Whilst Standing On One Foot…

nyfireman

“Hillel, if not now when?”
To every man an answer,
Whilst he stands on one foot.
Are the ligaments of religion,
tighter than the Lord’s love and mercy?
This very One who helps us with the Spirit’s grace,
Who frees us from sin,
Save us,
To rise again?
Yea, is not even the holy Sabbath,
Not subject to the merciful works of Passover?
Dare we unbind the burial wrappings,
That suffocate the oppressed,
Blessing the poor, mournful, and meek,
Those thirsting to drink righteousness,
The patient peacemakers,
The compassion of the merciful,
Giving blinding light to the hidden merciful lamps,
and salve for those persecuted stripes?
Have we forgotten Shema,
Or fallen within the choking thorns?
Have we neglected to slowly chew our portion;
Neglecting study for Sunday’s fast food?
When did the narrow door widen?
O’ where dear friend is your restlessness?
Has the Flame that sets fire to this world,
Been doused to smoking embers of blind satisfaction?
Are we ready to give up our Ghost?
Will the water and blood pouring from our sides be tepid?
Will we walk the shame of contradiction,
Lifting high a cross our Lord adores,
or become unmarked graves men walk upon?
Therefore,
Let us be bold to anoint another with our joy,
Leaving behind faith’s thumbprints,
Drenching our love with true oil of gladness.
Let us become strong towers,
Founded upon a disregarded cornerstone,
Placing atop the light of Spirit and Truth,
As a beacon of the Lord’s love and mercy!
Truly, truly we hear the whisper within us,
“Hillel, if not now when?”
Become Mercy dear friend,
A new channel of love.

Peace I leave. Chris

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By Chris Clody
8/11/2017

**Title and poem inspired by Hillel: If Not Now, When? (Jewish Encounters Series) Hardcover – September 14, 2010
by Joseph Telushkin

Just One Question?

I find no greater peace than walking my dogs before the dawn and praying the Rosary. Today, as I entered into the imagery of Jesus carrying his cross, I was further silenced in the symbolism of the cross and its shape of a “t“. As I surrendered to the last mystery of his crucifixion, a horror and beauty only G-d could hold, I was given this question:
Was Jesus nailed to :
theology
or
the poor,
*  they who mourn,
*  the meek,
*  they who hunger and thirst for righteousness,
*  the merciful,
*  the pure of heart,
*  the peacemakers,
*  they who are persecuted for the sake of righteousness?

Shouldn’t each plight of the latter be considered?
Who are these people? …before you answer that consider the following quote:

“I really only love God as much as I love the person I love the least.”
– Dorothy Day

 

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Become Peace,

Chris

When The Bee Stings

PortraitsOfTheWorld_suffering_by_delirium77

יְהֹוָה

When the bee stings,
a child’s tear erupts
A mother kisses away the pain
When the son disrespects;
his father disciplines,
Trust flowers anew,
Forgiveness blooms in request.
When Torah is celebrated;
His commands galvanize the beating heart
His Laws of Love infuses every jot and title,
Yeshiva lifts eyes to Sinai,
Love of יְהֹוָה and neighbor becomes a Temple.
When Profound Love finds favor;
A handmaid sings,
The Song of Hannah echoes once again,
A virgin is overshadowed,
Magnified is the soul of Theotokos.
When a Son is given;
A Way is infleshed,
A Truth awakens dim eyes,
A Life is revealed,
Magi honor a newborn King,
Psalm 19 finds its voice.
When the Olive is pressed;
Bled is Another’s will,
Stripes give healing,
A thorny crown pricks a King,
Via Doloroso is carved by His cross,
When the Son of God is crushed,
Blood and water baptize the earth,
The choir moans in silent expectation,
Obedience gives up His Ghost.
The Father’s tear anoints a gate through Heaven.
When faith, hope, and charity are sowed,
Crosses are hoisted and yoked to the downtrodden,
A disciple craves love of God and neighbor
The poor are fed,
The naked clothed,
The slave is set free,
The forgotten are welcomed,
Warmth and hope visit the sick and imprisoned,
The church gathers in song and praise.
Happy are the many
When unity is challenged, it offers strength
When friendship is betrayed, forgiveness is availed
When hope is pressured, patience abounds,
When faith is oppressed, fear evaporates,
When charity becomes human, creation finally evolves.

By Chris Clody,
5/26/17

 

When God Grieves

weptOy vey…

“Did Jesus make living Torah easier?” was asked by my pastor at a bible study last night.
**Warning:  If you are comfortable with the status quo of Christian theology then please exit out.**

Still here? Wooohooo! This question will lead you on an insatiable quest, reuniting the very living scope of the Old and New Covenant.  The moment will come when you realize the beauty of Jesus and a hijacked perspective morphing further and further from the totality of Jewish teaching, culture and practice fulfilled by this God-man called Jesus.  Ask yourself how the promise of freedom, hope, rest, and privilege could be truly understood and taught by those already at the top of the food chain?  Could someone write a book about birth without ever going through pregnancy, labor, and delivery? It may be technically correct but disingenuous.  Everyday is a new as I the present business of Christianity is peeled away, layer by layer, revealing new and more resplendent facets shimmering atop Mt. Sinai to even death upon a cross.  The writings of St. Paul have brighter meanings and not the ramblings of a zealous Jew refusing to use punctuation.  The Old Testament that once thought foreshadowed can now be seen through the lens of Sinai as a repetitive rubric that Jesus embraced perfectly.

