As Fall Begins…

September 22, 2022

I thought some of you might enjoy this repeat from last year. Happy Autumn, dear friends! May it be a season full of blessings for you.

Today, in God’s Lavish Mercy, as we mark the Autumn Equinox, we pray with verses from our Responsorial Psalm:

Teach us to number our days aright,
that we may gain wisdom of heart.
Return, O LORD!  How long?
Have pity on your servants!

Fill us at daybreak with your kindness,
that we may shout for joy and gladness all our days.
Prosper the work of our hands for us!
Prosper the work of our hands!


"EQUINOX" - the beautiful heft of the word! 
Four malleable vowels and two steely consonants,
softened slightly by a third.
On the fulcrum of a middle "i",
"equ" pushes for balance
against the pressure of "nox",
whose mass bears winter's weighted threat.

However we may read the word “equinox”, it spells “change“. Trees put away their lithesome summer greens, like sleeveless tops folded on September’s shelf. Slowly, they wrap themselves within autumn’s deep gold and umber sweaters, trimmed in warm magenta.

We too return to the enterprise of warmth, of fueling fires, of lighting lamps. What nature gave, and we heedlessly received in bright July, is spent. Some chilled memory of solstice motivates us to prepare.


Our hearts too, in synch or out with seasons, cycle through such changes. This inner rhythm of need and abundance is the music through which the Holy Spirit shapes our understanding of God. As in all graceful dances, there must be a yielding. There must be abandon to the mystery into which each passing step dissolves.

God hums the infinite song in our souls, if we will listen. It is deeper than any single note of joy or sorrow. It is the fluid under-beat of Love which recreates and sustains us in every shifting moment of our lives. We belong to it as the waves belong to the Sea, as the leaves belong to the Seasons.


In Philadelphia, it is a glorious time of year – a perfect vestibule to a season of amazing beauty.  Nature prepares to shed the showy accretions of summer in a multi-colored ritual of leave-taking. It is time to return to the essentials – back to the branch, back to the buried root, back to the bare, sturdy reality that will anchor us in the coming winter.

On each of the coming days, some new layer of green will ignite in a blaze of scarlet or gold then turn out its light for a long winter’s sleep. Nature knows when things are finished.  It knows when it has had enough.  It knows its need for a season of emptying, for a clearing of the clutter, for the deep hibernation of its spirit.


But we humans often ignore the need for an “autumning” of our spirits.  We try to live every moment in the high energy of summer – producing, moving, anticipating, and stuffing our lives with abundance.  

Still simplicity, solitude and clarity are necessary for our spirit to renew itself.  Autumn is the perfect time to prayerfully examine the harvest of our lives – reaping the essentials and sifting out the superfluous. In the quiet shade of a crimson maple tree, we may discover what we truly love, deeply believe and really need to be fully happy.


Take time on these crystal days to ask yourself what is really essential in your life.  Nurture those things with attention and care.  Don’t take them for granted.  After the flare of the summer has passed, these are the things that will sustain you: a strong faith, a faithful love and a loving compassion. Tend them in this season of harvest.

Music: Autumn from The Four Seasons by Antonio Vivaldi

Trust Your Life

Thursday of the Twenty-fifth Week in Ordinary Time
September 22, 2022

Today’s Readings:

https://bible.usccb.org/bible/readings/092222.cfm

Today, in God’s Lavish Mercy, we meet the first of a few readings from Ecclesiastes, written by an author who calls himself Qoheleth – Teacher. The book contains many loved and oft-repeated phrases that we might recognize:

  • There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven
  • He has made everything beautiful in its time.

And today’s kick-off thought:

  • Vanity of vanities ….  All is vanity.

Reading Ecclesiastes places us in the presence of a writer who is a realist at best, and a cynic at worst. Parts of the book can be downright depressing; other parts, elegant in their spare beauty.


We can finish a passage like today’s and hear echoes around us of Star Trek’s Borg mantra: 

Resistance is futile. 

