Today, as Mom and I drove down the highway to the charming Gast Haus where Dad was about to give his last (before leaving for Boston) conference to our young adult group. The topic was "Words, Fists and Guns: When and How to use them", and it was a marvelous conference, based solidly on St. Thomas Aquinas with some excellent real and hypothetical examples from today's world, and a good deal of interesting talk on the virtue of vengeance.
But to return to my introduction... as we drove, I was watching the heavy grey cloud formations against the beautiful blue sky, with shafts of light falling through the gaps. And to my mind came the germ that, in the post-conference discussion, mushroomed into
Scaling the Cliffs
The thunderheads were grey above the town
Against the April blue,
Piled in a mass of shapes as soft as down,
Yet dreadful too -
Tall cliffs of silver-grey and marble-white,
With floods of fading, falling sunset light
I stood and gazed up at the high plateau
Of cloud-stone, and the stair
Of light up which the little souls would go,
Treading the air,
Passing from prison to the holy height
Of merriment and all divine delight,
And praise and prayer.
I watched them fly and longed to follow them,
Scaling the sky;
To join them, jewels in the diadem
Of God most high.
And as I looked - though 'twas too high to see
For sure - I thought one turned and looked at me
And waved goodbye,
As if to say, "Fear not, I'll pray for thee,
So dry that tear;
As I did sigh in flames, and thou for me
Didst pray, my dear,
I'll pray that thou wilt do as God's decree
Commands, and come at last eternally
To praise him here."
--April 20, 2009