What the Angels Sang

catholic poetry room

This week’s poem in the Catholic Poetry Room is by Fr. Bonaventure Sauer, OCD.                                                                     

What the Angels Sang

And then he will send out the angels and gather his elect
from the four winds, from the end of the earth to the end of the sky.
~Mk 13:27

If we were to name their names, so many, naming them
One by one, the sky would fill with light, the trees
Awaken, and the air wrap itself in woolen folds

Around this roll call of souls standing out in the cold
Like a great slum of row houses. Then they would
Look up, showing their faces one by one. Yes, it helps

On a day like today to remember that we possess such
Holy powers—To memorize the names of the nameless in
Every age and let them course through our veins, one by one,

Till each is reborn on the Great Wave of God’s unrolling scroll
And its summoning shout. We live now ready for that
Bright world we speak of, although we speak haltingly,

Fumbling with wonder as if with a ring of keys. Yet
We do speak, for such is the power the fire of love has
In us: “O Lord, mighty God,” we say, “when the sun

Rises tomorrow, the many souls who wait here, myriads
Upon myriads, will they have grown still wearier of
Hope and its disappointment? It is time, we believe,

For You to gather Your strength. What say you, Lord?”
The silence of His reply is charged with the weight
Of a hand—a firm hand and light touch. So, we lift up

These souls, each one of them, into the vast circle
Of our minds, and carry them forward into tomorrow.


Fr. Bonaventure Sauer, OCD, is editor of the Poet and Contemplative Blog.

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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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