Saturday, December 11, 2010

Advent Offering

I come to do your will, O Lord.
So the ancient prophet spake
when he glimpsed your holy birth,
Emmanuel come at last to Earth.

Behold the handmaid of the Lord.
So your blessed mother spake
and in that moment conceived a son,
savior of the world, promised one.

I offer my life to do your will ...
so your children kneeling pray.
Once more to Earth you come in love
with tender blessings from above.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Advent Thoughts

When I was a child,
Advent lasted forever.
O sweet anticipation.
Would Christmas ever come?

When I was a child,
life stretched ahead forever.
Plenty of days to prepare
to face my coming King.

Now the candles dance
brighter week by week.
One and two and three and done.
Are you ready for the Son?

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Advent vigil

He came to us
not in splendor
but in humility,
for we are all humble.

He came to us
not in raging wrath
but weak as a babe,
for we are all weak.

He came to us
not in blinding light
but when darkness was deepest,
for we live in darkness.

Jesus, our Lord,
Come in splendor.
Come in justice.
Come in glory.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Advent approaches

Behold, a voice calling.
His words climb the hillsides,
echo in the valleys.
Repent, cleanse your hearts.

Behold, a voice will call
one day from heaven's door
announcing the last Advent,
the fiery day of the Lord.

Listen, angels are singing.
This is the time between.
Grace flows from a baby's smile.
Go while you can and worship.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Lover of my soul

Lovers are never apart.
Their souls are ever watching,
Aware of their beloved.
Beside each other hand in hand
Or a thousand miles away,
they remain together,
united in love.

You and I are never apart.
For you are ever watching,
Who are named Faithful and True.
When I stumble your hand
holds me with a lover's care.
You keep us together
united in love.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

The Fall

The fall

Humiliated
I double over, stabbed
by sin's sharp blade.
Where can I hide
my shameful wound?
Let the earth swallow me.
Let the mountains fall
and bury me in rubble.

Humble
the Lord stoops down
lower than I can ever fall.
With wounded hands 
He lifts me out of the dust,
Sets me upright once more.
I am enfolded in the arms
of everlasting mercy. 

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Eucharistic adoration

- Monday, November 8, 2010 11:21 AM
In Eucharistic procession

When you are uplifted
Above your people
All eyes turn to you.

Our hands reach out to you
yearning to touch our Lord
In His sacred presence.

The priest processes by us.
For a stunning moment
I know you are passing.

I feel the wind blowing,
the spirit pouring out
your gifts to your people.

How majestic, O Lord
is your tender mercy
To those who trust in you.

From heaven you come down
to walk among your flock
bestowing your blessing.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Housekeeping

Just a word of explanation about the recent lull. Life got busy, plus my laptop died. Life is still busy -- whose isn't -- but the laptop has been replaced with an iPad.

Many thanks to those who have continued to drop by. I like to let my poetry speak for itself, but I deeply appreciate the comments.

My recent poem, It's Love, is inspired by a courageous mother and child battling cancer. In your mercy, pray for them.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

It's love

In the hospital lights burn,
driving away the night.
A mother kneels exhausted
at her child's bedside
and bows her head in prayer.

It's love that gets us through the night.


In the garden
the son of God falls
to the ground arms outstretched,
pleading with his Father,
"Thy will be done."


It's love that gets us through the night.

Her child is dying.
Darkness has entered her soul,
hard as nails, sharp as a spear.
She cannot breathe.
Why has God forsaken her?

It's love that gets us through the night.

On the cross
Jesus bows his head, exhausted.
Darkness assails his soul.
He cannot breathe, yet he calls out,
praying to his Father.


It's love that gets us through the night.

In the depths of black despair,
hear the echo of his prayer,
"Father, into your hands ..."

It's love that gets us through the night.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Waiting

Around the world
the people of God kneel.

They bend like ripe wheat
to the wind of the spirit.

From east to west
the cry rises to heaven:
Christ has died, Christ is risen,
Christ will come again.

