Tuesday, November 30, 2004

If any man thirst

let him come unto me,

and drink.
John 7:37b

"Remember, the Lord invites us all..."

"...and, since He is Truth Itself,
we cannot doubt Him.

"If His invitation were not a general one,
He would not have said:
'I will give you to drink.'

"He might have said:
'Come, all of you,
for after all
you will lose nothing by coming;
and I will give drink
to those whom I think fit for it.'

"But, as He said we were all to come,
without making this condition,
I feel sure
that none will fail to receive
this living water
unless they cannot keep to the path.

"May the Lord, Who promises it,
give us grace,
for His Majesty’s own sake,
to seek it as it must be sought."

From The Way of Perfection, Chapter 19
by St. Teresa of Avila

Monday, November 29, 2004

But they that wait upon the LORD

shall renew their strength;
they shall mount up with wings as eagles;

they shall run, and not be weary;
and they shall walk, and not faint.

Isaiah 40:31

"Why do you suppose, daughters..."

"...that I have tried, as people say,
to describe the end of the battle
before it has begun
and to point to its reward
by telling you about the blessing
which comes from drinking
of the heavenly source
of this living water?

"I have done this
so that you may not be distressed
at the trials and annoyances of the road,
and may tread it with courage
and not grow weary..."
From The Way of Perfection, Chapter 19
by St. Teresa of Avila

Sunday, November 28, 2004

We have also

a more sure word of prophecy;
whereunto ye do well that ye take heed,
as unto a light that shineth in a dark place,
until the day dawn,
and the Daystar arise in your hearts...

1 Peter 1:19


Come, God-with-us!
Free your captive people
That mourns in exile,
Deprived of God's Son.

Rejoice! Rejoice!
shall be born for you,
O People of God!

Come, O Wisdom!
Who sets in place all things thus;
Come, so you may teach the path
of prudence and of glory.

Rejoice! Rejoice!
Shall be born for you,
O People of God!

Come! Come, Israel's Lord,
Who from atop Sinai
Gave people the law
In glorious majesty.

Rejoice! Rejoice!
Shall be born for you,
O People of God!

Veni veni, Emmanuel
captivum solve Israel,
qui gemit in exsilio,
privatus Dei Filio.

Gaude! Gaude! Emmanuel,
nascetur pro te Israel!

Veni, O Sapientia,
quae hic disponis omnia,
veni, viam prudentiae
ut doceas et gloriae.

Gaude! Gaude! Emmanuel,
nascetur pro te Israel!

Veni, veni, Adonai,
qui populo in Sinai
legem dedisti vertice
in maiestate gloriae.

Gaude! Gaude! Emmanuel,
nascetur pro te Israel!

Saturday, November 27, 2004

My desire is to depart

and be with Christ,
for that is far better.

Fr. Benedict Groeschel, CFR (the words aren't his, but St. Paul's of course)
But to remain in the flesh
is more necessary on your account.

Convinced of this,
I know that I shall remain
and continue with you all,
for your progress
and joy in the faith,
Philippians 1:23b-25

"If we live..."

"...we have more chance of serving God,
and that we might do this
by giving light to some soul
which otherwise would be lost;
as well as that, if we serve Him more,
we shall deserve to enjoy Him more..."

From The Way of Perfection, Chapter 19
by St. Teresa of Avila

Friday, November 26, 2004

Every athlete

exercises discipline in every way.
They do it to win a perishable crown,
but we an imperishable one.

Thus I do not run aimlessly;
I do not fight as if I were shadowboxing.
No, I drive my body and train it,
for fear that, after having preached to others,
I myself should be disqualified.

1 Corinthians 9:25-27

(Lord Jesus, be merciful to me, a sinner.)

(Mortification is good, but...)

"I believe the devil has something to do with this:
knowing how much harm we can do him by living,
he tempts us to be indiscreet in our penances
and so to ruin our health,
which is a matter of no small moment to him."

From The Way of Perfection, Chapter 19
by St. Teresa of Avila

Thursday, November 25, 2004

Enter into His gates with thanksgiving

St. Peter's Basilica, Vatican City

and into His courts with praise:
be thankful to Him, and bless His name.

For the LORD is good; His mercy is everlasting;
and His truth endures for all generations.

Psalm 100:4-5

We need to cultivate within ourselves

and within our prayer life
an ever-deeper attitude of gratitude.

