Wednesday, December 24, 2014

A Room of My Own: Christmas Eve Haiku for Pope Francis

In his Christmas message, Pope Francis warned against "a lust for power, hypocritical double lives and the lack of spiritual empathy among some men of God."

Repent,Ye Sinners!
winter rain sweeping
the church steps 


1 The opening prose is the joshi (the prefatory note), which functions as a poetic device. For more information about how to effectively use the joshi, see To the Lighthouse: Joshi (Prefatory Note) as a Poetic Device

2 ...In his annual speech, Francis warned against what he called a lust for power, hypocritical double lives and the lack of spiritual empathy among some men of God. He listed the 15 “ailments and temptations” that weaken their service to the Lord, inviting them to a “true self-examination” ahead of Christmas.

In strong yet colorful language, Francis criticized the Curia, the administration that runs the Holy See, for a narcissistic “pathology of power” and “existential schizophrenia.”

He suggested that his prelates pay an “ordinary visit to the cemeteries,” and encouraged them to examine and improve themselves... excerpted from "Francis Uses Christmas Speech to Criticize Vatican Bureaucracy" by Gaia Pianigiani December 22, 2014, New York Times

3 Below is my "A Room of My Own" post published on March 17, 2013:

A Day in Her Shadowy Life
for the New Pope

Earlier this morning, hundreds of thousands flooded St. Peter's Square, forming crescent-moon crowds around giant video screens. Basking in an emotional send-off at his final general audience, Pope Benedict XVI stressed, "Loving the church also means having the courage to take difficult and anguished choices, ..."

With an emotionless look on her face, Mary stared at the TV screen in her rented attic room. As a white cloud of doves ascends into the sky and circles the square, cries of “Viva il Papa!” burst from the crowds.

did you weep
when I was abused?
she asks
with trembling hands...
wooden Jesus on the wall

1 “Viva il Papa!” means "Long live the Pope!"
2 According to the New Testament, Jesus cried three times, and "Jesus wept" is the shortest verse. It is found in John's narrative of the death of Lazarus, a follower of Jesus)

1 comment:

  1. Below is excerpted from Easton's Bible Dictionary, "Rain"

    Geshem, the winter rain, "the rains." The heavy winter rain is mentioned in Genesis 7:12 ; Ezra 10:9 ; Cant 2:11 . The "early" or "former" rains commence in autumn in the latter part of October or beginning of November ( Deuteronomy 11:14 ; Joel 2:23 ; Compare Jeremiah 3:3 ), and continue to fall heavily for two months.

    Below is excerpted from "Images of the Holy Spirit (Latter Rain)" published on Biblical Research Institute:

    2. Ideas Associated With Rain: Rain was associated with the power of God over nature (1 Kings 17:1; Isa. 5:6), and with His blessings (Ps. 84:6; 147:8) and favors toward humanity (Hosea 6:3). Its connection with subsistence made it a concrete expression of God’s concern for the life of the people and for the fertility of the land (Deut. 11:10, 11; Lev. 26:4).

    For example,

    James 5:7: "Be patient therefore, brethren, unto the coming of the Lord. Behold, the husbandman waiteth for the precious fruit of the earth, and hath long patience for it, until he receive the early and latter rain.