Thursday, March 10, 2011

God's Grandeur - Ash Wednesday Reflection

I am new to Gerard Manly Hopkins. I am not new to worrying. My hope for this Lenten Season is that Hopkins' writing will help me not to fret so much about what lies ahead for me. My initial understanding of Hopkins' life is that he sacrificed some of the poetry of his life for his vocational piety. Seven years of writing lost because Hopkins felt that his poetry was "too individualistic and self-indulgent for a Jesuit priest." (Everett, 1988, para. #3) . A life of lost love and much melancholy due in some part to a confessor's condemnation and his romantic friend's death.

It is no wonder that Hopkins often worries and laments.

And yet, his poetry promises much hope for Lent:

And for all this, nature is never spent;
There lives the dearest freshness deep down things;
And though the last lights off the black West went
Oh, morning, at the brown brink eastward, springs --
Because the Holy Ghost over the bent
World broods with warm breast and with ah! bright wings.
May Ash Wednesday's dirt and dust serve as holy soil for self reflection, and calm as Easter's lilies push their way through the hard dirt of our anxieties and fears.

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