Come and Follow Me

goodfridayphilippines

Come and Follow Me

Let the dead bury their dead,
Under gifts and praises for each other,
Let delusions of grandeur,
Build gods and blessings to one another.

Love prays for your repentance,
Just to let Me meet you at your level,
Truth herds in new family,
Mercy washes saints and quenches rebels.

Those in need of My mercy,
Will carve humility into hearts of greed,
Vanquish darkness with my Light,
So each may see beauty in dying seeds.

‘Come back to Me’ is My song,
That background mantra you hear in your dreams
A song of hope just for you,
A light of faith to see what cannot be seen.

Will you come and follow me,
And let Me hold you once again?
A new Joy I’ll make in you,
Taste forgiveness in my ransom,
For I came just for you,
Come and follow Me,
Let My cross make you free,
Come and follow me.

by Chris Clody
11/12/2017

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Lifting The Wedding Veil

mother-teresa-loving-saint-ch60_l

So many questions arise from my morning rosary, particularly as I contemplate the Lord’s Passion and resurrection. These ‘questions’ are born from a personal prayer to help me see something new and beautiful as I pray.

Questions like:

What does it mean to lift and carry our cross?
What does it really mean to see through the glass fully?
Is the event at Mt. Sinai, Moses veiled face, the tearing of the veil before the Holy of Holies, , the Bride of Christ and ultimate wedding feast find cohesiveness and fulfillment in the New Testament writings?
Finally, is fearlessness attainable?

Certainly, those four questions provide enough awe and wonder for just a simple man with a rosary walking his little dogs before dawn! What the Spirit so generously avails to the seeker surely emboldens the fruitfulness of prayer.

All those questions gel together through what I can only perceive through one woman’s perspective; Mary, the mother of the Christ of G-d. A mother, a favored Jewess, who held so many things within hear humility that can be gleaned through the same glint of a soldier’s sword that pierced the heart of her crucified Jesus. Mary well knew the first five books and the authority and Laws of Moses he revealed etched upon stones by the finger of G-d. For it was atop Mt. Sinai that the Glory of G-d even transfigured Moses to glimmer so brightly that He veiled his face upon returning to proclaim the physical evidence of the Divine. Yet even the splendor of this moment, as St. Paul contends, is of no splendor at all when compared to the Incarnation of God as man. It is beyond our understanding of fulfillment or climax of the merging covenants, that we can only chance a glimpse towards this unfathomable wonder at the weakness inherited by Jesus and dare the touch the tassels of the eternal Christ. Moses hid his glow behind a veil, like the Holy of Holies, leaving the Jews with a seeking heart. Yet the Jewish culture of living the life of Torah who could not recognize this Messiah, continued with a spirit of blindness, incessant debate, and ever hesitant to lift the veil of Moses. The Transfiguration of Christ, illuminated the hearts of the three apostles yet not their faces as they descended from that mountain. In the genius of the Father, and the eventual tearing of the veil following the crucified Ransom’s giving up His Ghost upon Calvary, forever changed the perspective of Grace written upon flesh not stones. Faith in the resurrected Christ, a disciple’s extended baptism, is a foreshadow of the Christ lifting the veil of His forgiven bride. Forgiveness is analogous to the Father reaching down to mercifully scoop up those who bankrupted their will for a Heavenly culture.

So how does that command to those who seek to follow in the footsteps leading to Calvary after picking up their own cross transform us into something new? The slow transformation of dying daily, moment by moment in constant prayer to self-important priorities is strengthened by a gift of faith through grace. Hope is infused immediately when the circumcised heart reveals the Laws of G-d’s love. As stony hearts incarnate by honoring Christ’s teachings, His immaculate Torah, through a fearless love of G-d through neighbor. Are we not saved as a community that is incorporated into a mystical Bride? To the Jews, the life of Torah was a ‘going out’ and ‘returning’ in hopes of expanding not simply a community but also the faithful’s very mind, heart, strength, and soul. When dignity is offered without judgment to those in distress, the dark glass becomes less dim. The slow transformation of the washing through synagogue readings slowly made this glass more translucent, leaving only hope to wonder what illumination exists behind the vision of G-d’s clear view of them. The glow behind the veil awaits our faith in believing that Christ has lifted this veil to finally kiss the waiting cheek of His Chosen Bride. Everything Christ has done was a contradiction to our reasoning. Everything. The veil does not hide the Trinity from the onlooker, but hides the Temple restored by Mercy within the faithful. Do you now see that judgment of another is futile when the dim glass of judgment is meant for our very self-introspection? Is this not why we must simply be still and simply ‘know’ G-d? Faith is a fearless and reckless love that attracts every believer’s yearning hope gazing within this vast love. Necessity of weapons are the fruits of the fearful who fail to comprehend the orchestration of Divine Grace is just insufficient. Soon, when every jot and title of Torah is fulfilled, when weapons are smelted into plows and garden tools, when every enemy of fearless love is put asunder as footstools for a Rightful King, our veil will be lifted, our face dried of tears will be kissed, and a servant’s seat will await those hungry to finally feast on G-d’s Love alone.

