A Poem for You

A Poem for You November 30, 2023

I am retreat this week at Ender’s Island south of Mystic, CT. So far my primary text has been Pádraig Ó Tuama’s In the Shelter, a beautiful memoir that is a mix of poetry and stunning prose. For today, here is his poem “Collect.” It spoke to me–I trust it will speak to you as well.


God of watching,

whose gaze I doubt and rally against both,

but in which I take refuge, despite my limited vision.

Shelter me today,

against the flitting nature of my own focus,

and help me find a calm kind of standing.

And when I falter, which is likely,

give me the courage and the kindness to begin again with hope and coping.

For you are the one whose watchfulness is steady.



God of silence,

who watches our growth and our decay,

who cares for the widow, the orphan,

the banker, the terrorist, the student,

the politician, the poet, the freedom fighter.

We pray to be nurtured in our own silences.

We pray that we might find in those silences

truth, compassion, fatigue, and hearing.

Because you, you, you see all, and are often silent.

And we need to hope that you are not inattentive to our needs.



God of darkness

You must be the god of darkness

because if you are not, whom else can we turn to?

Turn to us now.

Turn to us.

Turn your face to us.

Because it is dark here.

And we are in need. We are people in need.

We can barely remember our own truth, and if you too have


then we are without a hope of a map.

Turn to us now.

Turn to us.

Turn your face to us.

Because you turned toward us in the body of incarnation.

You turned toward us.


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