by John j. Boyer
godtouches Digital Ministry, Inc.
All rights reserved
May I tell of your love in song and in story,
For the tale of your love is the tale of your glory.
To what shall I your love compare
Of all the things in earth and sky?
What reaches out to light and air,
And binds together low and high?
Your love resembles curving space, *
which holds all matter in its hand,
Whose fingers focus light's quick trace,
Whose curve can even time command.
Its cosmic web embraces all,
The wheels of stars, the grains of dust,
The airy atoms; great or small,
Nothing can escape its thrust.
Just so, your love embraces all:
Each angel, sparrow, seed and hair,
Each human soul despite its fall,
As though it were your only care.
* Gravity, but it wouldn't fit in the meter, and curving space is more poetic.
You are the tiny mustard seed
Your Father took and planted on the earth,
Counting for little to the world indeed,
Yet dwarfing all the kings in future worth.
You are the tiny bit of yeast
The Spirit buries deep within our hearts,
In hearts that differ little from the beast.
And yet your presence spreads to all our parts.
You are the single grain of wheat
Which fell upon the ground and seemed to die.
Yet you are he who cannot know defeat.
Your fruit shall ever grow and multiply.
In you the humblest and the highest meet.
In you the world is made and made complete.
Why, Lord, have You created me
And all the rest of humankind?
A proud and sinful lot are we,
Though weak of body, soul and mind.
The universe obeys Your laws.
Your mind's impress it bears within.
Though we may think we see its flaws,
It cannot ever fail or sin.
The angels see You face to face;
Your vibrant life they bear within.
But those who sinned have spurned Your grace,
And cannot ever turn again.
So why have You created me,
My God, in Whom I move and live? I dare to ask You: Could it be
You wanted someone to forgive?
"What man among you with a hundred sheep
Would not, if he should find that one had strayed,
Leave all the others on the grassy steep
And seek that single one with heart dismayed?
"And when he found it would he not rejoice?
Not check its feet and limbs with patient care,
Not soothe its trembling fear with hand and voice,
And then upon his shoulders homeward bear?
"Arrived at home he would his neighbors call
Saying: 'Rejoice with me, for I have found
The sheep which I had lost!' The angels all
Rejoice with me and make a joyful sound
"Over a single sinner who repents
Far more than nine and ninety self-styled saints."
Jesus, meek and humble of heart,
Make my heart like yours.
Let wrath not reign in any part,
For only Love endures.
Jesus, joyful washer of feet,
Teach my heart to serve,
Not as a job I must complete,
But with a smile and verve.
Jesus, tender healer of ill,
Heal my heart of grief.
Your peace and joy and love instill,
And You Yourself as chief.
"Observe this widow, how her back is bent
From years of toil to earn a scanty crust
Washing the clothes of wealthy fops intent
on feasting grandly and the joys of lust.
"See now these others, standing tall and straight,
Their bodies manicured with perfect care,
Arrayed in garments for affairs of state,
With not an extra spot or speck or hair.
"These of their abundance have given so;
She of her penury has given little.
But all their lavishness is but for show,
While she has given all, her every tittle.
"Therefore I tell you, she is greatly blest,
For she has given more than all the rest."
This is my mother as she might have been,
Had she been childless and reduced to toil
To earn a scanty crust, the drudge of men
And women living off of heartless spoil.
Or like that widow of the town of nain,
Whose only son had died, whose sobs and tears
So moved my heart that I could not refrain
From granting her the hope of all the years.
And yet my mother's son shall also die.
But she will not despair. Her first assent
To God's eternal love shall magnify
His glory through the People's whole extent.
For she has given most and given best.
Therefore shall all the ages call her blest.
When the apostle to the Gentiles wrote
His ode to love, he said what love is not,
But first of all its virtues, most to note,
He cited patience, which the world forgot.
And when he came to reckon up the fruits
Bestowed on those whose birth is from above:
Here, too, of all the outward attributes,
Patience was foremost as the sign of love.
Patience is peaceful waiting till the time has come
To act, then acting strongly, waiting with respect
While creatures grow and till the Lord shall come,
While doing what we can, without neglect.
Measure your love with patience as the rod,
Patience with self, with others and with God.
(The following scripture passages are of interest. For verse one, 1 Corinthians, Chapter 13. For verse two, Galatians 5:22 and John 3:3.)
Were I the only soul on earth
That ever had been led astray,
You still had come with lowly birth,
And still have died to show the way.
Teach me, Lord, to seek the best
In all I do at your request,
Whether from myself or others,
In the service of our brothers.