Poems, Personal Stories, and Observations

The Confiteor

Some of you may be familiar with the prayer called “The Confiteor” (“I confess”). The form of this prayer that I’m most familiar with is:

“I confess to almighty God and to you, my brothers and sisters, that I have greatly sinned, in my thoughts and in my words, in what I have done and in what I have failed to do, (And, striking their breast, they say) through my fault, through my fault, through my most grievous fault; therefore I ask blessed Mary ever-Virgin, all the Angels and Saints, and you, my brothers and sisters, to pray for me to the Lord our God.”

Some time ago, I realized something new about the Confiteor. When we say the words, “Through my fault, through my fault, through my most grievous fault,” it’s not about me beating myself up and blaming myself for everything, it’s more about the fact that, compared to God, I am an extremely faulty creature, and in His great mercy, He has made a way for me to be saved.

When I compare myself to others (or focus on myself), it creates misery, but when I compare myself to God, who is all Perfection, it creates humility and gratitude.

If not for the bird songs

My mind would be lost

With all the changes

With all the strangeness 

If not for the fairy fireflies

I would have lost the wonder

My mind torn asunder

I would have gone under

If not for the thunder

I would make the blunder 

Of sinking in sadness

Being blind to the gladness 

If not for your smile

I would have dwelt a long while

In a pit of despair

Might have torn out my hair 

If not for your kindness

I’d live only in blindness

A desert of dryness

So listless and lifeless

If not for God’s comfort

My life would be forfeit

My joy would be dormant

My thoughts tending morbid 

O, the greatness of God

Who lifts up the lowly 

Who brightens our story

Let us give Him the glory!

A distant cloud, with flashing light. 

A soundless thunder, a sense of wonder. 

Fireflies flirting; the sidewalk skirting. 

The air hangs heavy, hot and wet; 

I wipe away the beads of sweat. 

The bugs are biting; a little frightening. 

Imagining fairies riding fireflies, 

In evening silence, their dance delighting. 

For quite some time, I forget the biting. 

Until I wake at 3 a.m.; the itching has begun again. 

My long-gone mother comes to mind. 

She prayed for me; her heart was kind. 

So many changes; can’t keep track.

Need to recall– God’s got my back.

He comes to fill what I now lack.

Exhaustion is my current test;

In God I need to take my rest.

His plan for me must be the best.

Grief

I cannot excise your pain,
The painful, pounding refrain,
The unmet need
Of a  heart that bleeds.


I can only say I’m here
And wipe away a tear,
Or say that God is walking near —
The pain won’t disappear.


You will learn to carry it, accept it. 
And through that burning, searing stab,
The mending bone, the itching scab,
You’ll know you lived and loved.


One day the wound will heal
And only leave a scar.
You’ll know that you are real,
That you have lived and loved.

Blessed Night

Blessed night
Stars are bright
Calming silence
Peaceful quietness

Sleep so softly
Clouds are lofty

Gentle rain
Song’s refrain
Birds sing brightly
Sky is lightening

Dawn begins
Joy within

Given Good Gifts

The world is still turning
The seasons come and go.
My heart is still beating;
Life has its ebb and flow.

The blossoms still open;
The birds still laugh and sing.
My heart can be broken,
But then it sings again.

The children are smiling,
And many others cry.
Some have empty stomachs,
Some hear sweet lullabies.

If you’ve been given good gifts,
Please share them with the world,
And one day love will conquer
All the tragedy unfurled.

Remember California

At my home near the Bay,
Stepping out into the rain-drenched air,
Covering my hair.

And then the rain stopped,
And I sensed other California places
I’ve mostly been.

The snow-chilled air of winter Tahoe,
The sea scents of Half Moon Bay,
A whiff of pungent pines in the Sierras,
Or Central Valley heat, like an oven baking.

You can smell the mud, fishing by a river,
Or at the Elkhorn Slough.
Or catch the skunk’s scent at night while driving,
Hoping death did not cause the fumes..

Did you ever smell the Jeffrey pines at Lassen?
They’re like vanilla pudding!

We all breathe the same air —
Remember California in your dreams.

The Peace I Crave

The mighty eagle spreads its wings.
Upon the waves of wind it sings.
Through mountains, valleys, low and high,
It touches earth; it touches sky.

How will I find the peace I crave?
I must be strong; I must be brave.
From worldly rage, beyond control,
I must protect my living soul.

The mighty eagle spreads its wings;
In storm or sun, its call still rings.
Through mountains, valleys, low and high,
Glides undisturbed in raptured sky.

(with Tom Rodeheffer)

I Saw a Rainbow

I saw a rainbow,
And it held the promise
Of better things to come

My spirits lifted;
I sensed a message
From God, the Holy One …

He had not left me

The storm was passing,
The billowing waves —
Were calming, calming

Down

And rather than destroying,
They lifted me
To better things to come

Armor of God Prayer

(Based on Ephesians 6:10-17)

Dear Lord,

Please gird my loins with Your truth,
Please grant me the breastplate of Your righteousness,
Let me walk in the readiness of the shoes of the gospel of peace,
And let me carry the shield of faith in You;
Let it extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one.

With the helmet of Your salvation,
Protect me from lies, half-truths, falsehoods, and deceptions,
From fear, worry, negativity, and anxiety,
From pride, arrogance, and prejudice.
Grant me, Lord, protection from
Depression, discouragement, dejection, desperation, and despair.

And I ask for the sword of Your Spirit,
Which is Your Word.

Let me read it, re-read it, memorize it,
Chew on it, meditate on it, digest it, and contemplate it.
Let me sing it out, shout it out,
Proclaim it and acclaim it,
But most of all, help me to LIVE Your Word.

Amen.

Tag Cloud