Friday, June 30, 2017

Prayer as Wing

It’s how physics plays with air
it’s how air plays with wings
it’s how birds, and If

the pressure on top of the wing
is less than that below, there is lift
-ing, yes it’s how Seven Swallows

just made it look easy

~Jeanie Tomasko

Thursday, June 29, 2017

Offering

“All that we do without offering it to God is wasted.”
~St. John Vianney

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

The Necessary Thing

“Don’t spend your energies on things that generate worry, anxiety, and anguish. Only one thing is necessary: lift up your spirit and love God.”
~St. Padre Pio

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

The Humble Heart

“Many rich and powerful men would pay dearly to see the Lord ... but God does not appear in riches, but in the humble heart.
...Any of the poorest of men can be humbled and come to know God. He needs neither money nor reputation to come to know God, but only humility.”
~St. Silouan

Monday, June 26, 2017

Good point...

“If you feel like fighting fire with fire, remember real firefighters use water.”
~Anonymous

Sunday, June 25, 2017

Ye Servants Of God

Ye servants of God, your Master proclaim,
And publish abroad His wonderful Name;
The Name all victorious of Jesus extol,
His kingdom is glorious and rules over all.

God ruleth on high, almighty to save,
And still He is nigh, His presence we have;
The great congregation His triumph shall sing,
Ascribing salvation to Jesus, our King.

“Salvation to God, who sits on the throne!”
Let all cry aloud and honor the Son;
The praises of Jesus the angels proclaim,
Fall down on their faces and worship the Lamb.

Then let us adore and give Him His right,
All glory and power, all wisdom and might;
All honor and blessing with angels above,
And thanks never ceasing and infinite love.

~Words: Charles Wesley & Music: Johann Haydn; arranged by William Gardiner

Saturday, June 24, 2017

Infinite Worth

“The religious life begins when we discover that God is not a postulate of ethics, but the only adventure in which it is worth the trouble to risk ourselves.”
~Nicolás Gómez Dávila

Friday, June 23, 2017

A Boy’s Head

In it there is a space-ship
and a project
for doing away with piano lessons.

And there is
Noah’s ark,
which shall be first.

And there is
an entirely new bird,
an entirely new hare,
an entirely new bumble-bee.

There is a river
that flows upwards.

There is a multiplication table.

There is anti-matter.

And it just cannot be trimmed.

I believe
that only what cannot be trimmed
is a head.

There is much promise
in the circumstance
that so many people have heads.

~Miroslav Holub (1923-1998), Czech poet

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Child of God

“It is better to be a child of God than king of the whole world.”
~St. Aloysius Gonzaga

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Equanimity

“Styles and approaches in prayer are very varied. Some people love the company of others when they pray, and the stimulus of words and music. My usual preference would be for stillness. One image of Newman’s has never failed to help me. In a sermon called ‘Equanimity’ he asks: ‘Did you ever look at an expanse of water, and observe the ripples on the surface? Do you think that disturbance penetrates below it?’ He goes on to speak of tempests and scenes of horror and distress at sea, but remarks, ‘The foundations of the ocean, the vast realms of water which girdle the earth, are as tranquil and as silent in the storm as in a calm.’ He uses it as an image for the souls of those who are holy: ‘They have a well of peace springing up within them unfathomable’ (PS v, p. 69). As the passage continues, he acknowledges how troubled we may sometimes be in fact, and indeed the tsunami at Christmas 2004 may seem to qualify the image further; but that tragic event cannot simply cancel it altogether. The appeal to tranquillity in the deep has given me encouragement to persevere in prayer beyond immediate difficulties in order to discover the strength and stillness of God.”
~Roderick Strange

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

From the Explanations of the Psalms

“What is more pleasing than a psalm? David expresses it well: Praise the Lord, for a song of praise is good: let there be praise of our God with gladness and grace. Yes, a psalm is a blessing on the lips of the people, a hymn in praise of God, the assembly’s homage, a general acclamation, a word that speaks for all, the voice of the Church, a confession of faith in song. It is the voice of complete assent, the joy of freedom, a cry of happiness, the echo of gladness. It soothes the temper, distracts from care, lightens the burden of sorrow. It is a source of security at night, a lesson in wisdom by day. It is a shield when we are afraid, a celebration of holiness, a vision of serenity, a promise of peace and harmony. It is like a lyre, evoking harmony from a blend of notes. Day begins to the music of a psalm. Day closes to the echo of a psalm.

