Poems for Lent by Virginia M. Kimball

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Lenten Poetic Meditations

Mother's Prayers
Mary's Nine Months
Praying with Mary
Rhythm of Lent
Her Prayer in the Desert
The Eucharist
Mystery of Motherhood
Lent's Promise
Something to Pray About
Woman of Light
Mystical Rose
King Nebuchadnezzar's Dream
Woman Clothed with the Sun
Joseph's Story
No One but a Mother
Spring Gospel
Mother to Mother
Incarnation Act I
Incarnation Act II
Incarnation Act III
Announcing the Time
Life's Arrival in Time and Space
Mary's Thirst
Fasting and Prayer, Our Joy
Fasting, A Light of Dawn
The Holy Myrrh-Bearing Women
What Is Sin?
Mother of Mothers, Hear My Sorrow
Roses of Light - The Baptism
Roses of Light - Wedding Feast of Cana
Roses of Light - Proclamation of the Kingdom
Roses of Light - The Transfiguration
Theotokos, Ladder to the One
Mystery of the Mediatrix
Compline
Finding the God of Our Being
Light and Life
Are We the Proud One?
Magnificat – "Swelling with Joy"
Wife and Mother
Lazarus Raised
Palm Sunday
The Bridegroom Comes
Light the Lamps
Unction of Life
Exodus from Death
The Mother Laments
Waiting
Joy
Embracing Wonder
For Tuesday of Bright Week
Salvation by Solvation
Through Her Flows the Pool of Life
Death of a Friend



Mother's Prayers

LORD is the pulse of my heart,
and there is where he abides.
"Refresh my heart in Christ" (Philemon 20)
... my Lenten cry.

I call on his name today,
"Lord Jesus, son of Living God,
have mercy on me," then he comes
... hurt passes by.

A mother's heart filled with love,
pierced often with child's neglect,
no tears they see, nor realize
... and time goes by.

Where had Jesus gone? Rome's
soldiers there to track Him down.
"Son, why have you done this to us?" (Luke 2:48)
... ask your father and I.

"Didn't you know I was at my
Father's work?" (Luke 2:49) ... They didn't know.
She kept this in her heart, pondering
... yet not seeing why.

At her Child's presentation,
"Simeon blessed her and said:
Yes, a sword will pierce your heart" (35)
... at His cross your sighs.

Grasping, holding God's words: "Look
with all your heart, I will change your life.
For when you seek Me, you will find Me" (Jeremiah 28:13-14)
... healing your heart’s strife.

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Mary's Nine Months

Great Lent is a pregnancy
(mourning menses gone),
body spilling nausea
with awe for a growing
Unknown.

As body balance changes,
fasting the only survival ...
budding each day, each week;
and longing for new life's
arrival.

Fast beats pulse beneath the heart,
probing womb's alienation,
Mary's patient waiting
until a surge of life nudges
reconciliation.

"Reject not your mother's teaching," (Prov 1:9)
for she walked a mysterious journey
of gestation, month by month, until
the glory of a Child ... even to Pascha's
glory.

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Praying with Mary

When we say that Mary prayed,
what words, what real petition was hidden in her heart?

Was it David's words she said?
"Have mercy O God, in your lovingkindness?" (Psalm 51:1)

Was her purity of soul fashioned
in gentle chant, singing "create in me O God, a whole heart”? (10)

Was this prayer of Mary alive?
"In my inmost heart you teach me wisdom"; (8) and "sounds of joy and gladness." (10)

"Yet there we seek the LORD," (Dt 4:29)
step by step binding hearts and soul as Mary prayed, pledging her love.

Was the Great Shema Mary's prayer?
"Love the LORD your God with all your heart, all your soul.
... and all your strength." (Dt 6: 3)

Knowing Yahweh's promise she prayed:
"Take to heart these words which I enjoin on you today." (6)
... to make us all whole?

Well, yes, we remember.
She took the Word and kept Him carefully, grown beneath her heart,
pondering ... and pondering from the start. (Luke 2:51)

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Rhythm of Lent

The day dims to evening,
rosy sky tingeing
cold bare limbs
with pink tinting.

Wind howls meaning,
inner soul tingling.
Frigid cold wrapping,
on a coffin tapping.

Yet off to Compline,
this first day of Lent,
darkness creeping
on the sunset seeping,
chanted prayer singing
plaintive night shortening,
incense in vision ringing.

Rhythm of days proceed,
filling steady with hope:
prayers dressed in candlelight,
dark holes in a cosmos plight.

Stars birthing from strange, deep
abysses of compressed
energy, brilliance emerging
from death, a glory surging
in mystery,
God asking Job, "Were you there
when I formed the earth?" (Job 38: 4)
"Have you seen the gates of darkness?" (17)
"Was it you who formed the deep?" (8)

From the mystery of nothing
we come by the breath of God.
From a valley of darkness walking,
yearning for Christ without talking,

from dimmer to brighter,
from shorter to longer,
the steps of this path
a cadence grows greater,
the pulse of Creator,
the beat with His heart,
to faith that is stronger.

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Her Prayer in the Desert

"O Lord, hear my prayer … let my cry come to you.
Do not turn your face away from me.
When I feel abandoned and lonely,
listen to my troubles … hear me right away." (Psalm 101)

Imagine Mary carrying her fragile newborn son,
wrapped tightly next to her body for warmth
along the desert trail … sand blowing, shrieking
cold winds tearing at her face, sobbing as she rides.

Prayer wells up in her heart, and she remembers;
she whispers softly to God this ancient prayer:
"I have become like a pelican of the wilderness,
like an owl among the pharaoh's monuments." (7)

Picture Mary finding shelter in a stranger's place,
Joseph and the host helping her to eat and rest,
fleeing refugees in the foreign land, welcomed
always in another woman’s home, a silent kind of stress.

Then again, begging God to obscure their way,
from searching Roman soldiers, and at best …
wand'ring in this desert stay, upon Nile's delta plane,
searching for another haven .. a grueling daily test.

Almost like a child Mary reminds this God: "We will not be
afraid of terror in the night, nor pestilence that walks in darkness," (Ps 91:5-6)
"Because I have made Yahweh, who is my refuge, my dwelling place,
no evil, no plague will befall us." (9-10)

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The Eucharist

The time came for her to have her child,
and she gave birth to her firstborn son. Luke 2:6-7

Sweet mother of Emmanuel,

... in bearing Christ,
... and nurturing Him,

"You are the spiritual altar
of the divine victim,

Rejoice, Miryam!
You hug the joy of God.
Yahweh has come to you ...
You are happy, rejoicing with all women,


Tender woman whose hands
... fed the Child, since he was yours,
... gave bread to the Table of Life,
you are "the table that carries life,
supplying not only loaves of proposition,
but the bread of heaven." (St. John of Damascus)
Rejoice, Miryam!
You hug the joy of God.
Yahweh has come to you ...
You are happy, rejoicing with all women,


Mary, you are an ark of the covenant,
... hewn by God's design,
... ciborium of the Most Holy,
You are "the celestial tabernacle." (George the Hymnist)
"He who has his throne in the heavens,

Rejoice, Miryam!
You hug the joy of God.
Yahweh has come to you ...
You are happy, rejoicing with all women,

... Rejoice, O Life of the Mystical Banquet,
... Rejoice, holy Vessel overflowing with joy!
"Tabernacle of God the Word," hold Him!
"Ark that the Spirit has gilded," enclose Him!

Rejoice, Miryam!
You hug the joy of God.
Yahweh has come to you ...
You are happy, rejoicing with all women,

Most sorrowful Mother, you gave us your Son,
... watched him in his agony,
... comforted him at the cross.
"Ordained Virgin, you offer your son." (Bernard of Clairvaux)
You "posses priesthood: equal, eminently." (St.Albert the Great)

Rejoice, Miryam!

You hug the joy of God.
Yahweh has come to you ...
You are happy, rejoicing with all women,
and joyful is God's fruit within you womb.

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Mystery of Motherhood

Walk with me into a woman’s soul
Image of mystery carried in her womb
Secluded, dark, warm and throbbing
Enclosed in love
And awesome fear
Allowing life --
Pulsing entity of God
Generates, fuses, multiplies
To replicate, communicate, die ...
Die to regenerate.

Feel the encounter with God unknown
Deep fathoms in existence, awareness
Are unexplained
Un-detailed
Unsealed
Immeasurable
Planted there to harvest endlessly
With no boundary
Pregnant in a fusing of beating heart
Hurting, human tension, with pain felt
Fetal in its impetus
Joy spoken only softly
Spoken as a word to touch, to draw,
To live through darkness vast and deep
Touching realms
Not drawn by physical law
Not explained
But known
Treasured
Pondered
Sheltering a word
Sheltering the Word

This is every woman.
This is Mary.

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Lent's Promise

Spring's song of hope is frozen tonight,
thinking death unwelcome in such cold,
someday only a frozen body
beneath moonlight gleaming
across a cemetery field,
but tonight wind howls and stars
form native myths above my head.
All humans harbor hope.

Tomorrow's morning will begin again,
rosy glow, like someone opening windows
of the day wider, sun higher in its axis,
forsythia flock twittering, snow opening
its collar to green under my pine tree,
iced ponds birthing black pools of water.
Death swallowed in the victory of the cross.

Christ's answer to death.
"As ice in water overcomes the liquid
so long as night and darkness last,
but then breaks up under warm rays
of the sun ... so death ruled over us
until Christ came. When the joy
of God our Savior appeared, the sun
of justice rose up." (St. Basil the Great) Our new birth
arrived, rescued from winter in Pascha.
Rebirth in the thaw.

