Jesuit, mantled in verdant array,
I know your countenance well,
your smile an invitation to the mystery.
It seems I am a Jesuit, too,
but only in heart and spirit,
as I am a lassie, not a sir.
It is the fortitude of the Jesuit that draws me in,
your consciousness that sustains.
I understand when you take the floor and
dance your words entwined with His.
A meager pot of sand, not more than a teaspoon,
to describe the number of stars we see in our sky.
Then the pot filled and poured into a wheelbarrow,
and that filled, too,
stars in our Milky Way.
That wheelbarrow heaped with sand to the top
poured into a hopper car,
you know, the ones usually topped with coal,
but now brimming with sand,
lined-up end to end, wrapped round our earth
twenty five times,
stars in our universe.
Now I see,
the sheer number of stars in our universe.
But then you ask, of what matter are we?
You petition the children of science
to help their elders understand.
We are the matter of exploding stars,
And one more time together to explode, eventually
forming one simple organism,
expanding into many, ultimately
fettling man, woman and child.
But it is not simply a complex science
He is much more masterful than that.
There is more.
There is Love.
There is the requisite of emptying
to spark the collaboration of all this matter.
Our existence depends upon a Love so great,
we, too, are destined.
So you say to me, to all who will hear,
it is in every tiny movement we make,
that we either entertain life
or usher in death.
It is with our one small kindness when we empty ourselves,
like the stars giving life to
a collaboration of new matter, or
as the Three give their entity
creating one Unity,
we share a small sweetness
growing into ecstasy, and
not a small enmity advancing to war.
Jesuit, you set me on my trajectory,
a minute promise bursting with light,
an opening of my heart releasing its matter,
a collaboration of His cosmos.
Today at Mass we had a visiting priest from the Scared Heart Retreat Center in Sedalia, Fr. E. Edward Kinerk, S.J. He was a delight. I’ve always enjoyed listening to Jesuits. I was taught by them in high school and I’ve found them almost everywhere I go. I was also taught by the Sisters of Loretto, the female counterpart of the Jesuits. I think I enjoy their high level of educated thought AND their social justice stance. They are very tolerant groups, and have been outspoken, at times, against Church policy, especially in the social justice arena. Sisters of Loretto were jailed for their protesting of Rocky Flats in the early 70s. What an amazing group! This was the perfect talk to get me in tune with the Lenten season. I hope you found something inspiring in this poem – my words inspired from Fr. Kinerk’s and his inspired from Him.