A box for God

Gift

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

Our History of Wonder

Born To Please

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Unaware yet born to please,
Shedding blood in greed and fear,
Two wills, one selfish and one to appease,
Serving two masters is doubly clear
Divinity patiently waits to join us here.

Burning without destroying, man is drawn,
Confused by how this could appear,
Barefoot steps tremble on legs of a fawn,
The Irresistible orders Moses to lead on.
Ending man’s innate question with more to think upon.

Aware and finding reason to please,
A scapegoat is devised to lay their sins upon,
Yet power corrupts due to man’s disease
Laying law upon law, love is soon gone,
Replaced by our will serving our need,
Doubting even The Ten that convicts of our greed.

Undaunted and untamed, Emmanuel borrows skin,
Fragile and human, Jesus comes to feed,
Giving Himself as food for forgotten sin,
The Christ of God breaks Death’s final grin,
The grave once greedy cannot hold resurrection win.
Grace and peace, by loving God and neighbor begins.

Keys are given atop of a rock,
One day to surrender and led by an enemy’s whim,
Purity is from dross The Spirit continues the stock,
In spite of Power, soon time forgets and corruption begins,
Saints are sent while the encourage the true flock,
Laws upon laws, the slumbering are loyal yet God is mocked.

Still hope remains in the trusting souls,
Whose trust surrendered to their Redeemer’s knock,
Fearlessly led by the Anointed’s beatific goal,
Inexpressible joy is given when we relinquish control,
Loving God through our neighbor in forgiving revolt,
Until that Day of Wrath, when the Lamb pours out the bowls,

Yet, despite pious boast, regret will cover those who condemn,
Those unjustly shamed and discarded Christ collects from another fold,
For Heaven is not a room to secure to which we ascend,
But true community that weds a Groom who willingly descends.
The Bride’s “I do” is our present ‘Amen.”

By Chris Clody 5/9/15

The Gift

Sunday is comin’…

Sweet Repose

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Your sacrifice is my only treasure,
That clothes me in priestly purple,
The crown You give inflames my endeavor,
Defining life’s endless circle,
By love; Holy and eternal.

O Redeemer, my sweet repose,
Ancient Love, so rich and fertile,
David’s Root blooms through a Mystical Rose,
Whose prickling thorns grow inward and painful,
Cut down for sin – yet still arose,
Fin’lly reaching Heaven for us below.

Sacred seed chooses a holy garden,
Incarnate blossom from a joyful rose,
Resurrection softens clay once hardened,
Fragrant is Your way to sinful pardon.

O Redeemer, my sweet repose,
Ancient Love, so rich and fertile,
David’s Root blooms through a Mystical Rose,
Whose prickling thorns grow inward and painful,
Cut down for sin – yet still arose,
Fin’lly reaching Heaven for us below.

O Spouse of my soul, how sweet is thy kiss,
Whilst begging our forgiveness hanging from your wrists,
Save your servant from the darkened Abyss,
And vouchsafe reunion within Trinity’s bliss.

by Chris Clody 3/15/15

To Glimpse Through Favored Eyes….

20120330-053906I have one resolution for the coming year … to truly ‘see’. No, I’m not blind – but certainly distracted.  My hope, is actually a singular prayer.  In my ever evolving perception of my faith, a Catholic by birth and now more so by choice. Yet, I am still a restless, stumbling pilgrim in the dusk of grasping the ‘whys’ of my God-Hero.  I’m quite sure I will never fully understand the definition of Divine love whether framed in compassion or pity, it simply is a mystery I choose to carry joyfully on my sleeve.   However, in regards to ‘seeing’, I want to see my Redeemer, through the eyes, ears, touch, heart and soul of His mother.  I realize this may be just…too…’Catholic’…for some of you that read my following prayer.  I get that…and expect that.  However your understanding plumbs the true intentions of my particular Christian expression, I want you to simply consider how Christ honored His mother, on earth and in Heaven.  My prayer to Mary, holds the same loving intentions I have for my own mom, the only person on the planet who knew me like know other…

Again, I cannot grasp the capacity of The Uncreated One I know as Messiah.  My dimness that attempts to focus on the ‘why’ He chose to enter our human history the way He did, especially through a favored a 14 year old virgin.  This same woman whom in all our written revelations of God was the only person greeted by an angel as being ‘full of grace’. Yep, that’s a lot of grace!

Certainly we all are beautiful puzzle pieces formed by God.  Not only are we lovingly designed to fit together, but add our beautiful uniqueness to create a masterpiece called community.  I pray I get to see the ‘why’ we all fit together in this new year.  However, today would you join me and consider a particular puzzle piece in our human history; Mary, the Mother of God.