Bend down your ear and listen--
Lord, how much longer?
The fields slumber under the sun
awaiting the trumpet blast.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

All soul's day

Christ our light!

we come to your altar,
Each holding a candle,
Sheltering the fragile flame,
The tiny spark of light
Recalls our loss --and hope.

Christ our light!

Loving hands set them down
--bright beacons on each step--
Rest here before the Lord
While mass is said for you,
Rest here and receive grace.

Christ our light!

When we eat this bread and
Drink this wine, we proclaim ...
The wonder of His gift,
That we are joined to Him
And you are joined to Him.

Christ our light!

Shine on then, departed.
When Christ the dayspring dawns,
Your bright beauty returns
And we can once more smile
In that unending morn.

Christ our light!

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Everlasting fire

Fire burns
With hungry horror
Devouring the hell-bound.
Fire burns
Bright as a beacon
Among the souls
Of purgatory
Fire burns
With divine glory
Consuming the saints
In radiant bliss.

Friday, October 8, 2010

Thoughts on a parable

Once fearful I buried my small coin
and quenched the song within my heart,
but songs unsung are a bitter weight,
and gifts change to dust when left apart.

Once too bold I shouted my own tune,
for coins will spend for good or ill,
until I saw how tarnished they grew --
those few worthless coins outside His will.

Fearful still, I've opened wide this purse
for the coins you give us must be spent.
I cast them upon the wind and pray
you will bless with grace my poor intent.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

At the hour of our death

Here on the thin cusp
between life and death
where the failing light
falls into darkness
a voice is praying
--soft and sweet and pure --
a mother watching,
guiding each child home.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Friday, October 1, 2010

Once a wall

Once a wall climbed to heaven.
Again and again my prayers struck it.
Not one of them could get through.
Once a wall blocked the highway
others traveled without care.
I ran into it full tilt.
Rock solid, it would not yield.
My tears could not budge one stone.
At last, battered and bleeding
I limped away in despair.
"Why are you silent?" I asked.
"Why won't you open to me?"
The desert swallowed me up,
dry years parched with endless thirst.
Yet I caught glimpses of you
like a mirage, leading still.
You were there, you brought me through.
The wall is gone. Others walk
the path, singing out their joy.
An altar awaits me now
and you, come down to feed me.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Waiting

They've put him in a box
- these ashes once my friend -
enclosed him in silence.
The mourners tears are shed.
Broken hearts have yielded
to our Lord's loving will.
Sorrowful, we shuffle off
to start our lives anew
despite the empty space.
Resting now he awaits
until the trumpet call
signals resurrection.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

In memory of Marty

Suddenly you are gone
stolen from us by death.
In my heart emptiness.
I grope like one struck blind
but can't find you, my friend.
Only faith can touch you.
Let me fly to the Lord.
He holds you close to Him
and thus we're together.

Eternal rest grant to him, O Lord.
Let perpetual light shine upon him.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

A sorrowful mystery

Did you know there are people -
consider this in sorrow -
who say the church is empty?

I hurry through open doors
and see Him in the distance,
waiting in golden splendor.
Like the doomed rush to rescue,
I rush to his resting place
and bow in adoration.
When I straighten up the air
heavy with heaven's glory
envelopes me like a cloud.

Did you know there are people -
consider this in sorrow -
who say the church is empty?

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Looking around at mass

Can the blind imagine what they can't see?
Can we?

People scattered among the pews,
the priest alone at the altar,
angels veiled in radiant hues,
seraphim chanting the psalter.

Can the blind imagine what they can't see?
Can we?

Candles burning with flickering light,
Statues staring with eyes of stone,
Saints in garments of brilliant white,
apostles kneeling before a throne.

Can the blind imagine what they can't see?
Can we?

The altar holds a cup, some bread,
hands extend, the words are said.
The bread becomes our living Lord,
by seen and unseen, both, adored.

Can the blind imagine what they can't see?
Can we?

