Forgive, and you shall know forgiveness; give, and it will be lavished upon you. A goodly measure, pressed down, shaken and spilling over, shall be poured into your lap; for the measure you mete out will be the measure you get back.
Do you worry and wonder about what is happening to us?
In fear-filled times
we are tempted to protect personal assets,
throw walls around territories, and stockpile for scarcity.
Manipulated messages prey upon the silent (consenting) masses;
milking the venom of vindictiveness;
heightening the instinct to hold back.
With disgraceful insinuations and petulant pronouncements
some conspire only to segregate or scapegoat—
so easy to conquer the so-well sided.
Still others would storm the bastion of righteousness
to poison youthful passion with hateful conspiracies
and horror guised as honor or holiness.
And, as the bar of acceptable human behavior drops,
insults and demonizing ideologies
spiral and spin into dark webs of violent idolatries.
Bluster builds to an acrimonious squall.
Hatred fuels a whirlwind of flapping flags,
fiery crosses, prideful parades of power, mobs and derisive chanting.
And lodged deep, in grainy black and white,
memories of dread-full times (not so long past)
stir-up a disorienting dose of déjà vu.
Whatever God does, the first outburst is always compassion. Meister Eckhart
What bridge can span
the canyons of bitter segregation,
amid a hailstorm of threats and taunts?
Surely truthful reconciliation
is the only conduit capable of crossing the chasm
that separates retribution from restoration.
But who dares display
the necessary remorse
that gives way to mutual pardon?
Love every enemy,
to those who despise you do good,
bless everyone who curses you,
pray for anyone who abuses you.
There is no time left for holding back tears.
Only lament can release mercy’s unction
to unhinge the encrusted doorway to peace.
With courageous resolution,
daily choosing love over control,
we can gently and persistently uncap the well of great-fullness.
Now, generosity and gratitude
overflow the brimming bounty of blessings,
freely received and given and shared.
Try saying this silently to everyone and everything you see for thirty days: “I wish you happiness now and whatever will bring happiness to you in the future.” If we said it to the sky, we would have to stop polluting; if we said it when we see ponds and lakes and streams, we would have to stop using them as garbage dumps and sewers; if we said it to small children, we would have to stop abusing them, even in the name of training; if we said it to people, we would have to stop stoking the fires of enmity around us. Beauty and human warmth would take root in us like a clear, hot June day. We would change. Joan Chittister
Will you bare
a listening heart
to a torrent of tirades?
Will you unseal the font of forgiveness within,
to lavish compassion and dwell in abundance
till fear itself is washed away?
Coming in November 2019, A New Book by Joe Grant