible.usccb.org/bible/readings/111222.cfm

Today, in God’s Lavish Mercy, our readings carry the themes of perseverance in prayer and commitment to Gospel justice.

Familiar Psalm 112 draws the theme forward for us.

That theme is justice, 
and what it really means for us in our daily lives.

Wealth and riches shall be in the blessed one’s house;
where generosity shall endure forever.
Light shines through the darkness for the upright;
who is gracious and merciful and just.

Psalm 112:3-4

In secular culture, the words “justice” and “law” carry very different interpretations from biblical meanings. In the Bible, justice is that right-balance of Creation in which all beings support one another in the fullness of God’s love.

It is a balance which we all must help achieve, as we see in our first reading from John. In this unique letter, addressed to only one person – a Christian named Gaius, – John requests material help for his early missionaries.

Beloved, you are faithful in all you do for the brothers and sisters,
especially for strangers;
they have testified to your love before the Church.
Please help them in a way worthy of God to continue their journey.

Such requests mark the life of the Church throughout the ages, because our call in Christian community is about helping one another to live a full life in Christ. We could easily read John’s plea as a plea to us, especially in these times of seeking just global immigration and economic policies.


In our Gospel, Jesus tells a parable which is overtly about prayer. But it carries deep themes of the justice God desires for all people, especially the vulnerable:

Will not God then secure the rights of God’s chosen ones
who call out day and night? 
Will God be slow to answer them? 
I tell you, God will see to it that justice is done for them speedily. 
But when the Son of Man comes, will he find justice on the earth?

Luke 18: 7-8

Practicing justice and righteousness means active advocacy for the vulnerable. It means doing the works of mercy as a way to love God.

Light shines through the darkness for the upright;
that person is gracious and merciful and just.
It is well for the one who is gracious and lends,
who lives a graceful justice;
they shall never be moved;
the just ones shall be in everlasting remembrance.

Psalm 112: 3-6

Poetry from Micah 6:8


Music: Seek Justice; Love Mercy – by Me in Motion

 Renee 

Lead by Love

Memorial of St. Martin of Tours
November 11, 2022

Today’s Readings:

https://bible.usccb.org/bible/readings/111122.cfm

Today, in God’s Lavish Mercy, our first reading is from John’s very brief second epistle.

This is a fascinating passage. It is addressed to “Kyria”, Greek for “Lady”. The contents encourage this revered lady to keep herself and her household true to Christ.

But now, Lady, I ask you,
not as though I were writing a new commandment
but the one we have had from the beginning:
let us love one another.
For this is love, that we walk according to his commandments;

2 John 5-6

Reading the passage, one wonders who “Kyria” is. At least three theories exist among scholars:

  • an actual religious leader 
  • a metaphor for the Church 
  • Mary, Mother of Jesus

The letter is beautifully personal in tone, so I like to think that Kyria was, indeed, an influential church leader and John’s beloved friend. So often, the names of early Christian women leaders are lost to history. Whether they were omitted in the original texts, or erased by subsequent misogynistic translators, we can only surmise. But the absence has served to support the misperception that women are of lesser consequence in the Church.


As we read 2 John, we can be aware of the major themes he entrusted to dear “Kyria”, whoever she might have been, to be transmitted to her household:

  • Truth is expressed through love, modeled to us in Jesus.
  • Obedience to God is expressed through service in God’s name.
  • Guard against any who distract you from these teachings.

Poetry: Seek Truth – Rumi

If you never searched for truth 
come with us 
and you will become a seeker. 

If you were never a musician 
come with us 
and you will find your voice… 

In our gathering one candle lights hundreds, 
we will light your path and give you courage 
so you will open like a flower 
and join in joyous laughter. 

Plant the seed of truth and watch it grow 
when it spreads its branches 
come with us and sit under the blossoms. 

Your eyes will open to the secret of the truth.


Music: Kyria (Lady) is the feminine form of Kyrie , as in “Kyrie eleison” (Lord, have mercy).

So the music I thought of for today is the magnificent Kyrie Eleison from Charles Gounod’s Mass for St. Cecilia.

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Invisible Presence

Memorial of St. Leo the Great
November 10, 2022

https://bible.usccb.org/bible/readings/111022.cfm

Today, in God’s Lavish Mercy, Jesus tells us a secret about the Kingdom of God:

“The coming of the Kingdom of God
cannot be observed,
and no one will announce,
‘Look, here it is,’ or, ‘There it is.’
For behold, the Kingdom of God
is among you.”

And it remains a bit of a secret, even after He tells it, because it is often very hard to discern the “Kingdom among us”. There is nothing more invisible than something hiding in plain sight.

Lk17_21JPG

Through prayer, we discover that it is about our eyes – not about visibility. It is about the power of grace within us to see beyond appearances. We need a soul that can “peel the onion” of experience to find the face of God resident within all things.

  • With that kind of eyes, you don’t just have a business meeting today.
    You have an opportunity to build God’s Kingdom through respect, encouragement and mutuality.
  • You don’t just pass a person begging on the corner.
    You walk near Christ himself accompanying a broken spirit.
  • You don’t just encounter the hurts and challenges of your life.
    You are invited by God into a living faith that finds God’s will in all things.
  • You don’t live in the world with just other creatures.
    You meet and honor the Divine Presence in every living thing.

Indeed, the Kingdom of God is right here among us.

May we see it!
May we treasure it!
May we reveal it!


Photo by Johannes Plenio on Pexels.com

Poetry: In No Strange Land – Francis Thompson

O world invisible, we view thee,
O world intangible, we touch thee,
O world unknowable, we know thee,
Inapprehensible, we clutch thee!

Does the fish soar to find the ocean,
The eagle plunge to find the air—
That we ask of the stars in motion
If they have rumour of thee there?

Not where the wheeling systems darken,
And our benumbed conceiving soars!—
The drift of pinions, would we hearken,
Beats at our own clay-shuttered doors.

The angels keep their ancient places;—
Turn but a stone and start a wing!
’Tis ye, ’tis your estrangèd faces,
That miss the many-splendoured thing.

But (when so sad thou canst not sadder)
Cry;—and upon thy so sore loss
Shall shine the traffic of Jacob’s ladder
Pitched betwixt Heaven and Charing Cross.

Yea, in the night, my Soul, my daughter,
Cry,—clinging to Heaven by the hems;
And lo, Christ walking on the water,
Not of Genesareth, but Thames!


Music:  Let Your Kingdom Come – Tommy Walker