Monday, August 31, 2009

The Transfiguration



When he took the three disciples to the mountainside to pray
His countenance was modified, his clothing was aflame
Two men appeared; Moses and Elijah came
They were at his side
The prophecy, the legislation spoke of whenever he would die

Then there came a word
Of what he should accomplish on the day
Then Peter spoke, to make of them a tabernacle place
A cloud appeared in glory as an accolade
They fell on the ground
A voice arrived, the voice of God
The face of God, covered in a cloud

What he said to them
The voice of God: the most beloved son
Consider what he says to you, consider what's to come
The prophecy was put to death
Was put to death, and so will the Son
And keep your word, disguise the vision till the time has come

Lost in the cloud, a voice: Have no fear! We draw near!
Lost in the cloud, a sign: Son of man! Turn your ear!
Lost in the cloud, a voice: Lamb of God! We draw near!
Lost in the cloud, a sign: Son of man! Son of God!

Simple Moments















So many beautiful sights
Greeted my weary eyes today.
While leaving
Mass in peace
Walking along my usual way.
I was greeted by two doves
Singing sweetly cooing their songs of cheer.
Reminding to raise my voice
In worship to God not fear.
And then two sunning turtles
Brought tears to my eyes.
Reminding me to slow down
And look up to the skies.
Later it was two squirrels
Who made me laugh with glee
Reminding me to stop and play
That too is a gift given free.
God speaks to us in ways
Some simple some profound,
But always He speaks with love
And joy and peace abound.
So open your eyes today.
See the beauty He has given you.
Laugh and love and live
And to our Lord be true.

Posted with kind permission of my youtube friend and poet, Daughter of Saint Francis

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Job


















(Job 28:28)

Yes: wisdom begins with fear of the Lord,
which comprehends the power that made the seas,
the earth, the shimmering dawn, the unexplored
unfathomed skies, the moon, and the Pleiades.
Which also know Who comes to judge our shoddy
little failing lives, knowing full well,
we need not fear the one who kills the body,
but only He who condemns the soul to hell.
Which also knows it magnifies the Lord,
defying the demon, being the only release,
oddly enough, from fear, being its own reward,
which is also wise, is faith, is hope, is peace,
is tender mercy, over and over again,
until, at last, is love, is love. Amen.

~ William Baer

artwork-- 'Job in Prayer', Marc Chagall

Monday, August 24, 2009

Prayer



















Master, they say when I seem
To be in speech with You,
Since you make no replies, it's all a dream
--One talker aping two.

They are half-right, but not as they
Imagine; rather, I
Seek in myself the things I meant to say,
and lo! the wells are dry.

Then, seeing me empty, you forsake
The Listener's role, and through
My dead lips breathe and into utterance wake
The thoughts I never knew.

And thus You neither need reply
Nor can; thus, while we seem
Two talking, Thou art One forever, and I
No dreamer, but thy dream.

~ C S Lewis

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Peace ~



















MY soul, there is a country
Far beyond the stars,
Where stands a winged sentry
All skilful in the wars:
There, above noise and danger,
Sweet Peace sits crown'd 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.

~Henry Vaughan

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Heading out to Sea
















Last night before going to bed I realized momentarily what solitude really means. When the ropes are cast off and the ship is no longer tied to land but heads out to sea without ties and without restraint, not the sea of passion, but the sea of purity and love that is without care. The vastness that loves God alone immediately and directly in Himself as the All, and the seeming nothing that is all. The unutterable confusion of those who think that God is a mental object and that to "love God alone" is to exclude all other objects and concentrate on this one! Fatal. Yet that is why so many misunderstand the meaning of contemplation and solitude and condemn it...

Friday, August 21, 2009

Lenses
















When you come to knowing God, the initiative lies on His side. If He does not show Himself, nothing you can do will enable you to find Him. And, in fact, He shows much more of Himself to some people than to others-- not because he has favourites, but because it is impossible for Him to show Himself to a man whose whole mind and character are in the wrong condition. Just as sunlight, though it has no favourites, cannot be reflected in a dusty mirror as clearly as a clean one.

