Thursday, December 31, 2009

Another year is Dawning

Another year is dawning,
Dear Master, let it be,
In working, or in waiting,
Another year with Thee.

Another year of mercies,
Of faithfulness and grace;
Another year of gladness
In the shining of Thy face.

Another year of progress,
Another year of praise,
Another year of proving
Thy presence all the days.

Another year of service,
Of witness of Thy love,
Another year of training
For holier work above.

Another year is dawning,
Dear Master, let it be
On earth, or else in heaven
Another year for Thee.

~ Francis Ridley Havergal --1874

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

God be in My Head

God be in my head, and in my understanding;
God be in mine eyes, and in my looking;
God be in my mouth, and in my speaking;
God be in my heart, and in my thinking;
God be at mine end, and at my departing.

~ Sarum Primer, 1558

You come down from the stars...

You come down from the stars
Oh King of Heavens,
And you come in a cave
In the cold, in the frost.
And you come in a cave
In the cold, in the frost.

Oh my Divine Baby
I see you trembling here,
Oh Blessed God
Ah, how much it cost you,
Your loving me.
Ah, how much it cost you,
Your loving me.

For you, who are of all the world
The creator,
No robes and fire,
Oh my Lord,
No robes and fire,
Oh my Lord.

Dear chosen one, little infant,
This dire poverty,
Makes me love you more,
Since Love made you
Poor now,
Since Love made you
Poor now.

~ 18th century

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Saint Thomas Becket

There is a romantic legend that the mother of Thomas Becket was a Saracen princess who followed his father, a pilgrim or crusader, back from the Holy Land, and wandered about Europe repeating the only English words she knew, "London" and "Becket," until she found him. There is no foundation for the story. According to a contemporary writer, Thomas Becket was the son of Gilbert Becket, sheriff of London; another relates that both parents were of Norman blood. Whatever his parentage, we know with certainty that the future chancellor and archbishop of Canterbury was born on St. Thomas day, 1118, of a good family, and that he was educated at a school of canons regular at Merton Priory in Sussex, and later at the University of Paris. When Thomas returned from France, his parents had died. Obliged to make his way unaided, he obtained an appointment as clerk to the sheriff's court, where he showed great ability. All accounts describe him as a strongly built, spirited youth, a lover of field sports, who seems to have spent his leisure time in hawking and hunting. One day when he was out hunting with his falcon, the bird swooped down at a duck, and as the duck dived, plunged after it into the river. Thomas himself leapt in to save the valuable hawk, and the rapid stream swept him along to a mill, where only the accidental stopping of the wheel saved his life. The episode serves to illustrate the impetuous daring which characterized Becket all through his life.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Of the Father's Love Begotten

Of the Fathers love begotten, ere the worlds began to be,
He is Alpha and Omega, He the source, the ending He,
Of the things that are, that have been,
And that future years shall see, evermore and evermore!

At His Word the worlds were framèd; He commanded; it was done:
Heaven and earth and depths of ocean in their threefold order one;
All that grows beneath the shining
Of the moon and burning sun, evermore and evermore!

O that birth forever blessèd, when the virgin, full of grace,
By the Holy Ghost conceiving, bare the Saviour of our race;
And the Babe, the worlds Redeemer,
First revealed His sacred face, evermore and evermore!

This is He Whom seers in old time chanted of with one accord;
Whom the voices of the prophets promised in their faithful word;
Now He shines, the long expected,
Let creation praise its Lord, evermore and evermore!

O ye heights of heaven adore Him; angel hosts, His praises sing;
Powers, dominions, bow before Him, and extol our God and King!
Let no tongue on earth be silent,
Every voice in concert sing, evermore and evermore!

Christ, to Thee with God the Father, and, O Holy Ghost, to Thee,
Hymn and chant with high thanksgiving, and unwearied praises be:
Honour, glory, and dominion,
And eternal victory, evermore and evermore!

Christ's Birth

Each year when vapours melt and wane,
Child Jesus Christ is born again;
The Angel in air, in grove, in sea,
It is the Saviour, it is He.
Wherefore all Nature, with serene
Rejoicing, buds in hopeful green.