Qoheleth says as much:

What has been will be again,
what has been done will be done again;
there is nothing new under the sun.

The phrase carries at least a little tinge of hopelessness. But I think a lot depends on the way we read it.


Realizing that “things are the way they are” can give us a sense of stability and trust. It can release us from struggling needlessly against realities that will not be moved. It can encourage us to find within these “immovables” the hidden path to a new grace. It can remind us that others have endured; so can we.

What is is

One of our Wisdom Sisters taught us that by naming and accepting our reality, we can move from fighting it into growing from it. She always said, “What is, is” – implying “now deal with it”.

It sounds spartan, but it actually can be very freeing. We can’t change so many things – the weather, the tides, the hearts of others. The years will pass, friendships blossom and fade. We will get old, if we are blessed with that gift. We’ll lose our jump shot and probably some of our hair – maybe a few others things too.

But God will always love us, abide with us and cherish us for eternity. We’re gonna’ make it, one way or the other – because ‘God Who is, is!”


Poetry: Prayer – Galway Kinnell

Whatever happens. Whatever
what is is is what
I want. Only that. But that.

Music: In Every Age – Janét Sullivan Whitaker

The Spread of the Gospel

Feast of Saint Matthew, Apostle and evangelist
September 21, 2022

Today’s Readings:

https://bible.usccb.org/bible/readings/092122.cfm

Today, in God’s Lavish Mercy, on this feast of St. Matthew, Apostle and Evangelist, we are blessed with an inspiring reading from Ephesians. We are reminded that each of us is called in God according to our particular gifts. Paul encourages us to live “in a manner worthy of the call we have received” in our Baptism.

evangel Matthew

For most of us, it has been quite a while since we were washed in the waters of our Baptism. A lot of other waters have passed under the bridge since then. We may, or may not, have recognized and responded to our call, continually carried to us on those life waters.

Each moment, each choice, each act and decision asks us once again to choose Christ – over sin, over self, over meaninglessness. Each life opportunity calls us closer to Jesus, to the pattern of his Cross, to the witness of his Resurrection.


Matthew heard such a call as he sat, perhaps dulled by the unconscious disengagement of his life, by the failure to live with intention and openness to grace. As He passed by Matthew, Jesus reached into that ennui, calling Matthew to evangelize all the future generations by his Gospel.

Jesus calls us to be evangelists too – every moment, every day. Our “Yes” to our particular call writes its own Gospel, telling the Good News through our faith, hope and love.


Pope Francis says this:

The spread of the Gospel is not guaranteed either by the number of persons, or by the prestige of the institution, or by the quantity of available resources. What counts is to be permeated by the love of Christ, to let oneself be led by the Holy Spirit and to graft one’s own life onto the tree of life, which is the Lord’s Cross.


Poetry: The Calling of Matthew by James Lasdun

Not the abrupt way, frozen
In the one glance of a painter’s frame
Christ in the doorway pointing. Matthew’s face
Bright with perplexity, the glaze
Of a lifetime at the countinghouse
Cracked in the split second’s bolt of being chosen.
But over the years, slowly,
Hinted at, an invisible curve;
Persistent bias always favoring
Backwardly the relinquished thing
Over the kept, the gold signet ring
Dropped in a beggar’s bowl, the eye not fully
Comprehending the hand, not yet;
Heirloom damask thrust in a passing
Stranger’s hand, the ceremonial saddle
(Looped coins, crushed clouds of inline pearl)
Given on an irresistible
impulse to a servant. Where it sat
A saddle-shaped emptiness
Briefly, obscurely brimming … Flagons
Cellars of wine, then as impulse steadied
into habit, habit to need,
Need to compulsion, the whole vineyard
The land itself, graves, herds, the ancestral house,
Given away, each object’s
Hollowed-out void successively
More vivid in him than the thing itself,
As if renouncing merely gave
Density to having; as if
He’s glimpsed in nothingness a derelict’s
Secret of unabated,
Inverse possession … And only then,
Almost superfluous, does the figure
Step softly to the shelter door;
Casual, foreknown, almost familiar,
Calmly received, like someone long awaited.

