The Consuming Fire

Heart shaped splash

Sin is a droplet

Sin is a droplet turned steam,
Barely approaching Mercy’s flame,
Like darkness found by sunbeams,
God delights in all repentant claims,
Quickly banishing whatever blame,
“At Last!” His image now reclaimed.

Merciful, forever, merciful,
God and love shines one in the same,
A shoulder to the remorseful,
Holding our hand when we’re unable.

Faith, hope, and love give us soulrest
Deep within Messiah’s cradle,
We emerge baptized, wet and grateful to bless.

The doomed droplet mists a saving rain,
Death becomes life when repentance gained,
Knowing that in Christ there is no shame,
This excited bride awaits her Husband to claim.
…if we but turn and believe the reason He came.

“Cast thy care upon the Lord, and he shall sustain thee: he shall not suffer
the just to waver for ever.”

(Psalm 55:22 Douay-Rheims Bible)

by Chris Clody
7/20/16

Looking within… Oi veh.

This morning the word repent took on a slightly different tone then its typical groan. If it is true that our God is the God of all hearts, then to repent should be more than just a half-spin around but rather a halt to our momentum, becoming still, and look bravely within.  A needful gaze within our own heart to face the demons ruling our darkness of our casual parade through sin.

Sadly, I believe, true repentance, cannot be done alone since it’s the joyful work of God. This process will reveal why we truly ‘fear’ God. Despite God’s capacity for wrath, it is not why I fear Him. Ultimately it is the vastness of His willing forgiveness that leaves my jaw slag. ‘Worse’, it is His remarkable invitation through Jesus, this God-man, who prefers to not bridge safely over our miserable consequence, but plows through it, holding (sometimes dragging) me through why and how mercy is given to those who need it most.

As I finish some of my long walks down memory lane with my Brother and begin another, these following words spilled out in prayer.

0905-1-CallingAbrahamAndCallingUs

 

Walk With Me

Jesus take my hand,
and walk with me awhile,
help me face myself,
and purge this darkness,
that holiness reviles.

Unless held by you,
I can’t stand to face,
this sadness alone,
Mocked by sneers of sin,
that fills my heart with stones.

My legs grow heavy,
still you hold me high,
Now feels so surreal,
Smiling in my repent,
Gazing deep into my eyes,

Breathing into me,
I plunge my depths within,
Seeing woes through this mercy,
This Alpha helps love begin,
This Omega crushes all my sin.

Brother!
Fear not!
Be of Good Cheer!

Of all things you say!
while loathsome regret,
enjoys its final maul.
You wipe my loneliest tear,
Convincing me,
Love has conquered all.

by Chris Clody 2/11/2016

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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

Maya Angelo: Teaching Clarity and More

downloadmayaI was captivated by a recent TV interview of Maya Angelo. Her gentle persuasion and profound, compassion expressed in her want to teach resonated deeply with me. Her selection of words seemed to grip me with its passive-aggressive dare to love another. This was no ordinary interview… and this was no ordinary mind. If I wasn’t already on the edge of my seat, surely when she quoted Terence – I put the remote down. The quote: “I am a man, I consider nothing that is human alien to me.”

http://blogs.psychcentral.com/mindfulness/2011/03/nothing-that-is-human-is-alien-maya-angelo-and-terence/

These words are the key to both survival and community within the very heart and soul of humanity. Like Christ, who could sum up the will and laws of God with two basic commands to love God, and neighbor as yourself, Terence offers wisdom in our understanding of forgiveness. Although I passionately believe Christ has no equal, I have found a mentor in a slave turned success story from 170 B.C.E. As the words Maya quoted  exposes a new awakening in my ever-broadening perspective that defines love of God and neighbor, I felt a new wholeness and sanity in our need to forgive. Humanity biologically shares a same nature and therefore each of us shares the capacity to do good or evil. Understanding our humanity, our full humanity, was a portion of Christ’s fearless message. Embracing the irresistible and love of Christ also involves embracing our neighbor. Christianity is a beautiful mess of forgiveness and hope. The words of Terence allows us to approach another’s offense knowing I am capable of that very same offense. Forgiveness allows for a healthier community perspective towards sin and the sinner. Forgiveness is humanity’s dare to love beyond whatever makes our skin crawl. However, forgiveness is only truly sane when it points to the hope of true restoration.  Without hope, the heart is left unsatisfied, desperate, and yearning. Ultimately, Christ raises the bar implied by Terence challenging us to realize that sin is, in the end, an eternal offense against God while a temporary one against humanity. There is no “justice” in murder only punishment for the offender. While punishment intends to bring safety to community it does not bring a satisfying wholeness. Grief is our community’s burden – however, bitterness does not need to be. It is in the promised hope offered by a Savior that prompts the heart to release and forgive. My deepest want, like that of Maya’s challenge to love, is to be able to communicate the restorative capacity offered through Christ that awakens faith, enlightens hope, and overwhelms us with love.

