Pompous, Purple, Princes and the Purpose of Missional Living

A friend of a friend sent me this yesterday.  She describes herself as a “life long Catholic, poet, feminist disturbed by patriarchal privilege.”


The Papacy: Haughty Couture?

Pope, Prince and Patriarch

each pretentiously proclaims

the passing of a

putrefied potentate.


Privilege, once ensconced

in cape and lace finery,

gives way

first and urgently

to chaos and confusion.


How will Patriarchy

robe itself now?

What garment will it wear?

A hair shirt would be a

suitable first choice

Sackcloth and ashes

could soon follow.


Let’s put the red shoes, special

ring and bolts of Belgian lace

into the cedar chest, nicely folded,

shall we?


Try standing naked

for a time

as we all must

when true transformation



Try living without

the props of privilege

and see how hard it is.

For the rest of us,

who have never owned

a pair of custom, red

Gucci loafers,

already know how this feels.


Scheduling a conversation

with us might also prove


as retreat into feigned obscurity

is insular and insolent.



is over you see.

And no matter what you

choose to cloak yourself in,

we can see right through it.


May I remind the pompous,

purple, princes

that the hem of the garment

Jesus wore,

yes, just the rough hem,

sufficiently held

all of the grace needed

to heal the world.


© Beth Fritsch




Lord Jesus, you who humbled yourself even to death on the cross, lead us to reflect You so that our world, one friend, one neighborhood, one city at a time, might have an acurate reflection of who you really are.  You call us to love others the way You have loved us.  Keep us, we fervently pray, from getting in the way of your gracious purpose.  In Jesus’ name, I pray.  Amen.