Wednesday, August 31, 2005

My heart pounds within me

death's terrors fall upon me.
Hardy Jackson - whose home was destroyed and wife killed by Hurricane Katrina

Fear and trembling overwhelm me;
shuddering sweeps over me.

I say, "If only I had wings like a dove
that I might fly away and find rest.
Far away I would flee;
I would stay in the desert. Selah

"I would soon find a shelter
from the raging wind and storm."

* * * * *

"Cast your burden on the LORD,
and he will sustain you..."

Psalm 55:4-8, 22a

(from today's Daytime Prayer)

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

Late have I loved thee

O Beauty so ancient and so new,
late have I loved thee.

Behold, thou wast within
and I was without,
and I sought thee out there;

And among the lovely things

that thou hast made,
unlovely that I am, I heedlessly rushed .

Thou wast with me,

but I was not with thee.

These things kept me far from thee
(they that would not be, were they not in thee).

Thou didst call and cry aloud,
and didst force open my deafness.

Thou didst gleam and shine,
and didst chase away my blindness.

Thou didst breathe fragrant odors
and I drew in my breath;
and now I pant for thee.

I tasted,
and now I hunger and thirst.

Thou didst touch me,
and I burned for thy peace.

Sero te amavi,
pulchritudo tam antiqua et tam nova,
sero te amavi!

et ecce intus eras
et ego foris,
et ibi te quaerebam,
et in ista formosa,
quae fecisti,
deformis inruebam.

mecum eras,
et tecum non eram.

ea me tenebant longe a te,
quae si in te non essent, non essent.

vocasti et clamasti
et rupisti surditatem meam:

splenduisti et fugasti caecitatem meam:

fragrasti, et duxi spiritum,
et anhelo tibi,

et esurio et sitio,

tetigisti me,
et exarsi in pacem tuam.

(Confessions of St. Augustine, X.xxvii[38]
- Latin text here)

Thursday, August 11, 2005

Happy indeed is she

Saint Clare of Assisi
who is granted a place at the divine banquet,
for she may cling with her inmost heart
to him whose beauty
eternally awes the blessed hosts of heaven;

to him whose love inspires love,
whose contemplation refreshes,
whose generosity satisfies,
whose gentleness delights,
whose memory shines sweetly as the dawn;

to him whose fragrance revives the dead,
and whose glorious vision
will bless all the citizens of that heavenly Jerusalem,
for he is the splendor of eternal glory,
the brightness of eternal light,
and the mirror without cloud.

St. Clare of Assisi
from a letter to Blessed Agnes of Prague
Office of the Readings

Tuesday, August 02, 2005

Avoiding mediocrity

"We must know where mediocrity of spirit comes from.

"The first is the worst: it’s a scattered mind, a life which is too active. Nothing can cling to it. It’s like the seed of the Gospel falling on the open road.

Carthusian Monk - Chartreuse de Montrieux, France"The remedy is to bring the mind back to natural reflection by some reading or serious meditations which strike it and help it to be focused.

"In general, it’s better to choose a great truth than a pious feeling. The work of truth is to refocus our attention, reflection, and finally, devotion.

"The second source of mediocrity of spirit is mental boredom toward what is serious and positive.

"This illness can only be healed by openness to divine love, since it is based on discouragement.
Pope Benedict XVI - July 2005
"The third source is laziness of the mind which fears to consider the truth.

"The fourth source is when we counteract the grace, the attraction of the moment. The mind becomes closed and foolish....

"What can we do? Follow grace. Let the mind become accustomed to the truth which God’s grace is offering.
Carthusian Nun - Cartuja Santa María de BENIFAÇÀ - Spain"It takes a week or two for a truth to become natural and habitual, but we must make it the center of our piety and let everything converge toward it.

"Be serious about the presence of God, the knowledge of Jesus Christ, a definite thought of some virtue, and you will have a center of strength and consolation."

(From a letter written in 1868 to Mme. Mathilde Giraud-Jordan by St. Peter Julian Eymard)