Your Perfect Cross

You hang helplessly on this Cross.
I kneel before You,
The One whose Words
Of Kindness and Love,
Of Forgiveness and Mercy,
Move my heart.
My body, as I draw near, shudders
From the pain I see.
Every part of Your Body
Screams out in pain
With no hope of relief
Until it is finished.

I draw closer still, my Lord,
Gritting my teeth against the pain.
My eyes, unable to behold
The full nature of Your torture,
Lose focus so
I approach with my heart.

Nearer still I come,
My heart longing to embrace
And free You from the pain and
Rejection of our world.
Can I not shield You
From the hate? The cold hearts?
The arrogance? The pain?

At Your feet now,
Leaning on Your Cross,
My heart breaks to feel Your pain.
But as I enter deeper,
There is another world,
Another kingdom here,
Gripping Your Cross.
Your Spirit of Love engulfs me,
Bathes me in its clear, perfect,
Silent sweetness
Surrounding You even now
And touching those
Willing to touch Your Cross,
To enter into Your pain,
Thus passing through to
Your Perfect Grace,
Your Perfect Love,
Releasing from
Your Perfect Cross.

4/6-8/2000

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Beggar King

As I walk, You walk with me.
As my steps grow closer to Yours
You form my feelings,
You cast my thoughts.
Drawing me closer,
You open my soul.

My heart, made pliable by You,
And vulnerable to Your ways,
Moves to Your desire.

I pause on a grassy knoll.
I sense Your Presence deepening now
As You lead me to Your feet.
That grassy knoll,
So close to Calvary,
Holds Your Cross.

My heart is drawn to Your Heart
By Your desire.
You reveal to me Your Sacred Heart
So exposed in all its tenderness,
So open to the human world.
Your Heart, my Jesus, still beating,
Still cries out for love, our love.

You, my Lord, show me
How to be vulnerable;
You teach me about masks;
You expose me to all Your Ways.
You show me Your Precious Heart,
Wide-open to all our ways.
No masks, no shield,
Only a heart beating with longing,
Longing for us to long for You.

“I thirst,” You cry out again.
“Thirst for me!”

The unearthly softness
Of Your Sacred Heart
Disarms me
As You hang on that Cross,
So gentle, so blameless,
So pure, so perfect,
So much desiring
So much more than we give.

Your Heart overflows with Mercy.
Your Heart cries out in Silence.
Your Heart, a sea of Tenderness,
Begs for the love You desire.
But we turn away from our Beggar King.
Worse yet, we walk by
Not even noticing that the King of Love
Begs from a Cross.
You would give all for the Love
Of those who would give nothing.

In my own desire for Your Sacred Heart,
I imagine how I would feel
If You turned away from me and my longing,
Or didn’t notice.
Yet every day You die again
On that lonely Cross
For a look of love, and
A heart open to Yours
That You may love.

12/17-18/1999

Come For Me

At Your feet with Your
Mother of Sorrows
I watch Your Blood soak into
The wood of Your Cross,
That Precious substance lost so soon.
Will Your Precious
Words be lost as well?
As we abandoned Your love and Your body,
Will we so with Your Words and Your Life?

I stare at my bloodstained hands.
I stare at Your Mother’s swollen eyes.
Anything, avoiding the look I know I must take
Into Your eyes of love
Crucified for me.
I feel Your eyes on me.
The tears come.
Still Your eyes burn into my soul.
My heart, my Lord, cannot survive
Your eyes of Love from that Blood-soaked Cross.

I listen.
You are whispering prayers.
Names, You are calling names
To Your Father.
Is my name among them?
Please forgive me, Lord, my heart cries out
As tears blur my eyes.

Slowly, I build up to the Truth
I must not deny.
I start with Your feet.
Oh, my Lord! Those feet
So torn, holding You barely
On Your torturous Cross.
The overflow of my heart
Washes Your feet.
My love anoints Your feet
With a kiss.
Your precious feet that
Walked our earth for us
Already grow cold from loss
Of Your Precious Blood.

My eyes move to Your chest
As Your body heaves to receive breath.
Your Sacred Heart labors
Crushed by Your body’s weight
But more by the weight of our sins.
My arm around Your Mother now,
We watch together
Knowing the end is near.

