Because the entire Earth is burning

If you haven't yet heard John Adams's oratorio El Niño, run out to the store and get yourself a copy tomorrow. Or ask me nicely and I'll burn you some selections. The culmination of the first half is the celebration of the incarnation, featuring a poem by Gabriela Mistral, which I've put below for your Christmas meditations. Merry, merry Christmas!

The Christmas Star

A little girl
comes running,
she caught and carries a star.
She goes flying, making the plants
and animals she passes
bend with fire.

Her hands already sizzle,
she tires, wavers, stumbles,
and falls headlong,
but she gets right up with it again.

Her hands don't burn away,
nor does the star break apart,
although her face, arms,
chest and hair are on fire.

She burns down to her waist.
People shout at her
and she won't let it go;
her hands are covered with burns
but she won't release the star.

Oh how she sows its seeds
as it hums and flies.
They try to take it away --
but how can she live
without her star?

It didn't simply fall -- it didn't.
It remained without her,
and now she runs without a body,
changed, transformed into ashes.

The road catches fire
and our braids burn,
and now we all receive her
because the entire Earth is burning.

(Image from artwork by Fr. Bob Gilroy, S.J., available at Trinity Stores)

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