Saturday of the Fourteenth Week in Ordinary Time

Saturday, July 10, 2021

Today, in God’s Lavish Mercy, we pray with Psalm 105, using some of its earlier verses than yesterday’s.

Verses 1-15 tell the same story as 1 Chronicles 16:8–22:
“a ‘canonical’ inventory of YHWH’s faithful, transformative actions.”
(Brueggemann, From Whom No Secrets Are Hidden)


As the faith community recounts this inventory, again and again down through the ages, we are deepened and strengthened in our grateful love for God Who abides.

Today’s readings once again invite us to count our blessings, and to repeat the practice daily.

Doing so allows us to hear the music of God’s omnipotent love, swirling grace through every chord of our lives.

We are summoned
to glory in that Loving Presence;
our spirits dancing
in thanksgiving.


Give thanks to the LORD, invoke God’s name;
    make known among the nations God’s deeds.
Sing to God, sing praise,
    proclaim all God’s wondrous deeds.
Glory in God’s holy name;
    rejoice, O hearts that seek the LORD!
Look to the LORD’s strength;
    seek to serve God constantly.

Pslam 105:1-4

Poetry: Forever Dance from D. Ladinsky, I Heard God Laughing – Renderings of Hafiz

I am happy even before I have a reason.
I am full of Light even before the sky
Can greet the sun or the moon.
Dear companions,
We have been in love with God
For so very, very long.
What can Hafiz now do but Forever Dance.


Music: Dance of Innocents – Nawang Khechog and Peter Kater

Fourteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time

Sunday, July 4, 2021

Today, in God’s Lavish Mercy, we pray with Psalm 123. 

… eyes fixed on the Lord, pleading for mercy.

Psalm 123:2

This starkly passionate response, repeated throughout the psalm, struck an image in my imagination – an ardent tango with the Beloved, eyes fixed in hope.


Often in my prayer I just dance or sing with God – sometimes with sound and movement, sometimes in still silence. The dances are varied depending  on the prayer and the day’s circumstances.  

Today’s readings, filled with Israel’s resistance, Paul’s thorn, and Nazarene recalcitrance drew an energetic tango in my mind.

It is a dance between Mercy and Resistance. In my prayer, I searched for where that dance resides in me.


Music: Tango to Evora – Loreena McKennitt

Monday of the Sixth Week of Easter

May 10, 2021

Today, in God’s Lavish Mercy, we pray with Psalm 149, next to the last psalm in the Psalter. I feel the Psalter’s compiler wanted to have a perfectly clear last few words: God really loves us!

“Delight” is such a vibrant word – to be lit up inside by tenderness and joy! Think of God, heart-warmed by us the way a sweet child delights her mother; the way a perfect rose enthralls its gardener.


For today’s prayer, we might choose to imitate the worshippers in our psalm, repeating God’s name in joy, allowing our spirits to dance in gratitude:

Let them praise God’s name in the festive dance,
    let them sing praise to God with timbrel and harp.
For the LORD loves this people,
    and adorns the lowly with love’s mantle.

Psalm 149: 3-4

Prose: Crazy About You – Max Lucado

If God had a refrigerator, your picture would be on it. 
If God had a wallet, your photo would be in it. 
God sends you flowers every spring and a sunrise every morning. 
Whenever you want to talk, God listens.
God can live anywhere in the universe, and chooses your heart. 
Face it, friend. 
God’s crazy about you.

Music: God Delights in Me – Sovereign Grace Music

Psalm 149: Let’s Dance Again!

Saturday after Epiphany

January 9, 2021

Today, in God’s Lavish Mercy, we pray with Psalm 149.

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

Psalm 149: Let’s Dance!

Thursday of the Thirty-Third Week in Ordinary Time

November 19, 2020


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

And David Danced…

Memorial of Saint Thomas Aquinas, priest and doctor of the Church

January 28, 2020

Click here for readings

Today, in Mercy, vigorous, grace-filled David dances with abandon before the Lord.

David danced

It is an image so rich that the rest of the passage must await another day for prayer.
Just to pause with that dancing image, to consider all the ways God longs to dance with us throughout our lives, and we with God — dances of both:

joy and sorrow,
faith and questioning,
hope and shadow.

…dances in which we must abandon ourselves to the sacred music of the moment, and respond to God’s mysterious, leading step.

Whatever the emotion we bring to prayer, what matters is only that we carry it close to God’s heart, listening to our circumstances for the Divine Heartbeat.

Each of our prayer-dances is so personal, so sacred. I thought a few poems might be good today as you treasure your own dances with God. Perhaps one of the poems will resonate with you where you are at this moment in your Lifesong.


IMG_2324I Long for You

Powerless
to reach any further,
longing shakes
my soul.
You are so near,
but, paralyzed,
I cannot touch you.

 I feel you,
Electric,
in the veins of my life.
but, paralyzed,
I cannot touch you.

 I cannot stand that
You be a symphony
I, lonely, rest in.

