A Litany of Embodied Solitude
A Poem with the Prayers of Holy Week
How do we sing the Lord’s song
in a strange land?
By opening our hearts before
we open our mouths and
giving thanks for God’s pervasive presence
in glimpses of truth, that we are being held.
Let the same mind be in you–in us–
that was in Christ Jesus.
Assist us mercifully with your help, O Lord
God of our salvation,
that we may enter with joy upon
the contemplation of those mighty acts,
whereby You have given us life and immortality.
May I remember that contemplation’s
home is in my heart not my grasping mind.
May I look to the Blessed Mother,
alone in that room when the messenger came,
who pondered such beauty in her heart.
All glory, laud, and honor.
Mercifully grant that we may receive
this Sacrament thankfully in
remembrance of Jesus Christ our Lord,
who in these holy mysteries gives us
a pledge of eternal life.
May I remember, may those disjointed
parts of me–the conflicting pieces–be brought
together into the wholeness You dream.
May I remember that the Sacrament is not
a thing but the Thing in the thing–
keep my eyes there and I see hope
even in isolation.
On the night in which he was betrayed
Jesus took a loaf of bread.
Taste and see that the Lord is good.
Almighty God, we pray you graciously
to behold this your family,
for whom our Lord Jesus Christ
was willing to be betrayed,
and given into the hands of sinners,
and to suffer death upon the cross.
May I remember that you see me
where I am, as I am, here and now.
For behold, you look or truth deep within me,
and will make me understand wisdom secretly.
Where can I go, then, from your Spirit?
Where can I flee from your presence?
You see me–see us–and sometimes I wish you didn’t,
but now I am so thankful you do.
Help me remember that
my suffering, solitude, fear–the unknown–
all of it Is redeemed in You.
O God, Creator of heaven and earth:
Grant that, as the crucified body of
Your dear Son was laid in the tomb and
rested on this holy Sabbath,
so may we await with him the coming of
the third day, and rise with him
To newness of life.
May I rest. Oh yes, may I rest.
May I trust enough and
my heart relax enough
that I feel the pressure of your touch
on the wounded places of my soul.
What is there to do sometimes but wait?
Be still and know that I am God.
Oh we are not good at this, but
it is today’s lesson.
On this most holy night,
in which our Lord Jesus passed over
from death to life, the Church
invites her members, dispersed throughout
the world, to gather in vigil and prayer.
Let us keep vigil and ponder–yes ponder–
in our hearts, those spaces that have been
stretched in our suffering, our isolation,
perhaps now ready, more supple to see
the Thing within the thing.
Yes, that deeper truth–
in our life, our heart, our bodies.
Stir up in your Church that
Spirit of adoption which is
given to us in Baptism, that we,
being renewed in both body and mind,
may worship you in sincerity and truth.
Now these words come alive
and sing in our hearts, pulsing,
because of this, because of now.
My heart is broken open, and
perhaps now redemption and healing
are more than topics in a paper.
I can taste them, even in the hunger
and my deep yearning.
Yes. I will pause here, even now:
the deep yearning.