Poems focus on loving relationship with God

Sunday, March 11, 2018 - Updated: 11:59 pm

By JOHN FRANKO Staff Writer

Father Aaron Kriss has once again combined his love for writing, and for serving others as a priest, in a new book of poems, “Spiritual Inspirations.” 

“It’s a gift from the Lord,” he said of the inspiration that leads to his works.

The book of 300 poems focuses on the inner growth of the soul and a loving relationship with God and others. It is split into six chapters — Prayer and Praise, Jesus and Mary, Goodness and Holiness, Mercy and Forgiveness, Gifts and Blessings, and Heaven and Eternity.

“My hope is that each of these poems will move you as the reader to grow in your faith and relationships,” Father Kriss notes in the forward. It is appropriate, he states, to acknowledge that many of the poems originated in the word of God contained in the Bible.

“Spiritual Inspirations” comes on the heels of “Celestial Thoughts,” which was published in 2015. He pointed out that while his first book focused on a number of different topics, this one is purely spiritual in its scope. 

The ideas for his poems, Father Kriss, said, come from his daily encounters, whether it be during his time of prayer, or in performing his ministry. He said he is often inspired in the morning while getting ready for Mass. He writes down notes and refines them before dinner, or while relaxing later on. He can sometimes compose two poems a day, depending on what strikes him, he said.

Father Kriss said he has been composing poems since grade school, and the concept of rhythm and rhyme has come naturally. He said that his late mother, Florence, was a big influence on his writing. He spoke of how she also composed poems and would share them with him. He would, in turn, compose works for her on Mother’s Day and Christmas.

He dedicated his second book to his sister, Elly, and brother, Mark. Father Aaron is the younger brother of the late Father David Kriss.

But while writing is important to him, it never gets in the way of his ministry. In many ways it enhances it.

“It helps me to identify more with Christ and what Christ is calling me as a priest to do,” Father Kriss said. “What he expects me as a priest to be.”

The message of his work, he added, is to help people in their hope, yearning and desire for a greater relationship with God.

Father Kriss is a parochial vicar at Our Lady of the Most Blessed Sacrament Parish in Natrona Heights and St. Joseph Parish in Natrona.

He has presented his work at his parishes, as well as other parishes. He would like to author another book of poems that would cover every day of the year.

His creativity isn’t confined to poems. He also loves music and rewrites rock songs to fit situations that he encounters. He has performed at fish fries and other parish events, and is set to unveil a new work during a March 15 event at St. Joseph High School in Natrona Heights that will focus on World Youth Day 2019.

Those interested in obtaining a copy of “Spiritual Inspirations” may contact Father Kriss at akriss@diopitt.org, or by calling him at 724-226-4900.

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