Thursday, January 30, 2014

A Poem about Pope Francis


Hello All. If the Olympics gave medals for blogging the least number of times each year, I'd probably win the gold. Why? Because I took several weeks off in December and early January. Now, it’s Thursday again and I find myself unable to find the three hours I generally spend crafting the memoir story that serves as my posting. This week’s been hectic with the illness of a friend who needed help and with my own problems with Meniere’s. So I also haven’t been able to read any of your blogs.
         I’m hoping that next week life will permit me to get back to a routine that includes reading/commenting on blogs and writing a story for this blog. For now, I simply want to share two things.

1)         As you know, Time magazine chose Pope Francis as their person of the year. Below is a poem about the pope. A friend of mine, whom I’ve known for sixty years, wrote it. The two of us attended college together and we both entered Mount Saint Scholastica Monastery. I left; she stayed and I’m so thankful that she’s been able to pursue her love of writing there.




Pope Francis

He looked out at our world
and saw that it was good,
not wicked or lurking in alleys,
waiting to pounce on prey,
but wounded and scarred from battlefields
of controversy, dissention, and mistrust.

He calls for the Church to be
a “field hospital” doing triage
to stop the hemorrhaging, to bandage
the broken, to comfort the mournful,
not condemning or alienating.

Open-armed and open-hearted
Francis embraces those teetering
on the brink of poverty, trampled
by war and greed, lost
in disillusionment and darkness.

Throwing off the ermine and silk
and red shoes, abandoning
the papal palace, he reaches out
to ordinary folk with candor
and common language.

He makes the gospel speak
again to all those hungering
for the simple bread of compassion
and understanding, yearning
for a place to call home.


Barbara Mayer, OSB
October 2013

This is the second poem of Barb’s that I’ve shared with you. The first was one about the return of a number of ex-nuns, myself included, to the Mount in May 2013 to celebrate the monastery’s sesquicentennial. Click here if you’d like to read that poem.

2)         On January 26, I posted for the first time in fourteen weeks on my Sunday writing blog: Word-Crafting: a Writer’s Blog. For that posting, I reviewed Return to Canterbury, written by a fellow blogger. It is a sequel to her first book, The Christmas Village. If you have time, I hope you’ll visit my Sunday blog and read the review. Melissa Goodwin’s novel for 10-to-14-year-olds is so well written that it appeals not only to young readers, but also to those of us who’ve enjoyed a lengthy number of years!
         If all goes well with the weather and the barometer and my friend, whose health is not so good right now, I’ll return next Monday to reading blogs and next Thursday to sharing with you another convent story. Peace.

56 comments:

  1. I'm impressed with the new pope... He will relate to the poor and those in need. He does show compassion and understanding to ALL. Lovely poem about him.

    Good Luck with your new blog...

    Hope you feel better soon --and hope your ill friend is better.
    Hugs,
    Betsy

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Dear Betsy, I, too, am impressed with the new pope. He gives me hope that there might be change in the Church in its stance toward married priests, women priests, and sexual preference. Peace.

      Delete
  2. Thank you for sharing the poem. I believe this pope channels Mother Theresa, who would have been a great pope, could women be priests. And thank you for the book recommendation. I have a granddaughter of the exact age to read it.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Dear Joanne, I'm glad you're thinking of giving the book to your granddaughter. I so enjoyed reading both books. Peace.

      Delete
  3. I too hope your friend is better. She was in good hands. I have been curious about your view of the new Pope. What an excellent poem that describes him well. I am not Catholic but this man is everything you want a church leader to be. Better than all of us and pointing us in the right direction. He speaks to all faiths with his message.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Dear Arkansas Patti, my friend is better but she has three doctor's appointments for next week. So that in itself will tire her out. I drive her to these appointments and that's so good because we are coming to know one another better. I agree with you that Pope Francis "Speaks to all faiths with his message." Peace.

      Delete
  4. Great verse indeed at your feed, he does seem more relatable than past ones. And who knows, maybe you'll get that gold medal lol

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Dear Pat, I so hope that I can begin to post and do so regularly, but I'm such a slouch! Peace.

      Delete
  5. Pope Francis gives me hope for a better world.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Dear Melissa, he gives me hope also. Peace.

      Delete
  6. I love that poem about a man who is living up to his namesake. He gives me such hope that a change is being wrought in the world today. And please only return to reading other blogs when it doesn't interfere with your own craft, which I applaud. Sending you lots of love, Dee.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Dear DJan, thank you for your gift of support and love. I'm working on compiling all the convent postings I've done and on writing others so that I can try and get a convent memoir published. But I lost the month of January and February is also going to be busy. Still, I continue to believe that all works out to good and that what the day brings me is always for the best. Peace.

