The following was written by Anne Voegtlen as a response to one of the lectio passages from the fall retreat.
We Move and We Fall
“He would move on a little, fall on the ground, and pray that he might avoid the crisis, if possible. And he would say, ‘Abba, all things are possible for you! Take this cup away from me! But not my will but what You will.’”
What brings us to pray,
That pressure in the chest—
the thing we’ve worried about,
run from, imagined in the midst of
deepest night— has come.
When I move now, I carry
its weight. When I make
some small gain, some distance
from it, I fall. It is with me.
It is heavy and will not shift away.
Now, I can pray with intensity.
Now, I can focus on the fear.
The gift of this moment is
the gush of feeling, the purity
of my attention. I am rooted
in this matter of saving myself,
when the time for saving myself
II. And in every other matter,
from this day forward:
Let me know this sharpness
in the chest, this hitch
in my breath
while knowing can lift the cross,
while the cross is small.
Let me feel the small stings, the cuts,
the losses that are not the end
of this body’s dance with time.
Let me pray great, strong prayers,
while my need is small.
Let me learn this language of need
and redemption, hold it close
and make it mine while there is still
a chance that the hill, the
whip, the thorns, the cross
are not yet really mine.
September 28, 2018