POEM: Joyce Sidman: The Season’s Campaign (excerpt): We burst forth …
SONG: Ezinma: Vivaldi Springs Forth: https://youtu.be/B84U_5C-ho0
QUOTE: Juan Mascaro: The thought manifests the word; The word manifests the deed; The deed develops into habit; And habit hardens into character; So watch the thought and its ways with care, And let them spring forth from love Born out of compassion for all beings. As the shadow follows the body, as we think, so we become…
Spring — Mary Oliver
And here is the serpent again.
Dragging himself out from his nest of darkness,
His cave under the black rocks,
He loops around the bunches of rising grass,
Looking for the sun.
Well, who doesn’t want the sun after the long winter?
I step aside,
He feels the air with his soft tongue,
Around the bones of his body he moves like oil,
Downhill he goes
Towars the black mirrors of the spond.
Lastr night it was still so cold
I woke and went out to stand in the yard.
And there was no moon.
So I just stood there, inside the jaw of nothing.
An owl cried in the distance,
I thought of Jesus, how he
Crouched in the dark for two nights,
And floated back above the horizon.
SONGS about DARKNESS
- Hello Darkness My Old Friend by Simon & Garfunkel (folk): https://youtu.be/4fWyzwo1xg0
- Dark Come Soon by Tegan and Sara (folk): https://youtu.be/tD3Vro2gs1Q
- Coming Out of the Dark by Gloria Estefan (pop): https://youtu.be/QS7qLDizDYo
- Conversations in the Dark by John Legend (pop): https://youtu.be/4cSLVAZ_830
- Darkness by the Youngbloods (country/folk):https://youtu.be/ORSD_u2upP4
- A Shout in the Dark by Golden Earrings (rock): https://youtu.be/PVtqXUdiPKM
- Darkness by Eminem (rap): https://youtu.be/RHQC4fAhcbU
- Dancing in the Dark by Bruce Springsteen (rock): https://youtu.be/129kuDCQtHs
- In the Dark by Camila Cabello (pop): https://youtu.be/NGPgr8tnWfw
- Dark Paradise by Lana Del Ray (pop): https://youtu.be/vmWUUPl8DD4
- Slippin into Darkness by War (blues/rock): https://youtu.be/RFSWW4O6QNM
- Dark Side by Kelly Clarkson (country): https://youtu.be/H5ArpRWcGe0
- Fade Into Darkness by Aviccii (pop): https://youtu.be/-yg3dLEDWqs
- Footsteps in the Dark by the Isley brothers (R&B/blues): https://youtu.be/WRWtvbyprgo
- I Will Follow You Into the Dark by Death Cab for Cutie (pop): https://youtu.be/3iV_1ESMHaI
- Shot in the Dark by AC/DC (rock): https://youtu.be/54LEywabkl4
While it was still dark.
While it was still night.
While she could not see.
While she thought death held sway.
While she griev
While it was still dark, resurrection began.
— Jan Richardson
Someone I loved once gave me a box full of darkness.
It took me years to understand that this too, was a gift.
— Mary Oliver
Saturday— Maren Tirabassi
Today Malchus, the high priest’s slave,
is rubbing his ear,
the woman who reached out
to touch his clothing
is enjoying (of all things)
regular menstrual cramps,
a family opens the door to a child,
because of the prodigal story
was so frequently retold
at travelers’ inns and village wells,
a tribune resigns his commission,
and Jesus is preaching to the dead,
and telling them to be ready
for his well-planned prison break,
even the guy with bigger barns,
the woman whose oil burned out
at the gate of joy,
and … he just catches Judas’ eye.
It’s never a detour
when Jesus goes to hell,
and, if Easter is really every Sunday,
Saturdays always find Jesus
visiting you, me and those dear to us
who are lost in hell,
and, if we can’t find our keys,
gives us a lift.
COMMENTARY on DARKNESS
To know the dark, go dark. Go without sight, and find that the dark, too, blooms and sings. —Wendell Berry
I have learned things in the dark that I could never have learned in the light, things that have saved my life over and over again, so that there is really only one logical conclusion. I need darkness as much as I need light. ― Barbara Brown Taylor, Learning to Walk in the Dark
There are two ways of passing from this world – one in light and one in darkness. When one passes in light, he does not come back; but when one passes in darkness, he returns. — The Bhagavad Gita
There is a part of the soul that stirs at night, in the dark and soundless times of day, when our defenses are down and our daylight distractions no longer serve to protect us from ourselves… It’s then, in the still of life, when we least expect it, that questions emerge from … our inner underworld…These questions do not call for the discovery of data; they call for the contemplation of possibility. — Joan Chittister
PRAYER — Daniel Tobin
There is something to be praised in repetition,
There is something to be praised in repetition,
For surely all life moves in seasons,
For surely all life moves in seasons;
Praised surely, for all there is–seasons, life–
Moves in repetition to be something.
