Wisdom From Beyond The Grave

 Reflecting on our recent discussions as we move towards the General Chapter, now just a few months away, I browsed through Sr. Joan McNamara book of poems “Shape Shifter” My eyes rested on the poem “Lineamenta – a Reaction.” Lineamenta was obviously a theme word in one of our earlier Chapters. I cannot remember what it means or where it led us in the Chapter but I felt deeply in sympathy with Joan’s reaction.

Thankfully we are not into high sounding phrases or clever new words this time round. I think Joan would be pleased with us! Yet, this is not a negative poem there is depth, richness and deep insights into our religious lives our relationships, with Christ the Church and the Gospels to be found within it. It is well worth a   re-read.

  Lineamenta - a Reaction

The WORD came among us,
I think,
to give/share
God's love and life.
And words,
I surmise,
are ours that we may dare
to 'go and do likewise'.

Gospel words have a simplicity that rings true;
a Pentecostal lucidity
that speaks to me and to you.
Lineamenta -
how many have heard of such a word?

Gospel words do not block, divide or isolate.
Consecrated Life -
have I a restrictive claim,
apostolic religious that I am,
to this life as mine?    


Is it not a reality I share
with all who bear
a Christian name -
baptised into the life and mission
of our prodigal Saviour?

To consecrate
is not, I think, to isolate.

Called to love, am I indeed; to renounce, reject the world
God so loved that he sent his only Son . . . ?

Can a Church that is communion
use words that block, reject and isolate?
What an autistic (there's a blocking word!)
lot we have become.

Gospel words do not bind or swaddle:
they speak the Truth that makes us free.

Here is a heartfelt plea
for more user-friendly pages,
that we may talk together, you and me,
in Gospel words reaching down the ages
drawing us to Christ, setting us free.