Come, Holy Spirit,
bending or not bending the grasses,
appearing or not above our heads in a tongue of flame,
at hay harvest or when they plough in the orchards or when snow
covers crippled firs…
~Czeslaw Milosz from “Veni Creator” in Selected and Last Poems
Unless the eye catch fire,
Then God will not be seen.
Unless the ear catch fire
Then God will not be heard.
Unless the tongue catch fire
Then God will not be named.
Unless the heart catch fire,
Then God will not be loved.
Unless the mind catch fire,
Then God will not be known.
~William Blake from “Pentecost”
The world is charged with the grandeur of God.
It will flame out, like shining from shook foil;
It gathers to a greatness, like the ooze of oil
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.
~Gerard Manley Hopkins from “God’s Grandeur”
Love flows from God into man,
Like a bird
Who rivers the air
Without moving her wings.
Thus we move in His world,
One in body and soul,
Though outwardly separate in form.
As the Source strikes the note,
The Holy Spirit is our harpist,
And all strings
Which are touched in Love
~Mechtild of Magdeburg 1207-1297 “Effortlessly”
trans. Jane Hirshfield
May the Divine
in strange syllables
an ancient familiarity,
a knowing borne
in the blood,
bringing the clarity
not in stone
or in steel
but in fire,
May there come
one searing word:
enough to bare you
to the bone,
enough to set
your heart ablaze,
enough to make you
~Jan Richardson from Circle of Grace: A Book of Blessings for the Seasons
On this day of Pentecost,
when we feel we are without hope,
when the bent world reels in blood and violence,
when faith feels frail,
when love seems distant:
We wait stilled and silent
for the moment we are lit afire by the Holy Spirit ~
when the Living God is
seen, heard, named, loved, known
forever burning in our hearts deep down,
brooded over by His bright wings
We are His dearest and freshest
in this moment
and for eternity.
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