Now the young stainless shepherd lads,
Watching the stars' high myriads,
See God's angels in fields of night
Assemble, trembling in cool moonlight.
"To-day a Saviour is born," they sing,
"From gentle Mary's womb, from spring.

"His only drink is the earliest dew,
His eyes gaze heavenward into the blue,
His hands reach heavenward; they are bound
With garlands of roses to the ground.
His cry is the breeze, in the straw he lies,
Blue heaven mirrored in his eyes.

"Ah shepherds, go to Bethlehem;
Seek the cold-hearted, counsel them
To go into the fields, and find
The laughing Child, green grass-entwined,
And hear his voice, and see his smile,
That heaven may lift the earth awhile."

The hovering angels reascend.
To Bethlehem the shepherds wend,
And tell their happy news, but they
Are scorned, and mocked, and turned away
Back to the meadows, where the sod
Blooms with the new-born Child of God.

The stars stretch forth their silver hands
And beckon the kings of the eastern lands;
The rays come singing with holy sound
And humbly sink to the living ground,
Praising the Lord made manifest,
Who smiles from the Mother's lovely breast.

They rise again from the darkened mould
In petals of purple, crimson, and gold,
Innocent children, devout and fair,
Half-lifted, half-bent to the earth in prayer,
Holding their yellow urns astir
With the sweetness of frankincense and myrrh.

~ Adam Gottlob Oehlenschlaeger

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Ecce quod natura

Behold! A new joy!
Behold! A new wonder!
A Virgin, who knew not a man,
bears a son.
She knew not a man, but
as the pear-tree bears the pear, the
flourishing papyrus brings the lily from
the soil.

See how nature
changes her laws:
a pure virgin bears the son of God.

God, seeing the world,
lamentable in its ruin,
has brought forth a delightful rose
from a thorn.
From a thorn he has brought forth
from a queen a son,
who is the remedy and salvation of the peoples.

Divinity could not
have come lower,
Nor could our flesh
have been more exalted,
put on a level with God,
established in heaven,
by marriage.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

The First Noel

Bleak Midwinter

In the bleak mid-winter
Frosty wind made moan,
Earth stood hard as iron,
Water like a stone;
Snow had fallen, snow on snow,
Snow on snow,
In the bleak mid-winter
Long ago.

Our God, Heaven cannot hold Him
Nor earth sustain;
Heaven and earth shall flee away
When He comes to reign:
In the bleak mid-winter
A stable-place sufficed
The Lord God Almighty,
Jesus Christ.

Enough for Him, whom cherubim
Worship night and day,
A breastful of milk
And a mangerful of hay;
Enough for Him, whom angels
Fall down before,
The ox and ass and camel
Which adore.

Angels and archangels
May have gathered there,
Cherubim and seraphim
Thronged the air,
But only His mother
In her maiden bliss,
Worshipped the Beloved
With a kiss.

What can I give Him,
Poor as I am?
If I were a shepherd
I would bring a lamb,
If I were a wise man
I would do my part,
Yet what I can I give Him,
Give my heart.

Monday, December 21, 2009

People, Look East

1. People, look east. The time is near
Of the crowning of the year.
Make your house fair as you are able,
Trim the hearth and set the table.
People, look east and sing today:
Love, the guest, is on the way.

2. Furrows, be glad. Though earth is bare,
One more seed is planted there:
Give up your strength the seed to nourish,
That in course the flower may flourish.
People, look east and sing today:
Love, the rose, is on the way.

3. Birds, though you long have ceased to build,
Guard the nest that must be filled.
Even the hour when wings are frozen
God for fledging time has chosen.
People, look east and sing today:
Love, the bird, is on the way.

4. Stars, keep the watch. When night is dim
One more light the bowl shall brim,
Shining beyond the frosty weather,
Bright as sun and moon together.
People, look east and sing today:
Love, the star, is on the way.

