Food for the road

Praying in colour

Click to see the fruit of the retreat of a young woman this September.

The voice of my beloved!
    Look, he comes,
leaping upon the mountains,
    bounding over the hills.
My beloved is like a gazelle
    or a young stag.
Look, there he stands
    behind our wall,
gazing in at the windows,
    looking through the lattice.
10 My beloved speaks and says to me:
‘Arise, my love, my fair one,
    and come away;
11 for now the winter is past,
    the rain is over and gone.
12 The flowers appear on the earth;
    the time of singing has come,
and the voice of the turtle-dove
    is heard in our land.
13 The fig tree puts forth its figs,
    and the vines are in blossom;
    they give forth fragrance.
Arise, my love, my fair one,
    and come away.
14 O my dove, in the clefts of the rock,
    in the covert of the cliff,
let me see your face,
    let me hear your voice;
for your voice is sweet,
    and your face is lovely.
15 Catch us the foxes,
    the little foxes,
that ruin the vineyards—
    for our vineyards are in blossom.’

16 My beloved is mine and I am his;
    he pastures his flock among the lilies.
17 Until the day breathes
    and the shadows flee,
turn, my beloved, be like a gazelle
    or a young stag on the cleft mountains.

Song of Solomon 2:8-17

A poem of trust in uncertain times

By loving forces…

By loving forces silently surrounded,
I feel quite soothed, secure, and filled with grace.
So I would like to live these days together,
and go with you into another year.

Still matters of the past are pressing our hearts
and evil days are weighing down on us.
Oh Lord, to our souls, so scared and sore,
give rescue, as it’s that you made us for.

And when you pass to us the bitter chalice
of suffering, filled to the brim and more,
we take it, full of thanks and trembling not,
from this, your caring and beloved hand.

But if you want to please us, over and again,
with our shining sun and wondrous world,
let us muse on what is past, and then we shall,
with our lives, in all belong to you.

Warm and bright be our candles’ flame today,
since into gloom you brought a gleaming light,
and lead again us, if you will, together!
We know it: you are beaming in the night.

When silence now will snow around us ev’rywhere,
so let us hear the all-embracing sound
of greater things than we can see and wider,
your world, and all your children’s soaring hail.

By loving forces wonderfully sheltered,
we are awaiting fearlessly what comes.
God is with us at dusk and in the morning
and most assuredly on ev’ry day.

© Hilmar H. Werner, 2010

This poem is from the theologian Dietrich Bonhoeffer (1906-1945). It was written for New Year 1945 from the prison where he was incarcerated. He was killed the 9th April 1945. Blow is the original poem in German.

Von guten Mächten

Von guten Mächten treu und still umgeben,
behütet und getröstet wunderbar,
so will ich diese Tage mit euch leben,
und mit euch gehen in ein neues Jahr.

Noch will das alte unsre Herzen quälen,
noch drückt uns böser Tage schwere Last.
Ach Herr, gib unsern aufgeschreckten Seelen
das Heil, für das Du uns geschaffen hast.

Und reichst Du uns den schweren Kelch, den bittern,
des Leids, gefüllt bis an den höchsten Rand,
so nehmen wir ihn dankbar ohne Zittern
aus Deiner guten und geliebten Hand.

Doch willst Du uns noch einmal Freude schenken
an dieser Welt und ihrer Sonne Glanz,
dann woll’n wir des Vergangenen gedenken,
und dann gehört Dir unser Leben ganz.

Laß warm und hell die Kerzen heute flammen
die Du in unsre Dunkelheit gebracht,
führ, wenn es sein kann, wieder uns zusammen!
Wir wissen es, Dein Licht scheint in der Nacht.

Wenn sich die Stille nun tief um uns breitet,
so laß uns hören jenen vollen Klang
der Welt, die unsichtbar sich um uns weitet,
all Deiner Kinder hohen Lobgesang.

Von guten Mächten wunderbar geborgen
erwarten wir getrost, was kommen mag.
Gott ist bei uns am Abend und am Morgen
und ganz gewiß an jedem neuen Tag.

All shall be well

Read some lines of hope from the Book of ‘Revelations of divine love’ by Julian of Norwich.

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Lent: a time to see God in everything

Some ideas to deepen our life with God during Lent. An article for the Blackheathan in February 2020.

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Interlude

Interlude is a poem of Mary Lean, in Extravagant Love, Oxford 2018. Meditate it for the time after the feasts of Christmas and Epiphany. The pictures are details of a stained glass window of the Church of Our Lady Help of Christians, Blackheath, on the life of the holy family in Nazareth. (January 2020)

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V

Clay jars

Meditate on 2 Corinthians 2:6-7

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