Monday, November 8, 2010

Resting in Peace

From moment to moment I remember with astonishment that I am at the same time empty and full, and satisfied because I am empty. I lack nothing. The Lord rules me.
Thomas Merton, Conjectures of a Guilty Bystander, p. 43.

Last night I had a Waking Ned Devine moment - As Jackie says in that great film, "The words that are spoken at a funeral are spoken too late for the man who is dead. What a wonderful thing it would be to visit your own funeral. To sit at the front and hear what was said, maybe say a few things yourself."  It was quite an experience all around, as my dearest friends and fellow workers were all 'appreciated' for their ministry.  Lots of funny moments, kind words heaped upon kind words, feasting in such good company.  One by one each was recognized and stories told of Gods work accomplished through them.   I knew the good of each testimony, and the gratitude for such companions on the way was deeply felt and humbling.  Even so, I sat a bit pensive when my name was called.  After a few introductory remarks the speaker began naming some of the areas of ministry I serve, and asking those whose lives had been touched by each to please stand.  Slowly around me grew a living forest, mature and mighty, firmly planted and glorious to behold.    There I sat, small in their presence rising over me, a canopy of grace covering me - beautiful humanity - work of His hands. 
As Msgr. leaned over the table laughing, and said to me "And you're not even dead yet!"

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

lost and found

Worn out
Head aches - heart aches
everything my eye lands on
seems too monumental to start
I find my sweats
flip flops
head out
end up on the sand
walking along the rocks
dashing it all on the rock
breathing in the salt air
soaking in the sun on my back
cold water wakening shivers of delight
until I am salty
and warm
and wet
at sea with God
who knew where he was leading me
who ever knows
I found this and took it home

Then I remembered this
(ee of course) and smiled

maggie and milly and molly and may
went down to the beach (to play one day)
and maggie discovered a shell that sang
so sweetly she couldn’t remember her troubles, and
milly befriended a stranded star
whose rays five languid fingers were;
and molly was chased by a horrible thing
which raced sideways while blowing bubbles: and
may came home with a smooth round stone
as small as a world and as large as alone.
For whatever we lose(like a you or a me)
it’s always ourselves we find in the sea

As I get older

No, no, there is no going back.
...Now more than ever
you can be generous toward each day
that comes, young, to disappear forever,
and yet remain unaging in the mind.
Every day you have less reason
not to give yourself away.

~ Wendell Berry ~ Sabbath Poems