And I pray...
Said one oyster to a neighboring oyster, “I have a very great pain within me. It is heavy and round and I am in distress.”
And the other oyster replied with haughty complacence, “Praise be to the heavens and to the sea, I have no pain within me. I am well and whole both within and without.”
At that moment a crab was passing by and heard the two oysters, and he said to the one who was well and whole both within and without, “Yes, you are well and whole; but the pain that your neighbor bears is a pearl of exceeding beauty.”
(Khalil Gibran, The Wanderer: The Pearl)
I am filled with pearl... which is what my name is -- mar (sea) garet (pebble).... also, a meaning of flowers... like the daisy....
And, I am filled with love. And joy. Despite the pearl. Because of the pearl. And, my work these past few days has been rather wordless....
And Mary Magdalen says (Khalil Gibran, Jesus the Son of Man)
His mouth was like the heart of a pomegranate, and the shadows in His eyes were deep. And He was gentle, like a man mindful of his own strength.
In my dreams I beheld the kings of the earth standing in awe in His presence. I would speak of His face, but how shall I? It was like night without darkness, and like day without the noise of day. It was a sad face, and it was a joyous face.
And well I remember how once He raised His hand towards the sky, and His parted fingers were like the branches of an elm.
And I remember Him pacing the evening. He was not walking. He Himself was a road above the road; even as a cloud above the earth that would descend to refresh the earth.
But when I stood before Him and spoke to him, He was a man, and His face was powerful to behold. And He said to me, "What would you, Miriam?"
I would not answer Him, but my wings enfolded my secret, and I was made warm.
And because I could bear His light no more, I turned and walked away, but not in shame. I was only shy, and I would be alone, with His fingers upon the strings of my heart.
Joel brought out a chair, and sat with the dogs and watched me paint. That was before I learned (again) that it is not good to paint the underside of a porch with an open mouth....
--so my prayer has been silent... and mostly wordless....
And, on prayer (Khalil Gibran, The Prophet: On Prayer)
Then a priestess said, “Speak to us of Prayer.”And if it is for your comfort to pour your darkness into space, it is also for your delight to pour forth the dawning of your heart. And if you cannot but weep when your soul summons you to prayer, she should spur you again and yet again, though weeping, until you shall come laughing. ... God listens not to your words save when He Himself utters them through your lips.... listen in the stillness of the night you shall hear them saying in silence "Our God, who art our winged self...."
And he answered, saying:
You pray in your distress and in your need; would that you might pray also in the fullness of your joy and in your days of abundance. For what is prayer but the expansion of yourself into the living ether?
And if it is for your comfort to pour your darkness into space, it is also for your delight to pour forth the dawning of your heart. And if you cannot but weep when your soul summons you to prayer, she should spur you again and yet again, though weeping, until you shall come laughing.
When you pray you rise to meet in the air those who are praying at that very hour, and whom save in prayer you may not meet. Therefore let your visit to that temple invisible be for naught but ecstasy and sweet communion.
For if you should enter the temple for no other purpose than asking you shall not receive.
And if you should enter into it to humble yourself you shall not be lifted:
Or even if you should enter into it to beg for the good of others you shall not be heard.
It is enough that you enter the temple invisible. I cannot teach you how to pray in words. God listens not to your words save when He Himself utters them through your lips. And I cannot teach you the prayer of the seas and the forests and the mountains.
But you who are born of the mountains and the forests and the seas can find their prayer in your heart; and if you but listen in the stillness of the night you shall hear them saying in silence:
“Our God, who art our winged self, it is thy will in us that willeth.
It is thy desire in us that desireth.
It is thy urge in us that would turn our nights, which are thine, into days which are thine also.
We cannot ask thee for aught, for thou knowest our needs before they are born in us:
Thou art our need; and in giving us more of thyself thou givest us all.”
It is enough. Just that.
On my favorite Sunday of the year --with Thomas... he must be my great-grandfather....
Khalil Gibran, Jesus, the Son of Man: Thomas
On the forefather of his doubts
My grandfather who was a lawyer once said, “Let us observe truth, but only when truth is made manifest unto us.”
When Jesus called me I heeded Him, for His command was more potent than my will; yet I kept my counsel.
When He spoke and the others were swayed like branches in the wind, I listened immovable. Yet I loved Him.
Three years ago He left us, a scattered company to sing His name, and to be His witnesses unto the nations.
At that time I was called Thomas the Doubter. The shadow of my grandfather was still upon me, and always I would have truth made manifest.
I would even put my hand in my own wound to feel the blood ere I would believe in my pain.
Now a man who loves with his heart yet holds a doubt in his mind, is but a slave in a galley who sleeps at his oar and dreams of his freedom, till the lash of the master wakes him.
I myself was that slave, and I dreamed of freedom, but the sleep of my grandfather was upon me. My flesh needed the whip of my own day.
Even in the presence of the Nazarene I had closed my eyes to see my hands chained to the oar.
Doubt is a pain too lonely to know that faith is his twin brother.
Doubt is a foundling unhappy and astray, and though his own mother who gave him birth should find him and enfold him, he would withdraw in caution and in fear.
For Doubt will not know truth till his wounds are healed and restored.
I doubted Jesus until He made Himself manifest to me, and thrust my own hand into His very wounds.
Then indeed I believed, and after that I was rid of my yesterday and the yesterdays of my forefathers.
The dead in me buried their dead; and the living shall live for the Anointed King, even for Him who was the Son of Man.
Yesterday they told me that I must go and utter His name among the Persians and the Hindus. I shall go. And from this day to my last day, at dawn and at eventide, I shall see my Lord rising in majesty and I shall hear Him speak.
Our Father, who art our winged self,
Thou alone art holy.
Thy kingdom is among us.
It is your will in us that willeth.
Feed us that bread.
Forgive us when we stray.
We forgive others.
Sustain us through the disasters
and the evil which comes our way.
For you are all, in all.