Wednesday, April 09, 2014

The Cross reveals first, who you are in your depths



In Trost und Süssigkeit
  In  consolation and sweetness
   kennst du dich selbst nicht, Christ,
    know      you     yourself      not,    [O] Christian
Das Kreuze zeigt dir erst,
 The       Cross       shows    you     first
   wer du im Innern bist.
    who   you   in [your] inner [parts]   are.


That is a poem by Angelus Silesius, a 17th century priest, who wrote couplets of incredible precision and beauty.

I saw this post on Catholic World Report:
The blog is not about him, but about a 17th century priest-mystic-poet whom the great Catholic theologian and humanist Hans Urs von Balthasar has called “one of the greatest poets of the west”, ranking him with Homer, Virgil, Dante, and Shakespeare. His name was Johann Scheffler, but he went by the name of Angelus Silesius.
...
The blog is not about him, but about a 17th century priest-mystic-poet whom the great Catholic theologian and humanist Hans Urs von Balthasar has called “one of the greatest poets of the west”, ranking him with Homer, Virgil, Dante, and Shakespeare. His name was Johann Scheffler, but he went by the name of Angelus Silesius. 
And he is right. They absolutely are a treasure! Simple. Two lines, but, like a two-edged sword, they pierce through to the division of soul and spirit, joint and marrow ...

(We also have Fr. Fessio's audio recording of each. His German sounds authentic!)

Here's another:

Wird Christus tausendmal
  Were      Christ          a thousand times
           zu Bethlehem geboren
             in      Bethlehem             born
Und nicht in dir, du bleibst
  And       not      in  you,      you    remain
         noch ewiglich verloren.
            still         eternally             lost.

Also read von Balthasar's epilogue to his collection, also on the "anti-blog"

Thank you, Fr. Fessio! What a gift! 

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