Growing Gardens of Love

How disappointing is joyless religion? William Blake captures the disappointment so well in The Garden of Love.

I went to the Garden of Love,
and saw what I never had seen;
a Chapel was built in the midst,
where I used to play on the green.

And the gates of this Chapel were shut,
and ‘thou shalt not’ written over the door;
so I turned to the Garden of Love
that so many sweet flowers bore.

And I saw it was filled with graves,
and tombstones where flowers should be;
and priests in black gowns were walking their rounds,
and binding with briars my joys and desires.

This is big religion and tragic religion. This is religion that perversely keeps watch, that keeps people out of the garden, that cancels playtime. It overpowers many faith communities around the world. Eucharistic religion, on the other hand, rejoices in the present moment, delights in love and hope, and grows new gardens of playfulness. Church planters take note.

The photo has been released into public domain by its author, Chitrapa at the wikipedia project