Honour Is Flashed Off Exploit
When things are going badly for me, I tend to become bitter and to give God the cold shoulder. Today I read a poem (see below) by Gerard Manley Hopkins about a saint who endured much misfortune - Alphonsus Rodriguez (1533-1617). He lost his business, and worse, his wife and children, yet his response, at age 35 and with little education, was to apply to enter the Society of Jesus. He wasn't accepted at first, but he didn't give up. He joined the Society after his second application and spent the rest of his life as the doorkeeper of the Jesuits’ college in Majorca. He inspired many with his attitude, including Peter Claver. How I wish I could be more like him.
In Honour Of St. Alphonsus Rodriguez
Honour is flashed off exploit, so we say;
And those strokes once that gashed flesh or galled shield
Should tongue that time now, trumpet now that field,
And, on the fighter, forge his glorious day.
On Christ they do and on the martyr may;
But be the war within, the brand we wield
Unseen, the heroic breast not outward-steeled,
Earth hears no hurtle then from fiercest fray.
Yet God (that hews mountain and continent,
Earth, all, out; who, with trickling increment,
Veins violets and tall trees makes more and more)
Could crowd career with conquest while there went
Those years and years by of world without event
That in Majorca Alfonso watched the door.
- Gerard Manley Hopkins SJ