Saturday, September 18, 2004

Ur In The Land of Chaldeans

While browsing books at a bookshop few months ago, I grabbed "The Poetry of Pope John Paul II."To my surprise, I discovered The Pope wrote a poem about my people, the Chaldeans:

Ur in the land of the Chaldeans

There was a time when people
continually wandered.
surrounded by herds, they went where abundance beckoned:
where the earth, like a fertile mother,
could feed the flocks,
where people pitched their tents and began to dwell.

Today, why do we seek out this place
in the land of Chaldeans,
which Abram, the son of Terach,
left behind with other nomads like himself?
Perhaps he asked: Why must I leave this place?
Why do I have to abandon Ur or the Chaldeas?
Is this what he was thinking?
Did he feel the sadness of the break?
Did he look back?
We do not know. All that we know is that he heard a Voice, which told him: GO!
Abram chose to follow the Voice.

The Voice said: You will be the father of many nations.
Your offspring will be numerous as the sand on the seashore.
How could the promise be fulfilled, thought Abram,
since nature has denied me the gift of fatherhood?
My wife, whom I have loved from the days of my youth, gave me no son. It pains us both.

But the Voice kept saying: You will become a father,
you will become the father of many nations.
Your offspring will be numerous as the sand of seashore.

That was very nice of him.

The Poetry of Pope John Paul II

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