Holy Saturday

28 Jun 2021 | Christ-likeness | 0 comments

Not darkness but twilight
in which even the best
of minds must make its way
now. And slowly the questions
occur, vague but formidable
for all that. We pass our hands
over their surface like blind
men, feeling for the mechanism
that will swing them aside. They
yield, but only to re-form
as new problems; and one
does not even do that
but towers immovable
before us.

Is there no way
other than thought of answering
its challenge? There is an anticipation
of it to the point of
dying. There have been times
when, after long on my knees
in a cold chancel, a stone has rolled
from my mind, and I have looked
in and seen the old questions lie
folded and in place
by themselves, like the piled
grave clothes of love’s risen body.

R.S. Thomas (1913-2000), Frequencies.

Notes from the Compiler

R S Thomas was a vicar in remote parishes, ending up as Vicar of Aberdaron on the north western tip of Wales. He retired to Y Rhiw on the Lyn Peninsula. Carol Ann Duffy (1955- ) was Poet Laureate (2009-2019). Her words carved on the tombstone, photographed above, are the concluding lines of her poem, 'Snow', from her 2011 collection, 'The Bees'. They also resonate with the challenge of Mary Oliver (1935-2019): 'Tell me what you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?' (The Summer Day, 1990). We often overlook question-begging Easter Saturday, as we prepare to celebrate the joyful news of Jesus' resurrection. But on Holy Saturday I am responsible for 'answering its challenge', to 'my left life'.


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