Good Friday

A strange name
For the memorial
Of a death

A horrible death
Preceded by humiliation
And torture

The death of an innocent
God’s idiot savant

Remembered
Celebrated
On Good Friday

O good!
He died for us

O good!
God loves us

O good!
We are saved

O good Jesus
On Good Friday

O good God!

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Falter Fun

(I recently learned that the German for butterfly is falter.)

Falter
Fluttering uncertainty
Art on the wing

Falter
Dip to a sip
Trip to a drip

Falter
Fly
Monarch of the sky

Falter
From flower to flower
Landing lightly

Falter
Flutter
Fly

Falter
Fliegen
Flattern

Beauty
In any language
Butterfly

Notre Dame de Paris

The first time I saw that spire,
the flying buttresses,
the steps,
the dark and soaring interior
was in 1975.

I was pregnant, just, with my second child.
We walked at the pace of our first-born toddler.
I lit a candle for my Uncle Donald,
Monseigneur Joseph Donald Damiens,
who had recently died.
We sat on the steps
and shared bread and cheese with our son.

The last time was a few years ago
with my friends Wendy and Jennifer.
We walked from our apartment
in le Marais
across the bridge
coming to the grand lady from the side.

We did not go in that time,
really we were just among the many passing by.
But I did take pictures –
who could resist taking a few pictures of a beautiful lady.

En l’annee 1163
Sous le pontificat
Du Pape Alexandre III
Eat le regne du Roi Louis VII
Maurice né à Sully sur Loire
Eveque de Paris (1160-1196)
Entreprit la construction
De cette cathédrale
En l’honneur
De la Bse Vierge Marie
Sous le title de
NOTRE DAME DE PARIS

John 8:58

They were not stupid
Those men of the cloth.

Well, yes, they were
Of course
Stupid
As men of the cloth
So repeatedly prove themselves to be.

But they were not unlearnéd:
Learning, in fact,
Was their claim to fame,
To community prominence,
To religious authority.

So they were stupid
But learnéd:

Learnéd enough to know
At once
What his juxtaposition of tenses
Meant.

While we puzzle it out
It hit them hard
Like rocks
Thrown at an adulterous woman

Like nails
In a coffin
Or on a cross.

“Before Abraham was,
I am”
He said,
Handing them the nails.

Legacy

Here is the legacy of being a woman raised Catholic:
I can’t decide if I am saner or crazier than my teachers.
I can’t decide if I more or less enlightened now than when I was a
Catholic in good standing.
I can’t decide if I believe anything or nothing that the Church teaches.
I can’t decide if I love or hate the Church.

And mainly I can’t decide why the hell I care.

Paraphrase Isaiah 58:1-9a

[As often, I find in Isaiah words that I can adapt to be what I would say to the hierarchy of the Roman Catholic Church.]

Thus says GOD:
Cry out full-throated and unsparingly,
lift up your voice like a trumpet blast;
Tell my priests their wickedness,
and the house of Peter their sins.
They seek Me day after day,
and desire to know my ways,
Like a church that has done what is just
and not abandoned the law of their God;
They ask Me to declare what is due them,
pleased to imagine they have exclusive access to Me.
“Why do we set ourselves apart, and You do not see it?
exult ourselves, and You take no note of it?”

Lo, you set yourselves apart to carry out your own pursuits,
and drive away my children.
Yes, your setting yourselves apart results in pride and abuse,
striking with wicked claw.
Would that today you might set yourselves apart
so as to make My voice heard through you!
Is this the manner of setting apart that I wish,
of keeping a vocation:
That a man stand proud behind the altar
robed in silk and fine linen?
Do you call this a vocation,
a life acceptable to GOD?
This, rather, is the life that I wish:
releasing those bound unjustly,
untying the thongs of the yoke;
Setting free the oppressed,
breaking every yoke;
Sharing your bread with the hungry,
sheltering the oppressed and the homeless;
Clothing the naked when you see them,
and not turning your back on your own;
Casting out the abuser and comforting the abused.
Then your light shall break forth like the dawn,
and your wound shall quickly be healed;
Your vindication shall go before you,
and the glory of God shall be your rear guard.
Then you shall call, and God will answer,
you shall cry for help, and God will say: Here I am.