Oblate Program at Belmont Abbey, NC





Beauty surrounds and imbues every moment,
on occasion hidden from immediate view ,
perceptions clouded by life’s uncertainties,
the present lost in the inner cluttered borne.

Faces old and young and those in-between,
smooth skin, laugh lines, deep creases,
one of times gifts, eyes wise with experiences
or bright with life’s beginnings, or simply alight with anger
a force to contend with, each has its brightness
pointing to an inner consciousness unique and precious.

Literature, art, spacious buildings, philosophy and science,
theology, singing, dancing, a flying of sorts, music of different and varied kinds,
all the fruit of our inner giftedness.

Compassion and empathy, love deep and enduring, gentleness,
flowers of inner growth born through suffering, expanded hearts and minds
seeking understanding; yes beauty often seen but overlooked.

Inner struggle, failure, despair fought, rising again to begin anew,
perhaps the most beautiful of all this inner strength,
graces fruit open to everyone.

Rocks, trees, animals of all pedigrees, weeds in profusion,
flowers in their excessive beauty, the song of birds, humming of insects,
dogs and cats, fish and fowl, each beautiful in their simple being,
becoming objects of contemplation, wonder, awe,
if the time taken to look.

The source, that which is ultimate from which all beauty flows
points to love, compassion, beyond all telling
often overlooked, forgotten, perhaps to our loss.

Ugliness, evil, pain and suffering, horrible aspects of life
from which none is spared, perhaps without them
life would not be.

In and out, hot and cold, pain and pleasure, love and hate,
beauty and that which is less; and last but not least, evil and good,
in our world of contingency
the simple outcome of self aware consciousness,
our labels expressing our lives gives form and substance
to our collective experiences.

Perhaps this dance the most beautiful of all,
hidden from immediate view this tango of opposites.

Faith the key (?), that is for each to decide;
for some absurd, childish, weak,
for others the fruit of courage, thought and trust.

A divide, making communication, understanding, difficult
or at times impossible, yet this also needed
in a world were duality seems to rule.

To challenge each others ideas and beliefs, perhaps
the greatest beauty of all, laced with pain,
leading to deeper insight.

Is life beautiful, or perhaps wondrous is a better word.

Br. Mark Dohle, OCSO
Holy Spirit Monastery


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