For this Hymn by St. Thomas Aquinas (Zion, To Thy Savior Singing)


I am late in coming around to an appreciation of St. Thomas Aquinas. As the old saw goes, better late than never. Jacques Maritain’s book The Peasant of the Garonne has pointed me towards learning more about this Doctor of the Church. [Read more…]

For This Hymn Commemorating the Baptism of Our Lord

On the Liturgical Calendar today, the Church celebrates the Feast of the Baptism of the Lord. Below is the conclusion of a three part kontakion written by Saint Romanus, the Melodist, in the 6th century. It was written and sung to commemorate this holy event. [Read more…]

To Mourn and Embrace Pain in the Present Moment

When words fail, and our hearts are not still, what can we do? When tragedy strikes, there are questions that must be answered, and mourning that we must endure. [Read more…]

From T. S. Eliot’s “Four Quartets” (A Few Words for Wednesday)

 

1962 Oil Painting by Sir Gerald Kelly.
National Portrait Gallery. Smithsonian Institution,
Washington D.C.

T.S. Eliot has been lauded in this space before. You see, he moved on from the Wasteland and the Hollow Men, and  found succor and refreshment in the fields of the Lord. Even when the world he knew was ramping up for, and rent in two by, war, as was the case when he composed the Nobel Prize winning Four Quartets (1936-1942).

Such was the backdrop of the selection I share with you today. [Read more…]

After the Election, What Really Matters…UPDATED

There will be much post-election chatter to keep us occupied for days, if not weeks. In the coming hours, much ink will be spilled on the subject and your humble blogger may even indulge in adding to the straw pile of “what it all means” recaps of the election.

But not right now.  [Read more…]

News Flash: Dead Chinese Jesuit Befriends Catholic Blogger

You may remember my friend named Wu Li, SJ.  I introduced him to you in a post a few years back.Wu died as a Jesuit priest in Macau in 1718.

There is something about departed Catholics and me. I’m like Haley Joel Osment in The Sixth Sense, or something. Except I don’t really see dead people. But I make friends with them so maybe they might be saints. [Read more…]

A Poem and a Prayer for Michaelmas UPDATED

 

Today is the Feast of St. Michael and the Archangels, also known as Michaelmas. I like the sound of that calendar name for today’s feast and the knowledge that this day used to be a huge festival marking the beginning of Autumn (which is my favorite season).

I actually hope that this day is still celebrated extravagantly somewhere on the planet. Next year, send me an invitation, or some Michaelmas recipes (and history!) or something. [Read more…]

Fraternal Correction (A Few Words for Wednesday)

A poem by Kenhelm Digby Best, priest of the Oratory of St. Philip Neri, London, 1900.

 Fraternal Correction

Ah! there are untamed spirits, rough and rude,
Rugged as unwrought iron, unsubdued
Till fire hath filled it with a glowing heat—
And love alone with such souls can compete.
But, soon as love hath made these souls less like
Their wretched self, some deem it time to strike—
Unskilful smiths! they only beat the mass
Into its own cold hardness—while, alas!
Had they loved on, and not been violent,
How easily the stubborn had been bent!
Reproof that irritates, and frequent test
Make untried tempers brittle at the best—
Morose and murmuring, instead of gay,
For perseverance less and less they pray—
Till, finally, it needs but one blow more
To strew the shivered fragments on the floor.

More poems like this one are available on the YIMCatholic Bookshelf.

 

 

A Sonnet on the Feast of the Immaculate Heart of Mary

The Heart of Mary, by Sheldon Vanauken (1914-1996).

Dear sister, I was not divine,
The angel left me woman as before,
And when, like flame beneath my heart, I bore
The Son, I was vestal and the shrine.

My arms held Heaven at my breast—not wine
But milk made blood, in which no mothering doubt
Prefigured patterns of the pouring out,
O Lamb! to stain the world incarnadine.

The Magi saw a crown that lay ahead,
But not the bitter glory of the reign;
They called him King and knelt among the kine.
I pondered in my heart what they said,
Yet could not see the bloody cup of pain.
I was but woman—though my God was mine.

Fr. Pontifex Strikes Again…

Father Claude Dusty Burns with a little ditty on the compatibility of faith and reason. Help make it go viral! [Read more…]