Monday, December 17, 2012

The Stable's Demand

Last night after worship, one of the St Francis House students sent me a text with a screen shot of a Christmas poem, written by her uncle, a monk in the Order of Julian of Norwich. B shared it with me in light of our evening's worship and conversation, which touched on last Friday's shootings, gentleness, and the hard discipline of joy. The poem came to me as an incredible blessing. With B's permission, I share it with you here:

Bethlehem broadened and filled our horizons,
The stable demanded our hearts in return,
God spoke the Word in the flesh of a man-child
And wrote with that Body what mankind must learn:

Suffer, He said, but never cause suffering,
Give, while the rest of the world seeks to take;
Die, if it's needed, but never cause dying,
Love, with the knowledge that friends may forsake.

Peace is your hope while others are warring,
Gentle your way while the rest are all strong;
Care, in a world which has grown past all caring;
Sing to a world which despises your song.

This is your duty and this your commission;
To dance among those who creep on the earth;
To celebrate life amid deathly confusion,
To speak in your living the truth of My Birth.

Fr. John Julian, OJN

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