Let God…

January 18, 2022
Tuesday of the Second Week in Ordinary Time

Today, in God’s Lavish Mercy, three themes suggest themselves for our prayerful consideration. At various points in our spiritual lives we are called to:

Release what binds us
Reorient to what is good
Recommit to hope and promise

Our first reading begins the narrative of David, key figure of the Hebrew Scriptures and the archetype king who prefigured the Messiah.

Release
We read about Samuel’s commission to find a new kingly candidate and to anoint him. This is a big deal for Samuel, who first has to release his dream for Saul in whom he had misplaced his hope:

The LORD said to Samuel:
“How long will you grieve for Saul,whom I have rejected as king of Israel?


Reorient
God, Who already has a plan, encourages Samuel to pursue a new path:

Fill your horn with oil, and be on your way.
I am sending you to Jesse of Bethlehem,
for I have chosen my king from among his sons.


Recommit
In a memorable series of attempts, Samuel tries to figure out who it is that God has set the kingly choice upon. After seven “not him”s, David appears – the unlikeliest of all the sons:

Then Samuel, with the horn of oil in hand,
anointed him in the midst of his brothers;
and from that day on, the Spirit of the LORD rushed upon David. 
When Samuel took his leave, he went to Ramah.


Throughout this entire process, God is at the wheel. Samuel’s job — and Jesse’s, and David’s, and the unchosen brothers— is to listen, hear, and respond even to the unlikely and improbable.

Believe it or not, he will be King!

The lesson, perhaps, for us: God is at the wheel in our lives too. Of course, we will have failures. Often, we will miss the “holy point”. But God is always with us, reiterating faith’s promise and inspiring a new path to its fulfillment.


Poetry: Let God – Meister Eckhart

Let God work in you,
give the work to God,
and have peace.
Don’t worry if God works
through your nature
or above your nature,
because both are God’s,
nature and grace.

Music: Meditation – Yuhki Kuramoto

Blossoming Exultation!

January 11, 2022
Tuesday of the First Week in Ordinary Time

Ordinary Time 2022:
The extraordinary reality is that we have been given the gift of life!
Each day we are given a new portion of grace to deepen in God!
Let us focus our reflections on the “hidden extraordinary”
– a word, thought, or challenge in each day’s readings
that we might otherwise have taken for granted.
May God give us the graceful appreciation to unwrap these gifts!


Today, in God’s Lavish Mercy, we awaken to extraordinary gifts revealed in three words from our readings:

Downcast – Amazed – Exultant

In our first reading, Hannah’s story continues to unfold. And we feel for her, don’t we? The woman is desperate to bear life! Not only does she long for her own sweet child; she longs as well for restored standing in her neighborhood and family as one who is fertile not barren. This meant everything in Hannah’s community as fertility defined a woman’s importance.

Have you ever prayed like Hannah prays in this chapter? Has any need in your life ever so demanded God’s mercy? These are times that ask for our complete vulnerability before God’s Omnipotence.

In her bitterness she prayed to the LORD, weeping copiously,
and she made a vow, promising: “O LORD of hosts,
if you look with pity on the misery of your handmaid,
if you remember me and do not forget me,
if you give your handmaid a male child,
I will give him to the LORD for as long as he lives…

1 Samuel 1: 10-11
Vasili Petrovich Vereshchagin (1864)

Eli witnesses Hannah’s vulnerable prayer. He blesses her and hope cracks through her gloom:
She replied, “Think kindly of your maidservant,” and left.
She went to her quarters, ate and drank with her husband,
and no longer appeared downcast.

1 Samuel 1:18

Extraordinary Vulnerability!


Jesus Casts Out Demons – Julius Schnorr von Carolsfeld

In the Gospel reading, Jesus is still very early in his ministry. He has come to the synagogue to teach and people are “astonished” to hear the depth of his authority. But their astonishment grows even more when Jesus successfully commands the unclean spirit to leave the tortured man.
All were amazed and asked one another,
“What is this?
A new teaching with authority.
He commands even the unclean spirits and they obey him.”

Mark 1:27

Can we let ourselves be constantly amazed at God’s Presence, Power, and Mercy in all Creation?


Extraordinary Holy Amazement!


Once again, our Responsorial Psalm offes a way to pray when our downcast desperation meets God’s amazing, transforming grace. It is the “Magnificat” of Hannah:

And Hannah prayed:

“My heart exults in the LORD,
my horn is exalted by my God.
I have swallowed up my enemies;
I rejoice in your victory.
There is no Holy One like the LORD;
there is no Rock like our God.
1 Samuel 2: 1-2

1 Samual 2: 1-2

Extraordinary Exultation!

