T.S. Eliot on the decay and restoration of the Church

And the Church must be forever building, and always decaying,
…..and always being restored.
For every ill deed in the past we suffer the consequence:
For sloth, for avarice, gluttony, neglect of the Word of God,
For pride, for lechery, treachery, for every act of sin.
And of all that was done that was good, you have the inheritance.
For good and ill deeds belong to a man alone, when he stands
…..alone on the other side of death,
But here upon earth you have the reward of the good and ill that
…..was done by those who have gone before you.
And all that is ill you may repair if you walk together in humble
…..repentance, expiating the sins of your fathers;
And all that was good you must fight to keep with hearts as
…..devoted as those of your fathers who fought to gain it.
The Church must be forever building, for it is forever decaying
…..within and attacked from without;
For this is the law of life; and you must remember that while
…..there is time of prosperity
The people will neglect the Temple, and in time of adversity
…..they will decry it.

~T. S. Eliot, “Choruses from ‘The Rock'” (1934)

About Marc Cortez

Theology Prof and Dean at Western Seminary, husband, father, & blogger, who loves theology, church history, ministry, pop culture, books, and life in general.

Posted on December 30, 2010, in The Church and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 4 Comments.

  1. Marc, T. S. Eliot’s poetry and work is long overlooked and almost forgotten today. Thanks for the quote!

  2. What’s this, nothing about Jellicle Cats?

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