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Adoration

Like thunder I explode
into the peaceful chapel.
No one looks up, the roar
reverberates inside me.
Shaking with its growl I drop
to my knees and lift my eyes.
You are there, silent and still,
waiting, patiently waiting.
My soul stills, too, your peace
settles upon me like warm rain,
thunder fades, the silence deepens,
from quiet depths prayer rises.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Before Morning Mass

Holy water cools my brow.
In the chapel candles flicker.
Old knees bend in reverence
as people enter their pews.
They quietly kneel.
Prayer is rising to heaven
without a sound.
Light falls across the altar
where the wine and bread wait.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

The Litany is done!

I've finished my series of 32 poems that are meditations on the Litany of the Sacred Heart.  I hope you've enjoyed them. As you may have noticed, I've created a website at Catholic Poet. (There's a permanent link to the left.) One of the reasons is so I can better organize my poems. If you go there, you'll find the Litany in order from beginning to end, which may make for a better meditative experience.

In addition, it will be easier for me to work on the poems and revise them on the website. So if you want to check on future -- hopefully improved -- versions, that's the place to go.  I tend to revise as the mood strikes me, so I can't say when ... sorry!

While I'm on the subject of the Litany, I chose it because it is one of my favorite prayers, and I hope you pray it often too. You can also find it broadcast daily on EWTN -- check it out.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Reflections on the Litany of the Sacred Heart -- 32

Heart of Jesus, delight of all the saints, have mercy on us ...

Stars tumble
tthrough His fingers.
Galaxies whirl
around His throne.
Angels crowd
closer, adorning.
Saints fall down
and cry "Holy!"
Listen to the saints...
The living are blind.
Their eyes are open.
The living are deaf.
Their ears hear.
The living are dumb.
Their mouths speak.
"Holy is the Lord!"

Friday, August 27, 2010

Reflections on the Litany of the Sacred Heart -- 31

Heart of Jesus, our light and resurrection, have mercy on us ...

First the dead in Christ shall rise --
this is the promise spoken --
up out of graves, from ashes,
up from the depths of the sea,
rising from the ground's grip,
rising from the watery embrace,
up into the endless sky,
above the clouds where light
blazes from the One who waits.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Reflections on the Litany of the Sacred Heart - 30

Heart of Jesus, hope of those who die in you ... have mercy on us!

What do we hope for
when death slides over us
like cold, clear water?

What do we turn to
when the closing door leaves us
within a dark, silent room?

Who do we call on?
On one named savior,
deliverer, emmanuel.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Reflections on the Litany of the Sacred Heart - 29

Heart of Jesus, salvation of those who hope in you ... have mercy on us.

Hope
the sudden spark that flares
just as you think all light has died.

Hope
the rush of fresh air
into lungs that struggle to breathe.

Hope
the upwelling of water
in the parched desert sand.

Hope
the blare of a trumpet
and an angel's cry: Maranatha!

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Reflections on the Litany of the Sacred Heart -- 28

Heart of Jesus, victim of our sins, have mercy on us ...

These days we count the cost of sin
and look around with scornful eye,
quite forgetting to look within
we shout our creed: Did anyone die?

Jesus hung upon his cross
and made his heart a sacrifice
for He knew that we were lost
and redeemed us with His life.

Oh, I who sin and make excuse
yet live to sin another day
must turn to Him and self accuse,
must kneel before his cross and pray.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Reflections on the Litany of the Sacred Heart - 27

Heart of Jesus, our peace and reconcilation, have mercy on us ...

This wicked war that drags
on  through  the centuries
blinds us. Like the shell-shocked
we come to accept hell
exploding around us.

Beaten down we stumble
around in pain, wounded,
half-starved, half-mad, half-dead,
staggering through the land
with ashes in our mouths.

But some see the Dayspring
rising in the darkness,
bringing us welcome peace,
destroying death with life.

Friday, August 6, 2010

Reflections on the Litany of the Sacred Heart - 26

Heart of Jesus, source of all consolation, have mercy on us ...

Like a wounded child flees
to his mother's arms,
I flee, my lord, unto you.

Hold me tight.
Hold me tight,
In your embrace
all things are right.

I hide in your wounds, Lord,
in perfect peace,
with perfect protection.

Hold me close.
Hold me close.
These moments with you
matter the most.

You heal me with a touch
and send me forth--
but stay at my side.

