Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Dies Cinerum

Lent seems to bring the unknown, usually suffering, but in that I come out with strength so it is something I look forward to because of the meaning. At the start, I have received good news and bad but I saw a rainbow today that filled the sky and my youngest said "someone important must have died". She didn't have a reason for it. So we went along and didn't speak after that. I also wonder how tonight will go as all three of my children want to go to Mass tonight with me(they went at school). I know most of the children at school do not go to Mass at all except for school so when we want to go as a family on days like this, it puts a monkey wrench into things.
I haven't read this Eliot poem in years but I found it and since it is long, I am just adding the first part(I still love the images this poem brings to mind):

Ash Wednesday
T.S. Eliot

Because I do not hope to turn again
Because I do not hope
Because I do not hope to turn
Desiring this man's gift and that man's scope
I no longer strive to strive towards such things
(Why should the agèd eagle stretch its wings?)
Why should I mourn
The vanished power of the usual reign?

Because I do not hope to know
The infirm glory of the positive hour
Because I do not think
Because I know I shall not know
The one veritable transitory power
Because I cannot drink
There, where trees flower, and springs flow, for there is nothing again

Because I know that time is always time
And place is always and only place
And what is actual is actual only for one time
And only for one place
I rejoice that things are as they are and
I renounce the blessèd face
And renounce the voice
Because I cannot hope to turn again
Consequently I rejoice, having to construct something
Upon which to rejoice

And pray to God to have mercy upon us
And pray that I may forget
These matters that with myself I too much discuss
Too much explain
Because I do not hope to turn again
Let these words answer
For what is done, not to be done again
May the judgement not be too heavy upon us

Because these wings are no longer wings to fly
But merely vans to beat the air
The air which is now thoroughly small and dry
Smaller and dryer than the will
Teach us to care and not to care
Teach us to sit still.

Pray for us sinners now and at the hour of our death
Pray for us now and at the hour of our death.

(You can read the rest of the poem, equally beautiful HERE)

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