Posted in CATHOLIC Hymns, Catholic POETRY, DOCTORS of the Church, PRAYERS of the SAINTS

Our Morning Offering – 12 November

Our Morning Offering – 12 November

Jesus, Joy of Loving Hearts
St Bernard of Clairvaux (1090-1153) Doctor of the Church

Jesus, Joy of loving hearts,
You Fount of life, You Light of men,
from the best bliss that earth imparts,
we turn unfilled to You again.
We taste You, O You living Bread,
and long to feast upon You still;
we drink of You, the Fountain-head,
and thirst our souls from You to fill.
O Jesus, ever with us stay;
make all our moments calm and bright!
chase the dark night of sin away,
shed o’er the world Your holy light.jesus, joy of loving hearts - 12 nov 2017

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Posted in Catholic POETRY, IGNATIAN/JESUIT - Reflections, Jesuit Saints and more

THE HOUND OF HEAVEN – By Francis Thompson, (1859-1907)

“The Hound of Heaven” is a 182-line poem written by English Catholic poet Francis Thompson (1859–1907).   The poem became famous and was the source of much of Thompson’s posthumous reputation.   The poem was first published in Thompson’s first volume of poems in 1893.   It was included in the Oxford Book of English Mystical Verse (1917).   Thompson’s work was praised by G K Chesterton and it was also an influence on J R R Tolkien, who presented a paper on Thompson in 1914.

This Christian poem has been described as follows:

“The name is strange.   It startles one at first.   It is so bold, so new, so fearless.   It does not attract, rather the reverse.   But when one reads the poem this strangeness disappears.   The meaning is understood.   As the hound follows the hare, never ceasing in its running, ever drawing nearer in the chase, with unhurrying and imperturbed pace, so does God follow the fleeing soul by His Divine grace.   And though in sin or in human love, away from God it seeks to hide itself, Divine grace follows after, unwearyingly follows ever after, till the soul feels its pressure forcing it to turn to Him alone in that never ending pursuit.”    Fr JFX. O’Conor, S.Jthe hound of heaven - francis thompson - 23 oct 2017

THE HOUND OF HEAVEN (1893)  – By Francis Thompson (16 December 1859 – 13 November 1907)

https://youtu.be/gToj6SLWz8Q (Richard Burton – a beautiful version)

I fled Him, down the nights and down the days;
I fled Him, down the arches of the years;
I fled Him, down the labyrinthine ways
Of my own mind; and in the midst of tears
I hid from Him, and under running laughter.
Up vistaed hopes I sped;
And shot, precipitated,
Adown Titanic glooms of chasmed fears,
From those strong Feet that followed, followed after.
But with unhurrying chase,
And unperturbèd pace,
Deliberate speed, majestic instancy,
They beat—and a Voice beat
More instant than the Feet—
‘All things betray thee, who betrayest Me’.

I pleaded, outlaw-wise,
By many a hearted casement, curtained red,
Trellised with intertwining charities;
(For, though I knew His love Who followed,
Yet was I sore a dread
Lest, having Him, I must have naught beside.)
But, if one little casement parted wide,
The gust of His approach would clash it to:
Fear wist not to evade, as Love wist to pursue.
Across the margent of the world I fled,
And troubled the gold gateway of the stars,
Smiting for shelter on their clanged bars;
Fretted to dulcet jars
And silvern chatter the pale ports o’ the moon.
I said to Dawn: Be sudden—to Eve: Be soon;
With thy young skiey blossom heap me over
From this tremendous Lover—
Float thy vague veil about me, lest He see!
I tempted all His servitors, but to find
My own betrayal in their constancy,
In faith to Him their fickleness to me,
Their traitorous trueness, and their loyal deceit.
To all swift things for swiftness did I sue;
Clung to the whistling mane of every wind.
But whether they swept, smoothly fleet,
The long savannahs of the blue;
Or, whether, Thunder-driven,
They clanged his chariot ‘thwart a heaven,
Plashy with flying lightnings round the spurn o’ their feet:—
Fear wist not to evade as Love wist to pursue.
Still with unhurrying chase,
And unperturbed pace,
Deliberate speed, majestic instancy,
Came on the following Feet,
And a Voice above their beat—
‘Naught shelters thee, who wilt not shelter Me.’

