Word Made Flesh, in rhyme


“O eternal, infinite Good! O mad lover! And you have need of your creature? It seems so to me, for you act as if you could not live without her, in spite of the fact that you are Life itself, and everything has life from you and nothing can have life without you. Why then are you so mad? Because you have fallen in love with what you have made!” — St. Catherine of Siena

“The Self-revealing of the Word is in every dimension – above, in creation; below, in the Incarnation; in the depth, in Hell; in the breadth, throughout the world. All things have been filled with the knowledge of God.”― St. Athanasius of Alexandria

In many people Christ lives the life of the Eucharistic Host. Our life is a sacramental life. This Host life is like the Advent life, like the life of the Child in the womb, the Child in the swaddling bands, the Christ in the tomb. It is a life of dependence upon creatures, of silence and secrecy, of hidden light. It is the life of a prisoner.” ― Caryll Houselander

And that is the wonder of all wonders, that God loves the lowly. God is not ashamed of the lowliness of human beings. God marches right in. He chooses people as his instruments and performs his wonders where one would least expect them. God is near to lowliness; he loves the lost, the neglected, the unseemly, the excluded, the weak and broken.” ― Dietrich Bonhoeffer

“For me it is the virgin birth, the Incarnation, the resurrection which are the true laws of the flesh and the physical. Death, decay, destruction are the suspension of these laws. I am always astonished at the emphasis the Church puts on the body. It is not the soul she says that will rise but the body, glorified.” ― Flannery O’Connor

Here’s a poem I wrote last year on the Feast of Epiphany, reflecting on the wonder of the Incarnation. As I wrote it, its archaic language, coined words and uneven meter and rhyme were meant to communicate the unsettling, ancient-novel character of God becoming flesh. At least that was the idea!

It came to me after praying over this text by Fr Aidan Nichols, O.P.: “Christ is, then, the perfect art work because he is infinite meaning, life and being perfectly synthesised with finite form.”

O God enfleshed, ensoulèd,
The descending One of Three,
In Thyself, my image enfolded:
I adore, O stunning Trinity!

— Thou art revealed in Thine outpouring! —

All-Impregnating our aliving
In her, our nature’s fullest striving,
The Woman wrought most-bright
Virgin womb all-kindled, Alight
By unimaginably beautiful Light.

— Thou art all, by a crazed love, restoring! —

Lo! Thou art now a God humanly thriving,
Recklessly ordered whilst finitely diving
Down lowest, our Godded nature reviving;
A High God falling, madly self-depriving,
Risen Bridegroom, our flesh ever-wiving.


Yes, He Who Knows Us came to save us goners…

This entry was posted in Liturgy.

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