Saturday, November 13, 2010

The Christian Romantic

I realized that at every one of my pleadings to our Lord that a simple submission is best summed into the words "I accept"... this is not a victory march. No, it's a long, tiresome journey home. It is through our little sufferings that He does His most work, not through the pompous processions. We weren't redeemed by a victory march; we were redeemed by a long, burdensome trek to Calvary. That is how much He loved us. Let us return the favor, as little we can.

And that is where I am with my journey and this blog. For me, it has morphed into something more than just a place to put my musings. It is something to let whatever has been given to me to fall as it may as He deigns it to touch those it needs to touch as He, not I, may wish. And this is where the former of the new title comes from, the credo.

And so the title is together Credo et Accipio—"I Believe and I Accept." This is my rallying point and cry forward, into the the darkness that abounds.

Some days all that can be mustered in this persistent fog of the Shadowlands are the words "I believe..." but even this is enough for Him, for they are not simple idle words. They are words worked out in fear and trembling before Him who is the Giver of all Gifts.

These times can be described as one of constant rain and dreariness, but something keeps the home fires burning that can't be described, something of love, of peace, of nearness of spirit. If grace cannot be described as this, no other sentiment has its worth. It may be raining outside and dreary, but something keeps the home fires burning. It's a grace-filled longing surrounded by joy.

As I have heard elsewhere, we must focus not on the darkness in the people we meet or the darkness in ourselves. Rather, we are to look to the Light that is within, buried as it were, ready to be taken out from the tomb, from beneath the bushel basket. It needs to be seen; see it.

At every step there is temptation. And all of us have fallen. But we must remember to get back up, get ourselves dusted off and remain on the road to Calvary. Pick up our mat, our cross, and walk. It's a long journey. We will carry on.

This is the heart of the Christian who is ultimately also a romantic in the end because the end is Love. He binds us to His Word and carries us from the desert into the Promised Land of our fathers, one of eternal life with Him. How can this faith not be seen as romantic! Truly, truly it is one of love.

"There is no fear in love, but perfect love drives out fear because fear has to do with punishment, and so one who fears is not yet perfect in love. We love because he first loved us." 1 John 4:18-19

And yet, we confuse not only love in the present day but so also fear, the reverential fear of the greatness of Him and smallness of us. We have lost both in society and in culture. We rename what was once love as too much and focus inward, not outward. We take, but we do not give. How can we fight the impostors of both love and fear? Through prayer, through right example, through love as He loved us. This is the cooperation we are called to with His mission, and with it we become imperfect instruments of love.

We are given this perfect love to share, but this gift doesn't make it easy for us to share it. He is the perfect example and thus the one to emulate. Christ is the mediator... but then where are we? Where do we let our doubts enter in? How do we let them in? By entertaining them. Perhaps we should take the words of St. Pio of Pietrelcina to heart:
"Stop entertaining those vain fears. Remember it is not feeling which constitutes guilt but the consent to such feelings. Only the free will is capable of good or evil. But when the will sighs under the trial of the tempter and does not will what is presented to it, there is not only no fault but there is virtue."

There is no escaping doubt. Jesus had it in Gethsemane. John and the Virgin Mary at the Cross. The Apostles who scattered. The Church yesterday. The Church today. The one thing that keeps everyone going is the Church of Tomorrow. Faith fills the void that doubt leaves in its shadows and, with it, brings Light.

Let us bring Light to those in darkness.

But then how?

"When our hands have touched spices, they give fragrance to all they handle. Let us make our prayers pass through the hands of the Blessed Virgin. She will make them fragrant." - St. John Vianney

We do it through the support of one another, through the communion He has given us with Him, His mother, and His angels and His saints. The key in understanding it all is that we are not alone. That through the Blessed Virgin Mary we understand our role from the first disciple in her fiat to the Lord's plans, even though "she was greatly troubled" at first. Her words "be it done unto me according to thy word" become ours, and in them we are bound even closer to Christ.

God is the giver of all gifts. The problem isn't with the number of them; it's the recognition of them. The greatest gifts are often the smallest, not because they are grandest, but rather because they hold the greatest potential for flourishing. The giftedness from God has nothing to do with quantity; it has everything to do with perspective. It's in this that God shows us His infinite mercy and His infinite love.

Even so, there isn't enough joy to fill the current sorrow, and there will never be enough joy to erase the sorrow of the past. We must fully understand the reason for pain if we are to ever know fully of the joy to be given to us. We must love without strings attached.

Speak to the Truth in your presence. Leave no heart in the cold. Give warmth and, in turn, that warmth will be returned. Above all, don't leave your talents buried. Don't be a foolish servant. He gives them to you to be used, to serve others and serve Him. That is the heart of a Christian Romantic.

"For it is good to hide the secret of a king: but honourable to reveal and confess the works of God." - Tobias 12:7

Monday, November 08, 2010

A Poet Lost

I am a poet lost in a world of prose.
I am a dreamer stuck in a world of logicians.
Without joy, without fun, I am a poet lost,
   lost in world without a sun.
I am a poet lost in world of prose.

