! ! An Earthly Miracle - Poem by Michael Shepherd
Sometimes, an earthly miracle
needs human mediation;
it’s what creates our saints;
and what our saints create.
This story’s told of Abba Alonius,
known always to speak the truth:
One day a man, provoked beyond restraint
by ceaseless taunts and treachery,
murdered a man, within the Abba’s sight;
fled to the Abba’s cell, begging him,
‘Forgive me, Abba, in the sight of God,
before they hang me in the sight of men…’
Abba Alonius said,
that was not in his power..
The police came, asked that holy man,
‘Did this man murder in your sight? ’
The Abba said, all he could say
was that the man sought blessing in his cell..
the murderer looked astonished at that holy man,
who had for his sake, broken holy vow of truth;
and for one man’s soul.. That soul
cried out to God, to redeem the holy Abba’s lie…
and in the instant, knew itself redeemed.
After the trial with no witness to the deed,
he sought the Abba, to know the holy truth:
And Abba said: ‘Better for me to express a lie,
and so, deliver your soul over to God unbound;
for God knows all.. Do what you can,
and leave the rest to God..’
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