Monday, December 27, 2004

The Incarnation, by St. John of the Cross

Now that the time had come
when it would be good
to ransom the bride
serving under the hard yoke

of that law
which Moses had given her,
the Father, with tender love,
spoke in this way:

Now You see, Son, that Your bride
was made in your image,
and so far as she is like You
she will suit You well;

yet she is different, in her flesh,
which Your simple being does not have.

In perfect love
this law holds:

that the lover become
like the one he loves;
for the greater their likeness,
the greater their delight.

Surely Your bride's delight
would greatly increase
were she to see You like her,
in her own flesh.

My will is Yours,
the Son replied,
and My glory is
that Your will be Mine.

This is fitting, Father,
what You, the Most High, say;
for in this way
Your goodness will be the more seen.

Your great power will be seen,
and Your justice and wisdom.
I will go and tell the world,
spreading the word
of Your beauty and sweetness,
and of Your sovereignty.

I will go seek My bride
and take upon Myself
her weariness and labors
in which she suffers so;

and that she may have life
I will die for her,
and, lifting her out of that deep,
I will restore her to You. ....

When the time had come
for Him to be born
He went forth like the bridegroom
from his bridal chamber,

embracing His bride,
holding her in His arms,
Whom the gracious Mother
laid in a manger

among some animals
that were there at that time.
Men sang songs
and angels melodies

celebrating the marriage
of Two such as these.
But God there in the manger
cried and moaned;

and those tears were jewels
the bride brought to the wedding.
The Mother gazed in sheer wonder
on such an exchange:

In God, man's weeping,
and in man, gladness;
to the one and the other
things usually so strange.


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