Posts tagged ‘education for justice’
I love Wendell Berry’s poetry, so I was delighted to find this in the Advent collection on Education for Justice.
The river takes the land, and leaves nothing.Where the great slip gave way in the bankand an acre disappeared, all human plansdissolve. An awful clarification occurswhere a place was. Its memory breaksfrom what is known now, begins to drift.Where cattle grazed and trees stood, emptinesswidens the air for birdflight, wind, and rain.As before the beginning, nothing is there.Human wrong is in the cause, humanruin in the effect–but no matter;all will be lost, no matter the reason.Nothing, having arrived, will stay.The earth, even, is like a flower, so soonpasseth it away. And yet this nothingis the seed of all–the clear eyeof Heaven, where all the worlds appear.Where the imperfect has departed, the perfectbegins its struggle to return. The good giftbegins again its descent. The maker movesin the unmade, stirring the water untilit clouds, dark beneath the surface,stirring and darkening the soul until painperceives new possibility. There is nothingto do but learn and wait, return to work
on what remains. Seed will sprout in the scar.
Though death is in the healing, it will heal
Source: The Selected Poems of Wendell Berry, by Wendell Berry. Washington,D.C.: Counterpoint, 1999.
AdventBy Daniel BerriganIt is not true that creation and the human family are doomed todestruction and loss —This is true: For God so loved the world that he gave his only begottenSon,that whoever believes in him, shall not perish, but have everlasting life.It is not true that we must accept inhumanity and discrimination,hunger and poverty, death and destruction —This is true: I have come that they may have life, and that abundantly.It is not true that violence and hatred should have the last word,and that war and destruction rule forever —This is true: For unto us a child is born, and unto us a Son is given,and the government shall be upon his shoulder,And his name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,the Everlasting, the Prince of Peace.It is not true that we are simply victims of the powers of evil who seek torule the world —This is true: To me is given authority in heaven and on earth,and lo, I am with you, even unto the end of the world.It is not true that we have to wait for those who are specially gifted,who are the prophets of the Church, before we can be peacemakers.This is true: I will pour out my Spirit on all flesh,and your sons and daughters shall prophesy,your young shall see visions,and your old shall have dreams.It is not true that our hopes for the liberation of humanity, for justice,human dignity, and peace are not meant for this earth and for this history —This is true: The hour comes, and it is now, that true worshippersshall worship the Father in spirit and in truth.So let us enter Advent in hope, even hope against hope.Let us see visions of love and peace and justice.Let us affirm with humility, with joy, with faith, with courage:Jesus Christ — the Life of the world.Source:Testimony: The Word Made Fresh, by Daniel Berrigan. Maryknoll, NY:Orbis Books, 2004 – found on the Education for Justice website.
This Jessica Powers poem was found on the Education for Justice website.
Prayer: A ProgressionYou came by night, harsh with the need of grace,into the dubious presence of your Maker.You combed a small and pre-elected acrefor some bright word of Him, or any trace.Past the great judgment growths of thistle and thornand past the thicket of self you bore your yearningtill lo, you saw a pure white blossom burningin glimmer, then, light, then unimpeded more!Now the flower God-is-love gives ceaseless glow;now all your thoughts feast on its mystery,but when love mounts through knowledge and goes free,then will the sated thinker arise and goand brave the deserts of the soul to givethe flower he found to the contemplative.Source: “Prayer: A Progression” from The Selected Poetry of Jessica Powers,edited by Regina Siegfried, ASC, and Robert F. Morneau. Kansas City, MO:Sheed & Ward, 1989
Making the House Ready for the LordBy Mary OliverDear Lord, I have swept and I have washed butstill nothing is as shining as it should befor you. Under the sink, for example, is anuproar of mice –it is the season of theirmany children. What shall I do? And under the eavesand through the walls the squirrelshave gnawed their ragged entrances –but it is the seasonwhen they need shelter, so what shall I do? Andthe raccoon limps into the kitchen and opens the cupboardwhile the dog snores, the cat hugs the pillow;what shall I do? Beautiful is the new snow fallingin the yard and the fox who is staring boldlyup the path, to the door. And I still believe you willcome, Lord: you will, when I speak to the fox,the sparrow, the lost dog, the shivering sea-goose, knowthat really I am speaking to you whenever I say,
as I do all morning and afternoon: Come in, Come
Source:Thirst, by Mary Oliver. Boston: Beacon Press, 2006. p. 13 – Found on the Education for Justice website.
