Sunday, August 18, 2013

Rilke Poem, God speaks to each of us as he makes us

God speaks to each of us as he makes us,
then walks with us silently out of the night.

These are the words we dimly hear:

You, sent out beyond your recall,
go to the limits of you longing.
Embody me.

Flare up like flame
and make big shadows I can move in.

Let everything happen to you: beauty and terror.
Just keep going. No feeling is final.
Don’t let yourself lose me.

Nearby is the country they call life.
You will know it by its seriousness.

Give me your hand.

from Rilke’s, ‘Book of Hours’ translated by A Barrows and J Macy.
and photo of Thich Quang Duc a buddhist monk.



Blogger Virgilio is on a silent journey...and wondering... said...

a powerful image to accompany a wonderful poem by Rilke. i have the book.

1:14 am  
Blogger John Pendrey said...

Thanks Virgilio. Yes I have the translation too and it's from that that I reach an understanding. Somewhere I wrote about how I had read Rilke, with little understanding, when I was at school and working in the holidays on a farm in Germany. I, like Rilke, have not been able to accept the ideas most Christians have of G-d an heaven etc. The difficult problem for me is how to converse with people with such different ideas. I know someone who thinks there will be cigarettes and drink and the girlfriend he never had in heaven. My idea of G-d is in all and not outside anything. There is much religious writing that inspires me. Doubt, searching and listening are part of my meditation.

2:40 am  
Blogger am said...

"... Oh, I awoke in anger, so alone and terrified..."

Thank you so much for this post. Was unable to get back to sleep this early morning and got up to see if there were any new blog posts on my reader. Stopped by Solitary Walker's blog and found your comment which brought me here and gave me unexpected peace.

Have been meditating on the words "God and her" from Bob Dylan's "Shelter From The Storm" and what that vision might open on the "her" who was born at the same time as God.

What you have quoted from Rilke speaks to me. Will have to revisit the Barrows and Macy translation of "Book of Hours." That translation is a memorable one.

I'm trying this out:

"God and her" speak to each of us as they make us, then walk with us silently out of the night.

"There is much religious writing that inspires me. Doubt, searching and listening are part of my meditation."

12:28 pm  
Blogger Gary said...

Growing up fundamentalist/evangelical, I was told that as a born-again Christian God would “speak to me”, “move me”, and “lead me” so that I would know and could follow his will. I listened to others talk about how God spoke to them, moved them, and led them to do this and to do that…but He never did the same for me. I finally came to the conclusion that there must be something wrong with me because God had decided he didn’t want to talk to me. So I left the Church.

Many years later I became an orthodox Lutheran and was told that God doesn’t work like that. The evangelicals are wrong. The voice they are listening to is their own. According to “true” Christianity, God speaks to Christians in only one manner: through his Word, the Bible.

That gave me a lot of peace…until I found out that the “Word” is full of discrepancies, errors, and scribe alterations.

I was very sad (and angry) to find out—it is ALL nonsense.

So what about my problem of not hearing the "voice" that other evangelicals were hearing speak, move, and lead them? After deconverting completely from Christianity, I came to realize that it was THEM, not me, that had the problem. They were hearing voices. I was the sane one...who did not.

10:31 pm  

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