a pilgrim's journey to the Great Better
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We have managed to roll together
the tangled strands of our lives
and get ourselves here.
We take this soft and colorful ball of life –
the school knapsacks filled with anticipation,
the news from home,
the co-worker we can’t stand,
the friend that means the world to us,
the dreams that become true if we just had time,
the failures that haunt our sleep,
the medical report we await,
the love received,
the healing laughter -
we take it all and entrust it as an offering to
the Cosmic Knitter,
who fashions – like an ancient granny -
from these ends our lives,
a coat of many colors.
We place these woolly bits of our living
in the knitting bag
of the sacred liturgy,
listen for the eternal click and clack of needles,
and eagerly await the finishing touches of Spirit.
I am a strong knife blade word,
not some if or maybe, dissolving in air.
I am sunlight slicing the dark.
Who made this night?
A forge deep in the earth-mud.
What is the body?
What is love?
What is hidden in our chests?
Don’t ask what love can make or do.
Look at the colors of the world.
The riverwater moving in all rivers once.
Even though the night darkens your spirit, its purpose is to impart light. Even tough it humbles you, revealing the depth of your wretchedness, its purpose is to exalt and uplift you. Even tough it empties you of all feeling and detaches you from all natural pleasures, its purpose is to fill you with spiritual joy and attach you to the source of that joy.
St. John of the Cross
The scientists see it this way:
in the beginning, from the darkness and emptiness of nothingness,
an unaccountable explosion of radiation
expanded outward in all directions,
which now our instruments can measure.
The first disciples saw it this way:
Jesus, too, allowed the light
to brighten dark death’s reign,
announcing a new creation,
brightened by justice for all.
The Magi, lovers of the starry skies, saw it this way:
the heavens all pointed to an uncreated light,
now formed in a baby’s eye,
Earth’s native Star,
worthy of wonder and a gift-laden visit.
We might look at it this way:
that same light that shone in Jesus
shines now through us,
and this festival of epiphany is real–
depending on whether we allow
an eternal shining
to light our path
into a future that awaits
our distinctive stamp.
Let there be light.
“The soft, glowing presence of planet Earth in the black abyss had a pristine clarity uncaptured by photographs. Images on film lack the subtle shades, the brightness, and the depth of the living sphere, which bulged out of the blackness as I sailed outward on Apollo 11… From the deep blue of the Mediterranean, all of Europe and Africa sprawled away in soft pastels, innocent of political boundaries. And from the surface of the moon, where I could cover with my thumb the site of all human history, the Earth seemed fragile as a Christmas ornament, drifting like a lost balloon on the black velvet of space. The image of a living Earth, capable of extinction, disarms illusions of individual or tribal isolation. We gained more than altitude in those 66 years from Kitty Hawk to the moon. Seeing Earth not as an extension of man, but man as an extension of Earth.”