"Christ in the Universe"

An earlier thread dealt with the question of extraterrestrial life and, if discovered, with its implications for faith and theology. While looking for something else today, I came upon this lovely poem by Alice Meynell: "Christ in the Universe":

With this ambiguous earthHis dealings have been told us. These abide:The signal to a maid, the human birth,the lesson, and the young Man crucified. But not a star of allThe innumerable host of stars has heardHow He administered this terrestrial ball.Our race have kept their Lord's entrusted Word. Of His earth-visiting feetNone knows the secret--cherished, perilous,The terrible, shamefast, frightened, whispered, sweet,Heart-shattering secret of His way with us. No planet knows that thisOur wayside planet, carrying land and wave,Love and life multiplied, and pain and bliss,Bears, as chief treasure, one forsaken grave. Nor, in our little day,May His devices with the heavens be guessed,His pilgrimage to thread the Milky Way,Or His bestowals there be manifest. But, in the eternities,Doubtless we shall compare together, hearA million alien Gospels, in what guiseHe trod the Pleiades, the Lyre, the Bear. O be prepared, my soul!To read the inconceivable, to scanThe million forms of God those stars unrollWhen, in our turn, we show to them a Man.

Rev. Joseph A. Komonchak, professor emeritus of the School of Theology and Religious Studies at the Catholic University of America, is a retired priest of the Archdiocese of New York.

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