Midlife Blessing May 18, 2020

When I was a child there were several activities that drew my attention before organized sports completely occupied me. Farming, fishing, swimming, archery, playing army, chopping wood, climbing trees, riding bikes, and any random physical assertion that challenged my strength: lifting, pushing, pulling, running, jumping…
All this took place in a cookie-cutter suburban neighborhood. Almost none of it was supervised. And up until just recently my adult life included almost none of these activites. I have begun to reinsert them. Not intentionally. They just started happening. Midlife crisis? Second childhood? Midlife blessing. Perhaps I’m preparing to die by finally becoming myself. I will be grateful if I have many more years upon this earth, especially now that I’ve rediscovered how to play, how to discover, how to save the environment and the world by celebrating eternal life planted deep within me.



Rise Up


Leon Bonnat, “Christ on the Cross”, (1874)

i can’t get to the altar fast enough

i thirst

i am laden

my yoke is hard

my burden is heavy







save me, Lord, i’m sinking

i throw my hands upon the raft

i reach for the tassels of Your robe

i cling to Your right hand

hold me fast!

union, Lord Jesus


in union may i suffer

take not it away

union, Lord Jesus


i cling

You hold fast

we rise together

first You

then me

Thru You, With You, In You

in me, with me, thru me

rise, rise, rise

rise up

oh ancient doors



—Howard Hain

(March 18, 2016)


Joseph the Worker


Jean-Francois Raffaelli, “The Sweeper” (circa 1879)

there are not many choices

really there are only two to be exact

to suffer in union with Christ, or not

for to suffer not is not a choice

at least not while we are passing through

so, we lift up our tired eyes

we strain our necks elevating our chins

we become like David

we strum our harps

for kings are not the only ones who sing sad psalms

David is not the only musician of pain

for just this morning I saw several on their way to work

one drove a van, another a box truck, a third carried a broom

each had a song, each strummed along

each is of the house of David, each a spouse of Mary

which ones however, if any, offered up the pain

that I do not know

only our Father above knows who it is that unites his suffering to Christ’s

only the silent Christ in each one of us could make such a noble choice


—yet another man named Joseph, a son of David


(Howard Hain)

(March 11, 2016)


Word by Word

As we walk along and lean more and more on God and less and less on human consolation we discover that we are never alone.

When we truly give thanks to God for the human consolation that comes our way we discover just how many angels and saints God has placed along the path.

Everyone and everything is originally from God.

He is the only true creator, at the beginning, and at the end of the day.

If we love only Him we love everyone and everything.

Evil is the denial of such undeniable truth.

Evil is the denial of God’s supreme creativity.

Evil is the absence of good.

And shadows and darkness need spaces and voids in order to exist.

Jesus came to cast providential light.

For as the sun rises toward “straight above” the length of negativity surely disappears.

And at perfect high noon darkness does not stand a chance.

For Jesus was raised up upon the crisscrossed tree of life.

Good squelching evil for all the world to see.


The foot of that Cross still remains.

The closer we get the brighter the day.

Spaces and voids fill with pure light.

Absence disappears.

Evil is cast into hell.

For what God creates He intends for good.


Will we then live good lives?

Will we allow our absences to be filled with genuine goodness?

Will we speak life?

Will we help build the kingdom?

Let us do so.

One stone at a time.

One flickering light at a time.

One Eucharistic encounter at a time.


Let us live “on every word that comes forth from the mouth of God.

For when we do,

Stones become bread,

Water becomes wine,

And bread and wine become the Body and Blood of Christ.


Lord Jesus, cover us with Your Blood.

Let us hug the foot of Your Cross.

Let us adore Your feet nailed to the trunk of the tree.

Let us get so close that not even a speck of darkness can get in between.

Let us truly ask this in Your Holy and Perfect Name.


—Howard Hain

(March 7, 2017)


Joy of Minds Made Pure

The one who sat on the throne said, “Behold, I make all things new.” Then he said, “Write these words down, for they are trustworthy and true.”

—Revelation 21:5


There’s a place

Where walls are made of flowers

And petals are made of uncut stones.

Where virtue grows untold

And innocence can simply be itself.

Where earth and water mix

But never make mud.

The rain continually falls,

The sun always shines,

The dew remains sight unseen.

Laughter, joyful laughter

Tills the soil.

Weeds are welcome,

No plant chokes another.

The seasons,

They come and go,

The temperature remains the same.

Innocence. Innocence. Innocence.

The constant refrain.

Such a place exists.

It lowers from the sky

While within a playground

Filled with screaming kids.


Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth. The former heaven and the former earth had passed away, and the sea was no more.

I also saw the holy city, a new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.

I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Behold, God’s dwelling is with the human race. He will dwell with them and they will be his people and God himself will always be with them as their God.

He will wipe every tear from their eyes, and there shall be no more death or mourning, wailing or pain, for the old order has passed away.”

—Revelation 21:1-4


—Howard Hain

(March 3, 2017)




Taddeo Gaddi, “Tree of Life, Last Supper and Four Miracle Scenes”, (c. 1360), Refectory, Santa Croce, Florence

Go to the foot of the Cross, stay at the foot of the Cross, and the Precious Blood of Christ Crucified will drip straight down upon you.

It will mingle with the blood that drips from your open wounds.

This is the “bloodline” that breathes life into “dry bones” and brings forth the new family tree.

It is the Tree of Salvation—the tree watered by His mercy—the mercy he promised “to our fathers, to Abraham and his children for ever.”


Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit…


—Howard Hain

(March 4, 2016)



Contemplation, prayer, meditation, whatever you call it—it has changed. I used to think it involved sitting still—quiet, eyes shut—and it does—could—maybe even should—but there’s something else —my time in that “position” has been nearly not as much—and yet I don’t feel—don’t think—don’t believe—there isn’t a change—except no change—it will never be expressed—never will be words—figures—dots—slashes—strokes—expressions—never—and then I continue to write—think—express with words—figures—dots—slashes—strokes—expressions—always— “I AM” —a low, and a high awareness that I exist—or might—or could not or might not —but do and will always exist, and yet never exist again as I am now.


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