I read Ann Barnhardt’s recent short reflection on pain— “We are saved through infinite pain, proceeding directly from infinite Love. To experience pain is to be invited to enter into the Passion of your Savior.”– and thought of a poem from Dan England and the Noonday Devil, by Myles Connolly.

The title character, master of the apostolate of hospitality, undergoes an inner struggle throughout the book to give up worldly attachments. It reaches a climax, of course– it is a book. But the climax occurs only after the narrator, Dan’s friend and chronicler, shares this poem with us:

Morning Prayer

My dear, good Lord, my heart is too much glad;
Too eagerly she knows how life is fair;
How rich with honest love and laughter,
And how Your beauty lies upon it everywhere.

O much too glad, this morning heart of mine;
I cannot keep her mute of song, or still;
She must be surging forth and singing
That life is good and man may love it if he will.

(Last night, my heart, I saw upon a hill,
With two lone arms outstretched, a gaunt black tree;
The sky was red a sullen moment,--
And lo, it was Cross, and on that Cross hung He.)

This soft, white morning, I say you are too glad,
Too readily you gifts of Pleasure gain;
He loves you less for all your singing,
Love more, glad heart, love more-- and win His gift of Pain.