Tuesday, March 31, 2009

God Speaks to the Soul


And God said to the soul:
I desired you before the world began.
I desire you now 
As you desire me.
And where the desires of two come together
There love is perfected.

How the Soul Speaks to God
Lord, you are my lover,
My longing,
My flowing stream,
My sun,
And I am your reflection.

How God answers the Soul
It is my nature that makes me love you often,
For I am love itself.
It is my longing that makes me love you intensely,
For I yearn to be loved from the heart.
It is my eternity that makes me love you long,
For I have no end.

~Mechthild of Magdeburg

Monday, March 30, 2009

Invocation ~

Come, true light.
Come, life eternal.
Come, hidden mystery.
Come, treasure without name.
Come, reality beyond all words.
Come, person beyond all understanding.
Come, rejoicing without end.
Come, light that knows no evening.
Come, unfailing expectation of the saved.
Come, raising of the fallen.
Come, resurrection of the dead.
Come, all-powerful, for unceasingly your create, refashion and change all things by your will alone.
Come, invisible whom none may touch and handle.
Come, for you continue always unmoved, yet at every instant you are wholly in movement; you draw near to us who lie in hell, yet you remain higher than the heavens.
Come, for your name fills our hearts with longing and is ever on our lips; yet who you are and what your nature is, we cannot say or know.
Come, Alone to the alone.
Come, for you are yourself the desire that is within me.
Come, my breath and my life.
Come, the consolation of my humble soul.
Come, my joy, my glory, my endless delight.

~St. Symeon the New Theologian

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

On a Dark Night

On a dark night, Kindled in love with yearnings—oh, happy chance!—
I went forth without being observed, My house being now at rest.

In darkness and secure, By the secret ladder, disguised—oh, happy chance!—
In darkness and in concealment, My house being now at rest.

In the happy night, In secret, when none saw me,
Nor I beheld aught, Without light or guide, save that which burned in my heart.

This light guided me More surely than the light of noonday
To the place where he (well I knew who!) was awaiting me— A place where none appeared.

Oh, night that guided me, Oh, night more lovely than the dawn,
Oh, night that joined Beloved with lover, Lover transformed in the Beloved!

Upon my flowery breast, Kept wholly for himself alone,
There he stayed sleeping, and I caressed him, And the fanning of the cedars made a breeze. The breeze blew from the turret As I parted his locks;

With his gentle hand he wounded my neck And caused all my senses to be suspended.

I remained, lost in oblivion; My face I reclined on the Beloved. All ceased and I abandoned myself, Leaving my cares forgotten among the lilies.

~St John of the Cross

Monday, March 23, 2009

Love Preparing to Fly

He play'd his wings as tho' for flight; 
They webb'd the sky with glassy light.
His body sway'd upon tiptoes, 
Like a wind-perplexed rose; 
In eddies of the wind he went
At last up the blue element.  

~Gerard Manley Hopkins

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Infinite Tenderness

I first saw God when I was a child, six years of age. The cheeks of the sun were pale before Him, and the earth acted as a shy girl, like me. Divine light entered my heart from His love that did never fully wane, though indeed, dear, I can understand how a person's faith can at times flicker, for what is the mind to do with something that becomes the mind's ruin: a God that consumes us in His grace. I have seen what you want; it is there, a Beloved of infinite tenderness. 

~St Catherine of Siena

Saturday, March 21, 2009

St Joseph

Oh, St. Joseph, whose protection is so great, so strong, so prompt before the throne of God, I place in you all my interest and desires. Oh, St. Joseph, do assist me by your powerful intercession, and obtain for me from your divine Son all spiritual blessings, through Jesus Christ, our Lord. So that, having engaged here below your heavenly power, I may offer my thanksgiving and homage to the most loving of Fathers. Oh, St. Joseph, I never weary contemplating you, and Jesus asleep in your arms; I dare not approach while He reposes near your heart. Press Him close in my name and kiss His fine head for me and ask Him to return the Kiss when I draw my dying breath. 

St. Joseph, Patron of departing souls - Pray for me.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Bridegroom of our Soul

God wants to be thought of
as our Lover.
I must see myself so bound in love
as if everything that has been done
has been done for me.
That is to say,
the Love of God makes such a unity
in us
that when we see this unity
no one is able to
separate oneself
from another.

~Julian of Norwich

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Spring~

"The winter is past, the rain is over and gone; the 
flowers appear on the earth; the time of the singing birds is come."

