Wednesday, 3 February 2016

Being in the Hands of God

Divine Hands
Divine hands, chiselled, strong, reaching out, nurturing, healing  
Moulding clay with expertise beyond all of mankind’s imagining
Embracing, holding, enduring through centuries, creating always
Safe, secure in the folds of worn palms, sheltered for all our days
Majestic touch, invigorating, transforming, caressing life’s journey
Mercifully cleansing the bruises of the souls searching for eternity.
Fr. Patrick Brennan © 2016 all rights reserved

Being in the Hands of God
The canticle from 1 Chronicles for the Morning Mass says
“In your hand lie strength and power, in your hand it is to give greatness and strength to all.”
There is an image of God that is popular in Christian spirituality and that is of being held safely and securely in the palms of God’s hands. Isaiah 49:16 proclaims God saying...
“See, upon the palms of my hands I have engraved you.”
The imagery from the scriptures relating to God’s hands are consoling, comforting and reassuring. God’s touch is profoundly healing. We read that in the words of the Old Testament, we find that God is far from removed from the day to day struggle of his people, he is ready to guide, to lead, and sometimes chastise too, yet at the very heart, his touch is merciful and all healing. This refreshing touch of God is found embodied in the Word made Flesh, Jesus, the Son of God. The touch of God is felt by his people today in many ways, in sadness in joy, in hope and hopelessness, in summer or winter, the touch of God is nurturing, invigorating, and transforming. I wrote this poem as an expression of the awesome profound, wonderful nature of God’s touch in the midst of life’s struggle.

Tuesday, 19 January 2016

The Dark Night of the Soul

The Dark Night of the Soul
The dark night wraps itself around me like a blanket
I feel trapped in a moment, giving in to worry and fret
My soul, bitter, arid, fearful, waiting to be consoled
A once youthful vigour succumbed to the rigours of growing old
I am consumed with anxiety, where is the God of my comfort?
A melancholy hovers above me, in its influence I am caught
Nothing moves, joy stays away, mercy hides behind the corner
Lethargy holds me tight, grasping my breath, my energies won’t stir
A heavy heart drags within, weighed down by a world of sin,
a sigh expresses the arrival of doubt, who comes to stay awhile, as
quiet is replaced by its chatter, by uncertainty, that makes such a din.
Words that once blissfully formed prayers escape from me, desert me
The keen sight of faith for now abandons me, from faith I wish to flee
I cannot comprehend anymore
I have no desire to discover, no enthusiasm for life’s beauty to explore
I am lost, alone, afraid, overwhelmed by my insignificance….
Indulge me once more My God, with your sheer magnificence
Chase far away the pursuing Phantom of the dark night
Allow me to savour once again the brilliance of your light
Banish this dreadful dark night from my trembling soul
In your kindness recreate my vision, make me once again whole.
Fr. Patrick Brennan © 2016 all rights reserved

I enjoy prayer, I find it to be a raising of the mind and heart to God, the God who sustains, and nourishes, and gives me life. I seek prayer, loving each opportunity to relax in the quiet of the Lord’s friendship. Most days are fleeting, hours pass quickly, prayer delights, soothes, comforts, fills the week with joy. To like prayer means to work on praying often! For there are times in the spiritual life when prayer is a chore, arid, dry, a struggle to maintain. These times are brief, but intense and can be unsettling. The soul is sometimes assailed with doubt, with the dark night. The only solution is to persevere, the soul will come though the other side, the light returns! It is a bit like feeling that the more the soul feels that it is deprived of hope during these brief times of darkness, the sweeter the return of the light of hope! I wrote this poem to describe the feeling of a dark night for the soul, and to express also the kindness of God that is never far away.

