Thursday, March 14, 2013
Here's my contribution to this virtual poetry-slam: the poem that I reached for after watching the announcement with some of my colleagues in the faculty lounge here at UST Law. It was published sometime in the last year or so in First Things, but I only have the xerox of it I keep by my desk -- it doesn't have the cite.
As the mother of 2 young adults who seem destined to choose careers that will not offer financial security (one who is now training to be a Catholic school teacher with ND's ACE program, and another seriously studying to be a Hollywood screenwriter whose work reflects the values of his faith), this one speaks to me.
St. Clare of Assisi
Her parents tired of locking her up before she tired of running away. Love mocks the locksmith, and love drove her on till the convent walls closed around her strong as a castle, and poverty made her as safe as wealth makes a queen.
Francis the merchant’s son should have died in the streets of Assisi known as the local beggar, Crazy Old Frank. Who knew that young men would flock to him, poverty-mad, throwing away their future to live this way? And Clare after him— luring a princess from Hungary to case aside royalty and wealth for a winter heated by no fire but love.
Could it happen again? Parents hope not. Children should make (and be) good investments, while faith and fanatics are out of fashion. But all it takes is a whisper, a change in the wind, a trick of the light, for the sleeping coal to flare up and sons and daughters come running, scattering fellowships, law school, the Army, the arts, their engagements, brimming with glorious news for their families: “I’m begging! Isn’t it wonderful?”
-- Gail White