The Monks

The huge silver teapots
that adorn the refectory table
and the velvety jam
gingerly spread
over thick wedges.
Quaint English civility
that masks what happens beneath.

As these black clad brothers retire
there is no convivial conversation
over cigars and brandy by roaring fire,
they return to their work
their continued encounter
with His divine self.

The rain, in sheets, lashes the rooftops
and the wind, whipped up, attempts
to penetrate the panes in windows
which rattle in their frames
and give rise to the feeling
that this is a fortress
in the great battle beyond.

These men in humble habits
are warriors for a world  we rarely see
yet they dwell in for life.
Each worldly distraction,
each body afflicted with illness
or the fragility of mortality
is but a speck in the grand plan
of the eternity they bear witness to
and becomes nothing more
than fodder for their prayers
which continue to rise
like the obsidian winged companion
of their Holy founding father.

He who took the fire
which was kindled in the East
and built around it a school
that we may too learn
how to fan the embers
embedded in our souls
that they may burst into flame
for Him, who calls
each and every disciple
to be a monk in ordinary life
with singularity of focus
to prefer nothing
to the love of Christ.

SJMC+
(Written: 2.VIII.17)

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