Through our scripture-nourished prayer,
may we open the gifts of extraordinary vulnerability, extraordinary hope, and extraordinary exultation
wrapped in our own ordinary lives this day.

Poetry: Bare Tree – Anne Morrow Lindbergh

Already I have shed the leaves of youth,
stripped by the wind of time down to the truth
of winter branches. Linear and alone
I stand, a lens for lives beyond my own,
a frame through which another's fire may glow,
a harp on which another's passion, blow.
The pattern of my boughs, an open chart
spread on the sky, to others may impart
its leafless mysteries that I once prized,
before bare roots and branches equalized,
tendrils that tap the rain or twigs the sun
are all the same, shadow and substance one.
Now that my vulnerable leaves are cast aside,
there's nothing left to shield, nothing to hide.
Blow through me, Life, pared down at last to bone,
so fragile and so fearless have I grown!


Music: Listen to the Trees

Rain Down, Lord!

December 15, 2021
Wednesday of the Third Week in Advent

Today, in God’s Lavish Mercy, we pray with Isaiah and Luke who both offer us passages in which God self-describes in displays of omnipotence and tenderness.

In Isaiah, we meet the powerful Creator Who dispenses both justice and mercy.

In Luke, we meet the merciful Savior Who tenderly uses that power to heal.

With our psalm response from Isaiah, we voice our longing to be healed by God’s infinite power – a power which finds the world’s brokenness, seeps into it like rain, transforms it with love.


Poetry: I Rain by Hafiz

The poem came to mind when I prayed the verse:
Let the clouds rain down the Just One, and the earth bring forth a Savior.

I rain
Because your meadows call
For God.

I weave light into words so that
When your mind holds them

Your eyes will relinquish their sadness,
Turn bright, a little brighter, giving to us
The way a candle does
To the dark.

I have wrapped my laughter like a gift
And left it beside your bed.

I have planted my heart’s wisdom
Next to every signpost in the sky.

A wealthy one, seeing all this,
May become eccentric,

A divinely wild soul
transformed to infinite generosity

Tying gold sacks of gratuity
To the dangling feet of moons, planets, ecstatic
Midair dances, and singing birds.

I speak
Because every cell in your body
Is thirsty
For God.

Music: Waiting for the Rain – Kathryn Kaye

Find Your Star

December 13, 2021
Monday of the Third Week of Advent
Memorial of St. Lucy

Today, in God’s Lavish Mercy, we pray with the beautiful, humble Psalm 25. Pastor Christine Robinson interprets the prayer in this way:

I put my trust in you, O God, as best as I am able. 
   May I be strong. May I not be afraid
May all who open their hearts
  hear your voice and know your love.
Lead me, teach me, help me to trust.

You are gracious to us, O God
You guide us, you forgive our clumsy ways
You help us prosper.

When I am sad and anxious
  I school my heart to trust
I act with integrity and uprightness
  And hope to feel your touch in my heart.
May it be so for all the peoples of the earth
  Who call you by many names.

Psalms for the New World – Christine Robinson

The psalm anchors our other readings today to suggest a theme of searching for Light in the darkness. Certainly, this was the quest of St. Lucy whose memorial we also mark today.

Lucy is the patroness of the blind. She was a brave young woman, martyred during the persecutions. Her name meaning “Light”, she has been venerated for millennia as one who can bring clarity and insight to places of darkness.


In our first reading, we hear the first messianic prophecy of the Bible. It is offered by a source perhaps unfamiliar to us — a teller of the future, Balaam.


Balaam is a diviner in the Torah (Pentateuch) whose story begins in Chapter 22 of the Book of Numbers. Every ancient reference to Balaam considers him a non-Israelite, a prophet, and the son of Beor.King Balak of Moab offered him money to curse Israel (Numbers 22–24), but Balaam blessed the Israelites instead as dictated by God. Nevertheless, he is reviled as a "wicked man" in both the Torah and the New Testament. (Wikipedia)

That story is the one we read today, and it contains a beautiful prophecy to be fulfilled fifteen hundred years after its utterance:

The utterance of Balaam, son of Beor,
        the utterance of the man whose eye is true,
    The utterance of one who hears what God says,
        and knows what the Most High knows,
    Of one who sees what the Almighty sees,
        enraptured, and with eyes unveiled.
    I see him, though not now;
        I behold him, though not near:
    A star shall advance from Jacob,
        and a staff shall rise from Israel.

