“I fed you with milk, not solid food, for you were not ready for solid food. Even now you are still not ready…” – 1 Corinthians 3:2

A food of miracles, this milk, that comforts the miraculous.
The squalling ball of helpless and adorable fresh flesh would dwindle soon,
would cease its noise, but better is delivery of milk to toothless gums,
and better far is sleepy, satisfying milky burps.

So I am glad, nay o’er the moon with Paul, to feed
us on the milk of breasts Divine, that my poor soul
has sustenance, vitality, and vigor for
the growth – ah, yes, the growth – that Paul had promised.

So what, I ask, is this more solid food to feed the soul?
What is, I ask, more rich, more suited to the task
than milk? What is, I want to know,
the superfood of the soul?

For challenges arise, I see. If Paul demands
we lay aside the jealousy and quarrels, I
can only echo him. “What use are these?” we say.
“Has not the Savior shown us better ways?”

But rising beyond Paul, the words of Jesus daunt,
which set the bar for my comportment high.
Anger and insulting? Lay aside. Admit my wrongs.
Look not with lust. Say only yes or no and keep my word.

I sigh, aware the challenge beckons, and
I seek nutrition of the spirit that
will carry me along and to
the end.

A poem/prayer based on 1 Corinthians 3:1-9 and Matthew 5:21-37, the Revised Common Lectionary Second Reading and Gospel Reading for Year A, the Sixth Sunday after the Epiphany.

The image is Glass of Milk by NIAID, CC BY 2.0,

5 thoughts on “Milk

  1. I love the phrase “the milk of breasts Divine”, and the way the journey of the poem ends with the stark words “the end”. I respect the way you sit honestly with the challenges and the questions. Maybe that is part of what constitutes mature spiritual food.

    • Thanks, Barb! I took some time with that phrase, so I’m glad it struck you.

      Y’know, I think you’re exactly right. Sitting with the challenges isn’t *all* of that more nourishing spiritual food, but it’s an essential part of a complete diet. Great insight!

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