Anywho, the question at hand: Did Jesus ever at He could make living the this life bound by Torah any easier?  As always, my answer awaits hidden in my morning Rosary.  Yep…I just said that.  You see the rosary is a discipline of seeing significant events of a son of Mary and Son of God through the unmatched intimacy of the eyes of a mother (a second class citizen).

My answer is “yes”.  Ultimately by what He said in John 14:26(NIV): “But the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you.”  It is in the understanding that this Advocate is also described as a Comforter. I also enjoy pondering the ‘jealousy’ component of this hidden, Omniscient One.

Current Christianity prefers slippery and blurred concepts exposing a pitiful disconnect between salvation and the Kingdom at hand.  Salvation finds a post life existence further detached from Paul’s plea to “work out your salvation with fear and trembling“(Phil 2:12:NIV).  A life in Torah espousing a life and prayer and service leading to (a present) salvation awakens the Christian slumber to a Kingdom in our midst and our accountability to love God and our neighbor. Otherwise, to ignore the Comforter is to grieve God.

His Peace,
Chris

Faith: Beyond The Ovarian Lottery

Recently, I read an interesting post regarding the geographical implications of the faith one may practice. Altering Warren Buffet’s comment that it’s an ovarian lottery and simple geography and not the some Divine, constant truth that determines one’s faith. First I am always wary not to agree with Warren Buffet. I love the concept of a lottery and must admit it is inarguably true. We are very much a product of our geography and the traditions and legacies passed down. However…Warren is not simply betting against the bank, but the mysterious origin of love. True love, that extends eternally outside the pale of sexual or affectionate desires, is all-consuming. A love that has no bounds or borders is undefined by limits of The Giver. Yes, we are all born into many different and unique situations, in fact, I was considered a ‘cradle Catholic’. Yet, faith is simply a dormant label until a precious epiphany is reached. It is in this moment that Warren Buffet is treading in very deep water with only a horizon in his panic-stricken sight. But for Warren…that is still a good thing. Despite the location of his now exhaustive effort to stay afloat, he, the great Warren Buffet, realizes he too is small. Humility helps those awaken to the vastness of love the attentive Giver holds and has already surrounding each and every small and desperate soul. There are no nouns that really dignify the mysterious Creator. Nouns define the boundaries of our reason. Still, humankind is not so limited to accept that which cannot be explained. Therefore, we must agree that even the word ‘love’ cannot be as fully understood as it can be by the heart.
We all know that feeling when we give fully of ourselves to lift another up. We find an unusual joy when we walk alongside another during their long and difficult journey. We also know that love is not overwhelmed by fear. It is in that moment when the veil hiding the elusive Uncreated within and surrounding us seems a bit thinner. This is our path to freedom outside the lottery: Love.
Take time to be still and consider the vastness of Mercy that patiently awaits our choice to open our hearts to receive this very gift.

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Breathless…

Breathless at the precipice of awe,
My courage dares to wonder,
Reason stammers then withdraws
Like a child escaping thunder,
But my heart simply surrenders.

The Uncreated vibration
That makes electrons dance,
An impossible orchestration,
Laughing in the face of chance,
Revealing instead an offered romance.

Known only in moments yet undefined,
Transforming hearts to yearn,
A gift of love for all humankind,
A chance to repent and discern,
Guided, Comforted, and convicted in our return,
To follow the Son without fear of sunburn.

A cross to pick up and then embrace,
Confessed sins whispered yet soon erased,
Gazing at the One who stood in our place,
Unworthy am I to tie His shoelace,
My moment to know is a glimpse through grace,
Aching to see my King face to face,
I stand breathless, watching, and ever awake.

By Chris Clody
10/7/2016

Learning to play

violin

Your Stradivarius

Yes, I will carry your Name,
And bear Your wounds deep within.
Never will I be ashamed,
Finding Life, we lose to win,
Grace girds weakness to crush sin.
Hidden are bruises and cuts,
Visible by Your light within,
A shining that’s right and just,
Your provision is… enough.
I see Your love-not my sin,
I lift this cross in You trust,
Like a priceless violin,
Horsehair pulls sounds sweetly hushed,
My cross becomes Your Stradivarius.

Yes, I will carry your Name

By Chris Clody
6/4/17

Sand Script

cross(3)While reciting the Sorrowful mysteries during a slow walk with my two dogs this morning, I realized in my contemplation of His dragging of His cross, Christ was once again writing in the sand. Unlike His previous finger scribbles in the sand to convince a self-righteous mob of their sins, He now uses a rugged beam to gouge a torturous line to Calvary’s hill of horror. To most affected by gravity, the second message can be seen mostly from above. My thought again is of one through His mother’s tender gaze. Her view is a laser to each tear, bruise, or sputum quickly covering His innocent skin. Her sight is also panoramic to the silent tears of followers joining a gauntlet of people who range from the curious to hateful. She follows the writing of God. He, the Word, writes unhesitatingly a single line, the “I”, seen only by His heavenly Father and now His earthly mother. Soon the very eyes that see this sand script will encourage generations now called blessed. Seeing Christ with such intense intimacy will soon reveal to disciples the spear of sorrow that pierces the soul.
Will you, could you, pick up your cross and follow this line…

His Peace,
Chris