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Not a muse but a Heart...

A few hours ago I found, in my Twitter feed, a link to two new sonnets by Malcolm Guite. They arose as part of a response to a poem by George Herbert, but in his introduction to them he explains that as he began writing he realised that what he was in fact doing was ...articulating something I had been feeling for a long time about the damaging and depressing effect of barrages of bad news unprayed through, accumulating as a kind of uninterpreted cacophony in the mind. We need the gift of transposition and the power to hear, however tiny it might seem, the eternal tuning fork that sounds Christ’s love in the midst of things...

These sonnets are therefore very much for the dark and disturbing times in which we currently find ourselves, and in which we seek to love and hold on to hope. And then, as I read through the first sonnet I was especially struck by...

Is there no muse
To make of all that pain an elegy,
Or in those wave of white noise to discern
Christ's inner cantus firmus, that deep tone
That might give rise at last to harmony?


... Struck because this can only be a rhetorical question: because I - and Sacred Heart sisters throughout the world - have, maybe not a muse, but certainly a primordial place, an enduringly wide-open Heart, where we can bring all the pain we meet, in our daily lives as well as in the news. This is a Heart which has been pierced and broken open, to become a place of refuge and welcome, of healing and restoration and redemption. And it is in this Heart that I find the source of the hope to which I cling: that the violence and hatred which tore it open unwittingly unleashed a torrent of redemptive love; a mighty flow in which hatred has somehow been lost and vanquished.

It is through this Pierced Heart that we are called to see the world, encountering both the strength and the fragility of life (General Chapter 2008, paraphrased): it is to this Heart that we bring the pain and fragility of our world; it is from this Heart that we draw the love and the strength and tenderness we need, for ourselves and our world. This for us is Christ's cantus firmus, source and symbol of his infinite love in the midst of things...

And this is the Heart which somehow resonated a firm YES, somewhere deep within me, reminding me that I have my place of restoration and hope, and impelling me to turn my intuitive, inchoate response to that poem into a (hopefully) intelligible post, in case it might bring hope to someone else...

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