Sunday, August 16, 2009

The Vianney File

Below is what I've decided to call "The Vianney File." It's a series of four poems that I wrote during a visit to Houston for the dramatic performance Vianney about St. John Vianney. Sitting in the pew at the premiere, I wrote the following poems with my own voice but also with an attentive ear to St. John Vianney's life and his voice, specifically Vianney's love for the Eucharist and Confession.

In the first, Sanctus, I explore the timelessness of the Sacrifice and the words tied to it, specifically, "Sanctus." This one was written during the opening hymn before the performance. The sacred music did so much to raise my soul to write these words.

In the second, Moment of Grace, I have attempted to link the Eucharist and the necessary Reconciliation for that communion. I've also explored here some of the sacramental life in general that all Catholics are called to. This one came in rapid succession to the first. It also acts as a personal prayer of thanksgiving through the line "Soul rejoices over the Other." It is, in fact, a thanksgiving for the communion of persons shared that evening from the community of St. Mary's in College Station. The moments of grace and the moments of love are one in the same.

In the third, Weeping in Love, I explore a phrase used during the production by St. John Vianney: "Weeping in love." It's something Vianney did often, and through this poem I try to emulate with dignity. He did indeed find little rest, but it was because he emulated Jesus in giving of himself to his flock, to his loved ones. And so we must do, in our little ways, also.

The fourth, Faithful Families, is a poem of appeal. It is an appeal that was veiled in the historical nature of Vianney's time as well as ours today—the growing secularism of society and the general godlessness of today. This poem is meant as an arousal from the doldrums of our faith. It is a call to action.

If we do not rise to be of faithful families, how are we to go forth and positively change the world? Can it be done if we do not root ourselves first in the Faith? Love cannot be broached by lustful desire, and rightly so only the water He gives brings forth Eternal Life. His love does cover a multitude of sins, and, in this poem, the prayer goes forth for all to return to the fold.

The fourth poem took the longest to compose, seeing as the natural light in the Sanctuary disappeared as the performance continued on, but like ones before this one it was brought to fruition later before the Blessed Sacrament. Even so, I am nearly certain there will be more poems of the sort to fill this file, maybe some more trivial, but what matters most is not the secondary messenger but the Message itself. Here they are, as of yet...


What words to describe,
Life, love—timeless in sight...
What glory given—
Words, those words: Sanctus!

What joy in communion,
Faithful wonder and mystery,
Timeless joy in oneness—
Faithful communion, Sanctus!

What wonder in love,
Faceless and seen all the same,
What wonder in sight—
The moment becomes eternal, Sanctus!

What gift in love—
Blessed Communion in Spirit,
Blessed Communion in Host,
Blessed Communion in the Other,
Blessed Communion in Love!
Sanctus, Sanctus, Sanctus!

Moment of Grace

Moment of grace,
Moment of love—
Absolution from the Mark,
Communion face-to-face!

Spirit graces Soul,
Soul rejoices over the Other,
Spirit and Soul soar skyward—
Soul speaks His Glory.

What gift immeasurable, the Moment
No length of time can compare
Where love and grace meet—
The Soul that is spared.

What glory to speak, a mystery
Without fear, without worry—
Perfect love casts out fear,
Soul rejoices over the Other.

Moment of grace,
Moment Eternal,
What love to revere!
Soul speaks His Glory!

Movement of heart,
From stone to life,
Where grasp is turned to gift,
Gift of face-to-face.

Heart Afire, Heart of Glory,
Speak to us now,
Speak to us with gift of grace,
Communion face-to-face!

Moment upon moment,
United through the moments
To love in the Moment—
To see His Glory face-to-face.

Weeping in Love

Weeping in love,
Immeasurable grief,
Abandonment to God's will,
Dependence in His Providence.

Weeping in love,
Fighting the tears,
What of my direction?
Am I even near?

Weeping in love,
Turning all to Him,
Leaving all behind,
Turning to His Grace.

Weeping in love,
Finding no rest,
No rest for the weary,
Only rest in Him.

Weeping in love,
No conversion without price,
No victory without defeat,
No joy without grief.

Weeping in love,
God fills in the lacking,
The missing He restores;
God gives His Love Restored.

Weeping in love,
All hearts are to be,
Given to the Other
In perfect harmony.

Weeping in love,
That is who we are to be.

Faithful Families

Family of the living,
Family of the past,
What have you done,
Forsaking all the past?

Where is thy devotion,
Where is thy love?
Where are your hearts
That are supposed to be burning with love?

In the brothels,
In the dens—
With wanton looks,
With the multitude of sins!

What choice is there
When love is broached
By lustful desire to be filled
And yet never is fully filled?

No amount of water
Will slake your deadly thirst,
Unless you drink of His water,
Unless you let Him love you first.

His love covers the multitude of sins;
The many souls He saves.
His love does this all;
The whole world He saves.

Don't you get this,
The magnitude of this message?
Don't you understand it,
The Truth in this Age?

He covers all in His love.
Return O families to Him.
With all mercy He restores,
By the Father's right hand, it is Him.

Grace upon grace,
No matter the distress,
Build a Civilization of Love—
Build on Him, the Mighty Fortress.

Faithful families rise up,
Let us pray fervently—
Pray for those lost souls—
Pray for His love to forever take hold—
Pray for mercy, mercy to behold—
Pray that all may return to the fold.

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