Poetic interlude – Wm Hart McNichols

The following poem, by iconographer William Hart McNichols, is from a collection titled Fire Above – Water Below.  I bought my copy of this booklet from Father McNichols, years ago in New York, and it bears no date.  When I went online to see if I could find a date (which appears to be 1990), I was pleasantly surprised to discover that the whole booklet is now on his website: http://puffin.creighton.edu/jesuit/andre/poems/index.html

When someone becomes
Christ to you
then you must
be seated with Mary,
and drink in
every word, glance,
and touch.
It is time to
for Love is letting
that precious nard flow,
and are there not
too few
who will catch it?
No time to busy oneself
with Martha’s
running about,
nor time
to hasten to harbors
of distraction.
No time
to fill the loneliness
with religion
or busywork,
or plunge into readings
or meditations to find love
deep inside or elsewhere…
for Love
sits before you
longing to be heard
and loneliness
can wait.

As Sciencia Fleury said to me once, what is priesthood but reflecting God back and forth to one another?


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