There is cause for rejoicing here. You may for a time have to suffer the distress of many trials; but this is so that your faith, which is more precious than the passing splendor of fire-tried gold, may by its genuineness lead to praise, glory, and honor when Jesus Christ appears. Although you have never seen him, you love him, and without seeing you now believe in him, and rejoice with inexpressible joy touched with glory because you are achieving faith’s goal, your salvation.
Friday, July 31, 2015
Thursday, July 30, 2015
"A virgin conceived, bore a son, and yet remained a virgin. This is no common occurrence, but a sign; no reason here, but God’s power, for He is the cause, and not nature. It is a special event, not shared by others; it is divine, not human. Christ’s birth was not necessity, but an expression of omnipotence, a sacrament of piety for the redemption of men. He who made man without generation from pure clay made man again and was born from a pure body. The hand that assumed clay to make our flesh deigned to assume a body for our salvation. That the Creator is in His creature and God is in the flesh brings dignity to man without dishonor to Him who made him.
Why then, man, are you so worthless in your own eyes and yet so precious to God? Why render yourself such dishonor when you are honored by Him? Why do you ask how you were created and do not seek to know why you were made? Was not this entire visible universe made for your dwelling? It was for you that the light dispelled the overshadowing gloom; for your sake was the night regulated and the day measured, and for you were the heavens embellished with the varying brilliance of the sun, the moon and the stars. The earth was adorned with flowers, groves and fruit; and the constant marvellous variety of lovely living things was created in the air, the fields, and the seas for you, lest sad solitude destroy the joy of God’s new creation. And the Creator still works to devise things that can add to your glory. He has made you in His image that you might in your person make the invisible Creator present on earth; He has made you His legate, so that the vast empire of the world might have the Lord’s representative. Then in His mercy God assumed what He made in you; He wanted now to be truly manifest in man, just as He had wished to be revealed in man as in an image. Now He would be in reality what He had submitted to be in symbol.
And so Christ is born that by His birth He might restore our nature. He became a child, was fed, and grew that He might inaugurate the one perfect age to remain for ever as He had created it. He supports man that man might no longer fall. And the creature He had formed of earth He now makes heavenly; and what He had endowed with a human soul He now vivifies to become a heavenly spirit. In this way He fully raised man to God, and left in him neither sin, nor death, nor travail, nor pain, nor anything earthly, with the grace of our Lord Christ Jesus, who lives and reigns with the Father in the unity of the Holy Spirit, now and for ever, for all the ages of eternity. Amen."
~St. Peter Chrysologus (380 - 450)
Tuesday, July 28, 2015
~Charles de Foucauld
Monday, July 27, 2015
So the Man put the Boy on the Donkey and they went on their way. But soon they passed a group of men, one of whom said: "See that lazy youngster, he lets his father walk while he rides."
So the Man ordered his Boy to get off, and got on himself. But they hadn't gone far when they passed two women, one of whom said to the other: "Shame on that lazy lout to let his poor little son trudge along."
Well, the Man didn't know what to do, but at last he took his Boy up before him on the Donkey. By this time they had come to the town, and the passers-by began to jeer and point at them. The Man stopped and asked what they were scoffing at. The men said: "Aren't you ashamed of yourself for overloading that poor donkey with you and your hulking son?"
The Man and Boy got off and tried to think what to do. They thought and they thought, till at last they cut down a pole, tied the donkey's feet to it, and raised the pole and the donkey to their shoulders. They went along amid the laughter of all who met them till they came to Market Bridge, when the Donkey, getting one of his feet loose, kicked out and caused the Boy to drop his end of the pole. In the struggle the Donkey fell over the bridge, and his fore-feet being tied together he was drowned.
"That will teach you," said an old man who had followed them:
"Please all, and you will please none."
Saturday, July 25, 2015
"Harmony is defined by St. Thomas Aquinas as 'an effect of charity, which does not necessarily imply unity of opinion, but of wills.' Hence familial harmony depends not on unity of opinion--often a rare and tenuous commodity between man and woman--but upon a unity of wills."
Friday, July 24, 2015
|(Picture found here)|
Thursday, July 23, 2015
Reflecting on these truths was consoling, but it was more than that. It opened up to me a whole new vision of Siberia and the pain and suffering that went on around me. It seemed to me that I could see arising out of the devastated and blighted lives around me a whole new Church to come—if only there were laborers enough for the vineyard. A Church of men and women full of sacrifice and total dedication was in the process of formation here. A Church formed out of a generation of persecution and frustration, tried as gold in the furnace. A Church of new leaders, survivors of these camps and living in a militantly atheistic country, yet aware of how totally all things depended upon God alone, unable to worship publicly perhaps and yet united to the entire mystical body of Christ called the Church. That saving remnant, perhaps, of which Isaiah spoke. A people who accepted persecution with joy might see in their own trials and sufferings the true Christian work of redeeming the world about them, of being the leaven in the mass. ‘For who has known the mind of the Lord or who has been his counselor? My ways are not your ways, says the Lord; as far as the heavens are above the earth are my ways above your ways.’ Perhaps, in God’s providence, there might result from all this suffering something new and precious in the mystical body: zealous Christians, with a new ideal of dedication to offer the Church existing in the world as a human institution. In God’s providence, this Church under persecution—these suffering Christians—constantly enriched the Church upon earth, the mystical body of Christ.”
