How Beautiful the Dying

How beautiful the dying.

My mother on her death bed

had become a little girl again.

She lay on her side with her legs curled up,

the blanket almost flat

as if her body had already turned to memory.

I stroked her temple. Her hair

had become silver corn silk,

her skin soft beneath my fingers.

Her expression was relaxed and limpid

no longer bearing the furrows of dementia.

I just kept whispering to her

“thank you, thank you, thank you”,

both to her and to the angels

waiting at the foot of her bed.

She had become beautiful, innocent, transparent by degrees-

and then she slipped away.

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of Course the Rain- Psalm29:9

“The voice of the Lord leads the deer to calve and strips the forest bare,

and on Earth, everything cries “Glory!”.

All things praise Him and each story is His story.

Nearer to us than our next breath is the Lord’s voice

calling us each one by name.

Everything has its own voice, its own story,

even this grey day long winter rain.

For today, even at mid day the sky lay like a heavy regret,

thick and leaden and unyielding with its

threnody of thunder echoing in the heavens.

Of course this rain has its own voice, its own language that speaks of

tears and joy and praise.

The chair that I sit in has discernible language.

Its creases in the leather are runes that tell of books, music, and idle days.

That wine stain from years ago on the armrest,

a small ruby birthmark melded into the color of the leather,

still speaks of our anniversary and the 97 Clerc Milon

and the bride of my heart that will walk with me Home.

A stone, the tall pine where the herons nest,

the fecund smell of the muck and the silt and the sawgrass in the marsh-

the arrival of the wood ducks in December- Oh! what a voice!

Even that soft spot of rot behind the paint where its wrinkled

low in the corner of the door jamb; yes, decay certainly has a voice.

What is the sound of suffering so sharp that you fall to your knees

and gnaw on a towel to keep from screaming?

Or our usual quieter drone of despair?

And what of the sound of our old dear friend indifference with its

near silent cluck of the tongue and the imperious dagger unsheathed by the eye?

Let’s not forget silence, the loudest of all sounds in the house of the quarreling lovers-

each carrying a sack of sword blades as they move to avoid each other.

It is the Lord’s hand stripping the forest bare.

His voice is in the increase and the decrease, the giving birth and the stripping bare,

the tending to each soul in silent inexpressible chords of love

that will one day add our voice to the unending hymn of praise.

And our hearts will lay open one to another… and to Him.

14

14 people

14 people will have their life changed today

1 of those will not abort her baby

3 faces are wet with tears

2 of those from sorrow

1 who is weeping with love

1 is fighting porn addiction

12 praying their children

3 are saying the rosary

7 hearts silent with holy groanings

382 who could not “watch with Me one hour”

146 who don’t believe in the Living Real Presence

67 have no idea what The Church teaches about the Eucharist

396 adult parishioners

14 kneeling, adoring, and being bathed in love by

1 Savior and Risen Lord

My Work

Knowing my routines as close neighbors do,

they regard me with suspicion as I drive off to church.

“It’s only a weekday for chrissakes!”

      They don’t know it’s my job.

My work to adore the sacristan’s bounty of a dark and empty church,

to polish the holy vessels of the Precious Body and Blood.

My work to hear the tumulus quiet

and the gentle creak that wood makes for no reason at all,

to smell the burnished scent of the votives… and to be still.

It is my job to be here and feel my heart burst with praise

to feel behind me, just over there, the flinty rockpile of my sins

and to be here for all that trace their wounds back to me.

It is my work to stand before the cross that takes me just as I am,

O Lamb of God I come, I come.

Adoration

“Go to Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament and simply let Him love you.”  St. John Paul II

Kneeling or

quietly sitting in Adoration,

Yielding and passive and prayerful- there is that.

Yet, so much is astir!

For the faintest, softest “Yes”

He comes to you!

His heart bursting with love,

radiating His infinite joy

that you are there.

Don’t let your thousand failings

come to mind.

Let Him run to you.

His thirst- His longing- His love for you!

Who else but you?!

So, this is Adoration-

Jesus adoring you!

This

This,

only this

is truly necessary.

An outdated wooden crucifix

in a forgotten sacristy corner

my forehead pressed to the nail-pierced feet

reducing ten thousand things to one.

A simple act that clarifies.

Calling, inviting – I come

This single act

making me

one.