Gentle Guest

Come, Holy Spirit come! Is a silent mantra that finds me especially when gathering the dust of distraction.  Life continues to happily snowball my little attachments like magnetic balls rolling through a steel mill.  Soon I become what I love the most. Looking back through my rear-view mirror of past events, the hidden pursuit of the Holy Spirit becomes clearer. Unexpectedly, it is through the thoughtful observance of wasteful love cooperatively spent within the life of the Trinity that the Holy Spirit perseveringly offers to detach me from the sticky ‘needs’ of life. Yet, this gentle Creator must be invited into my single want of His better will. I find repentance to be a beautiful and satisfying way to empty a room for my new house guest. At first this somewhat selfish and desperate need for rescue slowly transforms as I learn to question everything about myself and how I see myself through the Beatitudes, the gospel of Mathew’s social love, the transcendent quality of St. John’s descriptions that lifts my soul, the unmistakable intimacy inked within the Pentateuch, Isaiah’s soul-wrenching experience, and the irresistible, awe-inspiring incarnate reality found in and through Jesus the Christ. Truly, I must decrease…

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Come to me my joy!
Baptize me! Be my drink!
Fill this blank page with Your ink.
Messiah’s Spirit,
Swollen dew in Your mist,
Saturate me with Your kiss.
Will of hidden food,
Sip of newfound freedom,
Rescue of souls east of Eden.
Whet my lips with this wine
True drink that cannot turn,
Teach me all so I may learn.
Give light to these eyes,
Let me see Your Glory,
Expand this heart’s territory.
O’ sweet and gentle Guest,
Invade this ore’s darkness,
Lift the dross and leave the precious.
by Chris Clody
6/23/17

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Tears of a King

My morning prayer was consumed within Gethsemane, that dark grotto in the garden where Jesus prayed. His submission to His Father’s will was noted in an extraordinary way. Let’s dare to intrude on Jesus kneeling in the shadows knowing His “soul is overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of death” wringing with sweat, rupturing the tiniest of blood vessels, “and being in agony, He prayed more earnestly. Then His sweat became like great drops of blood falling down to the ground” (Luke 22:44).
Any wonder why we couldn’t keep our eyes open to keep watch, joining Him is supportive prayer while we were outside the garden?
Like in the desert, Jesus, that very real and very human, once again confronts the will of His Father, accepts it, is ministered to by an angel, and presses on.
If you’re wondering about the possibility of Hematidrosis and “sweating blood” know that it happens only under extreme anguish. I believe there is even more symbolism regarding sweat tinged with blood outside of the obvious foreshadowing of His passion. His sweat would be a purplish color; that of a king. Like Mother like Son, Jesus held all these things to Himself – even to the point of death. Is this part of our cross? To bear the weight of anguish for others? If we are to be saved as a community within some bride-like concept, shouldn’t we learn to at least suffer alongside those society loves the least?
In the end, judgment will not fall upon our ability to proclaim His Name or even perform miracles, but rather by the compassionate deeds that illumined the hidden Christ within the thirsty, the hungry, the naked, the poor, the sick, and the imprisoned. Yes, in the end, Jesus will know us by the tears we’ve tasted.

Jesus-Anguish

Blood, Sweat, and Tears

Tears of a King,
Drop alone within the silence,
Magenta trails,
Etch hallowed cheeks from my offense.

Not mine but Thine,
Whispers the Man of our Sorrows,
Thy Kingdom come,
After death, scourging, and cock crows.

Accomplished,
A Father’s will redeems mankind,
For those who taste,
The tears He shed and left behind.

By Chris Clody
3/8/17