Session I: Songs of Lament

Rediscovering Beauty: Poems to Inspire Prayer and Contemplation During Lent

During this Lenten series we are focusing on the call to beauty in our lives and how paying more attention to those things that take our breath away might bring us closer to God and one another.  Session I begins with a brief introduction to the Psalms as poems and focuses on the first type of Psalm, the lament.  Along with a Psalm, we will look at poems from secular and spiritual writers with the understanding that in all language, in all poems, we might listen for and hear in their beauty, the presence of the divine.  Find a quiet place, make yourself comfortable, and as you read through the psalms, poems, and passages, reflect on the images that stir something within you.  In the silence of your comfortable space, allow these words to speak to you, and if you like, share with us your thoughts by leaving a comment so we can connect with you.

Everywhere there is tenderness, care and kindness, there is beauty.

~ John O’Donohue

Beauty especially occurs in the meeting of time with the timeless; the passing moment framed by what has happened and what is about to occur, the scattering of the first spring apple blossom, the turning, spiraling flight of a curled leaf in the falling light; the smoothing of white sun-filled sheets by careful hands setting them to air on a line, the broad expanse of cotton filled by the breeze only for a moment, the sheets sailing on into dryness, billowing toward a future that is always beckoning, always just beyond us. Beauty is the harvest of presence.

~ David Whyte

Featured Poems for Session I: Songs of Lament

Psalm 42 “My Soul Longs for You”

“A Green Crab’s Shell” & “A Display of Mackerel” by Mark Doty

“Love Sorrow” & “After Her Death” by Mary Oliver

“Spring and Fall” by Gerard Manley Hopkins

“The Weepers” by Li-Young Lee

“Beautiful Creature” & “With That Moon Language” by Hafiz

“The Wind Will Show Its Kindness” by Meister Eckhart

Purchase the Books Featured in Session I