Gloria in Profundis

I discovered this poem by G. K. Chesterton recently, and thought of it again this week when we were discussing Psalm 113 at Bible study, where God stoops down.

There has fallen on earth for a token
A god too great for the sky.
He has burst out of all things and broken
The bounds of eternity:
Into time and the terminal land
He has strayed like a thief or a lover,
For the wine of the world brims over,
Its splendour is spilt on the sand.

Who is proud when the heavens are humble,
Who mounts if the mountains fall,
If the fixed stars topple and tumble
And a deluge of love drowns all-
Who rears up his head for a crown,
Who holds up his will for a warrant,
Who strives with the starry torrent,
When all that is good goes down?

For in dread of such falling and failing
The fallen angels fell
Inverted in insolence, scaling
The hanging mountain of hell:
But unmeasured of plummet and rod
Too deep for their sight to scan,
Outrushing the fall of man
Is the height of the fall of God.

Glory to God in the Lowest
The spout of the stars in spate-
Where thunderbolt thinks to be slowest
And the lightning fears to be late:
As men dive for sunken gem
Pursuing, we hunt and hound it,
The fallen star has found it
In the cavern of Bethlehem.

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Of Roses and Other Beautiful Things

Well, hello.

It’s been quiet around here for the last few weeks, I know, but I’m hoping to get back to blogging more regularly.

I visited a rose garden this afternoon with my sister-in-law. The sun warmed our backs while we ate ice creams and chatted on a patch of grass, surrounded by high brick walls, with benches scattered about and a fountain in the centre, and everywhere, everywhere, roses. Roses clinging to walls and archways. Roses in flowerbeds. Roses in every stage of development–buds, almost-blooming, heavy blooms, and dying petals. A rainbow of rose colours—white, yellow, soft pink, deep pink, red, peach.

Can there be flowers more lovely than roses?

I can’t share my afternoon in the roses with you (and to be honest, I wouldn’t want to: it was sister time), but here are one or two other beautiful things that have come my way recently that I can share…..

A sonnet by Malcolm Guite, “Let Not Your hearts Be Troubled”….

 

Always there comes this parting of the ways

The best is wrested from us, borne away,

No one is with us always, nothing stays,

Night swallows even the most perfect day.

 

Read the rest here .

And a thoughtful essay by Andy Couch which weaves travel, literature, and technology into a beautiful whole.

Helprin’s challenge to us, through Alessandro, is to avoid abstraction—to do full justice to life, one life at a time, this life in which God is so unmistakably present and so achingly absent, this person before me in whom his image is so fully and so incompletely expressed, this moment that offers me the choice of courage or cowardice.

Read the rest here (HT: The Gospel Coalition). It’s long, but it’s worth it. And see if you can do so without then buying a Helprin book. I couldn’t.

What beautiful things have come your way recently?