practicing the presence..

The only condition necessary
for this state of self-surrender
is the present moment in which the soul,

light as a feather,
fluid as water,
innocent as a child,

responds to every moment of grace
like a floating balloon.

-J.-P. de Caussade

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thanks be to God

If everything is lost, thanks be to God
If I must see it go, watch it go,
Watch it fade away, die
Thanks be to God that He is all I have.
And if I have Him not, I have nothing at all.
Nothing at all, only a farewell to the wind
Farewell to the grey sky
Goodbye, God be with you, evening October sky.
If all is lost, thanks be to God,
For He is He, and I, I am only I.

— Dom Julian

Darkly in a mirror

My bondage killed, my burden beared,
He takes me through the waters,
As one spared.
Through the sea, upon dry land
He carries me across with nail pierced hands.
The waters close, my foes displaced,
He turns to me in warm embrace.
Yet there forms upon my face
A frown, and my lips proclaim:
“What is so lovely about my Lord?”

He lifts me out of mud and mire.
Anoints my head with oil.
In fire, he purges my soul of every filth,
Every pain, and every guilt.
With clean apparel and a raised head
I turn to others in His stead.
And then my lips proclaim:
“What is so lovely about my Lord?”

He fills me with every mirth and joy.
A sun to shine, a bed to rest.
Holding my heart in His hands,
He bids it beat again and again.
He grants me friends and strength
And the beauty of life with his love.
I take one rest from all these joys to proclaim:
“What is so lovely about my Lord?”

He covers me in the tent of His love
As the storm gathers to draw every flood.
And as my tears flow without end,
I sit alone as every friend
Deserts me in my time of distress,
And yet,
He remains.
Bidding me rest in the comfort of His peace.
A friend with love that does not cease.
And as He wipes my every tear,
And moves to abate my deepest fears,
I look upon His face,
And then I ask:
“What is so lovely about You Lord?”

And then my years approach their end.
And as the darkness closes in,
My accusers rise, my failure, and sin,
To trouble my heart of what stands,
Behind the door, in foreign land.
And as I tremble, failing to see,
That faithful friend proclaims softly:
“There is no condemnation to those in Me”

With that He holds my hand to cross,
Into the land of the living.
Into eternal bliss,
My soul enters, and is transfixed
On a beauty so great and wondrous,
To make me kneel in its presence!
And as I gaze upon the face
Of the One whose glory fills this place,
My heart exults.
My eyes flood.
And then I know.
I know I’ve seen this face before.
I then proclaim:

“There is none more lovely than my Lord!”

 

-Rodney Evans

we will feast…

We will feast in the house of Zion
We will sing with our hearts restored
He has done great things, we will say together
We will feast and weep no more 

We will not be burned by the fire
He is the LORD our God
We are not consumed, by the flood
Upheld, protected, gathered up 

In the dark of night, before the dawn
My soul, be not afraid
For the promised morning, oh how long?
Oh God of Jacob, be my strength

Every vow we’ve broken and betrayed
You are the Faithful one
And from the garden to the grave
Bind us together, bring shalom.

-Beautiful song by Sandra McCracken found here

Mystery, Yes

Truly, we live with mysteries too marvelous
to be understood.

How grass can be nourishing in the
mouths of the lambs.
How rivers and stones are forever
in allegiance with gravity
while we ourselves dream of rising.
How two hands touch and the bonds
will never be broken.
How people come, from delight or the
scars of damage,
to the comfort of a poem.

Let me keep my distance, always, from those
who think they have the answers.

Let me keep company always with those who say
“Look!” and laugh in astonishment,
and bow their heads.

-Mary Oliver