Hawks on the hill

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Patient, are his long shadows,
spreading like fingers,
resisting the sun.
Until,….
the hunt begins.

Blind are his prey.
That scuttle below,
these Hawks on the hill.
Silent dark sentinels,
staring omnisciently,
blotting out the sun.

Yet,
I and a few souls see them,
we watch
and inevitably wait.

Their gaze,
is a searing burn,
their hungry caw,
soon shivers my soul.

The hour comes,
like a thief,
filling blue sky.
with small black crosses,
swirling above…

Their lethargic prey,
amble nose to ground,
gorging full bellies,
distracted and unaware,
to what plummets above.

Talons spread,
barely whistling,
through the cool, rush of wind.
Immediately crushing,
then piercing,
the hunted.

The quick kill,
is painless,
like a hot knife,
through warm butter.

Yet,
I see their precision,
an exquisite scalpel to the tumor,
and watch,
wide-eyed,
their kill.

Looking up at me,
with satisfied gazes,
that scorch my skin.
Contentment proceeds,
with a quiet laugh,
as my soul takes notice.

The Hawk,
arises with severed flesh,
leaving just a scar,
to tighten skin,
to widen pores,
and pull upon senses.

The hunted are left,
miraculously healed,
that is,
until tomorrow…

Dreams begin,
awakening the hunted,
to a newer normal,
a different reality,
a new way to forage.

For tomorrow transforms,
through stretched skin,
making the hunted,
a little less blind,
and a bit less deaf.

Blessed are the hunted.

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By Chris Clody
3/16/18

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The First Ecstasy

imagesmarystatueface (1)“Let it be done unto me.” O Mother how your words changed faith to hope. What was it like Mother? To be overshadowed, completely enveloped in the embrace of the Trinity? Reveal to me Mary the warmth and the light that captured you in ecstasy between creature and Creator! Who, but a favored soul, determined before all time, could stand in the rapture of pure love of indescribable joy? To know that your humility would impart innocent flesh to God’s perfect sacrifice requiring perfect love. What was it like to witness the Trinity transfigured about you while infused with the knowledge to hold this moment close to your heart. Still, for those eyes undimmed by doubt, your immaculate heart can be seen like John beholding the Lamb of God for the very first time. Just as it was with Simeon and Anna, the prophetess, who recognized the consolation of Israel when the infant Savior was brought to the temple. Yet it was Simeon who saw your heart, the favored one beating in tandem with the Holy One of Israel. Two hearts, the sacred and the immaculate inexplicably bound, synchronized in love. Foreseeing the very sword that pierced your Holy Son would forever martyr your immaculate one so your thoughts could be revealed to the generations that call you blessed. Hastened by irresistible charity to assist your once-barren cousin at the sixth month of her anointed pregnancy, it was not only Elizabeth that recognized the approach of your favored heart, but her unborn John who leapt at the tandem heartbeats of humility and promise proceeded by the Spirit’s warmth. Just as John the Baptist was pre-elected by the Father to clear a path for His Begotten, Mother, you were deemed ever more so. Simeon and Anna both envisioned the contradiction that you carried, one that would cause the rise and fall of many men. It seemed apropos and justly ironic that your fiat of blind trust to carry this world’s redeemer, for which no hospitality was offered in time of delivery, that you therefore accepted without hesitation in the ark of your favored womb. How you now reveal the wonders of your favor Mother, that transform the Ark of the Covenant with your sacred flesh anointed before time began. How two cherubim surely overlooked your every step preventing any man’s touch to corrupt what God had made holy and perfect. For it was not only your flesh that you imparted to the Begotten in perfect harmony with the Spirit but also your humility that the Father favored you to share.
To have this revealed in words is surely but a shadow… but to live through is pure ecstasy. I can now only surmise the moments of ‘ecstasy’ described in other lives following your God-man’s footsteps are but a tearful glimpse of the moment you and the Trinity joined as One.
Bless you Mother.

