with snow needing to be shoveled,
with wood needing to be split,
with fires needing to be kept burning,
with a dog needing to be walked and fed?
How prayerful can one be with politics,
news, weather, sports, entertainment,
emails to be written and read,
tweets to be scanned and retweeted,
with a dog needing to go out.
And the necessities of nature,
and cleaning up and shaving,
brushing teeth, combing hair,
taking off one’s favorite coveralls,
putting on clothes more fit for public exposure.
Looked over the readings for Mass,
have given them quick thought,
decided on a theme to be preached,
eaten enough food to sustain me,
and sipped more coffee to be awake.
But I am not really awake, am I?
If this is wakefulness, what then is sleep?
Yes, my eyes are heavy after a busy week-end,
I feel fatigue after all the explosions the night before.
And soon I must depart for morning Mass.
Where in the noise and busyness is God?
Where in my drowsiness is clarity of thought?
Where in my passions is stillness and quiet?
Where in my heart is a longing for God--
and if not for God, for peace in his will?
If for a single moment I turn towards,
if I can will to turn towards the remembered one,
if I can allow his mind to shine into mine,
and be content with my poverty and smallness,
perhaps then the divine can use this tattered weed.
Come, holy Spirit, and fill the hearts of your faithful--
even in our faithlessness, or half-heartedness,
and warm our chilly wills and frozen fingers,
refresh us in our tiredness, and wake us up again--
You most generous giver of good gifts, come.