Tuesday, March 14, 2017

This poor sort

" In my heart, though not in heaven, I can raise thee.
Small it is in this poor sort to enroll thee"

One of the first things I loved about the "Metaphysical" poets of the 17th century was the way they crashed contrasting ideas together (think about "Great little one", the beautiful words of Richard Crashaw from his poem "On the Incarnation" which Common Worship offers as an introduction to Midnight Mass) to produce something startling, beautiful and somehow more true than either component concept.
Sometimes they do it very clearly, as Crashaw does, - but sometimes that same process is present implicitly, as it is here.
"Small it is..."
Small, yes - because Godself is somehow focussed in that tiny space, a human heart...where God is yet all in all
But greater than our greatest imaginings, beyond our furthest reach...because - how can such things be? God enrolled, enlisted in the poor sort of human life and human praise.
And yet, extraordinarily, that is exactly where it pleases God to be.
God in our hearts, pitching a tent there with the same commitment to us that is shown above all in the Incarnation.
"Heaven and earth in little space. Res miranda"

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