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Good Friday / C. Rossetti

Am I a stone, and not a sheep,
That I can stand, O Christ, beneath Thy cross,
To number drop by drop Thy blood’s slow loss,
And yet not weep?

Not so those women loved
Who with exceeding grief lamented Thee;
Not so fallen Peter weeping bitterly;
Not so the thief was moved;

Not so the Sun and Moon
Which hid their faces in a starless sky,
A horror of great darkness at broad noon–
I, only I.

Yet give not o’er,
But seek Thy sheep, true Shepherd of the flock;
Greater than Moses, turn and look once more
And smite a rock.

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Good Friday


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It is difficult when speaking of God to speak. Ineffability is like that.

When I finished Flowers for Algernon recently, I wept. My analytical literary self deduced that Charlie Gordon is a microcosm of every individual, emerging from oblivion to self-awareness, only to lose oneself in age and death; in grieving for Charlie, I mourn myself. But that explanation was unsatisfactory. I suspect that in writing the memoirs of Charlie Gordon, Daniel Keyes created Someone. Authors, like gods in miniature, create images of themselves, formed from paper pulp and ink and every Reader breathes into them the breath of Imagination.

Ironic that Christ is the Word. That God spoke the world into existence.

Tragedies are curious things. In the best ones, we know the ending before we crack the cover. Oedipus did it. Juliet and Romeo die. Charlie’s experiment is temporary. One would think that knowing the ending, we would be prepared for the end. Yet we rage against Fate. We hope against hope that the words which have remained the same for millennia will magically change if we holler loud enough. But as Readers we sit behind sound proof glass, watching them progress inevitably towards their destruction. We are helpless and they are hopeless.

It was a Friday when God created Man.

Here is the miracle of the Incarnation, of the Passion, of the Resurrection: Our Author read the book, mourned our doom and broke the mirrored glass. He took on our flesh, our suffering, and our sin. As far as the life of the page is from my experience of reality, so must our lives compare to God, but in order to change the ending, He had to enter the story. Infinitude made mortal.

And on the seventh day, He rested.

C.S. Doemner

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