Friday, April 22, 2011

The world is gathered here

If the Lord were not to help me,
I would soon go down to the silence.
Psalm 94:17

The people are coming up slowly
to kiss the cross--
hardly moving, because the crowd is so big;
moving slowly,
like waves of a calm sea
gently surging forward,
caressing the quiet shore
with a single wave
that breaks on the steadfast rock,
whose touch disperses
the sea's sorrow of shipwreck
in spray of delicate foam;
like the hair of Mary Magdalene
shining wet with tears
over the feet of Christ.

The word is gathered here,
kissing the cross.
They are not afraid:
they have made the Way of the Cross;
they have nothing to fear any more.

Christ with them,
Christ in them,
strength of them--
every one:
Christ, with His cross on His back.

In a single wave of love,
breaking upon the shore,
they are singing inaudibly,
"Consummatum est!"

Caryll Houselander,
The Adoration of the Cross, 1942

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