Gentle Guest

Come, Holy Spirit come! Is a silent mantra that finds me especially when gathering the dust of distraction.  Life continues to happily snowball my little attachments like magnetic balls rolling through a steel mill.  Soon I become what I love the most. Looking back through my rear-view mirror of past events, the hidden pursuit of the Holy Spirit becomes clearer. Unexpectedly, it is through the thoughtful observance of wasteful love cooperatively spent within the life of the Trinity that the Holy Spirit perseveringly offers to detach me from the sticky ‘needs’ of life. Yet, this gentle Creator must be invited into my single want of His better will. I find repentance to be a beautiful and satisfying way to empty a room for my new house guest. At first this somewhat selfish and desperate need for rescue slowly transforms as I learn to question everything about myself and how I see myself through the Beatitudes, the gospel of Mathew’s social love, the transcendent quality of St. John’s descriptions that lifts my soul, the unmistakable intimacy inked within the Pentateuch, Isaiah’s soul-wrenching experience, and the irresistible, awe-inspiring incarnate reality found in and through Jesus the Christ. Truly, I must decrease…

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Come to me my joy!
Baptize me! Be my drink!
Fill this blank page with Your ink.
Messiah’s Spirit,
Swollen dew in Your mist,
Saturate me with Your kiss.
Will of hidden food,
Sip of newfound freedom,
Rescue of souls east of Eden.
Whet my lips with this wine
True drink that cannot turn,
Teach me all so I may learn.
Give light to these eyes,
Let me see Your Glory,
Expand this heart’s territory.
O’ sweet and gentle Guest,
Invade this ore’s darkness,
Lift the dross and leave the precious.
by Chris Clody
6/23/17

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Beyond Ashes

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In Ashes

What sustains the flame,
While I sit in my ashes,
Tempered by my shame,
With tear-burdened eyelashes,
Like ripe fruit bending branches.

Blest fruit of her womb,
Chosen olive God crushes,
Atonement’s perfume,
Man’s oil of ever gladness.

Seen through blurry tears,
Radiant hope in the blackness,
A death promised without fear!

I will rise in Him from these ashes,
Because when He speaks I hear,
Fasting while selfishness passes,
‘Til in the hungry Christ appears,
Becoming one with others and my ashes.

By Chris Clody
3/3/17

The Smell Of Fear

 

tumblr_n5mvwy56Ba1rrecxqo3_250.gifAaaaahhhh… such a sweet smell to the King of the Orcs, Azog the Defiler. Fear.  It is the the unholy sacrifice of our belief in the Lord who commands us not to fear.  When we bow to fear we choose enslavement.  Why do we choose to abandon our noble hope and faith just to settle for despair, doubt, and a path well-traveled?  In abject contrast to satisfying fragrance to a demagogue  of fear, like Azog, is the trusting prayers that waft up basting the Heavens with a fearless fragrance – irresistible to the One who makes all things new.  My thoughts today are really a request to engage your help to encourage these burdened under-shepherds of the cloth to remember those who previously carried this torch of the Gospel to their doorstep without regret or fear.  Presently, the message of the Gospel is  being crowded out by what people want and not so much what they need. Ironically, the “Good News” carries quite a shadow of hate.  If there is a timelessness to human culture it presides through the intoxicating effects of people praise.  Hence the success of Hollywood and even our latest president-elect. However, when Jesus mentioned He and G-d were one, well… yeah, a whole lot of that stuff hit the fan. As the fan coughs to a sputtering stop, we quickly surmise the cost of spreading this type of “good news.”  If this God-man, Christ wasn’t necessary then the Gospel would be a no-brainer and an absolute joy to contemplate every minute of the day. It would be like….incessant prayer. Unfortunately, the Father sent His only begotten to complete His will, His Torah for His chosen, who was unfortunately welcomed eventually by crucifixion.  Don’t be fooled that Christianity has no cost.  It actually costs as much as someone love without fear of any consequence.  No regrets.