      Delete
  7. The Pope give me hope for the Catholic religion. I pray that no harm finds him, as it has so many others who tried to bring the tradition progress.

    Either way, he's bringing hope to so many...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Dear Juli, you are right that those who have tried to reform the Roman CAtholic Church has met with great opposition and sometimes harm. I so hope that he can reform the Curia. Peace.

      Delete
  8. The poem is well written. I hope you and your friend have better days coming soon. I know a number of people who blog less often than you do!

    Love,
    Janie

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Dear Janie, I, too, follow a few that blog only occasionally, but I have set myself a goal of once a week and I surely miss that goal often! Peace.

      Delete
  9. Such a beautiful poem about such a beautiful man. This pope has given us all so much hope for the future of the Christian Church. It astounded me to discover that the name 'Francis' had never been chosen before ... Please take good care of yourself! We are all looking forward to hearing from you once again.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Dear Broad, he is a "beautiful man." I wonder if the name "Francis" wasn't chosen before because it's a hard name to live up to. But t his pope is living the compassionate of Saint Francis of Assisi. Peace.

      Delete
  10. I hope all is soon righted with your friend's health and yours- what a good friend you are to be there to help. I, too, am impressed by the Pope, and hope he continues to do all the good he can. I enjoyed the poems and hope to get to reading more soon, myself.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Dear Shelly, remember that for everyday there is a rhyme and reason and if neither you nor I can do what we would most like to do, then I trust that what we are doing if for the good of the Universe. Peace.

      Delete
  11. Your friend's poem mirrors my opinion of Pope Francis- hope at last for the Catholic church.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Dear Annie, yes, hope at last. Peace.

      Delete
  12. A beautiful poem by your friend. I didn't know you were having issues and hope the Meniere’s will leave you in peace once again--soon! The weather can stir up body unrest, that's for sure. *hugs*

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Dear Rita, the Meniere's is mostly headaches and imbalance, but not the dreaded acute rotational vertigo. So I count myself truly lucky. I'm glad you liked Barb's poem. Peace.

      Delete
  13. I have a feeling that Pope Francis will be a
    positive influence with the younger people and their troubles of these times.
    Stay well and warm.
    Love and peace.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Dear Manzanita, I so hope that he influences the hierarchy of the Roman Catholic Church to live the Gospel mandates. Peace.

      Delete
  14. Best wishes for the health of your friend. I have heard some good reports on the new pope – I hope he will be able to achieve what he intends to do and reform his church. We saw the movie “Philomena” (I really liked it by the way) but it showed Irish nuns in a very bad light. I hope you can see this movie.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Dear Vagabonde, I so want to see "Philomena," but it's not at any theaters around here, so I'll need to get it from the library when they have a DVD available. Centuries ago, the Irish monks kept the light of learning alive in Europe, but for the last couple of hundred years, the actions of Irish monks and nuns and priests have not served the Irish people well. Or so I think. Peace.

      Delete
  15. I hope that you are on the other side of your current troubles with Menier's, Dee. I know it has a mind of its own as it troubles you. One of the nice things, among many, about blogs is that they are here for us whenever they are written or whenever we can write.

    Now, this is such a well crafted poem, with much insight into Pope Francis, who I believe will become known to all as just the right man at just the right time, or maybe, finally at a time folks are ready to welcome and to listen. I'm so thankful that you shared Sister Barbara's writing again. That last stanza, especially, calls to me:
    He makes the gospel speak
    again to all those hungering
    for the simple bread of compassion
    and understanding, yearning
    for a place to call home.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Dear Penny, like you, I find that Barb's last stanza speaks to me and "calls" me to actively live the Gospel message of compassion. Peace.

      Delete
  16. Dee, thanks so much for sharing this splendid poem about an exceptional man. I too am so impressed by his gentle compassion and deep humility and feel he is a model for all Christians and not just church leaders.

    I'm so sorry to hear you've been troubled again by Meniere's. especially as you've been trying to help your friend in her illness. I do hope you are both recovering well.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Dear Perpetua, like you, I believe that Francis is a man of "gentle compassion and deep humility" whose words and actions are touching not only church leaders but all of us around the world.

      The Meniere's is simply an ongoing health concern that I mostly just live with. I live in an area of the United States that's known as "tornado alley." The upshot of that is that the barometer changes precipitously quite often and when that happens I experience very bad Meniere's headaches and imbalance and dizziness. But those symptoms are as nothing when compared to the months back in 2006 and 2007 that I experienced acute rotational vertigo episodes almost daily. So I find myself blessed. Peace.

