Readings from Kit's Funeral
St John's Gospel, Chapter 1
Love began it.
Love is how God tells it.
Love is God.
Love lights a living lantern in the dark and its gentle strength wins over every shadow.
Love is not a Thing.
So those who say 'to know' means 'know about' cannot 'know' Love.
Love has no atoms and no molecules;
Love rates low in an 'Enlightened' age.
Love became human; an animal, and God.
And all who understand this themselves become all three.
Love came camping with us;
By day we climbed the hills, discovering hidden lakes and unexpected views;
By night we drank and talked, discovering hidden views and unexpected depths.
We have shared all this from the First Sign to the Last Supper:
Love's lantern burns in us and we in turn must light a lamp
Enlightening a world which, glitter-blind, does not know Love.
-- Kit's own translation, from the Prologue to Fourth Witness
The Dove Descending
The dove descending breaks the air
With flame of incandescent terror
Of which the tongues declare
The one discharge from sin and error.
The only hope, or else despair
Lies in the choice of pyre of pyre.
To be redeemed from fire by fire.
Who then devised the torment? Love.
Love is the unfamiliar Name
Behind the hands that wove
The intolerable shirt of flame
Which human power cannot remove.
We only live, only suspire
Consumed by either fire or fire.
-- From Little
Gidding, Four Quartets, by T. S. Eliot.
Batter My Heart
Batter my heart, three person'd God; for, you
As yet but knocke, breathe, shine, and seeke to mend;
That I may rise, and stand, o'erthrow mee, and bend
Your force, to breake, blowe, burn and make me new.
I, like an usurpt towne, to another due,
Labour to admit you, but Oh, to no end,
Reason your viceroy in mee, mee should defend,
But is captiv'd, and proves weake or untrue.
Yet dearely I love you, and would be loved faine,
But am betroth'd unto your enemie:
Divorce mee, untie, or breake that knot againe;
Take mee to you, imprison mee, for I
Except you'enthrall mee, never shall be free,
Nor ever chast, except you ravish mee.
-- John Donne