Wanderings of an Ordinary Pilgrim (Catholic poetry series) (英語) ペーパーバック – 2019/5/19
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When on a pilgrimage with his family, poet Tim Bete decided not to take along a camera but rather a notebook. He jotted down thoughts, ideas and images that struck him while traveling through Portugal, Spain, France and Italy. He wrote a handful of poems during the pilgrimage and after returning, meditated upon the pages of the notebook until they became additional poems. Some of the poems are about places Tim visited, while others were simply inspired by Scripture and prayer during the journey. As he reflected on his longer pilgrimages, many of his ordinary, routine pilgrimages came to mind—things such as his commute to work each day and the slow passing of seasons. Like the disciples on the road to Emmaus, we meet God as much on the road as at our destination.This book of poetry will provide an experience of our most-loving God, who is even more excited about journeying to us than we are to Him.
"Simply incredible! As someone who has arranged Catholic pilgrimages for three decades, I can confidently say Tim captures the deeply personal and transformational journey that is a pilgrimage."
—Milanka Lachman, LCHS, President & Owner, 206 Tours
"What I especially love about these poems is the way in which this ordinary pilgrim, as he describes himself, keeps circling back to the God who, surprise of surprises, was there all along...here is a poet who returns us again and again to the God who really matters."
—Paul Mariani, poet and biographer, is an emeritus professor of English at Boston College and winner of the John Ciardi Award for Lifetime Achievement in Poetry
"A landscape of sensation and memory both of everyday occurrence and Catholic sacramental life in a language deeply familiar to Catholic Christians but refreshingly elevated for non-Catholics as well. These poems from an insightful poet sensitive to the movement of the Spirit in the world, and his journey to know God’s will for his life, provide 'fodder for prayer' and a reason to contemplate our own pilgrimage."
—Matthew Gambino, Director, CatholicPhilly.com
I especially enjoyed his take on the tale of the Prodigal Son. Bete takes us first inside the mind of the son, broken and beaten by the world but still focused on himself as he plays out possible scenarios for his return. Meanwhile, the father is at home, praying for his son’s return concerned only that he comes home before it’s too late. That brief glimpse in the minds of the father and son in the parable will provide fresh grist for the contemplative mill for some time to come.
With the poem, Lost Things the author broadens the reader’s appreciation of St. Anthony. Generally thought of has the saint who helps you find your lost wallet, Bete broadens that understanding to include lost patience, dignity, and youth. The answers to those prayers are humbling, encouraging a genuine reflection on how we all indeed fall short of the glory of God. As always, you’ll get an answer to your prayer, but it might not be the one you want to hear.
Divine Office of the Shovel particularly resonated with me. With this poem the simple act of shoveling the driveway in the winter is transformed into a nearly spiritual experience. The sound of the shovel scrapping against the snow, the repetitive motion, and the solitude of the early morning before the sun comes up create a quieting effect on the soul, even through the written word. As someone who prefers to rely on my own hands and back rather than a machine, I can definitely relate.
Finally, Over My Shoulder conveys the humbling realization that at the end of the day we can never know all of God. In fact, the more we know of Him, the clearer it is how much we don’t know and can never understand.
There are many others in this work that are sure to move your soul or provoke reflection. The poems are simple but in that simplicity, they are accessible enough for anyone. It’s in that accessibility that Wanderings of an Ordinary Pilgrim has its true strength. In being accessible to all, all are invited to a deeper contemplation of their relationship with Christ.