Last night as I was proofing the manuscript for my upcoming book, Returning- a woman’s midlife journey to herself, I stumbled across the following poem. I wrote this as a reflection on my connection with St. Francis and St. Clare of Assisi, and as my response to my own spiritual and vocational call. Reading it last night, I realized that it could just as well be a letter to the newly elected pope, also called, Francis, and my hope for how he might lead the bedraggled Catholic church. So, Pope Francis, if you are listening, this one’s for you! (PS It is for all the rest of us too!)
The call of St. Francis, tried and true,
“’Tis time to build the church anew,
A church in Spirit and in Grace,
Christ residing in every face.
The corruption of old has begun to unfold.
The Spirit crashing through the hold.
Power, greed, corruption and sin,
It’s time, our work is about to begin.”
Regarding in awe, the Church torn asunder.
Is the Spirit at work? We’re invited to wonder.
Secrets held dear, throughout the years,
Covering up the trail of tears.
“You’ve missed the point,” the Spirit cries.
The Church too busy believing their lies.
Jesus’ message seems pretty clear,
“Love God and neighbor as yourself my dears.”
God’s in their minds, not in their hearts.
Only practicing Catholics, our neighbors for starts.
And you, well, you’re created in sin,
so just where is this love to begin?
Let’s start, “In the beginning,” Genesis One and Two,
“It is good,” God says of you!
Not born in sin as Augustine preached
but born in love, joy and peace.
“Jesus loves me, this I know,
for the bible tells me so.”
We are invited to believe this children’s song,
Yet sometimes the Church tells us it’s wrong.
True faith, you see, when push comes to shove:
The extent to which we believe in God’s love.
And when we believe this promise true,
There’s only one thing left to do:
to share that love with everyone,
for this the mission of Christ was begun.