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Something to Pray About

In hatred there are no brothers, no sisters, no peace,
only roadside bombs blasting limbs piece to piece,
exploding minds, crushing hearts and hope.
Only loathing, Sunni for Shiite, stranger
for stranger, abomination, widow and legless child,
fear in abhorrence, mothers abandoned,
fathers terror-struck in faithless flight.
Faith? Where is the comfort of faith,
Christian turning on Christian,
Palestinians driven out in shame
from roadways to work, from homes
where children wait with pale faces
and huge, hollow, sleepless eyes?

Where is the loving mother, our shelter
who prays for silence, for men to forget
gun belts, caravans going nowhere?
Does she belong only to us,
is she only our guide,
only our protection,
only for devotion,
only?

Muhammad, prophet of Islam, revealed:
"There is nothing in the earth and the heavens
hidden from God. There is no god but He,
the all mighty and the all-wise." Qur’ān, Surah 3
Can it be that the One who loves mankind,
all mankind, reveals love and care
among earth's brothers and sisters?
Is Miryam, Christ’s mother, known
and does she wait, like all mothers do,
for brothers and sisters to be shown,
to see, to wonder, if this woman
reveals the way to be sealed
in God's peace?

"The angel said: 'O Miryam, truly God has
favored you and made you immaculate,
and chosen you from all women in this world.
... O, Miryam, God gives you news
of something new from Him. Rejoice! This
news will be named Messiah'." Qur’ān, Surah 5

"Then the angel said to her, 'Do not be afraid,
Mary, for you have found favor with God.
Behold , you will conceive in your womb
and bear a son, and you shall name him Jesus'." Luke 2: 30-31

Where is the prophetic voice for us today?
Perhaps our prophet is a mother to say:
"A voice cries out: in the desert prepare
the way of the LORD! Make this wasteland
right for the way of God. ... then the glory
of the LORD shall be revealed,
and all mankind will see it together." Isaiah 40:3-5

She cries out.
She mourns for her sisters and brothers.
She is mother.
She can ponder.
She loves with care,
and waits "for the word of God
... to stand forever."(Isiah 40:8)

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Woman of Light

No words, a message in silence:
as Christ's mother came
to a torn, hurting world,
and she never spoke,
millions saw
at Zeitoun
the place of
olives.
Kyrie eleison. Lord, feed us with the
oil of healing, the oil of light, the oil
of anointing in a holy life.

Once before, there she made a stay:
a resting refugee,
hidden by the delta,
a presence waiting
with few to see
at Zeitoun
the place of
doves.
Kyrie eleison. Yonah, little dove, a messenger from above, loving message in flight,
of living in the light.

Doves flying as a cross of lights:
the woman a brilliant crown bright,
holding her child, gliding
to his cross bending
in glory
at Zeitoun
the place of
incense.
Kyrie eleison. Sweeter than any offering,
rising in clouds, surrounding and abounding
in signs resounding.

Christian, Muslim, Jew, and doubter:
thronging to see the light,
shapes recognized glowing
in silence proclaiming
drawing a oneness
at Zeitoun
the place of repentance.
Walk while you have the light. so the darkness does not overcome you.
While you have the light, believe in the light,
so you may become children of the light. John 12:35 -36

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Mystical Rose

The church is darkened,
a candle lit, chanting voices
permeate this temple of Presence.
Faithful stand and pray,
glowing icon, flickering.
Petitioning, lamenting,
sorrowing, remorseful,
her image comfort, bathed in
confidence, care, bedecked
in blooms, stark sign of beauty
and the oath of Lent.

Life ebbing away, always,
day after day, but now listening:
"As for a woman, and man,
the living days are like grass,
like a flower in the field, flourishing,
and then the wind blows over it,
and it is gone. Its sweet yellow
no longer has its place." (Psalm 103:15-16) Will blossoms
so tender in scent necklacing
the Theotokos -- dry and disappear?
Or is she a lotus, opening to the divine?
"Opening her petals like roses
planted near running water" (Sirach 39:13).

"The mercy of the Lord is from
everlasting to everlasting,
for those who have awe
for the presence of Being." (Psalm 103:17)
Imagining: "For see
the winter is past, the rains and snow
are over and gone. Flowers shoot
up, appearing on earth,
time for pruning vines has come,
and the song of the dove is heard." (Song of Songs 2:11-12)

A shoot sprouts from the stump of Jesse,
green bud emerges from an ancient tree,
from roots of what is to be. (Isaiah 11:1)
We wait and pray and vow to repent.
Flowering birth, an assurance in Lent.

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King Nebuchadnezzar's Dream

There is a God in Heaven who reveals mysteries, and has shown King Nebuchadnezzar what is to happen in the days to come. … In your vision, O king, you saw a statue, very large and exceedingly bright, terrifying in appearance. … While you looked at the statue, a stone which was hewn from a mountain without a hand being put to it, struck its iron and tile feet, breaking them in pieces. The iron, tile, bronze, silver, and gold all crumbled at once, fine as the chaff on the threshing floor in summer, and the wind blew them away without leaving a trace. The stone that struck the statue became a great mountain and filled the whole earth. Daniel 2

An ancient world clamored for God,
opposed the Divine Hand of Life
given in a garden. Babylonian
power took possession of gods,
and city was cast down to nothing.
How tarnished is the gold,
how changed the noble metal:
How the sacred stones lie strewn
at every corner. Lamentations 4:1

Moses climbed Mt. Sinai,
standing in the tent of the sky,
listening to Yahweh.
The LORD called to him:
“You have found favor
in my sight, I know your name.” Exodus 33:12
Vast canopy of Heaven
now on the rim of earth,
a Voice touching him
and yet the people looked
for power in gold.

Step by step, upward we crawl,
clinging to Mary, whose shawl
the womb of her being,
shelter’s God’s presence,
Mt. Sinai in essence,
bringing Heaven to earth
in our mystical birth.
The path is dark, our way is hard,
but we, too, call for Yahweh, Lord.
We rejoice, Mary, our mother of light
for Pascha comes; it comes in sight.
It rolls in to crush our gods,
a mountain of faith across the earth,
borne by a woman who gave Him birth.

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Woman Clothed with the Sun

Moses came to Horeb, while leading his flocks, and … fire was flaming out of a bush.As he looked on, Moses was surprised to see that the bush, though on fire was not consumed. Exodus 3:1-2

God called to Moses, “Come no nearer!”
“I am God, remove the sandals from your feet,
for you stand in a holy place.”
Moses hid his face, afraid to look at God. Ex 3:5-6
The bush, consumed in fire,
was not consumed. The power
of an inferno, the sun, the cosmos
sheltered in a bush, yet not destroyed.
Moses asked: “What is your name?”
And Yahweh answered: “I am who am.”

Tell them, “I AM sent me to you.” Exodus 3:14
“Great is our LORD, vast in power.” Psalm 147:5
And Yahweh asks: “have you an arm like mine,
or can you thunder with a voice like God’s?” Job 40:9
“Where were you when I founded the earth?
… and Who shut in the doors of the sea,
when it burst forth from the womb:
when I made the clouds its garment
and thick darkness its swaddling band?” Job 38

“The voice of the LORD is power;
the voice of the LORD is splendor.” Psalm 29:4
“For a sun and shield is the LORD God,
bestowing all grace and glory.” Psalm 84:12

When God called Miryam of Gallilee,
she recoiled in fear. Her body was to be
the burning bush, holding the power of
creation. And the angel said to her:
“The holy Spirit will come upon you,
power of the Most High will overshadow you.” Luke 1:35

We walk in life, protected by the mother of Life,
sheltered in her womb burning with the energy
of the universe. Joy Mary! For the LORD is
with you, drawing us to God to be one.
“A woman clothed with the sun.” Revelation 1:1

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Joseph's Story

Where is Joseph, in the scheme of things?
He ponders the task,
He wants to ask,
He wonders what the future brings.

A child in burial linen bathes
cave’s darkness with a hope,
young mother tries to cope,
as Joseph works securing days

Wondering, considering his worth,
deep faith his strength,
and at any length
to witness such a holy birth.

Shepherds hear the angel’s glory,
wise men coming by a star
strangely there from very far,
but Joseph had to dream the story.

For Joseph, this birth was his beginning,
danger comes from a king,
so he’d have to bring
them to the desert, hiding.
His children grown, his labor done,
yet God was changing all his life
with this most young and holy wife
whose child they thought to be the One.

This man of stable strength, in times like this,
with temple members talking,
and Roman soldiers stalking,
is found to be a man of righteousness.

Blessed is the man who walks:
not in the counsel of the wicked,
nor stands in the way of sinners,
nor sits in the seat of scoffers;
but his delight is in the truth of Yahweh,

and on God’s way he meditates …day and night. Psalm 1:1-2

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No One but a Mother

No one but a mother knows the joy and sorrow
that comes with life: joy -- when life blooms from
a moment of darkness, filling with promise
in small brown eyes that stare wide open,
only moments old in a cold, bright world.
Sorrow births from separation, parting from
the warm breast and its sweet milk, parting
from the warm soft head snuggled on her chest,
parted from the small ear print on mother’s
arm when morning light streams in the window

No one but a mother gathers memories, collectors
holding sons, treasuring daughters, never
letting her go from her heart, never letting
him leave completely to another; miles are
shortened by the smiles, as she remembers:
tantrums on the floor, kicking with tears
for a toy – turned sour by the tantrums
of missed curfew and the harsh words of
hate that were never meant. Sweet is the thought
of a daughter’s happiest day, tears screaming
in the heart for lost days and lost time together.
Proud is the thought of a son’s commission,
standing tall and proud in a uniform of blue,
tears screaming in the heart for that small
warm hand that clutched for safety and for you

No one but a mother sees the days go by, one day
after another, and when did she become a woman?
One day after another, and when did he become a man?
Forever, they will snooze and cuddle in her arms,
and the next day be there preventing her fall.
Never is there time, for time rolls on to time;
no one but a mother feels that sting of years
when children go away, when children find their way,
when children have their children, as the time
wends its way. But always in the heart of every mother,
there is care, and love, and bearing. Always and for
every mother, time never ends, and children’s lives
are hers. She gathers, she protects, she worries
and she prays. Always. Always. Always.

