I do not have a perfect goat

Have you ever written a poem by just sitting down and writing out whatever flows from the back of your mind to your fingers? I sat down to write earlier and did just that. I added line breaks afterwards. Here is my poem:


Winter words fall to the sky

as the summer sun glistens

meaningfully into a solid wall

of weeds and words and

wonderings and wanderings

where are you going

who are you telling

what are you doing

my sun is shining

dark corners dancing

why I cannot say

the stew is mixed

the broth is broiling

my confusion fills

the dark corners

dancing in sunlight

of a winter sky

in sweltering heat

Another minute to wait

of late how long

how short too short

to show a tall tale

of mindless woe

and glistens listening

in the sparkling dew

drops of my sun shining

dancing into confused corners

what am I saying

where am I going

what are you waiting for

too hot for cold

too cold for hot days

winding round lazy posts

until the peas sprout and

flower into roses on a cake

for fun for flying in the wind

of a confused shining shimmering

glistening listening

wonder at this wanderer

who is lost while

knowing the way



Can you tell I am feeling a little jumbled? In fact, I am feeling a lot jumbled lately. One time, not too long before I left the monastery, when I was reading the book of Leviticus, which is actually a really profound read if you can manage to stay awake, I was struck by a passage which treats of voluntary sacrifices. It pretty much said that if you don't have an animal fit for a voluntary sacrifice, then it is better not to offer the sacrifice at all, seeing as it is optional. I said to myself, thinking of my vocation struggles at the time, "Ah, but alas, I don't have a perfect goat." But God does not call men and women to offer perfect bulls or goats or turtledoves on a bronze altar these days. Rather He invites each one of us to give everything to Him in surrender to his loving and merciful Will on the altar of our daily lives. He knows we are full of imperfections! Saint Catherine of Sienna related that God made us full of imperfections so that we would need one another. We are made for community. Pope John Paul I, who is my new favorite reading right now, tells how God lets us struggle even with great imperfections so that we can stay humble and so that He can show us His Mercy. At present, I am keenly aware of my imperfections. But I am not without hope either, because I know the one in whom I have placed my trust. A spiritual big sister of mine, many years ago now, gave me a print out of a quote by Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, SJ and as it is fitting to quote a Jesuit today on the feast of Saint Ignatius of Loyola, I will conclude with this quote, entitled "Patient Trust", that I keep on my nightstand. It is pretty long, here is an excerpted version:

"Above all, trust in the slow work of God...We are impatient of being on the way to something new. And yet it is the law of all progress that it is made by passing through some stages of instability - and that it may take a very long time....Give our Lord the benefit of believing that his hand is leading you, and accept the anxiety of feeling yourself in suspense and incomplete." -Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, SJ



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