Participate joyfully

photo of woman wearing traditional dress

Photo by Genaro Servín on Pexels.com

Participate joyfully in the sorrows of the world.
We cannot cure the world of sorrows but we can choose to live in joy.
When we talk about settling the world’s problems, we’re barking up the wrong tree.
The world is perfect. It’s a mess. It has always been a mess.
We are not going to change it.
Our job is to straighten out our own lives.

– Joseph Campbell

Today, may I know what I am

Many will Come – Rachel Srubas

(Photo: somewhere on The Airline Road, sometime 2008)

Today, may I walk in right paths, in God’s light. May peace prosper the steps of my family and friends, in city streets and buildings, and among all nations.
Today, may people stream from east and west to converge in God’s neighborhood. May nations labor to dismantle barricades. May our city be a just, peaceable center, united and vibrant. May my friends and relations strive for the good of each other, and may I remember I am neither higher nor lower than a servant.
Today, may east and west meet in my right and left hands, complementing, comprehending one another.
In my body, may north and south correspond, lifting my mind above worry, grounding my feet on the earth.
Today may I know what I am: created, not self-made, instructed to walk and work in God’s ways.
May I hammer old knives into new spoons, old enmities into love.
May I respect the least functional part of myself as surely as Jesus cherishes a paralytic slave and saves him with a word.
May the shriveled and disused part of my heart be bathed in God’s mercy today, that I might see sunlight for what it is: the gaze that beholds and heals us all.
In a banquet hall spacious enough for a whole world of nations, may I rest among neighbors and strangers, friends and relations.
May we feast among prophets on food grown in plowed mountain soil, reaped with weapons repurposed as tools.

This Compost

This Compost
by Walt Whitman

1

Something startles me where I thought I was safest,
I withdraw from the still woods I loved,
I will not go now on the pastures to walk,
I will not strip the clothes from my body to meet my
lover the sea,
I will not touch my flesh to the earth as to other
flesh to renew me.

O how can it be that the ground itself does not
sicken?
How can you be alive you growths of spring?
How can you furnish health you blood of herbs,
roots, orchards, grain?
Are they not continually putting distemper’d corpses
within you?
Is not every continent work’d over and over with
sour dead?

Where have you disposed of their carcasses?
Those drunkards and gluttons of so many
generations?
Where have you drawn off all the foul liquid and
meat?
I do not see any of it upon you to-day, or perhaps
I am deceiv’d,
I will run a furrow with my plough, I will press my
spade through the sod and turn it up underneath,
I am sure I shall expose some of the foul meat.

2

Behold this compost! behold it well!
Perhaps every mite has once form’d part of a sick
person–yet behold!
The grass of spring covers the prairies,
The bean bursts noiselessly through the mould in
the garden,
The delicate spear of the onion pierces upward,
The apple-buds cluster together on the
apple-branches,
The resurrection of the wheat appears with pale
visage out of its graves,
The tinge awakes over the willow-tree and the
mulberry-tree,
The he-birds carol mornings and evenings while
the she-birds sit on their nests,
The young of poultry break through the
hatch’d eggs,
The new-born of animals appear, the calf is dropt
from the cow, the colt from the mare,
Out of its little hill faithfully rise the potato’s dark
green leaves,
Out of its hill rises the yellow maize-stalk, the lilacs
bloom in the dooryards,
The summer growth is innocent and disdainful
above all those strata of sour dead.

What chemistry!
That the winds are really not infectious,
That this is no cheat, this transparent green-wash
of the sea which is so amorous after me,
That it is safe to allow it to lick my naked body all
over with its tongues,
That it will not endanger me with the fevers that
have deposited themselves in it,
That all is clean forever and forever,
That the cool drink from the well tastes so good,
That blackberries are so flavorous and juicy,
That the fruits of the apple-orchard and the orange-
orchard, that melons, grapes, peaches, plums,
will none of them poison me,
That when I recline on the grass I do not catch
any disease,
Though probably every spear of grass rises out of
what was once a catching disease.

Now I am terrified at the Earth, it is that calm
and patient,
It grows such sweet things out of such corruptions,
It turns harmless and stainless on its axis, with
such endless successions of diseas’d corpses,
It distills such exquisite winds out of such
infused fetor,
It renews with such unwitting looks its prodigal,
annual, sumptuous crops,
It gives such divine materials to men, and accepts
such leavings from them at last.

The Brestplate of St. Patrick

10295753_10204434622744802_5810798623661834767_nI arise today
Through a mighty strength, the invocation of the Trinity,
Through belief in the Threeness,
Through confession of the Oneness
of the Creator of creation.

I arise today
Through the strength of Christ’s birth with His baptism,
Through the strength of His crucifixion with His burial,
Through the strength of His resurrection with His ascension,
Through the strength of His descent for the judgment of doom.

I arise today
Through the strength of the love of cherubim,
In the obedience of angels,
In the service of archangels,
In the hope of resurrection to meet with reward,
In the prayers of patriarchs,
In the predictions of prophets,
In the preaching of apostles,
In the faith of confessors,
In the innocence of holy virgins,
In the deeds of righteous men.

I arise today, through
The strength of heaven,
The light of the sun,
The radiance of the moon,
The splendor of fire,
The speed of lightning,
The swiftness of wind,
The depth of the sea,
The stability of the earth,
The firmness of rock.

I arise today, through
God’s strength to pilot me,
God’s might to uphold me,
God’s wisdom to guide me,
God’s eye to look before me,
God’s ear to hear me,
God’s word to speak for me,
God’s hand to guard me,
God’s shield to protect me,
God’s host to save me
From snares of devils,
From temptation of vices,
From everyone who shall wish me ill,
afar and near.

I summon today
All these powers between me and those evils,
Against every cruel and merciless power
that may oppose my body and soul,
Against incantations of false prophets,
Against black laws of pagandom,
Against false laws of heretics,
Against craft of idolatry,
Against spells of witches and smiths and wizards,
Against every knowledge that corrupts man’s body and soul;
Christ to shield me today
Against poison, against burning,
Against drowning, against wounding,
So that there may come to me an abundance of reward.

Christ with me,
Christ before me,
Christ behind me,
Christ in me,
Christ beneath me,
Christ above me,
Christ on my right,
Christ on my left,
Christ when I lie down,
Christ when I sit down,
Christ when I arise,
Christ in the heart of every man who thinks of me,
Christ in the mouth of everyone who speaks of me,
Christ in every eye that sees me,
Christ in every ear that hears me.

I arise today
Through a mighty strength, the invocation of the Trinity,
Through belief in the Threeness,
Through confession of the Oneness
of the Creator of creation.