(For the Feast of Our Lady of Czestochowa…)
Have you been there?
the place where prince and beggar were the same
and dignitary and tramp are still today.
Have you walked it?
the floor worn thin, grooved into trenches…
the marble being more yielding than the knees in prayer.
Have you seen it?
the face of a mother: a mother scarred and gashed
and therefore recognizable to her children
because they look like her:
they, the wounded, broken, violated ones.
And do you know?
She has resisted all attempts to destroy this likeness
between her and her little ones
until the scars can be washed forever from their hearts and faces
her own scar will remain.
And do you see?
how they come, from near and far… across oceans and over seas
in thanksgiving for her communion: her empathy
they leave her their own trophies
And the Mother with the wounded face will not cease restoring health
until all her own are healed.
Do you recognize?
the icon that she is:
of the wounded face of God
broken for us
wounded with our woundedness.
And do you recognize
why we come?
Seeing in her, ourselves
Whom we are trying to be
at once united in the beauty and tears
upon her face.