Thursday 7 July 2005

Hope for a world gone wrong

Is there hope for a world gone wrong? Is there hope in the midst of hatred and violence? In his poem "God's Grandeur"(1877), Gerard Manley Hopkins wrote:

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.

Hopkins was of course writing about the destructiveness of an industrialised world. But the poem's conclusion applies equally to the situation of our own world today: there is hope, because the Spirit of God broods over this bent world. There is hope, because God is our future.

I suppose at times it is better to pray than to speak: Come, Creator Spirit: brood over the troubled waters of chaos in our world, and bring us your light and your life.

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