Full credit for the paraphrase embedded in the title above goes to priest, and poet extraordinaire, Gerard Manly Hopkins, SJ. I thought of it today as I saw photographs of the Catholic HEART Work Camp trip that two of my children are on this week.
Hopkin’s poem is entitled God’s Grandeur, and it isn’t too long for you to bear.
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
Crushed. Why do men then now not reck his rod?
Generations have trod, have trod, have trod;
And all is seared with trade; bleared, smeared with toil;
And wears man’s smudge and shares man’s smell: the soil
Is bare now, nor can foot feel, being shod.
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.
Would you fault me for seeing God’s grandeur as our children go out into the world as His hands, His face, and His heart? By doing His works of mercy, see, they are transformed in ways they never expected.
Bright wings and bright smiles are being seen around the country this summer.
Thanks be to God!