My eyes slowly raise to meet the eyes
Of the King of Love, crucified.
I grip Your Mother’s hand
Unable to breathe.
There, Your eyes like a magnet
Draw mine to Yours.

There the most beautiful,
Most Precious Love
Holds me in His power.
My body could be dead
For all I know–
My heart is not there,
It is gone now, with Him
Caught in His unearthly desire
Begging me to come in
To His Kingdom of Grace.
I cannot move.
I cannot breathe.
There is a pain in His eyes
That speaks to the core of my soul.

Let me do anything to appease Your pain, my Lord!
There is a love in His eyes
That burns my body, sears my soul
And captures my heart
Forever bonded to Your eyes of Love.

Once there, there is no turning back,
There is no looking away.
My eyes belong to Yours,
My heart, my soul, it is all one
Locked into Your soul-stirring look of Love.
I become Yours forever.
Into Your hands I offer my soul.

As the Light fades from Your eyes
You offer Your Spirit to Your loving Father
And You are gone into Him
As I into You.
Take me with You I breathe
As Your body slumps,
Only an empty shell now
Like me, without You.

Come for me, my Lord, my God,
When You return, I pray
Still gripping Your Mother’s hand.

4-21-2000

In Perfect Love

Pounded, beaten down,
Flesh torn, thorn pierced,
Body so strained and in pain,
So weak, muscles so spent,
You could hardly move
Even without the nails.
Every breath, every movement
A new experience of pain.
Eyes and ears numbed
From the blows,
Thirsting for any renewal,
You hang, spent, alone,
Humiliated, given completely
And taken ruthlessly.

There, as time drags on
And Your body slumps and drips
Slowly toward the earth,
As You ponder how Your perfect Love
Could get You here, so abandoned,
Your thoughts, Your soul reaches
For the One You love,
Desiring a word of consolation,
Aching for a breath of Love
And the peace of knowing
That this is what He wants.

Yet He is silent;
There is no movement,
No consolation;
You beg; You thirst,
You search the skies,
You search the hearts,
Yet only silence
And burning emptiness
Accompanies You in Your mission
Of abandonment to Love.

Your Heart cries out
And what You wished was silent
Echoes through the crowds
And like the thunder, returns:
“My God, My God,
Why have You forsaken Me?”
Your cry of humiliation and despair
Ricochets back and forth
Again and again in their laughter,
Slicing You each time.
People turn away,
Disappointed at this display of humanity.
They had hoped for something more.
This is no God, only a pathetic man,
They muse as they return to their lives.

Justice escapes You.
This One who poured out
His Love to His people,
Now poured out in body,
Hangs alone, humiliated,
By the very ones He healed,
By the very ones He loved so dearly
To become a Victim on a Cross.

Is there anything left to Your body but pain?
Only pain do You now feel.
Your Sacred Heart is overwhelmed
With all You feel and with Your desperate desire
To be reunited with Love.

Alone,
Save the one You wish You could spare,
That pains You more to see, broken,
You slowly give over,
Drop by drop,
Your Precious Life,
Your burning Love,
All given, excruciatingly slowly,
As You surrender to Love
All that You are,
Quietly pouring Your Heart out in union
With all the brokenness of the human heart.

Come and take Me,
Everything I am,
You breathe deeply
To the universe You created.
And then Your breath is spent
And You are silent,
Unmoving,
Surrendered in Love.
The Perfect Victim,
Perfect Innocence,
Perfect Sacrifice,
Perfect Silence,
Perfect Union
In Perfect Love.

10-23-2000

Abandonment In You

From Your Cross,
Eyes full of sorrow,
You gaze down upon me
From where I stand, seeking You,
Seeking the answers only You can give.

My heart breaks looking
Into Your loving eyes.
How can you not trust Me? they say.
Pulling, ripping at my heart.
You, my Precious Lord, I see,
Face of surrender,
Eyes sunken with sorrow,
Hands and feet nailed down,
Side gushing Your Precious Blood,
And all for me that I may choose
To love You for eternity.

How can you not trust Me? You ask,
Humiliated, abandoned, poured out.
You remain there alone,
Amidst my confusion,
Amidst my questioning,
Surrounded by my fears.

