Joy Disguised

Joy,
In a downpour of graces,
Floods all,
Engulfing all
In the majesty and wonder
Of Your Presence
In all,
Unrestrained.

Once masked as pain,
Reveals but Joy!
Once masked as grief,
Reveals but Joy!
Once masked as humiliation,
Reveals but Joy!
Joy all!

You, O Lord of disguises,
Reveal Your complete Majesty
In a piece of bread,
A sip of wine.
You, O Lord of disguises,
Hide unrevealed
Beneath the deepest pain,
The power of humiliation.

There You lie
Ready to ambush
With Love and Joy
The one who searches beneath,
Who gives in
To Your disguised arms of Love
And embraces all manner of sorrows
In Your Cross.
There at the core of their pain,
You wait,
And in their total embrace
Of the Cross, in Your Will,
They find, O Joy!
They are embracing
None other than You!
O Heart of Love!
O Spirit of Joy!

What was dreaded
Becomes a gift;
What was overwhelming sadness,
Overwhelming Joy,
An inebriation with a God
Who can never be outdone
In extravagances of Love!

His Cross,
Once completely embraced
In the core of our beings,
Once given over
To the death of the world,
Carries hidden
The power of the Resurrection
Releasing in us
A takeover of His Love,
A Love in which every pain is seen clearly
As a love letter
And each sorrow
As a secret embrace.

You, O Lord,
Have broken the power of the world
In the power of Your Cross
And once revealed,
Transforms a vale of tears
Into a Kingdom of Joys
And unrestrained, pure Love.

Your Sacred Heart,
Holding the keys to the Kingdom
In Your Wounds,
Reveals Your pain
Yet reveals Your Joy
Pouring forth
From beneath those Wounds
Flooding a world devoid of Joy,
But in You.

The sweetness and the gentle strength
Of Your Sacred Heart of Love
Resurrects a world dead
Into a Kingdom of Life,
Abundantly wealthy
In the treasures of Your Heart.
The embrace
Of the deepest pain the world can know
Is but a tender embrace of Love
From the Beloved
Who so preciously embraces
The meek and humble of heart
Unto Himself.

10-4-2000
Feast of St. Francis

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The Night Walk

Lost on Your path,
My compass searches for Your Heart.
Led into the wilderness by Your Spirit,
Into uncharted regions of the soul,
I stumble, I fall in the night.
I grope in the darkness for You,
Trusting You are still there.
As I try to brush off the dust
From my recent falls,
I sense Your gaze upon my soul.
Your hands gently wipe the tears
And dirt from my eyes and
Softly taking my bruised hands in Yours,
You tug at me to try again.

Bewildered by the difficulty of the path,
I watch for the break of dawn
So that I may see the way.
But Your hand in mine
Tells me of the Night Walk,
The trusting soul,
That closing eyes to darkness,
Walks only in Your Light;
Then holding on to Your hand,
Enters softly into the
Secret Regions of Your Heart.

Your hand lifts me again.
Closing my eyes,
I hope for a glimpse
Of the Secret Path
Leading to the Eternal City
Of Your Sacred Heart.

3-14-2000

Quietly Loving

I am here, quietly crouched
At the foot of Your Cross
Where You have carried me.
I have been here for days
In Your Silence, with You.
You do not speak, yet I listen.
Day after day, I have listened,
I have watched, I have waited.
Always You are here, in Silence,
Speaking only with Your Heart.
Always I am listening,
Quietly loving You
As You quietly love me.

There are no words for this Silence
That speaks so deeply in my heart.
I long to take away the nails,
To hold You as Your Mother wished to
So closely to my heart,
To make the pain go away.
But Your Sacrifice I need
For it is my only hope.
What saves me breaks me
As I watch Your Silent Heart suffering.

You silently mine my heart
Carving deeper and deeper,
Scraping my heart raw.
I am a huge empty cavern
Aching for Your Love.
The deeper You dig and carve,
The deeper grows my emptiness,
The greater my longing for Your Loving Grace.

