The Vine

“I am the Vine, you are the branches. Whoever remains in Me and I in him bears much fruit for without Me you are nothing.” John 15:5

I wince at the clips and the cuts, at first,
As You prune and trim to make me strong.
But as You cut away at the dead wood,
The wild growth, the weak branches,
I feel the surge of Life within
As You direct my Life, my flow,
To the straight branch of Your Will for me
That leads most directly, most swiftly,
To You, my Vine.

The sweet nectar of Your Love
Pours out to me,
My Strength, my Hope.
Take away the dead wood from my Life, my Lord!
The more You prune, the more fervent I grow
In my love for You,
In my desire for Your Will.

Your Heart, O Sacred One, draws close
As You make me Yours.
My heart cleaves to Yours
No longer desiring the freedom of the world
But the gentleness of Your Heart.
The sprouts of new growth in You
Burst forth
As I dream of the Fruit,
In You.

12-9-1999

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The Prayer Hedge

Wonder and awe were a constant companion
On that morning pathway
Praising God in every leaf,
Every crack in the sidewalk,
Every wispy cloud,
Every new flower or fallen leaf.
All things created were new and wondrous
And full of life.

Rounding that corner to my “prayer hedge”–
That wall of flowering vines,
Filled with inspired bees and insects,
Sweet fragrance, delicate flowers,
All too irresistible to a child–
I paused.

Day after day, this hedge trapped me in its wonder.
Filled with joy and peace
At this altar of Praise to our Creator,
I could not help but pause and become lost
In a seven-year-old prayer
Honoring our God who created this.

As days passed, just the thought of my prayer hedge
Brought praise and joy to my heart.
As I would near the corner,
My heart would rise in joy and anticipation.

Many tardy notices later, confronted with the world
Of time, space and rules,
My prayer hedge became a monument
To innocence and joy
As I was made to hurry past,
With sadness and longing in my heart.
Caught in the world of men,
The Heart of Joy of my Creator
Was something one learned to hurry by.
Some of us, however, are slow learners.

11-26-1999

A Communion of the Heart

Dear Jesus, Holy Gift of Life,
It was Your plan, so like You,
To never leave us.
As if Your one death
Was not enough,
Each day on a thousand altars
As Your priests speak Your Words
And they raise You up once again,
You stretch out Your arms
In eternal self-surrender,
Allowing Your Body to be broken,
And die for us once again.
As the cup of Your Blood is raised
And then poured out into us,
Drop by drop Your Blood is drained again
As You lose Yourself into us
Until “it is finished”
And we are all that remains
Of Your Life-giving, Precious Blood.

O Precious Lord of Sacrificial Love,
Make me Your tabernacle.
Live in me, grow in me,
That I may carry You to Your people.
Your Body one with mine,
Your Blood now my blood.
Make me Your shrine.

Teach me to surrender like You
Allowing my pride to be broken
So I may pour out Your Preciousness,
In continual sacrifice, to Your people.
Teach me to love You
In Your Sacrifice and Your people,
As You long to be loved.
Make Your longing my longing,
Your Sacrifice my sacrifice,
Your passionate love for me
My passionate love for You
In this altar and
In all of Your altars.

You, O Sacred Heart of Love,
Now enthroned within me,
May I encounter You, as in Emmaus,
In the Breaking of the Bread.
But also, as the tears of Your people,
Your Body, drop to the ground,
May I encounter Your shedding Blood
In their shedding tears.
Make me Your tabernacle.
May I bring them Hope in Your Resurrection.

12-1-1999

Make Me Your Own

You asked.
I responded with myself.
You accepted my soul into Yours.
Marked forever.
Like a hunted prize You have taken it,
Carried it away, possessed it,
Made it Your own.
Your Presence is so transforming
My body and my soul feel like
Barely a shadow or a breath of air
Moving, hardly noticeable,
Within Your Sacred Presence.

You have taken possession of my heart;
No longer is there desire or a thought
Of anywhere else.
Where else would I wish to be
But in You?
So completely do You fill me,
So gently do You move me,
So like a lamb You are to me,
Warm, soft, pure;
Yet so like a radiating fire,
Your Sacred Heart,
Consuming, yet growing in radiance
Within me, every building.

Your unearthly Presence is irresistible to me
And You know my heart
Better than I know it myself:
All the soft places of no resistance,
All the warm embers left
From the fires You built;
You take them happily
Building Your sanctuary within me
For Your repose;
For Your base in the camp of the enemy;
For Your rosegarden of Your Sacred Love.
I give, You accept,
And You build a kingdom in me
That stretches to the borders of eternity.

2/25-26/2000

You Lift My Soul

You lift my soul into Your hands,
My soul that belongs only to You.
Your graces wash clean the dust and
Attached bits of the world that cling to me.
Your Breath of Life warms my soul and frees me.
All darkness is scattered now by Your Light
That shines through my transparent soul.
Here, with You, I will remain, for You are Life.

My soul is lifted to Your Heart,
That place where I always wish to be,
That place where I am always home,
Always free, always consumed in Your Flame.
All I am melts into Your Flame of Love,
Touching the Heart of Life, the Core of Existence.

Let me remain here, my soul emotes.
Let my love touch Your Love
At its Source.
The Spirit in You stirs,
Drawing me into closer union with You,
My Lord, my God,
My Source of all that I am.
Your stirring inflames my heart with You,
The Source of my love,
The Heart of who I am.

My desire is to stay with You,
As with You I remain for awhile.
As You blend my soul with all that You are,
With Your graces, I am renewed,
Drawing in Your grace,
Breathing in Your Perfection,
Drinking of Your Love.

Slowly, gently, Your draw me forth again,
Pouring my soul out like a waterfall,
You return me to the place where You want me,
For now, until You call me home forever.
Refreshed, renewed, enclosed in Your Love,
Your Flame ignites from my soul, my heart, to my body
And I, though here where You want me for now,
Carry the remembrance of home, in You.

Carry this place with you, You whisper,
That I may reach out through you to My loved ones.
My desire is to draw them closer to Me,
That they may find their home again in My Heart.
My soul bows to You, my Lord, Heart of my soul.

1-29-2000

The Dawning of the Light (revisited)

As the Light,
Hidden from us for a time,
Approaches the dawning,
The darkness
of that long night
Pales to gray.
We wait in hope and anticipation
For the dawning of the Light.

As the Light returns to our world,
Gray is erased.
Once again colors grace our lives
As darkness scurries from the Light.
We are saved from the darkness,
From the eternally cold night,
And as the rays of Light touch us,
We are warmed,
We come alive again.
Gladdened and grateful
For the return of Light
To our darkness,
We joyfully praise our God
Who from His Divine Heart
Has graced us with Life.

O Lord, may we turn our hearts
To the Source of our Light.
May we ever be mindful
Of the Source of all goodness.
May our hearts flee from darkness
Opening only to the Rays
Of Your Sacred Heart of Love.

O Night of Darkness
Flee from the Light
As Hope returns.
You have failed
To kill our faith
In a God who loves us
Who will return for us
As His Rays of Love

Spill into our waiting hearts
Nourishing us with His Love,
Gifting us with His Peace.

4-23-2000

Easter dawn

Quietly Loving (revisited)

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 here listening,
Quietly loving You
As You quietly love me.

There are no words for this Silence
That speaks so deeply to 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 into Yours, my Love,
Crushing me into Your wine,
Changing me into Your Blood,
Sacrificing me to Your purest Love.

2-5-2002