Only on a high and holy place

Only on a high and holy place would Jesus steal away
To set aside earthly concerns and cares
A remote mountain, a high peak, where the day
Could be spent in solitude.

Only on a high and holy place would Jesus steal away
Holy only for its proximity to him and to the Father
A solitary bluff, a narrow outcropping, where the day
Would be spent in prayer.

Only on a high and holy place would Jesus steal away
High only for its height,
Its importance found only in God’s presence, where I too wish to spend the day
In prayer and in his presence. So let it be.

United to Christ

What dark and deadly pain grief can be
What shallow and inadequate response I am tempted to offer
What grace I can only pass on, for it is not mine to give—or to keep.
We suffer alongside our brothers and sisters,
Not, perhaps, physically, but in solidarity.
Let us unite together with them in prayer, Father,
And may we be united to Christ in their sufferings,
As he was united to us in his. Amen.

The Greater

If I being evil know how to give good gifts,
If God being good is the greater,
Then bread will be surpassed by a Stone.
If that Stone is a Rock,
If that Rock is life,
Then Jesus the Rock will be my portion.
If that portion is mine,
If I am separated he sends Another,
Then God is always with me.
May it be so. Amen.

Examinations

Examine your heart, whether you be in the faith.
What lurks in those depths, once called still waters?
Many old ghosts, hauntings from the past, wraiths
And darker things too—
Examined, the heart perplexes.
How can faith be where resides such depravity?
How can God coexist where so many faults still linger?
But he gives more grace.

He gives more grace, and dredges up the past
Only to cleanse it,
To banish old ghosts and make old things new.
He gives more grace, and takes on my nature
Swallowing up death in life, and me in love.
He gives more grace.

To Pray is to Change

To pray is to change.
I know not what I am, nor indeed was or will be;
My heart is thick, my dreams cloudy,
My mind is sick, my soul drowsy.
I can scarcely see with these weak eyes,
Nor can I feel your rain when I lift my face to the skies.
But to pray is to change.

To pray is to change,
Breathing out old habits and breathing in new graces,
Breathing out old corruptions and breathing in new life,
Breathing out the old me that is ready to expire
And breathing in the new You who is the same consuming fire.
To pray is to change.