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Poetry and Prayers For Advent

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NYC winter

God for whom we wait,
Lord of night and the solemn beauty of darkness:
you have grieved over your creation,
over our swords and all the terrible weapons we fashion.
Nations and peoples live in fear: how can we make tools of our swords
or take the wages of our weapons to feed the hungry?
Give us, Lord, a love that is greater than our fear.
We wait for the Messiah,
keeping watch and praying in his name,
Jesus, who is Lord for ever and ever. Amen.

– Catholic Household Blessings and Prayers, 1988

Rainy Chicago night

Alone, alone, about a dreadful wood
Of conscious evil runs a lost mankind,
Dreading to find its Father lest it find
The Goodness it has dreaded is not good:
Alone, alone, about our dreadful wood.
Where is that Law for which we broke our own,
Where now that Justice for which Flesh resigned
Her hereditary right to passion, Mind
His will to absolute power? Gone. Gone.
Where is that Law for which we broke our own?

The Pilgrim Way has led to the Abyss.
Was it to meet such grinning evidence
We left our richly odored ignorant?
Was the triumphant answer to be this?
The Pilgrim Way has led to the Abyss.

We who must die demand a miracle.
How could the Eternal do a temporal act,
The Infinite become a finite fact?
Nothing can save us that is possible;
We who must die demand a miracle.

-W. H. Auden

 

O come, thou dayspring, come and cheer
Our spirits by thine advent here;
Disperse the gloomy clouds of night
And death’s dark shadow put to flight.
Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel
Shall come to thee, O Israel

– “O Come, O Come, Emmanuel”