30 April 2019

The Resurrection and the Life

She prayed for miraculous healing
As her pale, thin, cough-racked body
Slid slowly deathward.
Thank Jesus for restoring my body,
She said, and her pulmonary function 
Slipped a little more, and then
Pneumonia came:
Thick ropes of mucous, 
Unending breath-battles,
More medication, 
The few, futile, final,
Heartbreakingly hopeful breaths.
Pray for my resurrection, 
She told her father before 
Passing beyond the rails
Of her last hospital bed,
Beyond her lifelong breathing treatments,
Beyond years of prayers and pain 
That ended, after all,
As all mortal flesh does.

I miss my friend, of course. 
And yet I believe that she has received 
The outrageous miraculous healing 
Her deathbed faith foresaw.
Tribulation-born hope 
Has not disappointed her; 
She is breathing easy at last
In the arms of her great Lover.
And so I do pray for her resurrection 
As I pray for my own,
And that of the whole world:
May this seed planted in sorrow
Rest in perfect peace 
Until the time comes
To yield its joyful living crop
On the day of glorious harvest.

21 April 2019


A reflection on Easter Sunday

He knows His own
And speaks to us -- comprehensibly --
And gives us life abundant,
Free from predation,
From starvation,
From despair, disdain, disgrace.

His beauty is mine in truth;
Mine because I see it,
Mine because I own it
And wear it
And swim in it
And do not drown in it
Only because divine breath
Abides within my lungs,
On my forehead
And in my soul.

07 April 2019

Another Scary Prayer

Here's another one that a prudent person ought to think twice before praying. I'm not necessarily very prudent, but I did think twice about it. Then I prayed it anyway.

We don't know what we need
Until we don't have it --
And sometimes not even then.

O Lord, smite me with my need.
Level me with it,
Lay me low
Before the blast of Your refining furnace.

Make my need
Loud and ugly and vile,
Easy to hate,
Easy to leave behind
As I dive into
The bottomless refreshing blue
Of Your all-sufficient

Be Careful How You Pray...

Editor's Note: Knowing what I do now about how my summer went, I remember the wry old adage, "Be careful what you pray for." I prayed to share in the suffering of Christ, and I certainly experienced that in July - September 2019. And I wouldn't do a thing differently. Thanks be to God for His constant care and the growth He gives His children!

O heavenly Man,
Remake me in Your image.
Let me share in Your life,
Your death, Your suffering,
But most of all
Your obedience.
Kill my flesh
And bring me deeper, truer life:
Not inspired or powered by me,
But always, only You.

I want to share with you:
Your holiness
Your love,
Your service,
Your suffering.

01 April 2019

My Introduction to Walker Percy

I didn't know much about Walker Percy until I read The Life You Save May Be Your Own: An American Pilgrimage, Paul Elie's excellent literary biography of Dorothy Day, Thomas Merton, Percy, and Flannery O'Connor. I picked it up because I've been on an O'Connor kick for the past couple of years and I'd heard good things about Elie's handling of her work.

After reading Elie's book, I find myself eager to see more from Day, Merton, and Percy... but especially Percy. I found a sort of kinship with him, and I suspect that his work will help me understand myself better. For instance, this excerpt from p. 78 of Elie sounds exactly like something I'd do:

So I have Day and Merton on my mental backburner, but Percy has elbowed his way toward the front. I'll start with The Moviegoer (which I fortuitously found at a book sale last week), and then toward The Thanatos Syndrome and perhaps The Second Coming.

It's always fun to discover a kindred spirit, even one who died when I was nine. :-D