Music: When You Call My Name ~ Brian Doerksen & Steve Mitchinson

Presence

Memorial of Saints Andrew Kim Tae-gŏn, Priest, and
Paul Chŏng Ha-sang, and Companions, Martyrs
September 20, 2022

Today’s Readings:

https://bible.usccb.org/bible/readings/092022.cfm

Today, in God’s Lavish Mercy, our readings instruct us on what it means to belong to God – heart and soul.

Proverbs tosses out a series of minstrel-like two-liners that, because of their simplicity, might be overlooked for their beauty and depth. For example, the first couplet says: 

Like a stream is the king’s heart
in the hand of the LORD;

wherever it pleases God, God directs it.

Would we all not desire that kind of heart, where our thoughts and choices are so directed by God’s power and grace – held and guided into freedom by God’s loving hand? How confident, peaceful and joyful our lives would be!

Psalm 199 discern

Today’s Psalm 119 is a passionate prayer to be guided through an entangling world by our deep loyalty to God’s own truth, learned by meditating day and night on God’s goodness.


Our Gospel, in an often misinterpreted incident, shows us how Jesus considers his true disciples as close to him as his own mother and family.

So today, to deepen our own closeness to God, let us practice making our ordinary life into a constant prayer – allowing it to flow, like water, over God’s tender, guiding hand. 

We can do this by gratefully noticing God’s Presence in nature, in our companions, in the opportunities for kindness, honesty and service  that come to us today. 

Or, sadly, our experiences today might cause us to notice God’s absence in these places. This offers us an incentive to invite, beg and pester God to transform the desert places in our lives and world.

Whichever approach we take, it will open up a constant conversation with God about our life as we experience it at each moment. We begin to listen better to the Word of God revealing itself in our daily life. We begin to live more consciously in God’s Presence… in God’s dear family.

God’s Law is already written deep in the fabric of our lives. We pray for discernment to discover that guiding grace by opening our hearts to God’s Presence in our every experience.


Poetry: All Things – by Hadewijch

All things
are too small
to hold me,
I am so vast
In the Infinite
I reach
for the Uncreated
I have
touched it,
it undoes me
wider than wide
Everything else
is too narrow
You know this well,
you who are also there.

Music: Morning Prayer – Kitaro

Lessons in Love and Light

Monday of the Twenty-fifth Week in Ordinary Time
September 19, 2022

Today’s Readings

https://bible.usccb.org/bible/readings/091922.cfm

Today, in God’s Lavish Mercy, our readings encourage us to live lives of Charity and Light.

Today’s first reading opens two weeks of inspiration from the Wisdom Literature of the Hebrew Scriptures. These books include Job, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, Song of Solomon, and parts of Psalms.

Wisdom literature differs from other books in the Old Testament in that the authors were sages rather than prophets or priests. Priests and prophets typically dealt with religious and moral concerns whereas sages generally focused on the practical aspects of how to live and the intellectual challenges that arise when contemplating the human experience. 

from: compellingtruth.org

Our passage from Proverbs offers a good dose of that sage advice with these basics of mutual charity:

  • Refuse no one the good on which they have a claim
  • Plot no evil against your neighbor,
  • Quarrel not with someone without cause,
  • Envy not lawless persons
  • Choose not their ways …

If we all followed that list, the world would be in pretty good shape. And, in Luke’s Gospel, Jesus says that once we get that shaped-up, we can take it up a notch — into the Light:

No one who lights a lamp conceals it with a vessel
or sets it under a bed;
rather, you place it on a lampstand
so that those who enter may see the light.

Matthew’s version adds this line:

Let your light shine before others,
that they may see your good deeds 
and glorify God in heaven.

