Through poems about prayer, conversion and faith, Tim Bete shares his search for God--a search that is common to each of us. Somewhere in the intersection of holy silence and the struggles of daily life, God appears: in a winter evening walk, in the smell of incense at church, in a blue patio chair, in the Sacrament of Confession. More than a collection of poems, this book is a prayer journal--a glimpse into the faith journey of the poet.
What will God find when He looks
within, searching a soul emptied
to make a dwelling place for Him?
He will see Himself, for that is all
my soul can hold. And when He sees
Himself, rejoicing at the Love He’s found—
a Love that is also Him—how is it He
will repay me, who am neither the seeker
nor the Love, but only the container
in which He dwells? Without His blood,
a chalice is only a cup; without His body,
a tabernacle just a box. He creates
and sustains all I am and yet it is He
who repays me—a strange repayment
of that which was never first given.
Each night, she scrubs tile floors
after waiting tables all day:
her hands and knees raw, exhaustion
bringing her one day closer to death.
Her only thought, a son and daughter—
how to keep them fed with a roof over head,
how to survive another month,
how to pray in the midst of pain.
Kneeling on dirty, wet vestibule block
is not as glamorous as Joan (burnt by soldiers)
or Clement (tossed with an anchor into the sea)
or Stephen (stoned by a mob).
Each Saint quickly sacrificed
while her martyrdom is decades long,
her life laid down bit by bit each evening
through the instrument of a soapy brush.
“Beautiful and very accomplished. There's a spareness about the language and a quietness which makes these poems excellent vehicles for reflection and prayer. We need God’s stillness in the world. These poems really contain His silence.”
— Sally Read, poet and author of Night’s Bright Darkness
“These poems are a powerful and quite enjoyable read in and of themselves, but perhaps the most compelling aspect of this collection is its ability to help us, in a prayerful way, identify and wrestle with our own fragile faith in the midst of a quite unpredictable existence.”
— Mark Danis, OCDS, co-host of the Carmelite Conversations radio program
More of Tim's poetry can be found at www.GrayRising.com.