On “paradox” in the Bible–and “koans”

A wonderful Dominican friend
much “taken” with interpreting “koans”
as well being a Scripture scholar sends…
his greetings via the Communion of Saints…

I don’t know if he knew on earth–
the wisdom he imparted his neighbors…
I humbly offer what I have pondered,
on those riches he offered
to a mind–now grasping the consequences.

Having searched through websites and comments…
of all those not knowing the importance–
of the “discrepancies” in Holy Scripture–
often seeming entirely contradictory in nature…
until looking and seeking more deeply!

O Holy ONE–You, indeed, are the author…
of Holy Scripture! or else why could so many
different people, writing in varying times and places,
come up with a unified whole…
to bring us to a transformational experience…
when, and only when the Bible is seen “as a whole”
(as well the Catholic Church teaches).

It is well we begin with Tradition…
from whence the Bible commences…
knowing Martin Luther, a priest,
knew well what he wrote and spake…
“now every milkmaid will have an interpretation”…
when guidance by the Church is needed…
(not individual pastors or scholars–
the Church does NOT do as she pleases!)
That Tradition is contained
in a “depository of faith”
not available to whomever or whatever…
a complete record is necessary for understanding.
You wonder why the hierarchy can be secretive?
Some things will be misinterpreted and disbelieved
on the basis of inadequate preparation/sinful
motivations… (to which we ALL are participatory)…
For that reason a “certain transparency”
as well as exquisite listening from the shepherds,
is necessary
to instill confidence in God’s people–
as well as collect material
for their guidance in spirituality.
For, if not, the “test of infallibility”–
acceptance by God’s people–
has been lost (whatever the meaning).
Here is seen
two duties for the laity:
1) active participatation, study, and communication
2) surrender to the will of God–Who IS all goodness!

Believe me, dear friends and neighbors–
the Divine order will NOT be achieved–
without “obedience”…
which translates not as “blind”–
but as “discipline”–
a rigorous asceticism.

(“He mocks those who mock,
but accords his favour to the humble.
Glory is the portion of the wise,
all the fools inherit is contempt.” Pr3:34-35)

Thank you, dear Thomas Stratman: now a saint in heaven!


Dear St. Isidore–the plougher and farmer…
from your yoke and burden in abject poverty
came the Lord and angels in sharing…
to relieve the debt of labor
foregone to attend Church in the morning.
What is He, Blessed One,
Who suffers for us, and from us…
He sees into all we undergo–
and hung first from the cross
He knew we would be enduring.
He, too, worked with His hands
from morning ’til night…
suffered the humiliation of identity
discounted and disbelieved by the “authorities”:
He wants every one of His children–
to have and enjoy the immense LOVE of the Father…
but not invalidated are the Covenants
with the ancients,
though we often think ourselves quite capable–
of interpreting the message in the modern “lingo”;
we forget the lessons God gave us–
which persisted throughout all ages…
therefore, persisting in sinning…
we fall to our various idols:
our own will and modern philosophies–
untried and unproven (how can they?)
Dear Lord, grow in me a more faithful surrender…
empty me of personal passions–
so driven only by Your light
I can faithfully follow–
“wherever thou goest I will go”
a sign bright
on my breast-plate.
This spiritual-armoring
for the duties you gave,
brings the angels to my side
to accompany my battling:
to relieve me of pride–
are the injuries inflicted;
yes, these, too from the God
of all goodness.
Only in Him are healing and mercy…
His kindness
is never to be forgotten.
So I join St. Isidore at the ploughshare:
where poverty meets infinite riches,
in never-ending lines of continuing graces.

“If the world hates you, realize that it hated me first. If you belonged to the world, the world would love its own; but because you do not belong to the world, and I have chosen you out of the world, the world hates you.” (John 15:18-19)

“So I ask you not to lose heart over my afflictions for you; this is your glory.” (Ephesians 3:13)

Dearly beloved,
there is but a touch of mirth–
in my heart… “they know not
what they do”–but release a gift
of powerful LOVE throughout
the universe… by these caught
in emnity…
“Do not fear!” says Lord Jesus,
over-and-over to the apostles… truly,
the cross He asks us to bear–
is so light compared
to what these poor people
feel in their dread and hostility…
Oh, Precious Savior!
You have surrounded me
with the direct route to Your arms!
The struggle has been fierce,
and I carry
the cross on shoulders
wounded and bleeding with nary
a thought of other than Paradise!
Be my liege and protector
as the path continues…
I only look forward–
for on the horizon Your face
weeping, weeping for the whole human race…
(they long for sweetness and consolation,
but seek
where it is not).
“So then you are no longer strangers
and sojourners, but you are fellow
citizens with the holy ones
and members of the household
of God,…” (Ephesians 2:19)
Come, my friends–
no further watching is needed…
He has found you
on the Via Dolorosa,
the only path to LIFE!

