My hope for you

Poetry speaks to our minds and hearts and is meant to communicate more than the sum of its words. It is an apt expression of our walk with the Lord. I encourage you to forward this link to those you love. I pray this poetry leads you into reflection and prayer but I also want to start a conversation. You, too, have something to share with others-not only in person, but also here. Your experience is yours to give away to build up and learn from others in the Body of Christ. Share the word that you hear, the experiences you have lived. We are all part of the New Evangelization.If you also want to contact me by email, feel free: genefirn@yahoo.com

Table of contents: October 7, 2012

Monday, October 7, 2013

The Dialogue

Jesus:
My invitation is ever the same
for those who come after Me:
will you follow My Way?

Lord Jesus, you know I will.
.
Jesus:
Yes, but I call you to be
more than you think you can be.

What does that mean, my Lord?

Jesus:
Your vision is of ministries,
doing great things for Me while
overcoming the pull of darkness
in your life.

But, what is wrong with that?

Jesus:
It is good that you desire to serve Me
and overcome the sin that clings so closely
to you. But, there is more.

You mean perfection?

Jesus:
Not as you mean it.

Well then, what do You mean by it?
What are you asking of me?

Jesus:
Perfection is not great, it is little,
just as I became little for you.
It is not complicated; rather, it is simple
like a child cuddling close to his mother
or listening for her voice in the
sleepy morning.

It is not straining to
do everything right, but, rather,
being at Peace with your weakness
knowing you are Loved for who you are.

It is not living up to your ideal image
trying to become the person you want others
to "see". Rather, it is living in transparency where
your heart is joined with Mine and no one can
tell the difference.

It is not what you do, but who you are.

Lord Jesus, how can this become mine?
How do I live your Perfection and not mine?
It seems like more than I can do.

Jesus:
It is not a mountain to conquer nor
a river to tame. But, it is a battle nonetheless,
for, you live in a world under the power
of the evil one. His words deceive and accuse.
Even doing good can become the excuse for
not doing the more noble, more arduous
even illogical to those bound by darkness.

Sigh.  Lord, it all seems too much.
How does all that fit together?
I need to know how to live as
your disciple in all the many things I
have to do and the relationships I have.
Can you simplify all that you have said
and maybe sum it up for me?
I do want to please you; show me how
I can be pleasing to you.

Jesus:
I know your heart; the secret longings
even you do not see yet, and, I Love you.
Yes, it is good that it is too much for you-
that is the Truth of your Life with Me.

What pleases Me is your love in return because
only then can I give you more of Myself, only then
can I Love others through you. So, to be My
faithful witness, do not hide your Love for Me.
Love Me simply, straightforwardly, openly for all to see
knowing that it is only by My Spirit that you can
do so. That is a reality to embrace, not reluctantly, but
rather, joyfully, for it is in weakness that you find
your true strength-like a peaceful child securely holding his
mother's hand. That is the Way as in the
sleepy morning. 

Lord, how do I get from here to there?

Jesus: Take my hand.

Reflection/Discussion:
-What are the ways you "hide" your love for Jesus?
-How can you love Jesus more simply, openly and straightforwardly ie. childlike? 
-How can you become more "childlike"?
-What area(s) in your life is it difficult to surrender to the Lord?
-How can you practically grow in trust for a difficult area in your life?
- Do you have a Spiritual Director?
- If not, who can you ask to be your Spiritual Director?
-Find a support group to whom you can be accountable.




Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Chastity

in a hook-up culture of
moral relativism where
right and wrong is based on
my subjective viewpoint and is
always right for me
feelings are enthroned
pleasure is worshiped
narcissism enshrined
desires deified
freedom is transformed into
slavery as our whims
thrust sex into degradation-
merely a recreational pastime-
by willing players
outdoing one another to
win the Oscar for
Best Performer in an
Erotic Fantasy
the dignity of the
human person is
corrupted
others-even ourselves-
are there to be used to
satiate our
infinite cravings
obsessed as objects
for our compulsions-
no longer as subjects
to be respected
rather than
being our servant
sex becomes our
overbearing master
which reaps what it sows
with STD's abounding
and HIV/AIDS destroying
even the innocent
yet its gravest penalty
is the death of the soul
placing my own desires
above God's Word to be
lost in a self-centered mire
but as powerful a drive as it is
Grace is more potent to
live a life of Chastity-
the freedom to live God's plan
for human sexuality-
an expression of the
gift of self to our spouse-
the embodied donation of
1 man and 1 woman in
marriage ordered to the
fruit of children-
nature's obvious fit
not just a choice but
an objective truth
a symbol of
Christ's selfless gift to His Bride-
the Church- as well as the
mystical union of the Trinity-
whether married or single
we are called to be chaste-
a sacrifice of Love-
yet the power of sex drives
lustful temptation toward
its misuse seemingly everywhere
and though we may
struggle to be faithful
freedom begins in repentance
surrendering our
minds, hearts and wills to
the Savior and Lord
admitting our need for
His Power in prayer and
Sacramental Life
living in the light by
seeking support from our
brothers and sisters
in the Lord
virtue is gained through
prudent self-discipline
an expression of our desire to
love the Lord above all and
whose intimate Spirit is
within the temple of our bodies
Chastity is a jewel in
the crown of Glory
resulting in not a life
unfulfilled
unhappy and
frustrated
but of
Joy

pleasure

Reflection/Discussion:
-Is Chastity a valued virtue in your life?
-How?
-How do you guard your relationship with the Lord?
-What are the "near occasions of sin" in your life?
-What support do you have for a chaste life?
-What is the "natural law" argument for one man, one woman marriage?


