samedi, juin 03, 2006

"The Holy Ghost over the bent world broods" GMH

A friend sends me excerpts from meditations by famous Christian writers. I often find them very helpful. She gets them from a retired priest in Maine, who has a genuine e-ministry for those of us who need inspiration, but sometimes are too tired (from working outside the home, inside the home, or both) to search.

The Christian response to the mystery of variety, plurality, diversity is the symbol of the Holy Spirit, that dimension of the Deity which represents creativity, spontaneity, diversity. If the principle of unity is the Father, the principle of multiplicity and diversity is the Spirit. The Spirit is a wheeling, dealing, whirling, twirling, dancing, darting poltergeist Deity, who flits and leaps, spins and dives, dashes in madcap movement through the cosmos, flicking out sparks of creativity and vitality wherever He goes. (In Ireland I think the Holy Spirit becomes a leprechaun.) The Spirit is a howling, raging wind, blazing, leaping fire, passionate, protective dove. He blows where He wills, stirs up what He wants, speaks to us with the howling of a hurricane or the gentle touch of an evening breeze in the summertime. He calls forth that which is best, most generous, most giving, most risk-taking in ourselves. He stirs us up out of complacency, mediocrity, monotony, routine. He is the Spirit of life, of vitality of excitement, of adventure. He is the Spirit of play, and together with the creative Word, He dances and sings and claps His hands, as God the Father produces His splendid, variegated, excessive – indeed half-mad – universe. It may even have been the Holy Spirit who poured the cups of the wine of love that intoxicated the creative Father to produce the wild, manic splendor of His creation. The sins against the Holy Spirit are those of despair, giving up, settling down and not seeking more. (from Love and Play, by Andrew Greeley) If you like poets, one of my favorites (me, Elizabeth) is Gerard Manley Hopkins. A nineteenth century Jesuit (I think he was a Jesuit), Hopkins was not always a happy man. Yet out of his torment God was able to draw extraordinary poetry, the poetry of a soul that praises Him in all circumstances. "God's Grandeur" is a fabulous Pentecost poem!

194. God’s Grandeur
By Gerard Manley Hopkins (1844–1889)

THE WORLD is charged with the grandeur of God.

It will flame out, like shining from shook foil,

It gathers to a greatness like the ooze of oil

Crushed. Why do men then now not reck His rod?

Generations have trod, have trod, have trod;
And all is seared with trade; bleared, smeared with toil;

And bears man’s smudge, and shares man’s smell; the soil

Is bare now, nor can foot feel being shod.

And for all this, nature is never spent;

There lives the dearest freshness deep down things;
And though the last lights from the black west went,

Oh, morning at the brown brink eastwards springs—

Because the Holy Ghost over the bent

World broods with warm breast, and with, ah, bright wings.

2 commentaires:

Gregaria a dit…

This is one of my favoriet poems! The other favorite is "Dappled Things" which I'm sure you've read as well.

Offcenter a dit…

There's something about reading Hopkins that makes you slow down and really listen to each word. They clash and rub up against one another in a way that is remarkable. Gregaria, you might also try Tennyson if you want to read some truly beautiful poetry (PS...what's with the tag? is it a saint's name?)

Best, Elizabeth