Thought For The Week
'A theology professor once recommended that we read poetry. Why poetry? Because it says what cannot be said. Preachers have to talk constantly about God, whom they have never seen. Poets do not try to box up and parcel God. They possess the great charism of humility before God's awesome mystery.' ~Michael McGrath
Poetry is alive and well and not something confined to the past. Many poems continue to be written each day. Many of these never get published but are written to express something personal and important. Many of them are hidden gems. Poems that in some way refer to God are often uplifting, open and honest because they simply do not attempt to box up and parcel God. The psalms are a collection of the most beautiful poetry we have. They are so beautifully written and are such an open and honest account of the writer's experience of God. The psalms do not put God in a box or do not wrap God in cotton wool.
A mistake of formal religion is to sometimes put God in a box or parcel and then add on the gift paper ready made. It can't be done and can often be out of touch with the experience of people at ground level. Everyone's experience of God is different which is why we always need an approach that is open, fresh and liberating. Poets do it naturally and there is a poet in all of us.
One of my favourite poets and spiritual writers is the late John O'Donohue. His writings about God were always so fresh and beautiful. The following is one he called 'A Blessing'
A Blessing by John O'Donohue (1956-2008)
May the light of your soul guide you
May the light of your soul bless the work you do
with the secret love and warmth of your heart.
May you see in what you do the beauty of your own soul.
May the sacredness of your work bring healing, light
and renewal to those who work with you
and to those who see and receive your work.
May your work never weary you.
May it release within you wellsprings of
refreshment, inspiration and excitement.
May you be present in what you do.
May you never become lost in the bland absences.
May the day never burden.
May dawn find you awake and alert,
approaching your new day
with dreams, possibilities and promises.
May evening find you gracious and fulfilled.
May you go into the night blessed,
sheltered and protected
May your soul calm, console and renew you.