5. Angels, announce with shouts of mirth
Christ who brings new life to earth.
Set every peak and valley humming
With the word, the Lord is coming.
People, look east and sing today:
Love, the Lord, is on the way.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Night Prayer

Christmas Madonna

The lights that fill Our Lady's eyes
Flood not from merely mortal skies.
Our Lady is the stirring word
Archangel Michael may have heard,
Pure Maiden in a Virgin's white,
Yet Mother throned on highest height.
Whose arms were nest God made His own,
Whose lap He fashioned for His throne;
Whose Motherhood is the one rose
Like which no other flower grows.
Although no mortal holds her place
Humbleness is sweet upon her face.
Because she holds One at her side
Her arms to all are Mother-wide;
For each tired heart calm on her breast
Is her own Son obtaining rest.
Each knows a kiss sweet with all grace
From lips that brush God's Infant face;
Each lives the golden childhood dream
That Beauty is and does not seem,
That by Her hearts might ever stay
And never note the passing day,
In joy of being by her side
As Jesus was at Christmastide.
I think though I would always sing
Of Her, my song be futile thing.
For She is Music from Above,
But I pipe earthly notes of love.

~Albert Joseph Herbert

Friday, December 18, 2009

Bog moj i sve moje

Watch, O Lord, with those who wake, or watch, or
weep tonight, and give your angels charge over
those who sleep.
Tend your sick ones, O Lord Christ.
Rest your weary ones.
Bless your dying ones.
Soothe your suffering ones.
Pity your afflicted ones.
Shield your joyous ones.
And for all your love's sake. Amen.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Heaven Overarches

Heaven overarches earth and sea,
Earth-sadness and sea-bitterness;
Heaven overarches you and me:
A little while and we shall be
(Please God) where there is no more sea
Nor barren wilderness.
Heaven overarches you and me
And all earth’s gardens and her graves:
Look up with me, until we see
The day break and the shadows flee;
What tho’ tonight wrecks you and me,
If so tomorrow saves?

~ Christina Rossetti


Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Waiting ...

A prison cell, in which one waits, hopes...
and is completely dependent on the fact
that the door of freedom
has to be opened from the outside...
is not a bad picture of Advent.

My love my treasured one are you
my sweet and lovely son are you
you are my love my darling you
Unworthy I of you

Alleluia ...

Your mild and gentle eyes proclaim
the loving heart with which you came
a tender helpless tiny babe
with boundless gifts of grace


King of kings most holy one
God a son eternal one
You are my God and helpless son
My ruler of mankind


Monday, December 14, 2009

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Waiting ~

Sometimes it seems as though we spend our lives waiting. Daydreaming about an upcoming vacation, worrying over a medical test, preparing for the birth of grandchild-our days are filled with anticipation and anxiety over what the future holds. As Christians, we too spend our lives waiting. But we are waiting for something much bigger than a trip, bigger even than retirement or a wedding: We are waiting for the return of Jesus in glory. Advent heightens this sense of waiting, because it marks not only our anticipation of Jesus' final coming, but also our remembrance of his arrival into our world more than 2,000 years ago.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Ave Maria

Ave Maria, gratia plena,
Dominus tecum,
benedicta tu in mulieribus,
et benedictus fructus ventris tui Iesus.
Sancta Maria mater Dei,
ora pro nobis peccatoribus, nunc, et in hora mortis nostrae.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

The Bird of Dawning

Some say that ever 'gainst the season comes,
Wherein our Saviour's birth is celebrated,
The bird of dawning singeth all night long;
And then, they say, no spirit dare stir abroad;
The nights are wholesome; then no planets strike,
No fairy takes, or witch hath power to charm,
So hallow'd and so gracious is that time.

~ William Shakespeare

Wake Up

Each year, God asks us to shed one more coat of awareness, one more dream state and come alive to the vision of God’s plan for each of us and the world-at-large.

The older we get, the harder this is to do. As children we had a sense of wonder. Our eyes were wide open and drinking in the fascinating gifts we beheld…Our thirsty souls could not have enough of the wonders of creation.

Then, somehow, we grew too old to dream. We tired of the abundance of the world, or at least grew weary of keeping up with the feast of life, and stepped away from the banquet of life.