I love to count my time from Spring to Spring,
And reckon years by blossoms, not by blight;
When I was saved the birds began to sing,
And flowers bloomed in radiant beauty bright;
My Springs survive the Autumn's chilling blast,
E'en Winter cannot take my songs away,
And when another Spring comes round at last
My birds and blossoms riot in display.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

To the Virgin

O greening branch
You stand in your nobility
Like the rising dawn
Rejoice now and exult
And deign to free the fools we are
From our long slavery to evil
And hold out your hand
To raise us up. 

~Hildegard of Bingen

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Entering into Joy

Imagine if all the tumult of the body were to quiet down, along with our busy thoughts about earth, sea and air; if the very world should stop, and the mind cease thinking about itself, go beyond itself, and be quite still; if all the fantasies that appear in dreams and imagination should cease, and there be no speech, no sign: Imagine if all things that are perishable grew still -- for if we listen they are saying, "We did not make ourselves; he made us who abides forever" -- imagine , then, that they should say this and fall silent, listening to the very voice of him who made them and not to that of creation; so that we should hear not his word through the tongues of men, nor the voice of angels, nor the cloud's thunder, nor any symbol, but the very Self which in these things we love, and go beyond ourselves to attain a flash of that eternal wisdom that abides above all things; And imagine if that moment were to go on and on, leaving behind all other sights and sounds but this one vision that ravishes and absorbes and fixes the beholder in joy; so that the rest of eternal life were like that moment of illumination that leaves us breathless: Would this not be what is bidden in scripture, Enter thou into the joy of the Lord?

~ Saint Augustine

Monday, March 16, 2009

Depths

O unfathomable depth! O Deity eternal! O deep ocean! What more could You give me than to give me Yourself? You are an ever-burning Fire; You consume and are not consumed. By Your fire, You consume every trace of self-love in the soul. You are a Fire which drives away all coldness and illumines minds with its light, and with this light You have made known Your truth. Truly this light is a sea which feeds the soul until it is all immersed in You, O peaceful Sea, eternal Trinity! The water of this sea is never turbid; it never causes fear, but gives knowledge of the truth. This water is transparent and discloses hidden things; and a living faith gives such abundance of light that the soul almost attains to certitude in what it believes.

~ St. Catherine of Siena

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Beyond Words

The only way to get rid of misconceptions about contemplation is to experience it. One who does not actually know, in his own life, the nature of this breakthrough and this awakening to a new level of reality cannot help being misled by most of the things that are said about it. For contemplation cannot be taught. It cannot even be clearly explained. It can only be hinted at, suggested, pointed to, symbolized. The more objectively and scientifically one tries to analyze it, the more he empties it of its real content, for this experience is beyond the reach of verbalization and of rationalization.

~Thomas Merton

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Spirit ~

"Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered. And he that searcheth the hearts knoweth what is the mind of the spirit, because he maketh intercession for the saints according the to will of God."—Romans 8:26,27.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

To take God's side

He apparently consults our interests rather than His own, by making in reality the last identical with the first. His first thought for sinners is to make repentence easy and light, and strange indeed are the things to which His wisdom can persuade His justice, or His goodness bend His sanctity. By His own order our liberty seems to take precedence of His law, while the whole of creation is apparently disposed for the convenience of our salvation. The increase of this love depends upon ourselves. On this side the grave we can have it when we will, and there is always grace to enable us to ask and to will it. The more we ask the more He will give, and reckon the obligation to be on His side rather than on ours. All that is wanted of us is, to take God's side, to love what He loves, to hate what He hates, and, to sum up all in one word, to belong to Jesus Christ.

~ Frederick William Faber, (1858)

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Salt Figurine

The salt figurine wandered over the earth until it came to the sea, where it remained lost in contemplation of that huge mass of swirling water that it had never seen. "Who are you?" it finally asked the sea. "Come on in and see," said the sea with a smile. Without further ado, it entered the sea, and the deeper it went, the more it dissolved until only a tiny amount of its body was left. Just before being completely dissolved, the figurine exclaimed, "Now I know who you are!"

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

They say she is veiled

They say she is veiled
and a mystery. That is
one way of looking.
Another
is that she is where
she always has been,
exactly in place,
and it is we,
we who are mystified,
we who are veiled
and without faces.

~Judy Grahn

Monday, March 9, 2009

In my bosom, a sun

How rich, O Lord, how fresh Thy visits are!
'Twas but just now my bleak leaves hopeless hung.
Sullied with dust and mud;
Each snarling blast shot through me, and did share
Their youth and beauty; cold showers nipt, and wrung
Their spiciness and blood;
But since Thou didst in one sweet glance survey
Their sad decays, I flourish, and once more
Breathe all perfumes and spice;
I smell a dew like myrhh, and all the day
Wear in my bosom a full sun; such store
Hath one beam from Thy eyes.

