First Breath

The breath of God, that very one that transformed the DNA of clay into life, is not a quantity to behold but an extension of G_d to partake. Because of love – life and liberty was given. Bodies formed from the dry ground drew its first breath of life and liberty and it was good in the eyes of its Giver. The soul, eternal in every one of us, glides into us upon this glorious stream exhaled from Love Itself. Divine omniscience cannot be grasped by our reason yet the heart feels its gentle pull. Our souls are simple lodestones, always pointing towards a better will. G_d’s will is always mindful and ever-present when love becomes our priority. If we can think of the breath within us as wings of a mother hen, then the words of Jesus ignite our silent epiphany when He says, “…how often I have longed to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, and you were not willing.” (Matthew 23:37 NIV)
So consider the choices before us today.

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Let us allow love to straighten our path while it gathers us back to the Breath that gave us a choice to give liberty to another.

The Breath He Giveth

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Miracle of miracles,
Clay becomes new life.
Breath of G_d,
Breath of wonder,
Exhaled in Paradise.
Eyes formed from borrowed ground,
Looks heavenward;
Soul of G_d,
Soul to ponder,
Stretching ever upward.
Vanity of vanities,
Vision growing dim,
Love of G_d,
Love of neighbor,
Blinded by selfish sin.
Miracles of Miracles,
A virgin bears G_d’s son,
G_d is born,
G_d is given,
A chance to see has begun.

To where can I run?
This G_d of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob;
This G_d of the living,
This Messiah; thee Anointed One.
To where can I hide?
My soul unravels, ravaged; left undone,
Once blind but now I see,
My Lord and my God – my Holy One.

by Chris Clody
12/14/16

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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

A box for God

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I wrap my prejudice,
In a box,
With skin that crawls,
From a heart unlocked.
I can see my Savior now,
Facebook to face,
Bearing His wounds,
Yearning for my embrace.
Christ no longer hidden,
From my view,
For His presence,
Becomes what I do.
Moments become sacred,
Between two,
Time slips away,
As He makes all things new.

By Chris Clody
8/25/16

My All

I could complain and empty my anguish regarding war and its consequence of the unnecessary sufferings of poverty and sickness. My rage towards humanity’s grabs for power and pleasure instead of honest, loving, vibrant communities. Thankfully, my faith rudders my contemplation away from this imploding darkness towards the hopeful glow of finding some way to love my God through my neighbor. Yet before I can prayerfully think towards mercy, I am drawn to first hallow The Ineffable Name* of Mercy itself.

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YOU Are

YOU are my endless epiphany,
My eternal morning glory,
Breathtaking yet life-giving,
My soul’s majestic sunrise,
One man’s hope for brotherhood.

YOU’re wild and uncontainable,
My swirl of curiosity,
Man’s DNA for mercy.
My horizon of glory,
And newfound purpose to love.

YOU are my wonderland of tomorrow’s hope,
For eye has not seen,
nor ear has heard,
nor heart imagined,
all YOU have prepared,
for those who love YOU. (1 Cor 2:9)

By Chris Clody
8/21/16

*Inspired by Abraham Joshua Heschel and his poetry in The Ineffable Name of God: Man: Poems. 2004. ISBN 0-8264-1632-2

Seeing More Clearly Now…

Normally I realize the presence of God by looking in the rear-view mirror with awe and a smile. However, lately I don’t feel I’ll be waiting for that hindsight. Spending another Sunday with teaching and friends that lift my awareness beyond my normal religious experience. My thirst for intimacy with the Divine is an incessant hunger and restlessness. The beauty of deep teaching does not push me away from the familiar but rather expands one’s joyous radar of the One in our midst. Thanks Don and friends and Dust Covenant (http://www.dustchurch.com/). Shine on

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Brighten My Eyes

Remove this heavy darkness,
That dims Your kingdom from my sight,
Still me with eternal prayer,
That holds me in your holy light.

Brighten my eyes, oh Lord,
and heal my soul,
brighten my eyes oh Lord,
and heal my soul.

Wash my vision with your Truth,
Magnify your increase in me,
Make visible your image,
To cherish You through Charity.

Brighten my eyes, oh Lord,
and heal my soul,
Brighten my eyes, oh Lord
and heal my soul.

by Chris Clody
8/8/2016

22 “The eye is the lamp of the body. So, if your eye is healthy, your whole body will be full of light, 23 but if your eye is bad, your whole body will be full of darkness. If then the light in you is darkness, how great is the darkness! (Matthew 6:22-23)

The Human Solution

Spoiler alert! There is no one politician that is going to solve our problems. One of my mentors, Richard Rohr, offers the following “solution”:
Those who agree to carry and love what God loves, both the good and the bad of human history, and to pay the price for its reconciliation within themselves–these are the followers of Jesus. They are the leaven, the salt, the remnant, the mustard seed that God can use to transform the world.
The answer is left to the ways of forgiveness, hospitality, and enough compassion to embrace the whole imperfection (sigh) of humankind.

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The Guest

It shines in hospitality’s welcome,
The unlocked door that leads to rest,
Exhaled it rises like cool breath at dawn,
Love offers warm drink and bread for our guest.

Resuming his journey towards life’s end,
Suffering at times from dim hearts and minds,
Find security in only their own reflection,
Demonizing instead of embracing humankind

False piety teach scripture as the Word passes by,
Yet welcome by homeless pushed outside town,
Encouraged by their new brother’s light and warm voice,
The sing and dance at the great pearl they have found!

His eyes beckon all thirsty into God’s ocean,
His words like water that drench dry souls,
His journey to reach the frightened with hope
His touch heals broken hearts joyfully whole.

Only love of neighbor can recognize love of God,
Not words spewed justifying isolation,
Only mercy received knows the grace of mercy given,
Not hearts abandoned to fear and desperation.

Spare us perfection’s reckless anxiety,
The haughty discernment that offers no rest,
Instead we welcome the “unwashed” and “unblessed”
To dine and sleep in our hearts as a guest.

By Chris Clody
7/30/2016

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