I am a poet found in a world without roses.
I am a dreamer lost in a world of thinkers.
With clouds, with thunder, I am a dreamer stuck,
   stuck in world without wonder.
I am a poet found in a world without roses.
I am a poet lost in a world of prose.

Wednesday, November 03, 2010

Let Love Be

My heart busies about as a moth before a flame;
shaped and muffled it turns over and over again.

From one concern to another,
fighting the fights and sealing the shames,
of a journey that has yet to be named.

Clarity and then shadows fall into place,
where hearts filled not with love,
come home to reign.

Would love be easier if not challenged by struggle,
or is it the struggle that wins victory's name?

Nay, it is victory all the same.
Let love be not a game.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Finding a Home, Finding an Identity

How does one describe being from New Orleans? Of the City's intrinsic beauty, its pride, its excitement, its devotion to a team and to a Faith? Can things such as this be quantified or measured? Can it be snuffed out, washed to sea, blown away? Can anyone defeat such a Joy in Life as well as in death, where death is no time for mourning but celebrating the Past? The answer is found in the embodiment of a team that isn't just a team, it's part of the intrinsic nature of New Orleans. The Saints are New Orleans. And New Orleans is the Saints. Summed up in so many words: WHO DAT!

And this is what is interesting above all about New Orleans: a paradoxical love and a faith that withstands every countenance of despair and attempt of shedding. It is found in a city that weaves in a faith not blind to life, but rather one lived inside of it. It is neighbor helping neighbor. It is the yearly Carnival celebrations beside one's fellow neighbor that, indeed, they've survived another hurricane season. It is celebrations of the Saints win or lose (but especially with the wins).

Places of childhood do not leave one's mind—not the good or the bad, not the ugly or the indifferent. So it is with me—yet the last thing New Orleans will leave you as is indifferent. Not even hurricanes, which wipe off many markers of the past, or man-made engineering disasters, which finish off where Mother Nature began her work, not even these disasters will tear from memory these mementos of days gone by. New Orleans is altogether different, another category altogether.

The place has a way of instilling both a pride of place and a sadness of when progress has been stopped, delayed, or hampered. It breeds la joie de vivre and disappointment. It is a city that is far from perfect, but it is one of distinctiveness that all who are associated with it take great pride in. It is an identity that no hurricane or distance can dissipate.

It is a city that has been, since its inception, a city to be documented, but not only documented but also lived. It is a city to live vicariously in, whether it is of the past, present, or the future. They are all contained within the ramparted streets of that unique leveed city. Once you are there, you never truly depart.

One always has a piece of the city whether you've been there a day, a year, or a lifetime. The only difference is that when you move away, you become an ambassador of that spirit of life shared. It speaks to the soul like no other place in world can. And sometimes, when the voices get to be too many, one cannot realize this until it is the only voice to remain from the sprawl and noise of another place, a place where all things are manufactured and not grown, a place where the façade is the only thing present.

Yet, one's ambassadorship remains, as though one is left in a second-rate hotel room waiting out the exile to return home. It is a strange love affair that New Orleans breeds. One that remains as thick as the humid air of that river city and remains despite all odds.

More now than ever does New Orleans and the Gulf Coast need its ambassadors. Love affairs do not end once the beloved is gone, they only grow stronger. And, in it, the bonds of those who traveled those hallowed streets, celebrated its unique joy, and lived in those homes now rebuilt but not forgotten can be remembered, renewed, and represented to others as a reminder of the ones who did not make it out of the surly floodwaters or the strong headwinds of the Gulf, of the ones who survived Katrina those five years ago this day if only as a memory to our hearts, to our Louisiana.

If any song will bring me back to Louisiana... if songs had the power to do such things... this one would be it. Louisiana will always be home to me with New Orleans as its heart, wrapped in a faith true.

God bless New Orleans, the state of Louisiana, and the whole Gulf Coast as we mark this fifth anniversary of the Storm that did not break the will of people of the Gulf Coast. It may have washed the shores of a challenged land, but its people will not waver. Its people will not retreat. Its people will prosper and rebuild and renew a place, a face of what is best about America. God bless Louisiana.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

I said...

I said a lot of things.
I said, "We are friends and that's okay,
that the silence, the distance would be fine."

But really I said,
"No, please don't go, don't leave when day is done,
don't give me a reason to let you go.
I love you but must let you go.
I love you; I love you so."

Is this a lie? To let things go?
Or is it truth to let things that are impossible
fly on down the road?
Yes, our roads converged once,
a spark of inspiration, of drive,
of mutual compassion once...
but now... only distance, silence.
What of this? What of this silence?

I said a lot of things,
but I was never silent.
I gave my silence to Him,
in hopes I was doing the right thing.
My words to Him went unceasing.
It was a gift I want now to return,
but love doesn't settle that way.
It remains; it sticks to heart and hands
     like an adhesive.
It doesn't return until it has fulfilled its aim and duty.
It is with purpose as I am to be with purpose.
Its aim is my aim:
to care when caring isn't something fun to do,
to smile when smiling isn't what I want to do,
to listen but not speak...

