Tag Archives: Gerard Manley Hopkins

Christmas Lights

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“There will be many beautiful lights [this Christmas]. You – be a light. Be the face of Christ for others.”

Fr. A. said this way back in the beginning of Advent. A Saturday or two later I was back in evening Mass again, seated behind a tall man. He had snow white hair, and wore a bone white sweater. Though I was directly behind, I could see that he actively participated in the Mass, singing the songs, and so on. When it came time for the sign of peace he turned around. His face was tan and deeply wrinkled and his eyes were brown, and he gave me the most beautiful, kindly smile. There was no judgement in his face, no kind of mask – just an expression of kindness and goodness. His look warmed me inside, and the warmth lasted a long time. For Christ plays in ten thousand places, says Hopkins’ wonderful poem; lovely in eyes and limbs not his, to the Father, through the features of men’s faces. I wish I could be more like that man!

Merry Christmas, my dear people. May your ham’s glaze be beauteous and your potatoes done to a turn, and may your children (and grandchildren) eat their vegetables without complaining one bit.

 

Happy belated birthday

…to this little blog and me. It was one year old yesterday, and I’m a good bit more years old than that.

To celebrate here’s one of my favorite poems in all the world, and posting it is inspired by my wonderful friends Ann and Garon who sent a birthday card with a kingfisher on it.

Little kingfisher, I didn't paint you nearly so well as you deserve to be painted.

Little kingfisher, I didn’t paint you nearly so well as you deserve to be painted.

As Kingfishers Catch Fire

by Gerard Manley Hopkins

As kingfishers catch fire, dragonflies draw flame;
As tumbled over rim in roundy wells
Stones ring; like each tucked string tells, each hung bell’s
Bow swung finds tongue to fling out broad its name;
Each mortal thing does one thing and the same:
Deals out that being indoors each one dwells;
Selves — goes itself; myself it speaks and spells,
Crying Whát I dó is me: for that I came.


I say móre: the just man justices;
Keeps grace: thát keeps all his goings graces;
Acts in God’s eye what in God’s eye he is —
Chríst — for Christ plays in ten thousand places,
Lovely in limbs, and lovely in eyes not his
To the Father through the features of men’s faces.