Thursday, March 31, 2011

Gather/Scatter

“...[We need to] admit that we failed and pick up where we are and do better. And this is often the really big stumbling block. We are so afraid to admit that we were wrong or at least wrong-headed that we shy away from the realization that we could have done a lot better. I think this is often a big obstacle on the road to holiness. We don't want to admit that we are in the weeds and off the track.

Get accustomed this Lent to facing up to old mistakes. Maybe we did not do wrong, but we certainly could have done a lot better. This realization may make us depressed, but get beyond your hurt feelings and disappointments.

It's a challenge. The closer we get to God, the more His grace opens our hearts. Then we realize that sometimes we gather with Him and sometimes we scatter (Luke 11:23). But He is always there to help us if we let Him. Often He is most active when He seems very far away.”
~Benedict Groeschel

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Morning Prayer

In the morning let me know Your love
for I put my trust in You.
Make me know the way I should walk:
to You I lift up my soul.

Rescue me, Lord, from my enemies;
I have fled to You for refuge.
Teach me to do Your will
for You, O Lord, are my God.
Let Your good spirit guide me
in ways that are level and smooth.

~Psalm 143:8-10

Monday, March 28, 2011

A Psalm of Life

Tell me not, in mournful numbers,
Life is but an empty dream! —
For the soul is dead that slumbers,
And things are not what they seem.

Life is real! Life is earnest!
And the grave is not its goal;
Dust thou art, to dust returnest,
Was not spoken of the soul.

Not enjoyment, and not sorrow,
Is our destined end or way;
But to act, that each to-morrow
Find us farther than to-day.

Art is long, and Time is fleeting,
And our hearts, though stout and brave,
Still, like muffled drums, are beating
Funeral marches to the grave.

In the world's broad field of battle,
In the bivouac of Life,
Be not like dumb, driven cattle!
Be a hero in the strife!

Trust no Future, howe'er pleasant!
Let the dead Past bury its dead!
Act,— act in the living Present!
Heart within, and God o'erhead!

Lives of great men all remind us
We can make our lives sublime,
And, departing, leave behind us
Footprints on the sands of time;

Footprints, that perhaps another,
Sailing o'er life's solemn main,
A forlorn and shipwrecked brother,
Seeing, shall take heart again.

Let us, then, be up and doing,
With a heart for any fate;
Still achieving, still pursuing,
Learn to labor and to wait.

~Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Sunday, March 27, 2011

When I Survey the Wondrous Cross

When I survey the wondrous cross
On which the Prince of glory died,
My richest gain I count but loss,
And pour contempt on all my pride.

Forbid it, Lord, that I should boast,
Save in the death of Christ my God!
All the vain things that charm me most,
I sacrifice them to His blood.

See from His head, His hands, His feet,
Sorrow and love flow mingled down!
Did e’er such love and sorrow meet,
Or thorns compose so rich a crown?

Were the whole realm of nature mine,
That were a present far too small;
Love so amazing, so divine,
Demands my soul, my life, my all.

~Words: Isaac Watts & Music: Lowell Mason

Friday, March 25, 2011

The Holy of Holies

‘Elder father, though thine eyes
Shine with hoary mysteries,
Canst thou tell what in the heart
Of a cowslip blossom lies?

‘Smaller than all lives that be,
Secret as the deepest sea,
Stands a little house of seeds,
Like an elfin’s granary.

‘Speller of the stones and weeds,
Skilled in Nature’s crafts and creeds,
Tell me what is in the heart
Of the smallest of the seeds.’

‘God Almighty, and with Him
Cherubim and Seraphim,
Filling all eternity—
Adonai Elohim.’

~G. K. Chesterton

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

An Old Peasant

“There is a story of an old peasant who used to spend hours and hours sitting in the chapel motionless, doing nothing. The priest said to him, ‘What are you doing all these hours?’ The old peasant answered, ‘I look at Him, He looks at me, and we are happy.’”
~Anthony Bloom

Monday, March 21, 2011

Rest

“Come unto Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.”
Matthew 11:28

Sunday, March 20, 2011

All The Way My Savior Leads Me

All the way my Savior leads me;
What have I to ask beside?
Can I doubt His tender mercy,
Who through life has been my guide?
Heav’nly peace, divinest comfort,
Here by faith in Him to dwell!
For I know, whate’er befall me,
Jesus doeth all things well;
For I know, whate’er befall me,
Jesus doeth all things well.

