And thou, who didst the stars and sunbeams know, Self-school'd, self-scann'd, self-honour'd, self-secure, Didst tread on earth unguess'd at. Better so! All pains the immortal spirit must endure, All weakness which impairs, all griefs which bow, Find their sole speech in that victorious brow.
Late have I loved Thee, O Lord; and behold, Thou wast within and I without, and there I sought Thee. Thou was with me when I was not with Thee. Thou didst call, and cry, and burst my deafness. Thou didst gleam, and glow, and dispell my blindness. Thou didst touch me, and I burned for Thy peace. For Thyself Thou hast made us, and restless our hearts until in Thee they find their ease. Late have I loved Thee, Thou Beauty ever old and ever new. Thou hast burst my bonds asunder; unto Thee will I offer up an offering of praise.
CREONTA: Rope! My rope! Hang those two thieves by the neck until they are dead. THE ROPE: Alack, but vile and ill-natured female! Upon wherein did thine affections tarry when I didst but lie here and rot for many a year? Nay, but those fellows tooketh care to remove the wetness that didst plagueth me of late and hath laid me upon the cool ground to revel in a state of dryness. Nay, I wouldst not delay them in their noble course for all thine base and bestial howling. CREONTA: Then, you, dearest donkey, precious beast of burden, tear those two apart and eat their flesh! DONKEY: Nay, but alas for many a season didst you but keep the food of the tummy from me and my mouth when it was that I required it of you. These fine gentlemen of fortune didst but give me carrots of which to partake which I did most verily and forthsoothe with merriment. I havest decided that thou dost suck most verily and no longer will I layth the smackth down in thine name but will rather let such gentlemen as these go free of themselves. TRUFFALDINO: [To the audience.] Well, what do you know? Fakespeare!
Is the nature of men such, that they can reject miracle, and at the great moments of their life, the moments of their deepest, most agonising spiritual difficulties, cling only to the free verdict of the heart? Oh, Thou didst know that Thy deed would be recorded in books, would be handed down to remote times and the utmost ends of the earth, and Thou didst hope that man, following Thee, would cling to God and not ask for a miracle. But Thou didst not know that when man rejects miracle he rejects God too; for man seeks not so much God as the miraculous. And as man cannot bear to be without the miraculous, he will create new miracles of his own for himself, and will worship deeds of sorcery and witchcraft, though he might be a hundred times over a rebel, heretic and infidel.
Thou, my slave, As thou report'st thyself, was then her servant, And for thou wast a spirit too delicate To act her earthy and abhorred commands, Refusing her grand hests, she did confine thee, By help of her more potent ministers And in her most unmitigable rage, Into a cloven pine, within which rift Imprisoned thou didst painfully remain A dozen years; within which space she died And left thee there, where thou didst vent thy groans As fast as mill wheels strike.
In praise of Thy goodness I must confess that Thou didst try with all Thy means to draw me to Thee. Sometimes it pleased Thee to let me feel the heavy hand of Thy displeasure and to humiliate my proud heart by manifold castigations. Sickness and misfortune didst Thou send upon me to turn my thoughts to my errantries.-One thing, only, O Father, do I ask: cease not to labor for my betterment. In whatsoever manner it be, let me turn to Thee and become fruitful in good works.
Ludwig van Beethoven
COMMEMORATION Blessed art Thou, O Lord who didst bring forth of water moving creatures that have life, and whales, and winged fowls: and didst bless them, so as to increase and multiply. The things concerning the Ascension: Set up Thyself, O God, above the heavens and Thy glory above all the earth. By thine Ascension draw us withal unto Thee, O Lord, so as to set our affections on things above, and not on things on the earth. By the awful mystery of Thy Holy Body and Precious Blood in the evening of this day: Lord, have mercy.
Beware, I pray thee, of presuming that thou art saved. If thy heart be renewed, if thou shalt hate the things that thou didst once love, and love the things that thou didst once hate; if thou hast really repented; if there be a thorough change of mind in thee; if thou be born again, then hast thou reason to rejoice: but if there be no vital change, no inward godliness; if there be no love to God, no prayer, no work of the Holy Spirit, then thy saying "I am saved" is but thine own assertion, and it may delude, but it will not deliver thee.
