"As kingfishers catch fire, dragonflies draw flame; / [ . . . ] Each mortal thing does one thing and the same: / Deals out that being indoors each one dwells; / Selves -- goes itself; 'myself' it speaks and spells, / Crying 'What I do is me; for that I came'." --Gerard Manley Hopkins

06 March 2014

Glories of the Cross

Another Valley of Vision prayer excerpt:

All these sins I mourn, lament, and for them cry pardon.
Work in me more profound and abiding repentance;
Give me the fullness of a godly grief
   that trembles and fears,
   yet ever trusts and loves,
   which is ever powerful, and ever confident;
Grant that through tears of repentance
   I may see more clearly the brightness
   and glories of the saving cross.

And from Neuhaus:

The beginning of wisdom is to come to our senses and know the fearful truth about ourselves, that we have wandered and wasted our days in a distant country far from home.  We know ourselves most truly in knowing Christ, for in him is our true self.  

It is by this world, this world at the cross, that reality is measured and judged.  That other world, the world we call real, is a distant country until we with Christ bring it home to the waiting Father.  

We are bringing it home, dragging it all behind us:  the deadlines and the duties, the fears of failure and hopes for advancement, the loves unreturned, the plans disappointed, the children we lose, the marriage we cannot mend.  And so we come loping along with reality's baggage, returning to the real -- the real that we left behind when we left for what we mistook as the real world.  "I will arise and go to my father, and I will say to him, 'Father, I have sinned against heaven and before you, and I am no longer worthy to be called your son.'" [. . .]  And Christ our elder brother takes the baggage and hoists it upon his shoulders, adding this to all that on the cross he is bearing and bringing home.  "Father, forgive them, for they knew not what they were doing."

No comments: