Heart Like an Inn

The dream of peace

deepens as darkness

settles on the violent world.

Was there a Christ, or not?

Did a son of God walk the earth?

Did the law give way to mercy?

We put the questions aside,

pining for innocence, watching

the homeless in our streets,

the hungry throughout the world,

the dead on their battlefields,

wishing it were not so. Is wish

enough? The heart is an inn

with enough room inside it

for those with nowhere to rest.

Open it, whispers something.

Or, for believers, someone.

But behind our shut doors

in rooms full of presents

who can remember the stranger?

Now is the time we must turn.

And if not? Look: the manger

is empty. Jesus cannot be born.

—Peter Marin, S.B.

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