You can put this another way by saying that while in other sciences the instruments you use are things external to yourself (things like microscopes and telescopes), the instrument through which you see God is your whole self. And if a man's self is not kept clean and bright, his glimpse of God will be blurred-- like the moon seen through a dirty telescope...

~ C.S. Lewis

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Immanuel




















When once I mourned a load of sin;
When conscience felt a wound within;
When all my works were thrown away;
When on my knees I knelt to pray,
Then, blissful hour, remembered well,
I learned Thy love, Immanuel.


When storms of sorrow toss my soul;
When waves of care around me roll;
When comforts sink, when joys shall flee;
When hopeless griefs shall gape for me,
One word the tempest's rage shall quell--
That word, Thy name, Immanuel.


When for the truth I suffer shame;
When foes pour scandal on my name;
When cruel taunts and jeers abound;
When "Bulls of Bashan" gird me round,
Secure within Thy tower I'll dwell--
That tower, Thy grace, Immanuel.


When hell enraged lifts up her roar;
When Satan stops my path before;
When fiends rejoice and wait my end;
When legioned hosts their arrows send,
Fear not, my soul, but hurl at hell
Thy battle-cry, Immanuel.


When down the hill of life I go;
When o'er my feet death's waters flow;
When in the deep'ning flood I sink;
When friends stand weeping on the brink,
I'll mingle with my last farewell
Thy lovely name, Immanuel.


When tears are banished from mine eye;
When fairer worlds than these are nigh;
When heaven shall fill my ravished sight;
When I shall bathe in sweet delight,
One joy all joys shall far excel,
To see Thy face, Immanuel.


~ Charles Haddon Spurgeon

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Disguise















I cannot think unless I have been thought
Nor can I speak unless I have been spoken
I cannot teach except as I am taught
Or break the bread except as I am broken.
O Mind behind the mind through which I seek,
O Light within the light by which I see,
O Word beneath the words with which I speak
O founding, unfound Wisdom, finding me
O sounding Song whose depth is sounding me
O Memory of time, reminding me
My Ground of Being, always grounding me
My Maker’s Bounding Line, defining me
Come, hidden Wisdom, come with all you bring
Come to me now, disguised as everything.

Pure Intention





















You can meet God in all your activities, becoming more like Him, and growing closer to Him in blissful love. Every good work, however small it may be, which is undertaken out of love for God, with a pure and righteous intention, renews you in his image and prepares you for eternal life in Him. A pure intention unites the diverse powers of the soul in harmony, and directs the soul towards God.

A pure intention is the source and purpose of virtue, and is a thing of beauty. A pure intention is an act of praise to God, honoring his name. A pure intention transcends itself, carrying the soul upwards to heaven. An intention is pure if God is its origin, and if it sees all things in relation to God.

When your intentions are pure, the powers of the soul are brought into harmony. You offer your whole life to God, and you encounter Him in every virtuous act. Indeed, your actions become His actions. Thus, on the foundation of pure intentions you transcend yourself, and you meet God without any intermediary. You rest in His presence, and there take possession of the inheritance that has been preserved for you for all eternity.

~ Jan van Ruusbroec

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Monday, August 10, 2009

Presence





















If I were a preacher, I would preach nothing but practicing the presence of God. If I were to be responsible for guiding souls in the right direction, I would urge everyone to be aware of God's constant presence, if for no other reason than because His presence is a delight to our souls and spirits.

It is, however, also necessary. If we only knew how much we need God's grace, we would never lose touch with Him. Believe me. Make a commitment never to deliberately stray from His holy presence. Don't do this is expectation of receiving heavenly comforts; simply do it out of love for Him.

~Brother Lawrence

Three Effects





















I have found that to love Christ has three effects: warmth, melody, and sweetness. And I know from my own experience that these cannot persist for long without bringing great inner stillness and silence.

These three things are signs of pure love; they are tokens of the spiritual perfection that is found in the Christian religion. To the limits of my meagre nature I have received them, as a gift from Jesus.

I dare not compare myself with the saints who have experienced these things, because they received them far more fully. But I shall continue trying to grow in virtue, so that my love burns more fervently, my song becomes sweeter, and I taste the sweetness of love more fully.