Still desire for rest whispers in the body,
Still desire for rest whispers in the body,
Like the hint of a lost name or a nagging song,
Like the hint of a lost name or a nagging song.
Rest desires a name for the song, a hint,
Nagging, lost, like a still body in whispers.
Let me wait, a novice on nothing’s threshold,
Let me wait, a novice on nothing’s threshold,
Until the blown seed lifts on its diamond fulcrum,
Until the blown seed lifts on its diamond fulcrum.
Novice, blown fulcrum, let me lift on nothing
Until its threshold awaits the diamond seed.
Something waits for the body in whispers,
Diamond hint in seasons of repetition.
Or surely it lifts on a still fulcrum.
Let me rest, its novice, like all nagging life
Until desire moves, blown seed, nothing’s name.
There it is, Thresh-Hold, lost song to be praised.
The Peace of Wild Things — Wendell Berry
When despair for the world grows in me
and I wake in the night at the least sound
in fear of what my life and my children’s lives may be,
I go and lie down where the wood drake
rests in his beauty on the water, and the great heron feeds.
I come into the peace of wild things
who do not tax their lives with forethought
of grief. I come into the presence of still water.
And I feel above me the day-blind stars
waiting with their light. For a time
I rest in the grace of the world, and am free.
|POEM — Rumi|
If you come to visit my grave,
My tomb will appear to dance.Brother!
Don’t come without a tambourine,f
or the sad can’t join in God’s celebration.
From every direction comes the sound of the harp,
and hue and cry from the drunk.
Every action will perforce give rise to another one.
God has created me from love’s wine;
even if death takes me, I am the same love.
I am intoxication; my origin is the wine of love.
Tell me: what comes from wine except intoxication?
Toward the lofty soul of Beloved
my soul is flying, lingering not even a single moment.
A Blessing for Traveling in the Dark — Jan Richardson
Go slow if you can. Slower. More slowly still.
Friendly dark or fearsome, this is no place to break your neck
by rushing, by running, by crashing into what you cannot see.
Then again, it is true: different darks have different tasks,
and if you have arrived here unawares,
if you have come in peril or in pain,
this might be no place you should dawdle.
I do not know what these shadows ask of you,
what they might hold that means you good or ill.
It is not for me to reckon
whether you should linger or you should leave.
But this is what I can ask for you:
That in the darkness there be a blessing.
That in the shadows there be a welcome.
That in the night you be encompassed
by the Love that knows your name.
COMMENTARY on SILENCE
We sit silently and watch the world around us. This has taken a lifetime to learn. It seems only the old are able to sit next to one another and not say anything and still feel content. The young, brash and impatient, must always break the silence. It is a waste, for silence is pure. Silence is holy. It draws people together because only those who are comfortable with each other can sit without speaking. This is the great paradox. ― Nicholas Sparks
When a question has no correct answer, there is only one honest response. The gray area between yes and no. Silence. ― Dan Brown
Silent solitude makes true speech possible and personal. If I am not in touch with my own belovedness, then I cannot touch the sacredness of others. If I am estranged from myself, I am likewise a stranger to others. ― Brennan Manning
It may well be that we will have to repent in this generation. Not merely for the vitriolic words and the violent actions of the bad people, but for the appalling silence and indifference of the good people who sit around and say, “Wait on time.” ― Martin Luther King Jr.
