What of the Religious Refugees… fleeing theologies
… theologies that clang against the consciousness
of this age’s sins and (w)holy wisdom?
To the Nones and Dones and those most nearly done,
the silence of the Holy One is deafeningly loud
…in theologies describing
a god so praise-starved and power-hungry
…that it demands our constant adulation and servile obedience
…in theologies describing an all knowing Big Father/Brother in the sky
speaking scriptural words of love between the narcissistic lines.
What consciousness is this…
that drives us from the comfort of a sacred family
…wrapped in the solace of sweet hymns and select scriptures
so we not see and question those Words and stories
…strewn with images of such an ignoble and inglorious God?
Bereft of temple, church, synagogue or mosque,
where do we go to find a home?
Or is there even such a place?
Religious refugees driven far from safe homes we knew so long ago,
…the hymns we sang, the Scripture read, so comforting,
now crash as awkward phrases against what we “Now Know”.
“Now Know” not so stately as the holy architecture of theologies
so long held bosom-close for comfort.
O Saints before us, who lost your faith in such Go(o)d nonsense…
Is there not something…anything,
other than the loss we know today?
Or is all search for the comfort of meaning and certainty
a useless Sisyphus task of rolling boulder uphill
…until it rolls back crushing us
…worn weak and weary in the futility of it all?
We go down into the pit of despair
with you, O Saints who went there before us.
We have still the wisdom of your love and your courage
to live in the not knowing,
…in the shatter-scatter pace of life’s ever-changing face
that re-assembles its appearance from
…horror to grief to love and back again
…in cycles too quick to ponder or assimilate,
…sometimes barraged in unremitting painful questions:
Why them? Why me?
…Why even ask why?
We refugees of theologies
that answer questions of the past
with answers from the further past..
…some wisdom there buried
under all the dust and shite, for certain.
Yet there is this tingling sense that
wisdom buried under ages having passed,
yet still is with us now
for every change of time from one epoch to another
had its pain of cracking through,
like a babe breaking out its mother’s womb…
all tender and powerless,
…in need of succor and protection,
so like our new consciousness adapting…to its new place and time.
Let us have faith meanwhile, in each other,
…in the everyday uncanonized saints of today and yesterday.
Not idolatrous faith, of course,
but rather faith that nurtures love as it re-news life,
…as it makes life NEW again…
Creation ongoing, ever-challenging us
…to go on loving…as best we can.
WHERE is the theology that can lead us
…in the way of this ever-adapting gypsy-like home-making faith?
WHERE is the theology sustaining
…a dynamic back-and-forth movement
between the wisdom of the past
…and the present moment
…now challenging our consciousness
…to RISE UP and BE COUNTED.
* * *
Painting “God’s Holy Refugees” by Consilia Karli, SFCC
Poem by Sister Lea, SFCC with Consilia Karli