Sometimes we just need to be pointed toward that star, don’t we? We kind of “see God – but not now; behold God — but not near”. It’s not always easy to believe, to trust.

We all have painful situations, unanswered hopes, lingering fears.   Let us bring them out of the shadows today with the help of St. Lucy and our Brilliant God who made the stars to give us hope.

As the year moves closer to its time of deepest darkness, may we know God’s brightness in our hearts. May we sense God lighting, once again, the dark places in our lives and in our world — leading us to a “Christmas Resurrection”.


Prose: from The Seaboard Parish by George Macdonald

The world ... is full of resurrections...
Every night that folds us up in darkness
is a death; and those of you that have
been out early, and have seen the
first of dawn, will know it -
the day rises out of the night like
a being that has burst its tomb
and escaped into life.

Music: Creator of the Stars of Night

Freshness and Light

December 9, 2021
Thursday of the Second Week in Advent

Today, in God’s Lavish Mercy, we pray with inspired Isaiah who must have had such a beautiful mind – a mind to imagine God making a tired world new!

In our first reading, Isaiah shows us what our radiant and nourishing God can do for those who live in darkness, destitution and fear. (Once we get past the unfortunate metaphor of being called a worm!)

I will open up rivers on the bare heights,
    and fountains in the broad valleys;
I will turn the desert into a marshland,
    and the dry ground into springs of water.
I will plant in the desert the cedar,
    acacia, myrtle, and olive;
I will set in the wasteland the cypress,
    together with the plane tree and the pine,
That all may see and know,
    observe and understand,
That the hand of the LORD has done this,
    the Holy One of Israel has created it.

Isaiah 41:18-20

Psalm 145 reminds that God is with us – on our side – in both Advent and our Life Journey.


As the year moves closer to its time of deepest darkness, may we know God’s bright Presence in our hearts. May we sense God lighting, once again, the dark places in our lives and in our world.

We all have parched and painful situations, unanswered hopes, lingering fears.  Let us bring them out of the shadows today and open them to the refreshing grace of God who made the stars to give us hope.

Jupiter Over the Motherhouse

Poetry:

Music: Fiona Joy Hawkins – Blue Dream

A Scriptural Banquet

December 5, 2021
Second Sunday of Advent

Today, in God’s Lavish Mercy, we pray with Baruch, Paul, Luke (channeling Isaiah), and Psalm 126. The passages given us are rich, lyrical, joyful and profound.


The Lord has done great things for us;
we are filled with joy.

Psalm 126:3


For this whole coming week, we are invited to a scriptural banquet – the table set with  preciously familiar Advent phrases to, once again, enrich and challenge our hearts.

Jerusalem, take off your robe of mourning and misery;
    put on the splendor of glory from God forever…

Baruch 5:1

I am confident of this,
that the one who began a good work in you
will continue to complete it 
until the day of Christ Jesus.

Philippians 1:6

A voice of one crying out in the desert:
    “Prepare the way of the Lord,
        make straight his paths.
    Every valley shall be filled
        and every mountain and hill shall be made low.
    The winding roads shall be made straight,
        and the rough ways made smooth,
    and all flesh shall see the salvation of God.”

Luke 3: 4-6

As with any banquet, we can approach this richness by taking a little bit of every offering, or we might prefer to fill up on one inspiration that particularly speaks to us at this moment in our lives.

  • Is there a misery we long to have lifted from our shoulders?
  • Is there a confidence and strength we seek from God?
  • Is there a sacred voice we need to hear, 
  • a crooked way needing straightening, 
  • an emptiness to be filled, 
  • an insurmountable challenge to be faced, 
  • a roughness to be smoothed?

Whatever our situation, by placing our needs faithfully before the promise of Advent, we will find the healing, hope, and grace we need.

Let these magnificent words seep into your heart to ready it for the promised salvation. For it is Advent – and

God is leading Israel in joy
    by the light of Divine Glory,
    with mercy and justice for company.

Baruch 5:9

Prose: from Pierre Teilhard de Chardin.