We show our adoration by going to visit Christ in the tabernacle or exposed in the monstrance. Would it not indeed be a failing in respect to neglect the divine Guest who awaits us? He dwells there, really present, He who was present in the crib, at Nazareth, upon the mountains of Judea, in the supper-room, upon the Cross. It is the same Jesus who said to the Samaritan woman, 'If thou didst know the gift of God!'
Treason and murder ever kept together, As two yoke-devils sworn to either's purpose, Working so grossly in a natural cause That admiration did not whoop at them; But thou, 'gainst all proportion, didst bring in Wonder to wait on treason and on murder; And whatsoever cunning fiend it was That wrought upon thee so preposterously Hath got the voice in hell for excellence.
And behold! Allah will say: "O Jesus the son of Mary! Didst thou say unto men, worship me and my mother as gods in derogation of Allah.?" He will say: "Glory to Thee! never could I say what I had no right (to say). Had I said such a thing, thou wouldst indeed have known it. Thou knowest what is in my heart, Thou I know not what is in Thine. For Thou knowest in full all that is hidden.
Let them no more say, God must do all, we can do nothing, and so encourage themselves to live in a careless neglect of God, and of their own souls, and salvation. Most certainly, altho' we cannot say, That if men improve their natural abilities as they ought to do, that grace will infallibly follow, yet there will not one sinner in all the reprobate world, stand forth at the day of judgment, and say, Lord, thou knowest I did all that possibly I could do, for the obtaining grace, and for all that, thou didst withhold it from me.
O Mary! teach us the life of adoration! Teach us to see, as thou didst, all the mysteries and all the graces in the Eucharist; to live over again the Gospel story and to read it in the light of the Eucharistic Life of Jesus. Remember, O our Lady of the Most Blessed Sacrament, that thou art the Mother of all adorers of the Holy Eucharist
Peter Julian Eymard
If thou art indeed my father, then hast thou stained thy sword in the life-blood of thy son. And thous didst it of thine obstinacy. For I sought to turn thee unto love, and I implored of thee thy name, for I thought to behold in thee the tokens recounted of my mother. But I appealed unto thy heart in vain, and now is the time gone for meeting.
Lord, how excellent are Thy ways, and how devious and dark are the ways of man. Show us how to die, that we may rise again to newness of life. Rend the veil of our self-life from the top down as Thou didst rend the veil of the Temple. We would draw near in full assurance of faith. We would dwell with Thee in daily experience here on this earth so that we may be accustomed to the glory when we enter Thy heaven to dwell with Thee there. In Jesus' name, Amen.
The formation of the life of a person in the womb is the work of God, and it is not merely a mechanical process but a work on the analogy of weaving or knitting: "Thou didst knit me together in my mother's womb" (psalm 139:13). The life of the unborn is the knitting of God, and what He is knitting is a human being in His own image, unlike any other creature in the universe... The destruction of conceived human life - whether embryonic, fetal, or viable - is an assault on the unique person-forming work of God.
But figure his thought, when Death is now clutching at his own heart-strings, unlooked for, inexorable! Yes, poor Louis, Death has found thee. No palace walls or life-guards, gorgeous tapestries or gilt buckram of stiffest ceremonial could keep him out; but he is here, here at thy very life-breath, and will extinguish it. Thou, whose whole existence hitherto was a chimera and scenic show, at length becomest a reality: sumptuous Versailles bursts asunder, like a dream, into void Immensity; Time is done, and all the scaffolding of Time falls wrecked with hideous clangour round thy soul: the pale Kingdoms yawn open; there must thou enter, naked, all unking'd, and await what is appointed thee! Unhappy man, there as thou turnest, in dull agony, on thy bed of weariness, what a thought is thine! Purgatory and Hell-fire, now all-too possible, in the prospect; in the retrospect, -alas, what thing didst thou do that were not better undone; what mortal didst thou generously help; what sorrow hadst thou mercy on? Do the 'five hundred thousand' ghosts, who sank shamefully on so many battle-fields from Rossbach to Quebec, that thy Harlot might take revenge for an epigram, -crowd round thee in this hour? Thy foul Harem; the curses of mothers, the tears and infamy of daughters? Miserable man! thou 'hast done evil as thou couldst:' thy whole existence seems one hideous abortion and mistake of Nature; the use and meaning of thee not yet known. Wert thou a fabulous Griffin, devouring the works of men; daily dragging virgins to thy cave;-clad also in scales that no spear would pierce: no spear but Death's? A Griffin not fabulous but real! Frightful, O Louis, seem these moments for thee.-We will pry no further into the horrors of a sinner's death-bed.
