Things We're Thinking About

Choruses from "The Rock" | T.S. Elliot

II

[…]

Of all that was done in the past, you eat the fruit, either rotten
or ripe.
And the Church must be forever building, and always decaying,
and always being restored.
For every ill deed in the past we suffer the consequence:
For sloth, for avarice, gluttony, neglect of the Word of God,
For pride, for lechery, treachery, for every act of sin.
And of all that was done that was good, you have the inheritance.
For good and ill deeds belong to a man alone, when he stands
alone on the other side of death,
But here upon earth you have the reward of the good and ill that
was done by those who have gone before you.
And all that is ill you may repair if you walk together in humble
repentance, expiating the sins of your fathers;
And all that was good you must fight to keep with hearts as
devoted as those of your fathers who fought to gain it.
The Church must be forever building, for it is forever decaying
within and attacked from without;
For this is the law of life; and you must remember that while there
is time of prosperity
The people will neglect the Temple, and in time of adversity they
will decry it.

What life have you if you have not life together?
There is no life that is not in community,
And no community not lived in praise of God.
Even the anchorite who meditates alone,
For whom the days and nights repeat the praise of God,
Prays for the Church, the Body of Christ incarnate.
And now you live dispersed on ribbon roads,
And no man knows or cares who is his neighbour
Unless his neighbour makes too much disturbance,
But all dash to and fro in motor cars,
Familiar with the roads and settled nowhere.
Nor does the family even move about together,
But every son would have his motor cycle,
And daughters ride away on casual pillions.

Much to cast down, much to build, much to restore;
Let the work not delay, time and the arm not waste;
Let the clay be dug from the pit, let the saw cut the stone,
Let the fire not be quenched in the forge.

Posted by: Christian