Withstanding the desire for revenge
Mercy like patience takes practice. As a species we can be more inclined towards justice (or revenge) when applied towards others, and reserve mercy for ourselves. We all seek to be understood, but to understand others can be an uphill climb, difficult and arduous. Justice can be applied when mercy is also not forgotten. Self knowledge, the ability to look within and see what lurks there is not always easy. Yet when practiced it allows mercy to flowe
Within the soul is the struggle fought,
Deeply buried from the eyes of others.
The climb into the light,
Or decent into darkness,
Both realities on the pilgrims journey.
The road difficult
Littered with failures,
Wandering at times into darkness
Threatening its cold touch,
Feeding thoughts of despair,
Deeper still in quiet infinite,
The sword of light
Dimly shinning yet seen
Pushes back the enclosing doom,
Cutting to the morrow its truth,
Are we evil or are we good?
The human heart, is it filled with love,
Or is indifference to others it natural state?
Concerned only for its own,
Caring not for those who are other.
Love for our own,
Parents for their children,
Children for their parents,
Love between husband and wife,
The deep sharing with friends,
Our tribe, nation, religion, family,
Is not the love we are called to.
Love and need often go hand in hand,
A grace to be treasured,
The pain of the world,
Weighs heavily in all our hearts,
Some more in touch than others
With its depth.
Many hide from its sting
Anything to keep empathy,
That if allowed to grow
Will make the heart bleed,
Moan for all their brothers and sisters,
Suffering with no one to help,
Or to be with.
Does God weep?
Being present to all,
No way to deflect
Of all the children
With chains unbound
down alleyways of pain
leading to emptiness,
the fruit despair.
Yet the one thing necessary,
the inner confrontation,
avoided at all cost.
with chains unbound
too much to bear,
demands the release of everything
that keeps us chained.
The doe stood still,
As I slowly walked by that moonlight night,
Her graceful body finely sculptured,
With perfect curves.
The illusion of delicacy created by its simple beauty and symmetry,
A deadly illusion if tested,
For strong of muscle and sharp of hoof,
With razor edges sharpened is she weapon-ed,
Created for either defense or flight,
To a degree perfected beyond man’s simple powers.
A creature wild, apart from our projections of gentle beauty,
The icy wind in winter,
Shows the beauty of the heat of the sun,
As it warms the skin against the winds chill.
The dark blue winter skies
Highlight the symmetry of stark branches
Adorning trees in winter’s embrace,
A work of art,
So common yet each unique,
Their simple presence bringing joy.
The dancing leaves
Also have their whirling song
That soothes shattered nerves,
Quieting the mind in contemplation.
In warm beds with covers thick,
Bring a peace no
Winter evening walk Christmas Eve 2009
It was very cloudy this Christmas eve of 09, some wind, looking like rain soon a-coming. The clouds looked pregnant, heavy and dark; just the way I like them. The ground wet, I could feel the damp cold in my feet, emerging through my shoes and socks, as I slowly made my away around the road. After a time I left the road to walk towards a small grove of pine trees that were planted over 20 years ago and are now quite tall and beautiful. The grove ha
Growth is a slow process. This is no less true when seeking to live out of a tradition that encourages growth in love and compassion. It is not about some sort of ‘willful’ choice to simply “do it”, to make some sort of decision and then that it is it. Willfulness can work for awhile, bus as time goes by and situations change, it grows weary and cumbersome to live from that space. It is like picking up a penny and willing something quite simple and easy. Holding out ones arm and holding the
Well it was quite a morning with William, for you never know what to expect when it comes to taking care of his nursing needs. As his disease progresses, his symptoms will of course become more pronounced and painful for all involved. This morning while cleaning him, or perhaps ‘attempting’ is the better word, he put on quite a performance, that was in no way acting but came from the deepest recesses of his soul, confused as it might be. His perception of what was going on, something I will neve
When you sing God laughs with joy
Tonight William was singing softly as we put him to bed.
Peaceful and happy this nice evening. When he sings I like to say to him:
"William, when you sing, God laughs with joy"
Sometimes when I say that this eyes open up amazed and he sings louder.
I think it is his way of praying now. Sometimes he cries when he sings,
almost a wail, at others, he laughs, then there are the days like tonight,
when his singing is peaceful and
William and volleyball
I went into his room early this morning to check up on him. His moods, because of his dementia (add to that his bi-polar diagnosis) are getting more pronounced as time goes by. So when I ask how he was doing, I got a very aggressive response and was told in so many words, to get out of the room and leave him alone. His bed was a mess so I had to fix it up for him and he fought me all the way. So I just talked to him as I worked, tried to stay out of his swing and
Will joyfully give them selves over
"Only in Christ can men and women find answers to the ultimate questions that trouble them. Only in Christ can they fully understand their dignity as persons created and loved by God. Jesus Christ is "the only Son from the Father…full of grace and truth."—John Paul II. World Youth Day, 1993. Denver, Colorado.