The more we give thanks to God,
who has given us infinitely more than we deserve,
the more we open ourselves to receive his grace
and the more reason we have to give thanks.

It is a virtuous cycle:
a spiral that takes us heavenward.

Deo gratias.
(From an original post on A Penitent Blogger October 10, 2004)

Wednesday, November 24, 2004

Have mercy upon me, O God

according to thy lovingkindness:
according unto the multitude
of thy tender mercies
blot out my transgressions.

Wash me throughly from mine iniquity,
and cleanse me from my sin.

Psalm 51:1-2

Despite our efforts

"there is always something clinging to the soul,
through the influence of the body
and of the baseness of our nature,
which we should prefer not to be there.

"I will explain myself further.
We are meditating on the nature of the world,
and on the way in which everything will come to an end,
so that we may learn to despise it,
when, almost without noticing it,
we find ourselves ruminating
on things in the world that we love.

"We try to banish these thoughts,
but we cannot help being slightly distracted
by thinking of things that have happened,
or will happen,
of things we have done
and of things we are going to do.

"Then we begin to think
of how we can get rid of these thoughts;
and that sometimes
plunges us once again into the same danger.

"It is not that we ought to omit such meditations;
but we need to retain our misgivings about them
and not to grow careless.

"In contemplation
the Lord Himself relieves us of this care,
for He will not trust us to look after ourselves.
So dearly does He love our souls
that He prevents them
from rushing into things
which may do them harm
just at this time when He is anxious to help them.

"So He calls them to His side at once,
and in a single moment
reveals more truths to them
and gives them a clearer insight
into the nature of everything
than they could otherwise gain in many years.

"For our sight is poor
and the dust which we meet on the road blinds us;
but in contemplation
the Lord brings us
to the end of the day’s journey
without our understanding how."

From The Way of Perfection, Chapter 19
by St. Teresa of Avila

Tuesday, November 23, 2004

See what love

the Father has given us,
that we should be called
children of God;

The face of God from 'The Creation of Adam' by Michelangelo - Sistine Chapel - Vatican City

and so we are.

The reason why the world does not know us
is that it did not know him.
1 John 3:1

"A genuine love of God..."

"if it is really strong,
and completely free from earthly things,
and able to rise above them,
is master of all the elements
and of the whole world.
From The Way of Perfection, Chapter 19
by St. Teresa of Avila

Monday, November 22, 2004

Peter said to Jesus

"Lord, what about him?"
'The Resurrected Jesus Teaches Peter and John' 1523 German Woodcut
Jesus said to him,
"What if I want him to remain until I come?
What concern is it of yours?
You follow me."
John 21:21-22

Think it's easy?

"I tell you, then, daughters - those of you whom God is not leading by this road [of contemplation] - that, as I know from what I have seen and been told by those who are following this road, they are not bearing a lighter cross than you; you would be amazed at all the ways and manners in which God sends them crosses.

I know about both types of life and I am well aware that the trials given by God to contemplatives are intolerable; and they are of such a kind that, were He not to feed them with consolations, they could not be borne.

"It is clear that, since God leads those whom He most loves by the way of trials, the more He loves them, the greater will be their trials....

"I think, when those who lead an active life occasionally see contemplatives receiving consolations, they suppose that they never experience anything else. But I can assure you that you might not be able to endure their sufferings for as long as a day.

"The point is that the Lord knows everyone as he really is and gives each his work to do—according to what He sees to be most fitting for his soul, and for His own Self, and for the good of his neighbour."

from The Way of Perfection, Chapter 18
by St. Teresa of Avila

Sunday, November 21, 2004

Hearken, O daughter, and consider

and incline thine ear;

forget also thine own people
and thy father's house;

So shall the king greatly desire thy beauty:
for he is thy Lord...
Church of Christ the King, Minneapolis
worship thou him.
Psalm 45:10-11


"All the evils of life,
all hatred, envy, discord and wars
come from self-love
which demands all rights for itself
and rejects whatever hinders self-satisfaction.

once this great enemy of charity is destroyed,
the world will enjoy the most perfect peace and union.

"In order to establish this kingdom in our hearts
we must first
destroy all other kingdoms and dominions within it,
or rather, the sole kingdom of our ego,
of our self-love,
which is the origin, sum and compendium of them all,
and which is diametrically opposed
to the Kingdom of Christ.”
Fr. Victorino Osende, O.P.
Fruits of Contemplation, p. 336

Saturday, November 20, 2004

And he, bearing his cross, went forth...