I am here at Your feet
Watching, listening, loving, breaking,
Holding onto the only thing I know,
Your Sacred Heart of Love.
I am trusting You will fill
This heart carved for You
When You are ready to fill me again.

Until then I wait, I love, I long for Your Grace,
Silently knowing Your Suffering Heart,
Silently loving You more and more.

Come take this heart to Yours, my Love,
Crushing me into Your wine,
Changing me into Your blood,
Sacrificing me to Your purest Love.

2-5-02

Rocks and Rose Petals

Rocks and Rose Petals

 

The sharp rocks on this desert path

Cut deeply into my bare feet.

How did the path

That was so lush and green,

So soft beneath my feet,

Turn so quickly dry?

 

New piercings over old,

My steps grow small

Searching for soft ground,

A place where not all is pain.

But soft and tender

Against my flaming skin.

 

I pause in the Silence of the desert

Where no human walks,

Or so it seems.

Resting in the dust and rocks,

The dry fragrance of the desert

Reaches my nostrils.

The sun burns my flesh

And I wonder if I shall perish

Alone in the desert,

Stumbling along my path

Searching for You.

 

My heart’s longing is deeper

Than the thirst of the desert;

A tear or two or three

All that is not dry

In this rocky place.

 

I close my eyes to the harshness,

Soaking in the Silence of this place.

Your flame still lit

Burns in my heart and soul

And I turn to You, my Beloved,

And simply love You will all my heart,

For that is all I can do

In this harsh place.

Though it is not much,

I give You all I am.

 

A sweet fragrance touches me,

A familiar scent, of roses.

My eyes flutter open

And there on the rocky path

You have strewn soft petals

Of purest white

Guiding my path

To Your Heart.

 

1-11-02

A beginning

Where to start!

With a large collection of poems, that was the question–where to begin in sharing them? I decided (more or less randomly) to begin with a poem in which my smallness is contrasted with the King of our hearts, and yet, He delights in our smallness, and in our surrender to His Heart of Love. There is a reference in this poem to time spent atop a mountain which during this time we frequented. There was an observatory there and while my sons were engrossed in watching the stars through the telescope, I would often be engrossed in just gazing deeply into the heavens communing with the God that  was so incredibly majestic, yet so incredibly intimate at the same time.

 

Master of All

 

Less than a grain of sand am I

In the universe of Your bewildering majesty.

I shrink in Your perfect Presence

Feeling all too keenly my smallness,

Knowing that without You

Even this smallness would be nothing.

 

Nothingness crowds upon my soul

Crushing me with the weight

Of all I cannot move or change.

Yet my heart melts with

My knowledge of You

And my eyes close to the memory

Of gazing into the night sky

Overcome with looking into

The eyes of my God,

So brilliant, so incomprehensible,

Yet each twinkling star

A proof of Your tender love

Flooding me with Your graces.

 

You take this tiniest of creatures

Who has no strength nor desire to resist You,

Who lies emptied waiting to be filled,

You plunge Your majesty into this small heart

Shattering my boundaries

With Your takeover of my soul.

My heart is tenderly bound to Yours

And I rejoice in my captivity

As all but this falls away

Like ash falls away from embers,

Exposing only a burning core within.

Thus I burn with Your love,

Consumed in Your Fire

Until I am nothing

And You are all.

 

I have always been nothing

But a vessel filled by Your grace,

Trembling under the power of Your love.

Break and crush this vessel at Your will

That all that You have filled me with

May be poured out upon Your people.

 

You tenderly hold my heart to Yours

As if this small human heart could be

The greatest treasure of the King,

A King who fills a universe with His love,

Yet so sweetly desires the smallest of hearts.

 

Crush my boundaries, O my King,

And hold me so tenderly

To this Heart that I adore

That I may move in You

As You in me,

So completely

That I am lost,

Only to be found

In You, my Beloved,

Master of all that is.

 

 

Margaret Claire

11/5-6/03