by Jeffrey Essmann
“In him we have redemption by his blood, the forgiveness of transgressions, in accord with the riches of his grace that he lavished upon us.” ~ Ephesians 1:7
There’s always been a blessing in the blood, A sense that in its rubied flow a boon Divine inhered, a Spirit in its flood That mankind to its Maker could attune. With blood the Hebrews Egypt’s doors festooned The night Death’s Angel darkly passed them by. And in the desert blood on them was strewn Their covenant with God to ratify. But that of Golgotha did turn the sky To night at noon and paid the sorry debt Of sin assumed by him they crucified And from it flows forgiveness even yet. Our souls now with a rich redemption brim— A richness that is only found in him. And richer yet the riches of his grace, Unwarranted, unlimited, unearned, That rush into the luminescent space Created when a heart to God returns. A grace that, yes, intoxicates and burns Yet acts as well as balance and as shield, Else once the weight of sin has been adjourned, The soul should with its newfound lightness reel. It’s by the lavishness of grace we’re healed, Abundance of a love we can’t contain Or fairly grasp, only its sweetness feel As it the texture of our soul engrains: A feeling full that yet was born in loss, For love to fullness bloomed upon the cross.
Jeffrey Essmann is an essayist and poet living in New York. His poetry has appeared in numerous magazines and literary journals, among them America Magazine, Dappled Things, the St. Austin Review, U.S. Catholic, Grand Little Things and various venues of the Benedictine monastery with which he is an oblate. He is editor of the Catholic Poetry Room page on the Integrated Catholic Life website.