Voltairine de Cleyre

Date(s) - 04/27/2022
12:00 pm - 1:00 pm

A twice-weekly online sacred text reading group. We meet on Saturdays, 4-5, and on Wednesdays, 12-1. All are wide open and you are welcome!

Using a spiritual-practice approach, in each session we will explore a different brief scriptural text in depth. The aims of the sessions are educational (learning something about the texts and traditions), spiritual/moral (discovering what the texts ask of us), and community-building (getting to know each other better). Our practice usually follows this version of Lectio Divina.

Amy will have a version of the text available to share; “bring” your own if you like. All are welcome, as are your suggestions of future texts. Group members also take turns facilitating, if they want to try that role.

Our text for Wednesday, April 27, 2022 is a section of the poem “Betrayed” by Voltairine de Cleyre:

It’s easy for you to say what I should do, but none of you ever dream how hard
Is the way that you Christians make for us, with your “sin no more,” “trust the Lord.”
When for days and days you are turned from work with cold politeness, or open sneer,
You get so you don’t trust a far-off God, whose creatures are cold, and they, so near.
You hold your virtuous lives aloof, and refuse us your human help and hand,
And set us apart as accursèd things, marked with a burning, Cain-like brand.
But I didn’t bend, though many days I was weary and hungry, and worn and weak,
And for many a starless night I watched, through tears that grooved down my pallid cheek.
They are all dry now! They say I’m hard, because I never weep or moan!
You can’t draw blood when the heart’s bled out! you can’t find tears or sound in a stone!
And I don’t know why I should be mild and meek: no one has been very mild to me.
You say that Jesus would be—perhaps! but Heaven’s a long way off, you see.
That will do; I know what you’re going to say: “I can have it right here in this narrow cell.”
The soul is slow to accept Christ’s heav’n when his followers chain the body in hell.
Not but I’m just as well off here,—better, perhaps, than I was outside.
The world was a prison-house to me, where I dwelt, defying and defied.

These stanzas are part of a much longer poem, if you are interested in the broader context.

For check-in / getting-acquainted time, and for those who are new and want a brief orientation to the practice, the room will be open ten minutes before and ten minutes after the session.

How to join:

  • Join this class from your Web browser: https://zoom.us/j/578882781
  • Join this class using the Zoom app: Meeting ID: 578 882 781
  • Join this class by phone: 669 900 9128 US (San Jose), Meeting ID: 578 882 781
  • Join this class by on-tap on mobile phones: +16699009128,,578882781# US (San Jose)
  • Phoning in, but not in the bay area?  Find your local number: https://zoom.us/u/abL8clvIYT
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