Thursday, January 30, 2014

The Search

“The search is what anyone would undertake if he were not sunk in the everydayness of his own life. To become aware of the possibility of the search is to be onto something. Not to be onto something is to be in despair.”
~Walker Percy

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Legitimate Authority

“We continue to make the same mistake, age after age. We confuse imposed governance for legitimate authority. What, then, is legitimate authority? Is it not a mutual contract between free beings who agree to apportion their fields of responsibility and levels of decision-making, according to their gifts, while maintaining accountability, and placing above all other social considerations the necessity of mutual respect? If this is so, we must conclude that rare indeed has been its exercise in the history of mankind.”
~From a novel by Michael O’Brien

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Happiness and Silence

“There is an immeasurability in happiness that only feels at home in the breadth of silence. Happiness and silence belong together just as do profit and noise.”
~Max Picard

Monday, January 27, 2014

Boy at the Window



                 Seeing the snowman standing all alone
                 In dusk and cold is more than he can bear.
                 The small boy weeps to hear the wind prepare
                 A night of gnashings and enormous moan.
                 His tearful sight can hardly reach to where
                 The pale-faced figure with bitumen eyes
                 Returns him such a God-forsaken stare
                 As outcast Adam gave to paradise.
                
                 The man of snow is, nonetheless, content,
                 Having no wish to go inside and die.
                 Still, he is moved to see the youngster cry.
                 Though frozen water is his element,
                 He melts enough to drop from one soft eye
                 A trickle of the purest rain, a tear
                 For the child at the bright pane surrounded by
                 Such warmth, such light, such love, and so much fear.
                
                 ~Richard Wilbur

Sunday, January 26, 2014

At The Name Of Jesus

At the name of Jesus, every knee shall bow,
Every tongue confess Him King of glory now;
’Tis the Father’s pleasure we should call Him Lord,
Who from the beginning was the mighty Word.

Humbled for a season, to receive a name
From the lips of sinners unto whom He came,
Faithfully He bore it, spotless to the last,
Brought it back victorious when from death He passed.

Bore it up triumphant with its human light,
Through all ranks of creatures, to the central height,
To the throne of Godhead, to the Father’s breast;
Filled it with the glory of that perfect rest.

Name Him, brothers, name Him, with love strong as death
But with awe and wonder, and with bated breath!
He is God the Savior, He is Christ the Lord,
Ever to be worshipped, trusted and adored.

~Words: Caroline Noel & Music: Ralph Vaughan Williams

Saturday, January 25, 2014

The Future

“The future has several names. For the weak, it is impossible; for the fainthearted, it is unknown; but for the valiant, it is ideal.”
~Victor Hugo

Friday, January 24, 2014

Motivation

“All that we do must be motivated by love and not force. We must love to obey rather than fear to disobey.”
~St. Francis de Sales

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Up-Hill

Does the road wind up-hill all the way?
  Yes, to the very end.
Will the day’s journey take the whole long day?
   From morn to night, my friend.

But is there for the night a resting-place?
   A roof for when the slow dark hours begin.
May not the darkness hide it from my face?
   You cannot miss that inn.

Shall I meet other wayfarers at night?
   Those who have gone before.
Then must I knock, or call when just in sight?
   They will not keep you standing at that door.

Shall I find comfort, travel-sore and weak?
   Of labour you shall find the sum.
Will there be beds for me and all who seek?
   Yea, beds for all who come.

~Christina Rossetti

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

The Family

“The very experience of communion and sharing that should characterize the family's daily life represents its first and fundamental contribution to society.”

“Joys and sorrows, hopes and disappointments, births and birthday celebrations, wedding anniversaries of the parents, separations and homecomings, important and far-reaching decisions, the death of those who are dear -- all of these mark God's loving intervention in the family's history.”
~Pope John Paul II

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

True Witnesses

“You will be hated by all because of My name, but not a hair on your head will be destroyed.”
~Luke 21:17-18

“Jesus always promised His disciples peace, both before His death and after His resurrection, always peace (John 14:27; Luke 24:36). Never did the disciples receive this peace outwardly, but they garnered peace in suffering, in their struggles and love and, in death, they found life. They found joyful victory, too, when before this death they were interrogated, judged and condemned. They were true witnesses.

Yes, there are many who are filled with sweetness in body and soul, penetrating even to the marrow and veins, but when there follows suffering, darkness, interior and exterior abandonment, then they no longer know what to do with themselves. They come to a full stop and, from that, there issues nothing. When terrible storms come upon them, interior abandonment, exterior temptations from the world, the flesh and the Enemy, whoever is able to go through it all will find the profound peace that no one can take away from them. But whoever does not take this path is left behind and will never taste true peace. From this you know who are Christ’s true witnesses.”
~Johannes Tauler

Monday, January 20, 2014

MLK Day

“I submit to you that if a man hasn't discovered something he will die for, he isn't fit to live.”
~Martin Luther King, Jr.