Richard Rolle

Friday, August 7, 2009

A New Name















God always calls. To hear that call and allow it to guide our actions requires discipline in order to prevent ourselves from remaining or becoming spiritually deaf. There are so many voices calling for our attention and so many activities distracting us that a serious effort is necessary if we are to become and remain sensitive to the divine presence in our lives.

When God calls, God gives us a new name. Abram became Abraham, Jacob became Israel, Saul became Paul, and Simon became Peter. We must search for this new name because the new name reveals the unique vocation given to us by God.

~ Henri JM Nouwen

I will give him a white stone, and on the stone a new name written which no one knows except him who receives it. —Revelation 2:17

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Behold the Beauty





















O Lord, you search me and you know me
you know my resting and my rising
you discern my purpose from afar.
You mark when I walk or lie down,
all my ways lie open to you....
O where can I go from your spirit,
or where can I flee from your face?

Ps 139:1-3,7

Quiet Mind

















You cannot write on a wax tablet, without first erasing the marks already on it. Equally your mind cannot receive divine truth, without first unlearning the false notions that you have acquired in the past.

Solitude is the best context for quietening the mind and unlearning a falsehood. Seek out a place of solitude, where you can train your soul without interuption, nourishing your soul with thoughts of God. Begin each day like a choir of angels, honoring God with songs of praise. As the day brightens, pursue your various tasks to the accompaniment of prayers, and season your labour with the salt of more songs. A pleasant melody composes the mind and calms its passions.

Gradually your tongue will lose its appetite for idle conversation , your eyes will cease to crave stimulation, and your ears will no longer hunger for gossip. This will enable your mind to turn inwards and begin its ascent to the contemplation of God.

~Basil of Caesarea

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

My Father's World

















This is my Father's world.
The birds their carols rise,
The morning light, the lily white,
Declare their Maker's praise.
This is my Father's world.
He shines in all that's fair;
In the rustling grass I hear Him pass;
He speaks to me everywhere.

Monday, August 3, 2009

Divine Love




















If we disregard ourselves for the sake of Jesus, then we are truly blessed. If we abandon all other facets of love, and love Jesus above everything, then we are truly blessed. The love of other people is fickle and changeable, but the love of Jesus is consistent and enduring. those who love material objects, will decay and crumble as those objects decay and crumble. But those who embrace Jesus will be upheld forever.

When all else fades away, Jesus will still be present. Jesus never leaves us; he never lets us perish. Inevitably at some point in the future we shall each die, and shall have to leave behind all our possessions and all our earthly friends behind. But Jesus is with us in death, as in life. So keep close to Jesus, not only when you are healthy, but also when death approaches. Place all your trust in him, because he can always help you.

Jesus is a lover who tolerates no rivals. He wants to have your heart entirely to himself, and to rule there like a king. Thus, you must strip your heart of all attachments, so Jesus can possess your heart completely.

Thomas à Kempis

Hidden Chamber





















Within the soul there exists a hidden chamber which is outside time and space, and which transcends that part of the soul giving life and movement to the body. It is within this hidden chamber that we encounter divinity; it is there that we become utterly still, totally true to ourselves, completely detached from all material concerns.

The atmosphere within that chamber is pure; within that chamber you are free from all bonds. God dwells, acts and rules within that chamber. Entering that chamber cannot be compared with any other aspect of your life, even the most devout religious observance. There you are united with God; there the fire of His love burns, and you are consumed by it.

Johann Tauler

Beauty ~
















Fix your eyes on the infinite beauty of God. You will constantly discover the beauty anew. And it will constantly seem strange, because it is different from what the mind normally conceives.

As you look upon God's beauty, He will continue to reveal Himself to you ever more fully. And, as He reveals himself, your desire to see Him will increase.

You will sense the beauty you see now, is merely a hint of the glorious beauty yet to be revealed.

... you will come to realize that the true satisfaction of your desire consists in the quest for God , in never ceasing to ascend towards Him-- and in desiring Him ever more intensely.

Gregory of Nyssa

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