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Poetry and Readings for Sunday Morning

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cross

All this is God
right here in my pea-green house
each morning
and I mean,
though often forget,
to give thanks,
to faint down by the kitchen table
in a prayer of rejoicing
as the holy birds at the kitchen window
peck into their marriage of seeds

-Anne Sexton 20th c.

 

The Sabbath . . . cannot survive in exile, a lonely stranger among days of profanity. It needs the companionship of all the other days. All days of the week must be spiritually consistent with the Day of Days. All our life should be a pilgrimage to the seventh day; the thought and appreciation of what this day may bring to us should be ever present in our minds. For the Sabbath is the counterpoint to living; the melody sustained throughout all agitations and vicissitudes, which menace our conscience; our awareness of God’s presence in the world. What we are depends on what the Sabbath is to us.

– Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel 20th c.

hugging outside church

The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases, his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning.

– Lamentations 3:22-23a

 

Next to the Blessed Sacrament itself, your neighbor is the holiest object presented to your senses.

– C.S. Lewis 20th c.

 

There was a time when I wondered why more people did not go to church. Taken purely as a human recreation, what could be more delightful, more unexpected than to enter a venerable and lavishly scaled building kept warm and clean for use one or two hours a week and to sit and stand in unison and sing and recite creeds and petitions that are like paths worn smooth in the raw terrain of our hearts? To listen, or not to listen, as a poorly paid but resplendently robed man strives to console us with scraps of ancient epistles and halting accounts, hopelessly compromised by words, of those intimations of divine joy that are like pain in that, their instant gone, the mind cannot remember or believe them; to witness windows donated by departed patrons, altar flowers arranged by withdrawn hands and the whole considered spectacle lustrous beneath its patina of inheritance; to pay for all of this, no more than we are moved to give – surely in all democracy there is nothing like it. Indeed, it is the most available democratic experience. We vote less than once a year. Only in church and at the polls are we actually given our supposed value, the soul unit of one, with its nominal arithmetic of equality: one equals one equals one.

– John Updike 20th c.

 

Time given to Christ is never time lost, but is rather time gained so that our relationships  and indeed our whole life may become more profoundly human.

– Blessed Pope John Paul II

 

Find more poetry and prayers for Sunday mornings here.