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On the Mystery of the Incarnation

December 31, 2011

On this final day of 2011, a poem is on my mind as we continue in the time of Christmas.  It concerns God’s compassion in the Word made flesh, given “as guest, as brother” to a world where we “shudder to know … the worst our kind can do” (2011 includes the Penn state scandal, shooting of a U.S. Congresswoman, dictator violence in resistance to  the Arab spring).  I hope the poem is a gift to you as well.

On the Mystery of the Incarnation

It’s when we face for a moment

the worst our kind can do, and shudder to know

the taint in our own selves, that awe

cracks the mind’s shell and enters the heart:

not to a flower, not to a dolphin,

to no innocent form

but to this creature vainly sure

it and no other is god-like, God

(out of compassion for our ugly

failure to evolve) entrusts,

as guest, as brother,

the Word.

~ Denise Levertov

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