Siegfried Sassoon was a septuagenarian when he was received into the Catholic Church in 1957. An early and lasting admiration for Belloc and a late friendship with Ronald Knox were both significant factors in his spiritual journey, but most important was his own introspective mysticism. His final acceptance of Christianity was the culmination of a lifetime’s search, traceable through his poetry back to his youth.
A Prayer in Old Age
Being no expectance of heaven unearned
No hunger for beatitude to be
Until the lesson of my life is learned
Through what Thou didst for me.
Bring no assurance of redeemed rest
No intimation of awarded grace
Only contrition, cleavingly confessed
To Thy forgiving face.
I ask one world of everlasting loss
In all I am, that other world to win.
My nothingness must kneel below Thy Cross.
There let new life begin.
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