Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Notes on the Memorial of St. Alphonsus Rodriguez.

Today is the Memorial of St. Alphonsus Rodriguez, a Jesuit brother who worked for over forty years as porter at the Society's college on the island of Mallorca. Though his major duty was watching the door at the college, St. Alphonsus also served generations of students and brother Jesuits (including St. Peter Claver) as an insightful spiritual companion and counselor. I wrote a lot about today's saint (and a couple other Jesuits bearing the same name) in a post from last year. I'm not going to repeat those reflections, but just as I did last year I'd like to complete this post with a poem that Gerard Manley Hopkins wrote about today's saint:

In honour of Saint Alphonsus Rodriguez, laybrother of the Society of Jesus.

Honour is flashed off exploit, so we say;
And those strokes once that gashed flesh or galled shield
Should tongue that time now, trumpet now that field,
And, on the fighter, forge his glorious day
On Christ they do and on the martyr may;
But be the war within, the brand we wield
Unseen, the heroic beast not outward-steeled,
Earth hears no hustle then from fiercest fray.

Yet God (that hews mountain and continent,
Earth, all, out; who with trickling increment,
Veins violets and tall trees makes more and more)
Could crowd career with conquest while there went
Those years and years by of world without event
That in Majorca Alonso watched the door.
St. Alphonsus Rodriguez, pray for us. AMDG.


Post a Comment

<< Home