Ahimsa

He let the flies land freely on his face
as if they were not there, or he were not,
then ate his porridge with a simple grace
without an urge to move, or move to swat,
and in the wild untouched and timeless wood
he’d made his home years back unto his youth
he spoke of ways that I—and all men—could
approach the substance of our deepest truth.
But I of stubborn old unbending ways
had settled fancies, and still loved them too,
so left his side, though filled with newfound praise
for things that monks and martyrs tend to do,
and back within the city, thought it quaint
that, swatting flies, I could not be a saint.

Comments are automatically closed two weeks after an article's initial publication. See our comments policy for more.

Advertisement
Advertisement

Don't miss the best from America

Sign up for our Newsletter to get the Jesuit perspective on news, faith and culture.

The latest from america

John Milton's Paradise Lost (published in 1667) may be more relevant in our time than ever before.
Lisa AmplemanOctober 19, 2017
Released in April 2017, "DAMN." portrays Kendrick Lamar’s internal torment as he struggles with his faith.
Olga SeguraOctober 19, 2017
iStock photo
The majority of Americans now believe that “God is not a prerequisite for good values and morality.”
Michael J. O’LoughlinOctober 19, 2017
A neighborhood destroyed by wildfire in Santa Rosa, Calif. The Diocese of Santa Rosa "has been hit hard" and "is in an ongoing state of uncertainty" because of Northern California wildfires that began the night of Oct. 8, said Bishop Robert F. Vasa. (CNS photo/Jim Urquhart, Reuters)
Upward of 3,000 buildings, including the homes of at least 15 parishioners, have been destroyed just in Santa Rosa, a city of 175,000 people.
Jim McDermottOctober 19, 2017