No one but a mother knows what Mary felt, one
day after another. Her tiny infant boy grew up, going on,
going on to hold the world. But her Child must
be gathered, must be protected, remembered,
suckling at her breast, cuddled in her lap, rounded
to the Way, tears when they runaway in whims,
because these children, these ones she loves – are Him!

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Spring Gospel

With trust, Miryam took that fearful step
from simple joy as “little girl”:
to the throbbing task of being human,
and pulsing into womanhood.

From home with Anna and Joachim,
from angels’ care in the temple’s hall,
interrupted by El’s divine plan …
she recoiled, startled in her pensive mood.

With trust, Miryam took that fearful step
from simple joy as “little girl”:
to the throbbing task of being human,
and pulsing into womanhood.

From home with Anna and Joachim,
from angels’ care in the temple’s hall,
interrupted by El’s divine plan …
she recoiled, startled in her pensive mood.

Busy at the task of spinning thread,
Gabriel came running, sent to enthrall
a hurting world with Yahweh’s love, a Son …
the long-promised gift of Mighty God.

“The angel said to her, ‘Rejoice,
the Lord is with you.’” In these words, all
time stopped. “Blessed are you among women!”
“Troubled” she wondered … was this from God?

El’s mouth spoke: she had “found favor with God.”
It made no sense. “You will conceive … shall
call His name Jesus.” He will be Son
“of the Highest” – of Jesse’s rod.

How to fathom? Her son would “reign over
the house of Jacob … forever!” It will
have no end! She pondered this design …
like all prophets who heard the call and hid.

Trembling, she whispered … “I don’t know a man.”
But her heart “knew.” “The Holy Spirit will
come upon you … overshadow you.” Then
… thrusting into Shaddai’s love, she nodded.

Shema, Israel … Adonai, our God!
Her chair, now the seat of wisdom. The still
in her womb filled: the temple a virgin.
She agreed. “Let it be done to me.” El’s Word
dwelt in warmth of flesh, divinity kept
in a new ark. Life’s waters which God called
“sea,” earth’s new fruit, and every being
… shine now in the sustaining Light of God.

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Mother to Mother

Mary, from you I learn to be a mother …
life itself is always a wonder!

Love is … a moment when our heart is taken,
sensed in tingling body, soaring soul

The holy Spirit of God will come over you,
and the power of the Most High will engulf you. Luke 1:35

Love is … the secret whispered in a silent twilightas oneness and bewilderment take hold

Behold, the servant of the Lord! Come to me,
fill me, according to your word! Luke 1:38

Love is … promise before, and in, the witness of all,
a pledge, a covenant, two lives in one

“So joyous are you among women,
and blessed is the fruit of your womb.
But why is this granted to me - a village woman,
that the mother of the Lord should come to me?” Luke 42-43

Love is … a beginning, emerging, partnering
creation in front of our eyes

For indeed, as soon as your greeting came to my ears,
my baby leapt in my womb for joy! Luke 1:44

Love is … response, drawn from comfy bed to
an infant’s need that no mother denies

Arise, take your little Child and His mother,
flee to Egypt, and stay there until I bring you word,
because Herod will seek to destroy him. Matthew 2:13

Love is … a call in the middle of the night, sleep
punctured by piercing, tiny cries
(and losing children, pain no one denies)

A voice was heard in Ramah, lamentation,
weeping and great mourning.
Rachel was weeping for her children,
and couldn’t be comforted,
because they are no more. Matthew 2:18 [Jeremiah 31]

Love is … a comfort, a presence, of pain and labor
while waiting for the moment of delivery

Yes, a sword will pierce through your soul to its depths,
that many have rejected his unrequited act of love. Luke 2:35

Love is … the miracle of birth, struggle forgotten
newness pulsing at our breasts maternally

Like newborn infants, long for pure spiritual milk
so that through it you may grow into salvation. 1 Peter:2:2-3

Love is … poverty, death, demise of all we know of family
knowing happiness found will last eternally

And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes;
there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying.
There shall be no more pain, for the former things
have passed away. Revelation 21:4

Love is … response, drawn from comfy bed to
an infant’s need that no mother denies

Arise, take your little Child and His mother,
flee to Egypt, and stay there until I bring you word

because Herod will seek to destroy him. Matthew 2:13

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Incarnation Act I

Scene: At the town well, Nazareth, Galilee Early morning, before the heat of the day

Miryam: (scooping water from the well to her lips) Ah, cool water!

He leads me beside the still waters, He restores my soul! Psalm 23:2-3

(She lowers her bucket, singing softly.) With joy I draw water from the well,
from the well of salvation. Give thanks to Yahweh, my LORD, give thanks to my
God, Adonai! Sing praises to my LORD; you’ve done great things, we all know.

Shout, sing my heart. Isaiah 12:3-6

Behold, God is my salvation! I trust you, Adonai. (She pauses and scoops water
again.) I will trust and will not be afraid! You … LORD God, you’re my strength
and my song. (She hums softly.) You are shalom. Isaiah 12:2

(A loud whirring sound is heard. Miryam looks startled.)

(To herself) What was that? (Scared, she purposefully hums and prays again.)

O, LORD, our hope in Israel ... everyone who forgets you will never have
happiness. They suffer, I know ... Please don’t let me forget you! Everyone who
turns away from you will be like dust. They forsake you ... They forget you are ...
you are like this fountain of living water. Jeremiah 17:13 (Dreamily) Strong women in
Galilee have been betrothed because of this well ... it gives us life.

(A bluish light surrounds Miryam. Another sound is heard.)

(Startled, she listens.)

Voice: (softly)

Rejoice ... Rejoice, young woman! Aren’t you full of joy! God is pleased. Adonai is with you. Come, embrace his joy!

(Miryam looks around. She trembles. Grabbing her bucket, struggling back tears, she rushes back to Joseph’s house.)

Miryam:
My Lord! My Lord! Help me. (She dashes into the inner courtyard of the house. Puts down the bucket and scrambles for her wool basket. Sitting close to the spinning wheel, she buries her face in a spool of purple wool.)

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Incarnation Act II

Scene: Joseph’s home, enclosed courtyard

(Miryam clutches the purple wool. She attempts to begin spinning.)

(Another whirring sound, then blue light)

Miryam: (jumps, startled) What is that? What pursues me?

Voice: Miryam, Adonai finds you are filled with joy and knows you embrace the Presence. I tell you again, you are the one filled with trust and happiness. And God calls you.

Miryam: Not me. (shaking) Not me, Lord. Why do you come to me?

Voice: “Rejoice, young woman you are pleasing God and the LORD has chosen you. The LORD is with you!

Miryam: Where are you? Who are you?

Voice: Gabriel, Miryam! God has sent me. Don’t be afraid! (She still cringes in fear) You will conceive in your womb … you will bear a child.

Miryam: (raises her hand, shielding her eyes from the strange light) Stop, this can’t be true. I have never been with a man. I can’t bear a child.

Voice: Nothing is impossible with God, Miryam! (The wool drops from her hand)

Miryam: (Barely audible) I am afraid. Please, please help me.

Voice: This little child will grow to be great. He will be called the Son of the Most High.

Miryam: My LORD!

Voice: God will give him the throne of David.

Miryam: (whispered) Everyone has been waiting.

Voice: His kingdom will never meet an end.

Miryam: (still puzzled) It can’t be. I am not pregnant because I haven’t known a man.

Voice: The Holy Spirit will come upon you, fill you, fill your womb with this Life! Your child will be holy.

Miryam: But how?

Voice: Nothing is impossible with God.

Miryam: (standing and raising her arms to heaven) Behold, I am yours! Let it be done, God, let it be done to me, according to your word.

(The blue light fades away. Mary sits down at the spinning frame and her head sinks down against it.)

Miryam: (praying softly as she runs her fingers across the purple wool thread) Let this happen and give me strength. (sighs) Ohh, this will make me like the tabernacle cloth I am weaving, Yahweh touching earth. And, I am to be the mother …. (she cries)

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Incarnation Act III

Scene: The hill country

(Miryam rides a small donkey. Family members ride nearby.)

Miryam: (praying softly) Listen to my prayer, O God, don’t hide from my supplications! Stay with me and answer me, I am overcome by trouble. Psalm 33:1-2 How can I ever tell Joseph? (She rubs her abdomen.) I feel alone … there is no one by my side except you, O Lord! I only hope dear cousin Elizabeth will be there. I can’t believe she, too, has been given life by you, O God!

(Wind blows and Miryam shudders.)

Miryam: (talking to herself) Remember, God is my refuge and my strength! Adonai is present to help me in trouble. Psalm 46:1 Remember. Remember.

---

Scene: Approaching the home of Zachariah

Miryam: (calling) Dear family members, here we are in Judah at my cousin’s house. See, I think they’re in the outer courtyard. Zachariah: Hello, there. Is that my beloved Miryam coming?

Miryam: (turns to her family members with a smile of relief) They’re home! Praise be Yahweh! (calling to Zachariah) Beloved cousin, is Elizabeth at home?

