A Gift of Faith

catholic poetry room


This week’s poem in the Catholic Poetry Room is by Ruth Asch.                                                                                                                 

A Gift of Faith

The voicing of an instinct, might mutter under breath
the definition of nearly nothing: small, round and white.

We know so many things are real which are not proved by sight.
The sun withdrawn, behind thick clouds, appears small, round and white.

Beneath a sky of darkness, walking home alone,
the moon’s somehow a comfort, though it’s just small, round and white.

In silent chapels, shadowy, alone trickling tears,
someone lifts to the altar a face small, round and white.

Side by side, jeans on a bench, soul sisters pray and sing;
guitar and flute and lyric lilt to praise small, round and white.

In robes ornately woven, hands veiled, the priest lifts high
within carved golden glory: a host small, round and white.

The biker in his leather, the business men, suits striped,
the ladies in their finery kneel to small, round and white.

Rich and poor queue up towards the sanctuary, return,
upon each red and pulsing tongue: wafer small, round and white.

Each time a miracle occurs, the men of science find
heart-tissue, torn and bleeding, blent with small, round and white.

To comprehend the everything and essence of all truth,
the symbol for eternity may be: small, round and white.


Ruth Asch is a poet and short-story writer, whose work can be found in many literary journals and sites (such as Ghazal Page, Peacock Journal, Piltdown Review, Jesus the Imagination) and anthologies (Mother’s Milk, The Forgotten and Fantastical Vol.4, Beauty First) and in an early collection of her own poetry: Reflections (St Austin Press 2009). She is also a teacher of English and Latin, and the mother of five, living in Preston, England. 


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About the Author

Tim Bete, ICL Poetry Curator To submit poetry to be considered for the Catholic Poetry Room, visit our submission guidelines page or CatholicPoetry.org.


Tim Bete is Poetry Editor for IntegratedCatholicLife.org and always searching for the best Catholic poetry from today's poets as well as those of the past.

Tim's poetry has appeared in Presence: A Journal of Catholic Poetry, The Asketerion, and the Poet and Contemplative Blog of the Discalced Carmelite Friars (Province of St. Therese). His first book of poetry is The Raw Stillness of Heaven, of which one reviewer wrote, “If you are Catholic and think that you do not like poetry, this book will change your mind.”

Tim is former director of the national writers' workshop at the University of Dayton—a Catholic, Marianist university. He's a member of the Secular Order of Discalced Carmelites (OCDS) and often trades poems with his oldest daughter, who is a Dominican Sister. He says she's the best writer in the family.

Tim's writing has also appeared in several editions of the Amazing Grace anthology series (Ascension Press), theChristian Science Monitor, Writer's Digest magazine, and numerous parenting magazines. His latest book is Wanderings of an Ordinary Pilgrim

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