The Beast

This is one of the readings for the feast of the Assumption. This haiku is dedicated to the people of Gaza, the Ukraine, Ferguson, MO and all people who are enduring the attacks of the Beast, the evil Leviathan.

Revelation 12

 

Heavenly temple

Filled with the ark of the Word

A symbol of hope.

 

The woman appeared

Clothed in stars, the sun and moon

Wailing to give birth.

 

The woman represents

All God’s people—old and new

Seeking life’s fullness.

 

Eternal feminine

Life giving nurturing love

Prevails forever.

 

Church of the Christ

Assaulted by the empire

Trying to destroy life.

 

Dragon Leviathan

Hurling down the stars above

Thrashing all about.

 

Technique* driving on

Destroying life in abundance-

Alienation abounds.

 

The woman gives birth

God takes up the child; the Christ

Will overcome the beast.

 

Safe in a desert

The woman enjoys refuge

Awaiting the new age.

 

From desert places

Comes rich life in abundance—

God-Love abounding.

 

The desert of silence

Will overcome the deathly din

Of evil’s empires.

 

Empire will not rule.

God’s kin-dom overcomes evil

And all will be well.

 

Indeed all is well

And all will ever be well

In God’s Love Kin-dom.

 

Sing praise to the Christ

Who leads us on shalom** paths-

With life in abundance.

 

*Jacques Ellul, French philosopher, describes the fact that in our technological society, technique orders our lives. Technique relies on reason to find the most efficient solutions to problems and challenges. Technique excludes morality and God from life choices. As such it is a false god, an idol.

 

**Health, wholeness, well being.

Psalm 16

Matthias Church Sanctuary, Budapest

Matthias Church Sanctuary, Budapest

Thomas Merton and Jacques Ellul, French philosopher, shared common views about technology and its potential to sap us of our true selves. While technology enhances many human endeavors, technique, Ellul’s term, points to the dangers in a world that focuses totally on reason and the best, most efficient technological solutions to problems. In Psalm 16, the psalmist reminds us that God alone is our allotted portion and cup, our sanctuary. In God alone will we find our true selves, the image of God dwelling deep within us yearning and moaning to come to full exposure in our lives.

This is a psalm about the temple as sanctuary. The temple is a symbol of God’s presence to us and in us.

Psalm 16

You are my refuge.

I place all my trust in you.

You alone are God.

 

Others chase idols—

Power, pride, and possessions.

Technique* rules their lives.

 

Their choices add to

Their sorrows, woes, and troubles.

Their lives are in vain.

 

But you are my God—

My allotted portion and my cup.

I find peace in you.

 

I lead a good life.

You fill me up with grace.

And blessings abound.

 

Even in the night

When darkness encompasses,

You give me counsel.

 

You are with me now

You save me from deep despair

You promise me life.

 

In you I rejoice

I am filled with shalom hope

I glorify your name.

 

*Jacques Ellul, French philosopher, describes the fact that in our technological society, technique orders our lives. Technique relies on reason to find the most efficient solutions to problems and challenges. Technique excludes morality and God from life choices. As such it is a false god, an idol. In the thought of Herbert Marcuse, German philosopher, technique makes us one-dimensional people with no real choices in life.

Psalm 149

Cardinal on my feeder

Cardinal on my feeder

Psalm 149

Sing hallelujah!
Ever giving praise to God
Who is faithful.

Strum on your guitars,
Play the chords on your keyboards,
Blast away on trumpets.

Our God cares for us-
Exalting all the humble
Lifting up the meek.

If we have any victory
Over those who dare oppress us,
It is from our God.

Eschew violence
Always placing trust in God
Who delivers us.

Place your trust in God.
We are powerless over foes.
Only God can save us.

We should always sing
Our praises to God in churches,
In the assembly of faith.

Ever faithful and true
God will lead us to green fields
Giving us banquets.

Bubbling flowing streams
Will bring us God’s peace and love.
Then we shall overcome.

Give glory to God
Give thanks for loving kindness,
Sing halleluia!

© J. Patrick Mahon, 2014

God Ever with You

God Ever with You

Be still and know God
Dwelling deep down in your heart-
God ever with you.

Always sow good seed
The Gardener at your side-
God ever with you.

Above and below
Under, over and around-
God ever with you.

