Behind the veil of heaven,
Beyond our mortal sight,
The Lord moves in power and light,
And brilliant majesty.
A whirling cloud of witnesses,
The heroes of our faith,
Throng the heavenly throne, ablaze
With radiant glory.
I know that splendid host,
By reflection and diffusion,
Transmits the gladsome lumination,
Agents of grace;
But to my world-weary eyes,
Their intensity is blinding;
These dazzling mirrors fiercely shining
Their station seems too distant
For an inchworm such as I
To reach, had I twelve hundred lives
To live, and more.
Like the flaming swords of Eden,
They shield only those inside,
Spurning, burning those who, in pride,
The dais approach.
When Jacob strove with God,
God’s envoy took His place:
Not even Israel saw His face,
And when Moses saw His backside,
Atop the desert mountain,
The founder of God’s holy nation!
Fell and wept.
Even Saul, while still in life,
And a holy man besides,
Confounded, shaken, was struck blind
Upon the road.
If these and more could bear Him not,
What hope have I that hence
I might be favored even a glimpse
of the World-Maker?
Though Teresa’s wild ecstasy
And the sight of angels piercing,
I shall never find in reverie,
There’s yet some hope:
In you I see the beauty of God
Expressed in fleshly sign,
Your heart aflood with love divine,
The Blood of Christ.
And from your breast, that source of life,
The font of milk and motherhood,
God’s grace flows forth to feed the World,
And my own daughter.
One day I may behold Him
Face-to-face in all His grandeur,
But for now I’d well remember
I’m not a wingèd angel,
Nor yet a white-robed saint in heaven
And God is better seen by men
Through His Creation.