Monday, February 27, 2012

Psalm 84

How lovely is Your dwelling place,
Lord, God of hosts.

My soul is longing and yearning,
is yearning for the courts of the Lord.
My heart and my soul ring out their joy
to God, the living God.

The sparrow herself finds a home
and the swallow a nest for her brood;
She lays her young by Your altars,
Lord of hosts, my king and my God.

They are happy, who dwell in Your house,
forever singing Your praise.
They are happy, whose strength is in You,
in whose hearts are the roads to Zion.

As they go through the Bitter Valley
they make it a place of springs
the autumn rain covers it with blessings.
They walk with ever growing strength,
they will see the God of gods in Zion.

O Lord God of hosts, hear my prayer,
give ear, O God of Jacob.
Turn Your eyes, O God, our shield,
look on the face of Your anointed.

One day within Your courts
is better than a thousand elsewhere.
The threshold of the house of God
I prefer to the dwellings of the wicked.

For the Lord God is a rampart, a shield;
He will give us His favor and glory.
The Lord will not refuse any good
to those who walk without blame.

Lord, God of hosts,
happy the man who trusts in You!

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Forty Days And Forty Nights

Forty days and forty nights
Thou wast fasting in the wild;
Forty days and forty nights
Tempted, and yet undefiled.

Should not we Thy sorrow share
And from worldly joys abstain,
Fasting with unceasing prayer,
Strong with Thee to suffer pain?

Keep, O keep us, Savior dear,
Ever constant by Thy side;
That with Thee we may appear
At the eternal Eastertide.
~Words: George Smyttan & Music: Martin Herbst

Saturday, February 25, 2012

The Nature of the Body and the Soul

"For just as the body lives from the soul, so does the soul live from God... It lives as one spirit with him. For the Will of the Father and the Son--Holy Spirit, by an inconceivable grace, with unutterable joy, by most secret inspiration, in a most manifest operation, conforms the will of the soul to himself, uniting its love to himself with spiritual omnipotence. He becomes so united with the soul that, as has been said, when the soul prays with aspirations beyond conception, it is rather the Spirit who is said to pray. And this is the prayer of the Son to the Father: 'I will [that is, I bring it about by the power of my will which is Holy Spirit] that as I and you are one in substance, so they also may be one in us through grace.' One in love, one in beatitude, one in immortality and incorruption, and even in some way in divinity itself. For 'to as many as received him he gave the power to become sons of God.'"
~William of St. Thierry

Friday, February 24, 2012

Our Fault

"If the impulse to worship God and to adore Him in truth by the goodness and order of our own lives is nothing more than a transitory and emotional thing, that is our own fault. It is so only because we make it so, and because we take what is substantially a deep and powerful and lasting moral impetus, supernatural in its origin and in its direction, and reduce it to the level of our own weak and unstable and futile fancies and desires."
~Thomas Merton

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Silence

"Silence is not merely the absence of noise but the spirit of loving attention."
~Laurence Freeman

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Ash Wednesday

"Remember, man, that thou art dust, and to dust thou shalt return."
~see Genesis 3:19

Monday, February 20, 2012

The Family

"...the family seems at times a hospital, a prison, a boarding house and a mental institution. It is all of these and more, of course. It is a place of 'fearful beauty', packed to the full with every emotion imaginable, with moments of brilliant illumination and dark squalor, with limitless opportunities for heroism and for sin. ...It is the great school of the soul."
~Michael O’Brien

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Nothing...

“Nothing ought to be more binding on us than the business of Heaven.”
~St. Thomas Aquinas

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Feb 14

“...the fault is mine: you are above
the clumsy measure of my love...”

~Robert Siegel

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Shelter

"Man bears within himself a dignity he cannot lose, for he is created in the image of God. We all share this dignity, regardless of religion, race, or creed; and so we shelter one another, seeing Christ in every woman and every man."
~Audrey Assad

Saturday, February 11, 2012

My Eternal King

My God, I love Thee, not because
I hope for heaven thereby,
nor yet because, if I love not,
I must forever die.