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O Mary,
Mother of God
My Mystical Rose,
Help me, protect me, and come to my aid.
Mother of my hope and salvation,
Show me the Light you share,
Shining forth from the Holy fruit you bore.
O Sweet and Loving Virgin, hear my prayer.

Mother of Perpetual Help,
Console me in my time of need,
Let me see the joy through your eyes,
To gaze upon your Lord and Son,
With open eyes of renewed faith,
Let me see the victory He has won.

Gracious mirror of my justice,
Shining Morning Star,
Favored Gate of Heaven,
Endless is my debt to your humble ‘yes’,
For resplendent is my Lord’s Vessel of Honor,
Ever- immaculate are you, Gate of Heaven.
From which all generations are blessed.

Mother of Son and Sorrows,
Magnificent House of Gold,
Virgin Most Prudent,
Virgin Most Venerable,
Virgin Most Merciful,
Virgin Most Faithful,
Holy Mary,
Hear my prayer.

By Chris Clody 12/2714

Here’s to ‘seeing’ through the New Yea.

His Peace,

Chris

The Hopeful Heart

dontgiveupThe heart that beats alone in Christ, transformed in trust, glorifies its God of mercy with a humble yet fearless hope. Knowing that Our omnipotent Jesus abandoned His throne to save our exiled souls through the contradiction of the cross, a merit conquering countless sorrows, quickens new charity from deep within. Banished is despair, the very foretaste of Hell from each new creation in Christ. Therefore, let us rise and allow Mercy’s light, life, love, and warmth pervade our ever-growing community of gratitude.

In Him we rise,
Chris

Live to Love

Love is Spoken

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Grace lifts the soul when love is spoken,
Words enflesh into bridges,
Paths of communion reach unbroken,
Lit by the light of the Lord’s riches,
Neighbors stand on mountaintops not ditches.

Emboldened through the Bread of the strong,
Humbled by the cup that blesses,
Love is simple yet our profound song,
Encouraging yearning hearts to belong.

For life worth living is done for others,
Charity conquers our selfish wrong,
By loving Our God through our neighbor.
A Kingdom is realized in awe and wonder.

We were made to release His Word,
Breaking the silence so love may be heard.

Live to Love.

By Chris Clody
6/26/2014

Maya Angelo: Teaching Clarity and More

downloadmayaI was captivated by a recent TV interview of Maya Angelo. Her gentle persuasion and profound, compassion expressed in her want to teach resonated deeply with me. Her selection of words seemed to grip me with its passive-aggressive dare to love another. This was no ordinary interview… and this was no ordinary mind. If I wasn’t already on the edge of my seat, surely when she quoted Terence – I put the remote down. The quote: “I am a man, I consider nothing that is human alien to me.”

http://blogs.psychcentral.com/mindfulness/2011/03/nothing-that-is-human-is-alien-maya-angelo-and-terence/

These words are the key to both survival and community within the very heart and soul of humanity. Like Christ, who could sum up the will and laws of God with two basic commands to love God, and neighbor as yourself, Terence offers wisdom in our understanding of forgiveness. Although I passionately believe Christ has no equal, I have found a mentor in a slave turned success story from 170 B.C.E. As the words Maya quoted  exposes a new awakening in my ever-broadening perspective that defines love of God and neighbor, I felt a new wholeness and sanity in our need to forgive. Humanity biologically shares a same nature and therefore each of us shares the capacity to do good or evil. Understanding our humanity, our full humanity, was a portion of Christ’s fearless message. Embracing the irresistible and love of Christ also involves embracing our neighbor. Christianity is a beautiful mess of forgiveness and hope. The words of Terence allows us to approach another’s offense knowing I am capable of that very same offense. Forgiveness allows for a healthier community perspective towards sin and the sinner. Forgiveness is humanity’s dare to love beyond whatever makes our skin crawl. However, forgiveness is only truly sane when it points to the hope of true restoration.  Without hope, the heart is left unsatisfied, desperate, and yearning. Ultimately, Christ raises the bar implied by Terence challenging us to realize that sin is, in the end, an eternal offense against God while a temporary one against humanity. There is no “justice” in murder only punishment for the offender. While punishment intends to bring safety to community it does not bring a satisfying wholeness. Grief is our community’s burden – however, bitterness does not need to be. It is in the promised hope offered by a Savior that prompts the heart to release and forgive. My deepest want, like that of Maya’s challenge to love, is to be able to communicate the restorative capacity offered through Christ that awakens faith, enlightens hope, and overwhelms us with love.

God Bless you Maya and Terence.

Peace,
Chris

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Sustain Me…

images3Communion, in every sense of the word should and is a significant part of my life. It lends stability to my social life while also providing backbone to my religious life.  It is in its most intimate forms when we break bread with one another and especially with Christ Himself.  I pray we all strive for the best version of ourselves and present ourselves worthy to not only our friends but also our God.

