I Will Arise – says the LORD Psalm 12

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From The Friars, Maidstone, Kent, United Kingdom

Psalm 12

Help, Lord, for no one is faithful anymore;
    those who are loyal have vanished from the human race.
Everyone lies to their neighbor;
    they flatter with their lips
    but harbor deception in their hearts.

May the Lord silence all flattering lips
    and every boastful tongue—
those who say,
    “By our tongues we will prevail;
    our own lips will defend us—who is lord over us?”

“Because the poor are plundered and the needy groan,
    I will now arise,” says the Lord.
    “I will protect them from those who malign them.”
And the words of the Lord are flawless,
    like silver purified in a crucible,
    like gold[c] refined seven times.

You, Lord, will keep the needy safe
    and will protect us forever from the wicked,
who freely strut about
    when what is vile is honored by the human race.

 

 

 

Good Friday 2017

 

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Image from Barcelona Cathedral

Carrion Comfort by Gerald Manley Hopkins

Not, I’ll not, carrion comfort, Despair, not feast on thee;
Not untwist — slack they may be — these last strands of man
In me ór, most weary, cry I can no more. I can;
Can something, hope, wish day come, not choose not to be.
But ah, but O thou terrible, why wouldst thou rude on me
Thy wring-world right foot rock? lay a lionlimb against me? scan
With darksome devouring eyes my bruisèd bones? and fan,
O in turns of tempest, me heaped there; me frantic to avoid thee and flee?
   Why? That my chaff might fly; my grain lie, sheer and clear.
Nay in all that toil, that coil, since (seems) I kissed the rod,
Hand rather, my heart lo! lapped strength, stole joy, would laugh, chéer.
Cheer whom though? the hero whose heaven-handling flung me, fóot tród
Me? or me that fought him? O which one? is it each one? That night, that year
Of now done darkness I wretch lay wrestling with (my God!) my God.

It is Finished – The Pietà

When he had received the drink, Jesus said, “It is finished.” With that, he bowed his head and gave up his spirit.

Bordeaux Saint-Michel

The Pietà depicts the Virgin Mary cradling the body of her dead son. It is most often found as a sculpture and this example in the Basilica of Saint-Michel in Bordeaux is a tender, simple and moving example. I remember seeing Michelangelo’s Pietà in St Peter’s Basilica in the Vatican and I couldn’t drag my eyes away. Tomorrow is Good Friday  and meditating on a Pietà image is a fitting act of worship.

 ‘Near the cross of Jesus stood his mother, his mother’s sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary Magdalene. 26 When Jesus saw his mother there, and the disciple whom he loved standing nearby, he said to her, “Woman,[b] here is your son,” 27 and to the disciple, “Here is your mother.” From that time on, this disciple took her into his home’. John 19: 25 – 27.

 

Hide Me in the Shadow of your Wings

Keep me as the apple of your eye; hide me in the shadow of your wings. Psalm 17:8

Angel wings have been a source of inspiration in art from the earliest of days. These images come from La Sagrada Familia in Barcelona, Spain. The wings are etched onto the ceilings of the aisles and lit by colours that stream through the stained glass windows. The colours change depending on the strength and angle of the sun. It is truly awe inspiring.

 

Love Bade Me Welcome

This poem by George Herbert is a special message to all those who do not feel worthy to accept the freely given love and forgiveness of God. If it speaks to you it is for you. The image is from the tympanum above one of the doors to Bordeaux cathedral.
Tympanum detail
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,
                             If I lacked any thing.
A guest, I answered, worthy to be here:
                             Love said, You shall be he.
I the unkind, ungrateful? Ah my dear,
                             I cannot look on thee.
Love took my hand, and smiling did reply,
                             Who made the eyes but I?
Truth Lord, but I have marred them: let my shame
                             Go where it doth deserve.
And know you not, says Love, who bore the blame?
                             My dear, then I will serve.
You must sit down, says Love, and taste my meat:
                             So I did sit and eat.