I sought no more after that which I strayed
In face of man or maid;
But still within the little children’s eyes
Seems something, something that replies,
They at least are for me, surely for me!
I turned me to them very wistfully;
But just as their young eyes grew sudden fair
With dawning answers there,
Their angel plucked them from me by the hair.
Come then, ye other children, Nature’s—share
With me’ (said I) ‘your delicate fellowship;
Let me greet you lip to lip,
Let me twine with you caresses,
Wantoning
With our Lady-Mother’s vagrant tresses,
Banqueting
With her in her wind-walled palace,
Underneath her azured dais,
Quaffing, as your taintless way is,
From a chalice
Lucent-weeping out of the dayspring.’
So it was done:
I in their delicate fellowship was one—
Drew the bolt of Nature’s secrecies.
          I knew all the swift importings
On the wilful face of skies;
I knew how the clouds arise
Spumèd of the wild sea-snortings;
All that’s born or dies
Rose and drooped with; made them shapers
Of mine own moods, or wailful divine;
With them joyed and was bereaven.
I was heavy with the even,
When she lit her glimmering tapers
Round the day’s dead sanctities.
I laughed in the morning’s eyes.
I triumphed and I saddened with all weather,
Heaven and I wept together,
And its sweet tears were salt with mortal mine:
Against the red throb of its sunset-heart
I laid my own to beat, And share commingling heat;
But not by that, by that, was eased my human smart.
In vain my tears were wet on Heaven’s grey cheek.
For ah! we know not what each other says,
These things and I; in sound I speak—
Their sound is but their stir, they speak by silences.
Nature, poor stepdame, cannot slake my drouth;
Let her, if she would owe me,
Drop yon blue bosom-veil of sky, and show me
The breasts o’ her tenderness:
Never did any milk of hers once bless
My thirsting mouth.
Nigh and nigh draws the chase,
With unperturbed pace,
Deliberate speed, majestic instancy;
And past those noisèd Feet
A voice comes yet more fleet—
‘Lo! naught contents thee, who content’st not Me.’

Naked I wait Thy love’s uplifted stroke!
My harness piece by piece Thou has hewn from me,
And smitten me to my knee;
I am defenceless utterly.
I slept, methinks, and woke,
And, slowly gazing, find me stripped in sleep.
In the rash lustihead of my young powers,
I shook the pillaring hours
And pulled my life upon me; grimed with smears,
I stand amidst the dust o’ the mounded years—
My mangled youth lies dead beneath the heap.
My days have crackled and gone up in smoke,
Have puffed and burst as sun-starts on a stream.
Yea, faileth now even dream
The dreamer, and the lute the lutanist;
Even the linked fantasies, in whose blossomy twist
I swung the earth a trinket at my wrist,
Are yielding; cords of all too weak account
For earth with heavy griefs so overplussed.
Ah! is Thy love indeed
A weed, albeit an amarinthine weed,
Suffering no flowers except its own to mount?
Ah! must—
Designer infinite!—
Ah! must Thou char the wood ere Thou canst limn with it?
My freshness spent its wavering shower i’ the dust;
And now my heart is as a broken fount,
Wherein tear-drippings stagnate, spilt down ever
From the dank thoughts that shiver
Upon the sighful branches of my mind.
Such is; what is to be?
The pulp so bitter, how shall taste the rind?
I dimly guess what Time in mists confounds;
Yet ever and anon a trumpet sounds
From the hid battlements of Eternity;
Those shaken mists a space unsettle, then
Round the half-glimpsed turrets slowly wash again.
But not ere him who summoneth
I first have seen, unwound
With glooming robes purpureal, cypress-crowned;
His name I know and what his trumpet saith.
Whether man’s heart or life it be which yields
Thee harvest, must Thy harvest-fields
Be dunged with rotten death?

Now of that long pursuit
Comes on at hand the bruit;
That Voice is round me like a bursting sea:
‘And is thy earth so marred,
Shattered in shard on shard?
Lo, all things fly thee, for thou fliest Me!

‘Strange, piteous, futile thing!
Wherefore should any set thee love apart?
Seeing none but I makes much of naught’ (He said),
‘And human love needs human meriting:
How hast thou merited—
Of all man’s clotted clay the dingiest clot?
Alack, thou knowest not
How little worthy of any love thou art!
Whom wilt thou find to love ignoble thee,
Save Me, save only Me?
All which I took from thee I did but take,
Not for thy harms,
But just that thou might’st seek it in My arms.
All which thy child’s mistake
Fancies as lost, I have stored for thee at home:
Rise, clasp My hand, and come!’

Halts by me that footfall:
Is my gloom, after all,
Shade of His hand, outstretched caressingly?
‘Ah, fondest, blindest, weakest,
I am He Whom thou seekest!
Thou dravest love from thee, who dravest Me.’

FRANCIS THOMPSON - MY SNIP

Posted in ARCHangels and Angels, BREVIARY Prayers, CATHOLIC Hymns, Catholic POETRY, CATHOLIC-PRAYERS OF THE CHURCH, MORNING Prayers, SAINT of the DAY

Morning Hymn/Prayer from the Divine Office – 2 October – The Memorial of the Holy Guardian Angels

Morning Hymn/Prayer from the Divine Office – 2 October – The Memorial of the Holy Guardian Angels

They come, God’s messengers of love,
they come from realms of peace above,
from homes of never-fading light,
from blissful mansions ever bright.

They come to watch around us here,
to soothe our sorrow, calm our fear.
Ye heavenly guides, speed not away,
God willeth you with us to stay.

But chiefly at its journey’s end
“tis yours the spirit to befriends
and whisper to the willing heart,
“o Christian soul, in peace depart.”

