View from the choir

I am a Catholic layperson and Secular Franciscan with a sense of humor. After years in the back pew watching, I have moved into the choir. It's nice to see faces instead of the backs of heads. But I still maintain God has a sense of humor - and that we are created in God's image.

Saturday, January 02, 2010

Feast of a poet - St. Gregory Nazianzus

St. Gregory Nazianzen
by Venerable John Henry Newman, C.O.

Peace-loving man, of humble heart and true
What dost thou here?
Fierce is the city’s crowd; the lordly few
Are dull of ear!
Sore pain it was to thee,—till thou didst quit
Thy patriarch-throne at length, as though for power unfit.

So works the All-wise! our services dividing
Not as we ask:
For the world’s profit, by our gifts deciding
Our duty-task.
See in king’s courts loth Jeremias plead;
And slow-tongued Moses rule by eloquence of deed!

Yes! thou, bright Angel of the East! didst rear
The Cross divine,
Borne high upon thy liquid accents, where
Men mock’d the Sign;
Till that cold city heard thy battle-cry,
And hearts were stirr’d, and deem’d a Pentecost was nigh.

Thou couldst a people raise, but couldst not rule:
—So, gentle one,
Heaven set thee free, — for, ere thy years were full,
Thy work was done;
According thee the lot thou lovedst best,
To muse upon the past, — to serve, yet be at rest.

(I found this text online at only one spot. I plan to check elsewhere to make sure it's correct.)


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