Wednesday, July 22, 2015
~Charlotte Brontë (Excerpt from Jane Eyre)
Tuesday, July 21, 2015
“With the smoke of the dead sailor's cigar wreathing around him, Willie passed to thinking about death and life and luck and God. Philosophers are at home with such thoughts, perhaps, but for other people it is actual torture when these concepts--not the words, the realities--break through the crust of daily occurrences and grip the soul. A half hour of such racking meditation can change the ways of a lifetime.”
Monday, July 20, 2015
Sunday, July 19, 2015
The apostles gathered together with Jesus
and reported all they had done and taught.
He said to them,
“Come away by yourselves to a deserted place and rest a while.”
People were coming and going in great numbers,
and they had no opportunity even to eat.
So they went off in the boat by themselves to a deserted place.
People saw them leaving and many came to know about it.
They hastened there on foot from all the towns
and arrived at the place before them.
When he disembarked and saw the vast crowd,
his heart was moved with pity for them,
for they were like sheep without a shepherd;
and he began to teach them many things.
Saturday, July 18, 2015
Thursday, July 16, 2015
While we were yet helpless, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. Why, one will hardly die for a righteous man—though perhaps for a good man one will dare even to die. But God shows his love for us in that while we were yet sinners Christ died for us. Since, therefore, we are now justified by his blood, much more shall we be saved by him from the wrath of God. For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, now that we are reconciled, shall we be saved by his life. Not only so, but we also rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received our reconciliation.
Wednesday, July 15, 2015
“When you wake up in the morning, Pooh,” said Piglet at last, “what’s the first thing you say to yourself?”
“What’s for breakfast?” said Pooh. “What do you say, Piglet?”
“I say, I wonder what’s going to happen exciting today?” said Piglet.
Pooh nodded thoughtfully. “It’s the same thing,” he said.
~A. A. Milne
Tuesday, July 14, 2015
In reading Chesterton, as in reading MacDonald, I did not know what I was letting myself in for. A young man who wishes to remain a sound Atheist cannot be too careful of his reading. There are traps everywhere — ‘Bibles laid open, millions of surprises,’ as Herbert says, ‘fine nets and stratagems.’ God is, if I may say it, very unscrupulous.”
~C. S. Lewis
Monday, July 13, 2015
|(Chapelle Saint Michel d'Aiguilhe - found here)|
Sunday, July 12, 2015
So we should at long last rouse ourselves, prompted by the words of Scripture: Now is the time for us to rise from sleep. Our eyes should be open to the God-given light, and we should listen in wonderment to the message of the divine voice as it daily cries out: Today, if you shall hear his voice, harden not your hearts; and again: If anyone has ears to hear, let him listen to what the Spirit is saying to the churches. And what does the Spirit say? Come my sons, listen to me; I will teach you the fear of the Lord, Hurry, while you have the light of life, so that death’s darkness may not overtake you.
And the Lord as he seeks the one who will do his work among the throng of people to whom he makes that appeal, says again: Which of you wants to live to the full; who loves long life and the enjoyment of prosperity? And, if when you hear this you say, I do, God says to you: If you desire true and everlasting life, keep your tongue from evil and your lips from deceit, turn away from evil and do good; seek peace and pursue it. And when you have done these things my eyes will be upon you and before you call upon my name I shall say to you: Behold, I am here. What could be more delightful, dearest brothers, than the voice of our Lord’s invitation to us? In his loving kindness he reveals to us the way of life.
Just as there exists an evil fervor, a bitter spirit, which divides us from God and leads us to hell, so there is a good fervor which sets us apart from evil inclinations and leads us toward God and eternal life. Monks should put this fervor into practice with an overflowing love: that is, they should surpass each other in mutual esteem, accept their weaknesses, either of body or of behavior, with the utmost patience; and vie with each other in acceding to requests. No one should follow what he considers to be good for himself, but rather what seems good for another. They should display brotherly love in a chaste manner; fear God in a spirit of love; revere their abbot with a genuine and submissive affection. Let them put Christ before all else; and may he lead us all to everlasting life.”
~From the Rule of Saint Benedict
Saturday, July 11, 2015
|("Watermelon Slice" by Nina Aide - found here)|
2 When boys were the stuff of super men,
3 And summers seemed so much longer too,
4 With nothing pending and nothing due.
5 We were swordsmen—swashbuckling heroes,
6 Eternal victors—never zeroes;
7 Second basemen and clean-up hitters;
8 Forever winners, never quitters.
9 Play was a ritual in those days,
10 To go on magical mind forays,
11 To play the game with aplomb and ease,
12 To venture forth when and where we’d please.
13 We would feign death, and then rise up again.
14 Watermelons were so much sweeter then.
Friday, July 10, 2015
Wednesday, July 8, 2015
Tuesday, July 7, 2015
|(La Varenne de Saint Hilaire by Camille Pissarro - found here)|
“All the sorrow, all the bitterness, all the sadness, I forget them and ignore them in the joy of working.”
Monday, July 6, 2015
Sunday, July 5, 2015
Friday, July 3, 2015
Wednesday, July 1, 2015
~J. R. R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings