Saturday, December 15, 2018

The Servant of God: Matt Talbot

Readers are invited to submit their own writing as well as links by others regarding Venerable Matt Talbot.

The Servant Of God
(Matt Talbot).

Silhouetted beneath the shimmering January moon,
a lone pilgrim, his bare knees,
kissing the penitential cold of granite stone,
awaits entry to the re-enactment,
of the perpetual drama.

Not so alas in his youthful days,
for those hands now clasped in prayer,
with reckless ease were wrapped around,
the “drink”, and all it’s snares.
From tavern to drunken tavern,
stumble, stagger, fall,
when the demon’s cravings had stripped him bare,
’twas the You gave the call.

With hands buried deep in penniless pockets,
on Newcomen bridge he took his stand,
pleading eyes from sunken sockets,
awaited in vain a welcoming glance.
A mother’s prayers had at last been answered,
from the debts of despair a glimmer of light,
a bitter experience of human friendship,
shattered he sighed, and sought comfort in flight.

By the fireside she sat, as she heard him exclaim
“mother, mother I’m home,
startled she cried, “Matt, what is it, what’s wrong?
“I’m taking the pledge”, he intoned.
“Go now in God’s name, but only if you intend to keep it”,
for she well knew his heavy load.
“I’ll go in God’s name, as he took,
his first faltering steps down the straight and narrow road,

“Bless me Father for I have sinned,” a new life of grace lay ahead,
Three months, six, finally for life,
many tears of repentance were shed.
Temptation, isolation, discouragement, pain,
the chains of indulgence proved strong,
but his spiritual food, now his daily diet
proved stronger as the battle raged on.

Instead of drink, now Matt consumed,
the fruits of kindred souls,
Augustine, Wisdom, the book of Psalms,
Our Lady, many secrets to Matt did unfold,
Fasting, solitude, alms giving, prayer,
as he rises from his wooden bed,
four hours sleep, his vigil he’d keep,
eternity, to lay down his head.

To the casual eye in the builder’s yard,
nothing unwonted seemed done,
to the wiry little man who carried and fetched,
in wind, rain, and sun.
Bot deep within the Master’s hand,
to reshape and rebuild had begun,
‘Till out of the debts came the constant refrain,
“Thy will, Thy will be it done.”

Down Granby Lane, on the seventh of June,
this foot soldier stumbled and fell,
of the milling crowd that gathered around,
his identity, no one could tell.
In Jervis street hospital,bound in chains of love,
laid bare, this pilgrim who carried the hod,
Providence’s design would reveal in good time,
he was truly a Servant of God.