Your silence will not protect you. ― Audre Lorde
I decided it is better to scream. Silence is the real crime against humanity. ― Nadezhda Mandelstam
But there is greater comfort in the substance of silence than in the answer to a question. ― Thomas Merton
Silence is pure and holy. It draws people together because only those who are comfortable with each other can sit without speaking. ― Nicholas Sparks
I’ve begun to realize that you can listen to silence and learn from it. It has a quality and a dimension all its own. ― Chaim Potok
Silence is so freaking loud. ― Sarah Dessen
When words become unclear, I shall focus with photographs. When images become inadequate, I shall be content with silence. ― Ansel Adams
He who does not understand your silence will probably not understand your words. ― Elbert Hubbard
How much better is silence; the coffee cup, the table. How much better to sit by myself like the solitary sea-bird that opens its wings on the stake. Let me sit here for ever with bare things, this coffee cup, this knife, this fork, things in themselves, myself being myself. ― Virginia Woolf
Silence is a source of Great Strength. ― Lao Tzu
My silences had not protected me. Your silences will not protect you … What are the words you do not yet have? What are the tyrannies you swallow day by day and attempt to make your own, until you will sicken and die of them, still in silence? We have been socialized to respect fear more than our own need for language. I began to ask each time: “What’s the worst that could happen to me if I tell this truth?” … our speaking out will permit other women to speak, until laws are changed and lives are saved and the world is altered forever. Next time, ask: What’s the worst that will happen? Then push yourself a little further than you dare. Once you start to speak, people will yell at you. They will interrupt you, put you down and suggest it’s personal. And the world won’t end. And the speaking will get easier and easier. … And at last you’ll know with surpassing certainty that only one thing is more frightening than speaking your truth. And that is not speaking. ― Audre Lorde
As happens sometimes, a moment settled and hovered and remained for much more than a moment. And sound stopped and movement stopped for much, much more than a moment. ― John Steinbeck
Quiet is peace. Tranquility. Quiet is turning down the volume knob on life. Silence is pushing the off button. Shutting it down. All of it. ― Khaled Hosseini
In the silence of the heart God speaks. If you face God in prayer and silence, God will speak to you. Then you will know that you are nothing. It is only when you realize your nothingness, your emptiness, that God can fill you with Himself. Souls of prayer are souls of great silence. ― Mother Teresa
… you’d think that silence would be peaceful. but really, it’s painful. ― David Levithan
If there were a little more silence, if we all kept quiet…maybe we could understand something. ― Federico Fellini
There’s really no such thing as the ‘voiceless’. There are only the deliberately silenced, or the preferably unheard. ― Arundhati Roy
SONG: The Chant: Come To Pass: https://youtu.be/kc6dEx9cgR0
POEM: Rachel Hadas: Pass It On III (excerpt): … Death makes life shine …
QUOTE: Fyodor Dostoevsky, The Brothers Karamazov: I believe like a child that suffering will be healed and made up for, that all the humiliating absurdity of human contradictions will vanish like a pitiful mirage, like the despicable fabrication of the impotent and infinitely small Euclidean mind of man, that in the world’s finale, at the moment of eternal harmony, something so precious will come to pass that it will suffice for all hearts, for the comforting of all resentments, for the atonement of all the crimes of humanity, for all the blood that they’ve shed; that it will make it not only possible to forgive but to justify all that has happened.
SONG: Kevin Rudolf ft Lil Wayne: I Will Not Break: https://youtu.be/mNcSwvo007s
POEM: Mark Kirschen: Monet (excerpt): Sunlight will not break us—Rather / We move illumined / Return daily…To save what has been hammered / By the sun / Most of it unmapped, still / Uncharted…
QUOTE: Bob Marley: …he will give you a part of him that he knows you could break.
Sabbath II, 1988 — Wendell Berry
It is the destruction of the world
in our own lives
that drives us half insane, and more than half.
To destroy that which we were given
in trust: how will we bear it?
It is our own bodies that we give
to be broken,
our bodies existing before and after us
in clod and cloud, worm and tree,
that we, driving or driven, despise
in our greed to live, our haste
to die. To have lost, wantonly,
the ancient forests, the vast grasslands
in our madness, the presence
in our very bodies of our grief.
