Beyond The Veil of Pain – Love Walks With Me.

So many of my friends, from the young to old, navigate unknown paths dragging a burden that compromises their reality with such grace. Some paths are growing thinner, overgrown, and uphill – yet they have become more nimble, more courageous, imparting peace within themselves and our empathy. True empathy allows the Christ in family and friends to bear up shoulder-to-shoulder, lifting the cross and lightening the load for the ones we love. Lift high our crosses and love someone!

This Cross

tears2

My Lord what cross
have you prepared for me,
that I should lift
this opportunity?
Dare I follow
with this weight above me?
Jesus, Savior!
Now I’m yoked to thee,
A lighter load,
As we trudge hopefully,
Despite the pain,
suffering sets me free,
Because I share,
with You, and You with me.
No longer fear,
rules my mortality,
For by Your cross,
and death, You rose for me.
Thank you Jesus,
For this cross you’ve given me.

Fear’s thin veil,
now torn, I see –
this Love that sets us free

calvary

by Chris Clody 2/2/2015

In Him We Rise,
Chris

Headlights…

issnwGreetings!
This dark, cold, blustery morning reminds me of my gratitude for headlights. The passing thought of “why Catholicism” found a simple analogy of thankfully seeing two headlights cut through a snowstorm. The headlights, communion and suffering, both of which our sweet angels envy, both answer and question how this noble tradition found a home in my soul. We must embrace our suffering as the unique gift of “making up what is lacking” in the Passion of our Lord. This is our profound chance to partake in not just our own cross’s calling but our salvation. It is our acceptance of Heaven’s culture to choose humility and gratitude in facing our crucible. A new strength is found hidden in an unassuming wafer. We must compassionately support those that suffer and encourage their hope and lead them, regardless of their faith, to consider the Bread of Immortality. Console those warring against difficult odds that our eternity starts here on earth and ebbs ever closer with each Holy Communion we receive. Let agape be our shared knowledge so that the hurting may feel the heartbeat of Christ within.
Please remember to turn your headlights on.

His,
Chris

Note. For some reason I feel compelled to ask if you would share this thought with someone today.

A Lamp To My Feet

images2Although we eat the bread of the strong we can only sip from the cup of bitterness. With each drop we suffer but not to the point of despair.  We partake in our perfection just so we may take one more step with our cross. For those experiencing this suffering shuffle, lift your eyes, press on, and lean into the One who bares your heavier portion. Fear not for love will see you through.

Press on Lil’ Jack.
Press on Terri.
Press on Kevin.
Press on John.

Lean into Him.

In Him We Rise,
Chris

Why do we suffer?

images tearwHow can a faithful and merciful God allow suffering? Surely this is a reasonable question.   Especially when the unexpected awful hits us or someone so close to our heart.  This question further rages when the very young suffer.   I doubt my words will change the miserable grip of overwhelming sorrow or doubt that rocks even the core of your faith.   However, I pray that for those who suffer can dry their eyes for a moment and possibly see tribulation through another lens.  Truth, which is an infinite component of God’s love for us, is not a pair of rose-colored glasses but rather a gift of deep, consoling peace.  Truth will not change the situation but the way you see and engage distress will.  God’s love by nature is diffusive and seeps into everything we do and sense.  God’s will can do nothing but good and His love is all encompassing.  His love is our truest form of mercy.  Whether His love leads us in joy or a trial of sorrow, we must embrace His inexhaustible mercy. The ‘reasonable’ question of why we suffer is simply answered as a work of love beyond our capacity to reason.  For those God sees as worthy grapes thrown into the press of suffering ravageing our very mind, body, and soul – fear not.  God’s is truly near and His gaze never leaves us.   Tears are never wasted where faith endures.   Know that wine from your suffering is the very work of love that others will drink so as to lift their gaze to God.

The Vineyard

grapes

Heavy is the fruit that hangs from the vine,
That glisten with dew in the rising sun,
Beautiful red clusters begin their blush,
Harvest for many has now begun.
Worthy are the grapes He chooses to crush,
For only the choicest of fruit will be made into wine.

By Chris Clody 5/4/14

The Last Breath…

Into Mercy’s Hands

imagesxx

My time draws ever near,
Into the Hand of Mercy,
His Love so clean and clear,
My trembling soul is thirsty,
With knees no longer sturdy.

I commend my Spirit,
As time fades beyond worry,
My breathing slow to quit,
I face what I inherit.

Grateful now forevermore,
To repent sins I admit,
Just to hold the hands I adore.

The days I suffered are soon forgotten,
Along with the memories that bore my sin.

Into Mercy’s Hands my new life begins…

By Chris Clody 4/40/14

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

images

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

Love Calls To Love

I believe in God.  I believe that this same God breathed not only life into us but also His Love. Within us, His Life and His Love are only compromised by our choices. I believe it is this Sovereign Being’s vision that we unhesitatingly unite His Life and His Love as if it was a prodigal, love-sick son runnig back into the arms and life of his father. Although His Life and Love are solely for His glory, He is not a selfish Deity. In fact, His love is jealous to solely rest all our hopes, fears, and sufferings in Him. Therefore, if today you hear His voice, harden not your hearts.

Give Love a chance,
Chris

incarnation

Love calls to Love

Pure Love calls to love,
Make haste then to answer Him.
Souls are His treasure,
Giving all to deliver them.

Awake O my soul,
To the sound of charity.
Sacrifice bears all,
Forgiveness is prosperity.