Tuesday, August 20, 2013

The Dream

sorrow's incense leaked from the
silent recesses of my soul
marking the throes of a death-watch
endured through years of
vain determination to
revive a broken bond
ultimately arriving at it's
predetermined destination
a dream of married love
in the Lord which
never seemed to
take direction
but honestly
never really began
four loves brought joy
though never enough to
prevent the inevitable
decades' days desperately seeking a
faint light of clarity
yielded only confusion as
mourning began each day and
night awoke the
darkness of dejection
my sowing of other unions'
purported joy
reaped a harvest of
self-pity gathered into
sheaves of depression when
facing the loss of divorce
unanswered questions impelled
counsel's futile intervention
friendship's relative support
somewhat lightened
the crux of my burden but
nevertheless produced
isolation even in company
while prayer's indiscernible fruit
grasped at faith's blinded insight
yet even with the compassionate
Lord's Hand in mine
I could barely measure Comfort's
meager consequence while
trekking in the valley of shadows
kindled a grief as yet unknown by the
piling on of our young loves'
unasked questions
arising from our unasked-for decision
as insufficient explanations
stripped away their precious familiarity
ripping apart security's mantle by
having to digest the
forced feedings of brokenness in the
silent wonderings of their young hearts
still
we banished enmity with
mutual respect never
speaking ill of the other in their company
always mindful of our
treasures' delicate nature
then at long last
the sigh of my relief' echoed in the twilight
as I departed without fanfare though
agony's companionship
accompanied my mitigated hope
for years to come
Love's supplication proved daunting to
carry my cross
share His burden
heal the wounds with
Grace to forgive-
little by little to
let go of the loss
surrender to a greater Love
offering far more than dreams
trusting that
somehow
someway
sometime
the Lord will
bring about some good
out of all this mess
as a shoot of New Life-
moistened by tears-
sprouted imperceptibly

Reflection/Discussion:
-How can you overcome the isolation of divorce?
-How can both parties make it "easier" for the children?
-How can the Church support the divorcing couple?
-How can you support a friend getting divorced? 
-What part does suffering play in the Christian Life?


Friday, August 2, 2013

The Lover

the unexpected Presence
bearing a startling Revelation
pierced my heart
an arrow of Light
entwined with conviction
so bright 
so provoking
so Other
I dared not peek
as I cried in anguish at the
Truth emitting back at me
through the veil of Holiness poured
Mercy undeserved
my Savior's chalice bearing
unbearable debt strained
by compassion's filter
lifted my soul from
guilt's quagmire
leaving me weightless of
sin's burden and
certain that I was lifted in Love
borne by a forgiveness unearned
yet ...in weakness I fumed-
angered that my
own idolatry was the
source of all my sin and
was the answer to my petitions
lo all these months to
show me all of my sins
so as to repent and be free
the unveiling surpassed
my naive expectations
propelling me to ask
as Mercy cascaded over me...
why... why do you Love me so
without reservation or judgement?
how is it that I am
so generously received when
I have been so
pitifully self-absorbed?
the answer came
so clearly
so simply
'That is Who I Am 
a Turning is all I Desire'
a Grace-filled acceptance was
my only response to His Offer and
so heavy the Presence
so taken the weight
so dark the burden
st great the flow of tears
so Light the One
in Patience Thirsting for
hearts to come home
spurned too often by
His beloved yet
everything changes when
Love is encountered
then embraced and
a hard path commenced
through the narrow gate
seek and
you shall find
knock and
it will be opened
ask and
you shall receive
as the Holy One of Israel
Creator of Heaven and Earth
Eternal and Immutable
Savior and Lord
becomes
your Lover

Reflection/Discussion:
-Are experiences like the one described earned? Why/not?
-What place do feelings have in our Faith experience?]
-What do the saints say?
-How can we come closer to the Lord?
-Do you have a daily prayer time? Why/not?
-Describe you prayer time.


Thursday, July 25, 2013

The Hour

it is upon us
so it begins
we descend into darkness
into the enemy's hands
persecution justified by
pretentious progressive machinations
in the name of human rights
but in reality is
human degradation
majorities become minorities
when deception converts the
masses into believing
right is wrong and
wrong is right
vacuous opinions serving as facts
with only force as a foundation
laws become instruments of
enforcing the latest logical extension of
relative principles conceived in
enlightened imaginations
devoid of tolerance
while nature's law enhanced by
revelation becomes supposedly the
trivial pursuit of
ancient prejudices clothed in
modern sophistries of
religious neanderthals who have
no regard for human advancement and
deserve whatever ill
may come their way
faithful followers of Jesus
become the hunted prey of
social exterminators wearing the
regalia of authority making
melodramatic accusations of
hate and bigotry 
against everything that
doesn't fit their latest discovery
no matter how ridiculous their
take on reality proves to be
just as long as no one observes that
the emperor has no clothes on
wheat must be separated
from the chaff
renewal of the Body
through purification's fire
how long that takes is providential
but salvation or damnation
is at stake
the time of apostasy has arrived
though it won't be
viewed as such
rather only as being
open-minded
tolerant and
non-judgemental
trials and tribulations
hatred and ridicule
await Jesus' disciples who
resist the world's pressure to
cave to their tyrannical
new order of
humanitarian ideals
which in reality only serve to
tighten the grip of the
ancient adversary
whose way is wide and easy
while hidden by
authoritative arguments
from a new generation of
rebellious minions
be prepared to
speak the Truth in Love
stand firm in the Lord and
in the Power of the Holy Spirit for
the hour is here

Reflection/Discussion:
-Where do you see persecution happening in our culture?
-How does it affect you?
-How are you growing in your relationship with Jesus?
-What are you doing to deepen your understanding of Christian Morality?
-What does it mean to "speak the Truth in Love"?
-How can you Love your enemies?
-If enemies looked at your life, would it merit persecution? Why/not?

