Sunday, September 13, 2015

On suffering for the sake of the gospel...

It was on a winter's morning 
In the days of old, 
In his cell sat Father Henry,
Sorrowful and cold.

"O my Lord, I am aweary," 
In his heart he spake, 
"For my brethren scorn and hate me 
For Thy blessed sake."

"If I had but one to love me 
That were joyful cheer—
One small word to make me sunshine 
Through the darksome year!"

"But they mock me and despise me 
Till my heart is stung—
Then my words are wild and bitter, 
Tameless is my tongue." 

Then the Lord said, "I am with thee; 
Trust thyself to Me; 
Open thou thy little casement (window)
Mark what thou shalt see." 

Then a piteous look and wistful 
Father Henry cast 
Out into the dim old cloister 
And the wintry blast.

Was it that a friend was coming 
By some Angel led? 
No! a great hound wild and savage 
Round the cloister sped.

Some old mat that lay forgotten 
Seized he on his way—
Tore it, tossed it, dragged it wildly 
Round the cloister gray.

"Lo, the hound is like thy brethren," 
Spake the Voice he knew; 
"If thou are the mat, beloved, 
What hast thou to do?"

Meekly then went Father Henry, 
And the mat he bare 
To his little cell to store it
As a jewel rare.

Many a winter and a summer
Through those cloisters dim, 
Did he thenceforth walk rejoicing, 
And the Lord with him.

And when bitter words would sting him, 
Turned he to his cell, 
Took his mat, and looked upon it, 
Saying, "All is well."

"He who is the least and lowest
Needs but low to lie; 
Lord, I thank Thee and I praise Thee 
That the mat am I."

On the cold and footworn pavement 
Lies it still and flat,
Raves not if men trample on it, 
For it is a mat."

Then he wept, for in the stillness 
His Beloved spake,
"Thus was I the least and lowest, 
Gladly, for thy sake."

"Lo, My face to shame and spitting 
Did I turn for thee; 
If thou art the least and lowest, 
Then remember Me." 

Heinrich Suso  (14th century Dominican)


Dieter Schlaepfer said...

So then I understood the love
God delivers through,
"Father please forgive them for they
know not what they do."

Joe Johnston said...

I read and look forward to your many posts here and in Our Daily Bread. I enjoy passing them on and discovering how many followers you have. Thank you...

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