While in a lengthy line awaiting entry
to where a horde of costumed comic fans
had gathered for some fun, I saw a sentry
outside the line, with other, sterner, plans:
evangelizing with a threat of hell
by way of illustration on a poster,
and if you disbelieved what he would tell
you’d doom yourself to be eternal roaster.
It made me think one faith has many faces,
like homemade masks aficionados wore,
some beautiful, like people of all races,
some hideous, like doctrine-driven war.
The face of faith the fans made me think of
was – God is not a monster – God is love.

To photograph the fascinating crews
of costumed comic fans at Comic-Con,
I shot at high speeds so as not to lose
scenes that bloom a moment then are gone.
This meant I didn’t have much time to choose
the faces or the things I’d focus on,
within a sea of shifting shapes and hues
of characters in costumes, worn and drawn.
We miss so much in every passing minute,
the magic in what may appear mundane,
don’t see a moment’s beauty when we’re in it,
the sacredness in what appears profane.
I missed amidst the moments I was in
the sweetest thing that someone wore: a grin.


Mario A. Pita

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When someone blurted out across a room
a comment on her beauty, she looked sad
as though the compliment provoked some gloom
or dredged up some old sorrow that she had.
And it occurred to me that beauty could
at times induce a crushing loneliness,
as many sought her out for looking good
but wouldn’t see beyond her loveliness.
And I who witnessed this was not immune
to beauty I considered to be awesome,
yet felt the man was acting like a goon
who seemed to want to pick her like a blossom.
Youth’s beauty may be brief, as in an hour,
but she is much more than a lovely flower.


Mario A. Pita

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My heart was made for music, and its beat
is not the only thing that makes that clear:
my life’s a composition I complete
because its steady rhythm keeps me here.
Like Francis, I would be an instrument
for Love to play a melody through me.
My beating heart reminds me I am meant
as movement in a cosmic symphony.
Although my heart does not sound like a trumpet
— a piano — or a flute — or violin —
I can make music as with every pump it
lets me keep playing for the world I’m in.
My heart may be a pump that’s made of clay,
but I’m an instrument for Love to play.

Heart of Music

Artwork: Heart of Music, by Jake Weidmann

Mario A. Pita

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It’s hard for some to picture You as dad,
as old man in the sky with ashen beard,
because of some experiences they had
with fathers who abused them and were feared.
And I dislike how Michelangelo
portrayed You famously upon a ceiling
as I don’t think a finite work can show
infinitude all pictures are concealing.
How could a human picture fit in it
a full and accurate portrayal of
Your being – invisible and infinite?
I can’t imagine what You look like, Love.
What then are incomplete portrayals for?
They can’t show You but spice a metaphor.

Michelangelo, God the Father
Michelangelo, God the Father

Mario A. Pita

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When I discovered I am full of death,
I took it as the most horrific shock,
for I had felt my goodness had a depth
that kept that out, impenetrable rock.
And yet I found that I am full of rot,
so I could not regard myself as good,
so full of death my feeling and my thought,
for reasons that I hadn’t understood.
But being full of death has drilled in me
that on my sullied self I can’t depend,
for You, Love, give all life, and I can see,
without You, I’m a creature bound to end.
O, Christ, I know that I am full of death.
For any life in me, I’m in your debt.


Mario A. Pita

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Unplanned Planting

The squirrel that buries acorns in the ground
to save them for when he is hungry later
is unaware the acorn that he found
may grow to serve a purpose that is greater.
For often he forgets what he has hidden
and forests sprout from his forgetfulness,
and from the acorns that he hasn’t bitten
come many feeding others – numberless.
Though his intention when he hides a nut
is self-preserving – for his future need –
it may instead serve other beings, for what
he doesn’t know is that it is a seed.
This tells me something that is good to know:
good things that we don’t plan can often grow.

Squirrel Perch

Mario A. Pita

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I’d fret about the rules I shouldn’t break
and made up new ones that I thought were good
and gave myself an existential ache
with fear that I would not do what I should.
I’d fret about my every thought and feeling
that didn’t match what I considered pure
and tried to crush the ones that weren’t appealing,
and it seemed that I would be damned for sure.
But while I couldn’t face that I was flawed
and that my thoughts were full of rot and death,
I focused on myself instead of God
and faith He’d pull me from my hellish depth.
My sin appeared so mighty and immense,
but it’s not God, with Love’s omnipotence.

Jesus Eclipse

Mario A. Pita

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