Wednesday, September 21, 2016


This is not the time of year to be remembering and celebrating one's parents… or is it? These two poems written by a friend many years ago, I found when searching for another poem he had written that I wanted to quote in my post To become theology. I had to satisfy myself with just the last line of that poem, but I found these two poems written in memory of his parents, as well as his wonderful
The Sanctification to Priesthood. I had met Fr Ihor's father—a true saint of God he was, simple, caring, loving Christ and the Church—but of his mother, I know only of the impression her life made on that of her young son, opening to him the gates of the priestly calling. I offer these two poems to you, brethren, not as entertainment, but as a communication of piety.

To My Mother, in Memoriam
by Presbyter Ihor Kutash

“Mother! You are a basket of cut flowers, sweet, and beautiful,
and fading slowly.”

—Presbyter Loren Kubin*

My Mother!
I knew thee so little, and yet I know thee so well.

You were a flower that bloomed
and filled my young days with the sweet aroma of love.
Love was in your soft eyes
as you tenderly brushed my tousled hair,
as you calmed my fears
during sleepless, feverish nights,
as you knelt with me before the Holy Icons,
tracing the Sign of the Cross upon me
and listening to my childish repetition of the Prayer you spoke,
as you helped my little fist hold the unwieldy pencil
for the first time and guided it to form
the first word I spelled—“God”,
and, then, as you watched your puzzled little son
crying softly beside the bed upon which you were,
like a flower, fading away,
and commending me to my father,
and one day,
the blossom was gone,
and only its ineffably sweet memory has stayed
in my maturing mind.

But my Mother!
I knew thee so little,
and yet I know thee so well!

My Father
by Presbyter Ihor Kutash

My father was a strong man,
a man of principle, and simplicity and honesty,
and courage and faith, and love, and happiness.

There was a kind of glow—
not some mystical, esoteric glow—
but a light of human goodness
that he spread among those he knew.

My father was a weak man,
often lonely, sorrowful, in pain.

My father strove with doubt in his own soul.
He strove with anger, with hatred, with remorse.

My father ran the race and unexpectedly,
finished his course.

My father died.
My father lives,
his Master's strength made perfect in his weakness.

+ + +

* Fr Loren Kubin (may his memory be eternal) was a close friend of Fr Ihor and also a priest. Here we see the two presbyters celebrating the wedding service of Fr Ihor's beloved sister Helen and her husband Albert. Fr Loren is in the foreground in black and gold, and Fr Ihor is wearing green and gold. I was blessed to be acquainted with both men of God.

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