 


 


Friday, July 19, 2013

The Desert

barren
without direction
a journey with
limited results
unsuccessful attempts
rooted in desires
searching for fruition
while petitions ending in
endless frustration
leaves me to question
my motives even
my decisions of surrender
each peeling away
layers of self
mired in the world
reactions not founded in Love
weaknesses open to
deadly spiritual sins
motivate me to seek
Grace's intervention
cleansing bit by bit
slowly discovering a
glimmer of Light
leading upward
squinting for clarity
sensing yet again to
let go of the lesser
though lofty goal to
serve the mission of the One
though often chained to
self's centrality
for the more pure
union of a Lover
release me
from myself to
embrace surrender in
everything to You
jealous for my heart to
burn with
singular Passion
despite being
beyond my power to
complete which begs for
You to make it so since
I cannot
this invitation is
painfully grasped
without assurances of
perseverance in
surrendering my control
leaning not on my own
understanding while
acknowledging His Lordship
provides an inkling of Trust in the
night's caressing breeze and
captures a Promise to
work all things for good
though now unseen and
unfelt while living in
suspended space

Reflection/Discussion:
-What is the Desert?
-Where is the hope in this poem?
-How does a desert experience fit into faith?
-Is it "normal" in our faith development? Why/not?
-How have you experienced something akin to the desert? Expain.
-How do you deal with the desert experience? 
-How does the desert purify you?
-Is this something to desire? Why/not?

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

The Rest

                                                                                                                          
silence boasts dawn’s darkness
winter winds searching for a direction
empty hearts longing to be filled
infinite desires needing more than limitations
illusions of meaning fighting for survival
restlessness crying for cessation
Love knocking on lonely doors
breaking bread on heaven’s table 
turning wheat into earth's salvation
seeing with closed eyes the One unseen
life receiving the Gift of a 
Death freely given as
night blossom's into Light while
tears fall in sorrow and joy 
when I encounters Thou
my journey turns from
seeking to finding
my Treasure's
Rest

Reflection/Discussion:
-How do our many desires speak of the eternal?
-What isi the rest sought?
-With what do you identify in this poem?
-How do we deal with our earthly desires after rest?
-How do we bring order into disordered desires?
-How do you go from seeking to finding?

Friday, June 21, 2013

The As if

realities sometimes are
taken for granted
relationships often suffer
from just that
so it is with faith
hope and love
Sunday Mass
Sacred Scripture
Communion
Grace before meals
memorized prayers
Sacraments
Love the Lord your God with
all your heart and
your neighbor as yourself
Jesus died and rose
the Gift of the Holy Spirit
you are My witnesses
proclaim the Good News to
every creature
how many times have we
heard it all?
what else is new?
ho-hum, what time's the game?
work's a killer this week
too many things to think about
plan or deal with
too many ingrained habits
easier to get along than to
get going even when
we're committed belivers
but....
WHAT WOULD MY LIFE LOOK LIKE IF
I ACTUALLY LIVED
AS IF...
Jesus REALLY did die for me
He IS ALIVEand REAL and
LIVES IN ME and is
PASSIONATELY IN LOVE with me
I AM a son of God
God is my Father
I CAN trust Him
I have the POWER of the Holy Spirit
I actually DO HAVE His Gifts and He
WANTS me to use them
Jesus is REALLY present in the Eucharist
He is ABSOLUTELY HOLY and I am not worthy
He wants to USE ME to bring others to know Him
He HEARS ME when I speak to Him and
He DOES SPEAK to me
He wants to just BE with me
He wants to BEAR MY SORROWS
He wants to LOVE others through ME
He IS my joy and peace
He accompanies His Word with
SIGNS AND WONDERS
what if I actually lived
as if...
where do I begin?
how about I
ASK JESUS how I DON'T live as if...
REPENT and
BEGIN TODAY to live as if....
because.....
IT'S ALL
TRUE!!

Reflection/Discussion:
-What practical things can you do to live each day "as if"?
-Where will you begin?
-How can you keep on living "as if"?
-Pray, act, speak, live "as if"...........
-Be accountable to someone.
-Join a men's/women's group of believers.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

The Betrayal

saved by grace
called to holiness
anointed with chrism
ordained to serve
the watchman's calling to
protect
pastor
preach
teach as a faithful
shepherd for the flock
bearing the
cost of discipleship
being an example of
holiness
repentance
forgiveness
purity
self-sacrifice
speaking as
prophets of the Lord God
on fire for His Kingdom is
a lofty calling and
a heavy burden
not accepted lightly
nor is the Gospel
betrayed without dire consequences
personally and Bodily
but
when sin is hidden by the
double-mindedness of
impurity's luridness
orthodoxy's Truth despised by
progressive fantasies
heresies of secularism
disguised in vestments of
pastoral accompaniment
catechesis a
train wreck
fostering tolerance
instead of holiness
conscience doing
whatever one feels is
relatively right
politicians posing as
faithful Catholics
yet fostering
killing fields
sin an
unspoken reality
marriage's natural
law is pc's
orphaned child
where everyone's
orientation is
God-given and
sexuality's free lance
identities are
transitory
contraception a
case unmade
the Gospel's
who what why how
so simple yet
so quenched
while believers
wonder why
nothing is said
nothing is done to
protect the sheep
from the wolves
in the name of
pastoral inclusion
tolerance or
fear of reprisals
which leaves
the faithful feeling
confused
brokenhearted and
kissed by Judas while
satan rejoices
yet
Jesus is Lord
the Spirit is moving
miracles are happening
a new annointing of
Revival is here
so
repent and believe
pray everyday
pray for the shepherds
seek Jesus in the Eucharist
praise the Lord
be holy
be faithful
let  Jesus be your joy and peace
hook-up with faithful disciples
take up your cross and
witness the truth in love
earnestly desire the
spiritual gifts for
the gates of hell
shall not prevail

Reflection/Discussion:
-How do you experience the state of the Church?
-How can these things happen in His Church?
-What can you do to change things?
-What needs to change in you?
-How is the Lord calling you to serve? 
-Find a support group of faithful disciples.




