Friday, July 13, 2018

Waiting


Serene, I fold my hands and wait,
Nor care for wind, nor tide, nor sea;
I rave no more 'gainst time or fate,
For lo! my own shall come to me.

I stay my haste, I make delays,
For what avails this eager pace?
I stand amid the eternal ways,
And what is mine shall know my face.

Asleep, awake, by night or day,
The friends I seek are seeking me;
No wind can drive my bark astray,
Nor change the tide of destiny.

What matter if I stand alone?
I wait with joy the coming years;
My heart shall reap where it hath sown,
And garner up its fruit of tears.

The waters know their own and draw
The brook that springs in yonder height;
So flows the good with equal law
Unto the soul of pure delight.

The stars come nightly to the sky;
The tidal wave unto the sea;
Nor time, nor space, nor deep, nor high,
Can keep my own away from me. 

John Burroughs

Tuesday, June 12, 2018

Photograph by Thomas Merton


Photograph by Thomas Merton, taken on May 13, 1968 on the Pacific Shore, "Low tide. Long rollers trail white sleeves of foam behind them, reaching for the sand, like hands for the keyboard of an instrument."

 May 22, 1968

John Griffin sent one of my pictures of Needle Rock, which he developed and enlarged. I also have the contact. The Agfa film brought out the great Yang-Yin of sea rock mist, diffused light and half hidden mountain - an interior landscape, yet there. In other words, what is written within me is there, "Thou art that."

- The Other Side of the Mountain, p. 110

* Special thanks to "Louie Louie." 
 

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Children and Easter


“There is a stage in a child’s life at which it cannot separate the religious from the merely festal character of Christmas or Easter. I have been told of a very small and very devout boy who was heard murmuring to himself on Easter morning a poem of his own composition which began ‘Chocolate eggs and Jesus risen.’ 

This seems to me, for his age, both admirable poetry and admirable piety. But of course the time will soon come when such a child can no longer effortlessly and spontaneously enjoy that unity. He will become able to distinguish the spiritual from the ritual and festal aspect of Easter; chocolate eggs will no longer seem sacramental. 

And once he has distinguished he must put one or the other first. If he puts the spiritual first he can still taste something of Easter in the chocolate eggs; if he puts the eggs first they will soon be no more than any other sweetmeat. They will have taken on an independent, and therefore a soon withering, life.” 

~C. S. Lewis

Wednesday, March 7, 2018

To Be Grateful...

"To be grateful for the good things that happen in our lives is easy, but to be grateful for all our lives—the good as well as the bad, the moments of joy as well as the moments of sorrow, the successes as well as the failures, the rewards as well as the rejections—that requires hard spiritual work. Still, we are only truly grateful people when we can say thank you to all that has brought us to the present moment."   ~ Henri Nouwen 

Thursday, February 22, 2018

A Trappist Lenten Reflection


"As we commence another season of Lent, it would be important to ask ourselves if we truly believe that we stand in need of conversion. Or perhaps an even more important question: Do we wish to be converted? Neither of these questions is rhetorical for, if we are not careful, with the steady passage of years some of our sins and imperfections can become so ingrained and part of us that we are no longer even aware of them and, consequently, lack any desire to change. Lent is a graced opportunity to step back and look more closely at our lives and familiarize ourselves with some of our less obvious sins and failings. Inner peace is always going to be a barometer of our spiritual health and inner turmoil, restlessness and discontent the more likely indicators of acknowledged or unacknowledged sins and imperfections. And so, if you find that you can’t think of some obvious fault or failing that you can concentrate on this Lent, it might be helpful to take note of and more closely examine the circumstances and situations that rob you of your inner peace and stillness in a typical day. At the heart of these daily inner disturbances you will find not only their cause, but also what the focus of this Lenten season needs to be for you. Let us all pray for this grace of a renewed commitment to ever deeper self-knowledge so that God’s saving grace may touch the innermost recesses of our hearts and that Easter may bring us a deeper and fuller share in our Savior’s victory over sin and death."

* Written by Father Joseph Wittstock, Abbot of Holy Cross Abbey, Berryville, Virginia
 * Photo © Deacon Brian J. Murphy

Monday, December 18, 2017

Advent


And this shall happen on that day:
the nations shall inquire of the root of Jesse,
which shall be standing as a signal to the peoples,
and his resting place shall be glorious. 
 -  Isaiah 11:10

Friday, June 23, 2017

Rare photo of Thomas Merton’s first Mass


Father Louis (Thomas Merton) elevates the chalice during his first celebration of Solemn High Mass since his ordination to the priesthood in Trappist, Kentucky, May 28, 1949. In foreground, the censer-bearer swings censer. At this point of the Mass the Consecration of the Body and Blood of Christ are complete and will be followed by Communion. Other priests are unidentified. Merton was given the name “Louis” upon entering the Cistercians of the Strict Observance, better known as the Trappists, at the Abbey of Our Lady of Gethsemani.
* Photograph by H.B. Littell via AP Archives