However, one thing I did not say to you,
were the words, those words: "I love you."
Why? Because I wasn't supposed to.
But I do, I do love you.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010


Breath, each precious breath
Enters with each beat,
Each beat of desire,
Hearts yearning in desire...
One heart, one heart for now...

Beat, each precious beat
Takes its place within,
Each beat to give rhythm to the world,
Witness to the world, Love to the world,
Witness to Love, Love of Loves.

Look, each precious look,
The longing for something more—
More than self, More than one—
Two into one, external of the Eternal—
Love beyond bounds, Love of Loves.

Beat, each precious beat,
Yearning of Other, Other in self,
Grace of sign to something more,
More than self in self,
Love beyond self, Love of Loves.

Breath, each precious breath,
Waiting on the Other,
Waiting to witness to the Love,
To the Love found Here,
Love of Three Hearts, Love of Loves.

Waiting on...
               The Love of Loves.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

On the Laity, Sanctity in Marriage, and the Mission to the Secular World

It is not the rejection of the world but the redemption of it. We must baptize all things to Christ. There is no difference between a Catholic chair or an un-Catholic chair, or a Catholic table and an un-Catholic table. So it is with a Catholic home. All homes are first catholic. What matters are not its contents, but rather the actions and the beliefs of the hearts within.

Many have seen Catholic homes that are Catholic in word only. And, likewise, un-Catholic homes devoid of anything to pin it to a catholicity, and yet in truth they are catholic. What can be said of the Catholic broken home? Much! Not only does it fail the first test, that of belief, but also the second—action. It is "very good" enough to assent to the belief handed on from antiquity but in truth is not the case if the action proceeding fails to live the credo out. Where is the redemption of the world?

The answer then is not to reject it outright. It is to redeem it, to baptize it to Christ. And there the family—intact and whole—is most needed. It is here that the first missionary acts are borne; it is here that the first transmission of faith, of credo is given. As milk from the mother is this done, and here the father is most important in the role to daughter and son. It is here, most often, the child will receive the fire of His love, of Christ's indomitable love. And so too is this true with the mother as the seat of compassion. Where are our holy saints of happy marriage? Where are the saints of marital bliss?

Heroic virtue is first born in the home, like faith a grace-filled gift, always a gift with a purpose. So why not the saints of the home?

Many have been born out of home a vocation of sanctity. Namely among them, St. Augustine, whose own sainthood one could argue was born out of the prayers of his mother, she too now called "Saint."

One cannot doubt heroic virtue to be born out of, or rather, in spite of, broken homes, unhappy marriages. This much is true, but never has such an example of sanctity has been recorded that such a tested soul takes the helm too to the unsteady waters of the earthly sign of Heaven's Banquet. No, this is rarefied air. But is God intending this to be so? I wager not.

What a sign for the world would this be! Indeed, it would be a credo worth believing. Heroic virtue found not only in strife but also prosperity, would this not be classified as territory of a friend of God, too? This is not solely of the Catholic domain. It is a uniquely human desire, hope, and dream. However, this is not merely a dream; this too can be a reality.

This can be captured through the gift of faith, yes, but how is the faith to be nourished? From scraps and left-overs? I think not! We must have an educated laity. This means the resources of books, libraries, radio, and television must be renewed! The excuse of never having being done before or of others not doing the same must not be the excuse! "Either we accuse ourselves or we excuse ourselves," St. John Vianney once said, so too in this case. Let us not excuse a lack of zeal and haste to this aim.

We must renew our parishes to being a center of knowledge, of faith, of sacraments, and of wisdom. The Mass must be nourished!

Why not a library of faith for instruction into that which is sublimely beautiful, all-encompassing, and most needed and beneficial? The Mass cannot itself teach or merely preach. Its action provides an example which is incomprehensible if not without a guide. Let this be the writings of Christian antiquity, to stir us renewed in our one true faith! The Word made flesh dwells among us!

The Half-way House of our Lord is made known through all the vocations but especially in the breaking of the bread. It is here too that the family plays a crucial role! Where are we placing "the breaking of the bread" in our families' lives? Are we even getting the proper idea of breaking the bread? If not, then let us renew this too and truly "ita missa est" into the world. This is where all vocations, all calls to sanctity and sainthood begin!

This is our call to living as laity enriched by the faith, sanctifying marriage and its bonds, and being true missionaries to the secular world.

Wednesday, July 07, 2010

Finding Home

Come back, come back to who you are.
Come back, to love and grace.
Come to the Banquet of all banquets—
Come back Home.

Come to the Water, the Living Water.
Come without fear, come with Hope.
Come to find the Truth in the Unveiling—
Come back Home.

Come to Love, to the Love that satisfies.
Come to the authentic nature of our hearts.
Come to search the hearts of so many—
Come back Home.

Find the Way back, back to...
The way back to love.
Search your heart, there...
There it is—Home.

Find the love,
Find the peace,
You are there—
You are Home.

Friday, July 02, 2010

The Court Jester

I think I'm just here...
          here for entertainment purposes
                  for the little things.