Creation reveals
God’s stardust still glowing-
God ever with you.

The faces of the poor
Disguising the face of God-
God ever with you.

Love, care and mercy
Forgiveness now overflowing-
God ever with you.

Steadfast and faithful
Loving kindness bestowing-
God ever with you.

© J. Patrick Mahon, 2014

Becoming More

Flaring forth

Flaring forth

Today’s readings from Romans and Matthew strike at the heart of Jesus’ message. Understood properly they hold the truth of Jesus’ teachings.

First we have Paul bewailing the fact that he does that which he would not do but blaming it on sin residing in his flesh. We have to divorce our thinking from Platonic dualism—flesh and spirit. Flesh does not equal the body. This is a statement about the human condition. It is about our survival instinct driven by the reptilian brain getting in the way of our becoming more. How difficult it is for us to transcend our survival instinct. Taking the Genesis story literally (always a bad practice), Augustine and others tagged the condition as original sin. The Genesis story is a symbolic description of the human condition. But there never was a fall from a human state of perfection. Evolutionary theory as envisioned by Teilhard Chardin sees the cosmos in a state of becoming more. Chardin calls our struggle for becoming more Christogenesis. Paul gets it right. He is powerless to transcend his instincts without the power of grace-filled love, which is Christ Jesus incarnate. The only way to transcend our survival instinct is through the love power Jesus sends us in his Holy Spirit.

The Risen Christ in Matthew 11 invites us who labor and are burned to come to him. His love makes the burden of our angst over becoming more bearable. As we struggle to become our face before we were born, we learn that love overcomes the survival instinct the Risen Christ. Our God is merciful and compassionate always with us in our human struggles whatever they may be. Our burden lightens and our angst is assuaged when we rest in the love of God. Our pilgrimage is toward the Omega Point—all things brought to perfection in Christ. On the lifelong journey, the Risen Christ calls to be more than what we are but is ever merciful when we fall short.

Psalm 138

Psalm 138

Crows praise God.

Crows praise God.

Again I praise God
God’s hesed and emun grace
And give me new life.

I want to sing praise
God’s loving deliverance
Has brought me back home.

Exiled, alienated
No more in foreign places
I dwell in God’s grace.

God resurrects me
And lifts me out of the depths
Bringing me new hope.

God loves the faithful
Who live in God’s Torah ways
Loving one and all.

God casts down sinners
Who refuse the call of grace
To become more.

In the death’s valley
I walk on, I am not afraid.
God walks with me.

Praise our faithful God
Who loves us into new life-
God’s love sustains us.

Hesed = loving kindness
Emun = faithfulness
The playlists use these two words to describe God throughout the psalter.

Psalm 63

[A word of explanation. I read a psalm daily, read the commentary on it in Brueggemann's Psalms and then meditate on the psalm by writing my reflection on it in haiku. Father Richard Gwyn has written The Psalms in Haiku in which he translates each psalm verse by verse. This meditative practice keeps my monkey mind under control most of the time.]

Owl,OwletwPsalm 63

I thirst for God-life
Like someone desert stranded-
With unquenched thirst.

Just like David of old
Escaping the wrath of Saul
Seeking God-refuge.

I am full of thirst
Like a parched arid desert
Looking for water.

God satisfies my thirst
In creation’s vast temple
Nurtured by God’s dew.

I know when I call
That God is ever faithful
Giving life water.

God will rescue me
From lying deceitful lips
And enemy ploys.

I seek God’s solace
When scoundrels lie about me
God will be faithful.

When they attack me
I know that I can cry out
To a loving God.

God’s mercy and love
Will sustain me as I go
Through this dry desert.

Gather to praise
The God of life-giving love
Who quenches all thirst.

© J. Patrick Mahon, 2014

Psalm 51

Bird Family Meal

Bird Family Meal

Psalm 51

Broken before you
Now seeking divine mercy
Your steadfast love.

You know all my sins
I have often sinned against you
From my youth to now.

Wash me and cleanse me
Gift me with a renewed heart
Love abides iin me.

I shall have full life
Grace life is empowering
My renewed spirit.

Now will I praise you
At the communion table feast
Bread bestowing life.

I will shout out praise
Your divine mercy finds me
And loves me to life.

You alone are God
Dwelling incarnate within me
I am one with you.