Oct 19 – Maria Ibarra “Being Catholic”

“But how can they believe me?
When sometimes I don’t even believe myself.
Maybe it’s time to be loud.”

No strong poem is ordinary;  Maria’s surely is not ordinary either.  I am proud that the “Work Day in Hard Times” list has made a home for her voice among our poets and readers.    Best to read the poem out loud, with pauses.

Have a blest day,


john sj


Today’s Post –  “Being Catholic”

I wear my faith quietly,
like a pebble in your pocket
Smooth and cold,
Comforting when you hold it tight in your hand.
But to be more honest,
I wear my faith secretly, cautious of who
to tell the truth because
I’m not sure how my circle
of liberal, leftists, almost
socialists would take it.
How could I, a feminist who uses reason,
logic, and kindness, follow a church
that doesn’t let women be leaders?
Follow a God
who believes LGBTQ loved ones will rot in hell?
follow an institution
that rapes children?
I want to tell them that
that isn’t my church, isn’t my God.
My God lives in jails and detention centers,
in water bottles left in the desert,
and school teachers who work too much for too little.
My God is in parents who love their gay
and trans kids as reflections
of God’s own image.
My faith is the holiness of women, the life
in service for others.

My God is liberation.
She is the power of the storm
and the stillness of it when it’s over.
She is Brown laborers
rebuilding a city,
and the sweat of their foreheads
feeding their families.
But how can they believe me? When
sometimes I don’t even believe myself.
Maybe it’s time to be loud.
As loud as the annoying (and wrong) fetus
fanatics who are pro-life without
really being pro-living.
Maybe it’s time to let my faith breathe. Take
my pebble and let throw it
in the water.
Let it make ripples.
Let it make a fucking tsunami.

Maria Ibarra-Frayre
Writer, feminist, unapologetically undocumented

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