Earth's crammed with heaven ~ and every common bush afire with God... E.B.B.

Saturday, June 30, 2012

WRITTEN FOR A LOVER, COULD HAVE BEEN A MOTHER

here is the deepest secret nobody knows
(here is the root of the root and the bud of the bud
and the sky of the sky of a tree called life;which grows
higher than soul can hope or mind can hide)
and this is the wonder that's keeping the stars apart
i carry your heart (i carry it in my heart)  e.e. cummings
There are moments when my personhood is all motherhood...when I feel the weight or the expanse, the glad grace or the grappling of those I carry in my heart.  Once,  when the path was particularly rough, I shared my mother-worry with a good friend,  a wise priest whose heart is huge.  I didn't know what else I could do and I was keenly aware of my helplessness in the situation.  He gave me a gift that day, some 14 years ago, standing in the rectory kitchen.  Offered so casually, as if stating the obvious, he suggested simply that when I receive the eucharist, God's life in me,  I could intentionally receive for my child[ren] also because we are one...  Just as God entrusts God's life in me, so I was called to entrust and given a way to do so!
It was such a specific, practical illustration of the mystical body of Christ.   I know there are other names for it but for me it is God in all things - holding all things - and the reverse...all things in God.  As Paul wrote  (Acts 17:28) "He is not far from any of us, for in Him we live and move and have our being."  Separation is the myth.  Surely we are distinct, but we cannot forget our belonging, even if we sometimes try. 
As the Irish say, 'If God sends you down a stony path, may he give you strong shoes.'  Strong shoes bring you comfort (strength, hope, consolation) on a stony path.  The old spirituals sing of traveling shoes.  
Sometimes I pick up stones I find on the way, lay them on the shelf, a wall, place them in the garden beds.  There is a befriending between us.  They are beautiful, substantial; and I am grateful for their deep secret. 
I walk over to mass.  The children sing out their glad songs of faith.  It's the end of vacation bible school and our youngest is all in - arms flying in movements, belting out praise; hands folded with conviction as she kneels in the pew to pray; reaching for mine to be connected in this place.  Msgr. says the words slowly, invites the children to listen, just now, in stillness, because God is here, as real as each one of us, in this place, in our hearts, in this bread.  All those children, for a moment, hush. 
I rise to my feet, walk the path to communion.   I take and eat, walk on.  My shoes and I re-souled.
Christ whispers the poets word to me as I chew the dry bread, soak it in the swallow of sharp wine.   
here is the deepest secret nobody knows
(here is the root of the root and the bud of the bud
and the sky of the sky of a tree called life;which grows
higher than soul can hope or mind can hide)
and this is the wonder that's keeping the stars apart
i carry your heart (i carry it in my heart)

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