To fall in love with God is the greatest of all romances;
to seek Him, the greatest adventure;
to find Him, the greatest human achievement.

Saint Augustine

Thursday, November 24, 2011

This strange sanctuary

I wrote this poem a little over a year ago, and since it is November, I thought it was fitting to share it, since I haven't, yet.


We get out of the car,
our feet meeting the faded
stained-glass luster of the
trees’ fallen leaves.

Requiem æternam

The sound of the leaves underfoot
formed a hushed, rustic melody,
a forest’s reverent praise.
With that rich, earthy smell of Autumn
filling the air like incense,
we walked among the lichen-laden gravestones.

dona eis Domine;

I watched Mommy and Daddy for a moment,
quiet as they knelt down
and began to rub charcoal on paper
placed over the stone,
preserving the dies natalis there.

et lux perpetua

I wander off, feeling quite at home
in this strange sanctuary –
dark, yet soft and deep and
aching beneath the earth,
memories and unspoken prayers
hanging in the frosty air
like our own breath.

luceat eis.

Then I find what I seek –
a child is buried here.
A little one, like me.

Requiescant in pace.

Here lies one, just such a one,
with whom I feel a kinship.
A silver thread links us,
a mirror across the years.

“I wonder what she looked like,” I think.
If she loved dressing up, as I do.

A leaf’s touch of sorrow for this young life
brushes against me.

Across the expanse of time,
rolling out like prairie grasses,
a comforting smile is caught,
and shared,
and kept and pondered within my heart.


Requiem æternam dona eis Domine;
et lux perpetua luceat eis.
Requiescant in pace. Amen.

‒ a traditional Catholic prayer for the dead.


Eternal rest grant unto them, O Lord,
and may perpetual light shine upon them.
May they rest in peace. Amen.

*dies natalis – Latin for “day of birth”; in Church use, it refers to one's day of death, that is, birth to eternal life.

*November is the month of the Holy Souls, when we especially remember and pray for the dead.

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