You have sanctified our humanity, Christ,
our very body dwelling in this world,
this mystery that, from the beginning,
was already sacred and holy,
set apart for God, and also, through his grace,
manifesting the beauty of love
in the midst of this creation.
Yet through our sin such beauty
became fragmented and obscured,
and the pure expression of the inner person,
radiating out through transfigured flesh,
became a struggling and anguished “veiling”
—in shame, fear, pride, and insecurity—of the self,
lost, estranged, unsure of who we are,
and unable, purely, to give ourselves to others.
The beauty of the human person
and of the world in which we live
is fragmented like a pane of shattered glass,
yet still reflecting, in many pieces,
the shining beauty of the radiant sun.
It can still touch, overwhelm, and draw the heart,
but now there is also a danger,
since the whole no longer is seen
in a single, radiant glance,
and the fragment itself is not transparent,
fully and completely, to the Source
of the beauty that it bears within.
The movement of beauty, drawing,
can now draw, no longer only upwards
—in the purity of thirst for Eternal Love—
but downards in the spiral of possessive lust.
Pure and transparent glass only magnifies
the heat and warmth, the brilliant colors
cast from the Source of endless Light.
But a tiny shard of glass, reflecting something still,
cuts the hands, the flesh, when it is held too close.
But the longing is there, indeed,
to hold close, unreservedly, the beauty that is seen.
Yet we glimpse, at times, in moments of true encounter,
in moments where beauty speaks its deepest word,
where I encounter you in your deep mystery
and a wonderful reverence and awe awakens,
subtly, in the depths of my own heart.
Here we glimpse that the shards,
through the pure gift and grace of God
that we still bear, despite everything, within,
can join together again, enfolded in pure love,
and reflect the light more radiantly,
shining out in dinstinctness and in unity:
a manifestation of the Trinity’s eternal light.
In you, dear Jesus, the God who is Love
descends into the realm of fragmented love.
The sun dips down to touch its mere reflections.
Incarnate in our very flesh, a man born of a woman,
a man raised from childhood, taught to work,
to pray, to converse, and to live in love.
Yet in all things it is the Father’s word
which resounds forever in your Heart,
the Father’s Word which you, yourself, are.
This lowly body you take to yourself,
a Heart beating within your breast,
surging in compassion at our suffering,
expanding in joy at the beauty of the sun,
rejoicing in the twinkling of the stars,
the smile of a little child, the beauty of this repentant woman,
the fellowship of your friends, remaining close to you.
The vigor of human strength,
nothing in comparison with the power of God,
expresses your own eternal love,
as you work humbly in the carpenter’s shop
and spend yourself traveling and preaching,
reaching out and healing those whom you love.
You sanctify human strength
by your own descending weakness,
and you sanctify human weakness
by the strength of Eternal Love.
In the desert you fast, exhausted,
and refuse to refresh yourself with miraculous food;
in the garden you sweat blood, in anguish,
and refuse to turn away from compassion,
by which you enfold us, hurting, within your arms.
Upon the Cross, at weakness’ furthest limit,
drained to the last drop in love for us,
your Heart beats, still unceasingly,
with the vigor, power, and life of Eternal Love,
the intimacy that is yours with your Father
in the bond of the Spirit whom you share.
In this embrace you press us,
broken and hurting shards of glass,
against your own tender, loving breast,
and the blood that flows from this piercing embrace
floods into us to heal and transform us,
yes, to mold us back together into unity,
made one again in your all-emcompassing embrace.