i thank you God

e.e. cummings’ poem “i thank You God for most this amazing day” is a lyric of thanksgiving. Read it here. Here it is read by Cummings himself. (Click here if you are getting this post by e-mail.)

The Narrow Door

I love the narrow door— You know, the one at the school Where parents and children cram in At the beginning of the day at Saint Paul, Rushing to beat the bell.   They are happy or tired or stressed, But always will smile and thank you For holding the door open So they can rush by before the classes and go up to their rooms.   Elsewhere the doors are Wide and Efficient and […]

The God of My Beginning and End

Another prayer from The Ignatian Adventure by Kevin O’Brien, SJ. This time it is by Karl Rahner, SJ [1904-1984]. I should like to speak with you, my God, and yet what else can I speak of but you? Indeed, could anything at all exist which had not been present with you from all eternity, which didn’t have its true home and most intimate explanation in your mind and heart? Isn’t everything I ever say really […]

Daniel Berrigan at 90

Daniel Berrigan, SJ, celebrated his 90th birthday yesterday.  We older folk remember him as a charismatic anti-war activist in the 60s and 70s.  He was a powerful advocate for non-violence and social justice for many years. He is also a poet of some renown.  Here is one of his lyrics. Miracles Were I God almighty, I would ordain, rain fall lightly where old men trod, no death in childbirth, neither infant nor mother, ditches firm […]

Good Friday, 1613, Riding Westward

From the poem of that name by John Donne: Could I behold those hands, which span the poles And tune all spheres at once, pierced with those holes? Could I behold that endless height, which is Zenith to us and our antipodes, Humbled below us ? or that blood, which is The seat of all our soul’s, if not of His, Made dirt of dust, or that flesh which was worn By God for His […]

Annunciations All the Time

My wife disturbed my Advent bliss a couple of days ago when she showed me a poem. I had been sailing along smoothly, humming “O Come, O Come Emmanuel,” lighting the Advent wreath, and reading Isaiah’s prophecies. Then Susan handed me “Annunciation” by Denise Levertov. These are the lines that troubled my world. Aren’t there annunciations of one sort or another in most lives?                               Some unwillingly undertake great destinies, enact them in sullen pride, uncomprehending. […]

Prayer on the Run

I can pray as I bake this pie peeling the apples rolling the dough sprinkling the sugar making it right. This is my work of love, Lord. Bless the ones who will partake who will taste and be glad. Bless them, and bless me, too. I can pray as I search the stores which scarf or book or teacup says her name? bears her colors? Will it help her remember Grandma or have a little […]


i thank You God for most this amazing day: for the leaping greenly spirits of trees and a blue true dream of sky;and for everything which is natural which is infinite which is yes (i who have died am alive again today, and this is the sun’s birthday;this is the birth day of life and love and wings:and of the gay great happening illimitably earth) how should tasting touching hearing seeing breathing any-lifted from the […]

Mary Karr’s Conversion

The poet Mary Karr has just published a new book, Lit, in which she talks about her conversion to Catholicism as well her struggle with alcoholism.  She mentions in a recent interview that the Spiritual Exercises were an important part of her spiritual awakening. That’s all the excuse I need to mention Karr here, because she is one of my favorite poets.  Here’s a sample: Disgraceland Before my first communion, I clung to doubt          as […]

To Live in the Mercy of God

by Denise Levertov To lie back under the tallest oldest trees. How far the stems rise, rise before ribs of shelter open! To live in the mercy of God. The complete sentence too adequate, has no give. Awe, not comfort. Stone, elbows of stony wood beneath lenient moss bed. Read the whole poem here.

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