Poem and Painting: “Blue-Suited Prayer on Burgundy”

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“Blue-Suited Prayer on Burgundy” Painting: Ronald Raab, CSC

Today’s image of Jesus in a blue suit and the poem of the paradox of prayer is based on today’s gospel from Matthew 23: “Whoever exalts himself will be humbled; but whoever humbles himself with exalted.”

 

Blue-Suited Prayer on Burgundy

The oak rocker with Nineteenth Century curves

Invites me to rest on the burgundy upholstery faded

Only on the left

From years of rocking near the window in morning

Empty today

Holding only a body of dust on its rockers

Because today I am repulsed by the chair beside my bed

That calls me to pray in silence and trust

If I give in to my morning rituals

I will have to let go and change

Silently

Sipping black coffee

Cuddled in darkness

Allowing the seductive morning breath of silence

To strip me bare

From my thoughts

Like claw marks on the arms of the antique

My negative stories in my brain that create my false life

If I give in

To the silence that beckons me

I will have to let go of my blue-suited ego

That I wear like metal armor to defend

And to protect myself from real power

That my heart seeks

Even if I sit wearing my pinstriped bathrobe

My ego longs for the blue suit of power

With the red tie so everyone will know

That I remain self-sufficient

And that I live self-possessed

So if I give in and turn off the morning news

Click off the lights and rouse my desire

For what really matters

My prayer will welcome me

Deeply into the chair that was handed down

To me from a friend who died of AIDS

In the years where the burgundy faded

My ancestors rocked their morning fears

On some days

Repulsed by inner questions and outward realities

Until finally naked, fully exposed

So I sit down and my quivering soul gives in

Today into the depths of prayer

Waiting for the genuine power of love

With humility and gratitude

Resting on the partially faded seat

Waiting for my heart’s desire near the window

4 thoughts on “Poem and Painting: “Blue-Suited Prayer on Burgundy”

  1. As I walked through darkness and fog toward the bus stop this morning, I too marveled at the silence, and how much I love those early morning hours! Thanks for sharing, Fr. Ron!

  2. “In the years where the burgundy faded

    My ancestors rocked their morning fears,” is my favorite line right now. Superb! Thank you for this poem.

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