“I’m curious: how many others of you were brought up Catholic?” I asked, and to my surprise, ten of the fourteen students in my class at a small Methodist college in Virginia raised their hands.
We’d been discussing a poem submitted by one of them early in the semester, a poem that seemed to this lapsed Catholic to have come out of a similar religious background. There were no obvious references to the Pope or Holy Communion, but the writing had a certain kind of sensibility that struck a chord with me. The young poet had looked at the same scenes I had as a kid, at the Stations of the Cross, no doubt, at its scenes of Jesus’ suffering, his writhing face and muscles wrenched in ecstasy and pain. How could anyone forget those images, especially a child looking up at them in fear and wonder from a hard wooden pew down below? [Read more…]