Abide with me.
Abide with me.
There is no life
outside of Thee.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Together

The mass is crowded
with saints, apostles, angels,
deity - and me.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Reflections on the Litany of the Sacred Heart - 25

Heart of Jesus, pierced with a lance, have mercy on us ...

You died, my Jesus,
and Satan - not content -
thrust his wicked lance
deep into your side.

He saw your wounds, Lord,
and called it victory.
Your blood and water flowed
to birth the church, your bride.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Monday, August 2, 2010

Reflections on the Litany of the Sacred Heart - 24

Heart of Jesus made obedient unto death, have mercy on us ...

Everything human in us
wants to cry out "No!"
Time for the trumpet to sound,
the calvary to arrive,
time for the doctor to haul out
his miracle zapper
and fix those paddles right over
the hole in our Lord's heart.

Everything human in Him
obeyed the Father's will,
bid the angels to only watch,
yielded up his spirit,
and thus we are redeemed.

Saturday, July 31, 2010

Reflections on the Litany of the Sacred Heart -- 23

Heart of Jesus, bruised for our sins, have mercy on us ...

A heavy blow,
inner bleeding,
a tender spot.
Memory awakens
at the lightest touch.
We bruise your heart.
You remember us
with healing love.

Friday, July 30, 2010

Reflections on the Litany of the Sacred Heart -- 22

Heart of Jesus which suffered rejection for our sake, have mercy on us ...

We rejected our God,
covered his face with spit,
hit him with our fists,
struck him with a rod.

We rejected our Lord
with scornful insults,
with cruel mockery,
cutting like a sword.

We rejected our king
although he loved us still.
He prayed "Forgive"
under each sharp sting

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Spontaneous prayer

Spontaneous prayer
bombards heaven with my pleas.
Hurled upward, fear dies.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Reflections on the Litany of the Sacred Heart - 21

Heart of Jesus, atonement for our sins, have mercy on us ...

Who can atone
for the evil I've done?
Sins that pile up
and blot out the sun.
In shadow I stand
 mourning lost innocence.
A broken life
twisted and stripped of sense.
He stoops to heal
with gentle hands that bleed.
The holy lamb
has met my need.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Arrow Flight

Like an  arrow aimed
upward to the Son I fly
feathered by sweet prayer.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Reflections on the Litany of the Sacred Heart - 20

Heart of Jesus, fountain of life and holiness, have mercy on us ...

Come and sit by the fountain,
listen to the water flow,
pure water in abundance,
for whoever will bend low --

Bend to drink this crystal water,
drink until your thirsting ends,
bend to cup it in your hands 
offer refreshing to your friends.

Pass on His life with your giving
from the fountain of His side.
Wash your soul in love unstinting,
bathe in the fountain and abide.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Reflections on the Litany of the Sacred Heart - 19

Heart of Jesus, generous to all who call on you, have mercy on us ...


He holds out pierced hands
palms up,extended to you,
love overflowing.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Reflections on the Litany of the Sacred Heart - 18

Heart of Jesus patient and abounding in mercy, have mercy on us ...


Patience -
to sit through lonely nights
to hold a trembling hand
to bend your head to listen
-simple human kindness


Mercy -
to bind up the wounded
to feed the starving
to forgive the humble sinner
- simple human loving


Patience -
to call a sinner home
every day, every hour, every moment
of a cruel, evil life
- holy, divine kindness


Mercy -
to hear their muttered prayer
spoken with their last breath
and grant them grace
-- holy, divine loving

Monday, July 19, 2010

Reflections on the Litany of the Sacred Heart - 17

Heart of Jesus, deepest desire of the human heart, have mercy on us ...


Some say they long for shining gold,
some want beauty's kiss,
health is precious to the old,
and drugs provide deceptive bliss.


All the gifts that life can offer
and our hearts are empty still.
Earth has nothing it can proffer,
no magic wand, no miracle pill.


For our hearts are ever breaking
without the balm that He provides.
Only love can ease the aching,
perfect love where Christ abides.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Reflections on the Litany of the Sacred Heart - 16

Heart of Jesus whose fullness we have all received, have mercy on us ...