All the way my Savior leads me,
Cheers each winding path I tread;
Gives me grace for every trial,
Feeds me with the living bread.
Though my weary steps may falter,
And my soul athirst may be,
Gushing from the rock before me,
Lo! A spring of joy I see;
Gushing from the rock before me,
Lo! A spring of joy I see.

All the way my Savior leads me
O the fullness of His love!
Perfect rest to me is promised
In my Father’s house above.
When my spirit, clothed immortal,
Wings its flight to realms of day
This my song through endless ages—
Jesus led me all the way;
This my song through endless ages—
Jesus led me all the way.

~Words: Fanny Crosby & Music: Robert Lowry

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Something of What You Are

“Where are You, Lord, where are You? And where, Lord, are You not? This much at least I know, and that most certainly, that You, in whom we move and have our being, are in a manner present here with me, and that from that most health-giving presence comes the longing and fainting of my soul for Your salvation. I know in truth, I am aware most healthfully, that You are with me. I know, I feel, I worship, and I render thanks. But, if You are with me, why am I not with You? What hinders me? What is the obstacle? What gets in the way? If You are with me, working for my good, why am I not in the same way with You, enjoying You, the supreme God of all?

How does perception come into all this? Of what avail are mental images? Can reason, or rational understanding, effect anything? No. For although reason sends us to You, O God, it cannot of itself attain to You. Neither does that understanding which, as a product of reason, has lower matters for its sphere of exercise, go any farther than does reason itself; it is powerless to attain to You.

But, when and how and as far as the Holy Spirit wills, He controls the believing mind, so that something of what You are may be seen by those who in their prayer and contemplation have passed all that You are not, although they do not see You as You are. Nevertheless, this understanding serves to soothe the loving spirit, for there is clearly nothing in it of that which You are not, and although it is not wholly what You are, it is not different from that Reality.”
~William of St. Thierry

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Ecclesiastes, Job, & Song of Songs

“These three books are literally inexhaustible. They brim with a mysterious power of renewal. I continually find new nourishment in rereading them, and I never tire of teaching them. They quintessentially exemplify my definition of a classic. A classic is like a cow: it gives fresh milk every morning. A classic is a book that rewards endlessly upon repeated re-reading. A classic is like the morning, like nature herself: ever young, ever renewing. No, not even like nature, for she, like us, is doomed to die. Only God is ever young, and only the Book he inspired never grows old.”
~Peter Kreeft

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Now Let Us All with One Accord

Now let us all with one accord,
In fellowship with ages past,
Keep vigil with our heav’nly Lord,
In His temptation and His fast.

The covenant so long revealed
To faithful men in former time,
Christ by His own example sealed,
The Lord of love, in love sublime.

This love, O Lord, we sinful men
Have not returned, but falsified;
Author of mercy, turn again,
And see our sorrow for our pride.

Remember, Lord, though frail we be,
By Your own kind hand were we made;
And help us, lest our frailty
Cause Your great name to be betrayed.

Therefore we pray You, Lord, forgive;
So when our wanderings here shall cease,
We may with You for ever live,
In love and unity and peace.

Hear us, O Trinity sublime,
And undivided unity;
So let this consecrated time
Bring forth its fruit abundantly.

~Words: St. Gregory (540-604 A.D.) & Music: Grenoble Antiphoner

Monday, March 14, 2011

A Minor Bird

I have wished a bird would fly away,
And not sing by my house all day;

Have clapped my hands at him from the door
When it seemed as if I could bear no more.

The fault must partly have been in me.
The bird was not to blame for his key.

And of course there must be something wrong
In wanting to silence any song.

