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Advent Poetry

Advent Poetry

Advent Prayer

Like foolish folk of old I would not be,
Who had no room that night for Him and thee.
See, Mother Mary, here within my heart
I've made a little shrine for Him apart;
Swept it of sin, and cleansed it with all care;
Warmed it with love and scented it with prayer.
So, Mother, when the Christmas anthems start,
Please let me hold your baby--in my heart.

– Sr. Maryanna, O.P.

December Eighth

Beloved, Mother of us all,
To-day we remember
That, of all earth's millions,
You, Mary, in the womb,
Were shining, whole,
And Godward-turned.
You only, O Morning Star,
Lighted the clouds of sin and waiting.
You only, Immaculate Ark,
Glided above the depths of the primal curse;
For you were to bear safely over those waters
Emmanuel, your little Son, from whose baby hand
Streams the rainbow up which we climb to God.
You only, little white moon, are the crystal
Reflection of our Sun.
But for your whiteness, O Gate of Heaven,
We had never entered, nor seen our God.
But for your loveliness, O Mystic Rose,
We had never breathed the Rose of Sharon.
White Tower of David, Ivory Tower,
Princess whose beauty lured Love's kiss when life began,
Mother, who died a thousand deaths for us,
We thank Him for you.
To-day, when He smiles to see His image in you, clear,
Remember us.

– Sr. St. Francis, S.S.J.


All bright and clear, the starry vault
With golden lights and crisp, clean air,
Allures the soul to rise, nor halt
Till she shall float exultant there.

Earth folds her form in ermine cloak,
Whose glist'ning sheen reflects the stars;
Clear rings the skaters' rhythmic stroke
From stream held fast in icy bars.

Uprears the sun at morning's birth,
In glory bathes the wood and plain;
Day's busy hum awakes the earth
To view the scene of Winter's reign.

We love the smile of youthful Spring,
There's gladness in the Summer's glow,
And rich in Autumn's harvesting,--
Yet, greater gifts can Winter show,--

Rare gifts, surpassing pearls and gold;
God's Mother-Maid, Immaculate,
And Christ the King--these, Winter old
Brings down to bless man's poor estate.

- J.A.M

Advent Antiphons

From Mary's sweet silence
Come, Word mutely spoken!

Pledge of our real life,
Come, Bread yet unbroken!

Seed of the Golden Wheat,
In us be sown.

Fullness of true Light,
Through us be known.

Secret held tenderly,
Guarded with Love,

Cradled in purity,
Child of the Dove,


– Sr. M. Charlita, I.H.M.

Advent Summons

Come forth from the holy place,
Sweet Child,
Come from the quiet dark
Where virginal heartbeats
Tick your moments.

Come away from the red music
Of Mary's veins.
Come out from the Tower of David
Sweet Child,
From the House of Gold.

Leave your lily-cloister,
Leave your holy mansion,
Quit your covenant ark.
O Child, be born!

Be born, sweet Child,
In our unholy hearts.

Come to our trembling,
Helpless Child.
Come to our littleness,
Little Child,
Be born unto us
Who have kept the faltering vigil.
Be given, be born,
Be ours again.

Came forth from your holy haven,
Come away from your perfect shrine,
Come to our wind-racked souls
From the flawless tent,
Sweet Child.

Be born, little Child,
In our unholy hearts.

– Mary Francis, P.C.C.

Queen of Craftsmen: An Advent Song

Blow on, exquisite blow,
The crystal hammers of her love,
Fasten the careful joinings of His bones.
Prophets have sung this craft:
How man may number
These bones, but never break any one of them.

What blueprint guides you, Queen of architects,
To trace sure paths for wandering veins
That run Redemption's wine?

Who dipped your brush, young artist, so to tint
The eyes and lips of God? Where did you learn
To spin such silk of hair, and expertly
Pull sinew, wind this Heart to tick our mercy?

Thrones, Powers, fall down, worshipping your craft
Whom we, for want of better word, shall call
Most beautiful of all the sons of men.