All created things long to be filled -
the depths of the Earth drink rain and become oceans,
air settles between the mountains and spills above, enveloping the world,
stars spin out from the center, fleeing across space to fill infinity -
Only the human soul stayed empty -
until You came, precious Lord.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Interlude

Hello! "Interlude" is that rare occasion when I may have a comment to make. Mostly, the poems speak for themselves. I'm about halfway through the Litany of the Sacred Heart, one of my favorite prayers. I view the poems as a meditation on the litany. All the poems on this site are more or less first drafts -- it's the Internet version of the journal I used to keep -- so I don't consider any of them are finished. If and when I come back to a poem, I may well rewrite it beyond recognition. In the meantime, if one speaks to you, feel free to copy it for your personal use.  And thanks for visiting!

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Reflections on the Litany of the Sacred Heart -15

Heart of Jesus, in which the Father is well pleased, have mercy on us ...


Pearl of greatest price,
perfection beyond compare,
haven of the homeless,
listener to our prayer.


Flawless source of truth,
healer of our pains,
shepherd of our souls,
king who ever reigns.


Praises sung forever
and yet scarce begun,
could not yet express
the beauty of the Son.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Reflections on the Litany of the Sacred Heart - 14

Heart of Jesus in which dwells all the fullness of the Godhead, have mercy on us ...


A gentle human heart
A sacred love divine -
undreamed of purest mixture,
O heavenly, precious wine.


My thirsty soul drinks deep
from a cup that's ever full.
His open side feeds
His people here below.


No hunger can surpass
His grace beyond compare.
His fullness fills us up
and gives us peace to share.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Reflections on the Litany of the Sacred Heart - 13

Heart of Jesus in which are all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge, have mercy on us ...


In ancient tales winged dragons guard their gold
and threaten with flame any who dare take hold.


Pirates in their cruel ships steal upon the sea,
and drown their victims without sympathy.


Kings hoard their treasures with wanton greed
and deny even the food their people need.


Jesus enthroned in heaven opens wide his embrace
and from his heart true treasure pours in endless grace.

Friday, July 9, 2010

Reflections on the Litany of the Sacred Heart - 12

Heart of Jesus, king and center of all hearts, have mercy on us ...


You are the center, the king of kings.
Creation flows from your throne,
angels gaze on you in wonder,
the saints fall down before you,
even demons kneel at your feet,
folding their proud wings.


Journey north, south, east or west.
Nowhere will you find
what you seek until
you turn, return, go back to Him
and like the Beloved Disciple,
lay your head upon his breast.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Reflections on the Litany of the Sacred Heart - 11

Heart of Jesus, worthy of all praise, have mercy on us ...


Sing a soaring song,
Pray a perfect prayer,
give your heart to the One
who heals our every care.


Whisper low His praises,
Shout them to the sky,
Proclaim the glory of our King
who ever reigns on high.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Reflections on the Litany of the Sacred Heart - 10

Heart of Jesus, never-ending source of all virtues, have mercy on us ...


Like a mighty flood
sweeping all before it,
your torrential virtue pours
into my empty heart -
sweet waters of blessing,
pure streams of your love,
grace for another start.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Reflections on the Litary of the Sacred Heart - 9

Heart of Jesus, vessel of justice and love, have mercy on us ...


Justice and love fought with each other,
for one was stern, the other mild.
When the guilty came before them,
justice frowned and love just smiled.


Justice spoke for the downtrodden,
love for those who mercy need.
What is one without the other?
Their quarrel before God's throne they plead.


God poured them in a precious vessel
where they joined in sweet embrace.
Justice and love kissed each other,
and became the balm of grace.

Monday, July 5, 2010

Reflections on the Litany of the Sacred Heart - 8

Heart of Jesus, burning furnace of charity, have mercy on us ...


Light a candle in the night.
Light a flame upon the hearth.
Light the torches in parade.
Spread your light over all the Earth.


Let the oceans boil with heat.
Let volcanoes belch out flame.
Let our proudest towers burn.
Let the cities melt in shame.