So how do I let Charity kindle God’s Light in me? The list from Proverbs can get me started, but what might my own “Charity Challenges” look like?

Poetry: Charity — The Greatest of All Three – Robert Morris

The soul serene, impenetrably just, 
Is first in CHARITY; we love to muse 
On such a model; knit in strictest bonds 
Of amity with spirits like disposed; 
Aiming at truth for her own sake, this one 
Passes beyond the golden line of Faith, 
Passes beyond the precious line of Hope, 
And sets foot unmoved on CHARITY . 
“A soul so softly radiant and so white, 
The track it leaves seems less of fire than light.”


Music: Lampstand – Ben Bigelow

(Spoiler alert: Those who are still able may want to dance by the end of this video!🤩 I just did a very good finger-snapping routine)

“Maginnis”

September 17, 2022

I learned this evening of the death of Bishop Robert Maginnis this past Wednesday. I thought immediately of a moment several years ago that touched my heart very deeply.

About eight years ago, I unexpectedly encountered a priest acquaintance after a hiatus of nearly forty years. He had come to McAuley Convent, our health and retirement facility, to visit his longtime assistant, Sister Mary Antonita. Deceased now, Sister was at that time a stately 96 years old, but living with the compromises of advanced years. Himself in his late eighties, he walked very slowly down the corridor toward me, and I paused to see if I could help.

Greeting him, I recognized something about his eyes, but could not really place him. He paused, catching some labored breaths, and studied my eyes too. “Give me a minute,” he said, quickly following it with “Nathaniel”, my old religious name.

He had the advantage over me, so I just honestly requested, “Help me out with your name.” He simply replied, “Maginnis”. As a wealth of memory and understanding opened in my mind, I smiled and said, “How good to see you again, Maginnis, after all these years.”

You see, this was: 
Robert Patrick Maginnis,
an American prelate of the Roman Catholic Church
who served as Auxiliary Bishop
of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia
from 1996 to 2010.
(Wikipedia)

But the person I saw, as soon as he said his name, was a humble, good man who had served God’s people with generosity and grace. I hadn’t seen him face to face since he was simply “Father”- when I was green with youth and he was just a shade or two deeper! Soft memories of shared times shimmered in my memory… but it was a long time ago.

Still I knew, the way a local Church knows its shepherds, that he had never abandoned his gentle simplicity for the exalted trappings of episcopacy. He had remained a man who fulfilled Pope Francis’s best hopes for priests:

“Always have before your eyes the example of the Good Shepherd,
who did not come to be served,
but to serve and to seek and save what was lost…

Conscious of having been chosen among men and elected in their favor to attend to the things of God, exercise in gladness and sincere charity the priestly work of Christ, solely intent on pleasing God and not yourselves or human beings, other interests.”
(Pope Francis in a homily before the ordination of 16 priests
during Mass in St. Peter’s Basilica April 22, 2018)


And here “Maginnis” was that Saturday, having endured his own challenges with aging, making the effort necessary to visit his faithful friend. As I left them in the warm light by her window, my spirit was confirmed by a grace neither one of them realized they were continuing to give, so natural was their witness to Christian love and service.

Let’s pray for all our priests today, and especially in thanksgiving for Bishop Maginnis. These troubled times have been so hard on good priests like this beloved bishop. May they be strengthened and confirmed in their desire to serve Christ through serving his People.

May Robert Maginnis, a good and holy priest, rest in glory. Amen.

Earthshine & Bling!

Twenty-fifth Sunday in Ordinary Time
September 18, 2022

Today’s Readings:

https://bible.usccb.org/bible/readings/091822.cfm

Today, in God’s Lavish Mercy, our readings make one thing very clear: we cannot serve both God and “mammon”.

The problem is that we have a hard time figuring out what mammon is. Experience tells us that it’s a lot more than just money, because there are people with money who do a good job serving God.

