Set Apart For Splendor

A poem by A. Carthusian

Something close to nothing;
Worse: dust in sin;
This body of death, this wretchedness,
Set apart splendor,
Designated to offer fire,
A pleasing odor
Like galbanum, onycha and stacte,
And like the fragrance
Of frankincense in the tabernacle.
Consecrated to handle the Holy Things,
To offer trembling the cup of destiny.
Set apart as holy
To serve with hallowed fire
The watchful heart one flowing doxology.
Dust transfigured
In ever increasing brightness
Till like bronze mirrors our faces
Reflect his Glory whose eyes
Are flames of fire
Among the splendors of the saints…

And the LORD said to Moses, “Take sweet spices, stacte, and onycha, and galbanum, sweet spices with pure frankincense (of each shall there be an equal part), and make an incense blended as by the perfumer, seasoned with salt, pure and holy;  [and you shall beat some of it very small, and put part of it before the testimony in the tent of meeting where I shall meet with you; it shall be for you most holy. And the incense which you shall make according to its composition, you shall not make for yourselves; it shall be for you holy to the LORD.  Whoever makes any like it to use as perfume shall be cut off from his people.”   –Exodus 30:34-38


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