Daily Archives: December 22, 2020

My Soul Shall Be Satisfied: A Response to Psalm 63

After the pain and struggle of some of the preceding psalms, psalm 63 gives us at last a glimpse of healing and fulfilment. Its starts with spiritual thirst and longing:

  1. O GOD, thou art my God: early will I seek thee.

  2. My soul thirsteth for thee, my flesh also longeth after thee: in a barren and dry land where no water is.

Then the longing itself leads to a foretaste of fulfilment and a moment of true spiritual blessing:

For thy loving-kindness is better than the life itself: my lips shall praise thee.

As long as I live will I magnify thee on this manner: and lift up my hands in thy Name.

My soul shall be satisfied, even as it were with marrow and fatness: when my mouth praiseth thee with joyful lips.

My poem in response echoes this and is at once a lament for the transience in the midst of which we live, and also a glimpse of the true and eternal life into which we are called.

As always you can hear me read the psalm by clicking on the play button or the title.

These poems will all be gathered together and published on January 30th under the title David’s Crown. I am just working on the proofs now and there is already an amazon page for the book if you wish to pre-order it Here

LXIII Deus, Deus meus

For love lifts time into eternity,
Kisses each passing moment into life,
Gives us a glimpse of your unfading glory.

We fall away like every falling leaf
But even as we fall we yearn to you.
Our prayers are passing and our blessings brief,

Yet each one reaches deeply into you
For you yourself are reaching into us
To breathe your life in us and make us new:

The barren wasteland is made glorious
With blossoms, breathing an eternal spring
And even as this first world fades from us,

We step into the true world and we sing
A joyful song, for there at last we see
Our heart’s desire: our risen lord and king.

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O Rex Gentium a Sixth Advent Reflection

Image by Linda Richardson

Image by Linda Richardson


In my Advent Anthology from Canterbury Press Waiting on the Word,The sixth great ‘O’ antiphon, O Rex Gentium, calls on Christ as King, yet also calls him corner stone and pictures him getting his hands dirty and shaping us with clay, wonderfully incongruous combination!  But he is the king who walks alongside us disguised in rags, the true Strider! In this Sonnet I also reflect on on how God shapes us through all that happens to us in our living clay. He hasn’t finished with us yet!  You can hear me read this poem by clicking on the title or the play button. the image above was created by Linda Richardson for her book of responses to my book Waiting on the Word. Linda Writes:

The great ‘O’ of this poem spoke directly to me about prayer and meditation. We can only truly know God through love, and passion for God arises through prayer. When God takes hold of us we are expanded and broadened, and this expansion is always creative. It reveals the light beyond our darkness, the gold that gleams through our rags and the latent life within us. It is a burgeoning of praise and wonder from within us but this is all drawn out by God. Our part is to want God and to give to God whatever of our wills and time we can manage each day.

You can find you can find a short reflective essay on this poem in Waiting on the Word, which is now also available on Kindle. You can also hear Jac Redford‘s beautiful setting of his poem here: 

 

O Rex Gentium, et desideratus earum,
lapisque angularis, qui facis utraque unum:
veni, et salva hominem,
quem de limo formasti.

O King of the nations, and their desire,
the cornerstone making both one

Come and save the human race,
which you fashioned from clay

Here is my reading of the poem:
O Rex Gentium

O King of our desire whom we despise,
King of the nations never on the throne,
Unfound foundation, cast-off cornerstone,
Rejected joiner, making many one,
You have no form or beauty for our eyes,
A King who comes to give away his crown,
A King within our rags of flesh and bone.
We pierce the flesh that pierces our disguise,
For we ourselves are found in you alone.
Come to us now and find in us your throne,
O King within the child within the clay,
O hidden King who shapes us in the play
Of all creation. Shape us for the day
Your coming Kingdom comes into its own.

If you would like to encourage and support this blog, you might like, on occasion, (not every time of course!) to pop in and buy me a cup of coffee. Clicking on this banner will take you to a page where you can do so, if you wish. But please do not feel any obligation!

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