You'll send me where all...
          where all the court jesters go...
                  somewhere else...

And you'll find someone new to entertain you...
          to entertain you with baubles and bright things,
                  silly things that are trifles
                  and nothing terrible...
                  the beautiful things.

What if 'yes' was 'yes'
          and 'no' was no longer 'no'
                  and there were no maybes,
                             simply... simply 'yes.'
                                         "Yes, I accept."

Where would that bring us?
          Where would we go?
                   Would you go?
                         Maybe so?
                    There you go.
 Maybe, maybe, maybe so.

Is anything ever clear,
clear to sight,
clear to touch,
clear without any other fight?

Can there be a world without games,
without fights,
without things hidden in plain sight?

Can we go to this place,
not for my sake, no...
for the life we ought to live.
A life of 'yes,' without fear
A life full of beauty, without so many tears
A life of truth and worth living.
A life without court jesters,
A life with only mystics here.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Fearless Love

Love, O Love without fear—
Where do You stand, O Love—
Where do I stand with You?
With love, shield my heart from fear.

Love, defining life and search,
Defining journey in every step,
In every step of life and heart,
Every beat of the Rhythm of Life.

Fearlessness—finding faith in darkness,
Hope without the Other in sight,
Love when all remains so empty,
Fearlessness in every step lit by lamp.

Love in perfection, Love in Truth,
Wait on my broken heart for my love,
Wait on my very compassion—that it may be my own,
Wait that I may truly love You,
Love in fearlessness, Fearless Love,
Perfect Love—You.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Two Types of Women

As a man, there are two clear types of women who live, and only one truly lives. One incites only the eyes of the passing man, causing the man to fall into a hollow pull of desire, a pit of desire as it were. She cultivates a garden of desire. Her need is of the flesh and her song is one of human concern. Her own heart may be veiled but all her gifts fail to be fully veiled from the man's view. She falls short of the call to love perfectly.

The other woman cultivates a garden not of desire—but of Hope. She cultivates a garden not to be trampled by the passing man but to be admired at a distance. She, in fact, knows the Gardener and accepts His direction, to prune here and cut back there. It's not that her garden is not beautiful...Her beauty is in the Hope of the fruits to come, not the flowers of the present. Her need is not to be fancied but to be fruitful, and her song is one of compassion for it's through a selfless Passion that she calls others too to a selfless gift to those in need.

Even so, her garden is one that is walled, not out of fear or disunity but for protection. And it is in this walled garden that she calls the man to devotion. For it is in Hope that devotion rightly rests. No further can the man walk and not stop to admire from a distance the beauty to be found in the Hope she radiates. It is the fragrance of Faith that she calls to mind the simple fact that her love is not hers alone—but of the One who sent her. She is a woman of faith. She loves because Christ first loved her. She is a woman of love in its fullest.

And so for a man there is one type of woman that incites lustful desire and another type of woman that calls the man to devotion and greater passion in Christ. I thank God every day for the latter of these two.

Wednesday, May 05, 2010

Little Things

What gracious things:
The small joys,
The unexpectant loves,
The Little Things.

What graces, blessings
What kindness
What friendships
Are found in the Little Things.

What peace is found
When we find time to let go,
To find the precious time
To rejoice in the Little Things.

Thank God
For the Little Things.

Tuesday, May 04, 2010

Returning to Timeless Messages

I have returned to a friend's message and other points of grace and could not help but share them, as I feel they ought to be shared. This isn't a turn of exhibitionism, but rather a magnification of the smaller workings that aren't my own.

To quote the friend:
"There is such a strange, paradoxical freedom in embracing the Cross... in stretching out your arms to be nailed, you are opening yourself, literally, in a gesture of true freedom, as if to soar as an eagle, but even yet more free, because you offer even your free will, which an eagle does not have; you accept and freely choose the Cross, though you may not like it, and in that is true freedom. A freedom that will set the Soul to true flight the morning of the Resurrection. God's timing, dear brother is perfect. We must trust and concede to it."

The problem is, quite frankly, I am stuck within His Passion. I am stuck at His Cross. More so, I am afraid I will run from that very Cross which sets me free... from the very act of Sacrifice which frees each of us with true freedom. I am John, John at the Cross. And yes, He has given me His Mother... but even that seems distant. I am lost to the terror before my eyes. I am lost even though He has given His Mother. I count everything else as a loss.

She is my compass. That through her, my thoughts and prayers are made fragrant. It is through her that I am able to soar freely in the freedom of the Cross. She, the Mother of our Lord is our Mother, too! Her "yes" can join to ours! And yet my "yes" has been drowned out...choked by these worldly concerns, my own preoccupations, my own pride, my own doubts.

I am a most unprofitable servant, still a wayward son.

My compass is stuck.

And, yet, in all of this I can see the glimmers of hope, even when I cannot share these glimmers with others around me, to others dear to me. I do see His plan within me. If only my perseverance in Him will win out.

