CURSILLO DE CRISTIANIDAD

By Luis G. Dato

The rollo or cursillo, what is it?
For answer, tax the mind, the soul a bit,
Make room for error and allow surprise,
The answer (you have guessed it) elsewhere lies.

Cursillos are retreats but more than these.
They’re more than prayer, bending of the knees,
and penance for that matter, while akin,
Is not enough, nor pardon of our sin.

It is, how shall we say it? these and more,
The knocking of the soul at Heaven’s door,
The taking of the spirit to the trail
That leads to God, to man’s lost Holy Grail.

It is the great adventure of the soul
Through life’s rough seas and where passions soothe and roll,
On the stormy oceans, a light, fragile bark
The sails by starlight gleaming in the dark.

It is as though at death’s door came a voice
To quall despair and bid the heart rejoice
In the immense recess of doubt and fear,
As though we cried for God and He stood near;

It is an outward groping of the light
Which Adam, Eve in Eden lost outright,
A quest that Pax Cristiana once again,
That Jesus Christus conquer, Christus reign.

His words do not come handy who would speak
Of the cursillo sin, the answer seek,
The best proof of the pudding is to eat,
Leave then the world and take a rollo seat.

O bell of Christendom, O blissful call;
That is half-dream and half a miracle,
That bridges for our sinful lives the sea
In which man founder in mortality:

Awake then, Christian soldier, heed His call,
Turn from the flesh to sanctify the soul;
In God’s own image He created Man,
God, like His Son, approximate we can.

This the cursillo everywhere can do,
If we are willing, flesh and spirit too,
The Heaven lost through grace we can regain,
Knock then and seek, the quest will not be in vain.

In the brief span of three short days and nights
Regaled you will be with pure joys, delights,
And then the purest of them, loose the ties —
Of earth, the ecstasy of sacrifice.

The memories of God, our Christ, the Lord,
To walk in His commandments, heed His word,
Penance that grace may not from us depart,
Faith, hope and charity, a contrite heart.

The cursillistas, they recall a hand
Bizarre and bold that saved the Holy Land,
Crusaders they, Geoffrey and Richard bold
St. Louis, all in song and legend told.

They fought to keep the sepulchre of God
In Christian hands, though deep in the Moslem sod,
And now wage war that God’s great truth march on
Invincible till victory be won.

Luis Dato
Luis Dato

Luis G. Dato (July 4, 1906 - January 29, 1985) was a poet, writer and educator from Sta. Cruz, Baao, Camarines Sur. He published books in English including Manila A Collection of verse (1926), My Book of Verses (1936) and the Land of Mai in 1975. He also wrote several books and text in Bikol such as, Vocabulario Bikol-Ingles-Kastila (1963), Cantahon na Bikol (1969), Morfologia kan Tataramon na Bikol (serialized in Naga Times), Patotodon sa Bikol (Bikol Mail) and Sarabihon sa Bikol.

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