(Fourteenth, Fifteenth Letters)
"Set your heart right and be steadfast,
and do not be hasty in time of calamity.
Cleave to him and do not depart, that you
may be honored at the end of your life. Accept
whatever is brought upon you, and in changes
that humble you be patient. For gold is tested
in the fire, and acceptable men in the furnace
of humiliation. Trust in him, and he will
help you; make your ways straight, and hope
in him. You who fear the Lord, wait for his
mercy; and turn not aside, lest you fall.
You who fear the Lord, trust in him, and
your reward will not fail; you who fear the
Lord, hope for good things, for everlasting
joy and mercy." (1)
Pure bliss, like too much sun, can burn
Her heart, leaving it scorched and
Distress, like biting wind, can churn
Her heart, leaving it raw and wry.
The humble heart, centered with peace,
Shields itself from the sun and wind.
Secured by hope that storms will cease,
It holds until extremes rescind.
The presence of God is constant,
In the chaotic churn of life:
To enemies, it's resistant;
With love, it harbors peace, not strife.
In His presence, her heart is stilled;
Unmoved by neither praise nor scorn.
With strength of His love, she is filled,
To serve Him with joy, not forlorn.
Be there bliss or calamity,
She strives for equanimity.
May the presence of God steady our hearts
with the strength of His love and the shelter
of His peace.
1. Sirach 2:2-9
(c) Paul Buis, 2004