Christ ascending bodily to heaven prepares the way for us to go bodily to heaven. This is for the tune AURELIA, commonly sung as “The Church’s One Foundation.”
You clothed in flesh your glory;
in glory clothe me, too.
Your body bears a story
where all the tales are true.
So I, your grace imploring
though fading as the dew,
yet hope you are transforming
my form to something new.
This flesh, a helpless infant
and weak before the world,
is feeble as your kindred
who fell to Herod's sword,
yet in its depths is kindled
the embers of your word,
and even as it dwindles
I follow you, oh Lord.
The body must be buried;
the seed must still be sown
then rise alive and carried
from roots that thrive unshown.
Our earth to heaven married;
sheer glory wed to bone,
when we, ever unwearied,
shall dance before your throne.
Lord, whose love alone avails us
when our future is unseen,
you are health when sickness quails us,
you, who made the leper clean.
When our fragile flesh has failed us,
when we fall from all we'd been,
when the body's ills assail us,
Christ incarnate, intervene.
Raise us, Shepherd, on your shoulder
when we cannot raise ourselves.
Wounded, sickened, growing older:
guide us as we lose our health.
Vales of shadow, darker, colder,
grip our heart and take our breath.
Shepherd us, our life's beholder,
even through the gates of death.
Of your mercy, great restorer,
give us what we need to live:
grace according to your order,
peace with all you will to give.
Be our prayer with health rewarded
or with failing, all is gift.
Still will we, your true adorers,
ever grateful voices lift.
And a bonus poem, written by my son, Joseph, called “Fire”:
Deep inside the dancing flames
There are small things playing small games.
If you look closer you'll even see
Little versions of you and me.
They just do our normal things,
Waiting to see what new hours bring.
And, if you watch the fire's rays,
You'll feel their desire to set things ablaze.
Then in a puff of cloudy smoke,
You'll realize that you have awoke.
Now all is said between me and you,
So with that I will bid you adieu.