Thursday, May 23, 2013

The Denudation

not content
with the state of
our Intimacy
an inability to
receive more
always much more than
we can process
the Spirit strips us of
our false securities
whatever is not
God Alone-
props for a
self-sufficiency
unfounded in reality-
through perfectly
tailored  trials
storms that rage
ripping away
treasured stabilities
one at a time but
sometimes
all at once
leaving us disoriented
feeling alone and abandoned
by a faith depersonalized and
stretched beyond capacity 
causing us to yearn for a
relief that doesn't come on
our terms
neatly protected
under our tight control 
we resist this
tearing away of
self's enthronement
without the light of
clear vision or the
strength of our previous
self-confidence
tribulations reveal
our hidden sins
now front and center-
rebellious anger
envy/jealousy
self-pity
self-centeredness
self-will
fear/mistrust
self-sufficiency
masked as confident trust
secrecy rooted in
pride that hides
our weaknesses
seeking comfort in the
flesh not the Lord
but a  new way is proposed...
dependency
because there is
nothing else
a new-found trust
not tasted or touched
but only sensed
faintly
not all at once
but partially as
we seek Him
faithfully
day by day
yielding our desires
letting go of
knowing better than
Infinite Wisdom
we learn
unsought lessons
necessary for holiness
a poverty of spirit
to begin with
producing a tiny opening to
receive a river of
Power from above
rooted in a Love
stripped of everything
but the Cross
the prime example of
patient endurance
the sufficiency of Grace in
courageous surrender
bearing a Peace and Joy that
supasses understanding
born through
the process of
denudation

Reflection/Discussion:
-What is denudation?
-Why does this happen?
-Is this "normal" in the Christian Life? Why/not?
-What is "poverty of spirit"?
-Do you hide your true self? Why? How can that change?
-How can we support one another through this?
-How should we handle this when it happens?
-What is "courageous surrender"?

Saturday, March 30, 2013

The Assumption

do not assume
that lines to receive
Me have first
received Me into
their hearts as
Lord and Savior
it is not so
few are disciples
who daily
seek My Face
worship My Presence
love Me above all
renounce sin
speak My Truth
trust through trials
suffer with Me
witness unto death
many have departed
from the simplicity
of the Cross
the call to repentance to
leave all behind
take up that Cross to
come after Me
do not dance the
dance of fear
nor intimidation to
speak My Word of
conversion of heart
all that fail to decide
have in that very fact
decided not to follow
and are in
eternal danger
My Grace is always
being offered
ready to be revealed
even to be rejected
My tears still flow for
My wayward children
entrapped in the lures of
the world
believing the lies of
the enemy
satisfied with the minimum
yet living for themselves and
whose faces
show up even
on Sunday
beware of the assumption
you are called to more

Reflection/Discussion:
-What is "The Assumption"?
-Do you think it is accurate? Why/not?
-What are the signs, since no one knows the heart but God?
-How can we help bring about revival in the Church?
-What about your life? Where do you stand?
-What is your calling?

Sunday, March 24, 2013

The Promised

in the beginning
hovering over waters
out of chaos forming
elements into precision 
life into being
I was sent
then in time
promised for
dreaming dreams  
seeing visions
speaking Words of God by
daughters and sons
an outpouring for all
who passionately seek to
drink deeply of 
Glory's Splendor  
yet for a while to
prepare the way
I was sent to a chosen few
uttering the prophetic words
“come back again” to
a wayward people of
seesawing faithfulness 
again promised until
at the appointed time
I hovered over the Anointed
revealed as the Son
in a baptism for an
eternal purpose and
anointing in turn to 
speak Truths with a
Power beyond human reckoning
revealing a Knowledge of the Divine
proved by signs and wonders
until at last
after Passion's price and  
death’s conquest
the waiting was ended by 
hovering tongues of fire
a mighty wind
releasing fear’s bondage as
barriers were transcended
Holy Names of Glory
proclaimed in languages for all
freedom’s bestowal brought
the promise to fruition
never less than one could receive
freely offered with
miraculous Gifts of
Power to heal
deliver
know the unknown
speak prophetic Words
worship in
angelic tongues
live a persevering call
for combat above
victory below
strength through weakness
dying to self for
an intimacy Divine to
proclaim a Risen Savior
which remains
today's challenge for a
world enslaved to sin
but
a Gift left unclaimed
withers on the vine
neglect and choice
leave Me untapped
meager expectations only
restrain unlimited Power
so asking in faith is a
prerequisite for Grace to
release an answer
when knocking and
seeking to find  a
Power born of
Mystical Breath
yet after all is
said and done
be aware of this
in your re-creation 
after years of tasting sweetness 
even as the Fire ignites your soul
touching you in depths unfathomed
with Gifts undeserved 
stirring life to new heights
with Love-drenched
tears overflowing in
intimate tenderness
taking you from
Glory to Glory into
realms of Holiness
still
there
is
more......

Reflection/Discussion:
-How would you summarize "The Promised"?
-What does "a Gift unclaimed withers on the vine" mean?
-What are your expectations regarding the Holy Spirit?
-What do you believe about the Gifts of the Spirit?
-Are you seeking more of the Spirit? Why/not? 
-Practically, what can I do to "earnestly desire the spiritual gifts"?
-What is the "Baptism of the Holy Spirit"?