See the stars like diamonds blaze.
See the galaxies explode.
See the universe consumed
'til all is fire and all is sowed.


But a single spark, it falls
into the light of infinity.
Burning angels cry out "Holy!"
All on fire with love comes to Thee.

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Reflections on the Litany of the Sacred Heart - 7

Heart of Jesus, house of God and gate of heaven, have mercy on us ...


Come, the gate has opened wide.
Such a heart has room for all.
Here's the home so long desired.
Say a prayer and pass inside.


Come, the gate is barred for none.
Call your family, call your foe,
bid them join you in new life,
bid them seek God's only son.


Look beyond the gate where they
stand and pray and wait for you--
all you loved and thought you lost
lies but one strong step away.

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Reflections on the Litany of the Sacred Heart - 6

Heart of Jesus, tabernacle of the Most High, have mercy on us ...


Moving God --
You hurled the stars into the void.
You sent the sun soaring through the depths of space
and set each world spinning in its place.


Moving God --
You poured out the ocean, never to be still.
You raised the mountains up to pierce the sky,
You bid the wind to blow and rivers flow.


Moving God --
You gave us hearts that beat with endless longing,
a soul that ever searches, never done,
until at last we find You in the heart of your Son.

Friday, July 2, 2010

Reflections on the Litany of the Sacred Heart - 5

Heart of Jesus, holy temple of God, have mercy on us ...


Here in the shadowed silence
the Lord sit and listens.
Here the restless feel peace enfold
the seething turmoil of their soul.


Here is the altar ever ready
to receive your sacrifice.
A contrite heart pleases Him,
a whispered prayer cleanses sin.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Reflections on the Litany of the Sacred Heart - 4

Heart of Jesus of infinite majesty, have mercy on us ...


In blackest space new stars take flight
and with their light blazing bright,
worship His majesty.


The flaming sun returns each day
and grateful hearts in wonder say,
worship His majesty.


Cloud-crowned mountains pierce the sky,
down their slopes the echoes cry,
worship His majesty.


At mass each day the faithful come,
to pledge their love to the Son,
worship His majesty.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Reflections on the Litany of the Sacred Heart 3

Heart of Jesus, wonderfully united to the eternal Word, have mercy on us ...


At His command the angels woke to sing
their hymns of praise, which mounted up
until the stars burst into flame.
Then down from heaven's throne He came.


The Word of God, eternal Son, goes forth
to do his Father's will on Earth.
His fingers mold the lifeless dust.
He breathes one breath, the rest is trust.


Trust while the years roll ever past,
trust until the Virgin says amen,
and then the Word descends again.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Reflections on the Litany of the Sacred Heart 2

Heart of Jesus, formed by the Holy Spirit in the womb of the Virgin mother, have mercy on us ...

Behold the handmaid of the Lord.
With her consent, the Spirit enters.
The Word descends, obedient to the Father.
The Spirit hovers, joining them.
In this sacred place it starts.
The eternal takes on humanity.
Suddenly there beat two hearts.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Reflections on the Litany of the Sacred Heart - 1

Heart of Jesus, son of the Eternal Father, have mercy on us...


Eternal Father,
Eternal Son,
In perfect love,
forever one.

Eternal Father,
Eternal Son,
work together
'til all is done.


Eternal Father,
Eternal Son,
a life given,
a victory won.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

The Coronation of the Blessed Virgin

Gentle mother, come and sit
upon this throne at my right hand.
Wear the crown I've made for you,
become the queen of every land.

Beloved son, I'll do your will,
but grant one favor, this I pray -
let me leave my throne that I
may guide my children on their way.

Gentle mother, wise and true,
I'll grant you this request
if you will help them be like you,
so gentle, pure and blessed.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

The assumption of the Blessed Virgin

Upward from the Earth she came
and awestruck angels whispered her name.
Welcome, Mary, heaven's queen.

Rejoicing souls who'd waited long
to enter heaven joined in the song.
Welcome, Mary, heaven's queen.

Adam and Eve with eyes downcast
greeted the virgin unsurpassed.
Welcome, Mary, heaven's queen.