Love calls to love,
Drawn to newfound freedom,
Love calls to love,
Today I see Your Kingdom.

Alone nevermore,
Lo, He is with you always,
My King and my friend,
Beside me even when I pray.

My Lord and my God,
I abandon all to You,
Take my suffering,
As my prayer, my trust, and hope in You.

imagesCA45NRQP

By Chris Clody 3/16/14

Seen Through Mom’s Eyes

The greatest blight that deadens our souls continues as loneliness.  Loneliness is as insidious as it is unexpected in casting longer and longer shadows into our perspective. Life viewed through this suffocating dimness can be a debilitating challenge that slows our sacred journeys (religious or non-religious) to little more than a crawl.  Often our self-pessimism we slowly gather is far from the truth and I believe a possible remedy is closer than we think.  It is well worth our time to see our self through the eyes of our mother.  A mother’s love is beautifully stubborn, intimate, and meticulous in understanding what makes us tick. Our mothers therefore at least deserve the honor to describe to us our worth, that marvelous dignity, to maybe a face only she could love…  If we our honest and listen to what we our told then we stand more than a chance to re-calibrate our perspective free of the loneliness we don’t deserve.

Would you be willing to join me in a contemplative moment and talk a walk on a poetic journey?  If so, take a moment to clear your mind and see this son through His mother”s eyes.

Look To My Son

20120330-053906

Look at my newborn Son
This divine drop of innocence
This infinite ocean of hope
Sleeping quietly and content

Look at this carpenter’s son
Working to see His father pleased
Working wood with hardened hands
The ones we’ll pierce to set us free.

Look through my Savior’s wounds
See far beyond His suffering
See forgiveness framed on a cross
Unleashing love – embracing sin.

Kneel with me at the cross,
Feel the sorrow in my soul,
Son turns Savior before my eyes,
Grief impossible to console.
Stay with me at the cross,
Take my hand and heart awhile,
For only love held Him aloft,
Conquering our redemption’s trial.
Stay with me a little longer,
Hold your trembling Mother,
Share my love and my pain,
Flesh of my flesh now Redeemer.
Help me up from the ground,
Steady me while I stand,
Only grace can hold this heart,
Although my mind can’t understand.

Remember me when I’m gone,
Remember the victory that He won,
Remember whenever you say my name,
You’ll be looking at my Son.

tears

Ad Jesum per Mariam
Ad Jesum per Mariam
Ad Jesum per Mariam

By Chris Clody 8/13/13

The Latin phrase “Ad Jesum per Mariam” means “To Jesus Through Mary” and regardless of our preferred theology, I hope you found the empathy and profound intimacy to see the infant, the child, the man, the Redeemer and Savior, through the eyes of His mother.

His Peace,

Chris

Death Has No Power Over Love…

imagesCAAULHD4After reading an recent email from a friend, I realized how blessed I am to be part of his reality.  Prodded by the anniversary of his friend’s death, he shared with me the comforting words of their pastor at the memorial service which were, “Death has no power over love.”  These words stopped me – as if smelling a rose for the first time. I thought about the gift of friendship and community.  I truly believe there is One Spirit that encourages our hearts to collide with another before our pickup full of excuses catches up.  These six words spoken a year ago by someone I never met has somehow and for some reason found a home in me.  Truly these are true seeds of inspiration.

His,

Chris

Dedicated to Kelli:

Heart shaped splash
Death has no power over Love

Dare we approach the power of love,
This splendid gift from our Father,
That overwhelms within ourselves,
The very things we cannot conquer.

We cannot know God through reason,
Yet hearts will reach and understand.
Tears of love glue our memories,
Of loved ones now holding God’s hand.

Truly,
Death has no power over love…

©2013 by Chris Clody 2/21/2013

 

For more Christian encouragement check out my ebook by clicking the following link: Thoughts2Share

The Untimely Question…

When tragedy strikes, especially when death steals the joy from our lives, we are left battered by its unpredictable ambush.

As comfortable and self-sufficient cultures continue to skillfully disengage from the necessity of God, heavy hearts find no place for tears.  Tears should never be wasted.  Although death’s facecard seems to trump any momentum to our life’s vitality and promise, the house does not always have to win. Although the reality of loss, un-relenting grief and tears, will have their way, this human response is not an invitation to wasted tears and despair.  Instead suffering is a heavy door that opens to a choice offering refuge for mortality’s greatest insecurity and soft landing for our tears.  Facing this question now will help the weeping from their knees sooner by the strong and gentle hands of hope.  Find some time today and join me in prayer for the grieving.

God is near – let Him in.

His,

Chris

The Will and Our Tears

The most difficult question of all,
Comes from the tears falling in our loss.
What God’s will allows after man’s fall,
How tragedy’s price comes at great cost,
And where even His Son dies on a cross…

Yet, somehow, our suffering has a place,
Where hearts like gold shed its tears of dross,
Tears of sorrow become tears of grace,
Drying in God’s prodigal embrace.

The salt that remains gives life flavor,
Although the pain we feel is not erased,
But hope that seasons…will not waver.

The most challenging answer of all,
Offers tears a wooden cross onto which they fall.

©2011 by Chris Clody 6/10/2012

Please “Leave a reply” and share your thoughts if tears are wasted and where we can take our grief. Thanks!

For more Christian encouragement check out my ebook by clicking the following link:

Thoughts2Share