2012-09-14 For the Feast of The Cross, this beautiful poem
"Retreat" by James McAuley
into yourself a while,
Be deaf to outer cries;
Ask not who wins, who falls, who rages,
Or what each doubtful sign presages,
Or what face treachery wears.
you must return to tasks
That sicken and appall:
The calumnies will never cease,
Look only to the sign of peace,
The Cross upon the wall.
that sole instrument
That measures every chart;
This square and level overrules
The subtle calculus of fools
By a celestial art.
not said we shall succeed,
Save as his Cross prevails:
The good we choose and mean to do
Prospers if he wills it too,
And if not, then it fails.
failure our disgrace:
By ways we cannot know
He keeps the merit in his hand,
And suddenly as no one planned,
Behold the kingdom grow!
See James McAuley: A Poet in Politics by Peter Coleman