|I've seen the major cathedrals of the world,|
seen icons carved in both marble and gold,
studied the teachings, been blessed by a Pope,
marveled the histories both in blood and in scope.
I've heard heavenly choirs where no choir sang,
heard the bells echo in the pouring rain.
I've prayed in St. Michael's, St. Peter's, St. Paul's,
St. Patrick's, St. Dominick's, St. Jude's and St. Maude's,
In a white-steepled church in New England glen,
in field stone abbey out on the Bens,
in a small chapel honoring those lost at sea
and at battlefield altars and the Kirks on the Lee.
Now Bishops denounce the Holocaust
and priests abuse the little boys lost.
My daughter's great grandfather was a Cardinal in Rome--
and the meek shall inherit our earthly home?
I've been asked to leave when I wasn't dressed right
to pray to my God on a blessed starry night,
and been told if I can't tithe, I shouldn't be there
for even God expects payment to hear my prayer.
Where-ever people gather to bless His Holy Name
is a church unto the Bible: I won't play unholy game.
If Jesus could wash a poor prostitute's feet,
surely I rate the farthest, mean seat.
Now my Cathedral is towering trees
and that is where I meet God on my knees,
where my Communion is dew and a heartfelt song
and my prayers fly heavenward, fearing no wrong.
Gnarled root is my especial pew,
glacial rock is my altar with forest view.
A prayer in Latin as I once was taught,
and my church bells may be a soaring hawk,
I tithe my time helping when others need,
by planting a kindness, a hug, or a seed.
I read the Bible, find joy in the lines,
and listen for answers in trembling pines.
No expensive clothes or fancy hat,
I doubt God could care for things like that.
That my soul is clean from the inside out
is what I think God cares about.
Only God knows what he wants me to be
and I need no preacher to translate for me.
I know in my heart, I know in my soul
and that's all I can do; to work towards His goal.
The following excerpt comes from an article entitled "Religion driving people away," by Miami (Florida) Herald columnist Leonard Pitts Jr. The article was published in the March 15th edition of the Lawrence Journal-World in Lawrence, Kansas.
Who can be surprised if the sheer absurdity, fundamentalist cruelty and ungodly hypocrisy that have characterized so much "religion" in the last 30 years have driven people away? If all I knew of God was what I had seen in the headlines, I would not be eager to make His acquaintance. I am thankful I know more.
Including that God and religion are not synonymous. God is, for the faithful at least, the sovereign creator of all creation. Religion is what men and women put in place, ostensibly to worship and serve Him. Too often, though, religion worships and serves that which has nothing to do with Him, worships money and serves politics, worships charisma and serves ego, worships intolerance and serves itself.
Prompt: Write a poem about anything you have read in the above lines or any feelings or thoughts sparked within you by the lines.