XLI. How truly late I’ve loved You, faithful God!

Late have I loved Thee, O Beauty ever ancient, ever new! –St. Augustine, Confessions

How truly late I’ve loved You, faithful God!

How long I saw Your beauty and Your grace

And gave but part of me, ignoring prod

To seek you truly: Ignorance most base!

Unknowing was my heart, but guiltless, no:

And still it chooses comfort; Love ‘twill spurn,

Nostalgic for its old, accustomed woe

Until such hour it fully t’ward You turn.

O God of Goodness, turn it. Make it Yours.

Permit that I may praise Your patience sweet,

The patience that gives hope of heaven’s shores

And trust that my sore heart shall mercy meet.

For gentle are You, and Your mercy true

Gives sinners strength to strive to love anew.

Posted in Christ, Conversion | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

XL. When years ago, so far from hope and home

“So be perfect, just as your heavenly Father is perfect.” Mt 5:48

When years ago, so far from hope and home,

I felt adrift and begged, Lord, your direction,

Unsure of when to move or where to roam,

I had no thought of seeking Your perfection.

I longed for a career, a life on earth,

Stability in temporal affairs.

I knew your knowledge of me knows no dearth,

And begged for you to guide me through all snares.

You heard me, and led not to wealth or fame,

Nor to profession in which I excel,

But drew me to Yourself, my heart to tame,

My love to waken, dread fear to dispel.

What mercy! What a treasure, and unsought!

I longed for You, though sin fast held me caught.

Posted in Christ, Conversion, prayer | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

XXXIX. What God is this, who e’er ignores my pleas

“Your Father knows what you need before you ask him. This is how you are to pray: Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name…” Mt 6:8-9

What God is this, who e’er ignores my pleas

Each time I beg for trinkets I must own?

What God, I say, who drops me to my knees

To teach me I’m not God, but ash and bone?

What God, who offers comfort when I’m pained

Yet sets a harsh road Godward I’d not choose?

Who, as a man, no life of pleasure feigned

But offered cross with joy? Can this be ruse?

What God would die in agony awash,

So I could know at death He’s by my side?

Would let me suffer, greater ills to quash?

To draw my faith, His hand would sometimes hide?

A God, I say, who in love seeks my good

More than my pleasure: as a Father would.

Posted in Hope in the Desert, prayer, Spirituality | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

XXXVIII. I thank You, Lord, that in this desert dry

A clean heart create for me, God; renew within me a steadfast spirit. Do not drive me from before your face, nor take from me your holy spirit. Restore to me the gladness of your salvation; uphold me with a willing spirit. Psalm 51 (50): 12-14

I thank You, Lord, that in this desert dry

My faith has blossomed, for to You I cling.

You’ve rid my life of much that would me pry

From Your sweet care and from the life You bring.

The field that is my soul receives sweet rains,

Although my life seems arid, strewn with dust.

You’ve shattered my illusions, and my chains.

You’re teaching me to live in humble trust.

I grumble, yet real fruit appears from grace;

I see this time is not without great growth.

To You I march, though stranded in this place,

With weariness profound and grand awe both.

From nothing You create, and landscape bare

You use to form hearts pure and children fair.

Posted in Conversion, Hope in the Desert | Tagged , | Leave a comment

XXXVII. From Your uncompromising love received

“The LORD, your God, has blessed you in all your undertakings; he has been concerned about your journey through this vast desert. It is now forty years that he has been with you, and you have never been in want.” -Deuteronomy 2:7

From Your uncompromising love received—

A gracious gift from Your most gentle Hand—

This desert where such hope I have conceived

Is nonetheless a torment to withstand.

My head admits You had a purpose kind

To bring me here, my thorny heart to prune.

Your faithfulness I toil to bring to mind;

I trust that You will lead me out—pray, soon!

My heart can focus only on the pain

And yearns some blessèd Promised Land to spy.

When deadened it not lie, much like to slain,

In sorrow it does wallow and give sigh.

Though thanks I cannot feel, my thanks resound

For driving me onto this desert ground.

Posted in Hope in the Desert | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

XXXVI. I yearn to know my Author’s master plan

Wait for the LORD, take courage; be stouthearted, wait for the LORD! –Psalm 27:14

I yearn to know my Author’s master plan,

My life’s design, my purpose in this world;

To see what lies beyond this desert’s span,

This seeming wasteland in whose midst I’m hurled.

“How long, O Lord?” my heart sends forth its cry.

‘Tis owed no answer, thus it none receives.

I trust He’s not ignored my constant sigh,

Not He who unto death my slav’ry grieves.

What need or right have I to know His course?

For me it is to follow; Freedom leads.

Of strength and hope I lack, He is the source.

He’s Life itself, and on that Life, I feed.

Could such Love ever harm me? Guide me wrong?

Be meek now. Let thanks ever be your song.

Posted in Christ, prayer | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

XXXV. O sacred silence, help me hear Him speak!

Then the LORD said, “Go outside and stand on the mountain before the LORD; the LORD will be passing by.” A strong and heavy wind was rending the mountains and crushing rocks before the LORD – but the LORD was not in the wind. After the wind there was an earthquake – but the LORD was not in the earthquake. After the earthquake there was fire – but the LORD was not in the fire. After the fire there was a tiny whispering sound. When he heard this, Elijah hid his face in his cloak and went and stood at the entrance of the cave. -1 Kings 19:11-13

O sacred silence, help me hear Him speak!

Remind me that life’s more than work and haste.

Say once more He’ll sustain me when I’m weak:

That, even flawed, I cannot e’er be waste.

His patience help me learn, and wisdom teach,

That I might know my value in His eyes.

In worldly terms, success I’ve yet to reach;

Help me to seek a grander, lasting prize.

I’m frightened by how quickly I forget,

The ease with which this world tempts and distracts.

So often things not sinful, I regret,

And heed not how within my soul He acts.

Yet He is working, claiming more of me

Each desert day I humbly bend the knee.

Posted in prayer | Tagged , , , | 2 Comments