(Elizabeth comes to the door and stands with Zachariah)

Elizabeth: Miryam! Rejoice, and come inside. (She holds her abdomen and jumps slightly.) Oh!

Zachariah: Elizabeth, what’s the matter?

Elizabeth: (whispering) Zachariah, my baby is leaping with joy, too!

Zachariah: Both of you are filled with the holy spirit of God’s life!

Elizabeth: (now embracing Miryam) Rejoice, my dear little cousin. You are the most blessed of women. Blessed is the fruit of your womb! But why am I allowed to greet you in my home? Why has Adonai granted this to me? Luke 1:42-43

Miryam: (she and Elizabeth clasp hands and joyfully turn in a circle) My soul dances with the Lord! I have hugged the joy of God. I am like Hannah! I rejoice and my heart is filled with life. (They embrace again)

Elizabeth: Happy am I because I have trusted Yahweh! Now I see the gifts our Lord will give!

Miryam: God who is mighty has done great things. Holy is His name! Luke 1:46-49

(As Elizabeth and Miryam embrace, Miryam puts her head on Elizabeth’s shoulder.)

+++

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Announcing the Time

Announcing the time
With God there is no time …
and yet, God made time,
made the day and made the night
God called the light Day,
and the darkness he called Night.
And there was evening
and there was morning,
one day. Genesis 1: 5
God placed a sun, the stars, a moon
so we can measure and call it time,
so all things then are made right,
so only עת (eth) when God ordains reality,
and only זמן (zman) can man mark it down.
There is an appointed time (zman)
for everything. And there is a time (eth)
for every event under heaven.
A time (eth) to be born, and a time to die,
a time to plant, and a time to pluck the planted.
A time to kill, and a time to heal,
a time to tear down, and a time to build up.
A time to weep and a time to laugh.
A time to mourn and a time to dance.
A time to search, and a time to lose.
A time to keep, and a time to cast away.
A time to tear apart, and a time to sew.
A time to be silent, and a time to speak.
A time to love, and a time to hate.
A time for war, and a time for peace. Ecclesiastes 3:1-8
But there was a time, in the time that God made,
when God entered in, God in time called Miryam,
a young girl, to embrace God's time, עח (eth)
and find it was a time to love, no time to hate,
no time for war, but time for peace.
But I trust in thee, O LORD,
I say, "You are my God."
My times are in your hand. Psalm 31:14-15
From the time of the rupture, from the time
God knew, from the time when man and woman
wrenched themselves from the Timeless,
the righteous prayed and hoped for Yahweh
to enter in, yearning for יהוה (the One of Being)
archaic past, before, during, now, and future …
Sow for yourselves righteousness,
reap the fruit of steadfast love;
break up your fallow ground,
for it is the time to seek the LORD,
that he may come and rain salvation over you. Hosea 10:12
So the tender daughter of Zion sewed
righteousness. John preached in the
wilderness: The time is fulfilled,
and the kingdom of God is at hand. Mark 1:15
God found Mary joyful in his Presence,
and came upon her with Spirit and Life.
When the time had fully come, God sent
forth his Son, born of a woman, born
in the truth, redeeming those who lived
in the truth, so they could live with
the Timeless One.Galatians 4:4-5
Time is an illusion, not a measure,
according to a Greek philosopher.
But science uses time, clocks time,
not definable since other quantities
are defined in time and space!
Is it a mental measuring system
of mankind's limited mind? Or,
is it hung on the sun as it faithfully
rises through our sky? Or perhaps the moon,
phasing full to nil, marking seasons
for the seeds, and moons for woman's
time. Or is it a swing of pendulum, an
oscillation of some Cesium atoms?
The rising of the Nile, shadows on pillars
set to catch the time? Is it a time that only
earth can hold, a time that disappears
in space, and then it is the space that
time ignores. Big Bang began it all
but one Planck moment didn't pass,
before the moment came, before the
moment past. And so we call it mystery
when Mary stopped in time, stopping
time itself, and God entered in…
He sent forth Christ as a plan
for the fullness of time,
to unite all things in him,
things in heaven and things on earth. Ephesians 1:9-10
In God's time, which is no time,
it was beginning with her,
to bring the world to God,
to start creation again,
to initiate this holy birth (eth).

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Life's Arrival in Time and Space

Looking, see ... the sun’s arc
over earth ... the Spring’s
equinox ... day’s time in
balance with ... night’s time and
sun standing ... still between
night darkness ... and day’s light!
Passover ... when the Light
Creation ... washes life
over death ... Lamb’s life
sacrificed ... and freedom
escaping ... to Eden
God’s shalom ... forever.

Pre-empting ... the northern
Spring solstice ... Incarnate
Yahweh comes ... earth tilting
toward life ... while sun’s rays
life-giving ... with water
sun warming ... and waiting
to plant in ... fertile ground
a sacred ... seed of life
Annunciation

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Mary's Thirst

Thirsting for my God,
like a deer searching
in forest hoping
for thaw (Psalm 42:1).

Searching in my soul,
a question shivering
throughout self, hoping
Love’s real. (Psalm 42:2)

Crying, his mother,
as mothers sobbing,
she knows He’s dying
… she kneels.

Aching in her bones,
she knew our parting,
shattered world groaning
… she prays.

We thirst too, pleading
for we are needing;
fasting -- love healing
our flaw.

Parched for His Being,
through darkness walking …
she holds us balking;
in her gaze

Icon flowering
candlelight says:
her heart thirsts for us,
all of our days.

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Fasting and Prayer, Our Joy

When you pray, do not look like hypocrites,”
who proudly stand and pray
in front of all. (Matthew 6:5)

“When you pray, go to an inner room,
close the door,” and say
“love” by secret wall. (6)

People ask who Mary was to Jesus
while he taught that day:
seeing his mother was there. (Matthew 12:48)

“Whoever does the will of my heavenly Father …” (50)
there’s my brother, my sister,
and my mother.

“When you fast, don’t look gloomy like hypocrites,” (Mt 6:16)
“anoint your head” with sweet oils, and “wash your face,”
so only God will know.

We see her beauty in an icon, tenderness and joy
celebrated by ring of Spring’s new bloom,
… candle’s flame burning.

And yet she fasts, garbed in the oil of Heaven’s room,
praying and praying her glow,
… His Love for all yearning

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Fasting, A Light of Dawn

God revealed “fasting” to Prophet Isaiah,
the LORD said: “tell them their wickedness.” (Isaiah 58:1)

God sees we seek to know Christ day after day,
the LORD sees we want to know the ways.

The mother of our LORD fasted day by day,
her whole life fasting, she calls us to the Way.

“Set free the oppressed, break every yoke,”(6)
as she prays for us, gathered under her cloak.

Like her “share your bread with the hungry,”
like her “shelter the oppressed and homeless.” (6-7)

Her Son loves the naked and the vulnerable;
as the LORD’s mother she waits being available.

“Then your light shall break forth like the dawn,
and your wound shall quickly be healed;

your justification shall come upon you,
and the glory of the LORD shall guard you.” (8)

With his mother we call and the LORD will answer,
we ask for help and God will say: “Here I am!” (9)

With her, our Mother, we delight in the LORD,
with her--riding on the “heights of the earth.” (14)

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The Holy Myrrh-Bearing Women

Before dawn, Mary Magdalene
and the women came,
bringing spices and myrrh
to anoint the holy body.
Long before, Mary held
a baby son in Bethlehem,
in a cave visited by kings,
who lavished him with myrrh
prophesying in this a death
for the infant king of life
who would rise
treading down death -
and by his death lavish
life to those in the tombs.

The women hurried to the garden
of death to find His holy body,
but found the stone rolled away
and the tomb open … yet hearing

the voice of an angel say:
”Why do you seek the living

among the dead?”
The One who is everlasting life

is not hidden, yet not here.

See his burial shroud in the grave?
Go and tell all the world:
"The Lord is risen;
He has slain death,
for He is the Son of God,
and saves humanity!"

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What Is Sin?

Lent brings discovery ...
to find our sin
and wonder when
God will understand
our lamenting plea.

There is more to see ...
for God who wails
"I remember you
loving me, then
held in my hand
across a desert sea."

[Jeremiah 2:2]

"My people forgot ...
left fountain
of living water,
digging wells
for themselves,
cracked cisterns -
that failed all thirsty.

[Jeremiah 2:13]

"Know and see
that it is evil
and bitter for me
as you forsake,
and abandon me -
your Yahweh – and
yet you have no awe."

[Jeremiah 2:19]

We have no awe?
What is our sin?

Let us count the ways:

... a mother who births a child
loves daughter with all her might
day in, day out holds her tight
and then is forgotten ...

... a mother who nurses all night,
holding tiny son so close to heart
and then is insulted,
rejected as age resulted ...

... a mother who holds her hand
year into year, in all fear,
and then is substituted
by some thing shinier,
those possessions finer ...

... a mother who is demeaned
long years after her son is weaned.

Can we see into God's heart
and discover such hurt?

We thirst to return
to God who yearns
for us,
for trust,
to remember
a Love given,
and joy is ours
transported
from YAHWEH
who knows this pain,
giving again and again
to our grieving plea:

Easter's
joy won,
by God's son!

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Mother of Mothers, Hear My Sorrow

One day at San Agostino,
awkward tourist in a way,
sheltered from the searing heat,
exhausted from a summer day,
... outpoured my scorched soul
falling at her feet.

Praying with lifeless words,
wishing only to weep,
no tear to wash my pain,
no gift to look toward,
no memories to keep,
no sweet gentle rain,
no flower,
no life,
no God to ordain
that special touch,
that matchless bond,
that little person,
to ease this pain.
"Why, why do I not bear a child?"
"Why has it been more than a little while?"

