Litany of St. Joseph, To Be Held in the Heart

A Quiet Moment Sculpture by Timothy Schmalz

A Quiet Moment
Sculpture by Timothy Schmalz


St. Joseph, dreamer of dreams, pray for us
St. Joseph, living within all of the colours of God, pray for us
St. Joseph, friend of angels, pray for us
St. Joseph, you chose to believe the extraordinary, pray for us
St. Joseph, you transcended cultural conventions, pray for us
St. Joseph, launcher into the unknown, pray for us
St. Joseph, defender of honour, pray for us
St. Joseph, provider of food and shelter, pray for us
St. Joseph, first man to cradle God, pray for us
St. Joseph, welcoming of all, pray for us
St. Joseph, father-figure for the Son and for us, pray for us
St. Joseph, traveler under the stars, pray for us
St. Joseph, refugee, pray for us
St. Joseph, respecter of women, pray for us
St. Joseph, strong yet gentle, pray for us
St. Joseph, artist using the medium of wood, pray for us
St. Joseph, able to live in the moment, pray for us
St. Joseph, seeker of treasures hidden in the mundane, pray for us
St. Joseph, humble enough to make it safe for people to develop as their true selves, pray for us
St. Joseph, powerful presence, pray for us
St. Joseph, keeper of promises, pray for us

St. Joseph, there are many similarities between you and the Joseph from the Book of Genesis. The course of your life wasn’t like you had planned but it became so much greater than you could have ever imagined. Please bring us God’s provision, protection, and comfort. And please pave the way for all of His dreams for us to come true.

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Appearances of Eden

christmasangels
Eden
long banished to the realm of myth
momentarily breaks forth
amidst chaos, distraction, and rejection
an intimate blending of Heaven and Earth
stars and angels
hay and animals
with the focal point being
a man and a woman
cradling a Child
LOVE
breathing and aching
God and Human
with the sparkling in His eyes
holding the seeds of a future
where a new Eden
harmony between God and creation
angels, animals, plants and people
will powerfully take hold
and expand
exponentially

The Breeding of Dragons

Ignoring the heroes
those noble dragon-slayers
some women become enthralled by
the dragons themselves
horrid monsters
masquerading
as princes
their impenetrable scales
glinting in the sunlight
like so many
devouring teeth

And the dragons’ appetites
are
insatiable

The pupils of the women
dilate
so that only
the inflating images of dragons
may fill them
an invitation
for seductive serpents
to lure their mates
into building for them
elaborate altars
for perpetual worship
upon which to sacrifice
themselves
and their children
over and over again

And as the icon of true motherhood
implanted in each woman’s heart
could never withstand
to submit innocents
to the flames of Moloch
the women must first
willingly
transform themselves
into co-dragons
capable
of treacherous betrayal

Such is the breeding of dragons

The children
or what remains of them
are tossed between
piercing
shards of ice
and lashing
tongues of fire
as their imposter parents
demand that the sons and daughters
feed them
all the while
starving those young
of love and
empathic connection

With the passage of time
a myriad of portals
choices
manifest themselves
to the victims of
these narcissistic warlords

To stay
and become dragon-worshippers

To leave
and seek a twisted retribution
for denied nourishment
by becoming
dragons themselves
in a secondary
form of breeding

Or to go in search
of the dragon-slayers
within and without
and to allow themselves
to fall in-love
with the Ultimate Dragon-Slayer
who will one day
put an end to
the breeding of dragons

In the Time of the Morning Star

“Moreover, we possess the prophetic message that is altogether reliable.  You will do well to be attentive to it, as to a lamp shining in a dark place, until day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts.”  2 Peter 1:19 NAB

 

 

IN THE TIME OF THE MORNING STAR

 
In the cosmos of the heart
the love of many
has grown cold
battered by
the dislodging
of those fixed
points of reference
the stars
free-falling
from their pedestals
sowing
seeds of distrust
giving rise to
weeds
of choking chaos
obscuring the mystery
and fragility
of orbiting souls
close enough
to touch
close enough
to wound

Responding
the Heavens send forth
into the vast emptiness
of pain and
disillusionment
an incorruptible beacon
the Morning Star
veiled
in the body of a Woman
speaking warming words
of tenderness
and solace
offering
roses
to nullify the weeds
and imparting a blueprint
for the forging
of links of chain
to be presented
to the Angel
for the binding
and neutralizing
of infecting darkness.

