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Perfection Will Do You In

Are you a “perfectionist” who, for example, takes 30 minutes to write a post that should have taken five minutes because he had to make it “just so”? If you are, you’ll love this poem as much as I do!

You’ll also love the fact that the poet — who argues here with the 101st Psalm — is a 94-year-old Benedictine monk known worldwide for his scholarship and devotion to interfaith dialogue, who did not begin writing poetry seriously until he was 75.

Kilian McDonnell is founder and president of the Collegeville Institute for Ecumenical and Cultural Research at St. John’s University and Abbey in Minnesota. Thirty-five years ago, I spent nine months as a Fellow of the Institute and got to know this remarkable man who’s full of faith and hope.

As this poem makes clear, he also has a wicked sense of humor — and “wicked” is the right word for it, even though he’s a monk!

Perfection, Perfection
by Kilian McDonnell

I have had it with perfection.
I have packed my bags,
I am out of here.

As certain as rain
will make you wet,
perfection will do you

(Excerpted from Swift, Lord, You Are Not. Read the full poem here.)

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