His,
Chris

The Alien Within And Among Us…

“Where are you from?”File photo of displaced people from the minority Yazidi sect, fleeing violence from forces loyal to the Islamic State in Sinjar town, walking towards the Syrian border
This questions seems innocuous enough and at the least a good conversation starter. Yet as immigration policy rages, what first seems like a harmless ice-breaker has devolved into an interrogation. The thought of one’s ‘legal’ status may soon infringe on inalienable rights inseparable from all humanity.
The quick answer to my inquiry could be, “from my mother’s womb. Duh.” Yet as phobias continue to grow from the little seeds of isolationism, it shows itself as the weed it truly is. Actually, the big picture of the garden of humanity draws another conclusion to that there is the only one answer to the query above: “We are from the mind and heart of God.” Let that sink in…
Immigration is a serious and difficult question living amongst the few with violent intentions. Violence is draining our attentions from the better ideals of man as resources towards protection seem to justify responses from the beat cop trolling gang territories to strong language tweeting provocations from the Oval office.
So is this a religious argument, secular, or both? If you think that question is as easy as the first producing the misunderstood “church and state debate”, then I hope these following words haunt us:
“I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: ‘We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men are created equal.” ~ Martin Luther King Jr., 1963.
So what does this have to do with immigration? Everything and nothing at all. It clearly sums up the ideals infused into man and has everything to do with the perspective towards immigration. It has nothing to do with immigration and everything to do with the treatment towards every citizen.
The question above dares us to plumb our very understanding of our nation’s creed, that equality, dignity, and justice belong to all. Although this statement was made about fifty-five years ago it isn’t novel but rather breathed into the American fabric embroidered by our founding fathers.
Fear has an insidious grip causing hesitation towards the things we might lose. Remember Lot and Abraham? Lot held to the weeds while Abraham was grateful to experience and peace of mind of God’s work in the garden.
I contend we therefore are all aliens becoming more forgetful of our immigrant history. We are learning to justify the selling of the soul of inalienable rights for the delusion of fearful isolation written as ‘rights’.
So what exactly is the alien within titling this post have to do with this writing? Everything and nothing at all. Before I answer consider the following scripture:
When Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting, the baby leaped in her womb, and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit. In a loud voice she exclaimed: “Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the child you will bear!”(Luke 1:41-42)
What (fetus?) or who (child?) were dwelling these two wombs? What is the big picture? The miracle of created life and treatment with dignity blessed by inalienable rights or the concern of our ‘rights’ drawn up by the hand of man?
The question, like our judgment, has no negotiation with the mind and heart of God. Maybe the words of Mother Teresa can help neatly tie these thoughts on immigration and abortion together when quoted as saying, “The so-called right to abortion has portrayed the greatest of gifts, a child, as a competitor, an intrusion, and an inconvenience.”

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Are aliens a competitor, an intrusion, and/or an inconvenience to the to life we now experience upon the roots of our alien ancestry? Are inalienable rights degraded by the rights of man? If equality, dignity, and justice destroyed for the most vulnerable then how can the mind and heart of God flow towards any neighbor blind to their personal identity that makes them grateful to be created? What phobias are we stubbornly housing that deny another human the right to experience true freedom?
Exactly who is our neighbor?
He (Jesus) replied to him, “Who is my mother, and who are my brothers?” Pointing to his disciples, he said, “Here are my mother and my brothers. 50For whoever does the will of my Father in heaven is my brother and sister and mother.” Matthew 12:48-50.
Can we contest that the will of God comes from His very mind and heart?

Is it not our grateful duty to welcome the stranger, feed the poor, cloth the naked, visit the sick, and care for the widows and orphan?

Have we forgotten that the plaque at the base of the Statue of Liberty reads: “Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, the wretched refuse of your teeming shore. Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed to me, I lift my lamp beside the golden door!”
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Become Love.

Peace,

Chris

A Thin Blue Line

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I prayed with a cop today,
A young man named Gabe,
Swollen in his bullet-proof vest,
A holster enclosed on his hip,
Bearing the weight He knows all to well.
I prayed for both our protection,
I prayed for our safe communities,
We held hope in our hands,
We prayed for a greater peace.
Both of us carried weapons,
His, an oath and a Glock 22,
Me, a trust and a rosary,
Him, to serve and protect,
Me, to hope and pray.

Just a thin blue line,
Connected us,
Joined as one bloodline,
Joining hearts in trust,
To God’s beating vine.

Wispy veins of blue,
Networks of armor,
Protecting tissue,
Called by our Framer,
Sticking gum to shoe.

Blue are the days though,
To be strong when life,
Burdened by grief’s blows,
Must prepare to fight,
Despite vertigo.

Imperfect is blue,
Being so human,
Failing as tissue,
Wanting more than planned,
Instead of being glue.
Organs bear coercion,
Squeezing them blue,
Robbing Wrath’s portion.

Imperfect humans,
Rebel and swell with
Overgrown organs,
Swollen in resist,
Forgetting God’s plan.

Nevertheless…

Forgiveness awaits,
Patiently it cures,
A salve for the hate,
Within a savior,
Calming this stalemate,
Restoring grandeur,
Allowing Love’s free state.

Yea.. I prayed with a cop today.

By Chris Clody
11/29/2017

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

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