Footnote to All Prayers

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[This picture was taken when I was at the peak of Zugspitze, Germany, what an awesome view which humbles one’s view of ourselves]

I heard this poem quoted by Brian McLaren in his talk entitled “Ministry in a Postmodern Context Part 1” on Allelon Radio’s Podcasts.

“He whom I bow to only knows to whom I bow
When I attempt the ineffable Name, murmuring Thou,
And dream of Pheidian fancies and embrace in heart
Symbols (I know) which cannot be the thing Thou art.
Thus always, taken at their word, all prayers blaspheme
Worshipping with frail images a folk-lore dream,
And all men in their praying, self-deceived, address
The coinage of their own unquiet thoughts, unless
Thou in magnetic mercy to Thyself divert
Our arrows, aimed unskilfully, beyond desert;
And all men are idolators, crying unheard
To a deaf idol, if Thou take them at their word.

Take not, O Lord, our literal sense. Lord, in thy great
Unbroken speech our limping metaphor translate.”

Footnote to All Prayers, C.S.Lewis

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