There grows the flower of peace

ON December 29, we remember the children of Bethlehem and its environs, murdered on the orders of King Herod in the belief that the ‘king of the Jews’ sought by the three Persian astrologers would be among them.

It was as a part of this purge that the priest Zacharias was killed in the Temple precincts (Mt 23:35), because he would not reveal where he had hidden his infant son John (later called ‘the Baptist’), who was also Jesus’s cousin.

Many associate this sad event with the taking of unborn life today (see my Pro-Life Page), and not forgetting the ‘born alive’ children whom some still believe should be left to die.


Dried flowers, © Manfred Brückels, Wikimedia Commons.

“There grows the flower of peace, / The rose that cannot wither, / Thy fortress, and thy ease.” © Manfred Brückels, Wikimedia Commons.


TODAY were the infants brought together before Christ, and mystically offered as unblemished sacrifices by the sword, like whole burnt offerings in fire; and they have won divine palms of victory.



BROTHERS, we do not want you to be ignorant about those who fall asleep, or to grieve like the rest of men, who have no hope. We believe that Jesus died and rose again and so we believe that God will bring with Jesus those who have fallen asleep in him.

According to the Lord’s own word, we tell you that we who are still alive, who are left till the coming of the Lord, will certainly not precede those who have fallen asleep. For the Lord himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord forever.

Therefore encourage each other with these words.

1 Thessalonians 4:13-18.



MY soul, there is a country
Far beyond the stars,
Where stands a winged sentry
All skillful in the wars.

There above noise, and danger,
Sweet peace sits, crown’d with smiles;
And one born in a manger
Commands the beauteous files.

He is thy gracious friend,
And (O my soul awake!)
Did in pure love descend
To die here for thy sake.

If thou canst get but thither,
There grows the flower of peace,
The rose that cannot wither,
Thy fortress, and thy ease.

Leave then thy foolish ranges;
For none can thee secure,
But one who never changes,
Thy God, thy life, thy cure.

Henry Rice Vaughan (1621-1695).



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