The More Loving One

by W. H. Auden

Looking up at the stars, I know quite well 
That, for all they care, I can go to hell,
But on earth indifference is the least 
We have to dread from man or beast. 

How should we like it were stars to burn 
With a passion for us we could not return? 
If equal affection cannot be, 
Let the more loving one be me. 

Admirer as I think I am 
Of stars that do not give a damn, 
I cannot, now I see them, say 
I missed one terribly all day. 

Were all stars to disappear or die, 
I should learn to look at an empty sky 
And feel its total dark sublime, 
Though this might take me a little time. 

The Little Monk and the Samurai: A Zen Parable

A big, tough samurai once went to see a little monk.


He barked, in a voice accustomed to instant obedience.

"Teach me about heaven and hell!"

The monk looked up at the mighty warrior and replied with utter disdain,

"Teach you about heaven and hell? I couldn't teach you about anything. 
You're dumb. 
You're dirty. 
You're a disgrace, an embarrassment to the samurai class. 
Get out of my sight. I can't stand you."

The samurai got furious. He shook, red in the face, speechless with rage. 
He pulled out his sword, and prepared to slay the monk.

Looking straight into the samurai's eyes, the monk said softly,

"That's hell."

The samurai froze, realizing the compassion of the monk 
who had risked his life to show him hell! 
He put down his sword and fell to his knees, filled with gratitude.

The monk said softly,

"And that's heaven."

To the Holy Spirit

O Thou, far off and here, whole and broken,
Who in necessity and in bounty wait,
Whose truth is both light and dark, mute though spoken,
By Thy wide Grace show me Thy narrow gate.

Wendell Berry


If Jesus preached this Sabbath,

Would He:

Ask his Father to disable all the smart phones
while He spoke?

Wait in silence
until all hearts were turned toward Him?

And after He spoke
would He ask
as He did of His followers,
"Do you understand what I have told you?"

And we nod our heads,
knowing we missed the kickoff
of the Cowboys game
cursing we will be behind 
the Baptists
at the cafeteria.