Unit 9: A Liturgical Theology of Savoring
Choose two of the poems that we have examined in this unit. How would you use these poems in catechesis or in theological education?
My first choice of poem for theological education is the ‘Adoro te devote’ titled Lost, All Lost in Wonder by Gerard Manley Hopkins. This poem is wonderful because it draws out deeply personal faith and is addressed directly to Jesus Christ. It is so pointedly clear in the opening stanza the adoration, veneration, awe and humility felt by Manley as he speaks to Christ. Rahner (358) addresses the silent mystery through which our ears should be opened. Manley takes us there quickly speaking of bare shadows, shape and lost wonder. From an educational perspective I would focus in driving the reader to hear the silence in the poem. The aching for relationship with Christ and the faith required to push through doubt into belief regarding the passion.
Further Manley educated us by instructing us that earthly, manly things deceive. What can and must be trusted is Christ’s Word, and truth. There is nothing else, nothing else is required, and nothing else ever will be. Christ is truth, speaking truth for all of us and our salvation. Manley goes on “Let me to a deeper faith daily nearer move,” clearly grasping and yearning for more of a relationship and love for Christ’s Living Bread. As Chretien states (22), Manley as poet “confesses God as giver, by dispossessing us of our self-centeredness” which is what, in my opinion makes this poem so very powerful. As an educational instrument this stands on its own as a classical piece for Eucharistic Adoration.
My second choice of poem is Lauda Sion. I very much enjoyed reading your commentary regarding the poem in Real Presence. All that I know I gleaned from your commentary. There are things that you brought forth that caused me to reflect differently on the poem and I would like to focus on those aspects.
On page 73 you wrote “We exist in time. We are born, we live, and then we die always in time. And it is up to us to determine whether we receive this time as a gift.” I paused here, highlighted and reread multiple times. As I read the last half of the ninth stanza of the poem;
Death to the bad, life to the good.
Behold, from equal consumption
There is an unequal departure.
I could not help but come back to your statement. It is of course true (as you wrote, page 81) the first part of Lauda Sion “draws out” the past into the present. And, the second part of the poem shifts the attention to the action of the church (page 83). The point that I found most compelling in Lauda Sion was the focus in stanzas eight and nine on our actions; our faith, devotion and what is truly in our heart as we ‘act out’ our roles by participating in the Eucharist. If I were using this as an educational tool, I would call this out as a point for contemplation. Time; we have only so much time to form a relationship with Christ before we are called home. I think Aquinas does beautiful job of calling this out for us.