Saturday, December 24, 2011

I Can Say Nothing Of God Except...*

Last year my sister, who is a Sister of Mercy, sent me a prayer she had written about the things and people in her life that gave meaning to the celebration of Christmas.

Each line began with the words, "I can say nothing of God except..."


This prayer reminds us, whether theist, atheist or agnostic, that we can really say little meaningful about God.  That perhaps our belief in God's existence is about as meaningful as another's belief in God's Non-existence.

The fact that so many people today claim to know "God", the "will of God" or who or what or which country has "God's favor", is, if nothing else, awfully self-righteous and arrogant.

Perhaps we can say nothing of god except ... what is available to us in our own unique, concrete, quotidian experience.

This year I offer my version of my sister's prayer:

I Can Say Nothing of God Except

I can say nothing of God except the serenity of a walk in the woods on a clear December morning


I can say nothing of God except the surprise that the Bird of Paradise gave me when, after fifteen years, it bloomed in the sun room one February


I can say nothing of God except skiing down a mountain on a sunny winter day


I can say nothing of God except the good food we have to eat and share with whoever enters our home


I can say nothing of God except the seniors who think it is a miracle to make digital photos appear on the computer screen


I can say nothing of God except the shared company of long-time friends


I can say nothing of God except airplanes have taken me to fascinating places


I can say nothing of God except the memory of my mom and grandma and aunts makes me happy when I make manicotti or escarole with beans or cookies


I can say nothing of God except the paintings on the wall that my dad made when he was seventeen


I can say nothing of God except walking up to the rim of the Grand Canyon very early one morning and being speechless for fifteen minutes while tears flowed spontaneously


I can say nothing of God except sleeping on the beach while listening to Sergio Mendes 


I can say nothing of God except the loss of loved ones and dear friends


I can say nothing of God except the delightful vegetables that grow in my garden each summer


I can say nothing of God except an old Valentine from my honey I came across while cleaning drawers


I can say nothing of God except the feral honey bees returned last summer after a long illness


I can say nothing of God except the vastness of the sea and a sailboat against blue sky


I can say nothing of God except the touch of, and touching another man 


I can say nothing of God except I am sitting in the living room with the man I love while the dog sleeps on the couch and Christmas music plays softly


Merry Christmas, everyone!


The Homely Tree Has Gotten A Few Trinkets

(note: a google search has this phraseology based on the words of William J. Bausch

2 comments:

  1. Oh how pretty your tree looks! Very sweet.

    And your poem-prayer is so apt, so deeply moving, that words just fail me. Surely God is with you there.

    Peace and joy be with you my friend.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Lovely poem.....especially that last line.


    Merry Christmas!
    Peace-filled New Year.

    ReplyDelete

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