this world

This world is not my enemy.

This world of created things

that I have, we have not created.

We are born into this world, we die in this world.

This world will be remade, although not yet.

The enemy is within, the enemy is other wills disordered, self deception, sin, my own and others’,

the enemy is coaxing creations enticing our wills toward evil,

the enemy is congregations of wills seeking ill and evil.

But the will which forgives,

but the will which sees beyond the disorder and sees what one truly can be,

there is an image that is broken within.

The saint sees the potential of what a broken person can become.

The saint an instrument of God’s will, not in one’s own power.

This world, not to be discarded, but remade.

If I could only see the world as it will be instead of its current state of movement toward and away.

ash

After a life of confusion, of mystery

of uncertainty

where some seem to have better luck or better planning,

but maybe it’s a toil for all in this age of seemingly infinite possibility

is it all only reduced to ash,

to dust

non-existence?

A pure materialist would agree,

but is this truly a real person?

Are we purely one thing?

Aren’t we contending wills

in contradiction with one another, no matter how ordered or reasonable we wish ourselves,

our wills to be?

When young, we are more hopeful, possibility lying before us. Yet a looming anxiety.

More joy in our youth.

At the noonday of our lives, the zenith

at the height of “success”.

Or in transition that is like being at the edge of a precipice.

More at risk, leading to better things with more experience.

Yet, changing anything is more like wading through sand rather than shallow waters in youth, as thought every direction has potential and little fear involved.

Whoever wrote Ecclesiastes had it right,

all things are vanity.

What end are we truly seeking to meet?

If it is in misrelation to our Maker is it even worth it? Or was it all vanity?

The existentialist, at least Sartre and Camus, never found hope within existence only struggle and temporary purpose.

The life reduced to ash and dust

has hope that is in relation to beauty that points toward the good and the true–

hope that is rooted in faith and love

in Love itself.

Making ash and dust form again, to live again, in full potential and in union with its Maker, being fully human, truly self within and in relation to Self.

hostile cosmos

the dark dome of night

stars seem fixed, but distant beyond comprehension

looking into the past

light of stars that may be long gone, but we will not know for millenia.

its passing an echo from long ago.

We look to the sky, and look upon space,

once known as the heavens.

We now look upon it as a hostile place.

Yet in our hubris, boredom, pride

desiring to conquer even that vast empire of cold, vacuous

nearly infinite space.

Technology will conquer that which the human body cannot, in its frailty, take or survive in.

Discovery is a good. The beauty of the cosmos.

If space is the escape, its far more perilous “out there” than on the humble earth.

Remember, you are dust and to dust you shall return. Until all things remade.

thunder storm

There is no sound so unique as thunder

the magnesium-white intensely bright,

I cower beneath

fearing a strike cracking the air near me.

Instead the sound booms

within the dense soot-colored clouds.

Rain, a deluge

a calming presence

Makes me have gratitude for staying inside

as though a contemplative life is an oddity

in this modernity of busy-ness and activity.

The rain and thunder

replenishment,

reminder of things we cannot control,

baptism, a slowing down, contemplation of the

other.

Contemplation of the beauty of created order that we have not made.

There is no sound as unique as thunder

except the sound of lava flowing

molten earth, a rare occasion witnessed on earth,

but below the sea more common yet unseen.

Adoration

to have one who adores.

truly respects,

Loves.

Love, the cheapened word, along with hate.

we cheapen words and cheapen Our actions.

our works of love, empty.

but she who adores, respects, loves

knowing the other, seeing the other… Who he is, who he will be.

a realistic love,

desiring the utmost …

birthed from humility and love.

hope

hope is people

when isolation is despair.

(although despair, too, is people)

hope is conversation

sharing ideas, whether contradictory or contrary

conversation in humility and respect.

feeling alone within a crowd still has some hope

because St. Raphael leads to those who we are waiting for

and to those who are waiting for us.

In the sorrows and separations

the isolation, loneliness of this life

this life that seems to hold more despair, disappointment, uncertainty than

certainty

has a hope coupled with faith and love that is weaved into the fabric of the unseen

a presence always

it is our eyes that must be opened.

hope is a child’s smile

the eyes and imagination fresh and active.

A dimming occurs over a lifetime, the world hardening hearts,

blinding our eyes and imaginations.

Hope is awakening to this love and faith that reignites

our vision and imagination toward the good.

To become like that wonder-filled child again.

With an intellect and will formed by Good, by Love.

the Good

The philosopher says, “why speak of love?”
“what is right? What is good?”
A false love leads to a false good.


Art is a good metaphor for virtue ethics
and morality.
The artist seeks to perfect their work
a work resembling and imitating reality.


