The lovers of Christ lift out their hands to
the great gift of suffering.
For how could they seek to be warmed and clothed
and delicately fed,
to wallow in praise and to drink deep draughts
of an undeserved affection,
have castle for home and a silken couch for bed,
when He the worthy went forth wounded and hated,
and grudged of even a place to lay His head?
This is the badge of the friends of the Man of Sorrows:
the mark of the cross, faint replica of His,
become ubiquitous now; it spreads like a wild blossom
on the mountains of time and in each of the crevices.
Oh, seek that land where it grows in a rich abundance
with its thorny stem and its scent like bitter wine,
for wherever Christ walks He casts its seed
and He scatters its purple petals.
It is the flower of His marked elect, and the fruit
it bears is divine.
Choose it my heart. It is a beautiful sign.
Sr. Miriam of the Holy Spirit, O.C.D.
The Sign of the Cross (1948; 1984)
Powers, J 1999, The Selected Poetry of Jessica Powers, ICS Publications, Washington DC.