An Invitation to Happiness

PoppiesWe haven’t had any poetry in ages and no Mary Oliver for some considerable stretch.  Shame on me… and time to put things aright.

These lines are from her poem “Poppies.”

But I also say this: that light
is an invitation
to happiness,
and that happiness,

when it’s done right,
is a kind of holiness,
palpable and redemptive.
Inside the bright fields,

touched by their rough and spongy gold,
I am washed and washed
in the river
of earthly delight—

and what are you going to do—
what can you do
about it—
deep, blue night?

You can read the entire poem here.

Knowing the Shepherd

19391526Dan Schutte begins his Walking the Sacred Path: Spiritual Exercises for Today with the following wonderful anecdote:

A group of business professionals was gathered for their monthly luncheon. As was their custom once each year, they invited their pastors to join them. After the meal they had scheduled a famous actor to provide some entertainment as people were enjoying coffee and dessert. The actor stood before them dramatically reciting lines from famous plays and poetry. At one point he invited requests from those in attendance. One elderly priest rose and spoke. “Would you recite for us Psalm 23?” The actor, a bit surprised by the unusual request, finally agreed. “Father,” he said,”I’ll agree to your request under one condition. After I recite the psalm, I’d be honored if you would then recite it too.” Reluctantly, the elderly priest agreed.

So the actor presented a stunningly beautiful recitation of Psalm 23, to which people responded with enthusiastic applause. Then he turned to the priest and said, “Okay, Father, your turn.” So the priest rather hesitantly stood and began reciting the famous psalm. “The Lord is my shepherd. There is nothing I shall want.”

When he finished, there was no applause, just hushed silence. The people, so moved by his simple recitation, were sitting with tears running down their faces. After a few moments the actor rose and spoke. “Ladies and gentlemen, I spoke to your ears. But this man has spoken to your hearts. And here’s the difference. I know Psalm 23. But this man knows the Shepherd.”


Monday Music Moment – The Mission / How Great Thou Art

A few weeks ago when I went looking for more Piano Guys music, I also came across their mash-up of the theme from The Mission and “How Great Thou Art.”  I love it, although to my untrained ears it sounds like a whole lot of Mission with only a sprinkling of the other hymn!


Wisdom Story – 214

TR001658Another little doozie from Tony de Mello:

The Master never ceased to attack the notions about God that people entertain.

“If your God comes to your rescue and gets you out of trouble,” he would say, “it is time you started searching for the true God.”

When asked to elaborate, this is the story he told:

“A man left a brand-new bicycle unattended at the marketplace while he went about his shopping.

He only remembered the bicycle the following day – and rushed to the marketplace, expecting it would have been stolen. The bicycle was exactly where he had left it.

Overwhelmed with joy, he rushed to a nearby temple to thank God for having kept his bicycle safe only to find, when he got out of the temple, that the bicycle was gone.”