Rorate Caeli

This is the sign of the Church always, the Sign of Blood

Seven years were my people without my presence;
Seven years of misery and pain.
Seven years a mendicant on foreign charity
I lingered abroad:
Seven years is no brevity.
I shall not get those seven years back again.
Never again, you must make no doubt,
Shall the sea run between the shepherd and his fold.


It is not I who insult the King,
And there is higher than I or the King.
It is not I, Becket from Cheapside,
It is not against me, Becket, that you strive.
It is not Becket who pronounces doom,
But the Law of Christ's Church, the judgement of Rome.


I am here.
No traitor to the King.
I am a priest,
A Christian, saved by the blood of Christ,
Ready to suffer with my blood.
This is the sign of the Church always,
The sign of blood.
Blood for blood.
His blood given to buy my life,
My blood given to pay for His death.
My death for His death.


For my Lord I am now ready to die,
That His Church may have peace and liberty.
T. S. Eliot
Murder in the Cathedral
Our yearly post in honor of Saint Thomas Becket.

Christmastide recess continues!


Barbara said...

St Thomas of Canterbury,great martyr, patron of our parish here, pray for us and everyone!


Cruise the Groove. said...

Very powerful!

Lee Lovelock-Jemmott said...

Powerful and Sharpe words. St Thomas of Canterbury pray for us.

Woody said...

As noted before, Eliot said he was "royalist in politics and Anglo-Catholic in religion", evidently being dissuaded from crossing the Tiber by Pius XI's condemnation of the Action Francaise. Sometimes one may wonder whether things have got any better since then.

sjgmore said...

Among my very favorite works of twentieth century literature.

Alex Ferrara said...

SUCH a pity his feast was effectively abolished by B. John XXIII.