The Hebrew name.
Breath in through the mouth, quietly, and listen.
Breathe out through the mouth, quietly, and listen.
From your first breath until your last, God is there.
How do I begin to explain what is so vast, so beyond my comprehension, and small enough to fit into my mind?
How do I begin to describe that which is reflected in the faces of the people I love most dearly, the people I’m closest to?
How can I try to begin to help you understand what brought me to wearing the browns?
Where do I begin to explain how this love, this infinite and powerful expression, has worked in my heart, in my mind, changed my eyes to see the world and the beauty and the suffering and the binary and the diversity?
Anger has no place anymore, and yet it works to push into the cracks and make the spaces wider.
Fear has no place anymore, and yet it works to unbind the mortar.
I go into that still place, the place where I trip over Latin words thousands of years in the making, signs of the cross that bring stillness deeper to my heart, brings the gaps closer together. Beads in my pocket, copper and heavy, ringing with each step, reminding me of that stillness.
Quiet, the process of a Cistercian, an Englishman, into the cloud. The unknowning. The knowing and the dispersing of self, the emptying of fear and anger and all that is just as it should be with dollars and coins and bills and telephones
the filling of light
the smell of incense
the sound of chant in my throat
the hardness of stone on my knees
the taste of wheat and wine in my mouth
How do I begin to explain these movements, these words, these signs, these outward symbols that seem so royal, so capital-driven, are markers to the outside that cannot see, the voice inside which cries out:
Agnus Dei, Agnus Dei, Agnus Dei, qui tollis peccata mundi, dona nobis pacem.