Prophets, kings and saints of old
rejoiced her victory to behold.
Welcome, Mary, heaven's queen.

While millions sang, she saw but one,
her gaze stayed on her own dear son.
Welcome, Mary, heaven's queen.

Friday, June 18, 2010

The descent of the Holy Spirit

I've watched a baby's eyes widen
when you come at baptism
to cleanse.

I've watched a grown man weep
when you come in baptism
to fill.

They say you came the first time
in the roar of wind and fire
at Pentecost.

To me, you came in the touch
of a gentle hand and sweet oil
to anoint.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

The Ascension

Don't leave us - our heart cry -
stay today, tomorrow,
forever for we can't see
what lies beyond the sky.

You bless us and you go,
rising into the clouds -
vanished - we're left alone,
your children lost below.

No, you promised to be
with your people always.
I received you today -
my lord - on bended knee.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

The resurrection

Out of the darkness comes
A glimmering hint of dawn.
The watchmen at the tomb
see it and take hope.

This long night will finally end.

Whose heart doesn't lift
at the coming of the light?
Yet the greatest dawn of all
was hidden in a tomb.

This long night will finally end.

Did the angels watch hushed?
Did the souls in limbo weep
with joy to see his victory?
He rises and life no longer dies.

This long night will finally end.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

The Crucifixion

He hangs alone
stripped of all he had,
naked and vulnerable.
I am an offering.

A crown of thorns,
a body pierced and torn,
still he thirsts for souls.
I am an offering.

Avenging angels wait
for his command.
Instead he speaks forgiveness.
I am an offering.

Death, forever hungry,
leaps at the prize
and eternal life begins.
I am an offering.

Friday, June 11, 2010

The carrying of the cross

Kings, queens and fishermen,
each one carries a cross,
and staggers on a weary road
of battles won or lost.

And when we climb the hill
and gaze into the night,
the mourners don their robes
and cowards shake in fright.

Lord, wither can we go
to flee our certain fate?
Your cross a refuge sure
for those who pray and wait.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

The crowning with thorns

A king's crown should be made
of flashing gems, of purest gold,
bright as angel's wings,
stupendous to behold.

They wove his crown of thorns,
prickly as the human heart,
the rose turned hard and cold,
creation ripped apart.

The garden we destroyed,
the mockery borne in our stead,
the torture of our fall,
came down upon his head.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

The scourging at the pillar

The soldier grunts
and swings the lash
with the cruel strength
of those who hate.

Why have you, why have you deserved this fate?

His comrades jeer
and mock and count
each cutting blow
with vicious glee.

What have I, what have I done to thee?

His blood splatters
upon the ground,
the soldier's face,
the ancient stones.

Is this how, is this how the lamb atones?

Monday, June 7, 2010

The agony in the garden

A tranquil garden,
the wind fragrant with flowers,
the vines groaning with fruit,
bird-song mingling with the laughter
of a man, a woman and a snake.

A rocky garden,
the wind heavy with a city's stink,
the vines shriveled and dry.
A man kneels beneath a gnarled tree,
whispering a prayer.

Death came despite the beauty.
Life came from His agony.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

The Institution of the Eucharist

Families
joined by body
joined by blood
sit together at table.

At this table
His body joins us,
His blood unites us
together at His table.

Saturday, June 5, 2010

The Transfiguration

What is hidden shall be revealed, says the Lord.

He kneels in prayer.
Light breaks over his skin,
shattering the darkness,
a new dawn blazing
on the mountaintop,
humanity engulfed
in a cloud of glory.
His eyes are shining stars,
The anointing of God
glistens in his hair.
Healing pulses flame-bright
between his hands,
His face a blinding sun,
transfigured.


When we see Him, we shall be like Him,
says the Lord.

Friday, June 4, 2010

The proclamation of the kingdom

Listen, all peoples, and be glad
in the dark depths of the night.
You begged for an audience with God.
The Father sends you his delight.

He walks among you to touch.
He walks among you to teach.
He walks among you to heal.
Listen to the Word that's preached.