It seems to me that “mammon” is more the illusion that we are only our “possessions” — our money, house, car, looks, degrees, physical abilities — and that we (or anybody else) is nothing without them.

This misperception is so intrinsic to our inability to live the Gospel that it cripples our souls. The love of “mammon” becomes an overwhelming, incurable addiction that feeds on the well-being of our neighbor.

As our first reading tells us, living by this addiction invokes God’s eternal anger. Describing the abuse heaped upon the poor, God warns the abusers:

The LORD has sworn by the pride of Jacob:
Never will I forget a thing they have done!

Amos 8:7

Our Gospel tells us that we can’t have it both ways. We either live within the generosity and inclusivity of God, or we’re outside it:

No servant can serve two masters.
He will either hate one and love the other,

or be devoted to one and despise the other.

Luke 16:13

This is a challenging but fundamental teaching of the Gospel. It is essential that we consider how we live it.

Walter Bruggemann, in his book Money and Possessions says this:

Jesus said it … succinctly. You cannot serve God and mammon. You cannot serve God and do what you please with your money or your sex or your land. And then he says, “Don’t be anxious, because everything you need will be given to you.” But you must decide. Christians have a long history of trying to squeeze Jesus out of public life and reduce him to a private little Savior. But to do this is to ignore what the Bible really says. Jesus talks a great deal about the kingdom of God—and what he means by that is a public life reorganized toward neighborliness. . . .

Let’s have the courage to pray with that thought today. Although challenging, the question is rather simple: how do we use what we have to live a Gospel life, the essence of which Jesus stated like this:

Love God above all things

and your neighbor as yourself.

Mark 12:30-31


Poetry: Cullen in the Afterlife – P. K. Page

(This poet is new to me. She is a Canadian poet whose work is noted for its vibrant images. I liked this poem in which she imagines the experience of finding oneself in the afterlife. She notes the difficulty of embracing Love when hampered by “mammon” which she called “Earthshine”.

And how partake of such a gift when he
was handicapped by Earthshine—wore the stars,
badges and medals of privilege and success?
Desensitizers, brutalizers—all 
the tricks that mammon plays to make one sleep.


Cullen in the Afterlife – P. K. Page

He found it strange at first. A new dimension.  
One he had never guessed. The fourth? The fifth? 
How could he tell, who’d only known the third?
Something to do with eyesight, depth of field.
Perspective quite beyond him. Everything flat
or nearly flat. The vanishing point 
they’d tried to teach at school was out of sight
and out of mind. A blank.

Now, this diaphanous dimension—one
with neither up nor down, nor east nor west,
nor orienting star to give him north.
Even his name had left him. Strayed like a dog. 
Yet he was bathed in some unearthly light,
a delicate no-color that made his flesh
transparent, see-through, a Saran-Wrap self.
His body without substance and his mind
with nothing to think about—although intact—
was totally minus purpose. He must think.

Think of a Rubens, he said to himself. But where
Rubens had been there was a void, a vast
emptiness—no opulence. And then
Cézanne who broke all matter up—
made light of it, in fact. And mad Van Gogh
who, blinded by the light, cut off his ear.
Gone—that shadowy assembly—vanished, done. 
Gone without substance. Like himself. A shell.
Insensate in a flash. (What was that flash—
bereft of all but essence?) Was it death?
He wondered about the word, so filled with breath
yet breathless, breathless, breathless. A full stop.

“Divino Espirito Santo,” he had said
once in Brazil, “Soul of my very soul.”
He’d prayed in Portuguese, an easier tongue—
for newly agnostic Anglos—than his own,
burdened with shibboleths and past beliefs.
“Alma de minha alma”—liquid words
that made a calm within him. Where within?
Was there a word for it? Was it his heart?

