Tuesday, 4 December 2007

'Love bade me welcome' George Herbert

I remember being introduced to this poem, when I was at Keele University in the late 70s, by Roger Pooley, who was an English lecturer. It has stuck with me since. I used it the first time I presided at a parish communion service,  post-ordination.  It is not just about the Eucharist, Holy Communion, Lord's supper - call it what you will -  but it speaks to me of that profound sense of invitation and welcome that is found at the table. In spite of everything we are. . . . .   It is the Innkeeper offering a meal to a weary traveller, The generous host welcoming an unworthy guest. The Father welcoming back his prodigal son.

LOVE bade me welcome; yet my soul drew back, 
      Guilty of dust and sin. 
But quick-eyed Love, observing me grow slack 
      From my first entrance in, 
Drew nearer to me, sweetly questioning         5
      If I lack'd anything. 
'A guest,' I answer'd, 'worthy to be here:' 
     Love said, 'You shall be he.' 
'I, the unkind, ungrateful? Ah, my dear, 
      I cannot look on Thee.'  10
Love took my hand and smiling did reply, 
      'Who made the eyes but I?' 
'Truth, Lord; but I have marr'd them: let my shame 
      Go where it doth deserve.' 
'And know you not,' says Love, 'Who bore the blame?'  15
      'My dear, then I will serve.' 
'You must sit down,' says Love, 'and taste my meat.' 
      So I did sit and eat.

George Herbert. 1593–1632

for more on Geroge Herbert see his works and his life

Saturday, 1 December 2007

'Let nothing disturb thee' Teresa of Avila's prayer

St. Teresa of Avila 

Teresa of Avila, Teresa of Avila poetry, Christian, Christian poetry, Catholic poetry, [TRADITION SUB2] poetry,  poetry

Let nothing disturb thee,
Nothing affright thee;
All things are passing;
God never changeth;
Patient endurance
Attaineth to all things;
Who God possesseth
In nothing is wanting;
Alone God sufficeth

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