THE GOLDEN YEARS

FATHER ROGER'S REFLECTIONS

NEW LIFE: (celebrating Easter - 02/05/1990)

O seeming death within me,

Hushing away any claim to be,

Hear the rising sound of breathing

In the soul's own healing.

Even now the cloud of mourning

Scatters in the warmth of new Sun,

Preparing a loud proclamation

Of a glorious Resurrection.

 

Yea, while my soul seems lifeless

My whole being, restless, strains

Within its ever purer incarnation

To tranform the simple into mystery.

You have transversed my tomb

Into a cocoon of beauty supreme

And from the womb of suffering

will be born a power more glorious.

 

Released, renewed, set free

Remain no longer quiet,

But make known to every ear

The Word, awesome and speechless,

That rises from the oblation

Of your previous isolation.

Where all hope led to naught,

Now entrusted to You,  becomes new life.

"I AM"

I am the You

You do not know,

More real,

Than all you seek.

I am object of your subjective thinking,

I am the subject of your objective search.

I live in your dying,

I die unto Life.

"I AM WHO AM"

(This quote of God's Name give to Moses is my favorite prayer mantra. I wrote this reflection on 11/22/1989 - Fr. Roger)

 

GRACE:  the effect of baptism 11/22/1989

With infinity

You sate my finite being,

With glorious Light

You heal my unseeing.

In human poverty

I receive your divinity.

In the moment of my short existence

You extend my being unto infinity.

My limited space

Your immensity does embrace.

In my inevitable dying

I enter your necessary rising.

 

 

SERVANT OF MY WORD (God speaks to his priest)

How fragile

Is the temple of my Word,

How simple,

The domain of your Lord!

Yet, possessing Me,

You own nothing;

Imprisoned in your humanity,

To Me do you cling.

 

Your lips stutter

In attempts to speak my Name,

Still I liberate your speech

When my voice you will proclaim.

What in you is insecure

I render sound to carry forth

The Gospel joy,

Then in silence I place your tongue

Until once more,

You, I must employ.

 

Small are your thoughts

Empty your speech,

Yet I have chosen these

To speak my word to each.

They pay no attention

To your human message

But awed are they

In hearing you

Reveal my passage.

Priest of human littleness, 

It is your soul I have chosen

To carry the weight

Of my invitation.

Yours is the Word

Of reconciliation,

Your being resounds with

Divine communication.

 

You are heard only in grace:

Without me you speak of nothing,

Once infused with my Spirit

You are blessed in their hearing.

(A priest's words have power only in the Holy Spirit - 1997)

YOU ARE THE EYE

O GOD,

You are the eye,

Center of life's revealing light,

DIVINE INFUSION,

 Breathing

Triune Wonder

Like golden specks of grace,

FRIENDLY INTRUSION!

 

In YOU is

My beauty

In me is

YOUR GLORY!

(The essence of a priest's heart. 2008)

SURPRISE

Created in the inner turbulence of soul

The yet dusty sparkle of a gem

Emerges.

Who could have known that

Within a heart so torn

The diamond glitter of Peace

Still surges!

As we look upon the rough

And rocky surface

We fail to seek and find

God's great surprise:

In the depth of our spirit

We discover God's grace

Forming, moving, changing

All things before our very eyes.

(Written to celebrate the courage of the Priest. 2008)

MYSTIC and PROPHET

An eagle flies

Strong, sturdy and graceful

Into the awaiting depths

Of vaporous blues:

THE MYSTIC AT PRAYER!

 

A song dances

In soulful rhythm

On sweeping winds

To gently dust away

The quietude of silence:

A PROPHET IS BORN!

(The work of priestly prayer. 2008)

ALONE

Alone,

I was blind

And could not

See

Till I found

You

Reflected in

Me.

(The priest stands alone before God and finds his meaning in bearing the image of Jesus.) - Fr. Roger  2008

THE  CALLING : a dialogue between God and the one called to the priesthood.

 ~

 How small is the wick

Of my inner security,

Called to burn brightly

With a flame of sincerity!

~

Deeply you must radiate

The glow of your meager flame

To strengthen and secure

A people's tender unsteady frame

~

I have nothing to give:

Even to myself I am weak;

I, more than they, feel distant

From that security they seek.

~

But you are my chosen one

Called by them and by Me

To be their sign of my call

Bringing my image for them to see

~

Lord, maybe I'll close their eyes;

Maybe my voice is too unsure.

Perhaps I'm far to small

To make them feel secure.

~

Look at what I did

When I sent you my Son:

I gave you only a Child

That redemption might be won.

~

Yes, but to Him you sent your Spirit

So that in Him your favor might rest.

Oh, that I could respond

To such a powerful Guest!

~

Do you doubt that I did breathe

My Spirit of love within you?

And to your tears of fear

I brought the gifts that can renew?

~

Burn, my lips with healing coals;

Sharpen the power of my little sling;

Anoint me again with your oil;

Help me teach their hearts to sing.

~

Unless I send you, it is true,

You cannot accomplish what you must do.

But who else can I send among them?

The harvest it great, the workers are few.

~

Though I have not what they need,

Yet it is I that you seek;

Then, in my wormwood poverty

I offer you this self so weak.

~

Then go, be my servant and prophet,

Speak all that is in your heart,

For there in my love will I be,

To give you strength to bear your part.

~

"Be it done to me according

To your word."

~

In you shall my Spirit be

My two-edged Sword

(10/03/1988: Fr. Roger)

SILENCE - Seeking the gift of silence - 01/09/1990

By what words

Can one describe Silence?

A pilgrim

Moving into the night

Of paths unseen, unknown,

With not but the flame

of the Spirit's inner light.

 

Presence unseen;

Sound not heard;

empty groping,

Rising and descending

Upon unchanging levels;

Sensing the domain of Light

In the emptiness of the dark,

Knowing what should be,

What could be,

But is not!

Ever present but unheard,

In the dead cacophony of earth!

Passage from not to all,

Executor of the useless,

Interpreter of the timeless,

Place where all meet

As One!

Gatherer of fear,

Vehicle of the waiting,

Assembly of the unsure,

Recycling of mind's refuse,

Hue's tint of common gray,

Dissipater of multiplicity!

 

This is the waking giant

That plays with the firmament

While rearranging earth's order.

It laces disharmony into unity

And scrambles the empire of security.

 

It is a barricade to the quiet,

A centripetal force to the unspeaking.

It crashes against all sound.

It is a cavern of defined emptiness.

It finds harmony without a note

And lifts the wingless to unknown heights.

 

To gaze upon it

Is to lose it.

To listen to it

Is to desecrate it.

To hold it

Is to alienate it.

 

It is the maker of saints,

The originator of the contemplative,

The sanctuary of true prayer,

The meeting hall of God.

It is the burning bush,

The Spirit-revealing breeze,

Life, hovering over death!

To speak its name

Is to make it be gone.

To respect its dwelling

Is to be its servant.

When you befriend it

You find yourself.

When you  behold it,

You embrace your God.

And if you bid it

To proclaim its name,

It will respond with "Just Silence",

....Just SILENCE.

I

 

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