In the Chapel of Francis Xavier
Tonight, I sit and squirm.
A bit restless, a bit anxious.
Too warm and too close in this small chapel.
I turn to you, Lord, and
fire my questions at you.
One by one.
You are patient with my rambling,
all scribbled on the page.
You know my inner movements:
and slow rise of desolation.
In the mellow glow of candlelight,
you lean in close
to console my heart and ease my mind
so that little by little,
word by word,
there are no more lines
left to write.
St. Basil’s Man
Far-out man, in your hospital gown askew.
The medical industry (of which you say you were once a part)
has reigned you in and set you into bed.
The first bed you have known in years.
Of late, you slept your troubled, spirited sleep
on unyielding pews,
with St. Basil’s eye keeping tender watch.
(No doubt it was he who alerted them.)
They found you in the snow,
Like the tossed away wrappers and dirty coffee cups
that line the gutters of our street.
But now you enjoy the warmth of bed and food.
Three squares a day and a place to lay your head
while they try to fix your heart
that you wished would never feel again.
You are our fixture; your absence has been keenly felt.
Tell me your parables and I will dig deep,
to unearth the treasure you have buried there.
I am a temporary professed member of the Institute of the Blessed Virgin Mary in Canada. I live at Loretto College in Toronto and I am currently a student in the Master of Divinity program at Regis College, part of the Toronto School of Theology. I am active in a number of ministries outside of my studies including being a member of the facilitation team of the Ignatian Spirituality Project, a retreat program for men and women who have experienced homelessness and are in recovery from addiction. I also volunteer at a breakfast program for the homeless at St. Stephen-in-the-Fields parish in Toronto, and I am active in spiritual ministry at Regis College, facilitating First Spiritual Exercises retreats for fellow students.
Sarah Rudolph was also our featured writer for October 2020.