El NiÑo: Feeling the Heat, Catching Fire

El Nino heat here it comes, increasing our thirst for water, reminding us of how precious water is and water-powered power sources. Fr. Fiel tried to catch the heat by posting a beautiful prayer asking for rain for our parched lands. When i read this poem by Thomas Merton, i thought it’s one way of befriending the invisible fire going on, a Lenten one, minding it to be on our good, humanizing side the way we befriend those fire-burnt ashes marked on our foreheads. Here’s the poem:  

Unless the eye catch fire
The God will not be seen.
Unless the ear catch fire
The God will not be heard.
Unless the tongue catch fire
The God will not be named.
Unless the heart catch fire
The God will not be known.

Everything that touches you shall burn you.
Do not ask where it will be,
or when it will be,
or how it will be.
On a mountain or in prison
or in a desert or in a concentration camp
or in a hospital or at Gethsemane.

It does not matter.
So do not ask me, because I am not going to tell you.
You will not know, until you are in it.
But you shall taste the true solitude of my anguish and of my poverty.
I shall lead you into high places of my joy and you shall die with me.
And find all things in mercy
which has created you for this end
that you may become the brother of God
and learn to know the Christ of the burnt men.

 

from: John Carden. A Procession of Prayers: Meditations and Prayers from Around the World (Morehouse Publishing, 1998, p.103)

Photo credit: Hamed Parham

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