Engulfed by love. Held in a healing beam
of love-light. Had he earned such love?
And how partake of such a gift when he
was handicapped by Earthshine—wore the stars,
badges and medals of privilege and success?
Desensitizers, brutalizers—all 
the tricks that mammon plays to make one sleep.
He must wake up. He must expose and strip
successive layers to find his soul again.
Where had the rubble come from? He was like
a junkyard—cluttered, filled with scrap iron, tin.
As dead as any metal not in use.
So he must start once more. He had begun
how many times? Faint glimmerings and dim
memories of pasts behind the past
recently lived—the animal pasts and vague
vegetable pasts—those climbing vines and fruits;
and mineral pasts (a slower pulse) the shine
of gold and silver and the gray of iron.
The “upward anguish.”
                                   What a rush of wings
above him as he thought the phrase and knew 
angels were overhead, and over them
a million suns and moons.

Music: a simple mantra, but powerful if we can live it: Love God, Love Neighbor by Dale Sechrest

Choose to Believe

Saturday of the Twenty-fourth Week in Ordinary Time
September 17, 2022

Today’s Readings:

https://bible.usccb.org/bible/readings/091722.cfm

Today, in God’s Lavish Mercy, Paul strongly confronts the doubts of the Corinthian community regarding the Resurrection.

Someone may say, “How are the dead raised? 
With what kind of body will they come back?”
You fool!

1 Corinthians 15:35

Remember that these post-Resurrection Christians had expected an immediate Parousia, or end of time. They thought that with the completion of Christ’s redemptive act, that was it! Time for heaven for all us believers. Yippee!

Well, not so fast!

When Parousia didn’t happen, the people grew a little confounded. They began to awaken to  the hard lesson  that redemption is not time-bound, but continues in the timeless gift of grace given to new generations. It is up to us to work through our own lives to become one with the Pascal Mystery of Christ.

In the miracle of God’s eternity, each of us has the chance to engage the power of Christ’s Passion, Death and Resurrection by the faithful living of our own lives – no matter if we have lived in the first or the twenty-first century. 


God doesn’t do “time” and doesn’t have a calendar.

But still I feel for those struggling Corinthians! It’s hard to believe sometimes, don’t you agree? It’s hard to wade through the sometimes tumultuous unfolding of our lives and history to find God.

When I taught eighth graders many years ago, one intelligent young girl asked me this question:

What if everything you believe is wrong? 
Was the way you live your life worth it?

It was a powerful question and it has stayed with me for half a century. I continue to ask myself versions of the same question especially when I can’t find God in the circumstances of my life or world – when children are sick, or old people suffer, or human beings dreadfully hurt one another – and I have no answers.

Like the early Corinthians, I ask God, “Where are You? I thought your Resurrection healed all this? I thought You had redeemed our suffering world! 


Paul and Jesus, in our readings today, give us images to help us mature in a long and lasting faith that doesn’t answer but receives these questions with trust and hope.

What you sow is not brought to life unless it dies.
And what you sow is not the body that is to be
but a bare kernel of wheat, perhaps, or of some other kind.

So also is the resurrection of the dead.
It is sown corruptible; it is raised incorruptible.
It is sown dishonorable; it is raised glorious.
It is sown weak; it is raised powerful.
It is sown a natural body; it is raised a spiritual body.
If there is a natural body, there is also a spiritual one.

1 Corinthians 15

By faith, the power of Christ’s Resurrection has been sown in us like a seed. Because we are creatures of time, that power needs time to root itself in every aspect of our lives – our choices, actions, our very nature.

Jesus tells us that God is sowing the seeds of the Resurrection in our lives. Our job is simply provide good soil by choosing to believe and act on God’s Word.

“This is the meaning of the parable. 
The seed is the word of God.
Those on the path are the ones who have heard,
but the Devil comes and takes away the word from their hearts
that they may not believe and be saved.
Those on rocky ground are the ones who, when they hear,
receive the word with joy, but they have no root;
they believe only for a time and fall away in time of temptation.
As for the seed that fell among thorns,
they are the ones who have heard, but as they go along,
they are choked by the anxieties and riches and pleasures of life, 
and they fail to produce mature fruit.
But as for the seed that fell on rich soil,
they are the ones who, when they have heard the word,
embrace it with a generous and good heart,
and bear fruit through perseverance.”