To us the zeal of angels give,
with love to serve thee while we live.
To us an Angel-guard supply,
when on the bed of death we lie.

breviary morning prayer - guardian angels 2 oct

Posted in Catholic POETRY, DOCTORS of the Church, MORNING Prayers, QUOTES of the SAINTS, SAINT of the DAY, The BLESSED VIRGIN MARY

Thought for the Day – 22 August – The Queenship of Mary

Thought for the Day – 22 August – The Queenship of Mary

As St. Paul suggests in Romans 8:28–30, God has predestined human beings from all eternity to share the image of his Son.   All the more was Mary predestined to be the mother of Jesus. As Jesus was to be king of all creation, Mary, in dependence on Jesus, was to be queen.   All other titles to queenship derive from this eternal intention of God. As Jesus exercised his kingship on earth by serving his Father and his fellow human beings, so did Mary exercise her queenship.   As the glorified Jesus remains with us as our king till the end of time (Matthew 28:20), so does Mary, who was assumed into heaven and crowned queen of heaven and earth.
In the fourth century St Ephrem called Mary “Lady” and “Queen.”   Later Church fathers and doctors continued to use the title.   Hymns of the 11th to 13th centuries address Mary as queen: “Hail, Holy Queen,” “Hail, Queen of Heaven,” “Queen of Heaven.”   The Dominican rosary and the Franciscan crown as well as numerous invocations in Mary’s litany celebrate her queenship.
The feast is a logical follow-up to the Assumption and is now celebrated on the octave day of that feast.   In his 1954 encyclical To the Queen of Heaven, Pius XII points out that Mary deserves the title because she is Mother of God because she is closely associated as the New Eve with Jesus’ redemptive work because of her preeminent perfection and because of her intercessory power. (Fr Don Miller OFM)
“Just as Mary surpassed in grace all others on earth, so also in heaven is her glory unique.   If eye has not seen or ear heard or the human heart conceived what God has prepared for those who love Him (1 Corinthians 2:9), who can express what He has prepared for the woman who gave Him birth and who loved Him, as everyone knows, more than anyone else?” (St Bernard of Clairvaux (1090-1153) – Doctor of Light – Mellifluous Doctor)

just as mary surpassed in grace - st bernard
Mary Queen of Heaven and Earth Pray for your children!

mary our queen our mother pray for us

Your eyes opened to a new kind of light
Wide pools that gaze with merciful love upon the world
Your sword-pierced heart, immaculate,
Strong-walled as a cathedral
In the holy city of God.

Angels surround your throne
Holy Blessed Virgin,
Mother of God
Star-crowned Queen of heaven and
Queen of angels

We, though sinners, are yours,
Every tribe on earth, every race
Beckoned to enclosure
In deep mantle-folds of grace.

your eyes opened to a new kind of light - queenship of mary - poem

Posted in CARMELITES, Catholic POETRY, MORNING Prayers, QUOTES of the SAINTS, SAINT of the DAY

Quote/s of the Day – 9 August – The Memorial of St Teresa Benedicta of the Cross

Quote/s of the Day – 9 August – The Memorial of St Teresa Benedicta of the Cross

“Today I stood with you beneath the cross
And felt more clearly than I ever did
That you became our Mother only there.

But those whom you have chosen for companions
To stand with you around the eternal throne,

They must stand with you beneath the Cross,
And with the lifeblood of their bitter pains,
Must purchase heavenly glory for those souls
Whom God’s own Son entrusted to their care.”

St Teresa Benedicta of the Cross – Good Friday 1938

today i stood with you beneath the cross - st teresa benedicta

“Our love of neighbour is the measure of our love of God.
For Christians — and not only for them —
no one is a ‘stranger’.
The love of Christ knows no borders”

St Teresa Benedicta of the Cross

our love of neighbour is the measure of our love of god - st teresa benedicta

Posted in Catholic POETRY, IGNATIAN/JESUIT - Reflections, Jesuit Saints and more, MORNING Prayers, SAINT of the DAY

ON THE FEAST OF ST IGNATIUS LOYOLA

Here is a delightful poem for your prayerful contemplation as you remember and celebrate the life of Iñigo López de Loyola.

beautiful iggy!ST IGNATIUS - BEST PIC EVER - MY SNIP

Ignatius
boy-soldier
hoodlum courtier
day-old dreamer
smashed up good in war
convalescent convert
cannonball Christian
crippled companion
with a knack for re-routing attacks

lend us your gift for woundedness
that turns a shot around
then takes its aim at holiness

think of all the saints
you could socialise
if only you hobbled now into Syria
and taught the fallen your techniques

we’ve got sufficient lead and bloodshed
to gild the whole world
with your inside-out-going
alchemy.

Greg Kennedy, SJ, is a Jesuit scholastic, in his second year of Theological Studies at Regis College, Toronto. 

Image | Ignatius at Manresa by Montserrat Gudiol (1991). The painting is at Manresa.

POEM ABOUT ST IGNATIUS BY GREG KENNEDY SJ

Posted in Blessed Pope PAUL VI, Catholic POETRY, MORNING Prayers, QUOTES of the SAINTS, SAINT of the DAY

Thought for the Day – 24 July – The Memorial of St Charbel of Makhluf

Thought for the Day – 24 July – The Memorial of St Charbel of Makhluf

In 1950, Father George Webby, a Maronite priest from Scranton, visited Lebanon, took a photo of monks outside the wall of the monastery in which St. