by Luis G. Dato

God said, I call thee Peter, on thy rock
I build my church, My children there to flock
For refuge from the anguish of the vale,
Against it Satan’s hosts shall not prevail.

The church, it is the voice of Him who said,
“Believe, and ye shall live through re were dead;
I am the Resurrection and the Life.”
The bulwark, fortress in the raging strife.

The church is Christ, and the church of Christ is all;
Apostle, prophet, ritual, epistle,
Chalice and portal — these are not the church
Alone for which the souls of mortals search.

The bread of Christian life, the real wine,
Which makes the human spirit high divine,
Is neither here nor there, in sky or sea,
But in the heart of such as you and me.

No man however humble though he be,
Too lowly is in God’s fraternity,
The convict and the harlot,sinners all,
Are none too filthy when His belfries call.

Lo! through the labyrinthine ways of sin
Trough which blinded eyes we wander in,
The stain is on our soul, and ours the less,
Our calvary we tread, bear but our cross.

Awake then, Catholics, now morrow’s bleak
For those whose soul is pure though flesh be weak,
In thy church let no Lucifer dismay,
If thou but shrive the fragile mortal clay.

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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