Nevertheless, my soul feels a disturbing dread and an unwillingness of these priests and pastors to behave in the freedom of fearlessness.  I covet your prayers to lift those truly called to rise up. I am also praying that those seeking a comfortable career in the non-profit, business sector of motivational speaking to please step down.  Although the cost is everything to walk the path of discipleship, the yoke is light when inspired by love. For those who have found their niche in gospel entertainment there is a price to be paid; a wrath beyond our imaginations.  We must be active and gently encourage both those stepping up and stepping down through face to face conversation.  We must lovingly convince those called to teach please to remember scripture is a portion of God’s will to manifest in our reality. If fear is an option then the pulpit is not.

For the Catholic priests:  Passionately ordained to consecrate the paschal sacrifice, the summit of their sacramental Everest, do you truly believe in the real presence of Christ in the bread and wine? Is there a wedge of fear that separates you from entering into this intimate Trinity completely naked?  Would there be any hesitation from protecting the very sheep you have been called to feed? When Christ inquires,”Do you love Me?” is your answer a fearless ‘yes’ to protect the sheep you see on Sunday.

For Pastors: Your passion for social justice finds the Christ in the oppressed and marginalized.  Have you forgotten the needful protest of your Protestant heritage? Would you seek out that one lost sheep?

Last year, 2016, was a year of silence.

When the humiliating parade of misogynistic commercials filled the ears of children, I stared at my Rosary in disbelief. I wept at the utter desolation at how her Son must have felt about those raising His body in consecration.  Surely her adoring son yells, “Flesh of my flesh!” –  yet somehow He is not surprised.  After all we’re humans . Right?  You allow yourself to be called ‘Father.”  I am a father to a daughter and a husband to a wife, both temples Christ is patiently rebuilding while their walls are vandalized in vitriol. What about the pedophilia scandal and its complete absence from every pulpit? What ‘Father” on this beautifully , blue orb would remain silent? Why has fear woven a cloak of complicity and secrecy of hiding predators feasting on innocent children? Pastors, what about your bride’s reaction as you talked quietly at night.  Furthermore, how could one not be consumed with zeal to protect one’s very spouse while trying to communicate the mysterious vision of a “Bride” for Christ?  If misogyny is met with silence then  what to make of the teaching on the mount where name calling is equal to murder? Why then was your voice not being raised outside of your safe, holy bubble on Sunday?  Do you hear now the words begged Simon; “Do you love  Me?”  Do you then feed your sheep by example or the slop of “mere Christianity?”

Let us pray to support our priests and pastors during these difficult times and gently encourage them to discern their meaning and application of leadership along with unhesitating protection of the flock.

 

His Peace,

Chris.

LOST IN THE FOG OF GRACE

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Grace, the reception of unmerited favor, has derailed Western Christianity not because of its innate capacity but because through misinterpretation. The favor and beauty of unmerited mercy does indeed have a cost. It is not given merely for lip service when juicing regretful memories but in our willingness to seek Christ while offering to also carry His cross through the eyes of empathy and compassion. The reason the pure of heart sees G_d is because they have no hesitation, no filter, no willingness to see other than Christ in the heart of another’s need. The Kingdom at Hand is glimpsed by those who strive to see the purity through radical charity. Every knee bows alongside the downtrodden, the orphan, the widow, the refugee, the hungry, the naked, the lonely, and forgotten to bring friendship alongside to those who need it most. The corporate business aspects of Christianity refuses to bow that knee. From the burning bush to the ascension, Christ did not come to establish a corporation built on the ten percent of union fees. The crucifixion came to as warning signs posted atop Calvary and the Resurrection as a direction towards mercy. Unfortunately, Heaven’s signposts is also surrounded by a dense fog of misinterpretation. True Christian actions is assaulted by hateful defense mechanism built by power and greed. Why? Because the “Good News” is true liberation for ANY bearing the weight of oppression. The distractions of escapism incorporated into misunderstood grace is exemplified by the lie of the Rapture, continues to find hungry ears in the savvy consumerism of Western culture. For those to hardened for a kenotic journey towards purity of heart illuminated by Torah and gently taught on the Sermon of the Mount, they will be offered unmerited favor through the lifting of their cross.
Blood will still drip from the hands of preachers and ears of their believers during judgment of their willingness to partake in saving mercy. Every soul will be judged. There will be no free pass via “Christ the Spaceman” sucking up those who raised only their hands and voices in some emotional church service. Transparency and corruption, along with all evil doing will have no place on Earth’s New Heaven. YHWH is love as is the purity of His mercy and simplicity of His divine faithfulness.
Christianity has sold its soul to political recognition and ephemeral gain. Truly, if Christ was the Lord of our life then discussions and actions would gather humble and candid expressions of concern instead of hateful vitriol and polarization. When will the soul famished for divine mercy be granted a seat at the table of Christ’s abundance? When will transparency in the corporate structures of religion and politics offer a clear view of a waiting bride walking through the Kingdom’s Garden?