In a psalm, instruction vies with beauty. We sing for pleasure. We learn for our profit. What experience is not covered by a reading of the psalms? I come across the words: A song for the beloved, and I am aflame with desire for God’s love. I go through God’s revelation in all its beauty, the intimations of resurrection, the gifts of his promise. I learn to avoid sin. I see my mistake in feeling ashamed of repentance for my sins.

What is a psalm but a musical instrument to give expression to all the virtues? The psalmist of old used it, with the aid of the Holy Spirit, to make earth re-echo the music of heaven. He used the dead gut of strings to create harmony from a variety of notes, in order to send up to heaven the song of God’s praise. In doing so he taught us that we must first die to sin, and then create in our lives on earth a harmony through virtuous deeds, if the grace of our devotion is to reach up to the Lord.

David thus taught us that we must sing an interior song of praise, like Saint Paul, who tells us: I shall pray in spirit, and also with understanding; I shall sing in spirit, and also with understanding. We must fashion our lives and shape our actions in the light of the things that are above. We must not allow pleasure to awaken bodily passions, which weigh our soul down instead of freeing it. The holy prophet told us that his songs of praise were to celebrate the freeing of his soul, when he said: I shall sing to you, God, on the lyre, holy one of Israel; my lips will rejoice when I have.”
~St. Ambrose

Monday, June 19, 2017

Circle of Happiness

I am a little kid
For you to love.
I am a little kid
For you to hug and kiss.
I am a little kid
For you to say,
“You are so special,
Yes you are” to.
I am a little kid
For all of those things
And more.
And when you
Feel and say and do
All of those things,
I will be a little kid
Who will hug and kiss you.
I will be a little kid
Who will say to you,
“You are so special, too,
Yes you are.”
I will be a little kid
Who will do all of those things
And more.
And that is what
Happiness
Is all about.

~Mattie J. T. Stepanek

Sunday, June 18, 2017

Father, We Thank Thee

Father, we thank thee who has planted
Thy holy Name within our hearts.
Knowledge and faith and life immortal
Jesus, thy Son, to us imparts.
Thou, Lord, didst make all for thy pleasure,
Didst give man food for all his days,
Giving in Christ the Bread eternal;
Thine is the power, be thine the praise.

Watch o’er thy Church, O Lord, in mercy,
Save it from evil, guard it still;
Perfect it in thy love, unite it,
Cleansed and conformed unto thy will.
As grain, once scattered on the hill sides,
Was in this broken bread made one,
So from all lands thy Church be gathered
Into thy kingdom by thy Son.

Tune: Rendez a Dieu 98.98 D
Music: Louis Bourgeois, 1543
Text: Didache, c. 110
Translation: F. Bland Tucker, 1941

Saturday, June 17, 2017

Consolation Grook

Losing one glove
is certainly painful,
but nothing
compared to the pain,
of losing one,
throwing away the other,
and finding

the first one again.

~Piet Hein

Friday, June 16, 2017

Nondiscipleship

“...It was right and good of Bonhoeffer to point out that one cannot be a disciple of Christ without forfeiting things normally sought in human life, and that one who pays little in the world’s coinage to bear his name has reason to wonder where he or she stands with God. But the cost of nondiscipleship is far greater—even when this life alone is considered—than the price paid to walk with Jesus, constantly learning from him.

