Friday, May 29, 2009

Three Teachings

These sacred things I speak about work within me in secret--and with great power.

Fight yourself, and you need have no other foe.

If you want to know Pure Love, stay with the knowledge of your Self. There you will learn all that you need to know.

~ St Catherine of Genoa (1447-1510)

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Selections ~

Seraphim, come,
come here and ponder
a Rose that, when cut,
lives all the longer.

Break the crystalline seal
On the clear, cold glass of this fountain
And allow my love to enter.
See how my golden curls
Are overspread with hoar-frost,
Are wet with dewy pearls.
Come, my Spouse, to your Love,
Rend that clear curtain,
Make your countenance seen,
let me hear your voice in my ear!

~Sor Juana

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

How on solemn fields of space

How on solemn fields of space
Black with amplitude sublime
From the starry flowers of time;

How the centuries replace
Lifeless worlds with worlds of green,
Scenes of rock with forest scene;

How the city, proud yet mean,
For whose sake a wildwood burned
In its turn at last despairs,

Falls before the horde of years,
All this is but thought returned,
This that we have fixed we find ...

Till on proof by proof destroyed,
On the waste-mounds of the mind,
Soul's vague lily scents the void.

~Elizabeth Daryush (1887-1977)


Do not suddenly break the branch, or

Hope to find

The white hart over the white well.

Glance aside, not for lance, do not spell

Old enchantments. Let them sleep.

'Gently dip, but not too deep',

Lift your eyes

Where the roads dip and where the roads rise

Seek only there

Where the grey light meets the green air

The Hermit's chapel, the pilgrim's prayer.

~TS Eliot

Thursday, May 21, 2009

In the Valley of Elwy

I remember a house where all were good
To me, God knows, deserving no such thing:
Comforting smell breathed at very entering,
Fetched fresh, as I suppose, off some sweet wood.
That cordial air made those kind people a hood
All over, as a bevy of eggs the mothering wing
Will, or mild nights the new morsels of spring:
Why, it seemed of course; seemed of right it should.

Lovely the woods, waters, meadows, combes, vales,
All the air things wear that build this world of Wales;
Only the inmate does not correspond:
God, lover of souls, swaying considerate scales,
Complete thy creature dear O where it fails,
Being mighty a master, being a father and fond.

-Gerard Manley Hopkins

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

The Annunciation ~

The angel and the girl are met,
Earth was the only meeting place,
For the embodied never yet

Travelled beyond the shore of space.
The eternal spirits in freedom go.
See, they have come together, see,
While the destroying minutes flow,
Each reflects the other's face
Till heaven in hers and earth in his
Shine steady there. He's come to her
From far beyond the farthest star,
Feathered through time. Immediacy
of strangest strangeness is the bliss
That from their limbs all movement takes.
Yet the increasing rapture brings
So great a wonder that it makes
Each feather tremble on his wings.
Outside the window footsteps fall
Into the ordinary day
And with the sun along the wall
Pursue their unreturning way
That was ordained in eternity.
Sound's perpetual roundabout
Rolls its numbered octaves out
And hoarsely grinds its battered tune.
But through the endless afternoon
These neither speak nor movement make,
But stare into their deepening trance
As if their gaze would never break.
~Edwin Muir (1887-1958)

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

The Phoenix again

On the ashes of this nest
Love wove with deathly fire
The phoenix takes its rest
Forgetting all desire.

After the flame, a pause,
After the pain, rebirth.
Obeying nature’s laws
The phoenix goes to earth.

You cannot call it old
You cannot call it young.
No phoenix can be told,
This is the end of the song.

It struggles now alone
Against death and self-doubt,
But underneath the bone
The wings are pushing out.

And one cold starry night
Whatever your belief
The phoenix will take flight
Over the seas of grief

To sing her thrilling song
To stars and waves and sky
For neither old nor young
The phoenix does not die.

~ May Sarton

Monday, May 18, 2009

I Have Called Thee by Thy Name

Fear not, for I have redeemed thee,
I have called thee by thy name;
thou art mine.
When thou passest through the waters,
I shall be with thee,
and through the rivers,
they shall not overflow thee:
when thou walkest through the fire,
thou shalt not be burned;
neither shall the flame kindle
upon thee.
For I am the Lord thy God,
thy Saviour,
Fear not; for I am with thee.

~ Isaiah 43: 1-5

Sunday, May 17, 2009

o love, acoustic guitar

O Love that wilt not let me go

O Love that wilt not let me go,
I rest my weary soul in thee;
I give thee back the life I owe,
that in thine ocean depths its flow
may richer, fuller be.

O Light that followest all my way,
I yield my flickering torch to thee;
my heart restores its borrowed ray,
that in thy sunshine's blaze its day
may brighter, fairer be.

O Joy that seekest me through pain,
I cannot close my heart to thee;
I trace the rainbow through the rain,
and feel the promise is not vain,
that morn shall tearless be.

O Cross that liftest up my head,
I dare not ask to fly from thee;
I lay in dust life's glory dead,
and from the ground there blossoms red
life that shall endless be.

