A Poem by Fr. Larry Dowling
My prayers these days are like shallow waves
Lighting upon heaven’s shore
Their voice a whispered echo
Of inner longing’s plaintive, restless roar.
I yearn that my soul once again be moved,
As a sailboat propelled by that wind
That brushes across my care-worn face
Urging the Spirit’s revival from within.
Gulls at midday skim the surface
Of lake waters, serene and calm
Searching for the day’s sustenance
As I hunger for a healing balm.
At dusk I lie on a storm-beaten shore
Its texture soft and coarse
Awaiting the day when new life emerges
And pains of the past lose their force.
Sun melts slowly into depths of night
Mind and spirit seek to fathom
The path on which God will heal and lead me
To fill my soul’s deep, dark chasm.
My being is drawn to surrender
To the warmth of the Lord’s tender embrace.
Our hearts conjoin in life-giving passion.
Spirits commingling in this holy place.
Reclined at the table of my Beloved’s heart
Fed by life broken open, by passion outpoured
Betrayals are dismissed, fears wiped away,
Heart starts to heal, vision’s center’s restored.
Darkness fades, soft dawn sun emerges
Hope’s promise breaks at horizon’s line
My being delights in growing strength
The passion of God has again become mine.
Larry Dowling, has been a priest since 1991, served as pastor at St. Denis Parish on the southwest side of Chicago for 10 years and now has been serving at St. Agatha for nine years, each time following a pastor who had been abusing children and youth. He served on the Archdiocesan Review Board for 7 years and currently serves on the Archdiocesan Healing Garden Committee. Fr. Dowling has also written The Call and Privilege of Ministry to and with Survivors and the full article in which this poem appeared, entitled Where Was God When This Was Happening to Me?
This article appeared in the May 2017 issue of The Healing Voices Magazine.