In Manchester Still Falls the Rain

In the wake of yesterday’s senseless attack in Manchester, UK any right minded person asks why?

Why is there such madness, hatred and meaningless violence? What can be accomplished by murdering innocent children in a cruel and cowardly attack? What can be achieved except more terror and yet more terror?

There is little that can be said except that it reveals the heart of darkness at the heart of humanity. Chesterton said the one Christian doctrine which surely no one could deny was the doctrine of original sin.

From Eden’s fall man and women were at enmity and brother rose up to slay his own brother.

And when asked why God allows this all that we can say with a trembling whisper is “He understands. He went there and took it on himself.”

Edith Sitwell–a troubled soul and eventually a Catholic convert wrote much poetry that was ephemeral and forgettable, but her poem Still Falls the Rain–written during the heart of the WW2 bombing of London resonates today.

Still falls the Rain—
Dark as the world of man, black as our loss—
Blind as the nineteen hundred and forty nails
Upon the Cross.

Still falls the Rain
With a sound like the pulse of the heart that is changed to the hammer-beat
In the Potter’s Field, and the sound of the impious feet

On the Tomb:
Still falls the Rain

In the Field of Blood where the small hopes breed and the human brain
Nurtures its greed, that worm with the brow of Cain.

Still falls the Rain
At the feet of the Starved Man hung upon the Cross.
Christ that each day, each night, nails there, have mercy on us—
On Dives and on Lazarus:
Under the Rain the sore and the gold are as one.

Still falls the Rain—
Still falls the Blood from the Starved Man’s wounded Side:
He bears in His Heart all wounds,—those of the light that died,
The last faint spark
In the self-murdered heart, the wounds of the sad uncomprehending dark,
The wounds of the baited bear—
The blind and weeping bear whom the keepers beat
On his helpless flesh… the tears of the hunted hare.

Still falls the Rain—
Then— O Ile leape up to my God: who pulles me doune—
See, see where Christ’s blood streames in the firmament:
It flows from the Brow we nailed upon the tree

Deep to the dying, to the thirsting heart
That holds the fires of the world,—dark-smirched with pain
As Caesar’s laurel crown.

Then sounds the voice of One who like the heart of man

Was once a child who among beasts has lain—
“Still do I love, still shed my innocent light, my Blood, for thee.”

Image Creative Commons

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