Friday, September 30, 2011

At the Abbey...

“The first impression was of utter silence, stillness so palpable that you had to stand for a moment to see if anything would disturb it.”
~Tony Hendra

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Atheism

“Atheism is cheap on people, because it snobbishly says nine out of ten people through history have been wrong about God and have had a lie at the core of their hearts.”
~Peter Kreeft

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Humility

“Saints are driven to humbling themselves before all the splendor and horror of the world because they perceive there to be something divine in it, something pulsing and alive beneath the hard dead surface of material things, something inconceivably greater and purer than they.”
~Tony Hendra

Monday, September 26, 2011

Service

“On my door is a cartoon of two turtles. One says, ‘Sometimes I would like to ask why He allows poverty, famine and injustice when He could do something about it.’ The other turtle says ‘I am afraid that God might ask me the same question.’”
~Peter Kreeft

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Blessed Assurance

Blessed assurance, Jesus is mine!
O what a foretaste of glory divine!
Heir of salvation, purchase of God,
Born of His Spirit, washed in His blood.

Refrain:
This is my story, this is my song,
Praising my Savior, all the day long;
This is my story, this is my song,
Praising my Savior, all the day long.

Perfect submission, perfect delight,
Visions of rapture now burst on my sight;
Angels descending bring from above
Echoes of mercy, whispers of love.

Refrain

Perfect submission, all is at rest
I in my Savior am happy and blest,
Watching and waiting, looking above,
Filled with His goodness, lost in His love.

Refrain

~Words: Fan­ny Cros­by & Music:  Phoe­be Knapp

Saturday, September 24, 2011

The Necessity of Prayer for Contemplation

“The true Christian must at any cost conquer a place in his life for contemplation. He must firmly refuse to let himself be dragged into a whirlpool of activities in which he is driven incessantly from one task to another, purpose succeeding purpose, without a pause. The present period of perpetual unrest, in which the machine has come to be the model, the causa exemplaris, of well-nigh all things, in which everything is caught in a process of instrumentalization, in which Leistung (“achievement”) with the emphasis on quantity and mere technical perfection, has assumed priority over being in a substantial and meaningful sense – this period of shallow hyperactivity is only too apt to drag us into that whirlpool of outward preoccupations.

All our actions, even those with a religious or moral importance, which therefore essentially appeal to the contemplative attitude, we tend to perform in the manner of discharging a duty or of acquitting ourselves of a task – not to say, of turning out the required output. We live in uninterrupted tension, never ceasing to be conquered about what has next to be settled; and many of us no longer know any alternative to work except recreation and amusement.”
~Dietrich von Hildebrand

Monday, September 19, 2011

Some Say...

“Some say that we shall never know, and that to the gods we are like the flies that the boys kill on a summer's day, and some say, to the contrary, that the very sparrows do not lose a feather that has not been brushed away by the finger of God.”
~Thornton Wilder

Saturday, September 17, 2011

The Hamlet Philosophy

“There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio,
    Than are dreamt of in your philosophy.”
~William Shakespeare

“That’s my philosophy: ‘More-ness’. There are only three possibilities: There are (1) more things, (2) fewer things, or the (3) same number of things in heaven and earth—that is, in objective reality—than are dreamed of in my philosophy—that is, that are in my mind. So, either the world is richer, poorer, or exactly the same quantity as what I think. The philosophy of all great thinkers and all great artists of all time has always been the ‘Hamlet Philosophy’.”
~Peter Kreeft

Friday, September 16, 2011

Ecclesiastes

There is one sin: to call a green leaf grey,
Whereat the sun in heaven shuddereth.
There is one blasphemy: for death to pray,
For God alone knoweth the praise of death.

There is one creed: ‘neath no world-terror’s wing
Apples forget to grow on apple-trees.
There is one thing needful — everything –
The rest is vanity of vanities.

~G. K. Chesterton

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

The Lesser Reflects The Greater

“...The modern mind always tends to reduce the greater to the lesser rather than seeing the lesser as reflecting the greater. It thinks of human love as only complex animal instinct, or even complex electrochemical attraction, rather than thinking of these subhuman attractions as love on a lesser level. Premodern thought saw lust as confused love. Modern thought sees love as rationalized lust. This is reductionism.

Christianity is anti-reductionistic. Christians cannot buy into reductionism, for they know that God is first. They know that the universe resembles God rather than vice versa, that God made man in His image rather than vice versa. They know that the best comes first, not last. They know that animal love is a late comer and imitator of perfect, eternal, divine love rather than vice versa...