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Heaven


beyond everything
I could ever dream
describe or desire
Heaven would have it
no other way
only an Infinite
all Powerful God
could Create
such a Reward that I
as a human being
so finite in my thinking but
so Infinite in my longing
would still be
so Exalted yet
so humbled by the
Otherness of it All
the overwhelming
Godness of  Life Eternal
leaving me staring so
starry-eyed at the One
who Died and Rose for me so that
I could be Loved forever
so Joy-filled that the end is
Eternally beginning
Eternally new
Eternally Glorious
that words can only repeat
Love’s Intimate Repast
as sighs climax  the
Infinite language of Union
so breathtaking that
I can only revel in
His Enduring Embrace
what have I ever have done to
inherit such a One
now seen face to Face?
nothing
not one thing
only Mercy begs acceptance
so agonizing in earthly life
now only a
vague distant dream
so worth the trials
producing a Purification
which then cried for relief
despite being too
Fruitful to postpone 
having been Transformed by
Grace-filled responses to life's
sometimes overwhelming challenges
where only Trust could barely
manage all the myriad blinds
offering no way out except
holding His Hand
now my
tears are dried
heartaches healed
fears removed
wounds mended
limitations eliminated
no more surrounding me
no more binding me
no more
now only
unfading Glory
lies before me
unending Joy
even overwhelming
imagination's
fantasies
.
Reflection/Discussion:
-Describe "Heaven".

-What is the "Otherness of it all" mean?

-How do trials prepare us for Heaven?
-What does "holding His Hand" mean?
-Where does Mercy fit in getting to Heaven?
-Is it easier to imagine Heaven or Hell? Why?
-How does thinking about the 4 last things help us now?
-Where does Purgatory fit-in?

The Father

distorted by
earthly fathers'
sinful weakness
the Truth of 
My Love for you
gets defiled in the
experiences of life
My Identity is blended-in
with your relationship
to your own father
whether for good or ill
sometimes leading to
My rejection
viewing Me with
mistrust
thinking of Me as
silent
disinterested
harsh
One who has
abandoned you
left you one your own to
figure everything out
this is beyond
a tragedy for My children
for the source of that distortion
is your enemy
one who is always a
liar
deceiver
accuser
meant to destroy you
with so base an untruth
My true Image is
My Son
in whose Face is
My Face
Who loves with
My love
Whose pierced heart is
My heart
Who is My spoken Word
to you meant to
perfectly communicate
My reality as your Abba 
in order to draw you
into a perfect sharing of
Our Love for one another
for when you look upon 
His countenance
experience
His tender Love
His healing touch
hear His Word
receive His Body
know that I am
with you as well for
We are One
so ask Me to
unveil the fallacy of
your deception
begin with awareness
an examination of your
relationship with Me
ask for
Light where there is
darkness
Truth where there is
falsehood
Healing where there is
wounding
for you are meant to
share in My Image
imprinted in your spirit
a revelation of
My Love for My children by
your transformation into
the Image of My Son
to share Our Holiness
being set apart for
Glory
all of this is
your destiny
your inheritance
your calling
the reason for
your creation
so taste and see
for all I have is
yours

Reflection/Discussion:
-What is the meaning of "The Father"?
-What does "My true Image is My Son" mean ?
-How would you describe your own father?
-Describe your relationship with him.
-How does this affect your image of God as Father?
-Speak the distortion. 
-Bring this into the light with someone you trust.
-Pray for healing, by yourself and with others. 
 

Saturday, March 2, 2013

The Way

one
there is only
one way to
Union-
Holiness unbridled
that way is
death to self
born into slavery to
ego's enthronement
we are sold out to
have our own way in life
self-will our idol
pride demands its
recognition often in
secret machinations
hidden even from ourselves
sometimes donning
professions of
heavenly desires- the
twisted deception of a
blinded humanity
only Grace
reveals the Truth
peals back the veil of
sin's deep wounding
only Grace enables us to
admit our inability to
overcome it's
tentacles entwining
layers of consciousness
only Grace
received through Mercy
loosens the hold of
self-reliance
addictions to the false
security of transitory
tangible titles
personality
wealth
reputation
character
sometimes even
ministry
anything but
Jesus Himself
prying our fingers off the
death grip on our
being-in-control to
being willing to
obey that He may be Glorified
seek Him alone
let go of this life-
so precious to us-
that we find Rest in
God Alone and
the template of Calvary
becomes our
pattern of Surrender
"not My will but
Thine be done"
this is only a
work of Grace
and a work in progress
a process of sanctification
undertaken in weakness
recognizing that the
battle is within while
learning to depend on a
Love beyond our strength to
give oneself away
serve the other
wash feet with His Love
in grateful humility
day by day
come what may

Reflection/Discussion:
-How does the poem describe "The Way"?
-What was most meaningful about "The Way" to you?
-Where am you along "The Way"?
-What areas in your life are you trying to control?
-What are the areas in your life in which you experience your weakness?
-What is the Lord saying to you now? 
-Where can you get support to live out your Faith?

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

The Son

He was always there for me
our bond like no other
His beginning shrouded in Mystery
was such a blessing and
so gracious a Gift that
I could only humbly accept
He was always a joy
with eyes and strength like his father
so close were they
even when understanding was
beyond my grasp I knew
He was more Divine than
He appeared and yet
so playful but oh so serious
with an intent and purpose
always beyond His years
presenting me with more than
I could ever fathom
still He could never refuse my requests
a little game we always shared
which carried on even when He left home
then after the desert called Him
beginning a journey filled with wonders
and words spoken with an Authority
I only had seen once before
I could sense the sorrow that was coming
even if He had not said so Himself
though it was far beyond
imagination's boundaries
I was not prepared for the travails
that overwhelmed us all
the sounds and smells
the brutality and degradations
but most of all the look
when our eyes met
was more than I could bear
the sword piercing my heart
had finally come
still His last words to me
echoing our past
to continue my mother's role
wondering how I could ever
get beyond my grief
I could only nod and look away
a final cry and surrender
was all that was left
till I held Him one last time and
kissed His Face with tears
hoping for something more

Reflection/Discussion:
-How does "The Son" describe Mary and Jesus' relationship?
-What does "The Son" mean to you?
-Do you think "a little game we always shared" describes reality? Why/not?
-How does this poem compare to "The Mother Mary"?
-What part does Mary play in your life?
-How can she help in your relationship with her Son?


