Poet Gerard Manley Hopkins was a Jesuit priest. In addition to sharing one of my personal favorites of his poetry, I also want to remind everyone of a principle set down by Ignatius of Loyola, founder of Hopkins’ religious order: We are to pray as if everything depends on God and we are to work as if everything depends on us! …wise counsel as we face the life-threatening crisis of climate change!
We should all be concerned and committed to change when credible reports on the climate state that we have only a matter of years, not decades, to dramatically reduce our suicidal alienation from and degradation of the environment. We need to get our heads out of the sand and stop living in denial or despair. To do that we need a healthy dose of hope!
by Gerard Manley Hopkins
The world is charged with the grandeur of God.
It will flame out, like shining from shook foil;
It gathers to a greatness, like the ooze of oil
Crushed. Why do men then now not reck his rod?
Generations have trod, have trod, have trod;
And all is seared with trade; bleared, smeared with toil;
And wears man’s smudge and shares man’s smell: the soil
Is bare now, nor can foot feel, being shod.
And for all this, nature is never spent;
There lives the dearest freshness deep down things;
And though the last lights off the black West went
Oh, morning, at the brown brink eastward, springs —
Because the Holy Ghost over the bent
World broods with warm breast and with ah! bright wings.
Source: Gerard Manley Hopkins: Poems and Prose (Penguin Classics, 1985)