An example of the influence of modern reductionism on the Christian mind is this: There are two relationships between Creator and creature. But modern Christians usually remember only one of them. First, God loves everything. Second, everything loves God. The second is as true as the first. Acorns grow into oak trees because they are in love with God. That is, they seek unconsciously their own perfection, which is a participation in some of God's perfection. An oak tree is more perfect, more godlike, than an acorn. An acorn is not satisfied to be an acorn, because it wants (unconsciously, of course) to be more like God. God is the magnet that draws all the iron filings that are creatures closer to Himself. That is why everything moves. It is seeking its own perfection, which is a reflection of God's perfection. Everything moves out of love of God.

...Everything loves God in its way. Not only did God love everything into existence by creation, He also loves everything into perfection by being the universal beloved. Not only does God love everything, but everything loves God. Only man can move contrary to this principle of nature through freely choosing evil. Every thing loves God, but not every one loves God.”
~Peter Kreeft

Monday, September 12, 2011

When a man is getting better...

“Remember that, as I said, the right direction leads not only to peace but to knowledge. When a man is getting better he understands more and more clearly the evil that is still left in him. When a man is getting worse he understands his own badness less and less. A moderately bad man knows he is not very good: a thoroughly bad man thinks he is all right. This is common sense, really. You understand sleep when you are awake, not while you are sleeping. You can see mistakes in arithmetic when your mind is working properly: while you are making them you cannot see them. You can understand the nature of drunkenness when you are sober, not when you are drunk. Good people know about both good and evil: bad people do not know about either.”
~C. S. Lewis

Sunday, September 11, 2011

We Will Not Fear

And though this world, with devils filled, should threaten to undo us,
We will not fear, for God hath willed His truth to triumph through us:
The Prince of Darkness grim, we tremble not for him;
His rage we can endure, for lo, his doom is sure,
One little word shall fell him.

That word above all earthly powers, no thanks to them, abideth;
The Spirit and the gifts are ours through Him Who with us sideth:
Let goods and kindred go, this mortal life also;
The body they may kill: God’s truth abideth still,
His kingdom is forever.

~Words & Music: Martin Luther
(Verses 3 & 4 from A Mighty Fortress Is Our God)

Saturday, September 10, 2011

The Face of God

“When we see the face of God we shall know that we have always known it.”
~C. S. Lewis

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

The Darkness Would Lose Its Power

“For the rest of my life I will wonder what might have happened if I had turned the temptation into a prayer... This is the only way for a Christian. It helps little to thrust the dark suggestions and impulses of our fallen natures back below the surface. It is even worse, of course, to give in to them. What, then, is to be done with them?

The answer is once again, prayer, prayer, prayer! What would the world be like if we were to turn every temptation into an opportunity to receive grace and to spread grace. If every invitation to sin were converted into a prayer, the darkness would quickly lose its power. The Resurrection would penetrate to every nook and cranny, every dark corner, every splinter in our souls.”
~Michael O’Brien

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

The Virtue that Requires the Greatest Effort

“The brethren also asked [Abba Agathon], ‘Amongst all good works, which is the virtue that requires the greatest effort?’ He answered, ‘Forgive me, but I think there is no labour greater than that of prayer to God. For every time a man wants to pray, his enemies, the demons, want to prevent him. For they know that it is only by turning him from prayer that they can hinder his journey. What ever good work a man undertakes, if he perseveres in it, he will attain rest. But prayer is warfare to the last breath.’”
~From The Sayings of the Desert Fathers

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Psalm 148

Praise the Lord from the heavens,
praise Him in the heights.
Praise Him, all His angels,
praise Him, all His host.

Praise Him, sun and moon,
praise Him, shining stars.
Praise Him, highest heavens
and the waters above the heavens.

Let them praise the name of the Lord.
He commanded: they were made.
He fixed them for ever,
gave a law which shall not pass away.

Praise the Lord from the earth,
sea creatures and all oceans,
fire and hail, snow and mist,
stormy winds that obey His word;

all mountains and hills,
all fruit trees and cedars,
beasts, wild and tame,
reptiles and birds on the wing;

all earth’s kings and peoples,
earth’s princes and rulers;
young men and maidens,
old men together with children.

Let them praise the name of the Lord
for He alone is exalted.
The splendor of His name
reaches beyond heaven and earth.

He exalts the strength of His people.
He is the praise of all His saints,
of the sons of Israel,
of the people to whom He comes close.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Flying

"Morality is a mountain which we cannot climb by our own efforts; and if we could we should only perish in the ice and unbreathable air of the summit, lacking those wings with which the rest of the journey has to be accomplished. For it is from there that the real ascent begins. The ropes and axes are 'done away' and the rest is a matter of flying."
~C. S. Lewis