Reflection on John Donne – March 31, 2020

Brothers and Sisters,

HERE is a brief reflection on John Donne, whose commemoration was yesterday. John Donne, known for his poetry, was considered one of the last ‘Caroline Divines,’ who were our magisterial theologians as Anglicans. The Caroline Divines wrote and ministered in the 16th and 17th centuries and were associated with Kings Charles I, Charles II and James I. Famous among them were Richard Hooker, Jeremy Taylor, George Herbert and Lancelot Andrewes, among others. (Incidentally, our middle daughter’s name is Caroline Taylor, coincidence?)

John Donne was Dean at St. Paul’s Cathedral under King James I (of King James Bible fame) and died in 1631. His poem “No Man is and Island,” became even more famous during the Great London Plague in 1655 and 1656.

Blessings as we all persevere in Christ,
Fr. Stace+

Click HERE for lyrics of I Sing a Song of the Saints of God and HERE for more information about John Donne and other poems.

Batter my heart, three-person’d God – John Donne

Batter my heart, three-person’d God, for you
As yet but knock, breathe, shine, and seek to mend;
That I may rise and stand, o’erthrow me, and bend
Your force to break, blow, burn, and make me new.
I, like an usurp’d town to another due,
Labor to admit you, but oh, to no end;
Reason, your viceroy in me, me should defend,
But is captiv’d, and proves weak or untrue.
Yet dearly I love you, and would be lov’d fain,
But am betroth’d unto your enemy;
Divorce me, untie or break that knot again,
Take me to you, imprison me, for I,
Except you enthrall me, never shall be free,
Nor ever chaste, except you ravish me.


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