~ George Matheson, 1882

art-- Annie Louise Swynnerton (1844-1933)

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Pax-- DH Lawrence

All that matters is to be at one with the living God

to be a creature in the house of the God of Life.

Like a cat asleep on a chair

at peace, in peace

and at one with the master of the house, with the mistress,

at home, at home in the house of the living,

sleeping on the hearth, and yawning before the fire.

Sleeping on the hearth of the living world

yawning at home before the fire of life

feeling the presence of the living God

like a great reassurance

a deep calm in the heart

a presence

as of the master sitting at the board

in his own and greater being,

in the house of life.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Depths of the Sea

Who is a God like unto thee,
that pardoneth iniquity,
and passeth by transgressions?
Thou retainest not thine anger
for ever because thou
dost delight in mercy.
Thou wilt turn again,
thou wilt have compassion on us;
thou wilt subdue our iniquities;
and thou wilt cast all our sins
into the depths of the sea.

~Micah 7:18-19

Monday, May 11, 2009


My soul, there is a country,
Afar beyond the stars,
Where stands a wingèd sentry,
All skillful in the wars.
There, above noise and danger,
Sweet Peace sits crowned with smiles,
And One born in a manger
Commands the beauteous files.

He is thy gracious Friend
And (O my soul, awake!)
Did in pure love descend,
To die here for thy sake.

If thou canst get but thither,
There grows the flower of peace,
The rose that cannot wither,
Thy fortress, and thy ease.

Leave, then, thy foolish ranges;
For none can thee secure
But One, Who never changes,
Thy God, thy Life, thy Cure.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

It Is Well, acoustic guitar

It Is Well With My Soul

When peace like a river attendeth my way,
When sorrows like sea-billows roll,
Whatever my lot, Thou has taught me to know:
"It is well, it is well with my soul."

Tho' Satan should buffet, tho' trials should come,
Let this blest assurance control,
That Christ hath regarded my helpless estate,
And hath shed his own blood for my soul.

My sin - oh, the bliss of this glorious thought!
My sin - not in part but the whole -
Is nailed to His cross, and I bear it no more;
Praise the Lord, praise the Lord, oh, my soul.

And, Lord, haste the day when the faith shall be sight,
The clouds be rolled back as a scroll,
The trump shall resound, and the Lord shall descend;
"Even so - it is well with my soul."

For me, be it Christ, be it Christ hence to live,
If Jordan above me shall roll,
No pang shall be mine, for in death as in life,
Thou shalt whisper Thy peace to my soul.

~Horatio Spafford, 1873

Monday, May 4, 2009

We Are Not Our Thoughts

If we can just rest on a regular basis for twenty to thirty minutes without thinking, we begin to see that we are not our thoughts.  We have thoughts, but we are not our thoughts.  Most people suffer because they think that they are their thoughts and if their thoughts are upsetting, distressing, or evil, they are stuck with them.  If they just stopped thinking for awhile every day as a discipline, they would begin to see that they do not have to be dominated by their thoughts.

~Thomas Keating, Intimacy With God

art, Morning PrayerJean-Baptiste Greuze

Saturday, May 2, 2009


Madonna Natura

I love and worship thee in that thy ways
Are fair, and that the glory of past days Haloes thy brightness with a sacred hue.
Within thine eyes are dreams of mystic things,
Within thy voice a subtler music rings Than ever mortal from the keen reeds drew;
Thou weav'st a web which men have callèd Death
But Life is in the magic of thy breath.

The secret things of Earth thou knowest well;
Thou seest the wild bee build his narrow cell, The lonely eagle wing through lonely skies,
The lion on the desert roam afar,
The glow-worm glitter like a fallen star, The hour-lived insect as it hums and flies
Thou seest men like shadows come and go,
And all their endless dreams drift to and fro.

In thee is strength, endurance, wisdom, truth:
Thou art above all mortal joy and ruth, Thou hast the calm and silence of the night:
Mayhap thou seest what we cannot see,
Surely far off thou hear'st harmoniously Echoes of flawless music infinite,
Mayhap thou feelest thrilling through each sod
Beneath thy feet the very breath of God.

Madonna Natura, fair and grand and great,
I worship thee, who art inviolate: Through thee I reach to things beyond this span
Of mine own puny life, through thee I learn
Courage and hope, and dimly can discern The ever noble grades awaiting man:
Madonna unto thee I bend and pray---
Saviour, Redeemer thou, whom none can slay!

No human fanes are dedicate to thee,
But thine the temples of each tameless sea, Each mountain-height and forest-glade and plain:
No, priests with daily hymns thy praises sing,
But far and wide the wild winds chanting swing, And dirge the sea-waves on the changeless main,
While songs of birds fill all the fields and woods,
And cries of beasts the savage solitudes.

Hearken, Madonna, hearken to my cry;
Teach me through metaphors of liberty, Till strong and fearing nought in life or death
I feel thy sacred freedom through me thrill,
Wise, and defiant, with unquenched will Unyielding, though succumb the mortal breath---
Then if I conquer, take me by the hand
And guide me onward to thy Promised Land!

Wm. Sharp, 'Earth's Voices', 1884

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