Saturday, 24 October 2009

The most important week since the Reformation?

A little early to tell - but it has all the makings of it!

Notre Dame de la Belle Verrière (c 1150 A.D.) in Chartres Cathedral

Trumpets again, as this is Sion’s twin city
Or city-in-law. Across France the great west
Windows are full of the sun’s holocaust,
The dying blazons of eternity

Secured in mazy lead and bevelled stone.
Outside the glass, pigeons rancid as gulls
Roost in their stucco-dung on the tiered sills.
The candles blur the air before your throne.

Love is at odds. Your beauty has gone out
Too many times, too vividly has flared
Through the mild dreams of Herod undeterred.
His eyes are like the eyes of the devout.

O dulcis Virgo, you are the stained world’s
Ransom, bear its image, live through your
Perpetual exile in its courts of prayer.
‘This is the carnal rose that re-enfolds

Heaven into earth.’ They say you are disposed
To acts of grace: tumblers and holy fools.
Child-saints rejoice you, small immaculate souls,
And mundane sorrows mystically espoused.

Geoffrey Hill from ‘Seven Hymns to our Lady of Chartres’

Off duty for a few days in this school half term week after the Parish Mass on Sunday. Time for some much needed prayer and reflection on the quite extraordinary and truly historic events of the last week. Back for the eve of All Saints

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