Archive for February, 2017

Good New, Bad News

Tuesday, February 28th, 2017

The good news is that I am doing what is good for me or at least feels good. It feels as if I am doing what God created me to do, what feels proper and appropriate in my deepest self, the deepest desire of my heart.

I’m trying to get closer to God, I’m doing this by reading the Daily Office Scriptures in the most original languages we have. I have good Greek and not so good Hebrew, but this is improving both of them. I am reading the Hebrew in pages with both the Hebrew and the English. I plan to do some detail work parsing the Hebrew grammar to improve my understanding.

I am not doing this during the Offices but later, so as to keep prayer and study separate. I will also continue to pray in all my other usual ways. I am awed the the rightness of this. I feel more like myself, and that’s good thing. I haven’t often felt that,

I hope to reap benefits not only for myself but for others. I want to find ways of writing about what I discover. In seeking God I am seeking Wisdom, and in seeking Wisdom I am seeking God. It is not for me alone, but for sharing, for gifts for others.

The bad news is that I don’t have enough income to meet my expenses. I am living on meager Social Security and Food Stamps. I only once had a well-paying job and that was in stock that died and I sold. My best earning years were spent in a monastery, and coming out from there in late middle age did not make for any successful career or income.

I have been looking for some part time work. I did physical labor for a while in a grocery store, but my arthritis grew on me until I could not bear it. I tried hard. I am in poor condition. I tend to sleep a long time. I think I have Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. At age 44 I had mononucleosis. I bounced back far too soon. A few days and I was back into full monastic discipline. The Guestmaster, whose assistant I was, scolded me angrily for leaving him with all the work. I was sick for Holy week.

I am looking for office work; I have lots of experience there. I have sent out resumes but have received no replies. I am discouraged but I do keep trying. Ramping that up will be part of my Lenten work. At age soon 74 it is hard to find work.

And in the back my mind and I cannot quell it, is that, selfishly, part time work would hinder my search for God/Wisdom.

I guess prayers for me are in order.

Spiritual Reading-Exile

Sunday, February 26th, 2017

Psalm 137 Super flumina

1 By the waters of Babylon we sat down and wept, *
when we remembered you, O Zion.

exile, far from home, far from Zion, from Jerusalem
far from our center, our heart, our life
How did this happen? What idols did we worship that led us here?
How did we alienate ourselves from our Zion, our heart, our center, our God

2 As for our harps, we hung them up *
on the trees in the midst of that land.

our joy lost, our culture, our hopes and dreams nullified
so we sat by alien waters and contributed our tears
lost in a desert, no nourishment for our hearts
wandered far in a land that was waste
inhabiting a death in life

3 For those who led us away captive asked us for a song, and our oppressors called for mirth: *
“Sing us one of the songs of Zion.”

Now our captors want us to entertain them with the shreds of our culture
“And the darkies are happy all day.”
like “Negro Spirituals” in their hymn books so they can join in
these mamzers won’t even let us hang up our damned harps
We know singing those songs won’t revive us but they delight alien masters.

4 How shall we sing the LORD’S song *
upon an alien soil?

Our songs are roots music that won’t root in this alien soil
we ourselves don’t root and grow here
the food of our joy withers on the vine
we starve for our Jerusalem

5 If I forget you, O Jerusalem, *
let my right hand forget its skill.
6 Let my tongue cleave to the roof of my mouth if I do not remember you, *
if I do not set Jerusalem above my highest joy.

I will remember, I will, I will, I will.
I will maintain my skill, my love, my way of life
It will be there waiting for The Day
I am alive
I’m not dead yet
I can still sing my own song
Never forget. Je souvien

7 Remember the day of Jerusalem, O LORD, against the people of Edom, *
who said, “Down with it! down with it! even to the ground!”

Avenge me, I cry, revenge, revenge, revenge
revenge those destroying my life

8 O Daughter of Babylon, doomed to destruction, *
happy the one who pays you back for what you have done to us!
9 Happy shall he be who takes your little ones, *
and dashes them against the rock!

My own feeling of revenge are abhorrent.
I am abhorrent.
How can I feel these verses?
How can I not?
I know myself in knowing this
Bowed down and ashamed.
I repent in dust and ashes.