Octave of Easter: Eastertide is Springtide, The Risen Jesus is Icumen In!
the throne of heaven.
Springtide is tied to Eastertide. Along with the earth's "Sumer," Christ Jesus, and his victory over sin and death, is icumen in!
Borrowing from Shakespeare's Richard III, we might say that, when sung together, the message of "Sumer is icumen in" and the "Perspice Christicola" is: "Now is the winter of our discontent made glorious summer" by this Son of God!
There are, however, those who do not share in our faith in the crucifixion, death, and rising again of Jesus, the Lord. There are many among us who reject the risen Christ, who deny him entrance into their hearts, and who share not our hope. For them, Christ's victory remains hidden.
In the same sermon that St. Augustine proclaimed Christ as our summer, he also mentioned the bad news. There are those who reject Christ. For them, Springtide is not tied to Eastertide. They have no faith in Christ; hence, they have no hope. In the words of the "Perspice Christicola," they remain "captives half-dead from torment."
"Our winter," says St. Augustine, "is when Christ is hidden." When Christ is hidden, when Springtide is not tied to Eastertide, when grace does not build upon nature or when nature refuses grace, we remain mired in the cold of our sin, selfishness, and solipsism. We remain in our "winter of discontent."
Those from whom Christ is hidden have no grasp on the reverdie joy that comes from certain knowledge that life can be made green again, that what is stained by sin and death, by injustice, can be redeemed. That all is not winter, that Spring--like hope, like the seeds which our farmers sow--rises eternal. They have lost the hope from believing that, in Christ resurrection, "Sumer is icumen in."
This loss of hope, this despair is perhaps nowhere better reflected than in Ezra Pound's poem "Ancient Music," oddly enough a parody of "Sumer is icumen in." We might say that it is likewise a parody of the Gospel.
It is a denial of both Springtide and Eastertide. It is writ by one who is in "winter's discontent," and cannot find his way out:
Winter is icumen in,
Lhude sing Goddamm,
Raineth drop and staineth slop,
And how the wind doth ramm!
. . . .
Damm you; Sing: Goddamm.
Goddamm, Goddamm, 'tis why I am, Goddamm,
So 'gainst the winter's balm.
Sing goddamm, damm, sing goddamm,
Sing goddamm, sing goddamm, DAMM.
No. Mr. Pound. Our heart grieves for you. You're dead, and we'll let you bury your dead. As for us, we have left the discontent of winter. We will sing "Sumer is icumen in," and "Perspice Christicola" and know that Wintertide is gone, that Eastertide is tied to Springtide, that the world has become green again.
And we will sing to the world, not the goddamm of the cynic, but with that confident herald of spring, the cuckoo, with David the writer of Psalms, with Augustine the preacher of sermons, with the Benedictine monks of Reading, and with all the Christicola--Christ's faithful--the joyful song of the believer.
"We will sing a new song to the Lord, for he has done marvelous deeds. His right hand and holy arm have won the victory."
Surrexit Christus, Alleluia! Jesus Christ is Risen! Jesus Christ, the Risen Lord, is icumen in!
Andrew M. Greenwell is an attorney licensed to practice law in Texas, practicing in Corpus Christi, Texas. He is married with three children. He maintains a blog entirely devoted to the natural law called Lex Christianorum. You can contact Andrew at email@example.com.
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Pope Benedict XVI's Prayer Intentions for January 2013
General Intention: The Faith of Christians. That in this Year of Faith Christians may deepen their knowledge of the mystery of Christ and witness joyfully to the gift of faith in him.
Missionary Intention: Middle Eastern Christians. That the Christian communities of the Middle East, often discriminated against, may receive from the Holy Spirit the strength of fidelity and perseverance.
Keywords: spring, Resurrection, Easter Joy, Augustine, summer, Andrew Greenwell
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