Pilgrimpace's Blog

for the holy innocents day

On retreat recently, I was privileged to spend time praying in front of this beautiful Icon of the Flight into Egypt.  We remember today the Holy Family becoming asylum seekers, refugees escaping the murderous hate of Herod.


We remember too that this is not just part of the Bible stories but a part of the stories of the world today.  We look to Syria, Egypt, the Democratic Republic of Congo to see murderous rage against innocent people as power seeks to keep power.

And innocence can be destroyed in so many ways.  I was reminded of Charles Causley’s  Innocent’s Song while watching the first part of the BBC’s excellent new adaptation of Dickens’ Great Expectations last night with the games being played with the life of the young Pip.

Who’s that knocking on the window,
Who’s that standing at the door,
What are all those presents
Laying on the kitchen floor?

Who is the smiling stranger
With hair as white as gin,
What is he doing with the children
And who could have let him in?

Why has he rubies on his fingers,
A cold, cold crown on his head,
Why, when he caws his carol,
Does the salty snow run red?

Why does he ferry my fireside
As a spider on a thread,
His fingers made of fuses
And his tongue of gingerbread? 

Why does the world before him
Melt in a million suns,
Why do his yellow, yearning eyes
Burn like saffron buns?

Watch where he comes walking
Out of the Christmas flame,
Dancing, double-talki ng:

Herod is his name.

But we can react to all this with the hope of childhood, the hope of Christmas:

santiago de chile 2011


2 Comments so far
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This is a superb poem of Causley’s. And the photo of the Chilean kid outwitting the cops is magnificent. But what is his fate after that transitory moment? Let’s all hope, for hope is essential, hope is all.

Thanks for this post, Andy. And Happy New Year!

Comment by The Solitary Walker

and Happy New Year to you Robert,


Comment by pilgrimpace

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