Yes… there will be tribulation now and more in our futures, by take heart, be of good cheer, and lift your burden made lighter by faith, hope, and love.

nyfireman

Become Love,
Chris

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

Broken Sidewalks

Just thought I’d share a song that’s been stuck to the sticky side of my soul. Today I hear His call.

sidewalk

Broken Sidewalks

If I walk,
These broken sidewalks,
To find
The Christ I see,
Will You Talk,
Talk,
Through Me

If I stand,
To face the powers,
That force,
Their poverty,
Will You send,
Send,
Send me

If this cross,
A gift given me,
To raise,
In front of me,
Will you walk,
Walk,
With me.

You’ve captured my heart to go where you will,
Fearless with joy and awestruck when still,
Your Kingdom appears when love is fulfilled,
Lord, make holy my Heart when bridges are built,
I’ll follow you Jesus, wherever you will.
I’ll follow you Jesus, wherever you will.

Give me strength,
Spirit rise in me,
And shine,
Your love through me,
Spread Your hope,
Hope,
Through me.

Now I see,
You’re all around me,
I am,
Your pierced hands and feet,
Your mercy,
Lord,
Inspires me.

By Chris Clody
8/24/2107

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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

mother-teresa-loving-saint-ch60_l

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

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

Nothing Ever Dies.

sunrise

Nothing ever truly dies…ever.
Eventually, our earth suits fail. Reality’s lottery that cuts short time together with loved ones is devastating. For the eyes dim to what awaits beyond the precipice of our mortality gains my greatest of sorrows. Even in the waning moments before the heart fails, the shadow of grief gleans a silver-lining to see past unbelief, knowledge, and distractions. The veil thins as our breathing becomes shallow and labored allowing a new transparency to an unknown hope.
One must wonder while simultaneously galled at the factors that keep hope away from a precious life.  If nothing ever dies and Christ freely offers Himself as ‘life itself’, then what part of Pascal’s gamble (at the least) keeps His light from drawing the curious mind like a moth to a light? Jesus allowed the Gospel free reign to spread to the four corners of the world. Surely He knew that the recipients of this ‘Good News’ would domesticate what should be wild for the sake of building an empire. However, all empires are built upon sifting sand. Only Kingdoms are built upon solid rock. Despite the unsavory history of dolling out salvation, the Savior sent His Spirit to continue what Jesus began allowing hope to transcend what was never meant to be imprisoned.
Nothing, especially hope, ever dies. Nevertheless, the patience exhibited by the Creator to spoon-feed His joy endures even now. Watching His baby grow into the awareness of His love, regardless of wobbly first steps, falls, and tantrums. Yet Torah found some rich soil to dive deep down and drink and feed a healthy shoot. The discussions allowed plenty of shade for the best attempts to define the ever-present light that warmed the outside of their broadening leaves. When time came for sending an obedient and compassionate Messiah, He sent His only Son, Jesus. Obedient even unto death to fulfill the immeasurable concept of a Creator’s love.
Thankfully, power, hatred, ignorance, and inequality do die. Mortality makes short work of any man who is convinced he is more than what he was meant to be. Mortality quiets every rogue and savage heart to frightened children shivering in the dark. The dark they face is their greatest regret when eternity makes them aware of the True Light that could warm their goosebumps into a soft, golden glow while chasing away the cold and damp darkness stiffening their joints. Eternity offers no escape for the prideful to review their tragic missteps along a path seen through humble and hopeful eyes.
The food, the Bread of God, is an irresistible will we are given to digest. With the hope of Christ aflame within, the sorrow, the mourning, the oppressed, and marginalized is transformed within the white-hot, crucible of True Love. The dross rises, leaving behind what is amazing and beautiful. This freedom cannot die for it is fearless. The spoon-feeding through the power of man, reduces a chance to savor the viaticum. Instead, stagnant traditions are ritualized, as if frozen in fear unwilling to release the string holding a kite from rising. Hesitant pastors offer milk to a babe instead of meat for discipleship. Nevertheless, the Creator loves and pours mercy, the very gift of a Father’s soul, to especially those who need it most. Some crawl and never learn to walk. Some begin to walk and never run. Some simply fly. Each servant is offered equality of God’s treasury. Love will draw even the slowest movements towards hope with abundant reward.
You see we cannot truly die because God’s love holds us all.
Move towards what cannot be resisted.
Christ, by our light.