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A soldier’s poem-prayer for Easter

pirhi 2024

bralka Jelka

Fr. Peter John Cameron, OP - published on 03/31/24

Siegfried Sassoon, an author and soldier, became one of the leading “war poets” of World War I

As our Lenten journey turns to Easter joy, we offer this profound meditation on the cross as an unfathomable gift of mercy. The prayer is by Siegfried Sassoon, an author and soldier who became one of the leading “war poets” of World War I. Sassoon converted to Catholicism. 

For grace in me divined, 
this metaphor I find: a tree.
How can that be?
This tree all winter through 
found no green work to do—
no life therein ran rife.
But with an awoken year, 
what surge of sap is here—
what flood in branch and bud.
So grace in me can hide—
be darkened and denied—
then once again vesture my every vein.
Bring no expectance of heaven unearned,
no hunger for beatitude to be 
until the lesson of my life is learned
through what Thou didst for me.
Bring no assurance of redeemed rest,
no intimation of awarded grace.
Only contrition, cleavingly confessed
to Thy forgiving face.
I ask one world of everlasting loss in all I am,
that other world to win.
My nothingness must kneel below Thy Cross.
There let new life begin. Amen.

EasterLentPoetryWorld War I
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