We can only see in a mirror, darkly, it is written
In the Book of the Lord, master of our interior reality;
Like the statue of Mary in a niche by a wedding table
Throwing a shadow on the visible side of living,
A shadow of mercy, of grief, and of glad revelations
Eclipsing our own visage facing its source in a mirror,
In her shadow, where we see the other half of ourselves
We appear as the resurrected body of His Bride,
Dead to the light of this earth and dead to the demands
Of our earthly, creaturely bodies, we see the unseen:
Our fullest self-expression is the mere remnant
Her endless grief keeps vigil over, her heartbrokenness
Not so much over our transgressions
As over our accusations of each other,
Our lack of faith in the mercy of her shadow,
The unseen grace of our own resurrection
That collects what sin plucked asunder
And rebuilds it whole again and again and again
So our faces may shine uncovered
Yet unseen in their wholeness.
The Kingdom is not invisible
To those used to seeing partially
And feeling wholly, for fulfillment
Is only in the word, the one word
That dwells in our hearts and writes
Our destinies, the code of our salvation.
We see the truth in pieces
It is revealed to us in all its glory
But never in its completion,
For how can something that IS
Not be, not yet, nor to come?
Two earths: the damned and the revealed
The veil of the penitent, grieving Veronica
Holds the visage of the damned,
The suffering Christ, His passion,
And his punishment for loving mere creatures,
Us animals lacking reason and concept of tomorrow,
Of yesterday, of this base earth our dwelling.
The other earth is the Immortal Bride,
Humanity recreated after its renunciation
Of its own created nature, repentant,
Doubled over in its infinite grief
Over a loss so sweet, its love feeds on its passing.
Vampiric, we drink the blood of being
That makes her cry again and throw her shadow
Over our darkness, over our sight and eyes
Wide shut to their own reality.
The object of His passion, not revealed,
Whole to us, but only in pieces,
The funereal pieces of the vanitas, votive objects
Elevated to the light of her shadow.
Only by mourning our sins, our follies and failures
We gain sight, we gain fullness, we gain vision
To see Mary’s other side, the one not in the shadow,
The one we only know through renunciation,
The one placed under the relentless burden of the Cross.
Some gurus say God is invisible, beyond our senses,
But if that were so, why do we have the Veronica?
If God intended us to live in some unreachable bliss,
Some invisible, untouchable void of materiality,
Would He have bothered with creation, promised us the earth,
Would he have come to Mary and punished His Only Son
For his great earthly passion, His love of mortals?
Why is His Son’s Immortal Bride, the Church, revealed
To earthly eyes? Why was earth promised the creatures
Whose sins and funereal remains deliver His Bride?
Our knowledge is dark, but the light we carry within
Illuminates the holy shadow
Of Mary’s eternally feminine presence.
True light is unseen, but not invisible, unseen but not hidden,
Once seen, and then forgotten, only to come back resurrected,
In another body, another flesh, redeemed, imperishable, glorious.
Such is the earthly nature of the magnificent Bride.
We see in a mirror, darkly, partially, but the image within is whole.
Mary gave us this gift, knowing the fruit of her womb would die
And be resurrected, so we may inherit the earth after death.
Many came after the Resurrection and denied her truth,
Tried to blot out her legacy, her eternal claim He is the Son,
But failed, turning into brazen weapons, snakes on altars of sin
Hurled into the fires of immortal hell by their own violence
While every child that seeks her shadow and stumbles darkly
In the niche of her revealed presence and eats its supper
With the tears of its precious renunciation and repentance
Lives on in the very remains of an existence denied and resurrected.
All earthly delights and the precious face of the Immortal Bride,
The Church in all her splendour sitting at her wedding table
Are gifts given freely in votive obedience to her testament,
So we may see in her shadow, darkly,
The light of the Seven Sisters,
The Seven Bridesmaids, the Sacraments of our Host Body,
Holy Church, our one flesh, blood, and eyes,
a vision of pure light in Mary’s shadow,
Which grants us mercy to see her gentleness lighting
The path to our hearts, painting the features
Of our uncovered, glad faces with a masterly stroke.
Our knowledge is dark, but our faces glow
In the pure light of Mary’s love
Pouring the merciful rain of her salty tears
Over our wounds, sins, trials, and iniquities
Breathing life back into our dead bodies,
Dead by sin and the world and restoring us
To the Eternal Bride, the Church, her fair daughter.