Above all, trust in the slow work of God.
We are quite naturally impatient in everything
to reach the end without delay.
We should like to skip the intermediate stages.
We are impatient of being on the way to something
unknown, something new.
And yet it is the law of all progress
that it is made by passing through
some stages of instability –
and that it may take a very long time.
And so I think it is with you.
Your ideas mature gradually—let them grow,
let them shape themselves, without undue haste.
Don’t try to force them on,
as though you could be today what time
(that is to say grace and circumstances
acting on your own good will)
will make of you tomorrow.
Only God can say what this new spirit
gradually forming within you will be.
Give our Lord the benefit of believing
that his hand is leading you,
and accept the anxiety of feeling yourself
in suspense and incomplete.

Music: Starlight through Barren Branches – Joel Clarkson

That Sweet Light

November 30, 2021
Feast of St. Andrew, Apostle

Today, in God’s Lavish Mercy, we pray with the Apostle Andrew – one who was called and gifted to bring the Good News – and with the Paul, and Isaiah ‘s beautiful song:

As Isaiah has written,
How beautiful are the feet of those who bring the good news!
But not everyone has heeded the good news;
for Isaiah says, Lord, who has believed what was heard from us?
Thus faith comes from what is heard,
and what is heard comes through the word of Christ.
But I ask, did they not hear?
Certainly they did; for

    Their voice has gone forth to all the earth,
        and their words to the ends of the world
.

Romans 10:16-18

 As we stand just past Advent’s front threshold, it is fitting to do so here beside Andrew, on his feast, remembering how one day Jesus invited him to launch out into a whole new world.

Today teases us with something we cannot yet imagine. Tomorrow, it will be December – the last month of 2021. And, as for the past two years, we still wait for the world to be delivered from pandemic. It is a waiting that takes great faith, courage, and perseverance – virtues, at times, difficult to summon.

Still as people of faith, we know that Advent is time to wait in silence for unfathomed miracles. Advent teases us with something we can not yet imagine.

What graces will these days hold for us as we prepare for Christmas?


Jesus teased Andrew and Peter too with the promise to be “fishers of men”. Wading knee-deep in the Galilean Sea, do you think they had any hint of what Jesus was talking about? I don’t. I think they simply caught the faith, hope and love in his eyes the way a match catches flame when it’s struck.

Let’s stand with Andrew today in these beginning hours of Advent, on the edge of the long nights or days of December (depending on our hemisphere)

Let’s trust the fire we find in Christ’s eyes as we pray through this Holy Season. Let’s be very intentional not to miss the point of these sacred days by losing them to the fears or frenzies that may threaten us.


An old devotion that I still love is the St. Andrew Novena. The prayer, prayed from November 30 until December 24th, is meant to remind us of the true meaning of these days leading to Christmas. Because my mother said it with me when I was a little girl, it carries both spiritual and emotional riches for me.

It is traditionally suggested that we say it fifteen times a day. I will confess that I say it only once a day, but I do that slowly, focusing on the sacred mystery held within the words.


Poetry – Prayer

I also have created my personal version without specific petitions. I think God knows what we need and provides for us. God’s Lavish Mercy is enough and everything.


My St. Andrew’s Prayer:

Hail, and blessed be the hour and moment
at which the Son of God was born
of our dear Mother Mary
in a stable
at midnight
in Bethlehem
in the piercing cold.
At that hour, I ask you dear God,
to hear my prayer and grant my hope
that you fill our world again
with your Loving Presence.
Through Jesus Christ and His most Blessed Mother.
Amen
.


Music: We Shall Behold Him – Ron Kenoly (Lyrics below)

I love this hymn, especially the line “the sweet light in his eyes shall enhance those awaiting”. Maybe that’s the light Andrew saw. May we see it too!

Promise Fulfilled

First Sunday of Advent
November 28, 2021

Today, in God’s Lavish Mercy, we begin our Advent journey remembering a promise:

The days are coming, says the LORD, 
    when I will fulfill the promise 
    I made to the house of Israel and Judah.

Jeremiah 33:14

“Promise” is a powerfully dynamic concept whose meaning we sometimes constrict. 

We might say something like, “I promise to pay you back someday” – thereby limiting “promise” to some future event that may or may not happen.

But “promise”, in its richer meaning, is an inward turning toward a journey, each step a necessary component of the ultimate fulfillment. 

In this sense, “promise” is more akin to “vow” or “covenant”. It unfolds as life unfolds. It grows through stages, like a fruit tree from a tiny seed. Its meaning, at first indistinctly seen, blossoms as it is fed with faith, hope, and enduring love.

This is the nature of God’s promise to us. It is not only some salvific event in our future. It is the flowering of grace, again and again, in our life choices for God. 