      Delete
  17. Hope you and your friend will be having better health days. The Super Bowl is over and all that's left are some chips. :) Super Bowl Blvd. is a renamed -- for the week -- section of Broadway. Always glad when you visit.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Dear Carol, I've never been a football fan and so I didn't know until Monday afternoon that the game was played in New Jersey. And I surely never knew that New York City renamed part of Broadway for the Super Bowl. Do they do that each year???? Peace.

      Delete
  18. This Pope is truly a wonderful man and an inspiration to many. Your friends poem says it all very well.

    I have cut back on my time on Blogger also and only post twice or three times a month. This schedule fits me just fine and I enjoy blogging more now. You should not feel guilty, this is not a job but rather something we have joy doing.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Dear Arleen, I seem to sometimes slip into a compulsive/obsessive mode and so whenever I take time away from blogging I do always feel just a little guilty. But you are so right about keeping blogging fun/joyous and not making it a burden. Peace.

      Delete
  19. For some reason, your site remains in tech symbols both times I have checked it. So I'll just add my thoughts to what I believe would be yours: Pope Francis brings love and growth to the church at a time when the world needs a compassionate leader.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Dear Susan, thanks so much for trying. Technology on blogs/computers remains beyond me and so I the idea of "tech symbols" boggles my mind. We do so need a compassionate leader and I'm so pleased that he has begun to speak about economic inequality. Peace.

      Delete
  20. Hi Dee, I'm sorry you haven't been well, it makes helping your friend especially hard on you. Your compassion does not go unnoticed and will be richly rewarded.
    Thanks for sharing the beautiful poem.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Dear Pam, you are such a dear. Peace.

      Delete
  21. Pope Francis has a reasonable reputation in the world. Let’s hope he cleans out the filthy mess of child abuse which the church has kept close to its chest for many decades.

    Sorry to hear you’ve been poorly again. Meniere’s is a heavy burden. My d-i-l may have it. she’s undergoing tests.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Dear Friko, yes, that is the hope--that he deal with the despicable actions of both men and women religious. I'm hoping also that he will deal with the graft in the Vatican bank and with the obstreperousness of the Curia.

      What helps with Meniere's is my acceptance that I have no control over it. I do so hope your d-i-l doesn't have it. Peace

      Delete
  22. I am sorry I missed this when you first posted, Dee. I've been struggling keeping up myself. My dad has been in the hospital, so I relate to what you've shared about helping a friend. This is a beautiful poem. I think Pope Francis is a fascinating church leader capable of bringing people together around some very important and sensitive issues that often seem to divide. He seems to embody the qualities associated with St. Francis. I do hope that you are feeling better. The Meniere's is a tremendous challenge. ox

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Dear Debra, like you, I think that the pope does "emboy the qualities associated with St. Francis." The task before him is daunting. I hope that he has the energy and resilience and health to deal with everything.

      The Meniere's is challenging, but my letting go of trying to control the vertigo and the headaches has made life much easier for me. Thank you for your concern, Debra. Peace.

      Delete
  23. I enjoyed the poem and have been impressed and inspired by Francis. "He makes the gospel speak again." That is a blessing.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Dear Bill, I so agree with you. He DOES make the gospel speak again. Peace.

      Delete
  24. Thank you so much for your lovely comment on my blog. Hope life is calming down for you...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Dear Ladyfi, life is at an easy flow right now! Peace.

      Delete
  25. (Dee, Sweet Pea keeps resting her head on my typing hand causing me to send or erase my comments prematurely.) What I was saying was only two years ago that nuns were being castigated for working with the poor instead of spreading dogma. Such a refreshing change1 I hope this good man has a long life as Pope.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Dear Kathy, like you, I hope he has a long life. Like Pope John XXIII, he's opening the windows and doors and letting wind and air into an institution that has grown stale with its own power. Peace.

      Delete
  26. Wonderful.
    He is the real God send at a real troubled time.
    The best I like about him is :
    Throwing off the ermine and silk
    and red shoes, abandoning
    the papal palace, he reaches out
    to ordinary folk with candor
    and common language.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Dear Haddock, the "common language" makes such a difference. The knowing what's it is like to be disenfranchised and poor. Peace.

      Delete
  27. Dee, the poem is right on with the image I have of this pope. Thank you for sharing it with us. May your weather improve quickly so you can get back to walking. It has been such a long winter.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Dear Lori, again the day is cool with rain promised. The cold here is a "wet" cold that gets in the bones! Peace.

      Delete
  28. This pope seems to make people feel comfortable not scared like we are of other religious leaders.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Dear Munir, you've put your finger on an important difference between Pope Francis and many other religious figures. Peace.

      Delete