Saturday, October 31, 2009

When Death Comes

I found this poem on Bart Campolo's blog.

When death comes
like the hungry bear in autumn,
when death comes and takes all the bright coins from his purse

To buy me, and snaps the purse shut,
when death comes
like the measle-pox

When death comes
like an iceberg between the shoulder blades,

I want to step through the door full of curiosity, wondering:
what is it going to be like, that cottage of darkness?

And therefore I look upon everything
as a brotherhood and a sisterhood,
and I look upon time as no more than an idea,
and I consider eternity as another possibility,

And I think of each life as a flower, as common
as a field daisy, and as singular,

And each name a comfortable music in the mouth,
tending, as all music does, toward silence,
and each body a lion of courage, and something
precious to the earth

When it’s over, I want to say: all my life
I was a bride married to amazement.
I was the bridegroom, taking the world into my arms.

When it is over, I don’t want to wonder
if I have made of my life something particular, and real.
I don’t want to find myself sighing and frightened,
or full of argument.

I don’t want to end up simply having visited this world.

Mary Oliver

From New and Selected Poems by Mary Oliver (Beacon Press, 25 Beacon St, Boston, MA 02108-2892, ISBN 0 870 6819 5).

The River Within

After a long period during which this blog has been in abeyance, I've decided to bring it back into play by using it as a place for collecting quotes relating to the spiritual life. They won't be as lengthy as the earlier set; just short and to the point.

So here's today's entry.

We declare how we value God as much by our actions, by the way we treat other people, by the manner in which we do our work, as by anything we say. If my actions are wrong or wrongly motivated prayer cannot make them right. If however, despite my failures and inconsistencies, I do on the whole want to put God above all things then prayer will help to purify my motives and clarify my judgement.
Christopher Bryant, from his book The River Within: the search for God in the depth
published Darton, Longman and Todd, 1979

Pursue peace with everyone, and the holiness without which no one will see the Lord.
- Hebrews 12:14