~Henry Vaughan (1621-1695)

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Pied Beauty


Glory be to God for dappled things-- For skies of couple-colour as a brinded cow; For rose-moles all in stipple upon trout that swim; Fresh-firecoal chestnut-falls; finches' wings; Landscape plotted and pieced--fold, fallow, and plough; And áll trádes, their gear and tackle and trim. All things counter, original, spare, strange; Whatever is fickle, freckled (who knows how?) With swift, slow; sweet, sour; adazzle, dim; He fathers-forth whose beauty is past change: Praise Him.

~Gerard Manley Hopkins, 1877

Friday, March 6, 2009

Free Self

"For as long as you can remember, you have been a pleaser, depending on others to give you an identity. You need not look at that only in a negative way. You wanted to give your heart to others, and you did so quickly and easily. But now you are being asked to let go of all these self-made props and trust that God is enough for you. You must stop being a pleaser and reclaim your identity as a free self.” 

~Henri JM Nouwen

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Guardian Angel

I am the bird that flutters against your window in the morning, and your closest friend, whom you can never know, blossoms that light up for the blind. I am the glacier shining over the woods, so pale, and heavy voices from the cathedral tower. The thought that suddenly hits you in the middle of the day and makes you feel so fantastically happy. I am the one you have loved for many years. I walk beside you all day and look intently at you, and put my mouth against your heart, though you're not aware of it. I am your third arm, your second shadow, the white one, whom you cannot accept, and who can never forget you.

~Rolf Jacobsen

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Echoes ~

I am the one whose praise
echoes on high
I adorn all earth.
I am the breeze
that nurtures all things
green.
I encourage blossoms to flourish with ripening fruits.
I am led by the spirit to feed
the purest streams.
I am the rain
coming from the dew
that causes the grasses to laugh
with the joy of life.
I call forth tears,
the aroma of holy work.
I am the yearning for good.

~Hildegard of Bingen

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Mary, Star of the Sea


O you, whoever you are, who feel that in the tidal wave of this world you are nearer to being tossed about among the squalls and gales than treading on dry land, if you do not want to founder in the tempest, do not avert your eyes from the brightness of this star. When the wind of temptation blows up within you, when you strike upon the rock of tribulation, gaze up at this star, call out to Mary. Whether you are being tossed about by the waves of pride or ambition or slander or jealousy, gaze up at this star, call out to Mary. When rage or greed or fleshly desires are battering the skift of your soul, gaze up at Mary. When the immensity of your sins weighs you down and you are bewildered by the loathsomeness of your conscience, when the terrifying thought of judgement appalls you and you begin to founder in the gulf of sadness and despair, think of Mary. In dangers, in hardships, in every doubt, think of Mary, call out to Mary. Keep her in your mouth, keep her in your heart. Follow the example of her life and you will obtain the favor of her prayer. Following her, you will never go astray. Asking her help, you will never despair. Keeping her in your thoughts, you will never wander away. With your hand in hers, you will never stumble. With her protecting you, you will not be afraid. With her leading you, you will never tire. Her kindness will see you through to the end.

~Bernard of Clairvaux

Monday, March 2, 2009

Simplicity

As we ascend to that which is more perfect, He who is without form or shape comes no longer without form or without shape. Nor does He cause His light to come to us and be present with us in silence. But how? He comes in a definite form indeed, though it is a divine one. Yet God does not show Himself in a particular pattern or likeness, but in simplicity, and takes the form of an incomprehensible, inaccessible, and formless light. We cannot possibly say or express more than this; still He appears clearly and is consciously known and clearly seen, though He is invisible. He sees and hears invisibly and, just as friend speaks to friend face to face so He who by nature is God speaks to those whom by grace He has begotten as gods. He loves like a father, and in turn He is fervently loved by His sons.

~Saint Symeon the New Theologian, 11th century

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Unity ~

O God, we are one with you. You have made us one with you. You have taught us that if we are open to one another, you dwell in us. Help us to preserve this openness and to fight for it with all of our hearts. Help us to realize that there can be no understanding where there is mutual rejection. O God, in accepting one another wholeheartedly, fully, completely, we accept you, and we thank you, and we adore you, and we love you with our whole being, because our being is in your being, our spirit is rooted in your spirit. Fill us then with love, and let us be bound together with love as we go our diverse ways, united in this one spirit which makes you present in the world, and which makes you witness to the ultimate reality which is love. Love has overcome. Love is victorious.

~Thomas Merton

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