Jesus Usage

We’ve used You, Jesus, sometimes savagely
to justify our deeds as though they were
approved by You who gave them sanctity,
though our intentions had been far from pure.
We’ve used You, Jesus, to give us support
as though You were a wall on which to lean,
dividing us from others, like a fort,
confusing righteousness with being mean.
Forgive us, Jesus, for our use of You,
and use us for Your will on Earth instead,
for there is nothing better we can do
than live for loving as You did and said.
If still I ask to use You, please refuse me.
I pray instead to You, please, Jesus, use me.

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Mario A. Pita

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Viewpoints

When I see life through just my point of view.
my focus sharpens, sharp enough to cut,
then I can’t see a viewpoint that is new,
and my once open mind is tightly shut.
A viewpoint that I deemed complete and wise
turned out to be an ordinary rut,
for from a single point the world that’s wide
is narrowed to a point of viewing, but
we prick each others with our points of view,
the way we see the world from where we’re standing,
and often fail to see that there’s truth too
in views of which we have no understanding.
Our view of life is from our place in it,
yet other points of view are infinite.

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Mario A. Pita

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Stargazers*

The lilies that we planted aren’t like those
that Jesus said dressed better than a king,
nor did they have fine fragrance for a nose,
each one a yellowing and wilted thing.
Not youthful beauties, but decrepit hags,
an ignorant gardener would have thrown them out,
yet we fed them fresh soil from our bags,
because you knew new loveliness would sprout:
“The true life is within, and is unseen”
you said, and though some might regard it silly,
philosophizing on what plants can mean,
I knew you weren’t just speaking of a lily.
Unseen, unlike a king with splendor crowned,
life stems from bulbs we buried in the ground.

* Stargazers are a kind of lily.
Painting: Lily Girl by Bert Liverance

Mario A. Pita

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Political Wolves

Besides You, Lord, are many others who
wish I and other people would be sheep,
behaving only as they want us to,
as if we all were hypnotized, asleep.
They’d have us live to toil and consume
and not protest injustices they heap
upon the powerless who should presume
life’s lion’s shares are for the rich to keep.
But we won’t fall for long for shepherds who
are wolves who wrap themselves in rhetoric,
proclaiming they alone can speak for You,
as we see through their predatory trick.
Sometimes we are fooled by wolf or leopard,
but we return to You, Lord, our real shepherd.

Lamb
Photo: “Lamb” by Freddie Poser on Flickr.

Mario A. Pita

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Anima Home

When Angst, a salesman, knocks at my mind’s door,
and tries to make me buy the fear he’s selling,
my angel asks me, “Honey, who’s it for,
and will you now allow him in our dwelling?”
Her inquiry reminds me not to buy
the harmful things that I have bought before,
a thing that sounds like truth but is a lie,
what I don’t want to fall for anymore.
Although I want to keep an open mind,
it’s best to not buy falsehoods from a vendor
who keeps me from the freedom I would find,
and recognize him when he tries to enter.
Solicitors come knocking at my soul,
but I won’t buy what keeps me from my goal.

Painting: Poison, René Magritte, 1949

Mario A. Pita

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The Million Bells

We plucked the wilting blossoms, past their primes,
to give the Million Bells plant growing room,
as breezes strummed a song on your wind chimes,
a peaceful melody of life in bloom.
The daily pruning task was time consuming
because each day a mass of blossoms died
as other masses had just started blooming
around their predecessors that had dried.
But we enjoyed the task, each bloom a bell,
reminding us our lives are pruned as well.

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Homelessness Golgotha

I claimed to love you, God, but would walk by
a homeless person begging on the street,
avoided meeting them then, eye to eye,
although I know it’s terrible to treat
a person, young or old, a girl or guy,
without a bed, a roof, or much to eat,
as though they were invisible, and I
wouldn’t say a word, and just retreat.
I want to love You not just as You were
when You were born and three kings came to bow
and not as some ideal I would prefer,
but as You are, in all in need, right now.
Let there be none I fear I or I despise:
I want to love, no matter Your disguise.

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Cross of coins, made by Shavonne, homeless in Boston.

Mario A. Pita

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