Friday, February 22, 2013

The Gospel

the wonder of Grace
a Truth revealed
bestowed without merit
upon humanity by the
Cross of Christ
remains ridiculed
hushed to avoid
any hint of
judging behavior
this world's most
unforgivable transgression
relativism's reduction to
self-justification
eliminates wrongdoing and
where there is no sin
there is no sinner
no need of a Savior
where there is no captivity
there is no deliverance
where there is no vice
there is no virtue
where there is no guilt
there is no redemption
the Gospel of the sinless Lamb
Sacrificed for His flock
is relegated  to a fairy tale
clothing the deluded
in garbs of
ancient myths
chivalry from ages past
mocked by moderns
bent on bowing before 
mirror's image
but evil
though denied
prospers everywhere
building upon itself
temples of deceit
justifying everything
in the name of
feeling's enthronement
where what I believe
is true reigns because
I say it is
but
truth is objective
not what we
say it is
feelings do not
determine veracity
reality does
identity is given
not created
nature is bestowed
not chosen
body and soul
are united in
one being
not separate
we are not figments of
imagination's creativity
made merely for
self-indulgence
slaves to our impulses
rather
revelation's testimony discloses
each is Created in the
Image of God with
freedom for Glory
favored with Dignity to share an
Eternal Union with Divinity
an Intimate Marriage of
person to Person
though fragile and imperfect
known and loved as we are
received through repentance
so let us surrender
our hearts to Jesus
the One who
formed us in the womb
died for our sins
rose to New Life
called us by name
given us the Power of
the Holy Spirit  to follow Him
liberty to live as
Sons and Daughters of the Father
to experience the
Love of Him who first
Loved us
healed and set free
from sin and the
grasp of the evil one  to
grow in holiness
persevere through trials
listen for His quiet voice 
share His Love with others
witness by our lives to the
One who is
Alive and Real
Faithful unto death

Reflection/Discussion:
-What does "The Gospel" say about truth?
-What does "feelings do not determine veracity, reality does" mean?
-How does "The Gospel" describe the Gospel? 
-What is the false image of the Gospel presented in today's culture?
-What is "relativism" and how would you refute it?
-Prepare a brief (5 minute) sharing of the Gospel.
-Prepare a brief personal testimony of how you became a Catholic/Christian.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

The Healing

forever assuming
abandonment by
an uncaring Father
when sorrow's arrow
stops turning
pointing to its target
in my heart
a recurring nightmare
of loss
disturbing daily life
without apologizing
for its intrusion
reliving yesterday's pain today
without the benefit of
tomorrow's perspective
despite the protest
from my soul
rebellious emotions 
squander faith's savings
only to discourage
an embattled belief
struggling to stay afloat
buffeted by turbulent seas of
unanswerable questions
rescue recurs
when grace is released
through prayer's supplication
and a trusted shoulder
the Man of sorrows is
resurrected
bearing my burden
carrying my cross
soothing my wound
speaking
words of comfort
softly
relieving my ache
tenderly
knowing my frailness 
without remembering
my doubts
based on fear's
terrible fortune
only Love
overcomes heartache
with an embrace of 
never-ending assurance
providing relief
though only temporarily  
knowing that acceptance
ushering peace is
short-lived but
growth is ensured
healing measured
despite
the challenge of
conflicted hope

Reflection/Discussion:
-How does "The Healing" describe dealing with loss?
-How can we let Jesus "bear our burden and carry our cross"?
-What does "the challenge of conflicted hope" mean?
-What is your process of healing like?
-How is it similar/different?
-How does sharing with others help?
-How has your healing changed you?

 

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Hell

-it doesn’t exist
how could it?
God is Love
He wouldn't allow
such a place to be
-a ridiculous myth of
fear-mongering by
over-zealous right wing
control freaks
-who cares?
-doesn't fit my belief system
-not worth thinking about
-probably not that bad
-no one's going there anyway
everyone's going to be saved
-f bomb hell
but...
what if it exists because we
want it to exist so
we could go there
just like in the beginning when
angels chose to be devils
chose not to bow down to
anyone but themselves-
what if it exists because it
most aptly defines who we are?
what if we wanted the
darkness and death of
sin's deceitful pleasures?
created with the
dignity of free will
would not God allow us to
freely reject Him
no matter what
the consequences?
refusing Love
choosing to live by
our own rules
we enthrone our
ideologies
passions
desires
as gods
independent
self-centered
convicted to be
worshiped and adored
idols all leading
back to a self more
precious and deserving than
the One who 
holds the Keys of
Life and Death
where each is king
ruling kingdoms of
the mind bowing to no One
in this way
hell exists because
it is a reality of choice
a pattern of living death
centered around
some other thing
rather than the
Lord of Heaven and Earth
who offers Freedom
from the bondage of
inherited and
deliberate sin
received only through
repentance
conversion of heart
a decision to give oneself
in mutual love and service to the
One who Died and Rose for us to
bring us New Life but
when that is refused
we separate ourselves
from the God of Love
we embrace a
way of life which then is
continued and fulfilled
eternally after death
so then Mercy's Grace
remains an offer till the end
as does freedom's call for Justice
to all passing through the
Gates of Eternity
so choose carefully because
“wide is the gate and broad
is the road leading to destruction,
and many enter through it
small is the gate and
narrow is the road
that leads to eternal life
and only a few
find it.”

