Wednesday, July 18, 2018

Receive The Body of Christ: The Weight of Glory

I slept at the shelter last week, drifting off to the sounds of the beeping delivery trucks at the Acme across the street on an air mattress in the hallway. The Virgin Mother and I stood guard at the door. I had arrived after everyone had settled in for the night, the lights dimmed and the air hovering between warm and cool. It reminded me of a summer's night at Wernersville.  Just enough of a breeze stirring, a sufficiency of grace, a heaping measure of silence.

I was up at 5:30, washing my face, thinking as I did of Jane Hirshfield's early morning icy, awakening slap.  5:38 am, the van appeared at the door, simultaneously the sun appeared over the horizon, its rays careening down the still and dim hallway. A little one popped out into the dimness, bright pink skirt, and brighter blue shoes, twirling in the sunlight with the motes of dust.

Two mothers calmly juggled babies and bags out the door.  And the little one raised her arms, wordlessly asking for a boost to the van.  I leaned down and picked her up. Receive the body of Christ. Amen.

I was surprised at how little glory can weigh, and how much.

Jane Hirshfield's poem, A Cedary Fragrance, recalls the early morning routine in the Zen monastery where she trained.

Read this bit from C.S. Lewis's Weight of Glory

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