Friday, March 31, 2006

Ecce Homo: A meditation 


You stand there Lord,
before the haughty Roman judge,

Behold, says Pilate.

So frail you seem,
as you lift your bloodied head
and look upon this gathered crowd,
hungry as jackals.

Bruised and battered, the face
that looks out over the assembly
gazes not with hot hatred
or numb resignation of the broken,
nor self-pity,
but with love
and grief
and an unfathomable caring
that yearns to heal each of us.

Lord, I am not worthy to meet your gaze.
Have I not, like Peter,
denied you?
Or like Judas, betrayed you;
Time after time, have I not
added to your stripes,
pierced your head
with the hard thorns of an unloving heart?

And yet here you stand,
pouring yourself out like a drink offering,
letting the cup be drained
until nothing is left.

Lord, you said the word to heal me -
let me never forget the price you paid.


Behold the Man! say Pilate,
wishing to make you look small,
nothing for the authorities to worry about.

Behold the Man, say the nonbeliever,
wishing to strip you of the power of God,
to make you safe,
nothing to worry about.

Behold the Man, say some,
wishing you were the person they want you to be,
ascended master,
apostle of hate,
elder brother,
letting your message be nothing to worry about.

Behold the Man, say I,
Wishing to follow you with all my heart,
True God and true man,
who lovingly laid down his life
to bring us all home.


Such a king as this:
look at him,
crowned with thorns,
See how he ascends to his throne,
outstretched arms,
pierced hands,
bleeding side.
Yet just by this act
he saved us all
who choose to follow,
and at his name
every knee shall bend.


Susan E. Stone, 2006

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Thursday, March 30, 2006

Meditation on God's Love 

O Living Flame of Love,
O Heart of Mercy beating,
O Bridegroom,
O Lover beyond my understanding,
holding me now in the palm of your hand,
the light of your love overwhelming.

No words to speak
in the embrace of the Beloved,
but such desire to be his,
as he would have me,
in the dazzling white
he would dress me in,
in the purity of heart
he would bring me to,
in the excellence he sees,
with his eyes,
a form I cannot yet fathom.

O Beloved Master,
walk always with me.
Teach me your ways,
that I might delight you
with my hunger to please you.
Feed me with your love
that I might feed others,
Robe me with your light
that I might learn to see
as you would have me see,
transform me
breath by breath
step by step,
for without you,
there is nothing else that really matters.

O Living Flame of Love,
O Heart of Mercy beating,
O Bridegroom,
O Lover beyond my understanding,
O God,
Be thou my vision,
this day, and always,

Susan E. Stone, 2006

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Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Hold Us Close 

God who breathed upon the waters
at the beginning of all things,
and created us as we are,
questioning, often confused,
but with that need for something
burning there in our center
a place where we go to meet you,
even if rarely,
even if awkwardly,
have mercy on us in our time of need.

Be with those in need of the healing touch of your hand into their lives,
Open the way you would have them go,
and bring them the peace that only comes from you.

Hold us close, O God,
even when we cannot see you.


Susan E. Stone, 2006

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Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Meditation on the Fourth Sorrowful Mystery: Jesus Carries His Cross 

Each step, each breath, each beat of your heart - pain.
The weight of the cross so heavy,
each step a small miracle of your perseverance,
the determination to pay that price,
no matter how shaky the legs,
how short the breath,
how much it cost to make each step.

This is how the Father does it,
the way he did not ask Abraham to take,
no sacrifice of the firstborn for his chosen people,
a gifting consumed by blood and fire.
But through you, his only-begotten,
laboring there beneath the crossbeam,
Your hair and face streaked with blood beneath the thorny crown,
face beneath the smears ashen with pain,
and the gathering doom in your chest,
already making you hungry for breath,
bearing the sins of the world,
each bruise, each welt merely a token of what they deserve.
as you walk,
the smell of blood and fear and sweat and death and pain
swirling around you,
our deaths, our pains, our griefs
on your one set of shoulders,
each movement crying out its pain,
only a foretaste of the pains ahead,
until, fulfilled,
you slip away,
glorified indeed by the hands of your loving Father,
and in that new dawning,
hope born in the birthpangs we can only imagine,
you will stand glorified,
our Lord
world without end,

Susan E. Stone, 2006

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Sunday, March 26, 2006

Prayer to the Blessed Mother in Memory of John Paul II's Death 

O Lady in White,
who lighted on the little bush
in a cloud of light,
Our Lady of the Rosary,
knowing such things were to come,
this man,
not yet born
as you talked with the children
of penance
and sacrifice,
knowing what a dark century
it was likely to be,
and yet,
you showed us the way of hope
your son had to offer.

O Lady in White,
who showed your hand
as the assassin lay in wait,
You who drew this man's eye,
and his posture changed
slightly, enough not to die,
as he struggled to see you,
as the bullet flashed,
Totus Tuus, he had offered
out of pure love,
and climbing the peak
to be God's witness against the godlessness
of the darkness,
you were there to help him through.

Another night,
O Lady in White,
you held him close in your arms,
as the end of an era drew to a close,
this man who labored so hard for your son,
giving his all,
so tht even on the day of his death
he would instruct us how to live.

O Lady of the Rosary,
the time had come
for him to see the fruit of thy womb Jesus
in all his glory.

O Blessed Mother,
With John Paul, let us say
Thank you for saying Yes to the Father,
Thank you for your care for your children,
Thank you for aiding us in the time of our need.


Susan E. Stone, 2006

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