Looking down
on bare rock mountaintops,
(where once prayed the prophets)
flocked with crystal gowns
of dazzling white snow
in the rising morn…
We climb higher and higher
soaring in this conquering bird,
mounting the mighty jet streams.

This plane,
“Man” where is your humility?
You have taken
what you found
in the ground–
given by God’ hand…
for your own use
through your divinely-given mind,
following God’s directive–
the Earth and all its creatures…
“to subdue.”
only “brought forth”
from this Earth
God’s Ultimate Plan
for His people.

Dear Lord,
full-throated songs
in relections of praise…
for Your temple–
the entire universe,
Earth sings
harmonic tunes–
sound-waves of the LOVE
immense and available.
I, alone in vastness,
from this place in space
Your golden throne–
surrounded by angelic throng–
while You peer
at the Cosmos whirling,
cloud wrapped
as You BE in the sea of eternity:
around, within, and without.

All molecules and atoms
stream in belief
of their divine substance
in human life
and in all things
of the created Cosmos.

My body,
not the same as yesterday,
or what it is to be
in the future…
knowing my few molecules and atoms
exchange and share
with the worms on Earth,
the seas,
and the brown dirt
from which Adam was formed.
There is no separation–
all a continuity…
unknown and unseen
by the rigid scholarly.

O humanity,
why hold yourselves
above these?
We, each part of each,
(stardust if you please!)
are unique,
but one of a continual evolution
of all creation
groaning as it goes…
to perfection.
When I join dust..
let it be in peace!
For my God has quickened
my soul to release
bodily energies
needed to participate
in the turning of the stars and planets
on the axis of LOVE.
Christ’s divine identity
is God eternally:
the scheme
and grand plan
of All-in-All’s LOVE call!

and will all fervor…
I enter Your Presence…
in the hearts of my brothers and sisters
who also pray with me.
Your whole-hearted acceptance
of our measly efforts…
so faultily-applied
and awkwardly expressed–
O, Lord, give us grace to unfold
into the wonder of being Your children:
innocent and pure,
to be visible
to the human race as “dearly-beloved” of Yours.
You, Yourself, know the consequences…
the sign under which You died,
proclamation of a believer…
from which poured forth
the humiliation and torture
reserved for the Most-Blessed…
from the sinful creatures
filled with envy, spite, and hatred…
Even the purest of the women disciples
standing beneath the cross of pain,
were so afflicted
with Your shaming;
they wept copious tears
in lamentation.
How could we, less than these,
not help but turn our eyes,
too dismayed to visualize
the glorious Resurrection
You predicted?

That sign in four languages
was meant as warning…
but the unseeing were not alarmed–
only full of derision.

Our words have unintended effects…
due to the web of forces
outside our ability to contain…
especially when many people
are involved; the maelstrom
whirls and whirls,
faster and faster…
soon we are led to our own crucifixion
and humiliation. Words
can be worst in many situations.

So, now relieved
of any need
to take control or lead…
I have entered into the simplicity
of rest in Thy Divine and Sacred Heart,
now open and pierced…
to hold all my shame,
my disrupted and torn reputation
in Your grace.
From this, I rise in the heat of Your LOVE
into an even greater plan–
You, never discouraged, with utmost
tender compassion–
heal my wounds and bring peace
in the Knowledge of Your LOVE,
extending out into the universe–
because of Eucharist…
in thanksgiving, searing
in nature…
and purifying
unto undefilement
my bodily temple,
now completely given up
to the power
of such immense LOVE!

Lord, if there be any sign
above my head…
let it tell of my desire
that this joy–
this inner up-swelling
be gift from this human heart
to God’s People!

Dear Father,

This new day to You surrendered,
in gratitude…
for each sliver
of Lifegiving Bread You
Open me
to the simpicity
and peace
found in a child’s love…
and birdsong.
There is enough
LOVE for each…
enough food to eat
enough flowing water…
Your Providence
is so huge…
mere mortals cannot plumb
the depths of that great sea.
Having only tasted
(and sometimes bitterly–
in lack of understanding)
what awaits…
I am honored and humbled
by Your mercy.
The discipline accepted
in order to see
what You mean,
has provided lessons
I needed…
But we never fathom
the completeness;
so quietly, my dear Companion,
whisper in my ear…
a melody I can integrate
into my book of hymns
of praise
in adoration of Him,
Who saved me
from oblivion.

Third Sunday in Easter

April 19, 2010

The Midwife

My humble mission: to stand alongside,
a companion–arms opened wide–
to receive the new life
as the woman groans and wails
in labor and travail.
I join in the harmonic pain
with lamentations and keening
at the incredible effort–offering communion…

We women, you see,
express strong emotion.
It is source of stength
in releasing passions.

