Posts Tagged ‘Robert Frost’

Saturday, June 27, 2020

two-paths[2]Deuteronomy 30:15-20

The Choice before Us: A Prayer with Psalm 1

Israel has a choice to make. and each of us has this same choice.

Every morning when we wake and rise we greet the day and the Lord with evidence of our choice.  As we dress, as we eat, as we prepare to go into the world.  Every action we take is a sign to God of what he means to us.

As we go to school or enter work places and as we unlock doors and prepare for the day, we are an expression of God’s love for humanity and creation.

As we interact with colleagues and students we tell God what we think of our relationship with God and others.

As we write and administer assessments, evaluate work – that of others and our own – we use the measuring stick with which we will be measured.

As we end our work day to move back into our homes, we see God in the way we live, the people and things which have import for us.

As we bend on our knees or sit in our chair, or lie on our bed to recall the day, we see what treasure we have stored up in heaven to return to God.

We each have choices to make.  As Psalm 1 tells us, we are a forest of trees planted along the bank of the river that flows to the New Jerusalem.  We are to bear fruit many-fold according to our gifts.  We bear this fruit with great Hope.

Blessed are they who hope in the Lord.

Blessed is the one who follows not the counsel of the wicked nor walks in the way of sinners, nor sits in the company of the insolent, but delights in the law of the Lord and meditates on God’s law day and night.

Blessed are they who hope in the Lord.

Not so the wicked, not so; they are like the chaff which the wind drives away.  For the Lord watches over the way of the just, but the way of the wicked vanishes.

Blessed are they who hope in the Lord.

Dearest Lord, may we produce fruit in abundance for you in due season.  Not when we wish, but rather as best suits your plan for all of us . . . in your due season.  May we choose light when we rise, light as we go about our day, light as we tuck ourselves into hearth and home.  May we never stray from you, from your truth, from your Way.


To read the Robert Frost poem, The Path Not Taken that begins with the words: “Two paths diverged in a yellow wood”, go to: http://www.bartleby.com/119/1.html

Adapted from a reflection written on October 11, 2007.

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Joshua 13-21Boundaries

Caravaggio: Narcissus

Thursday, September 28, 2017

A Favorite from September 18, 2010.

We are a fairly narcissistic society and there was a recent flutter among journalists regarding the connection between Facebook and narcissists as *a few links below will tell us.  No matter where we stand on this issue, even the idea that there might be a connection brings out defenders and critics alike.  Clearly, we are interested in one way or another, in our own faces . . . and the conversation that erupts when the disease of narcissism is brought into the spotlight is not easy to miss.  This disease is one in which its sufferers cannot distinguish appropriate boundaries, and it brings havoc into many lives and many families.

Joshua and the early desert peoples were wise to follow God’s instruction to establish borderlines around their family camps; their hope was to bring order out of the chaos that from time to time took hold of them during their wanderings.  Each clan might get a grip on its own people and come up with a design to help one another to live in harmony and unity.  Of course, boundaries can also cause conflict and turmoil, but when we know where emotional, political and even physical boundaries are, we have less difficulty understanding our spiritual boundaries.  When we know that we humans are created and loved by God, and that our purpose is to seek and know God, to obey and serve God, then we have fewer problems with the world.

If you have some time this afternoon, and if you are thinking about boundaries, you may find something else to think about:  Do we recognize, repair, and celebrate the boundaries in our lives that are meant to bring order out of chaos through God’s love?  And do we look for God’s guidance as we work at transforming our human selves into our divine selves with God’s grace?

I offer two citations for us to ponder during this weekend in late summer.  The first is the poem “The Mending Wall” by Robert Frost – one of my favorites – about repairing a property boundary.  Frost speaks of gaps in walls and we might think of the gaps in our lives.  “No one has seen them made or heard them made, but at spring mending-time we find them there”.  When our spring mending-time arrives, do we willingly repair the gaps we find? https://www.poetryfoundation.org/poems/44266/mending-wall

The second is from 1 Corinthians (15:35-37, 42-49) which is today’s first Mass reading.  In this letter Paul tells us that our own resurrection is sown corruptible and is raised incorruptible through Christ.  It is sown a natural body and is raised a spiritual one, through Christ.  Are we aware of this process of transformation going on in our lives?  Do we recognize our own spiritual self as we look at our natural face?  When our own resurrection arrives, will we recognize it?

*A CNN poll shows some fascinating correlations between Facebook and narcissism: http://www.cnn.com/2010/TECH/social.media/08/30/facebook.narcissism.mashable/index.html 

*THE ATLANTIC, “How to Spot a Narcissist Online”: https://www.theatlantic.com/health/archive/2014/01/how-to-spot-a-narcissist-online/283099/

*SCIENTIFIC AMERICAN, Study of Facebook Users Connects Narcissism and Low Self-Esteem: https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/status-update-im-so-glamorous/


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