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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The Imaginative Conservative applies the principle of appreciation to the discussion of culture and politics—we approach dialogue with magnanimity rather than with mere civility.

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