Oscar Wilde and Gods Mercy

Oscar Wilde writer and poet was born in Dublin in 1854. He was writer of many great works such as 'The Picture of Dorian Gray' and the play 'The Imporance of Being Earnest'. In 1895, he was imprisoned for acts of gross indecency and spent two years in Reading Gaol. After his prison term he sought a six month retreat with the Jesuit community who refused him and he in turn wept bitter tears over this refusal. He left for France and spent his last three years in penniless exile.

At the age of 46, he was baptised on his deathbed by a Passionist Priest from Dublin, Fr. Cuthbert Dunne. An article in the L'Osservatore Romano in July 2009 on Oscar Wilde stated 'The existential path which Oscar Wilde trod can also be seen as a long and difficult path toward that Promised Land, which gives us the reason for existence, a path which led him to his conversion to Catholicism, a religion which, as he once said in one of his more acute and paradoxical aphorisms, was "for saints and sinners alone — for respectable people, the Anglican Church will do".'

Here are just a few verses from Oscar Wilde's Ballad of Reading Gaol. They speak to me of a man who came to know Gods mercy, who knew brokenness within himself and how this can open up the way to Gods merciful love.

And thus we rust Life's iron chain
Degraded and alone:
And some men curse, and some men weep,
And some men make no moan:

But God's eternal Laws are kind
And break the heart of stone.
And every human heart that breaks,
In prison-cell or yard,
Is as that broken box that gave
Its treasure to the Lord,
And filled the unclean leper's house
With the scent of costliest nard.

Ah! happy day they whose hearts can break
And peace of pardon win!
How else may man make straight his plan
And cleanse his soul from Sin?
How else but through a broken heart
May Lord Christ enter in?

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