Women's tears before my day,
had stained this holy shrine,
begging you the mother Virgin
of Child-bearing divine.
Sweet votives in tiny paired shoes
and happy cherub faces,
all bragged of hope and
miracles in twos.
Let me conceive, O holy God,
"have mercy on me, LORD,
for I have trouble; Yes,
in my body and my soul!" (Psalm 31:10)
"Consider my affliction, deliver me,
for though I won't forget You!" (Psalm 119:153)

Didn't you, O holy virgin,
pray and dream of life?
Can you, dear mother, see me, too,
and take me to the Font?
Bent here like your daughter, as I drink the holy water,
can I know He’ll send me ... the child whom I want?

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Roses of Light - The Baptism

Mary knew her Son:
water for the thirsty,
spring of water welling,
gushing eternity, John 4:14
and He said:
for "I am He." (4:26)

Rejoice, Miryam!
You hug the joy of God.
Yahweh has come to you ...
You are happy, rejoicing with all women,
and joyful is God's fruit within your womb.

He knew his mother,
for she was like a tree,
planted so near the stream,
bearing fruit in season,Psalm 1:3
trusting God
so He could be.

Rejoice, Miryam!
You hug the joy of God.
Yahweh has come to you ...
You are happy, rejoicing with all women,
and joyful is God's fruit within your womb.


There by river’s bank,
She heard God’s voice above,
say her son was His Son,
submerging Self in love,
giving life
so life be won.

Rejoice, Miryam!
You hug the joy of God.
Yahweh has come to you ...
You are happy, rejoicing with all women,
and joyful is God's fruit within your womb.

God said, "Let the water teem
with all living creatures," Genesis 1:20
seeing how good it was. Genesis 1:21
... Christ, her son, rising from
water heard heaven's call:
"My beloved
He pleases me!" Matthew 3:17

Rejoice, Miryam!
You hug the joy of God.
Yahweh has come to you ...
You are happy, rejoicing with all women,
and joyful is God's fruit within your womb.


Flowing from that stream's mikvah,
parted then by Yahweh:
life dwelling in her Son,
revealing in the Jordan.

Rejoice, Miryam!
You hug the joy of God.
Yahweh has come to you ...
You are happy, rejoicing with all women,
and joyful is God's fruit within your womb.

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Roses of Light - Wedding Feast of Cana

The mother of Jesus was there, (John 2:1)
a wedding under the huppah,
canopy over two young lives --
youth from the peaks of Amanah,
naïve and scared as she had been,
there they stood to drink from one cup,
rough pottery on sweet smooth tongues,
pledged love joining bodies as one,
drinking kiddush, a blessing wine,
two in one
for life to come.

Rejoice, Miryam!
You hug the joy of God.
Yahweh has come to you ...
You are happy, rejoicing with all women,
and joyful is God's fruit within your womb.


This bride ravished his heart, captured
by one quick glance with eyes like dove's,
sealed with a necklace of pearl and gold,
hopeful pronouncement of life so bold.
Embraced in love, far more delight
than any wine; ointment sweeter
than any spice! Lips drip honey,
"You are beautiful, my treasure!"
Life is God's gift of this pleasure. (Song of Songs 4:9-15)

Rejoice, Miryam!
You hug the joy of God.
Yahweh has come to you ...
You are happy, rejoicing with all women,
and joyful is God's fruit within your womb.


He is like Solomon, riding
a wagon of Lebanon cedar,
its posts of silver, its roof gold,
a purple seat with ivory. (Song 3: 9-11)
His sight, in her eye, instant love,
as he leaps from rock to rock on
high fields, like a gazelle above,
his voice calling: "Arise, beloved,
my precious one, and come!"

Rejoice, Miryam!
You hug the joy of God.
Yahweh has come to you ...
You are happy, rejoicing with all women,
and joyful is God's fruit within your womb.


Feasting begins -- Mary touches
the jar's cool water, bending and
blessing herself in immersion
holding to life, celebration,
a ritual: two lives who soon
will be one with each other ... and
the Author of Life.

Rejoice, Miryam!
You hug the joy of God.
Yahweh has come to you ...
You are happy, rejoicing with all women,
and joyful is God's fruit within your womb.


Confiding in God, and singing,
"I rejoice heartily, Yahweh,
for God is the joy of my soul." (Isaiah 61: 10)
Mary knew and her family knew,
bride and bridegroom knew ... in marriage
there is God's proposal too,
"like bridegroom adorned with diamonds,
like bride bedecked with jewels." (Is 10-11)
It is God's wedding, for a land
called "Espoused," children named "Delight."
And as man marries a virgin,
Builder marries too. As bridegroom
rejoices, God rejoices anew. Is 62: 4-5

Rejoice, Miryam!
You hug the joy of God.
Yahweh has come to you ...
You are happy, rejoicing with all women,
and joyful is God's fruit within your womb.

Wine has run out! Life to renew,
Mary mother knew what to do,
water to wine, covenant new,
"go and do just what he tells you." John 2: 5
"A wedding day of the Lamb comes," Revelation 19:7
Christ’s saving way has just begun.

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Roses of Light - Proclamation of the Kingdom

"What was from the beginning,
what we have heard,
what we have seen with our eyes,
what we looked upon and touched with our hands
concerns the Word of life–for the life
was made visible; we have seen it
and testify to it and proclaim to you
the eternal life that was with the Father
and was made visible to us." 1John 1: 1-2

Surely Mary knew the precepts of Moses;
and truly she knew our Christ,
her son,
Yahweh’s Son,
She heard his voice, saw him human, touching the face of God.

Rejoice, Miryam!
You hug the joy of God.
Yahweh has come to you ...
You are happy, rejoicing with all women,
and joyful is God's fruit within your womb.


She was the mother who bore him,
making him visible, her testimony
and proclamation of God with us.
She listened to his words, she wept and laughed with him, feeling his pain.

Rejoice, Miryam!
You hug the joy of God.
Yahweh has come to you ...
You are happy, rejoicing with all women,
and joyful is God's fruit within your womb.


Happy are those who know what Moses said,
yet thrive in the living words of Christ's peace,
for they dwell in joy that comes from trust.
And the angel greeted Mary;
"You exist in God, you heard the call, God's work in your womb, being "pure of heart."

Rejoice, Miryam!
You hug the joy of God.
Yahweh has come to you ...
You are happy, rejoicing with all women,
and joyful is God's fruit within your womb.
.


"And blessed are those who mourn,
for theirs is the kingdom of God."
Paradox? How can we be blessed
yet face the door of death? Stand at the cross with his mother, knowing happiness?

Rejoice, Miryam!
You hug the joy of God.
Yahweh has come to you ...
You are happy, rejoicing with all women,
and joyful is God's fruit within your womb.


Rejoicing in a cosmic victory,
stomping down death by death alone ...
her Son's selfless act to make all free.
This was Mary's joy: reaching, aware, immersing in mystical meaning.

Rejoice, Miryam!
You hug the joy of God.
Yahweh has come to you ...
You are happy, rejoicing with all women,
and joyful is God's fruit within your womb.


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Roses of Light - The Transfiguration

Conversing with the LORD,
his face beaming radiance,
from that moment on ... Moses
wore a veil, hiding genuineness,
"a ministry of condemnation,"
glory in a cloud; until this veil
was taken, pulled away by Christ,
to fullness in a holy presence
streaming light into the human. 2 Corinthians 3:7-18

Rejoice, Miryam!
You hug the joy of God.
Yahweh has come to you ...
You are happy, rejoicing with all women,
and joyful is God's fruit within your womb.


"But we all, with unveiled face,
shining as in a mirror the glory
of the LORD, are being transformed
into His same image, from glory to glory." 2 Cor 3:18
"Behold, I tell you a mystery:
we shall all be changed ..." 1 Corinthians 15:50

Rejoice, Miryam!
You hug the joy of God.
Yahweh has come to you ...
You are happy, rejoicing with all women,
and joyful is God's fruit within your womb.


We were made in an image, and a likeness
becoming like Him, in sacred theosis.
And who, in all her holiness, shone
with the brightness of grace ... alone?
Her Son revealed this mystery
transfiguring on Tabor--theophany--
a hint of glory, the light of life,
robes white and glistening,
faces brilliant, and hearts listening.

Rejoice, Miryam!
You hug the joy of God.
Yahweh has come to you ...
You are happy, rejoicing with all women,
and joyful is God's fruit within your womb.


Her tomb was empty, and angels sang,
as Christ arrived to take her home.
Some doubters shrieked with mighty pain
jostling and pushing her simple bier,
then touched with faith as healing came,
like flashes of light in muscle and bone,
believers knew that she was gone,
the first, like us, to final resurrection.

Rejoice, Miryam!
You hug the joy of God.
Yahweh has come to you ...
You are happy, rejoicing with all women,
and joyful is God's fruit within your womb.


How comforting, that ancient midnight
vision at Blachernae, when she came into sight.
His mother appearing, in lightening flash,
and thunder and mysterious light.
She bent with tears on the bema step,
then rose and opening her darkened veil,
gathered all beneath its fold:
a strange tale Andrew the Fool had told.
He saw motherly care upon her breast,
and all of us beneath--a safety bastion,
this holy mother of protection.
She came from the Heaven beyond,
to seal the gift of Christ, a bond.

Rejoice, Miryam!
You hug the joy of God.
Yahweh has come to you ...
You are happy, rejoicing with all women,
and joyful is God's fruit within your womb.