So should the moral, virtuous life be one of seeking perfection?
It is said the poet, the artist is possessed by the Muse to create
work that tells the truth, a mimetic perfection of the universal.
Platonic, I know.
But is the good life, is it motivated by grace, the Muse that perfects
creates saints.
We are mimetic creatures, we imitate. Who better to imitate than the one who is Good,
is Perfection.


What of love?
Why seek the Good, one who is good?
Does the love that moves all the world, the spheres create a harmony
that can only love and be loved?
When encountering love itself, can a being turn from that Love? Turn in shame, like the first people, turning away and covering one self. Can the gaze of love be rejected?
In anger, yes. In rebellion, in autonomous freedom, the nausea of freedom, overwhelming weight of choice, one’s own. Creating a world of one’s own making.


After shipwreak, suffering strength of autonomy wanes — will love penetrate the broken, then?
Art depicting the broken world, unsettling. Genius will depict what is real, what is, but not necessarily give hope or a way forward.


Art that seeks the good, may.


Are we works of art being perfected? Being painted over? Edited? Destroyed then remade?
What of love? Do we not wish to imitate who we love? And seek the good for those we love?
Grace that impetus, the love that moves all the world toward itself.

Let our aim be toward the Good.

psalm

there is no life within

“if you do not eat the flesh of the Son and drink His blood,

you do not have life in you.”

Emerson rejected the Eucharist

along with him many do the same.

It is but a symbol, they say.

To hell with it then, southern realist writer said.

Of course she partook and suffered in her short life. She rejecting the idea of it being symbol.

The presence of Christ is the heart of the matter.

Most believe in his absence–a nihilist nation (that of absence).

Crying out for consolation

not even Jesus got that.

Is God the god of uncaring,

the God of suffering in silence?

Or does He suffer with us in silence?

Christ crying, “Eloi, Eloi lama sabachthani.”

Partaking of his body and blood, we proclaim his death until he returns.

Partaking, we partake of his suffering.

To follow Christ is a road paved with hardship, not prosperity.

If prosperity has any small part, an attainment of contentment, not emptiness in having and each thing a gift that can easily be given away.

In Christ is our being at peace, at rest. Striving ceases. Only obedience in joy remains.

It is purgatory to come to this point. A pain, an aching, longing always present

until the final breath, hoping then it will be a relief and a longing to be embraced within the Kingdom of God.

A quiet slumber into grace.

What of a violent death? Sudden? Excruciating? Is God not there? Or is he like the presence in the furnace with Meshach, Abednego? Or like the sobbing mother’s of the Holy Innocents slaughtered?

In this time in between one point and another, is a state of suffering, with occasional relief. Distraction a temporary relief, friendship. Until the night. When another presence taunts or the morning devil.

Fear to move forward. To go elsewhere. I will if you tell me to. Instead of asking what I want, shall I ask what is your will?

What I want leads to nothing, my own nihilism.

Gift me with your life. Not a spiritual gnosis, detached, but your bleeding hands and feet, torn, broken body. Touching your hands scarred or still with holes, to touch your side where the spear pierced your side. To kneel on Galilean shores, the pebbles grinding into my knees, your hand resting upon my head absolving, blessing, calling me to rise. Reconciled to you. Your life pulsing through my being.

That I can die to myself, take up my cross and follow you.

God, it is so painful.

bone and flesh

This bone, this flesh

that presses ink upon the page

born of the earth

to return to its cavernous maw

welcoming yet a revulsion

to return to dust

the caverns of the dead

bones and cold earth.

Desolate places.

What of the mind

the unseen thoughts

only know in action

only remembered by those

encountered

forgotten.

The unseen secrets

only known to person and Thou.

Is there only decay and nothing

at the end?

This in between

this exile

this pain

of seeking place, placement, home

is it not here?

the only place we’ve known

the beauteous earth

its cycles of death and life.

This bone, this flesh

recreated

translated

to an eternal state–finally home

all the good of existence and the earth remain

all else has passed away.

I believe, I believe, I do believe

though proof cannot console, but faith.

hurricane theory

do most, who hadn’t before, desire to tell the truth when death is near?

the old self lies to maintain the false reputation, the false self.

the renewed will not desire to lie to anyone, not even one’s self.

I am wretched is the truest statement there is.

But also “yet go I by grace.”

when death is near,

the diagnosis is the reminder of the sentence

couching oneself in small comforts and happinesses

that never fulfill.

We rarely think or contemplate “I will die”

When it approaches,

possibly a relief to some; others a fight to live,

but to die well, one wishes to tell those one loves what they mean to them.

while others lament their lives in despair.

while yet others think there will be more time and never say …

what needs to be said,

family bereft of final wisdom or a phrase of comfort.

do we have anything left to say at the end

but only what is remembered?

or nothing at all.