God Bless you Maya and Terence.

Peace,
Chris

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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

God Blesses The World

 

God Blesses the World

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For the sake of Jesus,
God blesses the world,
From the depth of majesty,
From which mercy is hurled.
For the light of His love,
Shines through five wounds,
The hands, feet, and side,
From which profound freedom blooms.
One cannot stare past the light,
That burns like the sun,
Unless one looks humbly,
As if into a gun.
But it is not fear of dying,
That draws humility’s gaze,
Rather, fear of not living,
For Whom has numbered our days.
The long shadows we cast,
Are reminders to shine,
To cast off our darkness,
Through faith and works combined.
We were born to reflect
Not stare into the sun,
And bask in His warmth,
For the new spring has begun.
Love thy neighbor,
And live for God’s glory,
For the moments are counting,
Each breath of our love story.

thTCEZMA3B

By Chris Clody 4/15/14

 

I Thirst

imagesI believe our words have eternal consequence and temporal impact in how we direct them.  I have many joys and many regrets in what I have chosen to say, cry, scream, or yell…but the greatest of words are those directed to the One who makes all things new.  The One who knows every intention of my joys and regrets. That One is Jesus my sole thirst.  Truly, the following words are timeless:

“Jesus is God, therefore His love, His Thirst, is infinite. He the creator of the universe,
asked for the love of His creatures.
He thirst for our love… These words:
‘I Thirst’ –
Do they echo in our souls?”

mother-teresa-loving-saint-ch60_l

Mother Teresa

 These compassionate words follow a prayer worth the time to read in the following link: http://www.mcpriests.com/03_I_thirst_PrayerEN.htm

I was reminded today of these words from a dear brother who the following is dedicated – Thank you Joe:

I Thirst For Thee
(My Brother’s Hymn)

thirst2

I am but a sponge
Dried by fire from your consuming Love,
Immerse me O Lord,
Soak me deeply in your Eternal springs,
So I may know what it means to live.

Quench my thirst
Drench me in trust
Soften my heart
Make clay from this dust

I thirst for thee
I thirst for thee, O Lord
I thirst for thee,
I thirst to be restored

christ thirst

By Chris Clody 4/8/14

The Beginning of Home

Home

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Has my heart slipped from my hands,
To drown in puddles of lost compassion.
My hourglass to love now drops its last sand,
Have I squandered my life to become…
The willing hands and feet of Christ to some,
Will my last meal be despair’s miserable crumb?

Save me Jesus from myself,
Carry me brother from my fall,
Lift me into your Father’s light,
Wash this sin that me crawl.

One last tear wiped from my face,
Kneeling before this Lamb of Light,
He cloaks me in mercy, love and grace,

I stand presented burning bright,
The name I’m given I see in myself,
Virtues like organs transparent within,
In a moments glance I see my true wealth,
Where prosperity of old was burned with sin,
I rejoice with the angels as my Lord walks in.

The whole of Heaven is lit by the One,
Who offered his life to live through our hope,
Praise You Jesus, blessed begotten Son,
Praise You Father, for sending Your loving Son.

