We awaken in Christ’s body,
As Christ awakens our bodies
There I look down and my poor hand is Christ,
He enters my foot and is infinitely me.
I move my hand and wonderfully
My hand becomes Christ,
Becomes all of Him.
I move my foot and at once
He appears in a flash of lightning.
Do my words seem blasphemous to you?
—Then open your heart to him.
And let yourself receive the one
Who is opening to you so deeply.
For if we genuinely love Him,
We wake up inside Christ’s body
Where all our body all over,
Every most hidden part of it,
Is realized in joy as Him,
And He makes us utterly real.
And everything that is hurt, everything
That seemed to us dark, harsh, shameful,
Maimed, ugly, irreparably damaged
Is in Him transformed.
And in Him, recognized as whole, as lovely,
And radiant in His light,
We awaken as the beloved
In every last part of our body.
Saint Symeon the New Theologian, An Ancient Hymn 15,
Abba Lot went to Abba Joseph and said to him,"Abba, as far as I can, I say my little office. I fast a little. I pray and meditate, I live in peace, and as far as I can, I purify my thoughts. What else can I do?" Then the old man stood up and stretched out his hands toward heaven. His fingers became like ten lamps of fire, and he said to him, "If you will, you can become all flame."
From the Desert Fathers and Mothers
The Wood in the Chapel
Some do not like the groaning and creaking
Of the wood
In the chapel,
But I do.
It speaks to me of
Remembering the wind in the forest,
Of movement and the cycle of life,
Of hearing the space between the notes,
Of bearing up under stresses and burdens,
Of longing and waiting,
Of becoming and being stretched out
In new directions,
Of praying and being present,
The Holy Spirit.
MS, Albuquerque, NM March 2015
With what reticence you wear
I turned it over and over,