I am a breath
Of fresh air for you, a change
By and by.
Black March I call him
Because of his eyes
Being like March raindrops
On black twigs.
But this friend
Whatever new names I give him
Is an old friend. He says:
Whatever names you give me
A breath of fresh air,
A change for you.
~Stevie Smith from “Black March”
Suddenly, in the last week, buds are forming everywhere.
From seemingly dead wood
that stands cold and dormant in late March,
comes new life, returning like an old friend.
Transforming what seems lifeless,
as if fresh air has been breathed into a corpse.
What could be more lifeless than a cross piece of timbers
built specifically for execution?
Yet life sprung from that death tree,
an unexpected and glorious bud,
ready to burst into most fragrant blossom.
God sees us as we are,
loves us as we are,
and accepts us as we are.
But by His grace,
He does not leave us where we are.
O Deus, ego amo te,
O God I love Thee for Thyself
Nec amo te ut salves me,
and not that I may heaven gain
Nec quod qui te non diligent,
nor yet that they who love Thee not
Æterno igne pereunt.
must suffer hell’s eternal pain.
Ex cruces lingo germinat,
Out of the bud of the wood of the Cross
Qui pectus amor occupant,
wherefore hearts’ love embraces
Ex pansis unde brachiis,
whence out of extended arms
Ad te amandum arripes. Amen.
you lovingly take us. Amen.
~Prayer of St. Francis Xavier “O Deus Ego Amo Te” 18th Century Traditional