To Hate Evil

I believe this is our greatest struggle, especially returning evil with good. I was moved by the following video:

I hoping against all hope that our culture is evolving towards redefining this word tolerance. As mentioned in this short clip, “Tolerance is a cold, dead term…even dismissive.” The video concludes that this ‘problem’ and resolution begins with each of us.
How does change for a better society happen? Leadership. Society needs brave voices both politically and spiritually. Faith promotes the most unlikely solution to this problem that seems to kick against the goads. Found within our human history, an enticing contradiction collided with our hearts and mind. From the revelation at Sinai to its climatic and mysterious fulfillment in an itinerant man, in a G-d, named Jesus. This single and profound thread of repaying evil with good seems to have no place to lay its weary head. Whether upon the Palestinian-Israeli border, Pulse Nightclub in Orlando, or within the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay Resort.Jason-Aldean-fans-flee-the-scene-after-Mandalay-Bay-shooting-in-Las-Vegas-670x454 What good can be considered tribute towards carnage in the hearts imprisoned by faith? Seriously, what would Jesus do? What could we do when killers have committed suicide? How in hell can parents explain this to kids fully informed and influenced by the rabid and biased social media? How can even the highest platform of leadership, the president of the United States, who is disregarded, discounted as ’45’, and devalued as a person by half the country as without virtue or character, inspire leadership? Where do our hearts and America turn from here?

Restrict guns or ‘weapons of war’? Maybe…but that argument, despite America’s heritage and fascination with guns, holds both little promise and very little water.
Promote Conceal and Carry? Maybe…but carrying a gun changes the human psyche for it weighs upon the soul to employ its use. Remember when you first learned to do the Heimlich maneuver or CPR how you felt somehow responsible to save a life in need? Imagine the burden of taking a life – something that is repulsive to our souls. Could one with proper training and attitude help in taking down a shooter at Orlando or Las Vegas, surely that possibility exists however slim. I can only assume adding more fire to the flames of gunplay would only add to the chaos adding only to the victim count as people run in all directions. I would hope our first reaction focused on attending to the wounded and dying.

To be clear, I don’t believe in passivism but cling to a nonviolent perspective; there’s a difference.

Maybe the answer lies unexpectedly between the Palestinian-Israeli culture. It is bred within both cultures to defend what is believed rightfully theirs. From Kindergarten, especially Palestine, the formation of a child’s will is forced to hate. Both sides kill each other without hesitation over a narrow strip of land. I honestly cannot fathom the sadness and regret if the a repentant conscious was awakened to the dignity inherent within both cultures. Unfortunately the violent legacy continues in throwing rocks, spewing lead,  and launching mortars as the genetics of hate and intolerance dictate.

Dare we see the other side of the coin with hope? This is what best depicts the contradiction found hidden in Jesus. First and foremost, is to trust that love has no equal. None. Prayer is also the flipside of distrust. Prayer is a power we cannot understand just like forgiveness. The combination of faith, hope, and love is irresistible to both the human psyche and heart. To trust this power that we cannot feel is the gift patiently waiting to be unveiled within us all. Although we may not understand its practicality, love that is experienced can embrace it. If we just submit to the courage to embrace love then we can begin to redefine tolerance from its cold, dead, dismissive state.

Life, in all forms, is precious. It helps me imagine that I would not exist is G-d stopped hoping for my priorities to return to His higher will. Consider how patient, hopeful, and compassionate this same perspective of Christ who promises to unveil this newness in each and everyone of us when we seek this higher will.

So America is racing towards or running from a new definition of tolerance. We are all patiently given time to reflect or distrust the possibilities of adopting this culture of Heaven.

Remember, the greatest authority we are given is forgiveness not slander, a rock, a mortar, a bullet, or worse. America was solely founded in the hope and trust that our forefathers seeded in community. Community can only come about when we love G-d through our neighbor.

I’m a reminded of the words of Dorothy Day:
We love G-d as much as we love those we love least.

Maybe… that’s how we should redefine tolerance.
Just maybe….that’s how would should also hate evil.

Become new.
Become change.
Become love.

Peace,
Chris

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God Set Free

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Invitations rain from religious cattle cars,
Streaking by those deservingly scourged,
A hurricane awaits within the shamed,
Silent, patient, and longsuffering.

Outside the waiting storm,
Blind anxiety gorges upon popularity,
Another brick box to secure an ism,
Another wall.
Another reason.

Without vulnerability or need,
Love has no home,
Yet…freedom crouches,
Fearless of shame,
Unhesitant towards need,
Bounding walls of reason,
Rescuing saddened souls
from society’s jailer.

Love shares no vanity,
Hope warms the tummy,
Faith becomes visible,
Hidden flowers bloom,
Community erupts,
Realizing the Image within,
Is living in our midst.
Then, God is set free.

By Chris Clody
7/28/2017

All I ever known…

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The River Calls

The love of God,
Is all I’ve ever known,
A River rushing through,
Cooling burning bones.

Life becomes this passing prayer,
This ebb and flow of souls,
Going nowhere yet everywhere,
Drowning hopes and goals.

Still, the current seeks,
What muddy waters make blind to find,
An answer, a sound, new energy,
Streaming thoughts through my mind.

Lord, Your call carries me,
Down to its slippery edge,
Where slick rocks and wet grass dare,
To leap from its daring ledge.

Today Your river calls me,
To join what cools my fire,
Engulf and drench me Lord,
Your salvation wets my desire.

When I crest light your dove upon me,
Whilst I drift through You,
Add me to the Tears of Heaven,
To baptize with the morning dew.

Today, is the day, I was made for You.

by Chris Clody
5/30/2017

Listen Up…

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Listen To My Son

Listen to My Son,
In Him I Am well pleased,
He is My Word made flesh,
Whose whisper calms the sea,
Whose name when mentioned heals,
and from which Satan flees.
My glory shines within his eyes,
Casting angels to their knees.
He is The Resurrection,
A Saving Prince of Peace,
He is your Good Shepherd,
Sacrificed for his sheep,
He is The Bread of God,
You must eat to increase,
He is Aleph v’Tav,
Who makes the unborn leap,
Your Prophet, Priest, and King,
For whom all sinners weep.
The firstborn of the dead,
Returning as a thief,
Be watchful and listen,
And pray before you sleep.

Listen to My Son,
In Him I AM well pleased.

By Chris Clody
4/1/17

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

One Day In His Court

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Within the everglow of God,
When humility begs consent,
Where the soul barely sees,
How mercy bears our grievous offense,
Forgiveness, not violence, only makes our choices free.

Vanity tethers away all charity,
Corrupting once pure hearts,
Contently Numb to Poverty’s mourn,
Selfishly sculpting themselves as art,
Leaving faith, hope, and love cold and stillborn.

Nevertheless, God waits,
Patiently, dry day after day,
Vigils for the vast unknowing,
Beckoning that love find its way,
Choking ordained springs from overflowing.

Soon the thrashing floor will clear,
Mighty is the Lord’s winnowing fork,
Chaff engulfed by wrath’s unquenchable fire,
As Judgment holds its only court,
Illumined by the glow that love required.

By Chris Clody
2/19/17

When God Grieves

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“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