~Robert Frost

Sunday, March 13, 2011

His Infinite Glory

Out of His infinite glory, may He give you the power through His Spirit
for your hidden self to grow strong,
so that Christ may live in your hearts through faith,
and then,
planted in love and built on love,
you will with all the saints have strength
to grasp the breadth and the length,
the height and the depth;
until, knowing the love of Christ,
which is beyond all knowledge,
you are filled with the utter fullness of God.

~Ephesians 3:16-19

Friday, March 11, 2011

The Lighter Side

“No, yogurt doesn't belong there... or there.
Not in the play kitchen or in the play stove
Not as a wet-willy or in your nose.
Please do not put it in your hair
I do not like it there OR there.”

~Poem by my wife about our 4th daughter
(inspired by Dr. Seuss)

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Choose Life

“I call heaven and earth as witnesses today against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing; therefore choose life, that both you and your descendants may live; that you may love the LORD your God, that you may obey His voice, and that you may cling to Him, for He is your life and the length of your days; and that you may dwell in the land which the LORD swore to your fathers, to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, to give them.”
~Deuteronomy 30:19-20

“If you love Me, keep My commandments.”
~John 14:15

“Often our conscious resolutions to change come to nothing because we don’t know ourselves. We all have powerful dynamisms or energies operating in us—the need to live, or to love and be loved, or to be happy. We may have a disproportionate need for security or acceptance. We may hate and love ourselves at the same time. To begin, with the help of the Holy Spirit, to know ourselves better is to prepare the ground for deeper conversion.

Get to know yourself, and make this Lent a time of choosing, of going down inside and asking, Do I really choose life? Do I really keep the commandments as Christ indicated they must be kept by those who love Him?”
~Benedict Groeschel

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Conclusion

“Christ speaks:

I told you at the start, my other self,
my life was not complete
until I crowned it by my death.
Your ‘way’ is not complete
unless you crown it by your life.

Accept each moment as it comes to you,
with faith and trust
that all that happens has my mark on it.
A simple fiat, this is all it takes;
a breathing in your heart,
‘I will it, Lord.’

So seek me not in far-off places.
I am close at hand.
Your workbench, office, kitchen,
these are altars
where you offer love.
And I am with you there.

Go now! Take up your cross
and with your life
complete your way.”

~Clarence Enzler

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Life on Earth

“…The mass of people find their nerve beginning to crack, as human life grows daily more complexly unmanageable.

The two-century hope that science will come up with something has lost its grip. Science can tell us more and more about life, but it can shed no light at all on what life is about—why we exist (why indeed anything exists), where we are supposed to be going, how we are to get there. On these questions, our rulers can tell us nothing either; most of them are not aware that those questions are fundamental to their work as rulers, or even that rulers have any bearing on it at all. But to handle human lives with no agreement as to what human beings are or what the purpose of life is—that is a formula for chaos.

Christ has the answers. And a discouraged world is more willing to listen than the world of yesterday… But Christians, however aware of Christ’s spiritual relevance for themselves, seem no more aware than everybody else of His relevance for the structure of mankind’s life on earth.”
~F. J. Sheed

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Evening Prayer

“Lord, fill this night with Your radiance.
May we sleep in peace and rise with joy
to welcome the light of a new day in Your name.
We ask this through Christ our Lord.
Amen.”
~Author Unknown - from a Christian Prayer Book

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

The Great Minimum

It is something to have wept as we have wept,
It is something to have done as we have done,
It is something to have watched when all men slept,
And seen the stars which never see the sun.

It is something to have smelt the mystic rose,
Although it break and leave the thorny rods,
It is something to have hungered once as those
Must hunger who have ate the bread of gods.

To have seen you and your unforgotten face,
Brave as a blast of trumpets for the fray,
Pure as white lilies in a watery space,
It were something, though you went from me today.

To have known the things that from the weak are furled,
Perilous ancient passions, strange and high;
It is something to be wiser than the world,
It is something to be older than the sky.

In a time of sceptic moths and cynic rusts,
And fatted lives that of their sweetness tire,
In a world of flying loves and fading lusts,
It is something to be sure of a desire.

Lo, blessed are our ears for they have heard;
Yea, blessed are our eyes for they have seen:
Let thunder break on man and beast and bird
And the lightning. It is something to have been.

~G. K. Chesterton