How long Lord? How much longer do we wait?

His Peace,
Chris

A box for God

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I wrap my prejudice,
In a box,
With skin that crawls,
From a heart unlocked.
I can see my Savior now,
Facebook to face,
Bearing His wounds,
Yearning for my embrace.
Christ no longer hidden,
From my view,
For His presence,
Becomes what I do.
Moments become sacred,
Between two,
Time slips away,
As He makes all things new.

By Chris Clody
8/25/16

The Human Solution

Spoiler alert! There is no one politician that is going to solve our problems. One of my mentors, Richard Rohr, offers the following “solution”:
Those who agree to carry and love what God loves, both the good and the bad of human history, and to pay the price for its reconciliation within themselves–these are the followers of Jesus. They are the leaven, the salt, the remnant, the mustard seed that God can use to transform the world.
The answer is left to the ways of forgiveness, hospitality, and enough compassion to embrace the whole imperfection (sigh) of humankind.

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The Guest

It shines in hospitality’s welcome,
The unlocked door that leads to rest,
Exhaled it rises like cool breath at dawn,
Love offers warm drink and bread for our guest.

Resuming his journey towards life’s end,
Suffering at times from dim hearts and minds,
Find security in only their own reflection,
Demonizing instead of embracing humankind

False piety teach scripture as the Word passes by,
Yet welcome by homeless pushed outside town,
Encouraged by their new brother’s light and warm voice,
The sing and dance at the great pearl they have found!

His eyes beckon all thirsty into God’s ocean,
His words like water that drench dry souls,
His journey to reach the frightened with hope
His touch heals broken hearts joyfully whole.

Only love of neighbor can recognize love of God,
Not words spewed justifying isolation,
Only mercy received knows the grace of mercy given,
Not hearts abandoned to fear and desperation.

Spare us perfection’s reckless anxiety,
The haughty discernment that offers no rest,
Instead we welcome the “unwashed” and “unblessed”
To dine and sleep in our hearts as a guest.

By Chris Clody
7/30/2016

The Consuming Fire

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Sin is a droplet

Sin is a droplet turned steam,
Barely approaching Mercy’s flame,
Like darkness found by sunbeams,
God delights in all repentant claims,
Quickly banishing whatever blame,
“At Last!” His image now reclaimed.

Merciful, forever, merciful,
God and love shines one in the same,
A shoulder to the remorseful,
Holding our hand when we’re unable.

Faith, hope, and love give us soulrest
Deep within Messiah’s cradle,
We emerge baptized, wet and grateful to bless.

The doomed droplet mists a saving rain,
Death becomes life when repentance gained,
Knowing that in Christ there is no shame,
This excited bride awaits her Husband to claim.
…if we but turn and believe the reason He came.

“Cast thy care upon the Lord, and he shall sustain thee: he shall not suffer
the just to waver for ever.”

(Psalm 55:22 Douay-Rheims Bible)

by Chris Clody
7/20/16