Thursday, February 28, 2013

the offering

I can offer You nothing
but the offering brings me comfort
since it is a gesture of love
Accept it
There is love too in the gesture
of accepting gifts

~Anna Kamienska

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

The Two Thieves

“Do not despair: one of the thieves was saved. Do not presume: one of the thieves was damned.”
~St. Augustine

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Light of Christ

“When mind and heart are united in prayer and the soul is wholly concentrated in a single desire for God, then the heart grows warm and the light of Christ begins to shine and fills the inward man with peace and joy.”
~St. Seraphim of Sarov

Monday, February 25, 2013

This is our Hope

“In the end it comes down to the old story that we are sinners, but that this is our hope because sinners are the ones who attract to themselves the infinite compassion of God. To be a sinner, to want to be pure, to remain in patient expectation of the divine mercy and ... to forgive and love others, as best we can. This is what makes us Christians. The great tragedy is that we feel so keenly that love has been twisted out of shape in us and beaten down and crippled. But Christ loves in us...”
~Thomas Merton

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Resurrection

“Think, dear friends, how the Lord continually proves to us that there will be a resurrection to come, of which He made the Lord Jesus Christ the first-fruits by raising Him from the dead.

Contemplate the resurrection that is always going on. Day and night declare the resurrection to us. The night sinks to sleep, and the day rises; the day departs, and the night comes on. Look at the crops, how the grain is sown: the sower goes out and throws it on the ground, and the scattered seed, dry and bare when it fell on the ground, is gradually dissolved. Then out of its disintegration the mighty power of the Lord’s providence raises it up again, and from one seed come many bearing fruit.”
~St. Clement

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Becoming Truly Real

“That which is essential is the One who is essential. To become truly real means to come to know Jesus Christ and to learn from Him what it means to be human.”
~Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Capable Flesh

The tender flesh itself
        will be found one day
        —quite surprisingly—
        to be capable of receiving,
        and yes, full
        capable of embracing
        the searing energies of God.
        Go figure. Fear not.
        For even at its beginning
        the humble clay received
        God’s art, whereby
        one part became the eye,
        another the ear, and yet
        another this impetuous hand.
        Therefore, the flesh
        is not to be excluded
        from the wisdom and the power
        that now and ever animates
        all things. His life-giving
        agency is made perfect,
        we are told, in weakness—
        made perfect in the flesh.

~St. Irenaeus – adapted and translated by Scott Cairns

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Child's Prayer

Dear God most high, hear and bless
Thy beasts and singing birds:
And guard with tenderness
Small things that have no words
~Traditional

Monday, February 18, 2013

Infinite Love

“We do not know Your mystery,
Infinite Love;
But You do have a heart,
For You seek the prodigal son,
And hold against Your breast
This troublesome child
Which is the world of mortals.

We do not see Your face,
Infinite Love;
But You do have eyes,
For You weep through the oppressed,
And look upon us
With a shining gaze
That reveals Your forgiveness.

We do not see Your work,
Infinite Love;
But You have hands
That lighten our labor,
And You toil with us
To make on the earth
A way leading to Your rest.

We do not know Your language,
Infinite Love;
But You are a cry
That our brothers and sisters hurl at us.
And the sinner’s call
Coming up from the abyss
Toward the God of freedom.”

~From: Days of the Lord: Solemnities and feasts by Liturgical Press

Sunday, February 17, 2013

The Sabbath

“He who wants to enter the holiness of the day must first lay down the profanity of clattering commerce, of being yoked to toil. He must go away from the screech of dissonant days, from the nervousness and fury of acquisitiveness and the betrayal in embezzling his own life. He must say farewell to manual work and learn to understand that the world has already been created and will survive without the help of man.

Six days a week we wrestle with the world, wringing profit from the earth; on the Sabbath we especially care for the seed of eternity planted in the soul. The world has our hands, but our soul belongs to Someone Else. Six days a week we seek to dominate the world, on the seventh day we try to dominate the self.”
~Abraham Heschel

Saturday, February 16, 2013

An Altogether Different Language

There was a church in Umbria, Little Portion,
Already old eight hundred years ago.
It was abandoned and in disrepair
But it was called St. Mary of the Angels
For it was known to be the haunt of angels,
Often at night the country people
Could hear them singing there.

What was it like, to listen to the angels,
To hear those mountain-fresh, those simple voices
Poured out on the bare stones of Little Portion
In hymns of joy?
No one has told us.
Perhaps it needs another language
That we have still to learn,
An altogether different language.

~Anne Porter

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Love

“Love is not affectionate feeling...
...but a steady wish for the loved person's ultimate good as far as it can be obtained.”
~C. S. Lewis

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Ash Wednesday

 

“...all other loves will enslave us if they are not ordered to Him, who alone can render us free.”
~Peter Cameron

“...Ash Wednesday is not focused on the sinfulness of the penitent but on the mercy of God. The question of sinfulness is raised precisely because this is a day of mercy, and the just do not need a Savior.”
~Thomas Merton

“God’s mercy is greater than our sins. There is an awareness of sin that does not lead to God but rather to self-preoccupation. Our temptation is to be so impressed by our sins and our failings and so overwhelmed by our lack of generosity that we get stuck in paralyzing guilt. It is the guilt that says, ‘I am too sinful to deserve God’s mercy.’ It is the guilt that leads to introspection instead of directing our eyes to God. It is the guilt that has become an idol and therefore a form of pride.