 I want to dance with You.
~ Renee Yann, RSM


IMG_2325After a Chilling Death

You look so beautiful, God
so young,
sky swaddled, like a young brave
awaiting the future
on a smoky horizon.
I can’t stop
looking at You.

I can’t stop waiting,
as if crowds held their breath in me,
for clouds to fall open and for
your Celestial Body to be revealed,
diamond moon at the navel.

My breath stretches
like transparent skin,
toward the hope of You,
the memory of You,
magnified by faith and need.

I can’t stop
waiting for You
to dance toward me in the darkness,
to take these frozen fingers
to your jubilant, holy lips
and kiss them back to life.

No grave can make me stop
looking at You,
even though gravesmen
throw dirt in my eyes and say
that I see things where things are not.
I know You are there
in the tantalizing darkness.
~ Renee Yann, RSM



IMG_2326
At the still point of the turning world.
Neither flesh nor fleshless;
Neither from nor towards;
at the still point, there the dance is,
But neither arrest nor movement.
And do not call it fixity,
Where past and future are gathered.
Neither movement from nor towards,
Neither ascent nor decline.
Except for the point, the still point,
There would be no dance,
~ T.S. Eliot



IMG_2327Easter Exultet

Shake out your qualms.
Shake up your dreams.
Deepen your roots.
Extend your branches.

Trust deep water
and head for the open,
even if your vision
shipwrecks you.

Quit your addiction
to sneer and complain.
Open a lookout.
Dance on a brink.

Run with your wildfire.
You are closer to glory
leaping an abyss
than upholstering a rut.

Not dawdling.
Not doubting.
Intrepid all the way
Walk toward clarity.

At every crossroad
Be prepared
to bump into wonder.
Only love prevails.

Enroute to disaster
insist on canticles.
Lift your ineffable
out of the mundane.

Nothing perishes;
nothing survives;
everything transforms!
Honeymoon with Big Joy!
~ James Broughton


Music: No Reason Not to Dance – Kathryn Kaye

Come to the Feast!

Tuesday, November 6, 2018

Click here for readings

Today, in Mercy, we are back at “the banquet” – that divine communion where we are all one in God – even the poor, crippled, lame and blind from yesterday’s reading.

Lk14_15 dine kingdom

But there’s a little different twist to this story.  This time, we are the ones invited, but we fail to attend due to multiple bogus excuses:

  • we’ve gotten married
  • we bought a cow
  • we bought a field
  • we bought not one, but FIVE yoke of oxen

You get the gist… all those preoccupying duties that keep us bound. Not to make a pun, but, Holy Cow, given all my responsibilities, how could I ever make it to “the banquet”!

The truth is that what keeps us from “the banquet” is fear:

  • fear that we might be associated with Jesus
  • fear to sit at the same table with his motley companions 
  • fear that some loyalty might be demanded of us

and the basis of all fears –

  • that we aren’t good enough, holy enough,
    strong enough to be what Jesus desires.

Oh, Friends, let us not be deterred by fear or any other preoccupation from the invitation of a lifetime! Let us approach the table of God with a humble and open heart. God has the banquet garment ready for us. The celebration is ready. All we have to do is sit down and listen to the Divine Music. The rest will come. We will learn how to dance with God.

Music: Dancing with God – sung by Briege O’Hare, OSC,  based on the writings of Mechthild of Magdeburg, a Beguine and Christian medieval mystic whose book Das fließende Licht der Gottheit (The Flowing Light of Divinity) described her visions of God.

I cannot dance, O Lord, unless you lead me
And if you want me to leap for joy,
Then you must be the first to dance and to sing
And I will follow you; in their echo I will ring.

Then, only then,
Then, only then,
Then, only then, will I leap for joy!

I cannot sing, O Lord, unless you lead me
And if you want me to sing for joy,
Then you must be the first to sing out your song
And I will follow you and sing right along.

Then, only then,
Then, only then,
Then, only then, will I sing for joy!

Lead me Lord in your joyful dancing.
I will follow in your dance of life.
Then all my living will be true to you,
My loving God.

(Repeat Verse 1)
Leap for joy!
Will I leap for joy!

Courage to Dance?

Wednesday, May 9, 2018

Readings: http://www.usccb.org/bible/readings/050918.cfm

Today, in Mercy, we follow Paul to Athens where he preaches a beautiful and reasonable sermon to the thoughtful Greeks. These were people proud of their intellects and dedicated to philosophy. They desired a reasonable god, a god that they could control and explain.

But the Christian God is not reasonable. God is infinite mystery plumbed only by abandoning ourselves to faith, trust, hope and love. Our God will not be controlled by theses, explanations or definitions. Our God will not be “ordered”, but rather invites us to the abundant chaos of Divine Life. Only a few Athenians had the courage to meet this God.

In our highly intellectualized, scientifically ordered society, there are fewer brave believers today. It takes a large mind and soul to embrace the dance of both reason and faith. Are you one of the dancers?

Acts 17_28 Dance

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=cwiE54S1h5s