Thursday, April 30, 2009
"What, you are stepping westward?"--"Yea."
---'T would be a wildish destiny,
If we, who thus together roam
In a strange land, and far from home,
Were in this place the guests of Chance:
Yet who would stop, or fear to advance,
Though home or shelter he had none,
With such a sky to lead him on?
The dewy ground was dark and cold;
Behind, all gloomy to behold;
And stepping westward seemed to be
A kind of heavenly destiny:
I liked the greeting; 't was a sound
Of something without place or bound;
And seemed to give me spiritual right
To travel through that region bright.
The voice was soft, and she who spake
Was walking by her native lake:
The salutation had to me
The very sound of courtesy:
Its power was felt; and while my eye
Was fixed upon the glowing sky,
The echo of the voice enwrought
A human sweetness with the thought
Of travelling through the world that lay
Before me in my endless way.
Monday, April 27, 2009
If you believe what you like in the gospels, and reject what you don't like, it is not the gospel you believe, but yourself.
It was pride that changed angels into devils; it is humility that makes men as angels.
Men go abroad to wonder at the heights of mountains, at the huge waves of the sea, at the long courses of the rivers, at the vast compass of the ocean, at the circular motions of the stars, and they pass by themselves without wondering.
O Holy Spirit, descend plentifully into my heart. Enlighten the dark corners of this neglected dwelling and scatter there Thy cheerful beams.
My mind withdrew its thoughts from experience, extracting itself from the contradictory throng of sensuous images, that it might find out what that light was wherein it was bathed... And thus, with the flash of one hurried glance, it attained to the vision of That Which Is.
If we live good lives, the times are also good. As we are, such are the times.
Friday, April 24, 2009
Heaven's not a place.
Where time doth race
Across the flatted fields of edgeless space
Thou shalt not hear its news, nor its retreat discover.
No! 'tis a dance
Where love perpetual ,
Loved one to lover.
Heaven's not a rest.
No! but to battle with new zest:
Untired, with warrior joy
The sharp clean spirit employ
On life's new enterprise.
It's the surprise
Of keen delighted mind
That wakes to find
Old fetters gone,
Strong shining immortality put on.
Heaven is to be
In God at last made free,
There more and more
Strange secrets of communion to explore:
Within the mighty movements of His will
Our tangled loves fulfil:
To pluck the rosemary we cannot reach
With the mind's span,
And so at last
Breathe the rich fragrance of our hoarded past
And learn the slow unfolding of the plan.
Together we unroll
The blazened story of the pilgrim soul;
All the long ardent pain,
The craving and the bliss at last made plain.
Sometimes to sleep
Locked each to each
Within his deep,
Or playing in his wave
The sudden splendour of the flood to brave:
Great tide of his undimmed vitality
That breaks in beauty on the world's wide beach
And draws all life again toward its heart,
Stirring to new and mutual increase
Love-quickened souls therein that have their part,
Therein that find their peace.
~Evelyn Underhill (1875-1941)
Thursday, April 23, 2009
Blue against the bluer heavens
Stood the mountain, calm and still,
Two white Angels, bending earthward,
Leant upon the hill.
Listening leant those silent Angels,
And I longed to hear
What sweet strain of earlthy music
Thus could charm their ear.
I heard the sound of many trumpets
In a warlike march draw nigh;
Solemnly a mighty army
Passed in order by.
But the clang had ceased; the echoes
Soon had faded from the hill;
While the Angels, calm and earnest
Leant and listened still.
Then I heard a fainter clamor,
Forge and wheel were clashing near,
And the Reapers in the meadow
Singing loud and clear.
When the sunset came in glory,
And the toil of day was o'er,
Still the Angels leant in silence,
Listening as before.
Then as daylight slowly vanished,
And the evening mists grew dim,
Solemnly from distant voices
Rose a vesper hymn.
Adelaide A. Procter, 1881
Tuesday, April 21, 2009
Friday, April 17, 2009
"The saints are like the stars. In his providence Christ conceals them in a hidden place that they may not shine before others when they might wish to do so. Yet they are always ready to exchange the quiet of contemplation for the works of mercy as soon as they perceive in their heart the invitation of Christ."
~Saint Anthony of Padua (1195-1231)
Wednesday, April 15, 2009
All day long I have been working,
Now I am tired.
I call:“Where are you?”
But there is only the oak tree rustling in the wind.
The house is very quiet,
The sun shines in on your books,
On your scissors and thimble just put down,
But you are not there.
Suddenly I am lonely:
Where are you?
I go about searching.
Then I see you,
Standing under a spire of pale blue larkspur,
With a basket of roses on your arm.
You are cool, like silver,
And you smile.
I think the Canterbury bells are playing little tunes.
You tell me that the peonies need spraying,
That the columbines have overrun all bounds,
That the pyrus japonica should be cut back and rounded.
You tell me these things.
But I look at you, heart of silver,
White heart-flame of polished silver,
Burning beneath the blue steeples of the larkspur,
And I long to kneel instantly at your feet,
While all about us peal the loud,
sweet Te Deums of the Canterbury bells.
~ Amy Lowell (1874-1925)
Sunday, April 12, 2009
Wednesday, April 8, 2009
The light of our life, our sole,
eternal and infinite joy,
is simply God -
God - God - nothing but God,
and all His creatures in Him.
He is all and in all,
and the children of the kingdom
He includes all things;
not to be true to anything
He has made is to be untrue to Him.
God is truth, is life;
to be in God is to know
Him and need no law.
Existence will be eternal
~ George MacDonald
Tuesday, April 7, 2009
Saturday, April 4, 2009
Each minute of a further light
Draws me towards perspective Spring.
I fold the minutes back each night,
I hear the gossiping
Of birds whose instinct carries time,
A watch tucked in the flourished breast.
It ticks the second they must climb
Into a narrow nest.
So birds. But I am not thus powered.
Impulse has gone. My measured cells
Of brain and knowledge are too stored
And trust to birds and bells.
Yet longer light is fetching me
To hopes I have no reason for.
A further lease of light each day
Suggests irrational more.
~ Elizabeth Jennings
- “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
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