December 3, Jacopone da Todi 7: A Host of Pardons

water-stone-chapel

Jacopone’s exhilarating phrases about his great attraction to the tremendous graciousness of God are tied in with other, simpler phrases about how humbly he waits to experience the bubbling spring of God’s forgiveness. This alone can free him from punishment he has had to undergo, for being so outspoken on behalf of Christ.

“Almost paralysed, I lie at the pool near Solomon’s Portico;

The waters have been moved with a host of pardons.,

And now the season has drawn to a close. When shall I be told

That I should rise, take my bed and go home?”                  (Laud/Letter 52)

(John 5:10)

“Why did you leave the golden throne resplendent with gems,

Why did you put aside the dazzling crown?…

Were these the actions of someone drunk, or out of his senses?

I know that all knowledge and power were yours

Even when still a child; how could so much be contained

In such a tiny frame, made of common clay?

What can a creature offer you, O Highest Goodness,

In exchange for your gift of yourself?

Your love, I think, brought you no gain.

Does gold need tin for its splendour to be seen?

For love of man you seem to have gone mad!

Myself and all my riches,

The treasure I brought with me when I exchanged

The glorious life of heaven for a cruel death.”                     (Laud  65)

 

This quietly bubbling fountain in a slab of stone is inside the Portiuncula Hermitage retreat centre at Clay Cross, Derbyshire. It is run by the Minoress Franciscan Sisters. Follow the link to learn more.

 

Chris D.

October 2016.

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3 Comments

Filed under Daily Reflections, poetry

3 responses to “December 3, Jacopone da Todi 7: A Host of Pardons

  1. That’s addressed to pope Bonifazio and should better be read in that context. Iacoponne makes an hyronic comparison between jesus and bonifazio. Nice blog, anyway

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    • I expect you are right, Luciano. But my interest all this week has been in how Jacopone uses poetry to speak a religious message with some insights into theology. I want to see what his poetry can communicate to a modern reader, separately from the historical background of his life. In English speaking areas, Pope Boniface may not be as well-known a name as he is in Italy. But the poetic language can still be a source of interior resonance for us here, far away from hierarchical memories.

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