June 07, 2007


I've had something that I can only describe as a choking sadness these last few days. A heaviness in my chest that is only relieved by silent tears escaping — until I choke them back again.
The seven month anniversary of the passing of my dear Delle just passed, and I wonder if that is what has sent me reeling. I know that on the 2nd, I sat again and listened to The Deer's Cry and that is when the tears began. I've been off-balance for days, in an almost constant state of near-tears. Perhaps I am more spiritually depleated than I've let on. Perhaps my tank is really near empty, and my guages have just been off.
And I can hear Delle's voice, quoting her grandmother and telling me, "Tears are the hallmark of the Holy Spirit," and I believe that to be true. So, what do these tears want me to recognize, to submit to, to pray into?
I'm listening to John Horan today, a fellow Gertrudian, and letting his wisdom seep into my soul today. And he's brought up my favorite John Shea poem, one that I'd like to reshare, because it's just a really good meditation.

A Prayer to the Pain of Jesus

When crutches were thrown away
did Jesus limp
after the running cripples?

Did his eyes dim
when Bartimaeus saw?

Did life ebb in him
when it flowed in Lazarus?

When lepers leapt in new flesh,
did scales appear
on the back of his hand?

The gospels say
Jesus felt power go out from him
but neglect to say
whether at that moment
pain came in.

Did the Son of God
take on ungrown legs and dead eyes
in the terrifying knowledge
that pain does not go away
only moves on?

John Shea
The Hour of the Unexpected
Allen Tex.: Thomas More, 1992

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