All Things New – Station Fourteen

Taken from the book by Daniele Berrigan, Stations: The Way of the Cross, is accented by the art of Margaret Parker, and portrays the 14 stations of the cross in New York City street people.

God shall wipe away every tear from thier eyes; and there shall no longer be any death; there shall no longer be any mourning, or crying, or pain: the first things have passed away.  And he who sits on the throne said, “Behold, I am making all things new.”  (Revelation 21:4-5)

To the city mourgue officials come running.                                                              Distrait, dismayed, wild-eyed.                                                                                 Stuttering something going on here.                                                                             Who knows what?                                                                                                     Nothing of moment.                                                                                                  Rumors, wives’ tales.

Mors et vita duello.                                                                                                      Death life in mortal combat.

How say it?                                                                                                                          How declare good good new after bad – punishment annulled, penalty undone.               Someone walks away victorious.                                                                          Someone walks toward – companionable.

Finally (no, from the beginning) I see You walk toward me.                                             In your wounds.                                                                                                        Ragtag, nameless, J.D., J.C.                                                                                      Those frail speechless bones alight as a phosphor.                                                     The face alight those wounds.

Your credentials – dying somberly for others, they say.                                                 Mors et vita duello                                                                                                        Then they say walking free.

Walking the cities.                                                                                                           Walking the ages.                                                                                                          What a burden.                                                                                                         Pondus gloriae.                                                                                                          Weight of glory –

Tell the litany –                                                                                                           Gratitude begrudged.                                                                                                    Fake and true vows.                                                                                                Masses muttered refusals, reprisals.                                                                             Guns settling matters.                                                                                               Images graven, groveling.                                                                                         Grislier than the event.

Then the “glory gap” – larger than life.                                                                            You begetting less than life.                                                                                           And how measure up to the measure laid to the sorry human.                               Mocking, surpassing – how not dread.                                                                         Mors et vita duello.                                                                                                       Conflixere mirando.                                                                                                      Death life locked in mortal combat.

O give us peace.                                                                                                          Dona nobis pacem.                                                                                                         Any peace.                                                                                                                     Any price.

Only in solitude.                                                                                                              Under heavy crisis.                                                                                                            In passing insight gone.                                                                                                  Soon as granted – You come toward me free.                                                                Great God free at last.                                                                                       Accretions, fallen away egos.                                                                                       Husks dead by the wayside.

Can one befriend a God?                                                                                                    The question is inadmissible.                                                                         Nevertheless, a fiery recognition lights us – broken by life.                                       Making our comeback.

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