John 19:17a

Someone asks Jesus,'Why do you embrace your cross?'

Not really a failure

"Be sure that, if you do what lies in your power
and prepare yourself for high contemplation
with the perfection aforementioned,
then, if He does not grant it you
(and I think He will not fail to do so
if you have true detachment and humility),
it will be because He has laid up this joy for you
so as to give it you in Heaven,
and because,
as I have said elsewhere,
He is pleased to treat you like people who are strong
and give you a cross to bear on earth
like that which His Majesty Himself always bore.

"What better sign of friendship is there
than for Him to give you what He gave Himself?
It might well be
that you would not have had so great a reward
from contemplation.

"His judgments are His own;
we must not meddle in them.
It is indeed a good thing that the choice is not ours;
for, if it were,
we should think it the more restful life
and all become great contemplatives.

"Oh, how much we gain
if we have no desire to gain what seems to us best
and so have no fear of losing,
since God never permits
a truly mortified person to lose anything
except when such loss will bring him greater gain!"
from The Way of Perfection, Chapter 17
by St. Teresa of Avila

Friday, November 19, 2004

Now it came to pass as they went

that he entered into a certain village:
and a certain woman named Martha
received him into her house
John 10:38

'Christ in the House of Mary and Martha', by Jan Vermeer, 1654-55, National Gallery of Scotland, Edinburgh

Contemplation and other ways

"Saint Martha was holy, but we are not told that she was a contemplative.

"What more do you want than to be able to grow to be like that blessed woman, who was worthy to receive Christ our Lord so often in her house, and to prepare meals for Him, and to serve Him and perhaps to eat at table with Him?

. . . . .

"If contemplation and mental and vocal prayer and tending the sick and serving in the house and working at even the lowliest tasks are of service to the Guest who comes to stay with us and to eat and take His recreation with us, what should it matter to us if we do one of these things rather than another?"
from The Way of Perfection, Chapter 17
by St. Teresa of Avila

Thursday, November 18, 2004

The wilderness and the solitary place

shall be glad for them;
and the desert shall rejoice,
and blossom as the rose.
High dunes of the Namib desert near Sossusviei, Namibia
It shall blossom abundantly,
and rejoice even with joy and singing:
the glory of Lebanon shall be given unto it,
the excellency of Carmel and Sharon,
they shall see the glory of the LORD,
and the excellency of our God.

Strengthen ye the weak hands,
and confirm the feeble knees.
Isaiah 35:1-3

Let us not be discouraged, then

"and give up prayer
or cease doing what the rest do;
for the Lord sometimes tarries long,
and gives us as great rewards
all at once
as He has been giving to others
over many years."
from The Way of Perfection, Chapter 17
by St. Teresa of Avila

Wednesday, November 17, 2004

Put on the whole armour of God

that ye may be able to stand
against the wiles of the devil.
Saint Michael, Archangel, defend us in battle. Be our defense against the wickedness and snares of the devil. May God rebuke him, we humbly pray. And you, Prince of the heavenly host, by the power of God, thrust into Hell Satan and the other evil spirits who prowl the world for the ruin of souls. Amen.
For we wrestle not against flesh and blood,
but against principalities, against powers,
against the rulers of the darkness of this world,
against spiritual wickedness in high places.

Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God,
that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day,
and having done all, to stand.

Stand therefore,
having your loins girt about with truth,
and having on the breastplate of righteousness;
And your feet shod
with the preparation of the gospel of peace;

Above all,
taking the shield of faith,
wherewith ye shall be able to quench
all the fiery darts of the wicked.

And take the helmet of salvation,
and the sword of the Spirit,
which is the word of God:
Praying always
with all prayer and supplication
in the Spirit,
and watching thereunto
with all perseverance
and supplication for all saints...
Ephesians 6:11-18

Monasteries are sometimes called

"'Powerhouses of Prayer'
and those who live there, the monks and nuns,
'Prayer Warriors of the Cloister.'

"These strong images convey
the intensity of the contemplative life.

"We are all engaged in a spiritual battle
for the honor of God and the salvation of souls.

