Whisper in the Silence

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When my head has had its say
When my heart has lost its way
When all is done, at end of day
You whisper in the silence

When the battle has been lost
And my heart had to count the cost
Of the love I thought I’d lost
You whisper in the silence

When I feel the sense of peace
That slowing down can release
And notice the anguish cease
Then you whisper in the silence

Teach me, Lord, not to shout
Not to rage, or storm, or pout
When my strength has all run out
Whisper Lord, in my silence

Remind me I am in your care
And you will always find me where
The sunlight meets the sea
And where you, Lord, find me
As you whisper my Name
Of the ending of my shame
Welcoming me home again
In the silence

A Modern Prodigal – Dare I Hope?

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The road is long
And I’m so weary
I Long for home
And the love left behind

Can I dare hope
That I will be heard
My heart is spent
I must repent
And come to rest

Could I dare He could forgive
And once more I could live
For existing is all I do
Without my God
My life means nothing

Yet broken, torn
I’m straining to see
Those open arms
Ever stretched wide
Reaching out
For me

Could I dare
How could I return?
When all my sins
Burn scarlet
In front of my eyes

I am so lost
I have nothing left to prove
Nothing left to prove
But a stubborn heart
And a foolish heart

For alone I fear the night
That stalks my dreams
Sometimes it seems
The dawn will never come

So, yes, I will go
Return once more
To the arms of my Father
Repenting my stubborn heart
And my foolish pride

For no matter what I do
Or how I fall
He is my all-in-all
For He is love
And love is all
His children

Cursillo Weekend Approaches

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So, in just 12 days, the Shrewsbury Cursillo Weekend for 2019 will begin. As part of the team leading the 3 days, yes, a 3 day weekend, I am responsible for talks and the music. The talks are laity and holiness

As a Catholic, I find these weekends both challenging and very rewarding. We are blessed with Mass every day, although, sorry, I prefer to eat before praying, it means stomach growls aren’t included!

As Vice President for Shrewsbury, I will also be representing the President of Cursillo in England and Wales in what we call our closure, our closing Mass. I’m trying to decide what music we’re using for that as well as everything else.

So, my quandary is, how do I prepare for what is one of the 5 spiritual highlights of my year, the other three are Christmas, Easter and Pentecost, as well as the National Day of Discernment usually in June

The answer is, as every year, I just don’t know, with a full-time job as well as these commitments, I suffer from a distracted mind, earning what a close friend called me, being a slutterby

Here’s hoping the Spirit will take control, as He always does, and inspire us all with His love and leadership of the weekend. After all, we are the team, not the leaders.

Modern Prodigal to be Used on Forthcoming Cursillo Weekend

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When I write, there are times I am just led as the music plays, and sometimes there is a theme. The Prodigal Son is always the first reflection on the Thursday evening when we gather to start our three day weekend. Usually it’s done by the Spiritual Director, but this year, they will not be arriving until the Friday morning, so the task falls to us.

Modern Prodigal – Dare I Hope? is a two layered poem. There have been many times in the last nine years, I have felt as lost as the speaker in the lines. Working through so much family trauma hasn’t been easy, and there have been times when I’ve felt in a lonely place, trapped in the eye of an unwanted and unexpected hurricane. when the fury has gone, I look round to see the ruins of the life that was, and have to work out how to put the pieces back together.

The question “Dare I hope” has been an integral part of working through that trauma. Suffering can make you a deeply aware and changed person, but when so many people close to me, including 3 deaths and 2 life changing events with long term health affected, the ones I relied on most for support were those afflicted, and I felt stranded. Yet, so often, my pride and self-reliance over those years proved to be my downfall. It was only when I began to realise how worn-out, how exhausted those efforts made me, that I started to reach out, no, not out, upwards. I’ve lost count of the prayer, “Oh God I’m tired of all this, please help” was uttered, yet time and again I walked away instead of leaning into Him

I sent the poem to the Lay Director for Shrewsbury Cursillo asking if they thought it suitable for anything on the weekend. Imagine my surprise when they said that it’s going to form part of the reflection that Thursday evening.

It will, I have no doubt, be an emotional reading, but without honesty and integrity, what are we? And with so much despair, anxiety and fear in the world, we truly need to be honest and ask “Dare we hope?” Indeed, the question is not, dare we, but how can we not dare to hope?

How Can I Begin to Tell You?

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How can I begin to even tell you where I am
When so often I don’t seem to understand
Or even if I stand at all?

It was easy when it all began
Life was open, innocent and free
When did those walls of fear and pain
Start closing in on me?

It was so simple then, or did I hide
Choosing to run inside
From fear that was always there

The running wore me out
The raging stole my sleep
Yet in my deepest anguish
Angels did their vigil keep

I can’t tell you it’s over
Because all I know is its begun
And somewhere in my heart
Healing has taken hold

One thing is for sure
The one who holds the cure
Is no stranger to me
Healing for the leper, curing the lame
Raising the dead

If anyone can mend my broken soul
It is He
If anyone can make me whole
It is He

Trust in the Darkness

How many times do we read in Scriptures, “the Lord is close to the broken-hearted”, or “The Lord hears the cry of the poor”? Noble words indeed, but in times of trial the last place the Lord seems to be is close. In these places, where do we go? What do we do? Is it wrong to feel that the Lord is nowhere to be found? Is it wrong to feel bereft, angry or numb? Is it wrong to rage at God? When my family was hit by illness I often felt him to be miles away

If we read the psalms, we realise that this not unusual. David cried his heart out to God, no matter his circumstances, the psalms speak of rejoicing, trial, suffering, victory and defeat. David was also conscious of his sinfulness and consequences. When he lost his son to Bathseba, he was honest enough to admit his infidelity and move on.

I decided, after experiencing the trials and anguish of watching all family illnesses pile up like a crash, that all I could do was hang on, it didn’t matter, in the end, whether I felt God was close, all that mattered was He was. No matter how I feel, the Lord is always there, emotions come and go, but He is always close. That’s all we have to remember, just trust and, step-by-step, move forward.

Come, Wounded One

This poem was written when something very rare happened. I came to a decision, and Father David’s sermon echoed both my decision and the reason I took it. I swear he was telepathic when he wrote that homily.

I have struggled almost daily in the past nine years, trying to readjust to all the events, and work out how to carry on. Sometimes, I feel nothing has changed, but when I do, I am running from the truth.

Those events fundamentally changed me, the pain of watching others suffer wounded me. I am more shattered and broken than I ever imagined I could be. What I have to try and do, and this will take the rest of my life, is accept that I’m not the same. I need to accept my woundedness and brokenness and learn to move on through life. For the wounds and brokenness are painful, but not fatal, and I will survive and learn and grow, as I did before

So, without any further ado, here is the poem

Come, Wounded One

Come, wounded one,
Let me heal you,
Let my love seduce you
Lead you to a quiet place
To make you whole

The world
Wounds you
With a thousand
Tiny cuts
Each one
Than the last

Do you know
Your beauty shines
My heart rejoices
In you
My child

When the world
Works its way
Into a weary heart
Remember I am
And who you are

Nothing else
Need concern you
Come away
And rest
In me
And we will be