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The power and beauty of religious poetry - Cast fear behind thee, I am come!

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 Contents - Jun 2004AD2000 June 2004 - Buy a copy now
Editorial: Pentecost: As it was in the beginning ... - Michael Gilchrist
Abortion: 'Pro-choice' issue emerges in US presidential campaign - Michael Gilchrist
News: The Church Around the World
Marriage: Statistics highlight the precarious state of marriage and family - AD2000 REPORT
Theology of the Body: Why the silence on the Church's moral teachings? - Audrey Dillon
Society: Why Chesterton is needed now more than ever - Dale Ahlquist
Education: Chavagnes en Paillers: a Catholic college with a Catholic culture - Paul Russell
The importance of beauty in the Liturgy - Christopher Pearson
Poetry: The power and beauty of religious poetry - Star-Life, Identikit, Ministers - Bruce Dawe
Poetry: The power and beauty of religious poetry - Cast fear behind thee, I am come! - Marion and Delia Craig
Letters: New Liturgy document (letter) - John Schmid
Letters: Disrespect (letter) - John Casamento
Letters: Behaviour at Mass (letter) - Michael Ryan
Letters: Options (letter) - Maryse Usher
Letter: Signs of hope (letter) - Daniel Attard
Letters: Priestly vocations (letter) - Monsignor Robert Egar
Letters: The Passion - Suffering (letter) - Dr Arnold Jago
Letters: The Passion - Not overdone (letter) - Monique Onezime
Letters: The Passion - No ordinary man (letter) - Jony Joordens
Letters: Faith and reason (letter) - John Kelly
Letters: Gospel Dating - The Jesus Papyrus (letter) - Paul R. Smith
Letters: Media Standards Australia (letter) - Denise Den-Bakker
Letters: Name changes? (letter) - Frank Mobbs
Letters: US Survey (letter) - Errol P. Duke
Letters: Catholic books (letter) - Frank Carleton
Events: Window Shopping for Non-Catholics - Fr Paul Newton
Books: The Free Press, by Hilaire Belloc - John Ballantyne (reviewer)
Books: The Outline Of Sanity, by G.K. Chesterton - Peter Westmore (reviewer)
Books: Catharine With An 'A', by Edna Keir - Joan Graham (reviewer)
Books: Looking Again at the Question of the Liturgy, Reform of the Reform? - Paul Russell (reviewer)
Books: More new titles for 2004 from AD Books
Reflection: The Holy Spirit: like a bed for the weary traveller - Fr Leo Duck

Poetry, like other art forms, has the power to inspire us spiritually through its beauty and insights. The following religious poems possess these qualities.

The first three (here) are by one of Australia's foremost poets, Bruce Dawe, who has been a regular contributor to this journal and has had several of his collections published. The other two (below) were written by Melbourne-based sisters, Marion and Delia Craig, whose religious poems have appeared regularly in 'AD2000' since its beginning.

Cast fear behind thee, I am come!

Sits Lucretia heavy hearted
'Mid her spinning maids, when lo!
Stands her Lord with words of greeting.
"Pone metum, Venio!"

Ah, those words hold richer meaning
Than the antique heart could know,
Fearing, longing, and delivered.
"Pone metum, Venio!"

All creation groans and travails,
Now as in that long ago,
For one hope and one redemption.
"Pone metum, Venio!"

And the Christian soul with longing
Knows the clouds of fear and woe
Bear the Lord Who cometh quickly.
"Pone metum, Venio!"

Delia Christian Craig

* * *

Lord shall I feel afraid?

Yet Thou, O God, art kinder than cold man
I grasp Thy living hands in my utter fear
Their palms and wrists punctured by a nail's span.
In the sickening throb of tortured nerves that seer
Thy hallowed Heart: deep dug, indelible, Lord,
Compassionate and strong, O gentle Lord,
Thus Thou wilt be at death's dawn, stark and terrible.
If but I cry, call, cling and wait thy word.
It will be different in the latter hour;
A sword* across Thy lips, Thy garments white
As sun-shot snows in dread and splendid power,
Thou descend to scan and sift aright.
Then, when I creep from mine earth's quivering shade
Up in these hands - Lord, shall I feel afraid?

* Apocalypse Chap xxx Verse 15
The Apocalypse Christ out of whose mouth proceeded a sharp two-edged sword.

Marion Constance Craig

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Reprinted from AD2000 Vol 17 No 5 (June 2004), p. 12

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