Nondiscipleship costs abiding peace, a life penetrated throughout by love, faith that sees everything in the light of God’s overriding governance for good, hopefulness that stands firm in the most discouraging of circumstances, power to do what is right and withstand the forces of evil. In short, nondiscipleship costs you exactly that abundance of life Jesus said he came to bring (John 10:10). The cross-shaped yoke of Christ is after all an instrument of liberation and power to those who live in it with him and learn the meekness and lowliness of heart that brings rest to the soul.”
~Dallas Willard

Thursday, June 15, 2017

Discipleship

“Though costly, discipleship once had a very clear, straightforward meaning. The mechanics are not the same today. We cannot literally be with him in the same way as his first disciples could. But the priorities and intentions—the heart or inner attitudes—of disciples are forever the same. In the heart of a disciple there is a desire, and there is a decision or settled intent. Having come to some understanding of what it means, and thus having ‘counted up the costs,’ the disciple of Christ desires above all else to be like him. Thus, ‘it is enough for the disciple to be like the teacher’ (Matthew 10:25). And moreover, ‘everyone who is fully qualified will be like the teacher’ (Luke 6:40).

Given this desire, usually produced by the lives and words of those already in the Way, there is still a decision to be made: the decision to devote oneself to becoming like Christ. The disciple is one who, intent upon becoming Christ-like and so dwelling in his ‘faith and practice,’ systematically and progressively rearranges his affairs to that end. By these decisions and actions, even today, one enrolls in Christ’s training, becomes his pupil or disciple. There is no other way...”
~Dallas Willard

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Rest

“Rest is the conversation between what we love to do and how we love to be. Rest is the essence of giving and receiving; an act of remembering, imaginatively and intellectually but also physiologically and physically. To rest is to give up on the already exhausted will as the prime motivator of endeavor, with its endless outward need to reward itself through established goals. To rest is to give up on worrying and fretting and the sense that there is something wrong with the world unless we are there to put it right; to rest is to fall back literally or figuratively from outer targets and shift the goal not to an inner static bull’s eye, an imagined state of perfect stillness, but to an inner state of natural exchange.

...A deep experience of rest is the template of perfection in the human imagination, a perspective from which we are able to perceive the outer specific forms of our work and our relationships whilst being nourished by the shared foundational gift of the breath itself. From this perspective we can be rested while putting together an elaborate meal for an arriving crowd, whilst climbing the highest mountain or sitting at home surrounded by the chaos of a loving family.

Rested, we are ready for the world but not held hostage by it, rested we care again for the right things and the right people in the right way. In rest we reestablish the goals that make us more generous, more courageous, more of an invitation, someone we want to remember, and someone others would want to remember too.”
~David Whyte

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Nothing Is Lost

Deep in our subconscious, we are told,
Lie all our memories, lie all the notes
Of all the music we have ever heard
And all the phrases those we loved have spoken,
Sorrows and losses time has since consoled,
Family jokes, outmoded anecdotes
Each sentimental souvenir and token
Everything seen, experienced, each word
Addressed to us in infancy,
Before we could even know or understand
The implications of our wonderland.
There they all are, the legendary lies
The birthday treats, the sights, the sounds, the tears
Forgotten debris of forgotten years
Waiting to be recalled, waiting to rise
Before our world dissolves before our eyes
Waiting for some small, intimate reminder,
A word, a tune, a known familiar scent
An echo from the past when, innocent
We looked upon the present with delight
And doubted not the future would be kinder
And never knew the loneliness of night.

~Noël Coward

Monday, June 12, 2017

Progress Toward God

“A man must not try to settle down in this world if he truly wishes to make progress toward God, if he wishes to make profitable use of time to advance toward eternity. The infinite loftiness of our supernatural end demands a special abnegation in regard to whatever is simply human, even though legitimate, for we might become absorbed in it to the detriment of the life of grace.”
~Reginald Garrigou-Lagrange

Sunday, June 11, 2017

The Great Strength of His love

“...He shows the great strength of His love. Large and infinite was the interval between the two. He, the immortal, who is without beginning, the Infinite Majesty, they but dust and ashes, full of ten thousand sins, who, ungrateful, have at all times offended Him; and these He loved. Again, the words which He added after these are alike significant, when He says, that He gave His Only-begotten Son, not a servant, not an Angel, not an Archangel. And yet no one would show such anxiety for his own child, as God did for His ungrateful servants.

