Thank you for a heartfelt and attentive conversation on the poetry of John O’Donohue and Gerard Manley Hopkins last week. You all have greatly impressed me with your faithful attentiveness to these poems. Keep engaging these poems; keep listening with the ear of your heart.
This week we will be participating in interfaith conversation with Rumi, a Muslim mystic and poet, and Kahlil Gibran, whose faith “transcended cultures and religions,” writes scholar and Episcopal priest Paul-Gordon Chandler.
I encourage you to read the supplemental (optional!) articles so that you can get acquainted with these poets. But most importantly, I would love for you to print these poems so that you can mark them up with a pencil or pen. Post them in a place you can see them. Sit with them throughout the week. If a particular line or phrase jumps out at you, whisper it as a prayer to God. Memorize a line (or the full poem!) and step into its hidden rhythms.
(Please let Maria know ASAP if you need these materials printed and mailed to you on a weekly basis!)
As always, I would encourage you to pick a line or phrase that sticks out to you and journal about it. Some guiding questions:
- Lord, what (if anything) are you trying to tell me in this word or phrase that nudges me so?
- Where are you in this poem for me?
- What might you be telling me or wanting me to realize?
Additional reflection questions:
- How do you like to receive guests into your home? What are your customs of welcome?
- Have you ever entertained a difficult visitor? What did you do to cope? How did you feel before their visit, during it, and after they left?
- What “visitors” have you entertained recently? Have sat alone with you “at your board” or slept on your bed?
Here are some great articles to help get you acquainted with these poets: