Posted by: fvbcdm | January 24, 2013

Feast of Saint Ildephonsus (23 Jan 2013)

Every once in a while I feel the need to read some poetry in which a beautiful concept can be expressed by the genius of the author. The poet is, after all, a gifted thinker and writer who can express in a new and striking way some beauty and truth which we have always known but taken for granted so as not to perceive the paradox, the metaphor, the hyperbole, and the other arresting figures of speech contained in it. From 1859 until 1907 there lived in England a Catholic poet named Francis Thompson who lived in poverty and became addicted to opium, which nearly destroyed his mind and his life. But a good Samaritan in the form of another Catholic writer named Wilfred Meymell pulled him up out of he gutter and gave him another chance to allow his innate light to shine before the world.  A splendid poem entitled “The Hound of Heaven” is probably his best poem, but I would like to offer you today a shorter one called “The Kingdom of God,” which speaks of how God and his kingdom are everywhere and in all things.

It goes like this:

O world invisible, we view thee,

O world intangible, we touch thee,

O world invisible, we view thee,

O world intangible, we touch thee,

O world unknowable, we know thee,

Inapprehensible, we clutch thee!

Does the fish soar to find the ocean,

The eagle plunge to find the air—

That we ask of the stars in motion

If they have rumor of thee there?


Not where the wheeling systems darken,

And our benumbed conceiving soars

The drift of pinions, would we hearken,

Beats at our clay-shuttered doors.


The angels keep their ancient places

Turn but a stone and start a wing!

Tis ye, tis your estranged faces

That miss the many-splendored thing.


But (when so sad thou cans’t not sadder)

Cry—and upon thy so sore loss

Shall shine the traffic of Jacob’s ladder

Pitched betwixt Heaven and Charing Cross.


Yea, in the night, my soul, my daughter,

Cry, clinging Heaven by the hems;

And lo, Christ walking on the water,

Not of Genesareth, but Thames.

Thank you for seeking God’s truth. God bless you.




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