“Passion” by Gertrud von Le Fort (excerpt)

Duman-Skop, Tetiana_Christ in Blossoming Crown of Thorns
Tetiana Duman-Skop (Ukrainian, 1981–2020), Христос в розквітлому терновому вінку (Christ in a Blossoming Crown of Thorns), 2012. Encaustic on board, 70 × 50 cm.

Your voice speaks to my soul:

Be not afraid of my golden garments, have no fear of the rays of my candles,
For they are all but veils of my love, they are all but as tender hands covering my secret.
I will draw them away, weeping soul, that you may see I am no stranger to you.
How should a mother not resemble her child?
All your sorrows are in me.
I am born out of suffering, I have bloomed out of five holy wounds.
I grew on the tree of humiliation, I found strength in the bitter wine of tears.
I am a white rose in a chalice full of blood.
I live on suffering, I am the strength out of suffering, I am glory out of suffering:
Come to my soul and find your home.

This is section I of the poem “Passion” by Gertrud von Le Fort (1876–1971), translated from the German by Margaret Chanler and published in Hymns to the Church (Sheed and Ward, 1953). The icon is by Tetiana Duman-Skop, who died last year of brain cancer at age thirty-nine.

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