Audio Franciscan Friars Inspiration Poem Reflection

Richard Hendrick OFM Cap – Lockdown Poem – Covid 19

On 13th March 2020 Brother Richard Hendrick a Capuchin Friar, who regularly shares his poems on Facebook, penned some very thought provoking words about the world’s struggle with CoronaVirus – Covid-19 – A poem called Lockdown.  Since then his poem has been shared 39,000 times, and yesterday he read the poem on BBC’s Radio London.

Brother Richard is a Franciscan Friar of the Irish Province and is currently the Provincial Director of Youth Ministry for the Capuchins in Ireland.


Brother Richard’s Words of Hope in Times of Worry and the Coronavirus

Yes there is fear, but there does not need to be hate.
Yes there is isolation, but there does not have to be loneliness.
Yes there is sickness, but there does not have to be disease of the soul.


Lockdown

Yes there is fear.
Yes there is isolation.
Yes there is panic buying.
Yes there is sickness.
Yes there is even death.
But,
They say that in Wuhan after so many years of noise
You can hear the birds again.
They say that after just a few weeks of quiet
The sky is no longer thick with fumes
But blue and grey and clear.
They say that in the streets of Assisi
People are singing to each other
across the empty squares,
keeping their windows open
so that those who are alone
may hear the sounds of family around them.
They say that a hotel in the West of Ireland
Is offering free meals and delivery to the housebound.
Today a young woman I know
is busy spreading fliers with her number
through the neighbourhood
So that the elders may have someone to call on.
Today Churches, Synagogues, Mosques and Temples
are preparing to welcome
and shelter the homeless, the sick, the weary
All over the world people are slowing down and reflecting
All over the world people are looking at their neighbours in a new way
All over the world people are waking up to a new reality
To how big we really are.
To how little control we really have.
To what really matters.
To Love.
So we pray and we remember that
Yes there is fear.
But there does not have to be hate.
Yes there is isolation.
But there does not have to be loneliness.
Yes there is panic buying.
But there does not have to be meanness.
Yes there is sickness.
But there does not have to be disease of the soul
Yes there is even death.
But there can always be a rebirth of love.
Wake to the choices you make as to how to live now.
Today, breathe.
Listen, behind the factory noises of your panic
The birds are singing again
The sky is clearing,
Spring is coming,
And we are always encompassed by Love.
Open the windows of your soul
And though you may not be able
to touch across the empty square,
Sing.

March 13th 2020

Brother Richard’s Facebook page

Elizabeth is a member of the Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham. She has had an interest in Franciscan Spirituality for over 20 years.