25 April 2013

"All My Dear Falsehoods" (Rachel Srubas)

The following poem is taken from the book Oblation, Meditations on St Benedict's Rule (Paraclete Press) by Rachel Srubas. I have used some of Rachel's stuff before here and highly recommend this book of poetry. Published in 2007 it is available on Amazon for as little as $1.27. Don't let that fool you regarding its quality! Rachel is both a Benedictine Oblate and a Presbyterian clergywoman. The poem is a reflection on the passage from St Benedict's Rule that reminds the monk:  The second step of humility is not to love having our own way nor to delight in our own desires. (RB, Chapter 7)

I am the road that will guide you to God.
I unravel lies that seduced you.
I am the life you still try to elude.
When you abandon me, 
I wait for you. When you return,
I embrace you.

Some days I prefer
to ignore your assurances,
pave my own path, lose my own way,
cross quicksand if I have to ---
anything but
relinquish my will.

Remember the blistering, narcissistic desert,
the devil who taunted you there?
You know it well --- the desire, the drive
to conceive and control, predict and prevail.
You, too, have wrestled the egoistic impulse,
the credit-hoarding greed of spirit
that flares within and keeps me,
on some days, from offering praise,
stops me from seeking your face
or following your excellent way.

I'm left to my own echoing solitude,
murmuring my own name.

Jesus, teach me to pray. Lend me your hand.
Talk to me of forgiveness until
all my dear falsehoods fall away.
Mend the cracked compass of my mind,
and guide me to my true desire.