Primitive Christianity Revived, Again
Today is the day the world celebrates as Pentecost. Though we Quakers have a mild taboo against celebrating particular days, I do often celebrate them, privately, because all the direction and structure of my life is acknowledged in these particular days, and I am affirmed through celebrating a shared knowledge and purpose with those of the past.
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The dove descending breaks the air
With flame of incandescent terror
Of which the tongues declare
The one discharge from sin and error.
The only hope, or else despair
Lies in the choice of pyre or pyre-
To be redeemed from fire by fire.
Who then devised the torment? Love.
Love is the unfamiliar Name
Behind the hands that wove
The intolerable shirt of flame
Which human power cannot remove.
We only live, only suspire
Consumed by either fire or fire.
T. S. Eliot, from "Four Quartets"