Sunday, April 5, 2020

Spiritual Quote of the Day (Christina Rossetti, on How ‘Hope is the Counterpoise of Fear’)

“Hope is the counterpoise of fear
While night enthralls us here.
Fear hath a startled eye that holds a tear:
Hope hath an upward glance, for dawn draws near
With sunshine and with cheer.
Fear gazing earthwards spies a bier;
And sets herself to rear
A lamentable tomb where leaves drop sere,
Bleaching to congruous skeletons austere:
Hope chants a funeral hymn most sweet and clear,
And seems true chanticleer
Of resurrection and of all things dear
In the oncoming endless year.
Fear ballasts hope, hope buoys up fear,
And both befit us here.”—English poet Christina Rossetti (1830-1894), “Hope is the counterpoise of fear / While night enthralls us here,” from The Complete Poems, edited by R. W. Crump and Betty S. Flowers (2001 edition)

I took this picture nine years ago while on vacation at the Chautauqua Institution, a village in upstate New York where vacationers are likely to see thousands of day lilies and other flowers bloom all around. A flower feels like an appropriate symbol of hope these days—both for our survival in this time of crisis and for the ultimate deliverance promised by Jesus through the Resurrection.

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