Sunday, January 19, 2014

I Am Thine, O Lord

I am Thine, O Lord, I have heard Thy voice,
And it told Thy love to me;
But I long to rise in the arms of faith
And be closer drawn to Thee.

Refrain:
Draw me nearer, nearer blessèd Lord,
To the cross where Thou hast died.
Draw me nearer, nearer, nearer blessèd Lord,
To Thy precious, bleeding side.

Consecrate me now to Thy service, Lord,
By the power of grace divine;
Let my soul look up with a steadfast hope,
And my will be lost in Thine.

Refrain

O the pure delight of a single hour
That before Thy throne I spend,
When I kneel in prayer, and with Thee, my God
I commune as friend with friend!

Refrain

There are depths of love that I cannot know
Till I cross the narrow sea;
There are heights of joy that I may not reach
Till I rest in peace with Thee.

Refrain

~Words: Fan­ny Cros­by & Music: W. How­ard Doane

Friday, January 17, 2014

Snow Towards Evening

 
Suddenly the sky turned gray,
The day,
Which had been bitter and chill,
Grew soft and still.
Quietly
From some invisible blossoming tree
Millions of petals cool and white
Drifted and blew
Lifted and flew,
Fell with the falling night.

~Melville Cane
 

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Through Grace

“In reading the Epistles, Augustine discovered that the evil from which he was suffering was not peculiar to him; it was found in all men since the sin of Adam. The vain pride in his effort arose from the fact that, being able to fall by himself, he thought himself capable of raising himself by his own resources. Here, too, the remedy consisted in accepting what God offered and what man could not give himself. Plunged in concupiscence and the resulting disorders, Augustine looked with envy upon the serene calm of an Ambrose and the Fathers of the Desert. He then knew its source; it was grace. As faith gives to the intellect the truth that escapes it, so grace gives to the heart the purity it desires. Through grace, not only can man see from a distance the goal he is seeking, he can reach it.”
~Etienne Gilson

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

The Abolition of Man

“In his 1947 book, The Abolition of Man, C. S. Lewis wrote about the way education shapes and reshapes our sense of morality. He warned about the blindness of a growing social engineering class (which he called the Conditioners) who through education and other social organs promoted their limited concept of man and society. Driven by a kind of social-revolutionary fervor, they lacked genuine moral courage and moral vision. What was then a small trend, though spreading rapidly, has now, 60 years later, come to dominate the entire Western world.

In the passage below, Lewis refers to ‘Nature’ in the sense of instinctive drives in man. Nature cannot be treated as so much raw material for the service of our egoism, social experiments, or industrial exploitation. Our effects to control it through supposedly rational measures (reason divorced from conscience) will always backfire on us. Any attempt to manipulate it to our own ends, either by greedily exploiting it, or worshiping it, or reconstructing it according to theories, will unleash unexpected negative consequences. Nature must be approached with respect, and human nature above all must be respected. Whenever Natural Law and the moral imperatives of Supernatural Law are ignored, Man is the first victim. The exploitive industrialist and the ecologist alike, though seemingly in opposition to each other, bring about the same end result—the abolition of Man—that is, the negation of his true meaning and dignity, the violation of his eternal value. This translates into the destruction of human beings in the name of ‘humanity.’”
~Michael O’Brien

“At the moment, then, of Man’s victory over Nature, we find the whole human race subjected to some individual men, and those individuals subjected to that in themselves which is purely ‘natural’—to their irrational impulses. Nature untrammelled by values, rules the Conditioners and, through them, all humanity. Man’s conquest of Nature turns out, in the moment of its consummation, to be Nature’s conquest of Man. Every victory we seemed to win has led us, step by step, to this conclusion. All Nature’s apparent reverses have been tactical withdrawals. We thought we were beating her back when she was luring us on.”
~C. S. Lewis, The Abolition of Man

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Life

A voice said, Look me in the stars
And tell me truly, men of earth,
If all the soul-and-body scars
Were not too much to pay for birth.
~Robert Frost

Monday, January 13, 2014

Some Daily Minimums

“One ought, every day at least, to hear a little song, read a good poem, see a fine picture, and if it were possible, to speak a few reasonable words.”
~Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (re-post)

“Do not let a day go by without some spiritual reading.”
~St. John Bosco

“Each day, let prayer be the oxygen of your soul.”
~Inspired by a quote from St. Padre Pio

Sunday, January 12, 2014

The Servant of the Lord

Behold my servant, whom I uphold,
    my chosen, in whom my soul delights;
I have put my Spirit upon him;
    he will bring forth justice to the nations.
He will not cry aloud or lift up his voice,
    or make it heard in the street;
a bruised reed he will not break,
    and a faintly burning wick he will not quench;
    he will faithfully bring forth justice.
He will not grow faint or be discouraged
    till he has established justice in the earth;
    and the coastlands wait for his law.