Sunday, 17 January 2016

Cana to the Cross

Cana to the Cross
Water, changed, at a wedding ceremony
Wine, poured out, in joyful celebration
Forgiveness, offered for all, for eternity
Blood, poured out, in a brutal crucifixion
Faith, lived out, through embracing mystery
Words, poured out, in hopeful anticipation
Mercy, revealed, from the blood stained tree
Life, poured out, in his sacrifice, his libation
Fr. Patrick Brennan © 2016 all rights reserved

Sunday, 10 January 2016

On Their Own

On Their Own
Each day goes by without a word
Today another voice is rarely heard
Silence is imposed by the onset of age
Quietness the final chapter on each page
Loneliness visited here some years before
When only a few visitors came to the door
The window portrays a world rushing by
No time to stop, or to call in, or to say hi
The seasons change from winter to spring
In my heart I wonder what autumn will bring
Summer came and went so long ago now
Bereft of company, just left to cope somehow
Life is full, with others sharing the journeying
Empty, when marooned with life’s clock ticking
Thousands share this fate, to remain quite alone
To end their days and nights forsaken, all on their own.
Fr. Patrick Brennan © 2016 all rights reserved

In the course of my ministry I come across people who are quite alone. Aged and isolated, desperate for some company, for someone to share a word with. This poem expresses the feeling of being in this situation, it is not my situation, but could quite easily be so. I pray for the lonely, the unwanted, those who feel uncared for and abandoned. May the loneliness they experience be eased by the kindness of others. Spare a thought for the lonely, may our hearts be moved to bring joy to those we meet.

Friday, 8 January 2016

Love Captivates

Love Captivates

Winter comes calling,
With frozen dew softly falling.
I awake feeling cold, tired too,
A new day, an old heart to renew.
Gently I resume my life’s journey,
Moving towards heaven so swiftly.
The air is bracing as I venture outside,
Aware that he walks close by my side.
The church ahead is a welcome sight,
Inside the promise of his abiding light.
Once within I seek the sure sanctuary,
To continue my way towards eternity.
Here spring is perpetual, summer awaits
Prayer combats fatigue, here love captivates.

Fr. Patrick Brennan © 2015 all rights reserved

Wednesday, 6 January 2016

Seeking Silence

Seeking Silence

Seeking silence
by an act of prayerful solitude,
to fill that place within
where the “Word of Love”
has been spoken in time;
uttered in the cry of a tiny infant,
born in a humble stable,
to a pure, faithful woman;
sheltered by a spouse most chaste,
witnessed by shepherds and kings,
heralded by angels, and the throngs of heaven.

Seeking silence
by an act of simple trusting
by an attitude shaped by his beatitudes
pure and gentle, merciful and peaceful,
in poverty of spirit, respectful,
comforted in grief, while seeking justice
loving enemies, anticipating heaven;
called to follow, to listen, to love,
and to hesitate in counting the cost
called to shape, to mould
for all eternity, a disciple’s listening heart.

Fr. Patrick Brennan © 2015 all rights reserved

The tale of the fox who became a cat, and then became a fox again.

The tale of the fox who became a cat, and then became a fox again.

Sitting by my window I can see the garden. My garden is brightly coloured, adorned with flowers that sport many shades. I delight in this treasure that is my garden, the joy it brings me thrills my heart. I watch this early evening as the sun drops from the sky, its falling rays shoot out an orange glow upon the garden. Then I saw the visitor to the garden in the corner of my eye. It moved quickly, slinking forwards, moving towards the rose bush that spreads out in the middle of the garden. It was a fox, I could see the points of its ears, the swish of its tail, the slender dog like body, that disappeared into the folds of the roses. This fox barked, a whining, soulless cry, it was on a mission. The fox, a relentless ball of unkempt hair, seeking its destination, and here in my garden, it had arrived. The animal emerged seconds later but to my surprise it was now a cat, a bushy tailed, regal, sleek being, that walked so softly on its paws. It came to a comfortable stop and leisurely sat down, it purred contently. It cleaned itself, without it seemed a worry in the world, exuding to my eye, a care free stance; sticking out its tongue, and lavishing great care, the cat licked its own fur. The frantic fox, all movement and guile that had entered my garden had become a serene, contented cat. The cat turned, facing me, looking up to where I sat. Then it turned, and went back to the rose bush, and I could no longer see it. As I watched and had lost sight of the cat, it emerged again all of a sudden, but now it had become a fox again, all business like and purposeful. It raced across the grass and fled the garden through a hole in the fence on the far side. The fox who had become a cat was now a fox again! I see the fox many times in my waking day; frantic, rushing around, never contented, it haunts me, taunts me too. I welcome the cat, soft and soothing, gentle and carefree!
(Based upon the parable of Martha and Mary. Luke 10:38-42)