RETREAT

I am on retreat with the Sisters
and Associates of St. Francis.

I have retreated to a convent
of that dangerous pacifist,
Francis, one-time soldier,
who never urged his followers
to be soldiers of Christ,
who anti-Crusade, sat in a tent
with the Sultan of Egypt and talked about peace.

Did you know that if the medieval Church
had not been so infatuated with Thomas Aquinas,
we would now have no hell-breathing televangelists?
That’s what our speaker says.

If Franciscan theology had gotten the upper hand,
sin and redemption would be mere footnotes
to a happier Christian story.
If the Church had not been mired in fear,
joy in Creation and
joy in Incarnation
would be our heritage.

It’s not too late.
Franciscans are feisty.
Every day we pour out of the chapel
conspiratorily, plotting to take back
our rightful place.

Our battle cry is “Lord,
make me an instrument of your peace!”

THERE ARE NO ENEMIES

There are two kinds of people,
the good and the fearful.

The fearful never leave home
without their me-colored glasses.

Me-colored glasses cut the glare
of other people’s wants and needs.

Me-colored glasses filter out the green
of global climate change
and the gray of global poverty.

Me-colored glasses can take the many rainbow shades
of love and squeeze them into the thin spectrum
of your own monogamy.

Me-colored glasses bring into sharp focus
the lines around private property
and countries.

We all have these glasses,
but we should leave them in a drawer at home.
They only weaken our vision.