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In Honor of Cardinal Robert Sarah

On weekend strolls at dusk
Or lonely morning drives
Do we let silence sink in,
Or rather, run and hide?

Blaring music or conversations,
From synthetic plastic to our ears,
It matters not, we console ourselves
As long as the quiet not draw near

We prefer our gods be distant,
Or visit with prophetic declamations.
‘Tis more efficient than the “still, soft voice,”
Or Esther’s hidden intimations.

The God of Shusaku or Cardinal Sarah,
It’s the former we’d rather believe,
Divine absence over beatific presence,
Is the one more palatable to conceive.

Yet Isaiah wrote of quietness,
Of a manner quite divergent:
A man of sorrows and despised,
He spoke not, that suff’ring servant.

If we stilled our souls, let quiet abide,
It’s us who might be stricken, oppressed.
Ev’ry last loud iniquity and sin
Seared to that man, dies, and we are blessed.

Author’s note: This poem was inspired by the book The Power of Silence by Cardinal Sarah (249 pages, Ignatius Press, 2017).

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2 replies to this post
  1. It is quite interesting that out of the chaos of many African nations are coming some of the strongest traditional Priests, Bishops and Cardinals, that the Catholic Church has seen in many decades. It looks as if these may be the Priests, Bishops, and Cardinals that will get the Catholic Church back on track, after the way Vatican II was interpreted improperly causing enormous problems throughout the Catholic world.
    I hope that these Priests, Bishops, and Cardinals can make a difference, a difference we need very, very much!

  2. In my diocese, we have been blessed with many priests loaned to us from Africa and Asia. In my parish, one died on the mission field, and was replaced by his childhood friend from the same area in Ghana. The irony (?) is not missed by those who recall sending missionaries to Africa and Asia, the fruit of which is not returning to help in the distress of America and Europe.
    But all this has been foreseen.
    Passages in 2 Corinthians discuss the process, that the churches support each other, with material and personal and spiritual trades. When they were starving for the gospel, we send to them, and now that we are in famine, they return the favor. Thus there is balance, equality, and (for us especially), a humbling. As someone said, it is not about any form of superiority, it is one beggar telling another where to find bread.

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