Incarnation: Poem & Prose

by Jonathan Bailey

Listen to two great writers on the incarnation of Jesus into our bodies. The first is a poem by Gerard Manley Hopkins and the second is an insightful illustration from C.S. Lewis. Maybe this will help us keep the incarnation front and center this Christmas season.

ORATIO PATRIS CONDREN: O JESU VIVENS IN MARIA

Jesu that dost in Mary dwell,
Be in thy servants’ hearts as well,
In the spirit of thy holiness,
In the fulness of thy force and stress,
In the very ways that thy life goes
And virtues that thy pattern shows,
In the sharing of thy mysteries;
And every power in us that is
Against thy power put under feet
In the Holy Ghost the Paraclete
To the glory of the Father. Amen.

Gerard Maley Hopkins, Mortal Beauty and God’s Grace. Pg. 7.

“Imagine yourself as a living house. God comes in to rebuild that house. At first, perhaps, you understand what He is doing. He is getting the drains right, and stopping the leaks in the roof, and so on: you knew that those jobs needed doing and you are not surprised. But presently He starts knocking the house about in a way that hurts abominably, and does not seem to make sense. What on earth is He up to?

The explanation is that He is building quite a different house from the one you thought of– throwing out a new wing here, putting on an extra floor there, running up towers, making courtyards. You thought you were going to be made into a decent little cottage: but He is building a palace. He intends to come and live in it Himself.”

–C. S. Lewis, Mere Christianity (London: William Collins, 1970), 172.

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