Sunday, January 11, 2015

The grandeur of God

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.
The point of quoting this sonnet, “God’s Grandeur” by Gerard Manley Hopkins, is that it has nothing to do with the modern world and everything to do with God’s world and our place within it. The world is charged with the grandeur of God. It is full of goodness, truth, and beauty. Furthermore it is full of rational beings who are able to recognize and experience its grandeur and to see that it is good, as God Himself saw that it was good when he first created it. For, as Chesterton said, we do not live in the best of all possible worlds but the best of all impossible worlds. We are living in the midst of a miracle. We are interwoven into the lines of the greatest poem ever written. We are part of the most beautiful landscape ever painted. We are part of the Great Music, the symphony of Creation, which the Great Composer has sung into being. .... [more from Pearce's essay]