These glimmers, how do I wish to share them! It is what compels me to carry on, to begin each day anew. Some days, they are obscured... others they burn brightly. It is the little things.

I want to share the little things, day by day. But the world seems too much, too much to overcome. But I must remember His is a battle that He has already won. All I can see is the rejection that He faced. Surely, I will be rejected, too. I must become accepting of this. For this reason, I know I am not ready, not ready for anything. I sense myself to be foolish.

Still, I see His plans in my heart. I question daily to know these aren't merely my desires... and in this, comes the hesitation. And in this I realize I must become a good son before I can even hope to become a good father. For this reason, I know I am not ready, not ready for anything.

And yet, He reaffirms these things to me in prayer: "to teach the one true Faith. How is to be done? With Charity... with Charity to all, to the little ones. It must all first be cemented in Hope... for without Hope no endeavour, blessed or ordained, ever gets off the ground. We must endure in Hope. This is what it means when we are to live a life, a vocation of Love."

These words came to me before Our Lord... and to Him they will return. I don't wish them to be hollow, but even in the Resurrection it seems I have lost the Way. How then can I teach the one true Faith? Just as much as I cannot earnestly write of love, if I don't first experience it. And it all seems dead to me. It feels as though I am charlatan. And, yet still: "praestet fides supplementum sensuum defectui."

Those words of encouragement remind me of my pastor's words that week of the message:
"Think of every pain and heartache, every difficulty and disappointment. Nothing, not even the sum total, can erase the ultimate victory that is ours in Jesus Christ. That is why we as Christians can never stop working at making our world a better place. As Catholics we can never love too much or do too much good. As followers of Jesus, the Risen One, we can always see good even in the midst of tragedy. We can see light even in the darkest corner. We can see hope and love everywhere because Christ has vanquished the darkness and the light fills us with radiance and joy."

In the end, we need the perseverance, the discipline, the hope of tomorrow to steal away to Him, our font of all blessings. All of this with a smiling face.

So Many Things...

So many things to contemplate, to resuscitate.
                    But all I want is to be thankful for you.

So many things to remember, to return nearer.
                    But all I want is to be thankful for you.

So many things do I think are needed, important.
                    But all that is important is in you.

What am I do with this, all the things given to me? What else but to share... and let settle where they may, with whom He deigns to be... and leave all of it, all of it up to Him—not me. How do I wish to see further, to see further the work... to see the completion of every toil and sacrifice, every "yes" as it was meant to be.

So many things to contemplate; so many things to let be.
Yes, I accept! I accept the grace given to me!

Friday, April 30, 2010

The Body and Soul Exposed

I. Renewed Adam

A man's chest is a complex thing,
even when undressed.
It protects a heart that is restless,
even when found at rest.

It projects an aura of strength,
its muscles bulging here,
its muscles dipping there,
its shape supple with a muscular chest.

It beckons a woman's heart to draw near,
to trust and run to,
to confide in with a certainty of strength,
to hide in, away from the restless world.

A man's chest is a guiding sign,
when open to the Other betrothed.
It revels in pointing His Beloved
to the life-inviting act bestowed,
to the conjugal love of marriage sown.
It forms at its crown a place
to carry the complex burdens of a restless heart made to love.

It calls a woman's eyes to see this crown,
broad shoulders to carry the wood of sacrifice
on the muscles and tendons of mass and berth,
for a mission to carry since fashioned from the earth.

A man's chest is an incomplete sign.
Its other half is only found
once you notice His ribs below.
Count the bones, the ones on His cage scooping below—
The missing one—"Flesh of my Flesh,"
"Bone of my Bone!"

Its sign scoops downward,
its navel gracefully surrounded
by contracting muscle
as chiseled from stone.

A man's waist forms a crossroads
between body and soul.
The body's origins still remain,
a vestige of His mother's life-giving pain.

These muscles too now help to form
a new life to be,
a breathing and heaving shown through the whole sign
where old love and new love prepare to transform.

A man's waist forms a bridge from the crown of sorrows
to the columns of strength by step below,
where the burden brought to completion
and the Sacrifice is lived once more.

The marble columns form a base,
to which the Beloved draws in closest,
to the inner storm of Eros in Agape—the love God bestowed!

A man's base is girded in strength,
girded for His Beloved to see.
He hides from all but His Betrothed
a passion destined in love,
one given to the Other
Fully, Faithfully, Fruitfully, and Freely.

Sheathed in armor great,
the man's defenses form,
flanked with robes of sanctity,
a sheath concealed for His wife alone.

A man's body as a sign
would be utterly incomplete, save for two others:
the arms of a compassionate soul
and the diadem of the crown—His mind of reason.

Found in strength when combined with His bosom,
He defends the defenseless;
He consoles the distressed.
His defined structure beckons His Beloved
to find a heart redressed!

A man's mind forms the jewel of the crown,
His hair the capstone of this diadem.
Inside He forms His thoughts,
directs His heart and braces His shoulders
to carry His cross, to die to Himself,
for His Beloved, for His everything.