The Mother, founder of this birth,
and Ark of the New Covenant:
the woman crowned with stars
seen in the heavens…
now quickly flees to the desert–
to prevent being eaten,
avoiding the dragon.
If she, in simple surroundings
can crush the head of the serpent…
with the Maternal LOVE proposed–
by St. Edith, Saint and contemplative…
who are we to argue? The New Eve,
mother of the New Adam–
visible at the opening
of the Gates of Heaven–
accompanies each child at closing
of life’s journey into the ultimate
healing–the compassionate arms of the Father–
He will grant what is best:
the bliss of Life Eternal.”

Just what did this Blessed Mother “found”?
asks the Christian-believer.

She answers through my heart…
“Do you not see the mission?
of which you, too, are the receiver…
it is the establishment of the New Jerusalem
the Son prepared
for God’s People…
where LOVE flows
in torrents of rivers
from the right side of the Temple.
Where trees freely grow,
and bright flowers a-line
the banks of that streaming.
The leaves and fruits are plucked
as medicine for the copious tears
dropping from the eyes of the wounded.
The profound LIGHT
overcomes all night…
the Source? …the glow
of The Lamb Sacrificial.

I, too, was under the star
when the magi appeared
bowing down in awesome wonder.
Without my LOVE for my Creator–
the Redeemer would never have been conceived…
or grown into saving all sinners.
My simplicity of surrender…
to be called “Christ’s first disciple”…
was not accidental.”

“Let the little children come unto me”;

“I was fourteen years old–a teenager!
Archangel Gabriel’s news
couldn’t have been more unexpected.
I suffered…
and as my reward–seven swords
pierced the Immaculate Heart of this Virgin.
But released to the world
for the cries of the children
was my identity as “Sorrowful Mother.”

“Come to me all you who are burdened…”

“His peace and rest
were upon me as blessed…
for no one else but WE….
could have survived the ordeals
to mother the Church Universal.”
Power? The wrong connotation…
LOVE conquers all obstacles–
through the grace of the Holy Spirit.
The poverty-stricken are most able;
by emptying of ego–to transform
suffering and affliction–
leaving the soul free to be filled…
with abundance so offered.
Then these can see
into all Mysteries…
lost to the intelligentsia and scholars.

You notice, probably,
the Good Shepherd incorporates balance:
the poor feast at the banqueting table–
while rich go away empty…
Each is given to each–
as the need of the Cosmos progresses.
But loss of the Divine order means
corruption and destruction.
Women, when down-trodden “anawim”,
have humility as a virtue…
aware they are not God–
they do not want power:
satisfied to be useful to God’s People.
But add plenty and ease
and what do you see: the virtue
disappearing in a moment (like Eve).

The Immaculate Conception
provided purity… so sin didn’t enter
the womb carrying the Precious Savior.
Resulting are models of life–
for those living with suffering,
standing with me below the tree–
the instrument of death by torture.

Suffering–the human lot
of pride and “fallen nature”…
now becomes the redeeming of each other.
Atoning is added to mine and His…
out of LOVE for the sisters and brothers.
Embracing agony and pain–
LOVING the crosses we bear,
gift for human endurance…
now LOVE can unfold–
in the story of the Resurrection.
Because when Satan has seen
no forthcoming disease…
no ongoing progress that pleases
he leaves…
no longer able to worry with hatred.
What is more–when assaulted with LOVE
from the hearts of mere mortals,
Jesus’ victory is accomplished–
as stated in Revelation!
Here we see the miracle evolve–
the science of LOVE unfolding.
When Satan feels and sees
LOVE and acceptance of the heat
he’s spreading…
LOVE from mere mortal humanity
as Jesus, Himself, pleaded,
“Love God with all your strength,
and your neighbor as yourself.”
Even more He said, “LOVE your enemies”
When this LOVE so total envelopes,
Satan’s power is broken;
he cannot incite
temptation nor jealousy…
self-righteousness nor greed–
so he flees…
right to the feet
of this Mother.
His agonal contortions
forces crying aloud
to be crushed
under the heel of my LOVE
stamped into instant and dark oblivion.
Oh, mercy me! Desparation
is not seeming–since
eternity is not over…
the end of the story
goes on forever; and can change
through the prayers of God’s beloved.
All warnings aside–
the words of Scripture
are mostly not literal
(visions are personal,
the details obsured
until the conclusion of the picture.)
Holy Mother Church is the last word
on how Scripture is interpreted.
(She, Christ’s Bride,
goes forth in new life)
hell will never prevail
over this mother, either.”

I, the lowly midwife…
hearing the words of assurance–
venture forth to spread to the nations…
the Good News
of Christ’s coming…
The New Jerusalem
has arrived and is dawning…
has consummated LOVE’s call…
on the horizon a new beginning!