O Deus Ego Amo Te Oh God, I love Thee mightily, Not only for Thy saving me, Nor yet because who love not Thee Must burn throughout eternity. Thou, Thou, my Jesu, once didst me Embrace upon the bitter Tree. For me the nails, the soldier's spear, With injury and insult, bear- In pain all pain exceeding, In sweating and in bleeding, Yea, very death, and that for me A sinner all unheeding! O Jesu, should I not love Thee Who thus hast dealt so lovingly- Not hoping some reward to see, Nor lest I my damnation be; But as Thyself hast loved me, So love I now and always Thee, Because my King alone Thou art, Because, O God, mine own Thou art!
Robert Hugh Benson
Jesus Christ came not to condemn you but to save you, knowing your name, knowing all about you, knowing your weight right now, knowing your age, knowing what you do, knowing where you live, knowing what you ate for supper and what you will eat for breakfast, where you will sleep tonight, how much your clothing cost, who your parents were. He knows you individually as though there were not another person in the entire world. He died for you as certainly as if you had been the only lost one. He knows the worst about you and is the One who loves you the most. If you are out of the fold and away from God, put your name in the words of John 3:16 and say, 'Lord, it is I. I'm the cause and reason why Thou didst on earth come to die.' That kind of positive, personal faith and a personal Redeemer is what saves you. If you will just rush in there, you do not have to know all the theology and all the right words. You can say, 'I am the one He came to die for.' Write it down in your heart and say, 'Jesus, this is me-Thee and me, ' as though there were no others. Have that kind of personalized belief in a personal Lord and Savior.
If we have never sought, we seek Thee now; Thine eyes burn through the dark, our only stars; We must have sight of thorn-pricks on Thy brow, We must have Thee, O Jesus of the Scars. The heavens frighten us; they are too calm; In all the universe we have no place. Our wounds are hurting us; where is the balm? Lord Jesus, by Thy Scars, we claim Thy grace. If, when the doors are shut, Thou drawest near, Only reveal those hands, that side of Thine; We know to-day what wounds are, have no fear, Show us Thy Scars, we know the countersign. The other gods were strong; but Thou wast weak; They rode, but Thou didst stumble to a throne; But to our wounds only God's wounds can speak, And not a god has wounds, but Thou alone.
Not so on Man; him through their malice fall'n, Father of Mercy and Grace, thou didst not doom So strictly, but much more to pity incline: No sooner did thy dear and only Son Perceive thee purpos'd not to doom frail Man So strictly, but much more to pity inclin'd, He to appease thy wrath, and end the strife Of mercy and Justice in thy face discern'd, Regardless of the Bliss wherein hee sat Second to thee, offer'd himself to die For man's offence. O unexampl'd love, Love nowhere to be found less than Divine! Hail Son of God, Saviour of Men, thy Name Shall be the copious matter of my Song Henceforth, and never shall my Harp thy praise Forget, nor from thy Father's praise disjoin.
While Nape was making the bread and Dryas boiling the ram, Daphnis and Chloe had time to go forth as far as the ivy-bush; and when he had set his snares again and pricked his lime-twigs, they not only catched good store of birds, but had a sweet collation of kisses without intermission, and a dear conversation in the language of love: "Chloe, I came for thy sake." "I know it, Daphnis." "'Tis long of thee that I destroy the poor birds." "What wilt thou with me?" "Remember me." "I remember thee, by the Nymphs by whom heretofore I have sworn in yonder cave, whither we will go as soon as ever the snow melts." "But it lies very deep, Chloe, and I fear I shall melt before the snow." "Courage, man; the Sun burns hot." "I would it burnt like that fire which now burns my very heart." "You do but gibe and cozen me!" "I do not, by the goats by which thou didst once bid me to swear to thee.