II. Renewed Eve

A woman's form is a grace-filled sign
to Her Beloved to initiate their mutual embrace.
She beckons Him with a figure elusive,
a form that drives Him mad with passion
to form the union destined to be.

Her curves invite Her Beloved
to the Banquet of life-giving embrace,
to rest in Her life-sustaining bosom,
to bring Him to propose a new life together as One.

A woman's form beckons Her Betrothed
to warmly caress with firm but gentle hands
the giving heart of the mother of His children-to-be.
Laid bare, the woman opens to Her Betrothed
a body to explore with love and tender care.

Her bosom beckons Him with its free movement,
where children-to-be will gather under Her care.
Her bosom bounds to and fro
as Her Betrothed approaches with gentle care.

Before God the Betrothed are stripped bare,
not out of lust but out of love,
a love open fully, faithfully, fruitfully, and freely
to the marriage bed's promise of God's children,
to love once again renewed!

Her gentle waist, too, leaves testimony
to Her mother's life-giving pain,
to a quiet beauty that bridges
the love above and the love below.

Her waist girds Her hips,
which serves as a gateway
of Her selfless giving and receiving,
of life sustained in a fruitful love.

Her innate beauty at once bestowed
leaves Her Beloved in breathless awe,
as He rightfully beholds His Creator's love outpoured.
His righteousness refuses ownership of God's own making,
only to receive the Gift given fully, faithfully, fruitfully, freely.

Her twin talcum pillars of grace,
Her innermost hidden reaches of beauty,
remain veiled but for that moment,
that betrothed moment of Her Beloved's embrace.

There She remains, beauty in Her face
with eyes lit like oil lamps full,
waiting on the Bridegroom's return.

Her flowing hair rests rich in beauty
Ready to wipe clean with mercy's tears
And veil Her thoughts for the day of Communion,
Communion with Her Beloved near.

III. The Guide to a Sign Even Greater

And so God destined us woman and man.
For He knew that man needed a helpmate,
and in this very sign of love
we see one another even clearer;
we see a sign even greater.

We are not our own,
rather we are the Other's.
In love we are to give
as He has so fully given.

In love we are to die
to ourselves for the Other.
We are not our own.
We are for the Other.

In love, He stripped bare Himself,
that Sacrifice of all sacrifices,
once and for all time,
a sacrifice for our sins.

The images preceding
thus are washed in the Water,
are thus renewed—
By definition, a foretaste of the Banquet
that it points to above.

This is the body and the soul,
One in the Other,
the Other in the One.
This is the Body and Soul exposed.

Passion can only lead us
to two different paths,
one of descending depths,
one to the heights above.

Let us always remember
Love is never for its own sake;
it's for another fully.
It cannot be divorced from the Beloved.

And so it is—
either hot or cold—
there is no lukewarm.

Must you be afire
be fully as He is fully.
Do not settle for the reject image,
of "love" taken but not given.

It is not love but lust,
an impostor beyond compare.
It chokes out the Original;
choked to death, the Original dies.

Let the Lord be your guide;
He remains there before us, now risen.
Risen yet with scars of sacrifice that remain,
He guides us on the Way—scars all the same.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Do I Hear the Music?

Do I hear the Music;
Do I hear it play?
Do I hear the Music,
This, our wedding day?

Yes, I hear the Music;
I hear the Music play.
Yes, I hear the Music,
This, our wedding day.

Today echoes the joys to come,
The joys of a victory already won;
Today echoes eternity's shore,
Where pain and sadness are no more.

I hear the Music play,
As my heart leaps for joy,
A joy not my own,
A joy that is the Lord's.

I hear the Music play,
As my eyes weep with joy,
As my eyes soak in the beauty,
The beauty that is not mine to own!

I hear the Music play
A tune joyful but sharp.
This road, this road has not been easy;
It has been one from out of the Dark.

I hear the Music play,
And all, all passes away.
No, this is the beginning, the beginning of something greater,
Of what was once separate, now made whole.

And so tears of joy roll forth,
Flowing to eternity's shore,
Returning to the Lord fulfilled
A heart made for One.

Yes, I hear the Music;
I hear the Music play.
Yes, I hear the Music,
This, our wedding day.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

For This I Cannot Sleep

For this I cannot sleep,
For this I cannot rest—
My mind races to be with Him,
And finally sleep comes at once.

For this I cannot sleep—
What is this, my offering,
To God with all good grace?
Am I enough to run this blessed race?

For this I cannot sleep—
One step, then another,
On the pavement my feet go,
On they run, run to spread the word.

For this I cannot sleep—
I, a new Pheidippides, run—
To proclaim the Good News you seek,
"Yes, the battle has already been won!"
For this I cannot sleep!

To whom should these words spread,
If not to all, to all from the Head—
My breath remains heavy—
My muscles ache so weary—
For this I cannot sleep!

For this I cannot sleep,
A world lost, believing the lies
A world found, found in a mirage—
A world that has always defied—
For this I cannot sleep!

Is this a dream?
—a nightmare?
Is this reality—
Fought from freedom?
For this I cannot sleep!

A world where love is not love
And "truth" is what you make—
The world asleep and I awake—
For this I cannot sleep!

