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I thought I’d re-blog the original poem on Forgiveness that led to all

the subsequent musings on Judas Iscariot…

You know, Candia, I like the idea of forgiveness.  Even the vandals that

committed that terrible act of desecration in Steep Church are merely

re-enacting a type of evil behaviour like that of poor old Judas, but there

is a wonderful tradition of felix culpa, isn’t there?

Yes, Brassie.  The sadness of destruction reminded me of another

Whistler window- a 13th pane which was rejected by the villagers of

Moreton.  It is now in the County Museum in Dorset.*  It struck me

very powerfully some years ago as I considered the whole theological

debate as to the ultimate salvation of the betrayer.

(Judas tree)

Whistler himself had written to The Independent in 1994, from Watlington

in Oxfordshire, after experiencing the rejection of his offer of this 13th pane.

It would only have been visible from the inside of the church.  It showed

Judas being pulled into Heaven by the rope around his neck.  Some people

are as resistant as that to salvation, I suppose.  Anyway, he commented

that three minutes of agonising strangulation was not to be compared to

the extended suffering of crucifixion.

You wouldn’t have a poem on that, would you, Candia?

Well, actually, yes, I do, as a matter of fact…

(Engraved for Morton Church, by L. Whistler.  *Now, hopefully

received into Moreton Church, after having been stored in The

Dorchester Museum for years.)

 

THE FORGIVENESS WINDOW

 

This was to have been a thirteenth blind pane,

seen only from the outside of the church:

replacement for its bombshell-slivered glass.

Judas, the betrayer, hangs from a tree.

His grasp relaxes and thirty pieces

of silver metamorphose into a

c

a

t

a

r

a

c

t

of flowers.

Discernment can come from outside the Church.

Inside some, coin-lidded, opt for cataracts.

Most see through glass darkly; few face to face.

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