Monday, January 31, 2011

Prophets and Poetry Class

I am taking a class this semester entitled Prophets and Poetry. In short, this class will survey the Hebrew Scriptures, examining the books traditional categorized by the Catholic Church as the prophetic books and the books of poetry.

As part of the requirements of the class, we are asked to write poetry. I am looking forward to this, mainly because I love poetry and enjoy attempting to imagine my own words into something beautiful.

The poems each have a particular subject or description that we are supposed to follow. For the following poem, we were asked to pick an object in our room and talk about it.

Here is that poem:

A Candle

My room is not mine unless your scent saturates the air.
I bring the heat and your potential is actualized.
Dancing off the walls your voice speaks of serenity.
Your odor softly walks through my senses touching all the corridors.

But where are you going?

Your dancing becomes erratic.
More shadows envelop your glow.
Pitter and patter cause chaos in my ears.
In a flash of grey your heart stops beating.

My only memory is your extinguished remains in my nose.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Raising One's Gaze

"This thou perceiv'st, which makes thy love more strong,
To love that well which thou must leave ere long."

~ from Shakespeare's Sonnet 73

Words can be beautiful. When constructed well, they can remove time from a moment; or remove the heart from time.

I am taking a Prophets and Poetry class this semester. It could turn out to be my favorite class.

To be a person of faith requires one to see the world with sacramental eyes that bring the heart to a deeper, more profound understanding of reality. Life is not just what one can physically see. Life is a mysterious mix--infinitely knowable--the material, spiritual, and emotional all coming together in one complex synthesis. Thus, it is important to imagine that there is much more present than what we take as common place, than what we see at first glance.

The beauty of studying poetry is that it invites one to find a depth of meaning in a few words, in a couple of sentences. A meaning that can make time disappear.

If words can do this, imagine what can be found in God...

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Another Semester Begins

The snow still covers the earth around southern Indiana as seminarians at St. Meinrad look forward to a new semester. Most of us have just returned from Washington, DC for the annual March for Life. Along with just under a half million other people, this seminary gathered in prayer that life would be protected in this country in every way that is possible. Now that we have returned, it is time to set ourselves in preparation for the new semester.

For myself, this semester will bring a new set of exciting classes, and also a quick few months before final oath and deaconate ordination. It will also bring about the need for Glenmary to prepare for its 15th General Chapter. During this event, Glenmarians will move towards discerning God's will for this community, decisions will be made about our future, and a new administration will be elected.

I ask that you would join us in praying the prayer below, that we might be able to open ourselves to God's will.

Prayer for a Fruitful Glenmary Chapter

Loving Father,

As Glenmary prepares for our 15th General Chapter, grant us vision and inspiration to better serve your people in the mission areas of the United States.

You are the Vine Grower. In your wisdom and love, we pray that you will take away every branch in us that does not bear fruit and prune all other branches so that they may bear even more fruit.

Lord Jesus Christ,

You are the true vine and we are the branches. Apart from you we can do nothing. But in union with you and your love, whatever we ask for will be done.

We humbly beg you, therefore, to allow our 15th General Chapter to bear fruit so that those in even the most forgotten and neglected areas of the United States might be fed at your Eucharistic table.

Holy Spirit,

You open the heart and the mind of the Vine Grower's call. You make effective every impetus toward good, toward truth and toward charity. Bring to completion the joy of Jesus in us so that our love may be manifest to all.

Father, Son and Spirit,

Receive with kindness these prayers of your servants for our 15th Chapter. Grant us zeal, generosity, and unity to help us remain faithful to the Gospel and the Mission in which we share.