His Peace,

Below is a poem/song inspired from this amazing soul named Blessed Sister M. Faustina Kowalska, whose devotional Diary – Divine Mercy in My Soul  offers that intimate perspective into the life of Communion.

The Bread of the Strong

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Lord only You know my suffering,
You alone know my faithfulness,
Give me strength to follow You,
Help me love all that you blessed

You Lord are my sustenance,
The very life in which I breathe,
Shield me from my Accuser,
To reach the hearts You ask of me.

Eat the bread of the Strong,
Eat the bread of the Strong,

All the strength I need,
All the courage I gather,
Is in Him who lives I’m me.

Lord lift Your gaze of mercy,
And see me through these trials,
Fill me with eternal sacrifice,
To trod Your endless miles.
Lift me eyes to Heaven Lord,
So I may see your smile,
Replace the joy stolen from me,
To walk just one more mile.

Eat the bread of the Strong,
Eat the bread of the Strong,
All the strength I need,
All the courage I gather,
Is in Him who lives I’m me.

By Chris Clody 4/23/14

The Affairs of the Heart

imagesluvHappy Valentine’s Day to me – because of the God that stole my heart.  I am also beyond grateful for my wife and family for the joys and challenges allowing me to realize my progress and need towards greater love.  In today’s suffocating, politicized climate arguing the rights of love, pertaining to our own bodies or with another, I am finding myself gasping to breathe the final words by St. Paul in 1 Corinthians 13:4-7 proclaiming “love endures all”.  Whether we believe in labeling ourselves as Christian or not, understanding the gift and weight of love given to our species deserves far more than this muddied, political banter and self-righteous opinion or belief.  Love deserves our action.  If love truly endures all, never fails, or conquers all, then why are you and I yelling? Although love affects all of us, it also offers us the chance to display it, not as a right but simply as a gift to give. Pure love is borne from sacrifice for another and Christ did that for us. I wish God’s love had a warning label on it as it far exceeds our understanding finding meaning only in our humility and sorrow as the heart dares to contemplate the vastness of His mercy.  Christianity is not about reserving an assured room in some heavenly mansion, rather it is an opportunity to endure with diversity allowing our words and actions a chance to glow in acknowledgment of this mercy. Christianity should neither be impatient, unkind, envious, boastful, arrogant, rude, insist on its own way, irritable, resentful, or rejoice at wrongdoing. Christianity simply rejoices with the truth, bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, and endures all things. Along with the power to give love, we have been allowed the opportunity to forgive. Oh yeah, forgiveness does however come with a warning…

Dear “Christian”, if love led the King of Kings like a silent lamb to slaughter, action, not simply preaching, also awaits our next step towards this gift of greater love.

Abandon yourself to true love,

Chris

Lord’s Day

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Beware for soon the Perfect comes,
And alone His voice will be heard,
Judgment will beat from holy drums,
we’ll see ourselves no longer blurred,
while lifting our eyes to the Word.

Shameful tears will flood our rivers,
Cleansing lands where hatred occurred,
The weight of sin is now considered,
Love’s pure action will deliver.

Servant’s tears will be wiped away,
By pierced hands with saving measure,
Tears that go untouched and astray,
Fill the rivers on this Lord’s Day.

Joy unspeakable for those He knew,
Despair eternal for hearts betrayed –
wherein lies, hatred and prejudice grew.

Love is an action- forgiveness our path,
Run towards His mercy not away from His wrath.

By Chris Clody 2/14/14

Death Has No Power Over Love…

imagesCAAULHD4After reading an recent email from a friend, I realized how blessed I am to be part of his reality.  Prodded by the anniversary of his friend’s death, he shared with me the comforting words of their pastor at the memorial service which were, “Death has no power over love.”  These words stopped me – as if smelling a rose for the first time. I thought about the gift of friendship and community.  I truly believe there is One Spirit that encourages our hearts to collide with another before our pickup full of excuses catches up.  These six words spoken a year ago by someone I never met has somehow and for some reason found a home in me.  Truly these are true seeds of inspiration.

His,

Chris

Dedicated to Kelli:

Heart shaped splash
Death has no power over Love

Dare we approach the power of love,
This splendid gift from our Father,
That overwhelms within ourselves,
The very things we cannot conquer.

We cannot know God through reason,
Yet hearts will reach and understand.
Tears of love glue our memories,
Of loved ones now holding God’s hand.

Truly,
Death has no power over love…

©2013 by Chris Clody 2/21/2013

 

For more Christian encouragement check out my ebook by clicking the following link: Thoughts2Share