Monday, May 25, 2020

Photo: Fried Clam Cakes

Poem: “When Death Comes” by 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.

Sunday, May 24, 2020

Photo: A Grove in Late Spring

Poem: "Ascension" by John Donne

Salute the last, and everlasting day.

Joy at the uprising of this Sun, and Son,

Ye whose true tears, or tribulation

Have purely wash’d, or burnt your drossy clay.

Behold, the Highest, parting hence away,

Lightens the dark clouds, which He treads upon;

Nor doth he by ascending show alone,

But first He, and He first enters the way.

O strong Ram, which hast batter’d heaven for me!

Mild lamb, which with thy Blood hast mark’d the path!

Bright Torch, which shinest, that I the way may see!

O, with Thy own Blood quench Thy own just wrath;

And if Thy Holy spirit my Muse did raise,

Deign at my hands this crown of prayer and praise

Saturday, May 23, 2020

Photo: A Holiday Weekend

Poem: “Learning from the Seagulls” by Flor McCarthy, S.D.B.

It’s a chilly day by the seaside,
far too windy for my comfort.
But the gulls don’t seem to mind the wind.
In fact, they seem to enjoy it.
I watch them fly about:
they go with it, they go against it,
they soar into the shy, they plunge back to earth.
All the time they are using the wind,
they are availing of its power.
And I reflect on how we, the disciples of Jesus,
are so easily blown off course by the winds of adversity.
Lord, send us the Holy Spirit who will enable us
to turn the hard and easy to our advantage,
so that everything that happens to us
may bear us along the road to your Kingdom.

Friday, May 22, 2020

Photo: Aliums

Poem: "The Road Not Taken" by Robert Frost

Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;

Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim,
Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same,

And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads back on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back.

I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I –
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.

Thursday, May 21, 2020

Photo: Opening Allium

Prayer: Thomas Merton

The American racial crisis which grows more serious every day offers the American Christian a change to face a reality about himself and recover his fidelity to orthodox truth, not merely in institutional loyalties and doctrinal orthodoxies… but in recanting a more basic heresy: the loss of that Christian sense which sees every other man [sic] as Christ and treats him as Christ.