Friday, March 29, 2013

Descent into Hades

When you descended into death,
         O Life Immortal,
you made Hades as nothing
with the radiance of your divinity.

Feeling your way deeper and deeper
through every dark realm
you came to the bottomless pit of fear
and closed it round with the embrace
of your compassionate gaze,
comprehending it within the wider assurance
that everything can fall, finally,
only toward your Life.

Overwhelmed by the tidal waves of your world
        we yearn for your Rescue,
pining for some Presence
other than that still small Pulse of life
within us already.

Compassionately enduring your own world,
risen to your full statue in the tempest of its challenges,
you lay bare for all to see
how they lurk at the heart of every moment,
those seeds of goodness
hidden in the hardest, darkest shells,
waiting to be unlocked and rise again.

I wrote these two prayers for Good Friday and Holy Saturday, which trace Christ’s confrontation with the powers of evil and darkness. They seek to express the strange process of redeeming the Dark by confrontation, compassion, non-resistance and resilient refusal to succumb.

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