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Theotokos, Ladder to the One

Jacob … came to a special shrine at Bethel, from Abraham’s time, staying there for the night because the sun was going down. He took one of the stones in the shrine to put it under his head for a pillow and then he lay down to sleep. He dreamed there was a ladder set up from earth, reaching up to heaven. And, behold, angels of God were ascending and descending on it! Genesis 28:11-12

Dreaming, Jacob saw God’s promise:
Behold, I am with you and protect you
for wherever you go, I will not leave you! Genesis 28:15
Dreaming, seeing transcendence in El,
immanence in Adonai, earth’s connection:
the holy Realm of covenant, in motion
up and down along a ladder,
angel messengers descending,
angel advocates ascending.

If I ascend to the Heavens, you are there. Psalm 139:8
Who is our connection, our Jacob’s ladder,
accompanying us, protecting us? She sees
the Numinous One, singing in His sight:
“Holy, holy, holy is the LORD of hosts;
now the earth can touch God’s glory.” Isaiah 6:3

Yet, having ascended, she descends;
with our mother, we sing: To you I lift up
my eyes, to One enthroned in Heaven! Ps 123:1
She is our ladder, mother He took home,
leading us along the Way: Our help in the name
of the LORD, who made heaven and earth. Psalm 124::8
Still we lament and sleep on a rock in this earthly space,
pleading Let us go to His dwelling place,
let us worship
at the footstool, Ps 132:7
always clamoring,
climbing to Life’s rule.

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Mystery of the Mediatrix

Pointing the way, Mary from Galilee
somehow hears praying, from you and me.
How does this happen, that she can know
since she’s a real person,
who lived long ago?

It’s Christ she shows, only Source for living.
Health, happiness we find He’s giving.
It’s not from her hand, nor her desire,
... leading each to her Son,
mother’s work begun.

Jesus builds a mystical family:
He is the vine, and we are branches, John 15:5
abiding in Him, we’re like a tree,
his mother, our mother,
helping each other.

She exists with Him, with many children,
cradling in love and motherly care,
for all of us are the Son she bears,
... holding us one with Him,
each tangible limb.

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Compline

As the day’s glow begins to ebb,
evening hearkens darkness,
our fourth week in Lent begins;
remembering Sunday’s cross,
dressed in daffodils, gold godliness
of victory to bloom, slowly
coming like birth with pangs,
labored love in timed petitions.

kyrie eleison, kyrie eleison, kyrie eleison
“Lord have mercy on our many sins.”

Each breathed plea lifting trouble
from hurt and pain, in rhythms to confess,
psalm after psalm, our need for this:
quiet night of prayer. Our yearning is
pulsing, lamenting, pleading God’s
assistance, “weary with groanings.” Psalm 6:7

Lord of the Powers, stay with us;
in times of distress,
we have no other help than you,
have mercy, please, on us
. Hymn of Compline

Chanting these ancient tones,
truly faithful ones do know,
our one hope, our Theotokos,
is shelter and protection …
Intercede with your Son, our God,
to grant us all forgiveness. Hymn of Compline

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Finding the God of Our Being

Life’s Triodion … three stages back to Being;
Life bursting with fun … back to seeing:
love, sustenance found in fasting,
and bread stretched to lasting.
Learning to discover dependence,
vulnerable, embraced by incense.

The mother knew this walk … holding
Him in birth and joy … on to dying.
Her silent presence almost shouting,
while some thought her doubting.
As mother she seized harsh reference
holding truth in patient insistence.

Great Lent takes our inner needing --
dragging, pulling us through darkening,
then birthing as Spring’s light emerges,
we find life’s spark mystically surges.
We kiss her dear icon flowering,
dropping cares in her lap, empowering.

Mothers know the pregnant path to bearing,
labor wrenched at muscles tearing …
forgotten with the first wet and wondrous smile,
newborns who can’t know it will be a while
before life’s environment of self surges
and mother waits, watching as life’s urges …
propel the child from infanthood to godlike being,
only by mother holding in her heart how God is freeing.

N.B. The Triodion, in ancient Christian tradition, is a preparation of twenty-two days preceding Great Lent, a transfiguring from death to living that all Christians must know by dying in Christ. In Lent, we Christians--like Hebrews who remember slavery by eating “the bread of affliction” (Deuteronomy 3:16) in preparation for Passover--will walk the Lenten path to life, from cross to resurrection. Mary, the mother of Christ, surely fasted and prepared for Passover, embracing freedom only given by God. She accompanies us now as we gather at her knees like children, revering with a hymn (never sitting) and touching with love her holy icon.

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Light and Life

It was a quiet morning in Nazareth,
Mary at the well, in the early morning hours,
before the heat of the day.

Light is sown for the righteous,
and gladness for the upright in heart. Psalm 97:11

And in a moment, it happened … blue gentle light
enwrapping her, a presence that terrified.
A presence coming to say:

“Give me a drink.” John 4:7
[Later], Jesus said: “I am the resurrection and the life.” John 11:25

Night was dark, the cave damp and cold,
her Child came, contracting forth in labor
from her young womb.

Rise up in splendor! Your light has come,
glory of the LORD shines upon you.
See, darkness covers the earth. Isaiah 60:1-2

Resting from the work of woman, she rolled
on her bed to look away, into the morning sky,
seeing the morning star.

Behold, the star which wise men saw in the East,
a light that came and stood over the Child. Matthew 2:9

Light: powerful, life-giving brilliance
- engulfed her body, her life – Mary glowed
inside, Emanuel had come.

Behold, an angel of the Lord stood before
the shepherds, and the glory shone around them. Luke 2:9

Mother, as she was, knew Mt. Tabor’s light
as he grew. Nursed and held this Power of Most High.
Her son: the light of life.

In Him was life, and the life was the light of men.
And the light shines in the darkness. John 1:4-5

Resurrection comes, His mother knows it will.
Her son, walking from the grave and over it,
the Light for our salvation.

The LORD is my light and my salvation.
The LORD is the strength of my life; of whom am I afraid? Psalm 27:1

All her life, Mary looked for the Risen Light
to rise. Now, we wait for First Light
at Pascha … real glow in our sight.

Oh, send out Your light and Your truth! Psalm 43:3

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Are We the Proud One?

Her son Jesus taught a story of prayer that day –
a proud man upon the temple step to say
how good he was, how long his fast …
while hidden in the darker temple corner
stood a penitent, feeling like a mourner.
Which of these did Jesus know could be
finding His love and care eternally?

Who is His mother, as the Fast begins for all,
for God is “supporting all who fall”?
Had God heard her quiet prayer, hidden in a temple gown?
“Raising up all who are bowed down.” (Psalm 145:14)

Her song to Elizabeth rings on our doubtful ears:
“I extol you, my God and King;” no fears …
“I bless your name forever,” (Psalm 145: 1-2) upon her tender heart.
And so God heeded lowly pleas, the eschaton at start.

For me I sense the darkening time, days fleeting like smoke …
“my bones burning as in a fire,” (Psalm 102: 4) my soul choked
with mem’ries of the time forsaking Him, thrown down
from happiness, sitting in self, lifted up failing and alone.

Was it Christ who walked among the men aflame,
in Nebuchadnezzar’s furnace of fame?
Is it His mother who waits and finds us now,
so broken, so needy in our Lent … learning how
to find awe in night sky; discovering inner self healed
as we pray … mercy planted for Spring’s new field?

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Magnificat – "Swelling with Joy"

My heart exults in the LORD,
my horn is exalted in God. 1 Samuel 2:1
Hannah knew grief,
knew barrenness,
knew loneliness,
… and knew belief.
Women berated her,
belittled her,
but never guessed
her righteousness.
Eli thought her drunk,
“Sober up,” he said. 1 Samuel 1:14
Opening her heart
before the LORD,
Hannah, like Anna,
presented her word,
giving her child
to the living God.
“I prayed for this child,
the LORD granted
my request. I, in turn,
give him to Yahweh.” 1 Samuel 27-28
All women in Israel
yearning to bear life,
wombs, hearts united
to Life’s dominion.
There is no Holy One
like the LORD;
there is no Rock
like our God. 1 Samuel 2
So Mary, too, sings
like Miryam before,
dancing, relishing life
at the desert’s door.
“My soul magnifies the Lord,
my spirit rejoices
in God my Savior.” Luke 1:47
Mary seals happiness,
bursting with trust,
a presence of El,
great joyfulness.
“Henceforth, all generations
will call me blessed,” Luke 1:48
All peoples see
this saving ecstasy
she possessed.
Mary finds hesed,
mercy and love:
a woman lamenting
for hungry and poor,
people abandoned,
hurting each day.
Her prayers heard,
life-filling womb,
love given and taken
life leaving the tomb.“
For He who is mighty
has done great things for me;
and holy is His name. Luke 1:49

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Wife and Mother

. . .She “knew” the Lord

Therefore, a man leaves
his father and his mother
and cleaves to his wife,
becoming one in flesh. Genesis 2:24

Like man for wife yearning,
two completed in one,
as love in love burning:
God’s creation plan done.

Miryam “knew” no man,
a seed of trust her part,
love of God with passion,
humankind’s hope, the start.

… She who “bore” the Lord

Before I formed you in the womb
God knew you, and before you
were born I consecrated you. Jeremiah 1:5

God knew Mary blessing her,
prophetess in God’s land,
faith like ours yet deeper –
married, without a band.

Gentle mother wrapping
life with love in her womb,
something like awaiting
his rebirth from the tomb.

… She who is wife unwedded

Rejoice, bridal chamber
of seedless marriage
O Rejoice bride unwedded. Akathistos Hymn, Fourth Stasis

Rejoice for little things
wife-mothers do all day.
In marriage, life she brings,
One among us to stay.