Adventby Sr. Christine Schenk, CSJI waitwith quickened hopefor crooked pathsto straighten,with tough-soul’danguish,while blindedkeepers of the keysshut outGod’s own.(If such a thingwere possible.)I wait,and will not bedismayed.For tiny shootof Jesse treetook root in meto lovetransform,give sight
set free.Source: National Catholic Reporter, December 12, 2003 – found on the Education for Justice website.
I remember the Advent Calendar of my childhood. Mother would pull it out of the box of decorations every year, and every day I would open a new window or door and see the delightful picture behind it. I don’t recall that it felt like a particularly spiritual experience, and it was a Christmas-y (with Santa) kind of decoration. Nonetheless, it still had its spiritual lessons – to count the days – to wait patiently – to experience expectancy and anticipation of something good. We need that still in this darkest time of the year – and in all the darkest seasons of our lives. It’s the lesson for a child and for us.
Advent Calendarby Rowan WilliamsHe will come like last leaf’s fall.One night when the November windhas flayed the trees to bone, and earthwakes choking on the mould,the soft shroud’s folding.He will come like the frost.One morning when the shrinking earthopens on mist, to find itselfarrested in the netof alien, sword-set beauty.He will come like dark.One evening when the bursting redDecember sun draws up the sheetand penny-masks its eye to yieldthe star-snowed fields of sky.He will come, will comewill come like crying in the night,like blood, like breaking,as the earth writhes to toss him free.
He will come like child
Source: The Poems of Rowan Williams, by Rowan Williams. Grand Rapids,MI: William B. Eerdsman Publishing Co., 2004. Found on the Education for Justice website.
Advent 1955By John BetjemanThe Advent wind begins to stirWith sea-like sounds in our Scotch fir,It’s dark at breakfast, dark at tea,And in between we only seeClouds hurrying across the skyAnd rain-wet roads the wind blows dryAnd branches bending to the galeAgainst great skies all silver paleThe world seems travelling into space,And travelling at a faster paceThan in the leisured summer weatherWhen we and it sit out together,For now we feel the world spin roundOn some momentous journey bound –Journey to what? to whom? to where?The Advent bells call out ‘Prepare,Your world is journeying to the birth
Of God made Man for us on earth.And how, in fact, do we prepareThe great day that waits us there –For the twenty-fifth day of December,The birth of Christ? For some it meansAn interchange of hunting scenesOn coloured cards, And I rememberLast year I sent out twenty yards,Laid end to end, of Christmas cardsTo people that I scarcely know –They’d sent a card to me, and soI had to send one back. Oh dear!Is this a form of Christmas cheer?Or is it, which is less surprising,My pride gone in for advertising?The only cards that really countAre that extremely small amountFrom real friends who keep in touchAnd are not rich but love us muchSome ways indeed are very odd
By which we hail the birth of GodWe raise the price of things in shops,We give plain boxes fancy topsAnd lines which traders cannot sellThus parcell’d go extremely wellWe dole out bribes we call a presentTo those to whom we must be pleasantFor business reasons. Our defence isThese bribes are charged against expensesAnd bring relief in Income TaxEnough of these unworthy cracks!‘The time draws near the birth of Christ’.A present that cannot be pricedGiven two thousand years agoYet if God had not given soHe still would be a distant stranger
And not the Baby in the manger
Source: Collected Poems by John Betjeman. London: John Murray; New Edition, 2003. Found on the Education for Justice website.