Sit on the hills to hear Him.
Sit by the seaside to pray.
Stand in the crowds to touch Him.
Stay with him, O never stray.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

The marriage feast at Cana

All around her people --
laughing
dancing
eating
drinking,
lost in their own pleasures.

She alone looks to see
the wine
vessels
nearly
empty
and goes to her son.

"Do as He tells you."
Simple
words
to draw
his grace.
Water turns to wine.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

The baptism in the Jordan

Down into the water
we go, one by one
following our Lord,
who went before us
as our example.

Water engulfing us,
water drowning us,
until we die
and rise anew
as He rose before us.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

The Finding of Jesus in the Temple

Lost, the joy of my heart,
The world now looms so large
I need you at my side.
How can I live apart?

The Lord is in His holy Temple, 
let all the Earth keep silence before him.


I run from place to place,
I search the tents and roads,
I seek only one thing,
a glimpse of your dear face.


The Lord is in His holy Temple, 
let all the Earth keep silence before him.

The city holds no peace,
Jerusalem -- a lie--
as day gives way to night,
my search will never cease.

The Lord is in His holy Temple, 
let all the Earth keep silence before him.

Until I lift my gaze
unto the Temple height
where you are, teaching truth,
and where you are always.

The Lord is in His holy Temple, 
let all the Earth keep silence before him.
Keep silence, 
keep silence, 
keep silence before him.


Monday, May 31, 2010

The Presentation

Within the temple's sunlit court
a prophet stumbles forward,
his bones stiff with age.
His gnarled hands reach out,
the fingers trembling.
Mary hugs her child closer.
Her lips whisper a petition.
She's come to Jerusalem
to offer him back to God.
Her arms open. The prophet
takes the child and lifts him up.
The baby's heart beats faster.
Here am I, come to do thy will.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

The nativity

The cold stars
The rough straw
a child shivering ...
is this, then, all?
The journey long
I have made
to join with slaves
who kneel afraid?
Tears reveal my sense of loss ...
the star when blurred becomes a cross.

Saturday, May 29, 2010

The Visitation

I was sitting,
resting the ache of old bones
the babe within heavy
when I heard her step,
light and quick.

Looking up, I saw her,
so young, my dear cousin,
her smile a blessing,
and in her eyes a light
that penetrated my heart,
like a shaft of breaking dawn.

The babe within me
leapt up, I swear, leapt
for joy.

Friday, May 28, 2010

The Annunciation

The long-awaited day dawns.
Head bowed, Mary kneels.
In the reverent stillness
her heart beats, yes, yes, yes ...

Light explodes around her
vanquishing the shadows.
The fearsome angel speaks
between stumbling heartbeats.
Heaven grows still to hear
her whispered yes, yes, yes ...

Thursday, May 27, 2010

The storm

Lord, help me when like Peter I take my eyes off you.

The storm is here
the boat awash
but the master of the storm
ride with me.

The waves are high
the thunder loud
but the master of the storm
rides with me.

Soon He will rise
bid peace, be still
for the master of the storm
rides with me.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Prisons

Lord, I thank you that you save us even from those prisons that we build ourselves.




From Joseph
to Paul
there were prisons,
long years
locked away,
enforced solitude,
days of waiting,
nights of watching,
for you
who came
who always come
with deliverance.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Broken Streets

O Lord, your feet were nailed to the cross to show us the beginning of the only true path.

Broken streets we walk upon
on wounded feet
toward a dawn
that ever dims and fades away --
the false light of
deceiving day.

Your Sorrowful Street makes us whole
to walk there heals
a wounded soul.
It leads us to a city fair --
eternal day is dawning there.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Forgiveness

How slowly our hearts open to your love, O Lord

Forgiveness is
a fragrant blossom
sweetly covering
barren branches,
the promise of
much fruit to come.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Poem 1

Life is a journey whose beginning we don't remember. Yet every life has its first moment of awakening.

I struggled in my cage
and turning saw you 
sadly standing in the road.


I think you wanted me
to come. The grey hills
slept in the soft dawn mist.


Somewhere a bird cried
a love song to the sky.


After you had gone I
leaned against the bars
and wept.
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