by Br. Jess Matias, ofs
‘Tis a door ornate and of many pretensions,
beautiful, glist’ning with the shine of silver cheap.
Multitudes of eyes feasting on what seems to be
treasures of the earth, the worth of which I know not.
I asked with naïveté, “Does this facade betray
the breathtaking grandeur within?” Eerie, it seems.
For brother, there’s only one dark and lonely road
that leads to this formidable gate. Sad, it seems.
I pushed brother, and it opened without a creak,
dreading more what I see than what I could not see.
It was all too easy to enter this limbo,
but silence does not seem to be that good, either.
In the murkiness of the past, I hardly see
huge round columns in dust, all cold and foul and dead,
reaching to the cavernous sky that was not there.
There the curious dome awes but in air that stifles.
Only candles few lit in melancholy space,
flick’ring with little hope, stench of smoke and ashes.
The flames would not look up, it cannot greet me, too.
Everywhere, the smell of death and forgotten tombs.
Friend, I walk down the empty aisle in front of me,
a poor path, witness perhaps to a million screams.
The big altar lay beyond this pitiful maze.
Is that blood dried on this altar of gold, am dead?
I have built this unhappy castle in myself,
a fortress of possessions, of power and fame.
Built in loneliness, I living in emptiness.
What have I shed, but meaningless sacrifices?
Spirit, please guide me through my old, dreary sanctum.
I do not know what I deserve or can offer.
I have built nothing, I have none, I am nothing.
Have I lost even you, brother Spirit, my friend?
In prostration, I deny myself before you.
May I be nothing, that you may make me your child!
May I have the essence of my God, Father true.
Possess my castle, and possess me forever!