"'It is not against human enemies that we have to struggle,
but against the spiritual army of evil.'
(See Ephesians 6:12)

"Our prayer ministry is directed
both to God and to our neighbor.

  • "To God by striving for total dedication, loyalty, fidelity. We express this in Eucharistic Adoration and the chanting of the Divine Office.
  • "To our neighbor through the prayer of intercession in loving concern, care and support."

from the website of
the Monastery of the Infant Jesus
Lufkin, Texas

Tuesday, November 16, 2004

LORD, I cry unto thee

make haste unto me;
give ear unto my voice when I cry unto thee.
Let my prayer
be set forth before thee as incense;
and the lifting up of my hands
as the evening sacrifice.

Psalm 141:1-2

For humility is the principal virtue

"which must be practised by those who pray,
and, as I have said,
it is very fitting
that you should try to learn how to practise it often:
that is one of the chief things to remember about it
and it is very necessary
that it should be known by all who practise prayer.
How can anyone who is truly humble
think herself as good as those who become contemplatives?"
from The Way of Perfection, Chapter 17
by St. Teresa of Avila

Monday, November 15, 2004

Liturgy of the Hours online

A group called The Liturgy of the Hours Apostolate provides full texts of the Liturgy of the Hours online, including Morning Prayer, Evening Prayer, Daytime Prayer, Night Prayer, and Office of the Readings - not only in English, but also in Spanish, Portuguese, French, and Italian!

There are a few glitches and gaps, but overall it is an excellent place to access and follow this great prayer of the Church.


(A tip of the hat to Dunmoose the Ageless)

If any man will come after me

let him deny himself,
and take up his cross daily,
and follow me.

Luke 9:23


"O Lord!

"All our trouble comes to us
from not having our eyes fixed upon Thee.

"If we only looked
at the way along which we are walking,
we should soon arrive;
but we stumble and fall a thousand times
and stray from the way
because, as I say,
we do not set our eyes
on the true Way."
from The Way of Perfection, Chapter 16
by St. Teresa of Avila

Sunday, November 14, 2004

And though I have the gift of prophecy

and understand all mysteries,
and all knowledge;
and though I have all faith,

so that I could remove mountains,
and have not charity,
I am nothing.

And though I bestow all my goods
to feed the poor,
and though I give my body

to be burned,
and have not charity,
it profiteth me nothing.

Charity suffereth long,
and is kind;
charity envieth not;
charity vaunteth not itself,

is not puffed up....

And now abideth faith, hope, charity,
these three;
but the greatest of these is charity.
1 Corinthians 13:2-4,13

'Cathedral' by Auguste Rodin

Be sure that He will give the most humility

"to him who has most already
and least to him who has least.

"I cannot understand how humility exists,
or can exist,
without love,
or love without humility,
and it is impossible for these two virtues to exist
save where there is great detachment
from all created things."
from The Way of Perfection, Chapter 16
by St. Teresa of Avila

Saturday, November 13, 2004

Getting right with God

"We are receiving the due reward of our deeds;
but this man has done nothing wrong...."
remember me when you come into your kingdom...."

"Truly, I say to you,
today you will be with me in Paradise."

from Luke 23:41-43

The Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world

Right and wrong

"I often tell you, sisters, and now I want it to be set down in writing, not to forget that we in this house, and for that matter anyone who would be perfect, must flee a thousand leagues from such phrases as: 'I had right on my side'; 'They had no right to do this to me'; 'The person who treated me like this was not right.'

"God deliver us from such a false idea of right as that!

"Do you think that it was right for our good Jesus to have to suffer so many insults, and that those who heaped them on Him were right, and that they had any right to do Him those wrongs....?

"To desire to share in the kingdom [of our Spouse Jesus Christ], and to enjoy it, and yet not to be willing to have any part in His dishonours and trials, is ridiculous.

"God keep us from being like that!"
from The Way of Perfection, chapter 13
by St. Teresa of Avila

Friday, November 12, 2004

Whoever would be great among you

must be your servant,
and whoever would be first among you
must be your slave;
even as the Son of man came
not to be served
but to serve,
and to give his life as a ransom for many.
Matthew 20:26b-28

Lying prostrate before the Lord - Good Friday Liturgy - Gesu Church, Detroit, MI

God deliver us

"from people who wish to serve Him
yet who are mindful of their own honour.
Reflect how little they gain from this;
for, as I have said,
the very act of desiring honour robs us of it,
especially in matters of precedence:
there is no poison in the world
which is so fatal to perfection."
from The Way of Perfection, Chapter 12
by St. Teresa of Avila

Thursday, November 11, 2004

But whatever gain I had

I counted as loss for the sake of Christ.