 Reflection/Discussion:
-What is the description of "Hell"?
-How is hell a "reality of choice"?
-Why don't we talk about hell?

-How do mercy and justice coexist in a God of Love?
-What does "conversion of heart" mean? 
-Do you think many people go to hell? Why/not?
-What does Scripture say about who goes to hell?
-What does the Church teach about hell?                              

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Judgement

it’s over
only the Final Review remains
time has come to a stop
there is only the present
my "future" is to be judged by my past
death was but an instant
passing with a final breath
as quickly as light travels
now I must come before the Judge
the One who paid the Price for my
Salvation's possibility
He endured the
rigors of torment 
conquering death
offering New Life to
all who listened and
chose to walk in His Ways
clearly written on our hearts by
nature's revelation and
reinforced by
His Teachings of Life
my own response-
now viewed only too clearly
began in childhood's fantasy
fervent imaginations
spurred by holy pictures
with nightly prayers
laying me down to sleep
teenage rebellion
loosened my footings
setting me upon new paths
exploring delights
without pangs of deterrence
career and marriage
brought a new seriousness
into perspective
children helped of course
somehow though
life got so busy
schedules
bills
marriage problems
job stress
kids in college
my wife was always
the spiritual one
I would go to Church
but she took the lead
because she knew
I was never really
comfortable with it all
nor felt connected but
I didn't fight it either
I guess you might have
called me lukewarm
but in my defense
I never really
heard what some people
have said was the
Good News
but I knew in the
back of my mind
that my Final Exam
would be on
what I have done
both good and evil and
what I failed to do
I guess
that is only fair and just-
upon what else could I be judged?
I lived my life the way I saw fit
no one forced me to act or not act
and when I regressed
it was up to me to
change or not
who twisted my arm?
no one
who forced me to turn back or not?
no one
if I continued acting in the same way
who compelled  me?
no one
the choice was always mine
it was always that way
for me and for all
whoever I am
I chose freely to be
now
it's over
now
it's too late to change
who I am
looking back
I did became  more resolute
chose to try harder
but
sometimes
I went
back and forth
suddenly
I died

Reflection/Discussion: 
-Describe the man portrayed in "Judgement".
-Do you think his life is a common experience? Why/not?
-How could it have been different?
-What does "lukewarm" mean in this context?
-What would you say to help him?
-How can we make sure that everyone hears the Good News?
-Why don't we talk about the last judgement?
-Why isn't the last judgement talked about in Church?
-How can the last judgement impact your daily life?
-What is the Lord saying to you through this poem?

Thursday, January 31, 2013

The Outsider

no say
I had no say
she was my daughter
but I had no say
whether she lived or died
how insane is that?
it sucks
I was goin' nuts
a lot of other guys didn't give a damn-
they took the easy way out- but
I wanted to take care of her
but her mom didn't
want me in her life
I loved her- especially after
I knew we were going to
have a daughter
it drove me crazy that
I could lose my baby
I wanted to be a Dad
I didn’t want anything
to happen to her
I felt so responsible-
we didn’t expect to get pregnant
we thought we were being careful
but things happen-
even in the best of circumstances-
then when we found out
everything fell apart
what I thought was a good relationship
turned out to be more one sided and
finally the truth came out-
she was leaving me and
with her went my daughter
she was so confused
depressed
it was agony watching her
close the door
without even saying goodbye
phone calls went unanswered
knocks echoed in an empty hallway
what if she didn’t want my daughter?
what if she felt she couldn’t handle it all?
what if she couldn’t bear
to give the baby up for adoption?
my daughter would die-
and me with her
even though everyone says
it’s the mother’s choice-
she was my baby too
she didn’t care about my feelings.
I felt so powerless
I tried praying for the first time
in a long time
I begged Him to save them
to help her Mom
to know I’d be there for her
if He cared at all for my daughter
to save her
if He was who He said He was 
He wouldn't let her die
I begged but
silence was my answer
only silence
nothing more
then one day I got the call
it was over
the deed was done
my baby was gone
I was numb
I couldn’t say anything
and hung up
why Lord?
why did you let this happen?
if you were so powerful and loving
supposed to be the Lord of all 
why didn't you stop her
from killing my girl?
why didn’t you do anything?
she was helpless
just a baby
and you let her be killed
what was wrong with you?
if only I could have talked with her mom
if I could have just showed her
how much I loved them
I didn’t understand and 
I was really pissed-
and frustrated
the why’s and if only’s kept coming but
nothing satisfied my questions
no answers were enough
and in the darkness
of my loss
for weeks to come
I could only cry and mourn
as I thought of
what could have been-.
the life we could have had together
a life I could only dream about
and imagine
but then somehow
someway sometime I began
to have a faint and lonely hope
that I would someday
be united with my girl
it would be in heaven
a redemption
we would finally be united
we would recognize each other
and I would hug my little girl
kiss her
pick her up and
she would screech in delight at
having her daddy
swing her ‘round and ‘round
toss her up in the air
and catch her
laughing.
and we would be together
please Lord
make it happen
someday
somehow   

Reflection/Discussion:
-Describe the father's experience.
-How would you answer his protestations to God?
-How common is it for the father to regret an abortion?Why/not?
-What would happen if more men took responsibility for the pregnancy? 
-Why isn't adoption a more frequent option to abortion?
-Why don't we hear very much about fathers who do?
-How can that change?                                                               
-What is the hope for fathers whose child was aborted?
                                                                         











