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Compline.

Compline

("No search for God is vain, even if not found." Bernard of Clairvaux)

 One last exhausted
 word of praise.
 In starts and spurts,
 against all temporality
 and the pillage of the day,
 I hunted you, Lord,
 in the subtexts of my lean life,
 in all the echoes of your presence;
 but my heart is not ready,
 my heart is not ready.
 My body does not pine for you,
 as a dry weary land without water.
 I have not conquered the noonday devil.

 But I gather up the jumble of the day:
 the tangled prayers, the angry word,
 the walk I took to grasp the silence,
 the class I taught to Visigoths and Ostrogoths,
 the dissembled concession,
 the carmelized insult,
 the undifferentiated sameness of the hours.

 I gather up my swampy fragments left over
 as my day's doxology.

 Two things do I know.
 To one thing my heart clings:
 One does not search for God in vain,
 even if not found.


--Fr. Kilian McDonnell, OSB

Collegeville, Minn.
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Title Annotation:Poetry
Author:McDonnell, Kilian
Publication:National Catholic Reporter
Article Type:Poem
Date:Oct 3, 2003
Words:167
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