Communion

In golden garments,
the priest raises high
the round white bread
“This is my body”
Offered to the gathered old
Muttering, trembling
Thin hair none too clean
Wheelchairs and walkers
Stained shirts and dirty dresses

In a golden chalice,
the priest raises high
the sweet red wine
“This is my blood”
Offered to the gathered lone
Long life behind
Homes and families gone
Short future ahead
Grave faces facing graves

What is God’s body?
Who is God’s blood?
I eat their longing
I drink their pain

The Best Part

Sometimes I forget that bandages don’t heal a wound.
They only protect the wound from dirt or futher hurt,
While my body’s natural resources,
sometimes aided by antibiotics or other medicine,
do the healing.

I say only protect, but protect is not only.
If I remember my old courses in formal logic,
protection is a necessary but not sufficient condition for healing.

As security is a necessary but not sufficient condition for learning.

As repentance is a necessary but not sufficient condition for forgiveness.

As trust is a necessary but not sufficient condition for love.

The question, always and with sometimes hard to accept answers, is
What, then, is sufficient?
What is needed if past injuries, past mistakes, past identities
are not to fester, repeat, freeze into unchangeable hardness of spirit?

Some say faith, some say grace, some say insight, some say hard work, some say luck.

I don’t know. I have no big answers, and only one small answer:
Sometimes I heal and scar, and the scar does not need protection,
because it is hard and tough, less vulnerable than the first skin.
But sometimes I heal and become new, with no scar, like a vulnerable newborn.
Then, though healed, I still need protection, perhaps more than ever.

And, that, I think, is the best of growing older.

The Sound of Failure

I pray silently.

The person hurting
hears nothing.

I search in myself for wisdom.

The person hurting
hears nothing.

I try to find the right words.

The person hurting
hears nothing.

I remember all I have been taught about restraint.

The person hurting
hears nothing.

I know words will only inflame the anger.

The person hurting
hears nothing.

I listen quietly as others try and fail to calm the storm.

The person hurting
hears nothing.

I feel the weight of sorry, of guilt, of helplessness.

The person hurting
hears nothing.

This is the sound of failure.
Well-intentioned
Attentive
Failure.

Now I pray silently
that I will do better
next time.

Because the person hurting
heard nothing.

An Epiphany Vision

[I wrote this after attending Epiphany Sunday Mass at a retirement home.]

Three women came
with gifts
for an infant king.

“I bring you my golden youth.
I have little experience,
almost no training,
But oh the energy I can give you,
my enthusiasm and my faith.”

“I bring you my perfumed maturity.
I have so much to do,
so much I am responsible for,
But oh the knowledge I can give you,
my wisdom and my hope.”

“I bring you my camphored age.
I have so little energy left
and my knowledge is all out of date,
But oh the memories I can give you,
my trust and my love.”

I AM

We call ourselves so many names:
I am sorry…tired…hungry…hired
I am late…glad…irate…bad
I am fearful…sad…joyful…mad
I am pretty…fearless…weepy…friendless

God says
“I am Who I am”

And calls us beloved.

Faith in God

I remember that old saying,
“If you love someone, let them go. If they come back to you, they are truly yours.”

Or maybe the ending was, “…if they don’t come back to you, they were never truly yours.”

Does that apply, I wonder, to faith?

I have let my faith go so many times.

Always it returns.

Will it always?

Perhaps my hope lies in changing the subject (of the sentence).

Not it always returns.

But God always returns it.

Faith is the object of God’s sentence.

God the eternal, the unchangeable, the divine lover,
will always return my faith to me.

New Year’s Imagine

[My last prompt from Two Sylvias Press – written with a little help from my friends.🙂 Happy New Year, everyone. I hope you will join me in helping, each in our own small way.]

Imagine
I make my bed
Every day

Imagine
Everyone makes their bed
Every day

(Of course, everyone would need a bed)

Imagine
I eat a good breakfast
Every day

Imagine
Everyone eats a good breakfast
Every day

(Everyone would need enough food)

Imagine
I do what I love
Every day

Imagine
Everyone does what they love
Every day

(Everyone would need opportunity)

Imagine
I have contentment
Every day

Imagine
Everyone has contentment
Every day

(Everyone would need peace)

Just imagining
That isn’t hard to do
Every day

Helping
To make it true
Every day
For everyone
Now, there’s a resolution!

Imagine all the people
Living life in peace
You, you may say I’m a dreamer
But I’m not the only one
I hope someday you will join us
And the world will be as one