Wednesday, October 31, 2012

The Ghost House

I dwell in a lonely house I know
That vanished many a summer ago,
And left no trace but the cellar walls,
And a cellar in which the daylight falls,
And the purple-stemmed wild raspberries grow.

O’er ruined fences the grape-vines shield
The woods come back to the mowing field;
The orchard tree has grown one copse
Of new wood and old where the woodpecker chops;
The footpath down to the well is healed.

I dwell with a strangely aching heart
In that vanished abode there far apart
On that disused and forgotten road
That has no dust-bath now for the toad.
Night comes; the black bats tumble and dart;

The whippoorwill is coming to shout
And hush and cluck and flutter about:
I hear him begin far enough away
Full many a time to say his say
Before he arrives to say it out.

It is under the small, dim, summer star.
I know not who these mute folk are
Who share the unlit place with me—
Those stones out under the low-limbed tree
Doubtless bear names that the mosses mar.

They are tireless folk, but slow and sad,
Though two, close-keeping, are lass and lad,—
With none among them that ever sings,
And yet, in view of how many things,
As sweet companions as might be had.

~Robert Frost

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Resurrection

Moist with one drop of thy blood, my dry soul
Shall (though she now be in extreme degree
Too stony hard, and yet too fleshly,) be
Freed by that drop, from being starved, hard, or foul,
And life, by this death abled, shall control
Death, whom thy death slew; nor shall to me
Fear of first or last death, bring misery,
If in thy little book my name thou enroll,
Flesh in that long sleep is not putrefied,
But made that there, of which, and for which ’twas;
Nor can by other means be glorified.
May then sin’s sleep, and death’s soon from me pass,
That waked from both, I again risen may
Salute the last, and everlasting day.
~John Donne

Sunday, October 28, 2012

O the Deep, Deep Love of Jesus

O the deep, deep love of Jesus, vast, unmeasured, boundless, free!
Rolling as a mighty ocean in its fullness over me!
Underneath me, all around me, is the current of Thy love
Leading onward, leading homeward to Thy glorious rest above!

O the deep, deep love of Jesus, spread His praise from shore to shore!
How He loveth, ever loveth, changeth never, nevermore!
How He watches o’er His loved ones, died to call them all His own;
How for them He intercedeth, watcheth o’er them from the throne!

O the deep, deep love of Jesus, love of every love the best!
’Tis an ocean full of blessing, ’tis a haven giving rest!
O the deep, deep love of Jesus, ’tis a heaven of heavens to me;
And it lifts me up to glory, for it lifts me up to Thee!

~Words: S. Trevor Francis & Music: Thomas Williams

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Find places

"We need no wings to go in search of Him, but have only to find a place where we can be alone and look upon Him present within us."
~St. Teresa of Avila

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Psalm 90:1-2

O Lord, You have been our refuge
from one generation to the next.
Before the mountains were born
or the earth or the world brought forth,
You are God, without beginning or end.
 

Genesis 1:2

Earth was still an empty waste, and darkness hung over the deep; but already, over its waters, stirred the breath of God.
  

Sunday, October 21, 2012

That Which God Has Made

"In the kiss of an infant,
let us consider,
for our very religion's sake,
the still recent hands of God themselves,
which in some sort we are kissing
in the child lately formed
and freshly born,
when we are embracing
that which God has made."
~St. Cyprian of Carthage

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Neighbors in October

All afternoon his tractor pulls a flat wagon
with bales to the barn, then back to the waiting
chopped field. It trails a feather of smoke.
Down the block we bend with the season:
shoes to polish for a big game,
storm windows to batten or patch.
And how like a field is the whole sky now
that the maples have shed their leaves, too.
It makes us believers—stationed in groups,
leaning on rakes, looking into space. We rub blisters
over billows of leaf smoke. Or stand alone,
bagging gold for the cold days to come.
~David Baker

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

October

October
And the trees are stripped bare
Of all they wear
What do I care

October
And kingdoms rise
And kingdoms fall
But you go on... and on...

~Paul Hewson

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Fall Wind

Pods of summer crowd around the door;
I take them in the autumn of my hands.

Last night I heard the first cold wind outside:
And wind blew soft, and yet I shiver twice:

Once for thin walls, once for the sound of time.