Wedding Hymn Father, within Thy House today We wait Thy kindly love to see; Since thou hast said in truth that they Who dwell in love are one with Thee, Bless those who for Thy blessing wait, Their love accept and consecrate. Dear Lord of love, whose Heart of Fire, So full of pity for our sin, Was once in that Divine Desire Broken, Thy Bride to woo and win: Look down and bless them from above And keep their hearts alight with love. Blest Spirit, who with life and light Didst quicken chaos to Thy praise, Whose energy, in sin's despite, Still lifts our nature up to grace; Bless those who here in troth consent. Creator, crown Thy Sacrament. Great One in Three, of Whom are named All families in earth and heaven, Hear us, who have Thy promise claimed, And let a wealth of grace be given; Grant them in life and death to be Each knit to each, and both to Thee.
Robert Hugh Benson
The Prologue to TERRITORY LOST "Of cats' first disobedience, and the height Of that forbidden tree whose doom'd ascent Brought man into the world to help us down And made us subject to his moods and whims, For though we may have knock'd an apple loose As we were carried safely to the ground, We never said to eat th'accursed thing, But yet with him were exiled from our place With loss of hosts of sweet celestial mice And toothsome baby birds of paradise, And so were sent to stray across the earth And suffer dogs, until some greater Cat Restore us, and regain the blissful yard, Sing, heavenly Mews, that on the ancient banks Of Egypt's sacred river didst inspire That pharaoh who first taught the sons of men To worship members of our feline breed: Instruct me in th'unfolding of my tale; Make fast my grasp upon my theme's dark threads That undistracted save by naps and snacks I may o'ercome our native reticence And justify the ways of cats to men.
Henry N. Beard
I die, and yet not dies in me The ardour of my love for Thee, Nor hath Thy Love, my only goal, Assuaged the fever of my soul. To Thee alone my spirit cries; In Thee my whole ambition lies, And still Thy Wealth is far above The poverty of my small love. I turn to Thee in my request, And seek in Thee my final rest; To Thee my loud lament is brought, Thou dwellest in my secret thought. However long my sickness be, This wearisome infirmity, Never to men will I declare The burden Thou has made me bear. To Thee alone is manifest The heavy labour of my breast, Else never kin nor neighbors know The brimming measure of my woe. A fever burns below my heart And ravages my every part; It hath destroyed my strength and stay, And smouldered all my soul away. Guidest Thou not upon the road The rider wearied by his load, Delivering from the steeps of death The traveller as he wandereth? Didst Thou not light a beacon too For them that found the Guidance true But carried not within their hand The faintest glimmer of its brand? O then to me Thy Favour give That, so attended, I may live, And overwhelm with ease from Thee The rigor of my poverty.
