All Saints – With Some Surprises (Luke 16: 9 – 31)


that bastard is a saint?

What if

alone in hell, frying on sharp stones

while Lazarus slept on Abraham’s soft bosom,

the mother’s part of Faith’s old Patriarch.

He was canonized

about the fast falling fate

of his equally bastard brothers.

Because he cared

his own do-it-yourself wretchedness.

And transcended awhile

only of others

would think a saint

of his own making

in hellfire trapped


Despite the Gospel

the gap was crossed

the rich man—first Christian—

before the crucifixion

through damnation passing

for the salvation

of those bound to come.


Greg Kennedy, SJ is assigned to the spiritual exercises ministry at the Ignatius Jesuit Centre in Guelph, Ontario. Novalis will publish Greg's book - “Reupholstered Psalms” - on March 1, 2020.

  • Peter Bisson, SJ
    Posted at 01:02h, 07 November Reply

    Thank you Greg!

  • Franc
    Posted at 12:51h, 12 November Reply

    Interesting writing piece. Driving the reader through a winding road. Could the poem be suggesting that one no longer needs the cross(Jesus) for salvation but that the damned can step on the bosom of the patriarchs foundation of faith by self claiming holiness and getting ourself out of hell. A Christian first with out the cross.

  • Paul Panaretos
    Posted at 07:02h, 14 November Reply

    Grateful for your good reminder: what we cannot know may well be so!

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