Wednesday, March 24, 2010


A thousand prayers shipwrecked,
But not without love or thought, nor even deed...
I pray, we pray, for a world without any other need,
A world without the feeling lost,
The knowledge that each is completely and fully loved.

The tide comes in, wave after wave...
The crash of wave, the egress of love...
The crash of wave, whisper of what is now gone.

Shoals of doubt, left me here...
Here, to ponder what—who—has gone...
What drove them from these shores?

These shores were where I was to land,
But those landing parties have gone,
Far have they left—now only silence.

Page to page, these words flip,
An old dusty tome, a ragged binding,
These words—they captivate.

Words of passion, of concern,
They settle to form in place
Here and there, sent forth;
These words, they go forth.

How are they to have meaning,
These words that were not mine first?
"Perfect love casts out fear..."

Or another, from the Garden,
Where His blood first was shed—
"If Thou will... Take this cup from me... thy will be done!"
Quench not my own but the Other's thirst!

The waves wash over—
Salt enters the wounds—
How deep does the fear go!

Let my words be yes, be fiat
Let these words speak for me, for her—
Let them settle deep within our souls!

Work within us a story already told!
Work within us a "Yes" among a multitude!
Work within us our own Magnificat!

These my words, yet still,
Ring hollow, without full meaning
'Til the Other is beside me...
Beside me to love only You.

Until then, I remain shipwrecked,
Finding no rest, finding only You.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Neither Love nor Truth Impose Themselves...

"He is Love and Truth, and neither love nor truth impose themselves; they knock at the door of the heart and mind and, where allowed in, they bring peace and joy." - Pope Benedict XVI

Yes, there is no imposition of love and of truth. It cannot be. And yet, this world is so devoid of both, love and truth—love in truth and truth in love—what beauty is there when beauty in the two together is not separated? It cannot be my question alone. One, two, hundreds, thousands—all of us—ask this question in our hearts and, whether or not we admit it—some do—to God. Simply a vocation of love is not enough. It must be rooted in the Truth. And, yet, I still wrestle with all of this. This rise, this fall.

How is it, this world with its unrest, its angst and hatred, cannot see its connectedness? We are all one! Why not the unity, the solidarity of hearts and minds? Why cannot we put down the differences, the hatreds, the bombs, the terrors? Cannot we live as one? This world is too much, too much to be itself alone. It cannot be all. Cruelty has its end. Hatred has its end. Death has its end. It is not all.

And this is where the testimony to Love and Truth—love in Truth and truth in Love—comes to pass. It comes to raise body and soul from the depths, from the deepest recesses of heart and mind. It comes to bind us to the vocation set. It comes to bind us to both truth and to love. It anchors hearts on the steadfast truth found in Christ; it gives the soul another way.

It gives the soul its invitation to do the same and to never look back. And this is grace, grace from God: to accept the invitation to love in truth.

Peace be with you.

Saturday, March 06, 2010

Dear Woman

Dear woman,
Bring me home,
Bring me back,
Back to where I belong.

Dear woman,
Let me in.

Let me come in,
Out of the cold,
Out of the dark.

Dear woman,
Let me in.

I am not perfect,
I am not monumental,
No, I am poor.

Dear woman,
Let me in.

I cannot promise the world
Or all the riches in it,
Only the love needed,
Needed to say "Yes"
As you say "Yes."

Dear woman,
Let me in.

Let us serve Him,
Let us live with His Love,
Let us turn to His grace.

Dear woman,
Let me in.

I come not to conquer,
I come to live,
To win with you the blessed race.

Dear woman,
Let me in.

I will wait for you,
In the cold,
In the dark,
In the veiled courts,
I will wait for you.

Dear woman,
Let me in.

My song is not boastful,
My song is not conceited,
My song is not inflated,
My song goes out to you.

Dear woman,
Let me in.

My song is not my own,
For we see now in partial,
What will be later fully known,
Yet still this is my song for you:

Dear woman,
Let me in.

I know not why this chord
Replays itself, time eterne,
To bring Him ever near:

Dear woman,
Let me in.

It's the words that haunt me,
That tear from me a bone, a rib,
That makes each of us one, one flesh.

Dear woman,
Let me in.

When the perfect comes,
The imperfect will pass away,
Only these words to remain:

Dear woman,
Let me in.

Dear woman,
Bring me home,
Bring me back,
Back to where we belong.

Dear woman,
Let us love—
He will show the Way.

Monday, March 01, 2010

We Mustn't Fall in Love...

We mustn't fall in love, we must rise in it. Love is the search for truth and beauty. If it is indeed such a search, where else must we go than up, rising to the Heavens? Such things in time we learn do exist.

This world may give the appearance of running like clockwork, on its 24/7 rotation of endless schedules of always running, always on-time. However, this world runs not on the consistent humdrum of efficient interaction, but rather on everyday miracles of grace and moments of wonder and inspiration. For as the world cannot prosper without the drenching rains of doubt, it cannot blossom without the everlasting rays of Light and the roaring fires of Love, covering all of Creation. Life depends on both doubt—and through it, tested and enduring faith—as well as Love to carry on.

