Lead, kindly light

A Sunday poem worth repeating.

Witnesses to Hope

Lead, kindly Light, amid the encircling gloom,
Lead thou me on!
The night is dark, and I am far from home,–
Lead thou me on!
Keep thou my feet; I do not ask to see
The distant scene,–one step enough for me.

I was not ever thus, nor prayed that thou
Shouldst lead me on:
I loved to choose and see my path, but now
Lead thou me on!
I loved the garish days, and, spite of fears,
Pride ruled my will: remember not past years.

So long thy power hath blessed me, sure it still
Will lead me on;
O’er moor and fen, o’er crag and torrent, till
The night is gone;
And with the morn those angel faces smile
Which I have loved long since, and lost awhile.

John Henry Newman
Here is a lovely adaptation by Audrey Assad:

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Beauty and hope

Wonder and Beauty

How Beauty instills the virtue of Hope

This is a guest post by Timothy Chapman. Timothy grew up in southern Illinois. He has degrees in English, history, and divinity and is currently a youth minister in St. Louis, MO. A version of this essay was first published at the website Here Is a Place.

My days, like many of yours, I bet, are usually spent in the busyness at hand, of to-do lists and iCal checks, of tickets to pay and shirts to drop off at the cleaners, of downloading apps to help with efficiency and drowning out spare silences by checking emails and playing three minutes and twenty-seven seconds of a podcast. Stoplights are often the biggest pause in the oppressive constancy of hours packed to the brim.

But I am a napper. I would take a 22 minute nap everyday if I could–and I…

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A grant of grace

Witnesses to Hope

A Sunday-poem by Jessica Powers:

Suffering

All the day long I spent the hours with suffering.
I woke to find her sitting by my bed.
She stalked my footsteps while time slowed to timeless,
tortured my sight, came close in what was said.

She asked no more than that, beneath unwelcome,
I might be mindful of her grant of grace.
I still can smile, amused, when I remember
how I surprised her when I kissed her face.

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A sonnet for Pentecost

Whose mother-tongue is love . . .

Witnesses to Hope

Pentecost

Today we feel the wind beneath our wings
Today  the hidden fountain flows and plays
Today the church draws breath at last and sings
As every flame becomes a Tongue of praise.
This is the feast of fire,air, and water
Poured out and breathed and kindled into earth.
The earth herself awakens to her maker
And is translated out of death to birth.
The right words come today in their right order
And every word spells freedom and release
Today the gospel crosses every border
All tongues are loosened by the Prince of Peace
Today the lost are found in His translation.
Whose mother-tongue is Love, in  every nation.

Malcolm Guite

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He comes without waiting for us to ask him

I was just re-reading this wonderful quote this morning, and thought I would share it with you again. A blessed Feast!

Witnesses to Hope

Mary arose and went to Elizabeth without Elizabeth having asked her.  This is the way Christ is always with us.  He comes to us without waiting for us to ask Him. May this Feast remind us of that:

The visit that so honored and overwhelmed Elizabeth had not been sought by her: part of the very honor consisted int he fact that Mary had paid it of her own accord. . . . Our God treats us His poor creatures, in the same way. Whether the sinner who needs converting, or the just who is called to a higher life and the way of perfection, be concerned, He alike comes without waiting for us to ask Him.  We are often not thinking of Him specifically at all–we may have forgotten Him; but He seeks us out–goes before us–or as sacred language has it, “prevents” us: we feel and know…

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