Thursday, July 31, 2014

Family Life

"To maintain a joyful family requires much from both the parents and the children. Each member of the family has to become, in a special way, the servant of the others."

"The great danger for family life, in the midst of any society whose idols are pleasure, comfort and independence, lies in the fact that people close their hearts and become selfish."
~Pope John Paul II

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Near

"[He] is near. He is always near. He is sleeping within me, as the flower sleeps within the seed, or the fire within the ember, or the great truth breathing beneath the waves."
~Michael O'Brien

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Shine

"For all his gentleness and humility unto death on the Cross, God does not relinquish his attribute of being judge and consuming fire. Nothing is more majestic than his Passion; even his anxiety is sublime. And God never denies his attributes to those who are his light in the world. They shine like stars in the cosmos, and even their anxiety, if God allows it, bears the marks of their divine destiny."
~Hans Urs von Balthasar

Monday, July 28, 2014

Dreams of Home

And the sea will grant each man new hope, as sleep brings dreams of home
~From the movie: The Hunt for Red October

Sunday, July 27, 2014

O Blest Creator of the Light

O blest Creator of the light,
Who mak’st the day with radiance bright,
And o’er the forming world didst call
The light from chaos first of all;

Whose wisdom joined in meet array
The morn and eve, and named them Day:
Night comes with all its darkling fears;
Regard thy people’s prayers and tears.

Lest, sunk in sin, and whelm’d with strife,
They lose the gift of endless life;
While thinking but the thoughts of time,
They weave new chains of woe and crime.

But grant them grace that they may strain
The heav’nly gate and prize to gain:
Each harmful lure aside to cast,
And purge away each error past.

O Father, that we ask be done,
Through Jesus Christ, thine only Son;
Who, with the Holy Ghost and thee,
Doth live and reign eternally. Amen.

~Words: Latin, 6th Century (attributed to St. Gregory, 540-604) & Music: Jeremiah Clarke (Translation: John Mason Neale)

Thursday, July 24, 2014

A Masterpiece

"Not all are called to be artists in the specific sense of the term. Yet, as Genesis has it, all men and women are entrusted with the task of crafting their own life: in a certain sense, they are to make of it a work of art, a masterpiece."
~Pope John Paul II

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

The Problem of Pleasure

“It struck me, after reading my umpteenth book on the problem of pain, that I have never seen a book on ‘the problem of pleasure.’ Nor have I met a philosopher who goes around in head-shaking perplexity over the question of why we experience pleasure. Yet it looms as a huge question – the philosophical equivalent, for atheists, to the problem of pain for Christians.”
~Philip Yancey

“Shouldn't atheists have an equal obligation to explain pleasure in a world of randomness? Where does pleasure come from?”
~G. K. Chesterton (re-post)

Monday, July 21, 2014

Sleep

“Sleep is God's contrivance for giving us the help he cannot get into us when we are awake.”
~George MacDonald

Sunday, July 20, 2014

May the Lord help and guide us...

“However, of this much we must be sure. Never by our sole diligence or zeal nor by our most tireless efforts can we reach perfection. Human zeal is not enough to win the sublime rewards of blessedness. The Lord must be there to help us and to guide our hearts toward what is good. Every moment we must join in the prayer of David: ‘Direct my footsteps along Thy paths so that my feet do not move astray’ (Ps. 16:5) and ‘He has settled my feet on a rock and guided my footsteps’ (Ps. 39:3) – all this so that the invisible guide of the human spirit may direct back towards love of virtue our free will, which in its ignorance of the good and its obsession with passion is carried headlong into sin.”
~St. John Cassian

Saturday, July 19, 2014

barn on the farm


(Picture found here)
Sometimes words aren't needed...
 

Friday, July 18, 2014

From the Hollow of the Heart

Turn from that road's beguiling ease; return
to your hunger's turret. Enter, climb the stair
chill with disuse, where the croaking toad of time
regards from shimmering eyes your slow ascent
and the drip, drip, of darkness glimmers on the stone
to show you how your longing waits alone.
What alchemy shines from under that shut door,
spinning out gold from the hollow of the heart?
~Denise Levertov

Thursday, July 17, 2014

May God Fill Us

“One of the most fundamental problems in the spiritual order is that we sense within ourselves the hunger for God, but we attempt to satisfy it with some created good that is less than God. Thomas Aquinas said that the four typical substitutes for God are wealth, pleasure, power, and honor. Sensing the void within, we attempt to fill it up with some combination of these four things, but only by emptying out the self in love can we make the space for God to fill us.”
~Robert Barron