Life needs both the waters of doubt-tested faith to remove and the fires of Love to completely consume, not one thing or another in our lives or our world—but all! To cover all of it, the world over, in a mantle of love in an all-consuming fire... not of destruction but a mantle engulfing with a Passion, a love in its purest of forms, as gold tested in fire. So is love in its purest of forms. So the search continues for truth and beauty, for truth in beauty and beauty in truth, but the truth is it has already been found. We must only have the eyes to see it in the world in front of us. It is there. Always. Always, it is there.

Be fearless to spread this fire to the world. For in spreading this mantle, we rise in love. And this is the most beautiful thing we can do, to be fearless in the Love of Christ and to never, never turn back. To always do what most pleases Him, to do what best gives us greater intimacy with Him. We love the Other not because of vanity or self-preservation. No, we love the Other, whether in singularity of eros or magnanimity of philos and agape, because of the gift God has given to each of us, even when the road may be dry and distant and the journey seemingly lost. We love Him because he first loved us.

We must rise in love.

Friday, February 26, 2010


In my loneliness,
I have reached out.
In my pain,
I have sought dry wells of grace.

I have sought things,
Things that are not my own,
Things I should have not,
Things that do not satisfy the thirst.

In my loneliness,
I have have failed one; I have failed all.
In my pain,
I have sought an empty place.

In my sorrow,
I have run.
In my pain,
I have run from guideposts of grace.

I have run from hearts,
Hearts ready to love,
Hearts ready to give,
Hearts filled with good things.

In my sorrow,
I fall down.
In my pain,
I fall to my knees.

Forgive me, Lord:
It is You whom I seek.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

At the Icy Gates

At the icy gates
There I stand
With thought and with prayer,
With heart and outstretched hands.

I think no better of myself
Than those behind these gates
Tempted by the same temptations,
Awash in my own fate.

At these gates I pray,
Pray for the little ones
And those who know not,
Who know not what they do,
Those who think themselves alone.

The darkness abounds;
The icy winds have their grip.
Prayers and presence melt not the ice
As the call leaves my chapped lips:
"You are not alone; His Love will suffice."

His Love will take us back;
His Love will melt that ice,
Tear us from our selfish pride;
His Love will suffice.

At the icy gates
There we will stand.
Won't you take my hand,
Dear woman,
Dear man...
His Love will suffice.

At the icy gates
His Love will prevail...
His Love will melt the ice...
His Love will melt the fear...
His Love will suffice.

At the icy gates
His Love will suffice.

Friday, February 12, 2010

A Thousand Sunsets

A thousand sunsets
Guide us to You,
To glory, to grace,
To mercy and joy in You.

Speak to us now,
In prayer and speech,
The words of the Past,
In the Word that You speak.

A heart meek and mild
Have You sought us to be;
My heart and hers, we pray:
Guide us, O Lord, to the Word that You teach.

Leave us not in darkness,
Out of touch, out of reach,
Guide each our hearts to You,
In both word and in deed.

Speak, O Lord, speak
To each of us in turn
Of the Glory You've done,
The Glory already given.

Turn our hearts toward
The Light You now give us;
Speak to us the Truth
That He shall never leave us.

Let our words be faithful,
Our actions ever true,
To center our hearts and minds
Forever and always on You.

Let our "Yes" never be hollow,
Empty, or ring untrue;
Let us forever say "Yes, Lord—
Yes, Lord, we do."

May each day remind us of this very Vow,
Not to each of us alone, but to You this moment now,
So that when we share the next thousand,
Its light may ever lead us to You—
Forever and always to You.

A thousand sunsets—
Binding and blinding—
Always shining—
Forever to You.

Sunday, January 24, 2010


Whether fractured or new,
What makes a home a home
Is the love found in you,
And what love is there in another!

Home, gift of place and of hearth—
Special memories, a family to start—
Yet not just family but self in other
And other in self.

Home, blessed home, where life starts,
Sacred space, sanctified with new life.
Life nurtured from womb to heart
And heart to vocation,
Nursery of the Faith of the Ages!

Blessings are found even if far,
Far from where the love starts,
Found in distance and nearness,
Found with love and generosity of self.

Gift of self gives a home its start,
But more is needed for the flame to keep its warmth,
Fuel for the sacrifice of self in other
And other in self, kindling for the beautiful warmth of the Light.

The Wood of the sacrifice must be center
For the blessings of joy and of mercy to enter,
But more—much more—burning hearts desire
Not of own but all of other than self,
Of other in Christ.

Love shapes the way
To heart and home,
To the warmth of the Light,
And guides one's way back home.

Within it though wistful,
Memory's joys play sight
And in them a warmth of heart
Brings back to mind Love Divine, our soul's delight.

Home finds its way,
To hearts our very own,
Not simply for a longing, of where we've been this day
And before—but for places where we yet go.

For even since our first day we have known
This place, our true place—
Heaven, this is our true Home.
Let us return Home.