Ash Wednesday 2017



Today is also 1 March (pinch-punch) and Saint David’s Day.

The following passages are taken from Ash Wednesday – TS Eliot’s extroardinary work written shortly after his conversion to Anglicanism. The lines remind us of the Litany of Loreto – which, surely, Eliot must have known.

Above is a painting of Our Lady, in the hortus conclusus, the walled garden. At the end of this post, she is the Madonna of the Crescent Moon, again in hortus conclusus.  As we drag ourselves through Lent towards Easter, like Eliot we ask for her protection and intercession.

Lady of silences
Calm and distressed
Torn and most whole
Rose of memory
Rose of forgetfulness
Exhausted and life-giving
Worried reposeful
The single Rose
Is now the Garden
Where all loves end
Terminate torment
Of love unsatisfied
The greater torment
Of love satisfied
End of the endless
Journey to no end
Conclusion of all that
Is inconclusible
Speech without word and
Word of no speech
Grace to the Mother
For the Garden
Where all love ends.

Blessed sister, holy mother, spirit of the fountain, spirit of the garden,
Suffer us not to mock ourselves with falsehood
Teach us to care and not to care
Teach us to sit still
Even among these rocks,
Our peace in His will
And even among these rocks
Sister, mother
And spirit of the river, spirit of the sea,
Suffer me not to be separated

And let my cry come unto Thee.

15th-century unknown painters - Madonna on a Crescent Moon in Hortus Conclusus - WGA23736.jpg

This entry was posted in Art, Catholic, Catholic Feasts, Christianity, Poetry, Prayer and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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