VISUAL POEM: Stripped from BibleProject: https://youtu.be/VHUBFfEzpEU
The adjective so often coupled with mercy is the word tender, but God’s mercy is not tender; this mercy is a blunt instrument. Mercy doesn’t wrap a warm, limp blanket around offenders. God’s mercy is the kind that kills the thing that wronged it and resurrects something new in its place.— Nadia Bolz-Weber
SONGS about CRUCIFIXION & the CROSS:
- Were You There When They Crucified My Lord? performed by Mahalia Jackson (Christian): https://youtu.be/3ji7eP7k8cA
- Via Dolorosa by Sandi Patti (Christian/classical): https://youtu.be/7asEdmZsSPo
- Crucifixion by Marian Anderson (1930s Gospel): https://youtu.be/C-EsGNikJU4
- The Old Rugged Cross by Redeemed Quartet (country/Christian): https://youtu.be/YGAHQr_DirY
- We Believe in Newsboys (Christian): https://youtu.be/WjZ01FcK0ykhttps://youtu.be/WjZ01FcK0yk
- Go To Dark Gethsemane by Concordia Publishing (Christian): https://youtu.be/y4_2WI4guKI
- The Crucifixion performed by Sarah Champion from Hermit Songs by Samuel Barbe (classical/opera): https://youtu.be/AlxuB3HfAnI
- Above All by Michael Smith (Christian pop): https://youtu.be/ChtSMj7QVno
- Never Forsaken by Hillsong (Christian): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=djCpJPnBy6E
- Rescue by Lauren Daigle (Christian): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MgkNB4939YM
- Mighty Cross by Elevation Worship (Christian): https://youtu.be/yI_SQrRUOt0
- Thank You for Choosing the Cross by Garreth Trent (Christian): https://youtu.be/zAGan-VA6JIhttps://youtu.be/zAGan-VA6JI
- Mighty Cross by Brooklyn Tabernacle Choir (Christian): https://youtu.be/Qd7U7pTUNc4
- The Cross of Christ by Vinesong (Christian/Celtic): https://youtu.be/hwvkwivDuNo
- Crucified with Christ by Phillips Craig and Dean (Christian): https://youtu.be/_0_1jazh454
- When I Survey the Wondrous Cross by Choir of Kings Cross (Christian hymn): https://youtu.be/mDkuxEIcpdI
- On the Cross by HosannaCFEugene: https://youtu.be/61yRkchJk4A
In Blackwater Woods (excerpt)— Mary Oliver
To live in this world
you must be able
to do three things:
to love what is mortal;
to hold it
against your bones
knowing your own life
depends on it;
and, when the time comes to let it go,
to let it go.
VIDEO POEM: From Tree to Cross: https://youtu.be/aQPVqcNVfM0
COMMENTARY on the GRIEF, the CROSS and HOLY FRIDAY
so it came time and
no day like that is ever
good in the coming
― Deborah Landau
To each one of us Christ is saying: If you want your life and mission to be fruitful, like mine, do as I do. Be converted into a seed that lets itself be buried. Let yourself be killed. Do not be afraid. Those who shun suffering will remain alone. No one is more alone than the selfish. But if you give your life out of love for others, as I give mine for all, you will reap a great harvest. — Oscar Romero
It was where, of course, the ultimate cry of human longing ran headlong into the silence of God, and was left, the cry was left out there like a huge, red hook trying to reach up into the heavens, but nothing received it. It’s a day of being touched by the void; it’s the day of the abyss. — John O’Donohue about Holy Friday
Good Friday is not about us trying to “get right with God.” It is about us entering the difference between God and humanity and just touching it for a moment. Touching the shimmering sadness of humanity’s insistence that we can be our own gods, that we can be pure and all-powerful. ― Nadia Bolz-Weber
And I felt like my heart had been so thoroughly and irreparably broken that there could be no real joy again, that at best there might eventually be a little contentment. Everyone wanted me to get help and rejoin life, pick up the pieces and move on, and I tried to, I wanted to, but I just had to lie in the mud with my arms wrapped around myself, eyes closed, grieving, until I didn’t have to anymore. ― Anne Lamott, Operating Instructions:
What happens at the cross is a “blessed exchange.” God gathers up all our sin, all our broken-ass junk, into God’s own self and transforms all that death into life. Jesus takes our crap and exchanges it for his blessedness. — Nadia Bolz-Weber
[Jesus dying on the cross] brings us face to face with the finality of defeat. Sometimes things don’t have a happy ending in life. Sometimes we fail. Sometimes we’re beaten. Sometimes we’re lost. Sometimes we’re humiliated. Sometimes we’re misunderstood. Sometimes we are abandoned by the very people we love most in life and whom we thought also loved us. At that point, without doubt, something in us dies. There’s not going back to things as they were before. Then doors close in our hearts and the old breath goes out of us and all we can do is to surrender to the dark. It is not a pretty moment. It can take all the energy we have.
Am I able to accept the daily deaths of life, both the great ones and the small, knowing that death is not the end of life, only its passing over to something new in me? Hopefully, I learn from the Jesus who gave up himself, his mission, his life in ways that all seemed totally wrong, that the deaths I die may bring new life to the world around me as well.— Sr Joan Chittister
On the Day I Die — Rumi
On the day I die,
when I’m being carried
toward the grave,
don’t weep. Don’t say,
He’s gone! He’s gone.
Death has nothing
to do with going away.
The sun sets
and the moon sets,
but they’re not gone.
Death is a coming together.
looks like a prison,
but it’s really
release into union.
The human seed goes
down in the ground
like a bucket into
the well where Joseph is.
