For the New Year

“For the New Year, 1981”

I have a small grain of hope— one small crystal that gleams clear colors out of transparency.

I need more.

I break off a fragment to send you.

Please take
this grain of a grain of hope so that mine won’t shrink.

Please share your fragment so that yours will grow.

Only so, by division, will hope increase,

like a clump of irises, which will cease to flower unless you distribute
the clustered roots, unlikely source—
clumsy and earth-covered—

of grace.

 

-Denise Levertow

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why can’t I remember this truth…

“This is the feast where we celebrate the commonplace blessed and transformed by the flesh-taking of God.  Straw and manger bed become a throne, ox and ass the gracious hosts, and humble, fumbling humanity the honored visionaries who come to look and, what is more, to see and understand.  The old tensions between sacred and mundane ease, merge and grant us peace.  It is our chauvinism, not God’s, that contrast the earthy to the heavenly and finds it ordinary, banal, and unimaginative.  The divine contradiction is that we find him where we least expect it.  The human condition: our peak experiences, and especially our sorrows, our successes and especially our failures, our “in loveness,” but especially our struggling human relationships this is the manger bed, these the places where we will know him, the Word in human vesture.”

-Gertrud Mueller Nelson “To Dance with God”

Kneeling

Moments of great calm,
Kneeling before an altar
Of wood in a stone church
In summer, waiting for the God
To speak; the air a staircase
For silence; the sun’s light
Ringing me, as though I acted
A great role. And the audiences
Still; all that close throng
Of spirits waiting, as I,
For the message.
Prompt me, God;
But not yet. When I speak,
Though it be you who speak
Through me, something is lost.
The meaning is in the waiting.

-R.S. THOMAS

advent

I wait

with quickened hope
for crooked paths
to straighten,
with tough-soul’d
anguish,
while blinded
keepers of the keys
shut out
God’s own.

(If such a thing were possible.)

I wait,
and will not be
dismayed.

For tiny shoot
of Jesse tree
took root in me
to love
transform,
give sight
set free.

-Sr. Christine Schenk

Advent Antiphons

From Mary’s sweet silence,

Come, Word mutely spoken!

Pledge of our real life,
Come, Bread yet unbroken!

Seed of the Golden Wheat,
In us be sown.

Fullness of true Light,
Through us be known.

Secret held tenderly,
Guarded with Love,

Cradled in purity,
Child of the Dove,

COME!

-Sr. M. Charlita, I.H.M.

sigh….we will wait

 

We will wait. Even so,
Come Lord, come.

In these long, last days
We must bear the weight of sin.
Broken, torn, alone;
Till you bring your peace to reign.

We will wait. Even so, 
Come Lord, come. 

Don’t forget us, Lord. 
Don’t forget us, Lord. 
While we wait. 

We will wait. Even so, 
Come Lord, come.

-Sister Sinjin “In these long last days”

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O church, arise

O church, arise and put your armor on;
Hear the call of Christ our captain;
For now the weak can say that they are strong
In the strength that God has given.
With shield of faith and belt of truth
We’ll stand against the devil’s lies;
An army bold whose battle cry is “Love!”
Reaching out to those in darkness.

Our call to war, to love the captive soul,
But to rage against the captor;
And with the sword that makes the wounded whole
We will fight with faith and valor.
When faced with trials on ev’ry side,
We know the outcome is secure,
And Christ will have the prize for which He died—
An inheritance of nations.

Come, see the cross where love and mercy meet,
As the Son of God is stricken;
Then see His foes lie crushed beneath His feet,
For the Conqueror has risen!
And as the stone is rolled away,
And Christ emerges from the grave,
This vict’ry march continues till the day
Ev’ry eye and heart shall see Him.

So Spirit, come, put strength in ev’ry stride,
Give grace for ev’ry hurdle,
That we may run with faith to win the prize
Of a servant good and faithful.
As saints of old still line the way,
Retelling triumphs of His grace,
We hear their calls and hunger for the day
When, with Christ, we stand in glory.

“O Church, Arise”
Words and Music by Keith Getty & Stuart Townend