Vanity, vanity
All is vanity! We lament:
Doomed, fleeting, empty
Of purpose beyond our days.
These, the serpent’s lies
Seduce us, like the Man
Into believing ourselves cheated
Of the best heaven
has to give.
Subjected, pressed in
To a single life’s fears
Desiring only what we can see
Making the best of
A beleagured present
A harried moment
Stealing from another’s tree
At the cost of Life itself.

From this slavery,
The gift – Hope – saves
Sets us free, to disbelieve
Driving discontent
It looks up, looks out, exspects
Fruit outlasting our days
As of the Tree of life.
Coming as a seed implanted,
Tiny, yet growing, pushing,
A fulness that will fill us, fill all,
That the world, confined as it is,
Cannot yet contain. So,
Groaning, we give thanks,
Treasure this seed (the Spirit’s
First occupation
Of a cosmos always his),
Guard our bodies
For love of the life they hold –
A life hidden, like all mysteries
In Christ to be revealed

When the Day of the Presence shall come,
An Imperial Visitation,
Heaven filling earth
Flowing, as waters,
Over dry desert longings
Parched throats, panting souls
The river through the city
The gate to the Tree re-opened.
Ecce Homo!
They are the Sons of God again,
Adopted, entitled, glorious,
Let them have dominion
Over every living thing
Over body and soul
Over death and temptation
Freed, gloriously freed,
To serve beyond mortal concerns
Beyond themselves
Beyond kith and kin
For the good of all
The cosmos shouts aloud
Claps its hands
At its lords remade,
The rule of love returned
The freedom of God’s children
A benediction of life and kindness
Bestowed on all
That has been made.

In saecula saeculorum
Amen.

(With grateful thanks – Benedict XVI)

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