Friday, April 14, 2017

The Friday Christians call "Good"

For this Good Friday, which comes for me at the end of perhaps the most difficult Lent I have personally endured, I offer a poem Welsh priest and poet R.S. Thomas (1913-2000):
In Church

Often I try
To analyze the quality
Of its silences. Is this where God hides
From my searching? I have stopped to listen,
After the few people have gone,
To the air recomposing itself
For vigil. It has waited like this
Since the stones grouped themselves about it.
These are the hard ribs

Crucifixion, by Eric Gill

Of a body that our prayers have failed
To animate. Shadows advance
From their corners to take possession
Of places the light held
For an hour. The bats resume
Their business. The uneasiness of the pews
Ceases. There is no other sound
In the darkness but the sound of a man
Breathing, testing his faith
On emptiness, nailing his questions
One by one to an untenanted cross.
To which I add, "But Jesus cried out again in a loud voice, and gave up his spirit" (Matt 27:50).

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