No door will ever close.

maids with oil lamps

This is the screen saver on my computer at work. It is the facade of the Church of Santa Maria in Trastevere, in the Trastevere neighborhood in Rome. It depicts the women from Matthew’s Gospel and the story of the wise and foolish virgins (Matthew 25).  The church sits in the middle of a bustling piazza and so it looks as if the women are carrying is right into the middle of life in the piazza. The Gospel story has an Advent feel to it because it reminds us that we know not the day or hour when our Lord will return and so we need to be alert and ready, looking for  to walk right into the midst of our lives–here and now!

Limits and Promise

A few years ago I came across this poem by someone called T.J. O’Gorman of whom I know nothing other than this work which is an Advent favorite of mine.

  • Face to face with our limits,
  • blinking before the frightful
  • Stare of our frailty,
  • Promise rises
  • Like a posse of clever maids
  • Who do not fear the dark
  • Because their readiness
  • Lights the search.
  • Their oil
  • Becomes the measure of their love,
  • Their ability to wait–
  • An indication of their
  • Capacity to trust and take a chance.
  • Without the caution or predictability
  • Of  knowing the day or hour.
  • They fall back on that only
  • Of which they can be sure:
  • Love precedes them,
  • Before it
  • No door will ever close