Theos, God offers love:
Deus, New Creation …
joins mother in one-ness
with Presence, poesis.
Mary, mother of life,
the theopoiesis,
Mary, wife and mother,

Deo in excelsis!

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Lazarus Raised

She was there, mourning and wondering …

in Bethany, knowing this family,
wailing when Lazarus died
although he was so ill.
She knew Mary and Martha--sisters
who seemed quite different …
both calling her son to come,
telling him:
“the one you love is dying.” John 11:3

Two long days passed before Jesus,
returning there to Judea knowing
some wanted him dead by stoning,
found Lazarus dead, sleeping
in the grave, not sleeping but
placed in a dug limestone grave,
lying there:
behind the stone for four days.

His mother remembered her son’s words:
“If they do not hear Moses and the prophets
and believe, neither will they be convinced
if some one should rise from the dead.” Luke 16:41
He called to beloved Lazarus--bound in linen,
shrouded hand and foot, death’s face wrapped,
“Come out!”
Dead man rising, untied, he came out alive.

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Palm Sunday

His mother, an oasis of life,
gave us the author, the king
who rode into that city
of death, riding only to bring
victory, his gift a trampling
death down by dying, finding
life given in unending loving,
despite that real renting
of fruit tasted and rejected,

soon …
earthly power dejected,
by windy palms rooted
deeply, finding water,
grown dates to sweeten
palates with sap’s wine -
all framing a pageant
of fronds from stately trees:
life, truth hidden, and lost
until the fruiting of the cross.

On the day of her dying,
Mary the mother was crying
-- to see her son,
to be in heaven,
and all at once, in that garden of tombs,
all trees bowed down and gave her a palm.
She – like a palm of the desert, pond
of life taken to Him in anastasis!

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The Bridegroom Comes

Behold, the Bridegroom comes
in the midst of the night.
And the night is coming to an end.

Holy is the person He finds waiting,
hoping, and believing. Blessed
and holy is he or … she.
And Miryam watched as He rode in,
crying in her heart when “hosannas”
faded, fearing believers would no
longer sing, but shout: “crucify him.”

So contemptible, undeserving,
pitiful is one whom the Bridegroom
finds - lax, heedless, and forgetful.
Here I am, absent, sinful, unbelieving
and nearly worthless. Overcome
by darkness, resisting Life … commend
my heart to the Mother so the wedding
can begin, and this night can end.

O, my soul, don’t be overcome by sleep!
Slumber transforms into death, and gates
of life shining through with Heaven’s light
will close, will lock, will never open.
Hold the Mother’s hand, who opened life
at Cana, and see as garden’s realm
behind her closed gates swing wide:
hear the Bridegroom calling us to enter in.

Revive yourself, awaken, and sing out:
Holy, holy, holy are You, our God,
protect us, give us your sacred guardian.
The banquet is ready, and Bridegroom comes
hungry, but poor fig tree has only leaves.
He storms (and yet his Mother believes.)
“Let no fruit grow on you again.”
Are we the fig tree, as He enters in?

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Light the Lamps

Brothers and sisters, we must prepare
lighting our lamps with care,
loving the Bridegroom
with true faith. We must be like
the young women waiting
for the bridegroom … who lit
their lamps in time ...
waiting for a wedding feast.

But … my heart grieves with frustration,
failing to harbor trust in the One
who promised love, losing hope
when sweet children are driven
away by evil in the house of God.
Grieving mothers we are, whose sons
were betrayed; innocence of daughters
stolen by lies from secular secrets …
always an absent voice there
when I expected truth and concern.
Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites!
You who have shut the Kingdom of Heaven
against these tender souls. … Do not be called
teachers, for One is your Teacher, the Christ. Matthew 23:13

Rachel weeps for her children, and our mothers
wail for sons and daughters lost to perversion.
But are we, too, ready for the banquet?
Do we forgive, do we pray, remembering to hope?
For now, Christ comes soon … and laments,
sending his mother to teach us wisdom’s sense.

Jerusalem, Jerusalem, you killed the prophets
and stoned those sent to you. How many
times I yearned to gather your children,
as a hen gathers her young under her wings,
but you were unwilling! Matthew 23:39

Are we willing now?
The midnight hour has passed,
and the Light enters in.
Can we forgive, can we hope,
can we believe?
Is our lamp lit in the night?

Heaven’s realm is like ten young women,
waiting for a glimpse of the bridegroom.
Five were foolish and five were wise.
The foolish had no more oil, finding soon
the long darkness could not be filled
with longing. Only the wise who planned,
patiently - waiting with flasks of plenty
to light their lamps,
they awoke and entered in. Matthew 25:1-13

We wait as the bridegroom comes,
warm with the love of his mother,
crouched beneath the folds of her protection,
like chicks nestled under the wings of a hen.
She is the one who waits with us,
soothing our anger, our hurt, our loss …
embracing too, for us,
the glory of the cross.

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Unction of Life

When the tyrant’s order prevailed,
the furnace was fired sevenfold.
In it, the youth were not burned. Great Holy Week Ode

Boiling oil, a furnace singeing life …
a cauldron, an inferno of death
where three youths were plunged
at the order of Nebuchadnezzar,
demanding allegiance to a golden idol,
supposed power of a mighty king.

“Throw in those three foolish youngsters,
call them children, boil them in oil,
eliminate stupid faith in my fiery domain;
then see them writhe, and hear them
scream my name of fame before all!”

Strangely seen there in that furnace of oil,
a fourth figure flickered in the flames.
“How bizarre,” thought the king
puzzled, afraid, startled and asking:
“Didn’t we put three men there to boil?” Daniel 3:91
A mystical man walked about, spinning
moisture in a bubbling pool of death:
a dew laden breeze permeated through.
But flames never caused them pain
nor any harm as they sang: Blessed
are you, Yahweh, and glory is your name. Daniel 3:50-51

This Life-giver flows as the culture of life …
“mercy” as eleison built from eleos
meaning … oil! Oil of light, oil for food,
olive wood shelter, oiled for health,
oil to anoint, olive fruit from generation to
generation – Like olive plants
are your children around the table! Psalm 128:3
Job reflected his days of health
remembering God’s abundant gifts:
When the Almighty was yet with me,
when my footsteps were bathed in milk …
the rock flowed with streams of oil. Job 29:5-6

As the Bridegroom comes, His oil spills
upon our head, touches our heart, anoints
our hands, and life bursts anew.
He, a divine river of mercy, a fathomless
gulf of great loving-kindness,
a merciful One, lets streams of Mercy
tumble on us, and comes healing all!
On us hurting and ailing people,
God gives compassion and mercy!
O Savior, incorruptible Chrism,
You empty yourself of gifts purifying
the world, show mercy on our wounds! 4th Kathismata and Ode

As the oil flows down our hearts, who is
the mother of it all? Whose faith captured this?
In your Divine Birth-giving, O Mother,
bearing the Creator, manifest yourself
as the fruitful olive tree, whom the world
finds, seeing you who filled with mercy. 6th Ode
Embrace us who suffer … and intercede,
Olive Tree, who bears our every need.

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Exodus from Death

On the first day of the feast of Unleavened Bread,
the disciples approached Jesus and said:
“Where do you want us to prepare for you
to eat the Passover?” …“The Teacher says,
“My appointed time draws near; in your
house I shall celebrate the Passover with
my disciples.” Matthew 26:19

Passover -- celebrating with dearest ones
the providence of Yahweh who directed
death to pass over firstborn of faithful sons,
recalling again and again, a living realization,
that exodus from hostile slavery and extinction.
Mother, wearing her simple shawl of prayer,
lights candles, her special rubric to usher
in the Sabbath, and this feast of walking God’s way.
Who was the mother at Passover that day?
Blessed are You, Lord our God,
Ruler of the universe, who has sustained
us with life, keeping us alive,
enable us to know our blessings! The Haggadah

Mother, daughters, sisters and beloved
prepare the plates: matzah for the hurry
from Pharaoh, unleavened bread broken
to be shared, one piece hidden in a shroud,
buried as afikomen surprise at end of time,
a rising from the depths of death its metaphor,
for Christ said: Take and eat, this is my body; Matthew 26:26
roasted egg, offerings for the temple, life
waiting to be born from a tomb; maror,
the bitter herb of sin and darkness - our
enslavement trapping souls in strife;
charoset, apple-nut-honey mortar
of slavery’s daily building, horrid labor;
karpas, Spring greens that breathe rebirth;
lamb shank bone, our Suffering Servant,
God’s Son – our reconciliation!

Four cups for blessing, one for no one
except “Elijah,” forerunner and
announcer of Messiah, cup of wine
filled and pointing to the very one!
With the cup he took were obvious words:
Drink from it all of you, for this
is my blood of the covenant. Matthew 26:28

Between the first cup and the fourth,
wine dropped on words remember
plagues: blood, frogs, vermin,
wild beasts, pestilence, boils,
hail, locusts, darkness, and most feared
of all – slaying innocent first-borns.
Blood spilled for hardened
hearts, blood spilled again
by hearts but forget, but forever
sealed in forgiveness, there
in the farewell final dinner,
with twelve, fed by the mother
and the women, as they reclined
and only one hateful man declined.

It is our duty, then, to thank and to praise,
to glorify and to extol Him, who performed
all these wonders for our ancestors, and
for us. He took us from slavery to freedom,
from sorrow to joy, from mourning to
feasting, from darkness to great light,
and from bondage to redemption.
Alleluia … Praise the Lord! Haggadah

These words our savior sang
on an incredible Passover night,
a mother not far away,
using ancient ritual to say:
He is our matzah, our Lamb, our wine,
his death our exodus from death in time.

