Adoration of the Christ Child: Jacob Cornelisz van Oostsanen, c. 1515

Adoration of the Christ Child, Jacob Cornelisz van Oostsanen, c. 1515
Sometimes it’s not the infant’s holy face
 
that awes us, but the teeming blitz of cherubs
 
wielding horns and lutes to fill the Arab
 
stable with their overweening praise.
 
If neither Mary nor the shepherds glance
 
their way, remember that, while putti bow
 
the beams and swell their cheeks in this tableau,
 
such hosts are rarely seen and sing in silence.
 
Still, we need directions to which manger
 
holds the Christ. We want melodic wings
 
to tell us God has come. We usher them
 
inside and close our eyes to hear. The danger
 
then is that we crown the worship king:
 
hymn blunts our prayer until we look at Him.
Comments are automatically closed two weeks after an article's initial publication. See our comments policy for more.

Advertisement
More: Poems

The latest from america

Pope Francis issued a letter to Catholics around the world Monday condemning the "crime" of priestly sexual abuse and its cover-up and demanding accountability.
Bishop Lawrence T. Persico of Erie, Pa., speaks during a meeting in late January at the headquarters of U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops in Washington. (CNS photo/Tyler Orsburn)
“I think we need complete transparency if we’re going to get the trust of the people back,” said Erie Bishop Lawrence T. Persico.
Mélanie Thierry as Marguerite Duras in “Memoir of War.” © Music Box Films
The film tells the story of a woman who worked for the German-controlled Vichy government but secretly joined the Resistance movement.
A. W. Richard Sipe (photo: Facebook)
Sipe's research into celibacy and priestly sexual behavior helped guide the work of church leaders and others responding to the clergy sexual abuse crisis.
Catholic News ServiceAugust 17, 2018