Oblate Program at Belmont Abbey, NC

Too soon

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When young and healthy the world is ours,
our bodies sleek,
or if not at least strong,
if not that,
we still have years to look forward to,
death something far off not to be thought off.

Yet the years speed by and soon,
too soon,
we find ourselves among the middle aged
or the old,
with our change of perceptions
often forced upon us,
yet there none the less.

Our future shorter than our past,
for some health fails,
others a slow process taking decades,
yet noticed all the same.

When seeing others chair bound,
perhaps close to death,
it is just another lesson to be learned
or ran from,
but there none the less,
asking,
look and learn but do not fear
for though all the vagaries of life
you are not alone,
for the experience of the young soul within
is not an illusion
for we are all children in the end.

Life in all of its stages can be embraced,
and those who surround us can be loved,
for the aged
and the sick are teachers until the end,
showing others that though the way be hard,
there is also joy and love
all along the journey,
if only we have the eyes to see beyond the grey,
the dark,
into the eternal light beyond all form and comprehension
that the mind can hold,
we each have a role to play no matter what stage of life we are in,
teachers
and healers
along the way that we each must trod,
perhaps it can be called the way of the cross
leading to death
yet
also to something beyond.

So yes courage is needed, yet it is more common than supposed, for people cling to life because they love those in it, it is love that gives us courage, so love deeply and fully, reach out and help others, become a grace to others, for one day most of us will come to understand its importance when others come forward when we are in need.

The Cure

We are all healers unbeknownst to ourselves,
a simple smile
given without thought
or a touch,
can be a healing balm to others,
do not doubt what you have to offer
for in a world of suffering
the healing balm of love is the only true cure,
for it is love that we are made for,
also we exist to show love to those in need,
for God gives without limit,
in our giving we draw close to His image.

Br. Mark Dohle, OCSO
Holy Spirit Monastery

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