Joy like Christ’s light fills the rooms,
Singing praise becomes our breathing,
Love of Three gathers us soon,
Before a banquet spread in blessing,
The lamb of honor, the beautiful Groom,
Welcomes His Bride by the song He sings

eyes-of-god

By Chris Clody 3/28/14

The Bridge

homeless1I was awed by the provocative words I heard this Sunday at church regarding the separation between people as was related to a biblical passage between a very poor and sick man named Lazarus and a rich man found in Luke 16:19-31.  Drawing from the unnecessary, continuous separation experienced between both men on earth and in the afterlife was simply sad. If within every “hello” there is a chance for compassion, the oblivion of the rich man’s radar for Lazarus was simply turned off.   If the works of Jesus is our tangible, visible expression of the invisible and incessant grace of Our Father, then the opportunity to dig deeper behind each “hello” is the path Christ’s beckons us towards.

bridge1It was the beautiful analogy of building bridges explained on Sunday by first using thin, lightweight lines to first “bridge” the distance by which the gap separates each side.  Slowly, thicker and thicker lines are used to pull the more substantial cords used in its construction.  Whether the bridge is a place to meet in the middle or used only for one to cross over completely to the other side to be with another, either way demonstrates our humanity’s need to draw together into communion and community despite what separates us.  For the Christian, their ability to seek communion regardless of differences is their litmus test – for those they love the least is a reflection of how much they love their Savior.  It is necessary to throw out those long, thin lines for want of communion so more substantial relationships can be slowly drawn closer together.  To dare to accept the radical nature of Christ’s compassion and unstoppable forgiveness revealing His Father’s will towards our and His communion, we must become fearless bridges – if even if they fail and come crashing down.  forgive2Often, actually too often, Jesus is used as a metaphor as a bridge between Heaven and Earth, bridging the damnation every soul has been born into under the genetic curse of Original Sin. But my friends, Jesus is much more than a bridge spanning the merciful arm of redemption from Heaven to Earth – He is fill.  Although we may not see the abundant grace that can move God to forget all our offenses, it is the tangible, visible love for neighbor that builds a community joyfully gathering without condemnation in the promise of salvation.  If souls that die in friendship with this immaculate heart and soul of a forgiving Redeemer, then cast forth those thin lines of hope to love your God through your neighbor…regardless…community1

His Peace,

Chris

Mosaic Moments

pursuing-contemplationMoses, means to “draw out”, especially named by the Pharaoh’s daughter who pulled him from the river.   Like the cherished newborn pulled from its amniotic fluid, we’re soon brought through the waters of baptism in our exodus from death to life in the One who makes all things new.   We are a pilgrim people, dripping wet and restless in our exodus towards God.  Nomadic hearts bound only by the consequences that free will and its legacy of personal choices.  It is an intentional and difficult choice in approaching our Gethsemane either to accept or reject God’s olive press used to extract the love for Him as if gathering gold from its dross.  There is no regret worthy of a rational excuse to reject God’s Spirit whom leads us in ways everlasting.  It is the Advocate’s mission to release us through an internal exodus binding our hearts, souls, body and mind from crying out “Abba!’… at least before the rocks do.   We must choose to partake in our own salvation process by accepting we are but myrrh in need of crushing before our imprisoned perfume becomes a pleasing whiff to God. It is a comfort to know the Spirit is so jealous to lead us to the promises won at Calvary, yet… discomfort hardly describes our conviction into humility.  Humility must bring us to the flexible newborn state readying our pilgrim exodus from womb to daylight as the narrow birth passage squeezes the remaining fluid from our lungs to breathe new life.  Life is not fair in ways too brutal to mention – yet, life is a singular gift welling with endless opportunities to travel the unknown road of humility.  Often the road is silent, seemingly wandering while conflicted with pangs of self-doubt, challenging our hearts and souls jousting in monologues of desperate prayer.  Our only recourse to the believer’s untamed restlessness is found in its very own willingness to distribute love.  Soon the questions and want of answers to combat the external persecution grow less vociferous in the warmth of knew wisdom arising from love.   The mission of The Spirit and the promise of Christ to perfect us find all its answers in our love of God.   It is only through the this birth passage of forgiveness extracting the remaining sin and skin stretched by our own humility can we finally be clothed in the righteousness of God.  Yes, life may not be fair, but nothing compares to the gift of redemption.  When the faithful finally breathe the eternal nature of God and see all by the light of the Lamb, the humility sown in forgotten memories will have soon blossomed into extravagant bouquets that adorn the table as they dine with the King.  Life is short and for many cruel and unfair, but be of good cheer because forgiveness lasts forever.

His Peace,

Chris

Please “Leave a reply” and share your experiences that may help others through their personal exodus. His Peace…Chris
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