Throughout my life and ministry, this poem has often rested in my heart and burst from my lips as I have contemplated and negotiated a world with all its complexity and diversity. So, I share it with you as an embodiment of my thoughts as I reflect on my 50 years as a priest and my more than 60 as a Jesuit.
Glory be to God for dappled things –
For skies of couple-colour as a brinded cow;
For rose-moles all in stipple upon trout that swim;
Fresh-firecoal chestnut-falls; finches’ wings;
Landscape plotted and pieced – fold, fallow and plough;
And all trades, their gear and tackle and trim.
All things counter, original, spare, strange;
Whatever is fickle, freckled (who knows how?)
With swift, slow; sweet, sour; adazzle, dim;
He fathers-forth whose beauty is past change:
– Gerard Manley Hopkins, SJ