...If we see a man submitting to sufferings and death for us, we set him before all others, count him among our chief friends, place in his hands all that is ours, and deem it rather his than ours, and even so do not think that we give him the return that he deserves. But towards Christ we do not preserve even this degree of right feeling. He laid down His life for us, and poured forth His precious Blood for our sakes, who were neither well-disposed nor good, while we do not pour out even our money for our own sakes, and neglect Him who died for us, when He is naked and a stranger; and who shall deliver us from the punishment that is to come? For suppose that it were not God that punishes, but that we punished ourselves; should we not give our vote against ourselves? Should we not sentence ourselves to the very fire of hell, for allowing Him who laid down His life for us, to pine with hunger? But why speak I of money? Had we ten thousand lives, ought we not to lay them all down for Him? And yet not even so could we do what His benefits deserve.”
~St. John Chrysostom

Saturday, June 10, 2017

Romans 15:1-3

We who are strong in faith should be patient with the scruples of those whose faith is weak; we must not be selfish. Each should please his neighbor so as to do him good by building up his spirit. Thus, in accord with Scripture, Christ did not please himself: “The reproaches they uttered against you fell on me.”

Friday, June 9, 2017

Hymn to the Light

The Light of the just and joy of the upright is Christ Jesus our Lord.
Begotten of the Father, He manifested himself to us.
He came to rescue us from darkness and to fill us with the radiance of His light.
Day is dawning upon us; the power of darkness is fading away.

From the true Light there arises for us the light which illumines our darkened eyes.
His glory shines upon the world and enlightens the very depths of the abyss.
Death is annihilated, night has vanished, and the gates of Sheol are broken.
Creatures lying in darkness from ancient times are clothed in light.
The dead arise from the dust and sing because they have a Savior.
He brings salvation and grants us life. He ascends to his Father on high.
He will return in glorious splendor and shed His light on those gazing upon Him.

Our King comes in majestic glory.

Let us light our lamps and go forth to meet Him.
Let us find our joy in Him, for He has found joy in us.
He will indeed rejoice us with His marvelous light.

Let us glorify the majesty of the Son and give thanks to the almighty Father
Who, in an outpouring of love, sent Him to us, to fill us with hope and salvation.
When He manifests Himself, the saints awaiting Him in weariness and sorrow,
will go forth to meet Him with lighted lamps.

The angels and guardians of heaven will rejoice
in the glory of the just and upright people of earth;
Together crowned with victory,
they will sing hymns and psalms.

Stand up then and be ready!
Give thanks to our King and Savior,
Who will come in great glory to gladden us
with His marvelous light in His kingdom.

~St. Ephrem the Syrian

Thursday, June 8, 2017

No Love Without The Holy Spirit

“How do you know whether you have received the Holy Spirit? Question your heart. If you love your brother and sister, the Spirit of God abides in you. Examine yourself before the eyes of God; see if there is in you a love of unity of peace, and a love for the church spread throughout the whole world. 

Take care not to love only the person in front of you: we do not see many sisters and brothers, but we are united to them in the unity of Spirit. What cause is there to marvel that they are not with us? We are in one body; we have one head in heaven.