It is the classic example of that insightful phrase, “The journey is the destination.” In other words, Jesus cannot be born for us on Christmas if He is not born in us every day.


Thus, Psalm 25 is the perfect prayer as we reflect on our journey during Advent.

To you, O Lord, I lift my soul.

Your ways, O LORD, make known to me;
   teach me your paths,
Guide me in your truth and teach me,
   for you are God my savior,
   and for you I wait all the day. 

All Your paths are kindness and constancy
   toward those who keep Your covenant and decrees.
Your friendship is with those 

who hold themselves in awe before You,
   and Your covenant is for their daily instruction.

Psalm 25: 4-5; 10,14

As we begin this Advent,
let us ask God to show us
the promise longing for fulfillment
in each moment and
in every event of our daily lives.
Let us give our hearts to it.

Poetry: Advent Credo from Walking on Thorns by Allan Boesak

It is not true that creation and the human family are doomed to destruction and loss—
This is true: For God so loved the world that He gave his only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have everlasting life;

It is not true that we must accept inhumanity and discrimination, hunger and poverty, death and destruction—
This is true: I have come that they may have life, and that abundantly.

It is not true that violence and hatred should have the last word, and that war and destruction rule forever—
This is true: Unto us a child is born, unto us a Son is given, and the government shall be upon his shoulder, his name shall be called wonderful councilor, mighty God, the Everlasting, the Prince of peace.

It is not true that we are simply victims of the powers of evil who seek to rule the world—
This is true: To me is given authority in heaven and on earth, and lo I am with you, even until the end of the world.

It is not true that we have to wait for those who are specially gifted, who are the prophets of the Church before we can be peacemakers—
This is true: I will pour out my spirit on all flesh and your sons and daughters shall prophesy, your young men shall see visions and your old men shall have dreams.

It is not true that our hopes for liberation of humankind, of justice, of human dignity of peace are not meant for this earth and for this history—
This is true: The hour comes, and it is now, that the true worshipers shall worship God in spirit and in truth.

So let us enter Advent in hope, even hope against hope. Let us see visions of love and peace and justice. Let us affirm with humility, with joy, with faith, with courage: Jesus Christ—the life of the world.


Music: Psalm 26 – Kendrick and Redman

Thoughts of Heaven

November 20, 2021
Saturday of the Thirty-third Week in Ordinary Time

Today, in God’s Lavish Mercy, we pray with Psalm 9 and its beautiful verse which is echoed in several other Psalms:

I will give thanks to you, O LORD, with all my heart;
    I will declare all your wondrous deeds.
I will be glad and exult in you;
    I will sing praise to your name, Most High.

Psalm 9: 2-3

Like so many of our readings lately, today’s point us toward a consideration of the “afterlife” or the “end times”. I know you may have had enough of such considerations, but the Church isn’t giving up quite yet!


Antiochus IV, wikipedia

Maccabees gives us a colorful account of the defeat, dismay and ultimate death of Antiochus IV, persecutor of the Jews. The account, like most of the Books of Maccabees, is primarily historical, not spiritual or theological. But threaded through the books, of course, is the underlying biblical orientation that God-Yahweh is present and active in all life’s circumstances.

Today’s passage has even pagan Antiochus considering how God/Fate has brought him to judgement- to “payback” time:

But I now recall the evils I did in Jerusalem,
when I carried away all the vessels of gold and silver
that were in it, and for no cause
gave orders that the inhabitants of Judah be destroyed.
I know that this is why these evils have overtaken me;
and now I am dying, in bitter grief, in a foreign land.

1 Maccabees 6:11-13

In our Gospel account, some Sadducees question Jesus about marriage laws and the afterlife. Their questioning reminds me of modern songwriter Eric Clapton’s musings in his song:

Tears in Heaven – Eric Clapton

Jesus doesn’t sing to the Sadducees, as far as I know. Rather, he answers them this way:

Those who are deemed worthy to attain to the coming age
and to the resurrection of the dead
neither marry nor are given in marriage.
They can no longer die,
for they are like angels;
and they are the children of God
because they are the ones who will rise.

Luke 20:35-36

So for us today, the questions and concerns of both Antiochus and the Sadducees might lead us to consider how we feel about the “afterlife”.

Do you ever wonder what heaven will be like? Will we see our beloveds once again? Will we see our “unbeloveds” too and what will that be like!! Do you calculate whether or not you’ll even make the cut through the Pearly Gates?

When I think about heaven these two promises of Jesus sustain, comfort and animate me. Maybe you’ll consider their power too as you pray today.

