April 14, 2005

The Cross of Moab

On Good Friday:


from The Eternal City

The wounded surgeon plies the steel
That questions the distempered part;
Beneath the bleeding hands we feel
The sharp compassion of the healer's art
Resolving the enigma of the fever chart.

    Our only health is the disease
If we obey the dying nurse
Whose constant care is not to please
But to remind of our, and Adam's curse,
And that, to be restored, our sickness must grow worse.

    The whole earth is our hospital
Endowed by the ruined millionaire,
Wherein, if we do well, we shall
Die of the absolute paternal care
That will not leave us, but prevents us everywhere.

    The chill ascends from feet to knees,
The fever sings in mental wires.
If to be warmed, then I must freeze
And quake in frigid purgatorial fires
Of which the flame is roses, and the smoke is briars.

    The dripping blood our only drink,
The bloody flesh our only food:
In spite of which we like to think
That we are sound, substantial flesh and blood --
Again, in spite of that, we call this Friday good.

Eliot -- from Four Quartets

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Posted by Vanderleun at April 14, 2005 7:43 AM | TrackBack
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AMERICAN DIGEST HOME
"It is impossible to speak in such a way that you cannot be misunderstood." -- Karl Popper N.B.: Comments are moderated and may not appear immediately. Comments that exceed the obscenity or stupidity limits will be either edited or expunged.

A great writer points to an even greater one. Thank you Gerard, for finding the perfect words for today.

Your collage is imaginative, beautiful and very fitting.

Posted by: AskMom at April 14, 2006 8:30 AM

I memorized this in college and was just a night or two ago trying to remember all of it while lying in bed. What a treat to see it posted on AD. THank you for your substantive, great work which is a ministry to many.

Posted by: Bob at April 14, 2006 2:34 PM

"Ditto" to both Ask Mom and Bob.

Your site will be my first visit Easter Sunday Morn - know you won't dissapoint!

(have I just channeled Mother Vanderleun?)

Posted by: LARWYN at April 14, 2006 3:14 PM
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"It is impossible to speak in such a way that you cannot be misunderstood." -- Karl Popper N.B.: Comments are moderated to combat spam and may not appear immediately. Comments that exceed the obscenity or stupidity limits will be either edited or expunged.










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