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

The Infinite Riches of the Present Moment

“The present moment holds infinite riches beyond your wildest dreams but you will only enjoy them to the extent of your faith and love. The more a soul loves, the more it longs, the more it hopes, the more it finds. The will of God is manifest in each moment, an immense ocean which the heart only fathoms in so far as it overflows with faith, trust, and love.”
~Jean-Pierre de Caussade

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

From the Introduction to “The Book of Job”

“The present importance of the book of Job cannot be expressed adequately even by saying that it is the most interesting of ancient books. We may almost say of the book of Job that it is the most interesting of modern books. In truth, of course, neither of the two phrases covers the matter, because fundamental human religion and fundamental human irreligion are both at once old and new; philosophy is either eternal or it is not philosophy. The modern habit of saying ‘This is my opinion, but I may be wrong’ is entirely irrational. If I say that it may be wrong, I say that is not my opinion. The modern habit of saying ‘Every man has a different philosophy; this is my philosophy and it suits me’ – the habit of saying this is mere weak-mindedness. A cosmic philosophy is not constructed to fit a man; a cosmic philosophy is constructed to fit a cosmos. A man can no more possess a private religion than he can possess a private sun and moon.”
~G. K. Chesterton

Monday, July 14, 2014

Through us...

“When we don’t work, time flows by us, we don’t assimilate it through ourselves.

Even rest should be creative, so that time doesn’t flow around us, but through us. This is art.”

~Anna Kamienska

Sunday, July 13, 2014

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 (re-posted)

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Joy

"God never tires of forgiving us; we are the ones who tire of seeking his mercy. Christ, who told us to forgive one another 'seventy times seven' (Mt 18:22) has given us his example: he has forgiven us seventy times seven. Time and time again he bears us on his shoulders. No one can strip us of the dignity bestowed upon us by this boundless and unfailing love. With a tenderness which never disappoints, but is always capable of restoring our joy, he makes it possible for us to lift up our heads and to start anew. Let us not flee from the resurrection of Jesus, let us never give up, come what will. May nothing inspire more than his life, which impels us onwards!"
~Pope Francis

Friday, July 11, 2014

Woods


(Picture found here)

I part the out thrusting branches
and come in beneath
the blessed and the blessing trees.
Though I am silent
there is singing around me.
Though I am dark
there is vision around me.
Though I am heavy
there is flight around me.

~Wendell Berry

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Listening Deep

It came to me that a river is flowing
somewhere inside the ocean, a crystal
muscle of water flexing under
the salt; and in it, trapped for centuries,
fish from a purer stream are living
in their old ways, fresh and strong.

It came to me as I was breathing,
one in a crowd of people waiting
inside a convention listening to speeches
that whispered something hidden in language
to save us. I felt that Amazon tug
for a minute, before the salt came back.

~William Stafford

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Psalm 49

Hear this, all you peoples,
give heed, all who dwell in the world,
men both high and low,
rich and poor alike!

My lips will speak words of wisdom.
My heart is full of insight.
I will turn my mind to a parable,
with the harp I will solve my problem.

Why should I fear in evil days
the malice of the foes who surround me,
men who trust in their wealth,
and boast of the vastness of their riches?

For no man can buy his own ransom,
or pay a price to God for his life.
The ransom of his soul is beyond him.
He cannot buy life without end,
nor avoid coming to the grave.

He knows that wise men and fools must both perish
and must leave their wealth to others.
Their graves are their homes for ever,
their dwelling place from age to age,
though their names spread wide through the land.

In his riches, man lacks wisdom;
he is like the beasts that are destroyed.

This is the lot of those who trust in themselves,
who have others at their beck and call.
Like sheep they are driven to the grave,
where death shall be their shepherd
and the just shall become their rulers.

With the morning their outward show vanishes
and the grave becomes their home.
But God will ransom me from death
and take my soul to himself.

Then do not fear when a man grows rich,
when the glory of his house increases.
He takes nothing with him when he dies,
his glory does not follow him below.

Though he flattered himself while he lived:
“Men will praise me for all my success,”
yet he will go to join his fathers,
and will never see the light any more.

In his riches, man lacks wisdom;
he is like the beasts that are destroyed.

