Entering Holy Week 2010

In Christianity, Lent on March 28, 2010 at 3:23 am

In previous posts, I’ve mentioned Paul Claudel’s, A Poet Before the Cross.  For Holy Week 2010, I’m revisiting Claudel’s wonderful book as part of my Lenten practice.  I pray his meditations on the Cross will be a blessing to you.

In this post, let me quote from Wallace Fowlie’s introduction to Claudel’s volume. Fowlie translated A Poet Before the Cross from French into English.

He [Claudel] will pass beyond words and arguments and the complex arsenal of Biblical references.  (p. ix)

Biblically faithful brothers and sisters, this “beyond” is not a matter of emotion or incoherence.  Rather, Claudel’s objective, as Fowlie notes, is to prompt silence and prayer. We no longer think in terms of awe and wonder.  Perhaps we even think too seldom of true prayer.  We are so certain we have our doctrines right (I have my Protestant brothers, sisters, and family particularly in mind here), what need have we for awe and wonder?  Only this:  to prompt reverential worship and, ultimately, all consuming love.

The Word on the cross gives fulfillment to the words of the prophets.  This is Claudel’s belief . . . This poet’s faith, which is without secrets and without hesitations, is consubstantial with his life . . . The gigantic figure of the cross is a perpetual manifestation of the Host.  The poet looks upon it as the one dazzling sign which is able to pierce our blindness . . . Thanks to the cross, the universe is filled with a Presence, which give it its equilibrium, its meaning and its unity . . . The world ceases to be an enigma and becomes a text that can be read and understood.  (pp. xii-xiii)

  1. […] Once again, Paul Claudel is accompanying me — nay, leading me, on our long walk toward the Cross of our Lord. Many time have I cited his book, A Poet Before the Cross, over the past six years. See Lenten Reading, Say What You Mean, The Reality of It All, No Forced Faith, Lent is Approaching, and Entering Holy Week 2010. […]

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