By Msgr. Bernard Powers

I Found

            I found your word,
            in a poem, in a letter…
                        in the song of a bird,
                        in the chatter of a squirrel…

                                    In the beauty of an apple,
                                    In the simplicity of a grape…

                                                in the power of the storm…
                                                in the gentleness of the dew.

            I found your word
            as a fragment,
            old, without a date.
                        It was a joy to my heart,
                        a truth to my mind.

                        Your word preserved in nature,
                        accidentally found…
                                    rich in value…
                                    full of life.

                                    a word found
                                    and I devoured your word,
                                    It was a banquet.

My spirit
            so long in darkness
            knew an enlightening
            that took me to my knees,
                        adoring and believing.

            My heart
            once sad
            felt a joy
that took me to song,
            giving thanks.

My spirit
had wondered aimlessly amidst the stuff
now took wings
soaring to the heights…
a contemplative silence, the silence of union.


Loving Spirit of God,
Your word states:  “When I found your word…”
This statement startles me.
How is it that I found your word?
Have I not known it before?
Have I not had it before?
Has it been complete lost in my life?

How is it that I found your word?
Was I looking for it…. searching for it?
Was it an accident that I found it?
            I am sure it was a grace that I found it.
            The finding was your gift to me.
Did I stumble upon it by accident?
The treasure found in a field probably was just accidental.
Is my experience with your word the same?
Loving God,
I wish to reflect upon this experience of “finding your word.”

Life is interesting and surprising.
Sometimes I find things when I am not even looking.
Sometimes I find a special something while looking for something else.

Loving God,
there are times when I am reading
and your “word” appears. It is startling, shocking.
It makes me notice.  It grabs like a briar in a forest.
Like a clap of thunder or a bolt of lightening
the word is there.

There are other times when it is your word
and I ignore it, treat it as any other word…
I walk away, skip over it,  pay no attention.
But immediately there is a pain,
a hunger, an inner disposition that is different.   

Loving Spirit of God, give me an eye and an ear for your word.
As the skilled hunter can see
what does not want to be seen…
so I see.
see your word when it appears.

Loving Spirit of God,
help me to notice, to see. to find your word.  

Finding the Word - Nehemiah

            Lord Jesus,
            sometimes it seems I am carried into captivity,
            away from my roots, my homeland,
            my values, my temple, even You, My God.
            What a joy to me
            when the word is found…
            as was the Scroll and Nehemiah
            and your chosen people.

            What a joy when the word
            is found in the rummage, among the things,
            in the demolished walls of my plans,
            in my ruined temple

            What a joy to my soul when the word
            is found and I am called to come,
            to assemble, to join with others
            to listen and to hear the word.

            I come and stand,
            perhaps even kneel
            as the word is read,
            from morning to noon, from noon to evening.

            So for my soul
            when I return from the secular experience
            or perhaps from a period of sinful mess…
            I return from my captivity
            and find the scroll, the word,
            buried beneath the stuff in my life.

            When found,
            I embrace the word with love.
            I open the word with reverence.
            I listen with faith.
            I feast and devour the word.

                        Sorrow touches me;
                        I beg pardon.
                        A spirit of conversion enters my heart.
                        There is an awareness of my sin and my sinfulness.
                        I cry out:  “Depart from me, O Lord, for I am a sinful man.”

                        However, your word is the word of mercy.
                        There is the Father, running to me,
                        embracing me,
                        clothing me in a robe, placing a ring on my finger,
                        putting sandals on my feet.

                        My heart rises in gratitude
                        for the word found and devoured
                        is a banquet.