This is a poem from Daniel Berrigan’s Time Without Number (from An Almanac for the Soul):

They set out in bright approving summer:
flags, gold, imagination attending
down charted roads, the star like a sun of night,
and at earth’s end, the unique King awaiting.

Autumn too was lovely and novel:  weather temperate
and the star mellowing slowly as a moon.
Then winter on them:  the light snuffed out:
hearsay, frontiers, men inimical to dreamers —
and what direction in iron snow? — a hind’s track
diminished in ivory, a white birch stricken to ground
and the sky tolling its grey dispassionate bell
upon age, upon infinite heart’s weariness.

So the great came, great only in need,
to the roof of thatch, the child at knee awaiting.

[To order An Almanac for the Soul contact the Iona Center, P.O. Box 1528, Healdsburg CA 95448; ionacenter@comcast.net; or 707.431.7426]

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So, a few nods to 9/11:

First, a sermon (video) by Dean Brian Baker of Trinity Cathedral in Sacramento that you can access here.

Next, a poem/prayer by Maya Angelou on Jim Richardson’s Fiat Lux which you can find here (as well as an earlier sermon, if you are interested, further down in the blog, by the Rev. Dr. Michael Suarez).

There is a sermon on the Sarcastic Lutheran site you can find here.

Finally, a prayer I wrote (but did not use) for the day:

A Prayer on the Tenth Anniversary of 9/11 (more…)

PAYING THE PASSAGE

Make way!
Make way!
Make way for the image of God.

Sometimes
my brother
I thought you would live forever …

Oh!
That’s right!
You will …

Be at peace my brother.

May this day find you
in good cheer
and in little pain.

Warm the home fires for me
soon.

May you find enduring peace
in the fire
of God’s consuming love.

Remember me
if you will
as you feast
at his table.

I wrote this yesterday, with the following introduction:

This started this morning (in bed) as I imagined sending an email to my friend, Leo Joseph, a Franciscan monastic and an Episcopal Priest, who is, still, to my knowledge, nearing the end of his battle with cancer.

Overnight I received word on how Brother Leo is actually doing:

John, Susan Reeve said something about an email I was supposed to have received from you this AM. I told her I hadn’t received any such. She then showed me a copy of your thoughtful prayer for Fr. Leo. Thank you for it. We ended up actually not using it for now, because, as I explained to the group, Leo, while terminal, has been chugging along for almost a year since diagnosis (even tho at one point I thought he’d be gone by last Christmas!). At this point, death doesn’t appear to be imminent yet. He continues to celebrate weekly Sun. Eucharist at St. John’s, attend Vestry meetings, take short trips & visit friends occasionally, etc. His attitude is good, he’s alert & hasn’t lost his wicked sense of humor. To look at him externally, you wouldn’t really guess he has cancer; he’s actually gained some girth because of the swelling. That being said, he tires very easily and has to pace himself, and realizes that his present condition can change on a dime. I just wanted you to know that his current status isn’t presently quite as dire as it sounded from your note. There will, I’m sure, come a time in the future when your wonderful prayer will be most useful. Harry

This is the poem that made me look up John Hall Wheelock’s work (though I had only seen the section after the Break at that point):

Shall not a man sing as the night comes on? (more…)

I’ve run into this poem by Rumi before.  But I’ve been talking about the limitations of what we know and looking for common ground, recently here and here, and not so recently here, and it really struck me.  What do you think?

Out beyond the ideas of wrongdoing and rightdoing,
there is a field.  I’ll meet you there.

When the soul lies down in that grass,
the world is too full to talk about.
Ideas, language, even the phrase each other
doesn’t make any sense.

I found that in “An Almanac for the Soul” by Marv and Nancy Hiles — which I picked up at the Bishop’s Ranch, a rather nice retreat center located in our diocese (and owned and operated by the Diocese of California).  The next daily entry in that same book comes from Arthur James, First Earl of Balfour.  It says:

Our greatest truths are but half-truths.  Think not to settle down forever in any truth, but use it as a tent in which to pass a summer night, but build no house of it, or it will become your tomb.  When you first become aware of its insufficiency, and see some counter-truth looming up in the distance, then weep not, but rejoice:  it is the Lord’s voice saying, “Take up your bed and walk.”

Anyway, these passages seemed to cohere with and comment on themes I’ve been running with.  They’ve given me more food for thought.

And this poem, on the Last Supper, From Open Windows and Unlocked Doors:

it will be a long night
with this feast
of fish, olives, wine and bread;
their sweet aromas are mingling with
the smoke of the flickering candles. (more…)

Roshi Doshi posted this on open windows & unlocked doors:

In Memory of Daido Roshi (1931-2009)

(more…)