It grows and
comes up full of some
Your mouth closes here,
opens with a
shout of joy there.
It Can’t Be Carried Alone” — Fr Richard Rohr (response to the collective suffering of the people of Ukraine).
How can we not feel shock or rage at what is happening
to the people of Ukraine—
As we watch their suffering unfold in real time
from an unfair distance?
Who of us does not feel inept or powerless
before such manifest evil? In this, at least, we are united.
Our partisan divisions now appear small and trivial.
Remember what we teach: both evil and goodness are,
first of all, social phenomena.
The Body of Christ is crucified and resurrected
at the same time. May we stand faithfully
Inside both these mysteries (contemplation).
In loving solidarity, we each bear what is ours to carry,
the unjust weight of crucifixion,
in expectant hope for God’s transformation.
May we be led to do what we can on any level (action)
to create resurrection
When Death Comes — Mary Oliver
When death comes
like the hungry bear in autumn;
when death comes and takes all the bright coins from his purse
to buy me, and snaps the purse shut;
when death comes
like the measle-pox
when death comes
like an iceberg between the shoulder blades,
I want to step through the door full of curiosity, wondering:
what is it going to be like, that cottage of darkness?
And therefore I look upon everything
as a brotherhood and a sisterhood,
and I look upon time as no more than an idea,
and I consider eternity as another possibility,
and I think of each life as a flower, as common
as a field daisy, and as singular,
and each name a comfortable music in the mouth,
tending, as all music does, toward silence,
and each body a lion of courage, and something
precious to the earth.
When it’s over, I want to say all my life
I was a bride married to amazement.
I was the bridegroom, taking the world into my arms.
When it’s over, I don’t want to wonder
if I have made of my life something particular, and real.
I don’t want to find myself sighing and frightened,
or full of argument.
I don’t want to end up simply having visited this world.
Your Excellency […]
Tonight, with the world in doubt, with this Commonwealth drawing into its lungs with every breath the difficult air of doubt, with the eyes of Europe turned westward upon Massachusetts and upon the whole United States in distress and harrowing doubt — are you still so sure? Does no faintest shadow of question gnaw at your mind? For, indeed, your spirit, however strong, is but the frail spirit of a man. Have you no need, in this hour, of a spirit greater than your own?
Think back. Think back a long time. Which way would He have turned, this Jesus of your faith? — Oh, not the way in which your feet are set!
You promise me, and I believe you truly, that you would think of what I said. I exact of you this promise now. Be for a moment alone with yourself. Look inward upon yourself. Let fall from your harassed mind all, all save this: which way would He have turned, this Jesus of your faith?
I cry to you with a million voices: answer our doubt. Exert the clemency which your high office affords.
There is need in Massachusetts of a great man tonight. It is not yet too late for you to be that man.
— Edna St. Vincent Millay, letter to governor of Massachusetts
… And you are right; it is well to forget that men die. So far we have devised no way to defeat death, or to outwit him, or to buy him over. At any moment the cloud may split above us and the golden spear of death leap at the heart; at any moment the earth crack and the hand of death reach up from the abyss to grasp our ankles; at any moment the wind rise and sweep the roofs from our houses, making one dust of our ceilings and ourselves. And if not, we shall die soon, anyhow. It is well to forget that this is so.
But that man before his time, wantonly and without sorrow, is thrust from the light of the sun into the darkness of the grave by his brother’s blindness or fear it is well to remember, at least until it has been shown to the satisfaction of all that this too is beyond our power to change…
These men were castaways upon our shore, and we, an ignorant and savage tribe, have put them to death because their speech and their manners were different from our own, and because to the untutored mind that which is strange is in its infancy ludicrous, but in its prime evil, dangerous, and to be done away with.
These men were put to death because they made you nervous; and your children know it. The minds of your children are like clear pools, reflecting faithfully whatever passes on the bank; whereas in the pool of your own mind, whenever an alien image bends above, a fish of terror leaps to meet it, shattering its reflection.
— Edna St Vincent Millay, November 9, 1927, The Outlook: “Fear”
Photograph from September 11th
translated by Clare Cavanagh and
They jumped from the burning floors—
one, two, a few more,
The photograph halted them in life,
and now keeps them
above the earth toward the earth.
Each is still complete,
with a particular face
and blood well hidden.
There’s enough time
for hair to come loose,
for keys and coins
to fall from pockets.
They’re still within the air’s reach,
within the compass of places
that have just now opened.
I can do only two things for them—
describe this flight
and not add a last line.