Enjoy the following on metanoia (repentance) by Scott Cairns.
Repentance, to be sure,
but of a species far
less likely to oblige
Repentance, you’ll observe,
glibly bears the bent
of thought revisited,
and mind’s familiar stamp
—a quaint, half-hearted
doubleness that couples
all compunction with a pledge
of recurrent screw-up
The heart’s metanoia,
on the other hand, turns
without regret, turns not
so much away, as toward,
as if the slow pilgrim
has been surprised to find
that sin is not so bad
as it is a waste of time.
“Adventures in New Testament Greek: Metanoia” from Compass of Affection: Poems New and Selected
© 2006 Scott Cairns .Used by permission of Paraclete Press, paracletepress.com
Previous posts of mine on repentance
Reflecting on 2 Samuel 7:18-29 this morning. I was captured by the focus on God–David is saying it is all about God–your people, your name, your greatness, your blessing. But, in the middle of the passage, I found myself zooming in on a comment David makes in verse 20. “And what more can David say to you? For you know your servant, O Lord GOD! Because of your promise and according to your own heart, you have brought about all this greatness to make your servant know it.”
Anyway, these words came to me this morning–grounded in this passage and likely influenced by my re-reading of Eldrige’s book, Waking the Dead.
You know me (2 Sam 7:20; Psalm 139)
You do not reject me
You do not shame me
- I am not abandoned
- Nor left alone
You do not weigh me down with guilt
- I am guilty
- I have broken your law
- I have violated your covenant
- I have wandered
- I have crossed the line
- I have stretched the truth
- I have been dishonest
- I have hidden in fear
- I have been angry and held hatred in my heart
You know my heart
According to your heart, You have made me great (2 Sam 7:21)
You have awakened me
- And I see
- And I long for you
- You satisfy me like no other
- I am content when I am with you
- I can rest in peace
- And be quiet
- And stop struggling
Thank you Lord
A meditation on Psalm 143
If I am your servant
How is it that
My heart is not engaged
My soul is not desperate
My life is not threatened
And yet my spirit grows weak?
What do I do?
Remember your character
- Your love
Meditate upon your works
And fear your judgment
Is it all about your glory?
All about you?
In my head
But in my heart?
Make me to know
Let me hear
Hide not your face
Preserve my life
Destroy my enemies
For the sake of your name
Here is where it
I am your servant
NOTE: Following is an update on a previous post.
Instead of being impatient with your progress, perhaps it is better to be grateful that you are still moving forward. From Teillhard de Chardin:
Above all, trust in the slow work of God. We are, quite naturally,
Impatient in everything to reach the end without delay…
We should like to skip the intermediate stages.
We are impatient of being on the way to something unknown,
something new. And yet, i is the law of all progress
that it is made by passing through some stages of instability…
and that it may take a very long time
And so I think it is with you.
Your ideas mature gradually;
Let them grow, let them shape themselves,
without undue haste. Don’t try to force them on,
as though you could be today what time
(that is to say, grace and circumstances acting on your own goodwill)
will make you tomorrow.
Only God could say what this new spirit gradually forming
within you will be. Give our Lord the benefit of your
believing that his hand is leading you, and of your
accepting the anxiety of feeling yourself in suspense and
Sometimes, my losses pile up
To such an extent that I think
I can never face them.
But you challenge me to embrace the pain,
Allow the painful thrusts of evil
And my own sinful choices
To be seen for what they really are:
Opportunities for grace.
Reflections that flowed out of a meditation in Isaiah 9 a few years ago.
The people who walk in darkness will see a great light–a light that will shine on all who live in the land where death casts its shadow. For God will break the chains that bind His people and the whip that scourges them . . .
His ever expanding peaceful government will never end. He will rule forever with fairness and justice from the throne of his ancestor David. The passionate commitment of the LORD Almighty will guarantee this.
Melting by Therese of Lisieux
Your Love shines like the summer sun
To melt ice-clad humanity;
This furnace of the Triune One
Burns with a perfect constancy.
Your Love yields love with healing rays
In souls that bask under the shine;
With humble gratitude and praise,
They pulse love back to the Divine.
Love yields new life, with strengthened hope,
To serve with patient, grateful love.
She finds new strength to heal and cope;
Despite her state, she looks above.
The icy rains soon melt away;
Warmed from within, her strength will stay.
May the Love of God strengthen and instill new life in us.
The Pilgrim’s Regress
C.S. Lewis 1933
Nearly they stood who fall.
Themselves, when they look back
see always in the track
One torturing spot where all
By a possible quick swerve
Of will yet unenslaved–
By the infinitesimal twitching of a nerve–
Might have been saved.
Nearly they fell who stand.
These with cold after-fear
Look back and note how near
They grazed the Siren’s land
Wondering to think that fate
By threads so spidery-fine
The choice of ways so small, the event so great
Should thus entwine.
Therefore I sometimes fear
Lest oldest fears prove true
Lest, when no bugle blew
My mort, when skies looked clear
I may have stepped one hair’s
Breadth past the hair-breadth bourn
Which, being once crossed forever unawares
C.S. Lewis, Poems; Nearly They Stood (1933)