~William Stafford

Monday, October 15, 2012

God ever and alone

“Let nothing affright thee,
nothing dismay thee.
All is passing,
God ever remains.
...Patience obtains all.
Whoever possesses God
cannot lack anything
God alone suffices.”
~St. Teresa of Avila

Sunday, October 14, 2012

O Christ, The Great Foundation

O Christ, the great foundation
On which Your people stand
To preach Your true salvation
In every age and land:
Pour out Your Holy Spirit
To make us strong and pure,
To keep the faith unbroken
As long as worlds endure.

Baptized in one confession,
One church in all the earth,
We bear our Lord's impression,
The sign of second birth:
One holy people gathered
In love beyond our own,
By grace we were invited,
By grace we make You known.

Where tyrants' hold is tightened,
Where strong devour the weak,
Where innocents are frightened,
The righteous fear to speak,
There let Your church awaking
Attack the powers of sin
And, all their ramparts breaking,
With You the victory win.

This is the moment glorious
When He who once was dead
Shall lead His church victorious,
Their champion and their head.
The Lord of all creation
His heavenly kingdon brings,
The final consummation,
The glory of all things.

~Words: Timothy Lew & Music: Samuel Wesley

Friday, October 12, 2012

In prayer...

“The words are like the banks of a river and the prayer is like the river itself. The banks are necessary to give direction and to keep the river flowing. But it is the river with which we are concerned.
The words are...the framework in which the prayer is held.
The words are not the prayer. The prayer lies always beyond the words. As the river moves into the sea, the banks drop away. So, too, as we move into the deeper sense of God's presence the words fall away and...we shall be left in silence in the ocean of God's love.”
~Robert Llewelyn

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Turn Aside Now, and See

“...And Moses said, ‘I will turn aside now and see this great sight, why the bush is not burnt.’”
~Exodus 3:3

Monday, October 8, 2012

Five A.M.

Still dark, the early morning breathes
a soft sound above the fire. Hooded
lights on porches lead past lawns,
a hedge; I pass the house of the couple
who have the baby, the yard with the little
dog; my feet pad and grit on the pavement, flicker
past streetlights; my arms alternate
easily to my pace. Where are my troubles?

There are people in every country who never
turn into killers, saints have built
sanctuaries on islands and in valleys,
conquerors have quit and gone home, for thousands
of years farmers have worked their fields.
My feet begin the uphill curve
where a thicket spills with birds every spring.
The air doesn’t stir. Rain touches my face.
~William Stafford

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Now Thank We All Our God

Now thank we all our God, with heart and hands and voices,
Who wondrous things has done, in Whom this world rejoices;
Who from our mothers’ arms has blessed us on our way
With countless gifts of love, and still is ours today.

O may this bounteous God through all our life be near us,
With ever joyful hearts and blessèd peace to cheer us;
And keep us in His grace, and guide us when perplexed;
And free us from all ills, in this world and the next!

All praise and thanks to God the Father now be given;
The Son and Him Who reigns with Them in highest Heaven;
The one eternal God, whom earth and Heaven adore;
For thus it was, is now, and shall be evermore.

~Words: Martin Rinkart & Music: Johann Crüger

Friday, October 5, 2012

The Soul

“In those respects
in which the soul
is unlike God
it is also
unlike itself.”

~St. Bernard of Clairvaux

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Falling

“...By denying their pain, avoiding the necessary falling, many have kept themselves from their own spiritual depths and therefore have been kept from their own spiritual heights. The human ego prefers anything, just about anything to falling or changing or dying. The ego is that part of you that loves the status quo, even when it is not working. It attaches to past and present and fears the future.

It takes a foundational trust to fall or to fail – and to not fall apart. Faith alone holds you while you stand waiting and hoping and trusting. Then, and only then, will deeper love happen. It’s no surprise at all that we speak of ‘falling’ in love. I think it is the way to get there. None would go freely, if we knew ahead of time what love is going to ask of us.”
~Richard Rohr

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

He draws us to Him

I wanted to repost this one...

“It is true that there is something painful in beginning to practise piety, but this pain does not arise from the beginnings of piety within us, but from the impiety that is still there... We only suffer in so far as our natural vice resists supernatural grace: our heart feels torn between these contrary forces, but it would be very wrong to impute this violence to God, who draws us to Him, instead of attributing it to the world which holds us back. It is like a child snatched by its mother from the arms of robbers... The cruelest war that God can wage on men in this life is to leave them without the war He came to bring. ‘I came not to send peace but a sword,’ He said.
...Before His coming the world lived in a false peace.”
~Blaise Pascal