Cantores Vicariī


Carefully wrapping a nickname
In the chanted tones of prayer,
Interceding thus for those bereaved,
The vicar treads a winding stair:

Although he has not left his knees,
His sung word lofty climbs
To the right hand of the Father,
Through the Holy Spirit’s sighs.

It settles in the Sacred Heart,
This word that he commends,
And the Triune God now listens
To the cries of mortal men.

Is not all prayer such sighing?
Are not our words all groans?
Aye, here’s a mystery
The likes of which remain unknown:

Prayer does not work; it simply is.
All earthly parlance cracks.
There is no cause, and no effect,
We simply sing words back

Unto the Father, which He gave
To us so long ago
When sounds sank down into the world —
Yet Him we would not know.

The Word made Flesh then taught to us
Those words which we had lost:
“Our Father,” “It is finished.”
“Peace.” “Receive the Holy Ghost.”

Hear Him, and Hear the Father.
Eat His Body, drink His Blood;
Prayer — like these — is sweet communion.
Taste, see, say that He is good.

“The word is near you, in your mouth
And in your hearts it rests.
In your hearts then, so believe,
That which your mouths confess.”

It must, then, be enough to pray,
And know that God is good.
Our reason need not part this veil,
Not that it even could.