The Death Of A Bishop: A Poem by Archbishop Robert Rivas, OP

A Poem by Archbishop Robert Rivas, OP at the death of Bishop Vincent Darius, OP
The Death Of A Bishop
In the early watches of the night
While our islands slept
The fourth Bishop of St. George’s-in-Grenada
Quietly passed away
The news was sad news
“He didn’t make it”
I lay motionless in my bed
My voice was a whisper
“May he rest in peace”
I was still in a daze as if in a trance
The call came at 1.37 a.m.
The mourning for the death of a Bishop had begun
I began to pray
De profundis clamavi Domine
Out of the depths I cry to you O God
He was tried and tested
A man of pain and sorrow
He hid his aches from passers-by
But in friendship revealed the unbearable
He wept and made me weep
Deep was his sorrow and distress
Quietly he offered his suffering
For healing in the Mystical Body
The Church he loved and cherished
As he began to make his journey home
He enjoyed the rapture of a contemplative
Alone with the Alone
With angels surrounding him
Protecting and comforting him
He spoke not a word
When Death appeared on the horizon
He closed his eyes
Not out of fear
But out of trust in God to save him
The appointed time had come
He was God’s gift to us from a unique mould
Now he smiles upon us with new vision
Still shrewd and mysterious
A victorious conqueror of death
Crochu’s pride
Its icon and inspiration
Lux perpetua luceat eis
Let perpetual light shine upon him
Let me mourn
The passing of a brother Bishop
How swiftly he slipped away
In tranquility and gentleness
Immolated on the altar of suffering
No last words or feelings of attachment
Just the memories of his hearty and joyful laughter
He died in the simplicity of a friar
Having fought the good fight to the end
Having finished the course
Now he wears his laurels
In the bright and radiant light of glory
Let me weep
For a son of St. Dominic
For a confrere and a friend
For a man of the Word
Who drank from the fountain of the Word
For a brother with a charism to preach
With prophetic zeal and apostolic fidelity
He was courageous and adventurous
A servant of the Truth
In obedience and humility he bore his cross
Trusting God in the crucible of suffering
Now gaze with me in sorrow and in grief
No words for comfort
His passing hurts
Grace and time will soothe the pain
There’s healing o’er the grave
A good Shepherd has gone
Grenada has lost a son
A guardian of the deposit of faith
It’s first home-bred Roman Bishop
Tossed on a wild sea of anguish and desolation
He proved his integrity in loyal-trustful-worthiness
With the strength to endure suffering
In poverty of spirit and a noble disposition
A good Bishop has gone home
Grenada mourns and heads bow low
The Church has learnt a lesson
In the transforming power of love
The strength of prayer to console
The grace of understanding to free and let go
The death of a Bishop leaves an empty See
With only the mortal remains interred for lasting memory
Let the Rite of Christian Burial bring comfort
It’s time to let him go
Brother Vincent
Son of St. Dominic
Servant of the Church
Requiescat in pace
Rest in peace!
+Robert Rivas O.P.
April 29, 2016
Feast of St. Catherine
(31 May 2016)