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The Mother Laments

Standing in that vicious place,
stench so acrid on her tearing face,
His mother wept below the cross
lamenting, “How is it possible
for me not to mourn, my son,
my whole being overwhelmed …
seeing you naked there and hung,
like a criminal impaled on a tree?”

“You hang so high above my head,
on that rugged, splintered wood,
gasping breath, suffering, nearly dead.
You are no longer my tender infant
nuzzling to my breast. In splendid birth,
little helpless one, you were only mine
as you slept on my chest. Tiny mouth
crying, soothed with warm milk, a hug,
and my soul’s lullabies. … Now you moan
piercing my heart, no way to ease your groan.”

“Woe, my heart! My heart is torn with grief.
Unjustly pierced! I’m haunted by gulls
circling over the spot of Adam’s skull.
You, the man I hoped would be a king
hangs condemned, so are you my son
I’m seeing? “O, my beloved Son, where
has your surpassing beauty gone?”
Romanos, On Mary at the Cross

“If you suffer and die, can you come to me again?
Must you go down to Hades, that place of death,
for Adam and Eve, going where only dead have been?
Oh, how will I conquer my pain? Will I not mourn,
weeping in my house with you in the tomb?
Breath gone, body limp and spirit torn,
not the pulsing life I felt in my womb.”

Eyes reddened, silent, struggling to stand,
beloved friend called, then took her hand.
When Jesus saw his mother and the disciple
whom he loved waiting there, he whispered
to his mother: Woman, behold your son.”
And to the disciple, “Behold, your mother.” John 19: 26-27

And from there they went home,
two of them … alone.

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Waiting

For I will refresh the weary soul; every soul that languishes i will replenish. Jeremiah 31:2

A heavy stone leaned against the newly dug cliff tomb. Joseph has laid him there.

Now in the place where Jesus was crucified there was a garden, and in the garden a new tomb, in which no one had yet been buried. So they laid jesus there because of the Jewish preparation day; for the tomb was close by. John 19:41-4

Next morning, in the home’s courtyard,
like every other day, the Mother bent to lift a jug
for water at the well where it all began …
a task to help her pray. Now, all so silent,
yet Spring’s buds carry on, flowers shining
God’s praise although Creation’s Word,
the loving Christ was gone.
Death completed, where was it the faithful ran?
All who believed … wait. Just as the mother waited.
Mourning and waiting, like the moment of birth,
mourning in pain, expectant in joy,
waiting, waiting for birthed joy.

When all people who had gathered for this spectacle
saw what happened, they returned home
beating their breasts. But all his acquaintances
stood at a distance, including the women
who had followed him from Galilee. Luke 24:48-49

Beloved younger women came to comfort her,
that long, long day of wretched anguish,
and how long had they watched where he was lain?
Relieved, at least, no longer had he pain.

Mary Magdalene and Mary the mother of Joses
watched where he was laid. Mark 15:47
Mary Magdalene and the other Mary remained
sitting there, facing the tomb. Matthew 27:61

On this bright new morning only birds could sing,
darkness lurking in the minds and souls,
human hearts laden with hurt and loss,
comforted by the Mother who grieved the most?

Let us praise Mary the Virgin, for she is the glory
of the whole world …She has broken down dividing walls
of enmity, bringing us peace, opening up the Kingdom.
With Her as an anchor of Faith,
we have an invincible champion,
and the Lord born of her.
Take courage then, take courage, you people of God,
for He who is Almighty will vanquish any enemy. Hymn, Holy Saturday Morning of Great Holy Week.

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Joy

Why do you seek the living one among the dead?” Luke 24:5

He is not here, for he has been raised just as he said.
Come, and see the place where he lay. Matthew 28:7

Rejoice, Mary! … “found” expecting joy!
Words resounding in your heart,
sorrows replaying in your mind,
weakness bewails your very being.

Rejoice, how can it be? How can it be
that he is dead, brutally
pierced by Roman soldiers
knowing
he was gone
by seeing
blood and water gush
from his side.
They knew
his life was through.

You ponder Mary:
“How can I
have my son return,
for I have not known
death to be so kind?
How can
I rush to be with him
when he must be
about his
Father’s business?”

“My friend
apostle Mary
walks and talks
with him
in the garden.
But I, the mother
abide at home,
with kind John,
knowing
that anything
is possible
with God.”

Especially now Mary’s heart sings,
only now her joy in glory rings …

“Christ, my son, has risen from the dead,
trampling down death by death,
bestowing life to those
abiding in the tombs. Alleluia!” Taken from the ancient Resurrection Hymn

Sorrows harbored in her heart,
rejoicing “known” from the start!
(kecharitomene!)

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Embracing Wonder

Christ is risen! Christ is truly risen!
The mother’s hope, her heart’s expectation,
her son’s promise that reconciliation
could come to beloved Israel,
resounded this very morning as a bell
ringing through an exhausted body,
psalms singing each pulsation of her heart,
joy flowing uncontrollably in soft tears,
every person’s unspoken but deepest fears,
buried on Joseph’s cold grave bench,
stamped shut with a heavy, huge stone,
eerie silence after the Son’s long groans,
but now, now no longer the stench
of Golgotha burning in her nose,
for on this third day … He arose!
Morning light wrapping round
night’s fear like a cloud of protection,
new light dawned, unbelievable miracle
hers but indescribable in any sound,
beyond words, beyond explanation,
spoken as awe bound in her throat
life given in death, life forever in El!

Sing to Yahweh, dance with tambourines!
[An exodus arriving in kitchen courtyard,]
and she could only cry in faith unsparingly,
remembering the prophet’s call to Israel:
Lift a voice like a trumpet blast! Isaiah 58:1
Blow the trumpet in Zion!
Proclaim a fast, call the people,
gather an assembly, tell everyone!
Bring the elders, little children
and babies at the breast. Joel 2:15-16
The mother’s neighbors, beloved friends,
dedicated, myrrh bearing women
and closest relatives, coming to hold and
embrace her, with only secret words
of joy whispered and intimately shared.
Give thanks to Yahweh on the harp,
on a ten stringed lyre, and offer
praise, sing to Yahweh with chanting,
for truly Adonai is true, Yahweh
has showed His loving kindness! Psalm 33

Who could know the joy this Mother knew?
Who could share her pain? Who could explain?
Who could fathom then … when His death came,
as the dead came waking down the lane.
And behold, the veil of the sanctuary
was torn in two from top to bottom.
The earth quaked, rocks were split,
tombs opened, and bodies of saints
who had fallen asleep in death … arose! Matthew 27:51-52

And now with His rising, such light on this third day!
Village people hugging Mary, embracing a New Way:

Christ has risen from the dead,
trampling down death by death,
giving life to those in the grave.Acient Resurrection Hymn

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For Tuesday of Bright Week

You rise, O Lord, in a lightening power,
drawing, pulling our sisters and brothers
from their lonely graves, first
Eve and Adam, now living, breathing
from their stone tombs, as you kick
the doors of death with the panels
of your cross, grasping, with warm
hands, their hands that lay cold, lifeless
in the earth, locked in darkness
with fetters and chains, an oblivion
of dark hidden from loving-kindness,
locked and sealed from breathing
and holding, feeling life’s caress,
and waiting for glory’s moment of Pascha,
moment of exodus, moment of love,
moment of freedom to live and give,
long due praise and glory to God above.

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Salvation by Solvation

water …
abides abundantly in our human body
and Moses came to the Red Sea
and parted it
walked through it
to save the people of God

like Almighty One
Unknown Source of Life
coming to Mary
and entering her womb
taking residence
to save the people of God

water …
earth’s source of life
God walked mysteriously
in the fiery furnace spinning
dew in an inferno of death
for three youths of God

like Christ our Savior
claiming reborn joy
by lying in a cold grave
and rising, bringing life
by death to people in a tomb

like water …
dissolving agent
God permeates death with life
and man and woman
are saturated with Life’s love
filling with divine presence:

salvation by solvation!

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Through Her Flows the Pool of Life

A dying man, wasting away to death,
spent with fever and horrible thirst,
calling desperately out for help …
stumbled alone, forgotten and sick
outside the empire’s grandest place,
thirsting itself for signs of hope
for Christ’s promised healing grace.

It was then young, healthy Makellis,
future emperor of this metropolis,
came upon the languishing man …
searched in vain to find him drink,
when he heard a woman’s gentle voice
calling and calling to a tiny pool,
where he washed the poor man
racked in pain … and a miracle happened
and healing came. Who was that woman
whose voice he heard, some sixteen
hundred years ago? It must have been
the mother of Christ, the one through ages
who holds God’s Son, distributes God’s love -
a source of life, a river flowing from above,
the Virgin, source of the Source, embracing Life,
mother giving life, her Son the faithful
struggling on, she the “fountain of the Fountain.”
The gift this Friday in the mother remains,
pouring Water of Life on us like Spring rains.

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Death of a Friend

Her death came at three o'clock
as she prayed the chaplet
of divine mercy.

Her bed was transitory
decked with disease
and she waited.

When a saint passes,
touching our days,
we pause and wonder.

A gift for Lent this death
as God's dear woman left
but still stays.

She lingers in our memory,
teaches us living
in her demise.

She weaves hope and joy
on the bed she died
before our eyes.

Death is a sleep in her
bright eye of faith -
sealed, swollen.

She begged her Mother
waiting and smiling
for her return.

A rosary in frail bruised hand
Presence in her heart
life forever won.

Glory in a Lenten lesson
Christ's victory:
longed for end.

I'll always remember Jean
in this March gospel
Love coming during mourning
God's Light in a dark day
Jean lives Life forever ...
Death by death destroyed
and Christ the only way.

May her memory be eternal!

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