Thus says God, the Lord,
    who created the heavens and stretched them out,
    who spread out the earth and what comes from it,
who gives breath to the people on it
    and spirit to those who walk in it:
“I am the Lord; I have called you in righteousness;
    I will take you by the hand and keep you;
I will give you as a covenant for the people,
    a light for the nations,
    to open the eyes that are blind,
to bring out the prisoners from the dungeon,
    from the prison those who sit in darkness.
I am the Lord; that is my name;
    my glory I give to no other,
    nor my praise to carved idols.
Behold, the former things have come to pass,
    and new things I now declare;
before they spring forth
    I tell you of them.”

 Sing to the Lord a new song,
    his praise from the end of the earth...

~Isaiah 42:1-10a

Friday, January 10, 2014

Natural Reaction

“When we begin to glimpse the reality of God, the natural reaction is to worship Him. Not to have that reaction is a fairly sure sign that we haven't yet really understood who He is or what He's done.”
~N. T. Wright

Thursday, January 9, 2014

The Way

“The whole way to heaven is heaven itself.”
~St. Teresa of Avila

And when you turn to the right or when you turn to the left, your ears shall hear a word behind you, saying, “This is the way; walk in it.”
~Isaiah 30:21 

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

The Good Shepherd


The Good Shepherd by Sadao Watanabe

Jesus sought me when a stranger,
Wandering from the fold of God;
He, to rescue me from danger,
Interposed His precious blood;
How His kindness yet pursues me
Mortal tongue can never tell,
Clothed in flesh, till death shall loose me
I cannot proclaim it well.
~Robert Robinson

“The human race – every one of us – is the sheep lost in the desert which no longer knows the way. The Son of God will not let this happen; He cannot abandon humanity in so wretched a condition. He leaps to His feet and abandons the glory of heaven, in order to go in search of the sheep and pursue it, all the way to the Cross. He takes it upon His shoulders and carries our humanity; He carries us all – He is the good shepherd who lays down His life for the sheep.”
~Benedict XVI

“Hear the voice of the Shepherd, lest you wander about in the mist. Gather at the mountain of Holy Scripture. There, are the things that will delight your hearts; there, you will find nothing poisonous, nothing hostile; there the pastures are most plentiful. There you will be healthy sheep . . . that is the place where [you] will rest, where [you] will say: ‘I am happy.’”
~St. Augustine

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Bury It

...many are the days I've wanted to cease
lay myself down and find some relief
heavy is the head that gets no sleep
we carry our lives around in our memories

take away this apathy
and bury it before it buries me

steady is the hand that's come to terms
with the lessons it has had to learn
I've seen the things that I must do
but Lord, this road is meant for two
so I am waiting here for you

take my hand and set me free
take my burdens and bury them deep
take my burden away from me
and bury it before
bury it before
bury it before it buries me

~Tyler Heath and Maggie Heath

Monday, January 6, 2014

The Work of Christmas

When the song of the angels is stilled,
When the star in the sky is gone,
When the kings and princes are home,
When the shepherds are back with their flock,
The work of Christmas begins:

To find the lost,
To heal the broken,
To feed the hungry,
To release the prisoner,
To rebuild the nations,
To bring peace among brothers,
To make music in the heart.

~Howard Thurman

Sunday, January 5, 2014

Epiphany

“I don’t know what was in the sky, what they saw, that first night. I don’t know what was in their minds; what they thought, asked, or talked about. I don’t know what was in their hearts; what they felt, dreamed, or longed for. But I know that there have been times when we each have experienced Epiphany; times when our night sky has been lit brightly, times when our minds have been illumined, times when our hearts have been enlightened. Those times have revealed to us a life and world larger than before. They have been moments that gave us the courage to travel beyond the borders and boundaries that usually circumscribe our lives. Epiphanies are those times when something calls us, moves us, to a new place and we see the face of God in a new way; so human that it almost seems ordinary, maybe too ordinary to believe.

That’s what happened to the wise men. They began to see and hear the stories of their lives. Something stirred within them and they began to wonder, to imagine, that their lives were part of a much larger story. Could it be that the one who created life, who hung the stars in the sky, noticed them, knew them, lived within them, and was calling them? Could it be that the light they saw in the sky was a reflection of the divine light that burned within them, that burns within each one of us?

To seriously consider these questions is to begin the journey. That journey took the wise men to the house where they found the answer to their questions in the arms of his mother, Mary. We may travel a different route than the wise men did but the answer is the same.”
~Michael Marsh

Saturday, January 4, 2014

A Star

 
Father,
You revealed Your Son to the nations
by the guidance of a star.
Lead us to Your glory in heaven
by the light of faith.

We ask this through our Lord Jesus Christ, Your Son,
who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever.

Amen.

~From a church prayer book
 

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Action of God in the Soul

“There is nothing so great or ideally beautiful as the action of God in the human soul. If we knew how to discern it in ourselves, our lives would be transformed. If we could see it in others we would love even more Him who is always in our midst, who acts in us, and who works marvels - these spiritual renewals that we shall understand only in eternity.”
~Elisabeth Leseur

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

2014: Beyond the gate...

I went into the little boat
I had crafted with wood and tears.
I rowed it to the true horizon
Beyond the gate of my fears.

~Xue Ao-li