Thursday, January 24, 2013

The Griever

the gift of life-
creation's marvel-
is Mine to give
intended or not
by those bestowed
this daughter of Mine is
made in My Image
imprinted with My likeness
sparked with My eternal flame
given a call to share My Love-
an intimacy unmatched-
only hinted at by
the coming together
of man and woman
in breathless wonder 
she has
her mother’s eyes
her father’s smile
but also 
My heart to serve
My will to love
imprinted in her soul
precious in My eyes
intended for heroic mercy
destined to bring hope to the
lonely and defenseless
life was torn from her before
seeing the light of day
or the dawn of night
what was designed to be
a time of knitting together
was instead
a tearing apart
unborn by a choice-
not her own-
made by the one closest
yet furthest from her
innate desire to live
she was rejected
with unjustifiable cause
lured by songs of
freedom’s false face
though intended for harm
I make all things new
though left to die alone
she is nearer to Me than
the womb from which
she was wrenched 
though treated as refuse
she is My precious treasure
though rejection
leaves the temporal unfulfilled
she finds eternity waiting for her
in My arms
singing lullabies of love
with tears of grieving
not only for her but
her mother as well for
each victim has died
one in body
one in spirit
having refused 
freedom's offering
ignored a proven truth
yet
Love conquers for all who
hear and respond to
My Word of New Life
a new choice
by a Grace received
and a reality embraced
a turning away from darkness to
grasp forgiveness
an offer of salvation
I hate the sin
but I love the sinner
so much so that I bore
her just punishment
by a sacrifice
without bounds
evil will find justice
unless a turning is turned
by a heart choosing
unmerited mercy over the
throne of self
but for now the result is the
cleansing of innocence
leaving only the promise of
healing and hope of
unending reunion
to those who
surrender in trust

Reflection/Discussion:
-How is God described in "The Griever"?
-What does the image of God "singing lullabies of love" convey?
-Why is the Mom a victim as well as the Daughter?
-What does "choosing unmerited mercy over the throne of self" mean?
-What does it mean that God hates the sin but loves the sinner?
-Why doesn't God just stop the evil of abortions?
-Whose responsibility is it to help stop abortions?
-What would you do if someone came to you for help?

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

The Regret

three
she would have been
three today
her deathday is
hardest to bear
my thoughts race
remembering
that date when
she no longer
grew within me
my feelings were
so  conflicted
especially 
after I saw her image
but I felt so alone
cornered with
no way out
they encouraged me
that it was for the best
it would be ok
I could get on
with my life now
only I found out
I couldn't
I couldn't stop
thinking about her
that she didn't
have a choice
her right to life was
severed
darkness began
to overtake me
I lost interest
in everything
if it wasn't for
my family I
wouldn't be here now
it was that way
far too long
then I heard about
a retreat
it was different
I found acceptance there
courage to face
my decision
I experienced forgiveness
from the Lord
myself and
my little girl
it was almost like 
she was praying for me
to turn back to the Lord
surrender my life
to follow Him
wherever He leads                                                                                 
and slowly
things began to change
I  resolved
to help others not to
make the same mistake
to bring His Love where
heartache reigns
I still regret it all
but when it gets
most difficult
like today
I join my sorrow
with His
for other Moms
to save their little ones
still
I have a hope
that the Lord will
bring us together again
this time
with open arms

Reflection/Discussion:
-Describe the Mom's experience.
-How common is it for women to regret their abortion?
-How does "The Regret" relate to "The Daughter"?
-How can some women NOT regret their abortion?
-What steps can a post-abortion Mom take to find peace?
-What part does forgiveness play?
-What is the hope offered in this poem?  Real or not real? Why?
-What can you do to support Moms who are thinking of aborting their child? 

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

The Third Day

as the
third day dawned
sorrow's silent canticle
persistent yet
unwelcomed
finally spurred
me to
His resting place
longing for a comfort
that only He could impart
heartbroken
my tears vainly
sought to mend
the brokenness created
by Passion's spectacle
a loss daily endured
now made unbearable
by His disappearance
empty garments
enshrined the mystery
announced by
radiant messengers
added to my confusion
till my Devotion's identity
at first unrecognized
caressed  my name
revealing the tenderness
that forgave me so much
and now anointed me
with healing joy even
without my embrace
Love's call to
bring good news
purposed my soul
and wedded
my spirit to His
for now
all things
are made new

Reflection/Discussion:
-Describe Mary Magdalene's experience. 
-What does "sorrow's silent canticle" mean?
-What does "wedded my spirit to His" mean?
-What does "caressed my name" communicate?
-Do you think He "caresses" your name?
-If yes, how have you experienced that?
-If you don't know or don't believe so, why?
-Do you experience the joy of the Resurrection? Why/not?
-How can you grow in joy?

The Centurion


duty called
to oversee
a verdict fulfilled
for One
though shredded and crowned
in royal procession
who bore His sentence 
with quiet dignity to a
lonely and desolate finality
a spectacle of death
a lamb
midst the guilty
welcomed by the din of haughty jeers yet
overwhelmed by the silence of
a mother’s enduring
conflicted innocence deemed
this confused solution to One
whose unrequited forgiveness
so freely bestowed
found no home but mine
as darkness came
Light departed by
pierced efficiency
securing the last  
when water and blood together flowed
a new conviction fulfilled
my unknown need
a knowledge born
from death’s purchase
pointed me in a new direction as
reverent tenderness
lowered Him from His throne
then
after seeing Him in His mother’s arms
being caressed with final kisses and
washed by tears of mourning's dew
I was left longing for
something more

Reflection/Discussion:
-How does "The Centurion" make the crucifixion personal?
-What does "overwhelmed by the silence of a mother's enduring" mean?
-Describe Mary's response.
-What do you think happened to the Centurion?
- How does the Lord's Passion affect your walk with the Lord?