Discalced Carmelite Friars

Province of St. Therese

The Church

The narthex, the nave, the steeple,
the transept, the columns, the corbel,
the buttress, the portal, the plaster,
the gold, the marble, the silver.

The Stations of the Cross
carved in Paris and shipped
in the hold of a schooner
on its way to Boston.

The bond stone, the bed joints, the mortar,
the granite, the weep holes, the stretcher.

The Irish mason who ate
his lunch sitting on scaffolding,
legs dangling in the air
200 feet above the ground.

The bull’s eye, the rondel, the solder,
the leading, the fish tape, the badger.

The stained glass designed
in Germany by a man whose
apprentice was engaged
to his oldest daughter.

The birdsmouth, the cheek cut, the gable,
the stringer, the molding, the spandrel.

The carpenter who kept
a holy card of St. Stanisław
in his pocket, given to him
by his mother in Krakow.

The arches, the ambo, the pillars,
the chancel, the pew rows, the altar.

My heart and knees joined
to those who lived long ago,
whose hands forged
this sacramental frame

in which I kneel; the mysteries
of their craft caressing
the mysteries of God;
calling the faithful to prayer.

Written by Tim Bete, OCDS
Tim Bete is a Secular Discalced Carmelite from Dayton, OH

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Other Blogs by Secular Discalced Carmelites:

  • Bethany Hang Out – a blog by Shawn Chapman, OCDS. Shawn is a member of the Austin community of Secular Discalced Carmelites. She also writes regularly for ATX Catholic online.
  • Elizabeth Explores Writing – a blog by Elizabeth Ogilvie, OCDS. Elizabeth is a Secular Discalced Carmelite of the U.S. Central Province.
  • Gray Rising – a blog by Tim Bete, OCDS. Tim is a member of the community of the Secular Discalced Carmelites in Dayton, OH.
  • Hearth Cake and a Jug of Water – Mary Bellman, a member of the Dallas OCDS community, sends out a daily Carmelite quotation by e-mail. Send her an email at bellman.mary@gmail.com if you would like to be added on her mailing list and receive these Carmelite quotations.
  • Illumina, Domine – a blog by Pat Enk, a Secular Discalced Carmelite of the U.S. Central Province.