Poetry

 

Upon our hope, therefore, depends the liberty of the whole universe. Because our hope is the pledge of a new heaven and a new earth, in which all things will be what they were meant to be.

— Thomas Merton, No Man Is an Island, Sentences on Hope

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If my hope

Is the toe hold

The universe needs

To stay on the face

Of liberty;

Though barely a seam,

May it remain

As steadfast

As the One

Who made it

The anchor

Of my soul.

dw

Copyright © 2019, becomingflame.com

 

This is the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil — disgust with the things we have misused and hatred of ourselves for misusing them.

— Thomas Merton, No Man Is an Island, Sentences on Hope

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That tree, you know the one,
where Eve got sucker punched
and Adam melted away,
didn’t even stand up for her,
distracted, maybe, by the spectre
of knowing her nakedness
apart from her soul,
thus beginning the dehumanizing
of one image of God by another,
the desecration of created things,
the discounting of God who made them;

That tree, you know the one,
that bides its time
while we distract ourselves
knowing the distraction will quiet
and we will one day stare and swallow
at the noose our own demand
to experience something other than God’s provision,
the difference between Good and Evil,
has tied for us –
we the condemner and the condemned;

That tree, you know the one,
where our discounted God
hung on our behalf
to show us pure Good,
to cut us free.

dw

Copyright © 2019, becomingflame.com

 

 

It would be a sin to place any limit upon our hope in God. We must love Him without measure. All sin is rooted in the failure of love. All sin is a withdrawal of love from God, in order to love something else. Sin sets boundaries to our hope, and locks our love in prison.

— Thomas Merton, No Man Is an Island, Sentences on Hope

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Sin:
exchanging our greatest love
for something less,
hoping for less than what we have assurance of,
settling for even less than we hope for,
accepting a story of non-provision,
covetousness rewriting hope’s history
into a bleak tragedy
of love beyond our reach
just outside the bars
of the unlocked cell
we are dying in

dw

Copyright © 2019, becomingflame.com

Photo by chris panas on Unsplash

 

Better than hoping for anything from the Lord, besides His love, let us place all our hope in His love itself. This hope is as sure as God Himself. It can never be confounded.

— Thomas Merton, No Man Is an Island, Sentences on Hope

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It doesn’t matter what we do,
you and I,
as long as we are together.

No need for lavish blessings
or miraculous signs;
just You hovering near me will do.

dw

Copyright © 2019, becomingflame.com

Photo by Sunyu on Unsplash

Over my shoulder, a glance of the eye
Catches Cancer crabbing across the sky
Devouring time and a fetus named John;

Time two brothers might have played, gone to school,
Become men, raised families, and grown old,
Always together, apart sixteen months,
James, now asleep, and his hoped for brother;

A fetus once kicking, its fingers formed,
Its days twelve times seven, all dark,
Etched only in memory, a father’s worn face,
A doctor’s log, a mother’s heaving grief.

Summer, 1985
dw

Copyright © 2019, becomingflame.com

Thinking of E and J…peace and healing to you…

It makes one unhappy to judge people and happy to love them.

Day, Dorothy. The Reckless Way of Love: Notes on Following Jesus (Plough Spiritual Guides: Backpack Classics) (pp. 72-73). Plough Publishing House. Kindle Edition.

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I know there is an Accuser
(poor Job didn’t know)
its voice constantly in my ear
always outraged
(thought God was his adversary)
assuming the worst
about everyone and everything
(when God was so proud)
pronouncing judgement
endlessly, monotonously
(of his servant and friend)
until I remember
I’m asked to love, not judge
(that, after accepting his apology)
and my brow relaxes
and the unhappy knot in my head loosens
(that he gave him a tour of the great acts of creation)
and I find myself loving instead of judging,
happy, almost
(culminating in Leviathan sporting on God’s leash)
as my dog,
who loves me without judging me.

dw

Copyright © 2019, becomingflame.com

THERE ARE ALL KINDS OF FEAR, and I certainly pray to be delivered from the fear of my brother; I pray to grow in the love that casts out fear. To grow in love of God and man, and to live by this charity, that is the problem. We must love our enemy, not because we fear war but because God loves him.

Day, Dorothy. The Reckless Way of Love: Notes on Following Jesus (Plough Spiritual Guides: Backpack Classics) (p. 34). Plough Publishing House. Kindle Edition.

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There is Love and there is Fear.

Fear is kin to Envy, Prejudice, Hate, and Violence.

Love is kin to Joy, Peace, Patience, Kindness, Goodness, Faithfulness, Gentleness, and Self Control.

Love and Fear are not kin.
Love and Fear are enemies.

Fear hates Love; Love loves Fear.

Fear would kill Love.
Love would die to save Fear from itself.

dw

Copyright © 2019, becomingflame.com