While searching for a poem to pair with a presentation I recently gave, I came across this moving selection titled "Prayer," from Dana Gioia's outstanding collection The Gods of Winter (1991). It's a very Catholic poem that, in its honesty and authenticity, carries the intensity of a Psalm. This is a faith that is wrestling, searching, and not giving up.
Echo of the clocktower, footstep
in the alleyway, sweep
of the wind sifting the leaves.
Jeweller of the spiderweb, connoisseur
of autumn's opulence, blade of lightning
harvesting the sky.
Keeper of the small gate, choreographer
of entrances and exits, midnight
whisper travelling the wires.
Seducer, healer, deity, or thief,
I will see you soon enough--
in the shadow of the rainfall,
in the brief violet darkening a sunset --
but until then I pray watch over him
as a mountain guards its covert ore
and the harsh falcon its flightless young.
I also discovered that the great composer Morten Lauridsen set this poem to music. Enjoy:
Since retiring from my job, my husband has found me irritating. We had a talk (after fighting), and he is right: I am mothering him. Smothering him. “I have a mother,” he said. “I want a wife, a partner, a best friend.”
Obedience is a way of following God and when the young Mary assented to God's plan with her "Yes" at the Annunciation, she gave us an example to follow: her obedience came from trust. Can we do the same with our faith?