Luke 8:5-11

Poetry: Flickering Mind – Denise Levertov

Lord, not you
it is I who am absent.
At first
belief was a joy I kept in secret,
stealing alone
into sacred places:
a quick glance, and away -- and back,
circling.
I have long since uttered your name
but now
I elude your presence.
I stop
to think about you, and my mind
at once
like a minnow darts away,
darts
into the shadows, into gleams that fret
unceasing over
the river's purling and passing.
Not for one second
will my self hold still, but wanders
anywhere,
everywhere it can turn.  Not you,
it is I am absent.
You are the stream, the fish, the light,
the pulsing shadow.
You the unchanging presence, in whom all
moves and changes.
How can I focus my flickering, perceive
at the fountain's heart
the sapphire I know is there?

Music: Out of Time – Liz Story

God’s Eye-Apple

Memorial of Saints Cornelius, Pope, and Cyprian, Bishop, Martyrs
September 16, 2022

Today’s Readings:

https://bible.usccb.org/bible/readings/091622.cfm

Today, in God’s Lavish Mercy, we pray with Psalm 17, a confident prayer calling on God’s intervention.

The psalmist tenders a plea:

Hear, O LORD, a just suit;
attend to my outcry;
hearken to my prayer 
from lips without deceit. Psalm 17:1

But before reiterating that plea, the pray-er convinces God that she is worthy of an answer:

You have tested my heart,
searched it in the night.
You have tried me by fire,
but find no malice in me.
My mouth has not transgressed
as others often do.
As your lips have instructed me,
I have kept from the way of the lawless.Psalm 17: 3-4


It sounds a little boastful but it really isn’t. The one who prays this psalm is very familiar with God and God with her. There are no secrets between them. She knows that she is infinitely loved and protected, not despite her vulnerability but because of it. 

The psalmist, from long experience, is confident asking for help, as we would be asking a friend to turn and listen to us:

I call upon you; answer me, O God.
Turn your ear to me; hear my speech.Psalm 17: 7


Have you ever been asked for prayers because you are “a good prayer”? 
It happens to nuns all the time.

But no one’s prayer is more powerful than another. We say “Of course” to such requests because it is our intention to join our prayer with that of the requester.

Show your wonderful mercy,
you who deliver with your right arm
those who seek refuge from their foes.
Keep me as the apple of your eye;
hide me in the shadow of your wingsPsalm 17: 8-9

Each of us is God’s “eye-apple”. Each of us, when we give ourselves to a long familiarity with God, will be wrapped in the confidence of one whose prayer is always answered.

( In a second posting, I’ll be sending on an extra meditation on The Eye of God by Macrina Wiederkehr – beautifully profound.)


Poetry: As Kingfishers Catch Fire – Gerard Manley Hopkins

by Alcedo Atthis

As kingfishers catch fire, dragonflies draw flame; 
As tumbled over rim in roundy wells 
Stones ring; like each tucked string tells, each hung bell’s 
Bow swung finds tongue to fling out broad its name; 
Each mortal thing does one thing and the same: 
Deals out that being indoors each one dwells; 
Selves — goes itself; myself it speaks and spells, 
Crying Whát I dó is me: for that I came. 

I say móre: the just man justices; 
Keeps grace: thát keeps all his goings graces; 
Acts in God’s eye what in God’s eye he is — 
Chríst — for Christ plays in ten thousand places, 
Lovely in limbs, and lovely in eyes not his 
To the Father through the features of men’s faces. 


Music:   The Apple of My Eye by Umb-5 and Sam Carter

Sometimes a non-spiritual song captures a spiritual meaning in a beautiful way. Let God sing to you with this lovely song.