Peak and Valley

Barnstorming

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One sees great things from the valley, only small things from the peak.
— G. K. Chesterton

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It is all a matter of perspective
and what we perceive from where we stand:
it takes great strength and determination to climb the peak,
and look down upon the valley left far below
where even mountains seem diminished.

Yet what gives life meaning,
what encourages our faith,
and instills hope
is how we thrive while dwelling
deep in the darkest of valleys while
gazing up at the dream-like peaks.

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327934_2284811352045_97582906_o photo by Josh Scholten — view of Mt Shuksan from the top of Mt. Baker

327132_2284808111964_2141834584_o photo by Josh Scholten – dawn from the top of Mt. Baker, seeing its shadow to the west

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When the Work of Christmas Begins

Barnstorming

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When the song of the angels is stilled,
when the star in the sky is gone,
when the kings and princes are home,
when the shepherds are back with their flocks,
the work of Christmas begins:
to find the lost,
to heal the broken,
to feed the hungry,
to release the prisoner,
to rebuild the nations,
to bring peace among the people,
to make music in the heart.
~Howard Thurman from The Mood of Christmas & Other Celebrations

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All the Advent anticipation is spent, Christmas and New Years are past and I find my energy waning just as the work of Christmas is beginning.

Instead of the Twelve Days of Christmas it should be the Twelve Weeks, or better yet, Twelve Months– maybe the lights should stay up until St. Patrick’s Day at least, just to keep us out of the shadows, inertia and doldrums of winter.

As I…

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Christ comes

Witnesses to Hope

A Sunday-poem from Sr. Genevieve Glen, OSB:

Christ comes, the promised peace of God,
His hands with healing filled,
In him is brokenness made whole
And love from hate distilled.
And when he comes, for whom we long,
Then will all rage be stilled.

Christ comes, the promised hand of God,
To cast the veil aside
That shrouds the world in bitter grief,
Where none from death can hide.
And when he comes, for whom we long,
Then will all tears be dried.

Christ comes, the promise kept by God,
The faithful One, and true.
In him is ev’ry hope confirmed
And ev’ry fear subdued.
And when he comes, for whom we long,
Then all will be made new.

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Advent Song

Witnesses to Hope

Advent Song

Lady, what songs are bending
The tall grasses of your mind,
What secret music whispers down your veins,
What wax-leaf ponderings, O Virgin Mary,
Waken our little shouts of expectation?

Our thoughts have lumbered down a treeless highway,
Have sputtered their heavy loftiness, have wept
Their protest. Now we hear the distant birdcall
Oh, dimly! but the woods have heard it well.
The stars are singing in their stupefaction,
The giddy little hills are clapping hands.

But Lady, what songs sway
The supple grasses of your thoughts,
What secret music whispers down your veins?

Glorious things are said about this city
Where the small citizen Christ moves in the lanes
Of so-brief arteried comfort; but what songs
Drift through this templed alabaster town?

We see the windows lighted, Virgin Mary,
City of God, by every hymn we raise
With chipped and broken voices, and our feeble
Vision guesses…

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