The Guéranger Blog

Welcome to the Gueranger Blog! You have stumbled across the notebook I use to record my thoughts as I read through Dom Prosper Gueranger's 15-volume set, The Liturgical Year. I do not have any special expertise in liturgy, but I have some general knowledge of Catholic theology and an enthusiasm for Gueranger's magnum opus. Think of it as the Liturgical Year fan site!

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A Poem for the Feast of James the Younger

Canisius | 03 May, 2007 23:44

Happy feast of Sts. Philip and James the Less! Paul Claudel wrote a fine meditation on James, and I recently found a translation of his French poem:

All the Apostles have gone. Only James, brother of the Lord, has remained
In this Jerusalem whence the true Israelites have been drained,
In this city entirely perfect, replete unto a hair's breadth
With a people bespattered with the Blood and awaiting death.
There stands the blasphemous Temple, four decades before it still.
The nation is wholly united, compact, impregnate with ill,
about to sow on the winds wherever Jesus is known
Its law, its sorrow, its faith . . . its refusal of stone.
James, brother of Jesus, grandson of the same good Anne,
Like John, a virgin and tender, like Peter, guileless of plan,
Unswervingly prays for his people, knowing his prayer without fruit.
Yet he hears no rebuff from God, though time's passing is loud of bruit.
He stays in one place, he knows, he is shaken with horror and prays!
He has contracted a debt on short loan and the worth of each second weighs!
He prays not just for the years, but up to the end of time.
From Meskes to Yokohama, San Francisco to Warsaw's clime,
As long as there lives a Jew who has clung to his error's way;
As long as there is a Jew who grasps in his hand like prey
The writing that God gave to Moses, with its incontestable seal,
While implacable, stubborn to read, impervious to force or to guile,
He will not release the writing nor render to God His word;
As long as this sinful planet from its orbit is no whit stirred;
As long as the others fill space, from his mission not to be wrenched,
James kneels upright before God and looks at Him, teeth clenched!


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