In a very generous gift of original work, my friend Joseph Madonna sent me three poems he had written for the occasion of my profession of Solemn Vows in the Franciscan Order, each poem a reflection on each of the three vows. With his permission, I will publish them here on the three days preceding the date of profession — this Saturday morning. Here is the second, this one on the vow of obedience.


Open your heart to receive my Word.
Open the ears of your heart and listen
to the voice which comes not in fire, lightning, and earthquake
but in the gentle, soft breeze…

The world tells you to be strong, to conquer the hearts
and minds of men. But I say unto you:
Be weak, for in my weakest moment did I not
free you from all your sins, and open the gates
home to you?

Be not afraid my children, for I am ever with you.
I will not let you wander far from my love,
nor forsake you in your time of great need.
Listen to my Word, keep my commandments,
Love abundantly and pray ceaselessly.


– Joseph Madonna (2011)

Photo: Linda Davidson, The Washington Post 

1 Comment

  1. This is so beautiful – each piece is beautiful; God bless Joseph for what he has given you in these poems.

    I am particularly moved to obedience, as my own journey of obedience is rooted in deep listening. Which is exactly why – not because of the images of power and control, the image of obedience brings up – is so challenging.

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