Indeed I count everything as loss
because of the surpassing worth
of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord.

For his sake
I have suffered the loss of all things,
and count them as refuse,
in order that I may gain Christ
and be found in him....
Philippians 3:7-9a

 Lough Derg, Ireland (also known as 'St. Patrick's Purgatory')

But how harsh it sounds

"to say
that we must take pleasure in nothing,
unless we also say
what consolations and delights
this renunciation brings in its train,
and what a great gain it is,
even in this life!
What security it gives us!"
from The Way of Perfection, Chapter 12
by St. Teresa of Avila

Wednesday, November 10, 2004

Who shall climb

the mountain of the Lord?

Who shall stand in His holy place?

The one with clean hands and pure heart...

Psalm 24:3-4a

If... you are very careful about your prayer

"you will soon find yourselves
gradually reaching the summit of the mountain
without knowing how."
from The Way of Perfection, Chapter 12
by St. Teresa of Avila

Tuesday, November 09, 2004

Do not lay up for yourselves

treasures on earth,
where moth and rust consume
and where thieves break in and steal,
but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven,
where neither moth nor rust consumes
and where thieves do not break in and steal.

For where your treasure is,
there will your heart be also.
Matthew 7:19-21

It will be a great help

"towards (the holy spirit of freedom)
if we keep constantly in our thoughts
the vanity of all things
and the rapidity with which they pass away,
so that we may withdraw our affections
from things which are so trivial
and fix them
upon what will never come to an end.
from The Way of Perfection, Chapter 10
by St. Teresa of Avila

Monday, November 08, 2004

Consider the lilies of the field

how they grow;

they toil not, neither do they spin:
And yet I say unto you,
That even Solomon in all his glory
was not arrayed like one of these.

Wherefore, if God so clothe the grass of the field,
which today is,
and tomorrow is cast into the oven,
shall he not much more clothe you,
O ye of little faith?
Matthew 6:28-30

It is when I possess least

"that I have the fewest worries
and the Lord knows that, as far as I can tell,
I am more afflicted
when there is excess of anything
than when there is lack of it;

"I am not sure if that is the Lord’s doing,
but I have noticed that He provides for us immediately.

"To act otherwise would be to deceive the world
by pretending to be poor
when we are not poor in spirit
but only outwardly."

from The Way of Perfection, Chapter 2
by St. Teresa of Avila

Sunday, November 07, 2004

Behold, I stand at the door and knock

if any man hear my voice, and open the door,
I will come in to him
and will sup with him, and he with me.

Revelation 3:20

In night prayer

we keep a holy and persevering watch,
awaiting the return of the Master
so as to open to him as soon as he knocks.
From the Statutes of the Carthusian Order
Book 3, Chapter 21, number 5

Saturday, November 06, 2004

Come, Holy Spirit

fill the hearts of Thy faithful
and enkindle in them the fire of Thy love.

V. Send forth Thy Spirit and they shall be created.
R. And Thou shalt renew the face of the earth.

Let us pray.
O God,
Who didst instruct the hearts of the faithful
by the light of the Holy Spirit,
grant us in the same Spirit
to be truly wise,
and ever to rejoice in His consolation.
Through Christ our Lord.

If therefore we are truly

"living in union with God,
our minds and hearts,
far from becoming shut in on themselves,
open up to embrace the whole universe
and the mystery of Christ that saves it.

"Apart from all,
to all we are united,
so that it is in the name of all
that we stand before the living God."

Friday, November 05, 2004

Whom have I in heaven but thee?

and there is none upon earth that I desire
beside thee.

My flesh and my heart faileth:
but God is the strength of my heart,
and my portion for ever.
Psalm 73:25-26

The Carmelite Monastery of St. Joseph - Malahide, Ireland

Our supreme quest and goal

"is to find God in solitude and silence.

"There, indeed, as a man with his friend,
do the Lord and his servant often speak together;
there is the faithful soul
frequently united with the Word of God;
there is the bride
made one with her Spouse;
there is earth joined to heaven,
the divine to the human.

