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.

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Revealing Thoughts…

My Body

tears

What is this I am hearing?
I cannot comprehend?
The child, now man,
From which I gave my flesh,
Offers it to me back again?

Vivid mem’ries explode,
A lowly handmaiden,
A virgin, with child,
Wraps so holy a seed,
Flesh of my flesh,
Bread now offered as bread to me again?

Once child, my only son,
Now Savior, still knowing,
He is truly Son of God.
Echoes of an Angel,
Merge with this bread He holds,
Impossible, yet not with God.

What is this I am seeing?!!
Fear tortures flesh I bore,
My Jesus, crowned Christ,
Now hangs in front of me,
Offers John, a son as your’s.

Alone.

Standing in disbelief.
A lance draws blood and water,
Cuts as deeply within my soul.
Motherhood dies,
To be given away
Once that soldier drew a hole,
Opening hope to hearts that grief once stole.

Sweet John,
Now offers me bread…

By Chris Clody
1/30/2106

Drink Deeply…

The following poem found its inspiration from an amazing poet along with early morning Mass. Reading just a portion from an entrancing Muslim poet, Shams-ud-din Muhammad Hafiz (c. 1320-1389) magnified the challenging words proposed in this morning’s homily. Friday morning came together like the limit to critical mass when I considered a recent and unexpected encounter with unkind,belittling words towards me and any other who got in this persons impressive vocabulary of discouragement.

Also, one need not be Catholic to understand (probably better than some Catholics!) the charity of simple kindness found in its beautiful array of formsI listened to a refreshing yet challenging homily.  Refreshing because I rely on mercy and grace yet challenging because I live in a world in need of it.  In short, the saints had a saying of “Let my lips turn purple by drinking the blood of the Lamb“.  It is not so much the ritual practice of imbibing but rather how long we choose to allow grace to frame our words in the color of charity. Truly, food and drink that feed our souls should exit similarly as words of grace.

Passover’s Purple
is (1)

My lips turn purple by the blood of the Lamb,
Let my words be rain not buffeting sands,
Where mercy enters may words not demand,
Past lips now purple by the blood of the Lamb.
True food, true drink
My soul now fed,
Grace pours out,
Where mercy once bled,
Therefore drink deeply from His cup,
Let grace color all words,
For our mouths are holes through a flute*,
Where Christ breathes and is heard.
Lord, I beg,
Frame my words in purple through the blood of the Lamb.

By Chris Clody 7/17/15

“Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle.” ~Plato

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 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

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

Your Table

Your Table

BouveretLastSupper

Drawn by the Father to Your table,
Blind to Your glory hidden within,
Yet through eyes of faith I soon tremble,
Knowing the price you paid for my sin –
With hands held open I say “Amen.”

Like a drop absorbed by the ocean,
Body and soul freely forgiven,
Through bread and wine I taste Your Passion,
My heart sings with renewed devotion.

Lord, help me become new bread and wine,
To give of myself without ration,
Loving with heart, body, soul and mind.
Extend through me Your true compassion.

The Father pulls me closer,
Through You I’ll see His beauty,
Take this heart, Sweet Redeemer,
Guard it and make it holy.

Now I see You in the bread I eat,
In the chance to become Your hands and feet.

By Chris Clody 2/26/14