© Copyright 2012, T. Stanfill Benns
As a barely more than a child,
I stood in the shadows as the wrecking ball
of “aggiornamento” shattered the Church I loved.
Out of what seemed to be the blue sky of forever,
it demolished overnight the work of Divinity.
Emerging from the rubble, dazed survivors
scattered to the four corners of the earth,
taking shelter in the remnants of its greatness.
All too soon, even the ruins were barely discernible.
To rebuild we were not able; to continue alone
proved more than its victims could bear.
Bruised and broken, we took comfort where we could.
But even the crumbs we scraped from the holy table
turned bitter in our mouths and scorched our souls.
Imprisoned in our silent, virtual catacombs,
robbed of the Guardian’s presence, we miserably coexist.
And now even freedom’s eagle, that lingering guarantee
is plummeting from darkening and menacing heights.
We see again the approaching demolition
witnessed so long ago, when we were helpless to object.
The very same forces, rulers of this world of darkness
are manning the crane and wielding the wrecking ball.
We cry out and no one hears; we gnash our teeth.
But entombed long ago and shrouded in silence,
we cannot warn the others of their impending doom.
“Strike the Shepherd,” the Scriptures say
“and the flock shall be dispersed;” this is our lot.
And as the Church goes, so goes the world, one sage opines.
What fragile freedoms to worship God that yet remain
will soon become burnt offerings at the dusky idol’s feet.
The points of light still flicker, love’s burning flame;
extinguished here on earth to blaze forever in Heaven.