Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Glorious Diminishment


A Lenten meditation on aging, by Joseph R. Veneroso, M.M.
Autumn splendor of the leaf whose life
appears all but past and yet
there, in its final days, reveals a glory
heretofore hidden by its youth.

Stained and pungent from harvests past
only when the winepress crushes grapes
can life's fermentation yield
a choice and worthy vintage.

So do not fear or fret
when youth passes and beauty fades
as they always have and surely will.
Memory, too, may well grow dim with time
and strength diminish in due course.

Forget all else but remember this:
A deeper strength, an inner beauty
will emerge, as a statue
from the living rock
chipped and polished
by the Sculptor's hand.

But should wisdom not come with age
and time and illness rob a once
proud and noble frame of all comeliness;
should humor fail, kindness flee
and even hope and faith take flight
then, even then, especially then
recall how from the ruins of fallen humanity
a Savior rose and will return
and in the flesh we too will one day
rise and ascend.

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