"Commonly, however, the journey is long,
and the way dry and barren,
that must be traveled
to attain the fount of living water."
Statutes of the Carthusian Order, Book 2, Chapter 12, number 1

Thursday, November 04, 2004

Now I rejoice in my sufferings

for your sake,
and in my flesh I complete
what is lacking in Christ's afflictions
for the sake of his body, that is, the church,

Colossians 1:24
Our Lady of Calvary Abbey - Rogersville NB (Canada)

Christ suffered for us

"leaving us an example, that we should follow in his steps; this we do by accepting the hardships and anxieties of this life, by embracing poverty with the freedom of God’s sons, and by renouncing our own will."
Statutes of the Carthusian Order, Book 1, Chapter 7, number 1 (excerpt)

Wednesday, November 03, 2004

I have rejoiced

in the way of thy testimonies,
as much as in all riches.

The Carmelite Monastery of St. Joseph - Malahide, Ireland
I will meditate in thy precepts,
and have respect unto thy ways.

I will delight myself in thy statutes:
I will not forget thy word.

Deal bountifully with thy servant,
that I may live, and keep thy word.

Open thou mine eyes,
that I may behold wondrous things out of thy law.
Psalm 119:14-18

Lectio Divina

An excellent habit for serious spiritual growth is daily spiritual reading.

The Office of the Readings is a great resource for this.

Another great resource is the daily Scripture readings for Mass (which essentially go through the entire Bible in the course of a two and a three year cycle). The U.S. Bishops' website has a link for the readings of the day at http://www.usccb.org/nab/today.htm

The Benedictines have a link for a different reading everyday from the great spiritual classic, the Rule of St. Benedict at http://www.osb.org/rb/show.asp?mode=today

Tuesday, November 02, 2004

But we would not have you ignorant...

...concerning those who are asleep,
that you may not grieve
as others do who have no hope.

For since we believe that Jesus died and rose again,
even so, through Jesus,
God will bring with him those who have fallen asleep.

For this we declare to you by the word of the Lord,
that we who are alive,
who are left until the coming of the Lord,
shall not precede those who have fallen asleep.

For the Lord himself will descend from heaven
with a cry of command, with the archangel's call,
and with the sound of the trumpet of God.

And the dead in Christ will rise first;
then we who are alive, who are left,
shall be caught up together with them in the clouds
to meet the Lord in the air;
and so we shall always be with the Lord.

Therefore comfort one another with these words.

1 Thessalonians 4:13-18

All Souls Day

"Indeed, on the day after the feast of All Saints, when the Church joyfully celebrates the communion of saints and human salvation, St Odilo (abbot of the monastery of Cluny) urged his monks to say special prayers for all the dead, thus mysteriously contributing to their entry into beatitude; the custom of solemnly interceding for the dead in a celebration which St Odilo called All Souls Day gradually spread from the Abbey of Cluny and is now the practice throughout the universal Church.

"In praying for the dead, the Church above all contemplates the mystery of the Resurrection of Christ, who obtains salvation and eternal life for us through his Cross."

John Paul II
Message for Millenium of All Souls Day, 1-2 (excerpt)
June 2, 1998

Monday, November 01, 2004

Pray today, vote tomorrow!

"O God,
who did instruct the hearts of the faithful
by the light of the Holy Spirit,
grant us in the same Spirit
to be truly wise
and ever to rejoice
in His consolation,
through Christ our Lord.
Traditional Prayer to the Holy Spirit

"Therefore, since we are surrounded...

"...by so great a cloud of witnesses,
let us also lay aside
every weight, and sin which clings so closely,
and let us run with perseverance
the race that is set before us,
looking to Jesus
the pioneer and perfecter of our faith,
who for the joy that was set before him
endured the cross, despising the shame,
and is seated at the right hand
of the throne of God.
Hebrews 12:1-2

"Calling the saints to mind..."

"...inspires, or rather arouses in us,
above all else,
a longing to enjoy their company,
so desirable in itself.

"We long to share in the citizenship of heaven,
to dwell with the spirits of the blessed,
to join the assembly of patriarchs,
the ranks of the prophets,
the council of apostles,
the great host of martyrs,
the noble company of confessors
and the choir of virgins.

"In short,
we long to be united in happiness
with all the saints."
from a sermon by St. Bernard
(Office of the Readings)