This week, a reflection on Easter by Frederica Mathewes-Green:
Looking ahead to Palm Sunday, a poem and a meditation by the English poet Malcolm Guite.
In a preface to a book of his poems, Abraham Joshua Heschel wrote, “I did not ask for success; I asked for wonder. And You gave it to me.” A Jewish rabbi, his wise and prophetic words often speak also to Christians. Here’s just a sample of his writing from a wonderful anthology entitled I Asked for Wonder :
In mirrors I see myself. But in mirrors made of glass and silver I never see the whole of myself. I see the me I want to see, and I ignore the rest.
Walt Whitman’s poem “Song of Myself” begins with the line, “I lean and loaf at my ease observing a spear of summer grass.” This is not a bad way to begin the practice of contemplative prayer.
My favorite character in literature is Father Zossima, the saintly old monk who forms the spiritual center of gravity in Dostoyevsky’s last and greatest novel, The Brothers Karamazov. On his deathbed, in the climactic scene of the first half of the book, Zossima reflects in the following words on his childhood and on the biblical story of Job:
What’s your favorite potato chip? Mine is Miss Vicky’s lime and black pepper. Does this matter? Absolutely! Sometimes little things can make the difference between connecting with God, or not.
People like to ask, “What kind of a God lets little children suffer?” Really they are asking, “What kind of a God lets children suffer before they are even old enough to know the comfort of faith?”