I have come that you may have life,
and have it to the full.

John 10:10

Eternal life is this, that they know you,
the only true God,
and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent.

John 17:3

Poetry: Heaven-Haven (1864) – Gerard Manley Hopkins

A nun takes the veil

I have desired to go
Where springs not fail,
To fields where flies no sharp and sided hail,
And a few lilies blow.

And I have asked to be
Where no storms come,
Where the green swell is in the havens dumb,
And out of the swing of the sea.

Music: Here’s a beautiful piece of music to accompany you in your “considerations”.

Nocturne No.20 in C-Sharp Minor – Frédéric Chopin, played by Joshua Bell

Sacred Tears

November 18, 2021
Thursday of the Thirty-third Week in Ordinary Time

Today, in God’s Lavish Mercy, we pray with Psalm 50, “a prophetic imagining of God’s judgement on the Israelites”. (Wikipedia)

Our first reading from the Book of Maccabees introduces us to Mattathias, revered leader of the Jews in the city of Modein. He violently refuses the Greek Seleucid command to worship their gods, thus initiating the Maccabean Revolt. The wars lasted nearly a decade. Final victory is commemorated in the Feast of Hanukkah:

The Jewish festival of Hanukkah celebrates the re-dedication of the Temple following Judah Maccabee’s (Mattathias’s son)victory over the Seleucids. According to tradition, victorious Maccabees could find only a small jug of oil that had remained pure and uncontaminated by virtue of a seal, and although it contained only enough oil to sustain the Menorah for one day, it miraculously lasted for eight days, by which time further oil could be procured. (Wikipedia)

Our first reading is really describing the beginning of civil and intercultural wars by which dedicated Jews sought to establish both their religion and their nation. Core to their motivation was the desire to be in relationship with their one God according to their own custom and law.


In our Gospel, Jesus has come as the full manifestation of that One God. He has invited the Jewish people to a new and complete relationship with God, but they have resisted.

Now, as he nears his final fate in Jerusalem, Jesus realizes that his dream for the People will not be fully realized. They will experience a destruction like the one once feared by Mattathias. The reality causes Jesus to weep.

Are the passages only about the Jews, their religion and their history?

For us, these passages are about choosing a faithful,
evolving relationship with God
– a relationship that will demand truth,
action and at times suffering
as we pursue ever deeper understanding
of God’s Presence in our lives.

Our world and its culture place many godless choices before us, choices that could make Jesus weep because of the suffering they cause others. These choices are not as easy to identify as they were in the time of Mattathias. They don’t come dressed as a pagan soldier ready to quash our resistance.

They come in the large subtleties of politics, economics, human rights, global relationships. These choices show themselves in the small exercise of our respect, care, and reverence for all Creation. But they do come to us in every moment and they demand our witness.

Jesus wants the new Kingdom to rise in us when we open our hearts to his Word. It is an ongoing and daily Resurrection. Let’s pray for the courage for it!


Poetry: The World Is Too Much with Us – William Wordsworth

Wordsworth wrote this poem during the Industrial Revolution when he felt the complexities of the world were inhibiting our appreciation of the sacredness of nature.

The world is too much with us; late and soon,
Getting and spending, we lay waste our powers;—
Little we see in Nature that is ours;
We have given our hearts away, a sordid boon!
This Sea that bares her bosom to the moon;
The winds that will be howling at all hours,
And are up-gathered now like sleeping flowers;
For this, for everything, we are out of tune;
It moves us not. Great God! I’d rather be
A Pagan suckled in a creed outworn;
So might I, standing on this pleasant lea,
Have glimpses that would make me less forlorn;
Have sight of Proteus rising from the sea;
Or hear old Triton blow his wreathèd horn.

Music:  When Jesus Wept – William Billings

One of the most well-known of the early American canons, originally appeared in the New England Psalm Singer. It was written in 1770 by William Billings, a self-taught singing-school teacher and composer who served as choir leader at Old South Church in Boston.

(Lyrics below)

When Jesus wept, the falling tear
In Mercy flowed beyond all bound;
When Jesus groaned at rambling fear
Seized all the guilty world around.

Per a valued friend:

There is a statue in Oklahoma City called “Jesus Wept.”  It is on the grounds of St. Joseph Church in the city – which is right across from where the Oklahoma City Federal Building had been located.  The people of the parish wanted to erect the statue on their grounds because the memorial on the federal property couldn’t be religious.  It is a very moving statue.