So, if you want to know if you have received the Holy Spirit, ask your heart: if fraternal charity is there, you can rest easy, for there can be no love without the Holy Spirit. As St. Paul says, the charity of God is poured forth in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who is given to us. (Romans 5:5)”
~Ludolph of Saxony (Easter Meditations From the Vita Christi)

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Change

“The vision has come; it cannot simply open my eyes to new things in life without thereby altering that very life itself. Not only shall I find that what seemed to me before to be evil now appears to me to be a blessing; but on that very account, what before I tried to avoid, or, having got, tried to be rid of, I shall now accept, perhaps even seek. Similarly, whereas when I was weak, now I am strong’ and increase of strength means new activities, new energy put into the old work and finding its way into works altogether new. ... Once upon a time I thought happiness meant comfort; now I see that it means something quite different. My view of happiness has changed. I am therefore obliged to change also my idea as to the means and conditions whereby, and in which, happiness can be found.”
~Bede Jarrett

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Noise

“Noise is a deceptive, addictive, and false tranquilizer. The tragedy of our world is never better summed up than in the fury of senseless noise that stubbornly hates silence. This age detests the things that silence brings us to: encounter, wonder, and kneeling before God.”
~Robert Cardinal Sarah

Monday, June 5, 2017

The best poem ever

What if, says a small child to me this afternoon,
We made a poem without using any words at all?
Wouldn’t that be cool? You could use long twigs,
And feathers, or spider strands, and arrange them
So that people imagine what words could be there.
Wouldn’t that be cool? So there’s a different poem
For each reader. That would be the best poem ever.
The poem wouldn’t be on the page, right? It would
Be in the air, sort of. It would be between the twigs
And the person’s eyes, or behind the person’s eyes,
After the person saw whatever poem he or she saw.
Maybe there are a lot of poems that you can’t write
Down. Couldn’t that be? But they’re still there even
If no one can write them down, right? Poems in
Books are only a little bit of all the poems there are.
Those are only the poems someone found words for.

~Brian Doyle

Sunday, June 4, 2017

Come Down, O Love Divine

Come down, O love divine, seek Thou this soul of mine,
And visit it with Thine own ardor glowing.
O Comforter, draw near, within my heart appear,
And kindle it, Thy holy flame bestowing.

O let it freely burn, til earthly passions turn
To dust and ashes in its heat consuming;
And let Thy glorious light shine ever on my sight,
And clothe me round, the while my path illuming.

Let holy charity mine outward vesture be,
And lowliness become mine inner clothing;
True lowliness of heart, which takes the humbler part,
And o’er its own shortcomings weeps with loathing.

And so the yearning strong, with which the soul will long,
Shall far outpass the power of human telling;
For none can guess its grace, till he become the place
Wherein the Holy Spirit makes His dwelling.

~Words: Bianco of Siena & Music: Ralph Vaughn Williams (re-post)

Saturday, June 3, 2017

Awaken the Light

“When you have once seen the glow of happiness on the face of a beloved person, you know that a man can have no vocation but to awaken that light on the faces surrounding him.”
~Albert Camus

Friday, June 2, 2017

Humility

“The word ‘humility’ comes from the Latin word ‘humus’ which means fertile ground... Humility is the situation of the earth. The earth is always there, always taken for granted, never remembered, always trodden on by everyone, somewhere we cast and pour out all the refuse, all we don’t need. It’s there, silent and accepting everything and in a miraculous way making out of all the refuse new richness in spite of corruption, transforming corruption itself into a power of life and a new possibility of creativeness, open to the sunshine, open to the rain, ready to receive any seed we sow and capable of bringing thirtyfold, sixtyfold, a hundredfold out of every seed.”
~Anthony Bloom

Thursday, June 1, 2017

The Gift of the Holy Spirit

“It is quite right that you should feel that ‘something terrific’ has happened to you (It has) and be ‘all glowy.’ Accept these sensations with thankfulness as birthday cards from God, but remember that they are only greetings, not the real gift. I mean, it is not the sensations that are the real thing. The real thing is the gift of the Holy Spirit which can’t usually be—perhaps not ever—experienced as a sensation or emotion. The sensations are merely the response of your nervous system. Don’t depend on them. Otherwise when they go and you are once more emotionally flat (as you certainly will be quite soon), you might think that the real thing had gone too. But it won’t. It will be there when you can’t feel it. May even be most operative when you can feel it least.”
~C. S. Lewis