Thou, O my Jesus, thou didst me
upon the cross embrace;
for me didst bear the nails and spear
and manifold disgrace.

Then why, O blessed Jesus Christ,
should I not love Thee well?
Not for the sake of winning heaven,
nor of escaping hell.

Not with the hope of gaining aught,
not seeking a reward,
but as Thyself hast loved me,
O everlasting Lord.

So would I love Thee, dearest Lord,
and in Thy praise will sing;
because Thou art my loving God
and my eternal King.

~Latin Trans. by Edward Caswall & Adpt. by Percy Dearmer (original text attributed to St. Francis Xavier)

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Seek & Find

“Just as I should seek in a desert for clean water, or toil at the North Pole to make a comfortable fire, so I shall search the land of void and vision until I find something fresh like water, and comforting like fire; until I find some place in eternity, where I am literally at home. And there is only one such place to be found.”
~G. K. Chesterton

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Miracles

“Any one who likes, therefore, may call my belief in God merely mystical; the phrase is not worth fighting about. But my belief that miracles have happened in human history is not a mystical belief at all; I believe in them upon human evidences as I do in the discovery of America. Upon this point there is a simple logical fact that only requires to be stated and cleared up. Somehow or other an extraordinary idea has arisen that the disbelievers in miracles consider them coldly and fairly, while believers in miracles accept them only in connection with some dogma. The fact is quite the other way. The believers in miracles accept them (rightly or wrongly) because they have evidence for them. The disbelievers in miracles deny them (rightly or wrongly) because they have a doctrine against them. The open, obvious, democratic thing is to believe an old apple-woman when she bears testimony to a miracle, just as you believe an old apple-woman when she bears testimony to a murder. The plain, popular course is to trust the peasant's word about the ghost exactly as far as you trust the peasant's word about the landlord. Being a peasant he will probably have a great deal of healthy agnosticism about both. Still you could fill the British Museum with evidence uttered by the peasant, and given in favour of the ghost. If it comes to human testimony there is a choking cataract of human testimony in favour of the supernatural. If you reject it, you can only mean one of two things. You reject the peasant's story about the ghost either because the man is a peasant or because the story is a ghost story. That is, you either deny the main principle of democracy, or you affirm the main principle of materialism--the abstract impossibility of miracle. You have a perfect right to do so; but in that case you are the dogmatist. It is we Christians who accept all actual evidence--it is you rationalists who refuse actual evidence being constrained to do so by your creed. But I am not constrained by any creed in the matter, and looking impartially into certain miracles of mediaeval and modern times, I have come to the conclusion that they occurred. All argument against these plain facts is always argument in a circle. If I say, ‘Mediaeval documents attest certain miracles as much as they attest certain battles,’ they answer, ‘But mediaevals were superstitious’; if I want to know in what they were superstitious, the only ultimate answer is that they believed in the miracles. If I say ‘a peasant saw a ghost,’ I am told, ‘But peasants are so credulous.’ If I ask, ‘Why credulous?’ the only answer is--that they see ghosts.”
~G. K. Chesterton

Sunday, February 5, 2012

In the morning...

In the morning, long before dawn, Jesus got up and went off to a lonely place and prayed there.
~Mark 1:35

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Exhilarating

"Nothing in life is so exhilarating as to be shot at without result."
~Winston Churchill

Friday, February 3, 2012

Yes & No

"After the final no there comes a yes
And on that yes the future world depends.
No was the night."
~Wallace Stevens

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Life of the Spirit

"Without a life of the spirit our whole existence becomes unsubstantial and illusory."
~Thomas Merton

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Peace of Soul

"O Jesus! Who knows how much in Holy Scripture refers to peace of soul? Since, O my God, you see how important this peace is to us, incite Christians to strive to gain it. In your mercy do not deprive those on whom you have bestowed it, for until you have given them true peace and brought them to where it is unending, they must ever live in fear."
~St. Teresa of Avila