Lent is a time to break down this idol and to direct our attention to our loving Lord. The question is: ‘Are we like Judas, who was so overcome by his sin that he could not believe in God’s mercy any longer… or are we like Peter who returned to his Lord with repentance and cried bitterly for his sins?’ The season of Lent, during which winter and spring struggle with each other for dominance, helps us in a special way to cry out for God’s mercy.”
~Henri Nouwen

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Prayer is...

“Prayer is a great weapon, a rich treasure, a wealth that is never exhausted, an undisturbed refuge, a cause of tranquility, the root of a multitude of blessings and their source.”
~St. John Chrysostom

Monday, February 11, 2013

Abide with us...

“Abide with us, O Lord, for it is toward evening and the day is far spent; abide with us and Thy whole church. Abide with us in the evening of the day, in the evening of life, in the evening of the world. Abide with us in Thy grace and mercy, in holy Word and Sacrament, in Thy comfort and Thy blessing. Abide with us in the night of distress and fear, in the night of doubt and temptation, in the night of bitter death, when these shall overtake us. Abide with us and all Thy faithful ones, O Lord, in time and eternity.” Amen.
~from the Lutheran Manual of Prayer

Saturday, February 9, 2013

All You Who Seek a Comfort Sure

All you who seek a comfort sure
In trouble and distress,
Whatever sorrow vex the mind,
Or guilt the soul oppress:

Jesus, Who gave Himself for you,
Upon the Cross to die,
Opens to you His sacred heart:
O to that heart draw nigh.

Now hear Him as He speaks to us
Those words for ever blest:
“All you who labour, come to me,
And I will give you rest.”

O Jesus, joy of saints on high,
Thou hope of sinners here,
Attracted by those loving words,
To Thee I lift my prayer.

~Words: Edward Caswall & Music: Ralph Vaughan Williams

Friday, February 8, 2013

Colossians 3:12-15

Therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, put on tender mercies, kindness, humility, meekness, longsuffering; bearing with one another, and forgiving one another, if anyone has a complaint against another; even as Christ forgave you, so you also must do. But above all these things put on love, which is the bond of perfection. And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to which also you were called in one body; and be thankful.

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Expressing Truth

“No man who has the truth to tell and the power to tell it can long remain hiding it from fear or even from despair without ignominy. To release the truth against whatever odds, even if so doing can no longer help the Commonwealth, is a necessity of the soul.”
~Hilaire Belloc

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Prevailing Over Injury

“Men that have their spirits heated and enraged and rising in bitter resentment when they are injured act as if they thought some strange thing had happened to them. Whereas they are very foolish in so thinking for it is no strange thing at all but only what was to be expected in a world like this. They therefore do not act wisely that allow their spirits to be ruffled by the injuries they suffer.

...As love to God prevails, it tends to set persons above human injuries, in this sense, that the more they love God the more they will place all their happiness in Him.

...The more they love God, the less they set their hearts on their worldly interests, which are all that their enemies can touch.”
~Jonathan Edwards

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

He must increase,...

...but I must decrease.
~John 3:30

Monday, February 4, 2013

Saying Less...

“If we say less than we should, it is easy to add. But having said too much, it is hard to take it away.”
~St. Francis de Sales

Sunday, February 3, 2013

All Hail, Adored Trinity

All hail, adored Trinity;
All praise, eternal Unity;
O God the Father, God the Son,
And God the Spirit, ever One.

Three Persons praise we evermore,
And Thee the Eternal One adore;
In Thy sure mercy ever kind
May we our true protection find.

O Trinity! O Unity!
Be present as we worship Thee;
And to the angels’ songs in light
Our prayers and praises now unite.

~Words: Unknown Author, 11th Century; translator J. D. Chambers & Music: Louis Bourgeois

Saturday, February 2, 2013

from The Screwtape Letters

“Whatever he says, let his inner resolution be not to bear whatever comes to him, but to bear it ‘for a reasonable period’--and let the reasonable period be shorter than the trial is likely to last. It need not be much shorter; in attacks on patience, chastity, and fortitude, the fun is to make the man yield just when (had he but known it) relief was almost in sight.”
~C. S. Lewis, The Screwtape Letters

Friday, February 1, 2013

His Steadfast Love

The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases;
    His mercies never come to an end;
they are new every morning;
    great is Your faithfulness.
“The Lord is my portion,” says my soul,
    “therefore I will hope in Him.”

The Lord is good to those who wait for Him,
    to the soul who seeks Him.
It is good that one should wait quietly
    for the salvation of the Lord.

~Lamentations 3:22-26