Bishop Robert Morneau is Auxiliary Bishop of Green Bay, Wisconsin. He is also pastor of Resurrection Church there. A loyal Packers’ fan, he is also a good friend of mine. If that’s not enough, Bishop Bob is a poet. His poetry is simple yet profound. It is rooted in daily life and in his great love for God and God’s people. Here are three short poems of his: about a cluttered desk drawer, a war far away, and a cathedral brick. I hope you enjoy them.
I just opened my desk drawer:
a shoe horn stared at me
as did scattered paper clips, a dead watch, rubber bands awaiting use,
a defunct checkbook,
a golf tee,
an ancient passport.
I just opened my heart:
staring at me a barrel of fears,
riotous affections seeking order,
a small flame, quivering,
dreams of expansiveness,
a hunger for the infinite.
I quickly closed my cluttered desk drawer
and did the same with my troubled heart.
Today has enough worries of its own.
* * * * *
It was a distant war,
thousands of miles from our homeland,
a long, long way from the heart.
But yesterday the war drew near.
a young soldier,
from a neighboring village,
was killed in a helicopter crash.
The battle now has a face
and the moans of a grieving family.
No war is distant
though miles silence the sound of weapons.
We are one family, and
every war wears the face
of grieving humanity.
* * * * *
“A Cathedral Brick”
“Add your brick to the cathedral of life,”
But brick upon brick makes no home,
event upon event piled high, no life.
A design is needed,
a game plan—a life plan.
Our vocation is architecture,
a double calling to envision and execute.
Our vocation is to align our mission,
to place our brick
into the hand of the Master builder.
It is in this submission
that Chartres becomes a reality.
Bishop Bob Morneau will retire Dec. 31. Let us keep him in our prayers. May he continue to write poetry with his pen and with his life.
Did any of these poems speak to you? How? Why?
Today’s song is Amy Grant’s “Better than a Hallelujah.” It celebrates honesty in prayer, saying “honest cries of a breaking heart” can be the best prayer of all.”
PS: I ask your prayers for two upcoming talks. On Thursday Nov. 9 I’ll be speaking to the faculty at La Reina High School in Thousand Oaks, CA. On Saturday Nov. 11 I’ll do a presentation on “wonder, courage, and hope” for the SND Sisters, their associates, and other Sisters. Thank you for your support!
Would you like to share a thought with us about this reflection and/or song? Please do so below!