Worker in motherhood, take our splintery songs,
Who witness What you make in litanies:
Queen of craftsman, pray for us who wait.

– Mary Francis, P.C.C.

Advent Song

Lady, what songs are bending
The tall grasses of your mind,
What secret music whispers down your veins,
What wax-leaf ponderings, O Virgin Mary,
Waken our little shouts of expectation?

Our thoughts have lumbered down a treeless highway,
Have sputtered their heavy loftiness, have wept
Their protest. Now we hear the distant birdcall
Oh, dimly! but the woods have heard it well.
The stars are singing in their stupefaction,
The giddy little hills are clapping hands.

But Lady, what songs sway
The supple grasses of your thoughts,
What secret music whispers down your veins?

Glorious things are said about this city
Where the small citizen Christ moves in the lanes
Of so-brief arteried comfort; but what songs
Drift through this templed alabaster town?

We see the windows lighted, Virgin Mary,
City of God, by every hymn we raise
With chipped and broken voices, and our feeble
Vision guesses sacred silhouettes.

But when the little Seed fell in the furrow,
The warm and spotless furrow of your heart,
Tell us what pure songs stirred your delicate wonder,
What secret music whispered down your veins.

– Mary Francis, P.C.C.


In those days when the people of Judea were oppressed
in the reign of King Herod,
in the town of Nazareth there was a woman named Miryam.
In prayer Miryam watched.
Eyes of her soul turned inward, she watched.
Ears of her spirit stretched out, she watched.
Watched for Yahweh in stillness.
In awe Miryam listened.
With the firm beat of her heart, she listened.
With the deep stroke of her breath, she listened.
Listened for Yahweh in stillness.
In the stillness Miryam reached out.
Mind alive, she reached out.
Memory reflecting, she reached out.
Inviting her God to inspire.
The Shadow streamed into her being.
Greeting the core of her soul.
Hearing, she stretched for the life source.
Embracing the quickening call.
'How is this? I know not!" she responded.
Stumbling in God's desert of time.
"But you speak and all things come together.
I will as you say let it be."

Her lifetime of shadowy knowing was
confirmed in the quieting joy,
Summoning cadences. ancient and deep.
echoed the call of God's peace.
Miryam arose and went out.
Holding the knowledge of change, went out.
Accepting the newness of challenge, went out.
Went out to begin the task.
Miryam embarked on the journey.
Her mind precise for the journey.
Her soul enflamed for the journey.
Journeyed to the arms of Elizabeth.
In the warmth of those arms, she knew.
Ancient pathways opening before her, she knew
Words of her people streamed from her mouth, she knew.
Knew that her God lived within her.

– Anonymous

Magnificat of Acceptance

My soul trembles in the presence of the loving Creator
and my spirit prepares itself to walk hand in hand
with the God who saves Israel
because I have been accepted by God
as a simple helpmate.
Yes, forever in the life of humankind
people will sing of this loving encounter;
through remembering this moment, the faithful
will know all things are possible in God.
Holy is the place within me where God lives.
God's tender fingers reach out from age to age
to touch the softened inner spaces of those
who open their souls in hope.
I have experienced the creative power of God's embracing arms
and I know the cleansing fire of unconditional love.
I am freed from all earthly authority
and know my bonding to the Author of all earthly things.
I am filled with the news of good things;
my favor with God,
faithful trust in the gentle shadow of the Most High,
the mystery or my son, Jesus,
the gift of companionship with my beloved kinswoman,
Elizabeth. who believes as I believe.
The place in my heart that I had filled
with thoughts of fear and inadequacy
has been emptied and I am quiet within.
God comes to save Israel, our holy family,
remembering that we are the ones who remember,
... according to the kinship we have known ...
remembering that we are the ones who remember
and that where God and people trust each other
there is home.

– Mary Francis, P.C.C.


I live my Advent in the womb of Mary
And on one night when a great star swings free
From its high mooring and walks down the sky
To be the dot above the Christus i,
I shall be born of her by blessed grace.
I wait in Mary-darkness, faith's walled place,
With hope's expectance of nativity.
I knew for long she carried me and fed me,
Guarded and loved me, though I could not see,
But only now, with inward jubilee,
I come upon earth's most amazing knowledge:
Someone is hidden in this dark with me.