And all the while
the Morning Star
beckons each gaze
towards the Sun
dawning
glorious enough
to initiate
a new creation
a Jeweled City
dazzling in facets
of shimmering colours
aching
in anticipation
of being implanted
in hearts open
to the possibility
of leaving behind
the crushing
dizzying vortex
and living
united
in an expanding universe
infinitely redeemed
by Light

In the Waves of Sound & Colour


I like to imagine
that the northern lights
are tonal
with each
subtle hue
and draping wave
emitting
deep
distinctive vibrations
pulsing through
the great expanse
gracing
reverent spectators
with the orchestra
of angels

John of the Beloved

St. John the Apostle has always been my favourite of the Twelve.  He had enough cockiness for Jesus to playfully nickname him ‘Son of Thunder’;  he was the only one of the disciples who had the sensitivity, tenderness, and courage to lay his head on Jesus’ Heart;  and, even though he wrote in prose, his writings have the feel of poetry.  Also, his main focus has been on love, and on how we are all the beloved of God.

JOHN OF THE BELOVED

Mending nets
with his father and his brother
the sea in his blood
and a sparkle in his eyes
transfixed by
light
dancing on the water
until a new Light
fills his vision
dimming the background
and what can he do
but follow

His nature
playful as waves
tender as a moonbeam
surges
in the gravitational pull
of the Sun
revealing a rainstorm
of flashes and fury
earning him the title
Son of Thunder
and he could be that
could maintain the uproar
but the Master prefers
the deep ocean
of his soul

Scaling
to the highest crest
he can almost
touch the sky
then
to his surprise
stark radiance
eclipsing the blue
with the Law
and the Prophets
flowing
into a single Person
the Source
and Summit
of all the questions
in the riptide
of his mind

Dinner
but something is wrong
the air is stinging
with the salt of pain
the universe
has shifted
on its axis
to find his bearings
he rests his head
on the Heart of his Friend
fully knowing himself to be
the beloved of
the Beloved
floating on the currents
of His radiating affection

And darkness descended

One hour
such a finite
encapsulation
of time
if he could only remember
what he should be
pouring into it
lulled into amnesia
in the boat of sleep
and not even
the glow of the angel
can dissipate
the fog of confusion

Fleeing
spilling himself
in the sloshing turmoil
when a latent pulse
from the Heart-glow
ripples
across his soul
igniting
a single burst
of recollection
oh God
the Mother
the Mother should know
he must find her

Clasping her
in the circumference
of his arms
his strength
evaporating
into the grey mist
of utter incomprehension
as his whole World
hangs
torn apart
and bleeding out
leaving him
drenched
in the outpouring
of the now silent Heart
and not even the Earth
can keep
from trembling

Racing
lungs burning
for he must see
yet courage falters
when facing the tomb
he dares not
intentionally
descend into darkness
fearing it may assert
the final word
but all is safe
conquered
and transformed
though clouds remain

Sheltered
with his brothers
in the presence
of the Mother
refreshment
for parched souls
when suddenly
a rush of sound
an explosion
of flame
and
understanding
blazes over them
courses through them
illuminating
every teaching
streaking
in revelations
across the future

Writing
words streaming
as fluidic poetry
fashioning
nets of allurement
crafting conduits
for rivers of Light
to flow into hearts
mending
and
catching upwards
into the vision
that each one is
beloved
and invited to rest
in perfect
tender intimacy
on the Heart of the Beloved
eternally awash
in undying Love

Veronica

Even as a child, St. Veronica fascinated me. She saw what Jesus was going through, both physically and emotionally. She felt compassion strongly enough for her to act. She gave Him exactly what He longed for, and she did it with such tenderness. I am in awe.

And now, as a woman, I am able to more intensely perceive the enormity of her actions, and what she risked.  She could have been beaten for reaching out to a condemned criminal.  Also, during that time period, women were expected to wear veils.  Being seen without one would have been regarded as too sexual.  St. Veronica removed her veil and touched Jesus in a rather intimate way.  What she did would have been regarded as scandalous.  This woman cared more about connecting with Jesus and consoling Him than she cared about her reputation.

I wrote this poem to honour St. Veronica.  She is one of my heroes.

Jostled by the crowd
one face among thousands
and yet she SAW
she FELT
and her heart was pierced
even before the lance
reached His
The pulse between them
undeniable
drawing her in
to the space between beatings
until it was just her and Him
while angels held their breath
The strangulation
of life-draining bondages
disintegrated around them

and she removed her veil

She touched the Pain
she touched the Blood
she touched the Man
their souls drenched in tears
and even before His image
adorned her covering
His imprint
sprung as a living flame
within her heart