John Paul II had a deep love and respect for everyone. He knew that hidden in each person that he met was the reality of Jesus Christ. Thou
Will I be washed away?
I wish my heart was open
Allowing tears to flow.
A healing flood I deny myself,
The key hidden I know not where.
One day possibly it will not matter,
For the barrier will crumble perhaps.
I sense cracks forming in the dikes,
Allowing whatever behind to flow in freedom,
If only a little.
What is it like,
Will I be washed away?
In so many ways communicated tears.
She often calls me on the phone,
Sometimes I ignore her for a day or two,
Just to get some space from her fearful clinging.
I have known her for over 15 years,
A pretty woman,
With enough struggle for three lifetimes.
She lives from month to month,
The motel in which she lives made for such as her,
Her whole life contained in one small room,
Tiny kitchen corner,
Bathroom and TV,
Her things in bags along the wall.
Barely holding on,
Many like her eventuall
Why would they
People, who are at peace with themselves and know themselves, don't need to gossip, why would they? The more I am aware of my own inner struggles and failures, the less I need to look down on others, since I know that they are mirrors of my inner world, though perhaps hidden in the hidden ocean we call the unconscious. Seeing something in another may be true, it is in the harshness of the judgment that we get into trouble....for we are judging ourselves I believe. We live
Why the blind man danced
When the blind man danced after being healed,
he forgot all else but this simple fact,
that in a life of being ignored and overlooked,
of being told he was punished by God,
being in darkness and sorrow,
isolated from the multitude
who only wanted him to be quiet,
He danced because,
for the first time he was seen,
all of him by loving eyes,
filled with compassion,
of infinite depth,
all of it,
He saw it too and wanted to flee,
however he di
Why Jesus told us not to judge
When talking to people who do share deeply I am beginning to understand why Jesus told us not to judge. While behaviors can be harmful to others it is easy to understand why they are done even if the morality behind them is still wrong if their history is understood. We can judge actions and at times the need to deal with people who commit them. That is a form of judgment. Which is necessary, yet to judge the worth of another human being, or to give up on
why I write
people who have it together don't need to write,
it is those who are in conflict that need to express themselves,
to get it out, to see it in front of them, if not....
speaking for myself,
I flounder and sink and sputter and throw up,
staying afloat is hard work,
writing is the work of a man who is quite neurotic,
simply seeking some balance in an inner world
not filled with light but chaos seeking direction.
Why I stay
People sometimes wonder why Catholics stay in the fold after so many scandals have been committed lately. The pedophiles cover up being the most recent. Well why not ask United States citizens, why they remain Americans citizens when the corruption of our politicians and government is common knowledge? Why do people still believe in the family, when in fact a great deal of harm is often done in family situations?
Perhaps it is because scandals are not allowed to take away from t
Susan Smith is one of our regular retreatants here. She comes two or three times a year. She has a wonderful way expressing herself about her faith and I want to share something that she has written to me. She is very intelligent and a very delightful person to meet. This is her take on being Catholic. She is a very open person and respects all faiths, but loves her faith and has a deep loving relationships with Jesus Christ. I know that not everyone will agree with her, many hate the Cath
Why do we hope?
I was sitting today thinking about the past,
not my past,
the far past,
thousands of years ago,
so many lives,
over in a flash and mostly forgotten;
it makes me wonder,
what is left for us after we ourselves go?
We to will be looked upon as ancients,
a culture now lost in the sands of antiquity,
their anthropologist poking among our ruins,
our names forgotten,
all of our fears and anxious concerns gone.
I wonder at times why we
Why do people come here on retreat?
One day a young woman came into to the retreat house to inquire about coming here for a few days. She had never been on retreat and was wondering if it would be good for her to do so. So she asked me if it was a good idea for her to come. After a few questions, I learned that she was Jewish, not overly religious but felt a need for quiet and some solitude for a few days.
Her question was a good one, and I get it asked of me from time to tim
Whom do Christians despise?
Because of the deep mystery of infinite love, Christians can often fail in understanding its meaning for the world. We are told not to judge for a reason, we are blind to the inner man and the dignity of those around us. For did not Christ say he was in the least, the poor, the unattractive, and the despised. So whom do Christians despise? In them is found Christ. We are called upon to simply love, though there is nothing simple about it, for to do that the