– Jessica Powers

There Was a Time: An Advent Poem

There was a time when there was no time,
When darkness reigned as king,
When a formless void was all that there was
in the nothingness of eternity,
When it was night.
But over the void and over the night Love watched.
There was a time when time began.
It began when Love spoke.

Time began for light and life, for splendor and grandeur.
Time began for seas and mountains, for flowers and birds.
Time began for the valleys to ring with the songs of life,
and for the wilderness to echo with the wailing of wind
and howling of animals.
And over the earth, Love watched.

There was a time when time began to be recorded.
A time when Love breathed and a new creature came to life.
A new creature so special that it was in the image and likeness of Love
Of Love who is God.
And so man was born and the dawn of a new day shone on the world.
And over man, Love watched.

But there came a time when the new day faded.
A time when man who was like God tried to be God.
A time when the creature challenged the creator.
A time when man preferred death to life and darkness to light.
And so the new day settled into twilight.
And over the darkness, Love watched.

There was a time of waiting in the darkness.
A time when man waited in the shadows,
And all creation groaned in sadness.
There was waiting for Love to speak again--for Love to breathe again.
And kings and nations and empires rose and faded in the shadows.
And Love waited and watched.

Finally, there came a time when Love spoke again.
A Word from eternity--a Word
Spoken to a girl who belonged to a people not known by the world
Spoken to a girl who belonged to a family not known by her people
To a girl named Mary.
And all creation waited in hushed silence for the girl's answer.
And Mary spoke her yes.
And Love watched over Mary.

And so there came a time when Love breathed again
When Love breathed new life into Mary's yes.
And a new day dawned for the World
A day when light returned to darkness, when life returned to dispel death
And so a day came when Love became man--a mother bore a child.
And Love watched over Love--a Father watched His Son.

And, lastly, there came a time when you and I became a part of time.
Now is the time that you and I wait.
Now we wait to celebrate what the world waited for.
And as we wait to celebrate what was at one time, we become a part of that time
A time when a new dawn and a new dream and a new creation began for man.
And as a part of time, Love waits and Love watches over us.

– Fr. Joseph Breighner

Magnificat of Betrothal

Our souls are filled with wonder at the gift of our loving,
and our spirits take on new meaning in the giving of love,
God of the Flowing Well,
you have looked upon us with favor as we join our lives
in response to you.
Yes, from this time on all people who look upon us
will recognize us as being life companions
and will call us blessed,
for you, the One who dwells in human hearts,
have done great things for us.
Holy, is your name,
and your confirming joy reaches from age to age
to those who dare to journey
on the unknown pathways of committed love.
You have shown us the life-changing power of our love
in the eyes of those who know us and
in the richness of our work.
You have humbled us by the intensity of our otherness.
The false pride that we treasured in our ability to stand alone,
has been cast aside
and we understand ourselves and you more tenderly
as we begin to experience the treasure
of a lifetime of standing together.
We are no longer lonely:
We touch with compassion those who come to us filled with
You have opened the doors of eternity to us
as we searched for you,
mindful of your own longings for a people to love
... according to the dreams and murmurings you have shared
with those who love since the beginning of time ...
mindful of your own longings for a people to love,
we recognize that the bondedness of human hearts and lives
reflects one true reality of you, the Living God.

– Fr. Joseph Breighner

Femme Fatalities

to think God came to me
within, a larva in the fullness
of time, mine

and in His time, pupal
was the stage most loved
before the Chrysalis:

Him hung up, dangling even
as if out to dry
til He burst forth His cocoon!

His soul set free (to show
us ours might likewise fly), and thus
He fluttered, everso aerie, breath-

less, that is, still as breath (as
breath withheld, not breath blown
in) for us, as an ephemera here,
but for all time He is, the True
genus species: Monarchus christus

– Anonymous

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