Purify us

         But who can endure
                  the day of the coming of God's Chosen One,
                  and who can stand when that one appears?
         For God's messenger is like a refiner’s fire

                  and like fullers’ soap;
         and will sit as a refiner and purifier of silver,
                  and will purify us.

                           —Malachi 3.2-3

O Burning One, come
and light the fire of life in us.
Grant us consolation
only for a moment;
then sharpen our pangs.

Sing us no lullabies.
Awaken us, shock us to life,
tear off our complacent shawls,
the cloak of our selves
wrapped around our selves.

Boil off our rage and our greed,
wreck our powers
and redeem us from our violence.
Purify us of our acid willingness
for others to suffer for our comfort.
Peel off the invisible coat
between us and the Other.
Refine in us the beauty and courage
of delight in self-giving.
Melt away all in us that is not You.
Purify us in your consuming fire
that burns away all that is not love,
your cleansing grace that bathes
away all that is not grace.

Let it scare us. Let it hurt.
Let it revive us.
Do not be timid with us,
Divine Little One.
Come, O burning One,
and burn us to life.

— December 4, 2015