08 December 2013

"I am only a man: I need visible signs."

The Second Sunday of Advent is our time to acknowledge and celebrate the Gifts of the Holy Spirit. . .in that spirit, here's a poem by the Polish-Lithuanian Catholic poet, Czeslaw Milosz from 1961.

Veni Creator

Come, Holy Spirit,   
bending or not bending the grasses,   
appearing or not above our heads in a tongue of flame,   
at hay harvest or when they plough in the orchards or when snow   
covers crippled firs in the Sierra Nevada.   
I am only a man: I need visible signs.   
I tire easily, building the stairway of abstraction.   
Many a time I asked, you know it well, that the statue in church   
lifts its hand, only once, just once, for me.   
But I understand that signs must be human,   
therefore call one man, anywhere on earth,   
not me—after all I have some decency—   
and allow me, when I look at him, to marvel at you.   
(Translated By Czeslaw Milosz and Robert Pinsky)

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