Thursday, April 17, 2014
In her book Poetry as Prayer: Gerard Manley Hopkins, Maria Lichtmann quotes from his spiritual notes: “All things therefore are charged with love, are charged with God, and if we know how to touch them, give off sparks and take fire, yield drops and flow, ring and tell of him.”
Hopkins knew “how to touch” them and how to see God’s presence. As a youth, “he loved to climb to the top of tall trees and enjoy the view.” He could spend hours fascinated by an ant hill or studying the ice crystals in a puddle of water on cold mornings. He also knew dryness, frustration, rejection, and depression as his “terrible sonnets” reveal. “Send my roots rain,” he pleaded in his poem. “Thou art indeed just, Lord, if I contend with Thee.”
Like St. Francis, he lived the Paschal mystery.
Budding blossoms from dry, bare branches is our background for celebrating the Paschal mystery. The bruised and beaten body of Jesus hung on the cross and lay dead in the tomb for three days. But Jesus joyously rose, peace-giving, forgiving, bestowing new life on our tired world.
Easter is not only a past event. The risen Jesus shared his new life with his disciples and is now sharing his risen life with us. St. Paul says; “Just as Christ was raised from the dead . . . we too [through faith and Baptism] live in newness of life.” We are united with him in the resurrection. We are transformed. “To be in Christ,” Paul told the Corinthians, “means being a completely new creature.”
Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI called Jesus’ resurrection “the inbreaking of a new world. . . . It opens up a new kind of future for the human family—a future of living with God forever.”
We could say “an eternal spring” exists where God’s life and love prevail. Easter-spring makes me stop in awe.
Friar Jim's Inbox
Readers respond to Friar Jim Van Vurst's April E-spiration, Catechism Quiz: Is It a Sin to worry?
Dear Friar Jim: Thank you for pointing out the positive aspects of worrying. As you pointed out to us, it reveals our concern and love for one another. It also reminds us that God is always with us when we worry. Patty
Dear Patty: You are right—worry is concern and not a lack of faith. Friar Jim
Dear Friar Jim: Thank you for this. I am sharing with some friends who worry a lot! Sandy
Dear Sandy: Thanks for sharing the “good news.” More people need to hear it. Friar Jim
Dear Friar Jim: Thank you for your E-spiration. I, too, thought that worry was a sin. I worry constantly over my son who is living with me and has been unemployed for almost two years. He also lost his home. Your article has helped me immensely. Thank you again. It gives me the hope that my prayers for him are all good. Dina
Dear Dina: Isn’t it good to know that even Mary worried about her son, Jesus? That seems part of the vocation of mothers. Worry only shows you love those special people in your life. Friar Jim
Dear Friar Jim: What a wonderful E-spiration! I worry about the world, war, climate change, my children, their children. Your wonderful text calmed my mind. Many thanks! Joseph
Dear Joseph: You can worry and still be very faithful. Worry means concern, and that word comes from two Latin words which mean “to be mixed with.” We worry because our lives are mixed with those of our loved ones. Friar Jim
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