you are a victim of love

seeing you serving

Easter Vigil Mass

an altar boy again

surrounded by steeple-high candles

like sentinels in the otherwise dark church

I thought I knew

the definition of ecstasy

or rapture or even what it is

to feel

complete joy

but your face

bore me beyond

the edge of my understanding

 

like a groom melts

into the eyes of his bride

as she glides

toward him in white-robed splendor,

so too, your face glowed

with half-smile and tearful eyes.

as you processed

down the cathedral aisle

your hands

clutched the candle with knuckles

as white as your collar: a flame of glory

on your throat

 

in the communion line,

I didn’t know I would receive

our Lord from your

fortunate hands

not yet consecrated

but blessed all the same

The Body of Christ

I hadn’t planned to look,

but your tone drew my eyes to yours

as you placed the Lover of us both

within me, and I sensed

the depth of our shared communion

as I turned back down the aisle

your face with its luminescent smile

told me you felt it too

 

a love that transcends

any known definition

connects us

with a communal longing

to surrender all that is not ours

 

but unlike me,

you will be stretched on the ground

on the day you are ordained:

your body pressed against the cold

floor of a church, as you

breathlessly mouth in a silence

that surpasses words

the promise

I will serve and surrender all.

you will not rise.

your body will ache, pine,

and burn with that eternal desire

which no mortal can expound

Totus tuus ego sum,

et omnia mea tua sunt. 1

 

It is love

   that will hold you down:

      a love that suffers to hand

         over every personal victory

            and imagined possession

               only then will you rise, unburdened:

                  dead to all unimportant things

                     and re-awakened, free

                        ready to serve with

                           empty

                              hands

 

1“I belong entirely to you, and all that I have is yours.”

– St. Louis de Montfert

 

                        ***

HAPPY EASTER SEASON, EVERYONE!

Deus vult!

Omnis enim gloria Eius per Mariam,

 

~ AB