How can you not trust Me? You ask again
With Your silence, Your surrender,
Looking into my tearful eyes,
Gazing into my broken heart and soul,
As I crumble at Your feet.

How can you not trust Me?
Like an earthquake moves me,
Baring my soul,
Shattering my heart.
Like the sinful woman,
I kiss Your feet,
Begging for Your Mercy.
At the foot of Your Cross,
That gate to Your Heart,
I offer my heart again.
Take it from me, I beg!
Give me just an empty shell
To be filled by You!

I will not stop Your advance in my heart,
Though it may slay me with Your Love.
When I am nothing or less and You are All,
Will You take me once again,
My Lord of the Cross, into Your abandonment,
Into Your Sacred Heart of Love?
Will You embrace my complete emptiness
Into Your complete Love?
Will You plant my fallen grain
Deep in Your Sacred Heart
That I may grow in You?
Will You trust me Lord that
Though I am frail, I am Yours?
That though I may walk in the darkness,
I seek Your Light?
That though my heart is small,
It comes to You
Ready to grow,
Ready to die,
Ready to trust
In whatever You say and
Wherever You take me;

For this heart, though frail, is Yours.
I give it to You, all of it.

Taking my heart,
You place it in a dark mine field
With only the Fire of Your Heart
To guide my way.
Complete abandonment, You ask.
Complete abandonment is all I can give
To survive in You, my Beloved.

9-19-2000

Your Ripping Heart

Like a rack,
The nails,
Your Cross,
Stretching You to where it feels
You will rip in two,
Centered on Your Sacred Heart.
At the center of the torture,
As at the center of our lives,
Your Heart would like to burst
From a Love too great,
From a desire too strong
For our hearts too small and cold
To contain You.

I gaze into Your face
In Your agony
To find Your glazed stare
Centered on me.
Your look of pain,
More torture than the rack,
Rips my heart to the center.
Your eyes contain
Such softness,
Such love,
Such longing,
Such absence of bitterness
That only love pours forth
From those gentle eyes,
Breaking any resistance
To Your Love
I may foolishly still hold.

You take my heart in that glazed stare,
Holding it captive to Your Love,
Binding it willingly to Your Sacrifice,
As two hearts become as one,
Suspended
In that glazed stare.
All fades but this,
O Sunrise of my soul,
Casting out the darkness,
Bathing with Your Light.

Let me embrace Your ripping Heart,
My Sweet Savior,
And make it my own, burst for You,
Poured out at Your feet.
In my smallness You enter in,
Dissolving the borders of my heart.
Locked in pain, yet bathed in joy,
Our hearts mingle in the sweet Fire
Of Your Love that pours forth
From Your Wounds and
Your glazed eyes, immovable in Love.
You pierce me with Your eyes on my soul.
But the Blood of that piercing
Is the Blood of the Lamb.

11/17-18/2000

Metal Against Bone

Metal against bone,

Flesh splattered against Cross,

We nail You, dear Lord,
Once again.
Not once, but
Millions of times.

We take Your loving, healing hands
And place them where we want them.
You be this to me,
A mute friend,
As we nail You down
Only where we want You
In our lives.
Not here, but there.
Only there.

Taking the other hand,
We nail You once again.
Don’t touch this part of my life.
Only where I let You.
Only here.
Leave the rest alone,
Our hearts speak
As we pierce Your hand again
And nail You where we want You.

We wrap Your Precious head
With the thorns of our discontent.
This one You didn’t mean.
My Jesus would not say that, we taunt
As we throw away Your Words,
As we mock Your actions
Once again.

My Jesus, you would not ask
For my discomfort.
Your Words and Your actions
Embarrass me.
Those were for a time not our own
Where pain and despair
Were a common experience.
You could not mean them for now,
We tell ourselves
As we mock and turn our eyes
From Your piercing eyes
Of gentleness and deep desire
For our entire hearts and souls.
We are too intelligent for this.
We wrap the thorns around
Again and again.

You be this to us now,
We pound on those feet.
Stay here, clean and neat,
On this gilded Cross,
With no Blood dripping
And clean, neat Wounds.
We put on our Sunday best
And go off to our clean churches
To be entertained
By Your gilded Cross,
Throwing one final spear
To make sure You are dead.

11-11-2000