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The More Loving One

October 19, 2011
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from “The More Loving One” by W.H. Auden

If equal affection cannot be,

Let the more loving one be me.

I will learn this and recite this for all kinds of encounters. The lectionary for Sunday includes a reading of the Golden Rule: Do unto others, as you would have them do unto you. The sentiment by Auden seems both to both echo and explicitly advance Christ’s gloss on this text. This will appear as a ‘thought for the day’ on our worship bulletin some time soon.

Another passage has been following me this week, from John Berryman’s “Eleven addresses to our Lord”:

Empty my heart toward Thee.

Let me pace without fear the common path of death.

I read recently that the Christian community is known by “its movement toward and participation in the mutual love of the Trinity.” (Kelly Johson) We journey toward God while enjoying God’s presence along the way. Berryman’s line reminds me that the way to joy is also a way attended by by sin and death, and that little deaths may open the way to joy. But we journey without fear because we do not journey alone.

And from Conrad Aiken:

Music I heard with you was more than music,

And bread I broke with you was more than bread;

For it was in my heart you moved among them,

And blessed them with your hands and with your eyes.

Thank God for the great communion of saints, including my own blessed partner, who have hallowed this life for me.

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