“You cannot serve both God and mammon.” (Matthew 6:24)

“Store up for yourselves treasures in heaven,” says the Lord. (Matthew 6:20)

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Shock of Maturity

“I will tell you this much; it is the moment (not the year or the month, mind you, nor even the hour, but the very second) when a man is grown up, when he sees things as they are (that is, backwards), and feels solidly himself. Do I make myself clear? No matter, it is the Shock of Maturity, and that must suffice for you.”
~Hilaire Belloc

Monday, July 7, 2014

Joy vs. Happiness

“The difference between shallow happiness and a deep, sustaining joy is sorrow. Happiness lives where sorrow is not. When sorrow arrives, happiness dies. It can't stand pain. Joy, on the other hand, rises from sorrow and therefore can withstand all grief. Joy, by the grace of God, is the transfiguration of suffering into endurance, and of endurance into character, and of character into hope--and the hope that has become our joy does not (as happiness must for those who depend up on it) disappoint us.”
~Walter Wangerin, Jr.

Sunday, July 6, 2014

There Is A Fountain Filled With Blood

There is a fountain filled with blood drawn from Emmanuel’s veins;
And sinners plunged beneath that flood lose all their guilty stains.
Lose all their guilty stains, lose all their guilty stains;
And sinners plunged beneath that flood lose all their guilty stains.

The dying thief rejoiced to see that fountain in his day;
And there have I, though vile as he, washed all my sins away.
Washed all my sins away, washed all my sins away;
And there have I, though vile as he, washed all my sins away.

Dear dying Lamb, Thy precious blood shall never lose its power
Till all the ransomed church of God be saved, to sin no more.
Be saved, to sin no more, be saved, to sin no more;
Till all the ransomed church of God be saved, to sin no more.

E’er since, by faith, I saw the stream Thy flowing wounds supply,
Redeeming love has been my theme, and shall be till I die.
And shall be till I die, and shall be till I die;
Redeeming love has been my theme, and shall be till I die.

Then in a nobler, sweeter song, I’ll sing Thy power to save,
When this poor lisping, stammering tongue lies silent in the grave.
Lies silent in the grave, lies silent in the grave;
When this poor lisping, stammering tongue lies silent in the grave.

Lord, I believe Thou hast prepared, unworthy though I be,
For me a blood bought free reward, a golden harp for me!
’Tis strung and tuned for endless years, and formed by power divine,
To sound in God the Father’s ears no other name but Thine.

~Words: William Cowper & Music: "Cleansing Fountain"

Friday, July 4, 2014

Independence Day

“You have to love a nation that celebrates its independence every July 4, not with a parade of guns, tanks, and soldiers who file by the White House in a show of strength and muscle, but with family picnics where kids throw Frisbees, the potato salad gets iffy, and the flies die from happiness. You may think you have overeaten, but it is patriotism.”
~Erma Bombeck

Thursday, July 3, 2014

God our Savior

Praised be the God and Father
of our Lord Jesus Christ,
who has bestowed on us in Christ
every spiritual blessing in the heavens.

God chose us in Him
before the world began
to be holy
and blameless in His sight.

He predestined us
to be His adopted sons through Jesus Christ,
such was His will and pleasure,
that all might praise the glorious favor
He has bestowed on us in His beloved.

In Him and through His blood, we have been redeemed,
and our sins forgiven,
so immeasurably generous
is God’s favor to us.

For He has made known to us in all wisdom
and insight the mystery,
the plan He was pleased
to decree in Christ.

A plan to be carried out
in Christ, in the fullness of time,
to bring all things into one in Him,
in the heavens and on earth.
~Ephesians 1:3-10

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Summer at Blue Creek

“There was no water at my grandfather’s
when I was a kid and would go for it
with two zinc buckets. Down the path,
past the cow by the foundation where
the fine people’s house was before
they arranged to have it burned down.
To the neighbor’s cool well. Would
come back with pails too heavy,
so my mouth pulled out of shape.
I see myself, but from the outside.
I keep trying to feel who I was,
and cannot. Hear clearly the sound
the bucket made hitting the sides
of the stone well going down,
but never the sound of me.”
~Jack Gilbert

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Story

“Why does anybody tell a story? It does indeed have something to do with faith. Faith that the universe has meaning, that our little human lives are not irrelevant, that what we choose or say or do matters, matters cosmically.”
~Madeleine L'Engle