Sonnet: Paul Aurelian (March 12)

What does one write about a Welsh monk who decided to become a hermit at 16, and then lived to be 104? It sounds very much like those Tibetan monks who go into seclusion and live their entire lives in tiny caves, meditating.  Breathing.  Were the Celtic Culdees on their tiny island fastnesses at all like the Tibetan lamas on their mountain heights?

Paul Aurelian, great pilgrim for Christ,
you left home to wander at tender age;
among hermits you were reckoned the least
until holy Illtyd, that kindly sage,
nurtured you ’til your bloom bore proper fruit.
Thus mentor led student in ancient dance,
elder guiding younger ’til work takes root,
and miracles rose from prayer and trance.
Paul, remind us not to love the flower
alone, which at first is fair to perceive,
but pales beside maturity’s power,
which faithfully tests what it must believe;
Paul Aurelian, guide us with each breath
into God’s love, stronger than life or death.

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