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I saw thee once - only once - years ago: I must not say how many - but not many. It was a July midnight; and from out A full-orbed moon, that, like thine own soul, soaring, Sought a precipitate pathway up through heaven, There fell a silvery-silken veil of light, With quietude, and sultriness, and slumber, Upon the upturn'd faces of a thousand Roses that grew in an enchanted garden, Where no wind dared stir, unless on tiptoe - Fell on the upturn'd faces of these roses That gave out, in return for the love-light, Their odorous souls in an ecstatic death - Fell on the upturn'd faces of these roses That smiled and died in the parterre, enchanted By thee, and by the poetry of thy presence. Clad all in white, upon a violet bank I saw thee half reclining; while the moon Fell upon the upturn'd faces of the roses, And on thine own, upturn'd - alas, in sorrow! Was it not Fate, that, on this July midnight - Was it not Fate, (whose name is also Sorrow, ) That bade me pause before that garden-gate, To breathe the incense of those slumbering roses? No footsteps stirred: the hated world all slept, Save only thee and me. (Oh, Heaven! - oh, G! How my heart beats in coupling those two words!) Save only thee and me. I paused - I looked - And in an instant all things disappeared. (Ah, bear in mind the garden was enchanted!) The pearly lustre of the moon went out: The mossy banks and the meandering paths, The happy flowers and the repining trees, Were seen no more: the very roses' odors Died in the arms of the adoring airs. All - all expired save thee - save less than thou: Save only divine light in thine eyes - Save but the soul in thine uplifted eyes. I saw but them - they were the world to me. I saw but them - saw only them for hours - Saw only them until the moon went down. What wild heart-histories seemed to lie enwritten Upon those crystalline, celestial spheres! How dark a wo! yet how sublime a hope! How silently serene a sea of pride! How daring an ambition! yet how deep - How fathomless a capacity for love! But now, at length, dear Dian sank from sight, Into a western couch of thunder-cloud; And thou, a ghost, amid the entombing trees Didst glide away. Only thine eyes remained. They would not go - they never yet have gone. Lighting my lonely pathway home that night, They have not left me (as my hopes have) since. They follow me - they lead me through the years. They are my ministers - yet I their slave. Their office is to illumine and enkindle - My duty, to be saved by their bright fire, And purified in their electric fire, And sanctified in their elysian fire. They fill my soul with Beauty (which is Hope, ) And are far up in Heaven - the stars I kneel to In the sad, silent watches of my night; While even in the meridian glare of day I see them still - two sweetly scintillant Venuses, unextinguished by the sun!
Edgar Allan Poe
To Helen I saw thee once-once only-years ago; I must not say how many-but not many. It was a july midnight; and from out A full-orbed moon, that, like thine own soul, soaring, Sought a precipitate pathway up through heaven, There fell a silvery-silken veil of light, With quietude, and sultriness, and slumber Upon the upturn'd faces of a thousand Roses that grew in an enchanted garden, Where no wind dared to stir, unless on tiptoe- Fell on the upturn'd faces of these roses That gave out, in return for the love-light Thier odorous souls in an ecstatic death- Fell on the upturn'd faces of these roses That smiled and died in this parterre, enchanted by thee, by the poetry of thy prescence. Clad all in white, upon a violet bank I saw thee half reclining; while the moon Fell on the upturn'd faces of the roses And on thine own, upturn'd-alas, in sorrow! Was it not Fate that, on this july midnight- Was it not Fate (whose name is also sorrow) That bade me pause before that garden-gate, To breathe the incense of those slumbering roses? No footstep stirred; the hated world all slept, Save only thee and me. (Oh Heaven- oh, God! How my heart beats in coupling those two worlds!) Save only thee and me. I paused- I looked- And in an instant all things disappeared. (Ah, bear in mind this garden was enchanted!) The pearly lustre of the moon went out; The mossy banks and the meandering paths, The happy flowers and the repining trees, Were seen no more: the very roses' odors Died in the arms of the adoring airs. All- all expired save thee- save less than thou: Save only the divine light in thine eyes- Save but the soul in thine uplifted eyes. I saw but them- they were the world to me. I saw but them- saw only them for hours- Saw only them until the moon went down. What wild heart-histories seemed to lie enwritten Upon those crystalline, celestial spheres! How dark a woe! yet how sublime a hope! How silently serene a sea of pride! How daring an ambition!yet how deep- How fathomless a capacity for love! But now, at length, dear Dian sank from sight, Into western couch of thunder-cloud; And thou, a ghost, amid the entombing trees Didst glide away. Only thine eyes remained. They would not go- they never yet have gone. Lighting my lonely pathway home that night, They have not left me (as my hopes have) since. They follow me- they lead me through the years. They are my ministers- yet I thier slave Thier office is to illumine and enkindle- My duty, to be saved by thier bright light, And purified in thier electric fire, And sanctified in thier Elysian fire. They fill my soul with Beauty (which is Hope), And are far up in heaven- the stars I kneel to In the sad, silent watches of my night; While even in the meridian glare of day I see them still- two sweetly scintillant Venuses, unextinguished by the sun!
Edgar Allan Poe