rounding

I ask each of the icons above my desk
a personal question: That nimbus around
your solemn head-is it gold beaten so air-thin
it’s only a wisp of wafer, like the round
leaf of fiber floated onto our tongues
at the alter? A circle-in a wedding ring
it speaks for a union without flaw. But if
it gets worn, lost, broken, may it be mended?
And the moon, fat as a pearl, a grape, a wheel
of cheese-in two weeks gnawed away a bit more
every night, like a wheat cracker, by
the mice of heaven-by what mystery is it fleshed out
to roundness like the planets the suns?

At Eucharist the priest holds high, in his thin
hands, a disc almost as big as a dinner plate.
He bends this little sun vertically in half
and half again; it cracks each time with a sound
that splits the sanctuary like a sharp arrow, and us
with it. We take this broken Son onto our tongues,
swallowed, into our gut. Eating, we are made whole,
as we join bodily the holy Circle of God.

-Luci Shaw, from: What the Light was Like

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acknowledging our brothers and sisters

“We often wonder what we can do for others, especially for those in great need.

It is not a sign of powerlessness when we say: “We must pray for one another.”  To pray for one another is, first of all, to acknowledge, in the presence of God, that we belong to each other as children of the same God.  Without this acknowledgement of human solidarity, what we do for on another does not flow from who we truly are.  We are brothers and sisters, not competitor or rivals.  We are children of one God…”

-Henri Nouwen, Here and Now

deliver me

From the cowardice that dare not face new truth,

From the laziness that is contented with half truth,

From the arrogance that thinks it knows all truth,

Good Lord, deliver me.

– Kenyan Prayer, Oxford Book of Prayer