The natural gift of wonder God gave us as children was meant to be kept alive.…Instead we let wonder go to sleep. We entered the typical dream state of most humans.

Why else does Jesus tell us today, ‘Stay awake!’…

Advent says, ‘Wake up and realize the gifts of love you have received.’…

Psychology says-- ‘Let go.’ Spirituality says-- ‘Wake up.’

In both cases there is a withdrawal from the busyness of daily life (our dream state) and a waking up to the subconscious and spiritual depths of ourselves.

~ Alfred McBride

Monday, December 7, 2009

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Personent Hodie

On this day earth shall ring
With a song children sing
To the Lord, Christ our king,
Born on earth to save us,
Him the Father gave us,
Ideo, gloria, in excelsis deo.

His the dule*, ours the mirth
When he came down to earth
Bethlehem saw his birth,
Ox and ass beside him
From the cold would hide him.
Ideo, gloria, in excelsis deo.

Sing aloud on this day,
Children all raise the lay
Cheerfully we and they
Hasten to adore thee.
Sent from highest glory.
For us born on this morn
Of the Virgin Mary.

Magi three traveling,
Their gifts offering,
A star following
In the east was shining
Their pathways guiding
Frankincense, gold, and myrrh
Were the gifts they offered.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Friday, December 4, 2009


This Advent moon shines cold and clear,   
These Advent nights are long; 
Our lamps have burned year after year,   
And still their flame is strong. 
“Watchman, what of the night?” we cry,   
Heart-sick with hope deferred: 
“No speaking signs are in the sky,”   
Is still the watchman’s word.  
The Porter watches at the gate,   
The servants watch within; 
The watch is long betimes and late,   
The prize is slow to win. 
“Watchman, what of the night?” but still   
His answer sounds the same: 
“No daybreak tops the utmost hill,   
Nor pale our lamps of flame.”  
One to another hear them speak,   
The patient virgins wise: 
“Surely He is not far to seek,”—   
“All night we watch and rise.” 
“The days are evil looking back,   
The coming days are dim; 
Yet count we not His promise slack,   
But watch and wait for Him.”  
One with another, soul with soul,   
They kindle fire from fire: 
“Friends watch us who have touched the goal.”   
“They urge us, come up higher.” 
“With them shall rest our waysore feet,   
With them is built our home, With Christ.” 
“They sweet, but He most sweet,   
Sweeter than honeycomb.”  
There no more parting, no more pain,   
The distant ones brought near, 
The lost so long are found again,   
Long lost but longer dear: 
Eye hath not seen, ear hath not heard,   
Nor heart conceived that rest, 
With them our good things long deferred,   
With Jesus Christ our Best.  
We weep because the night is long,   
We laugh, for day shall rise, 
We sing a slow contented song   
And knock at Paradise. 
Weeping we hold Him fast Who wept   
For us,—we hold Him fast; 
And will not let Him go except   
He bless us first or last.  
Weeping we hold Him fast to-night;   
We will not let Him go 
Till daybreak smite our wearied sight,   
And summer smite the snow: 
Then figs shall bud, and dove with dove   
Shall coo the livelong day; 
Then He shall say, 
“Arise, My love,   
My fair one, come away.”
~ Christina Rossetti

About Me

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Therefore, dear Sir, love your solitude and try to sing out with the pain it causes you. For those who are near you are far away... and this shows that the space around you is beginning to grow vast.... be happy about your growth, in which of course you can't take anyone with you, and be gentle with those who stay behind; be confident and calm in front of them and don't torment them with your doubts and don't frighten them with your faith or joy, which they wouldn't be able to comprehend. Seek out some simple and true feeling of what you have in common with them, which doesn't necessarily have to alter when you yourself change again and again; when you see them, love life in a form that is not your own and be indulgent toward those who are growing old, who are afraid of the aloneness that you trust.... and don't expect any understanding; but believe in a love that is being stored up for you like an inheritance, and have faith that in this love there is a strength and a blessing so large that you can travel as far as you wish without having to step outside it.”  ~ Rainer Maria Rilke