Mantra for a Dark December Night

At the interstices between the word & silence
between this time and no time
between what the word groans after & the no-word
that answers to nothing & is everything, thy mercy
Lord have mercy, Lord Jesus mercy.
Between the Utterer & the Uttering & the Word
Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy
on this sinner, who dares not lift my eyes
sweet Jesus mother mercy.
Mercy on me the sinner mercy.
You who know my heart better
than it knows itself, you, my heart,
sweet Jesus mercy. You who
come among us, who took on our flesh
our tears our sweating selves, O Lord have mercy,
Lamb, sweet Lamb have mercy. You know
I love you Lord, you know the cost, sweet one,
sweet Jesus, Lord, be with me I beg thee hear me
and let my cry come on to thee here in this room,
this lonely office, this wring-wracked bed,
this road this car this cart whatever
and what does anything at all matter
Creator Lord of matter, Mater God, whom
I have glimpsed beside the candle on the darkened
altar when I least expected or deserved it
Lord sweet Lord have mercy on me the sinner.

Don't miss the best from America

Sign up for our Newsletter to get the Jesuit perspective on news, faith and culture.

The latest from america

I thought I had the perfect Catholic fairy tale: Meet and a date a former seminarian. Seven months after I got married, my world was utterly shattered.
July 27, 2017
The U.S. Supreme Court in Washington in January 2017. (CNS photo/Tyler Orsburn)
Controversial decisions, such as Brown v. Board of Education (school desegregation), Roe v. Wade (abortion) and, most recently, Obergefell v. Hodges (same-sex marriage), often are challenged for decades by opponents seeking their reversal or limitation.
Ellen K. BoegelJuly 27, 2017
Oscar Isaacs as Hamlet (photo: The Public Theatre)
In a bewildering new staging at The Public Theater, Oscar Isaac is giving a rich, riveting lead turn as the dubious Danish prince.
Rob Weinert-KendtJuly 27, 2017
Usain Bolt has become a living legend in a track event that is known for creating superstars. His pre- and post-race rituals are purely Catholic, and yet the faith of one of the world’s most talked-about athletes is an open secret.
Nick Ripatrazone July 27, 2017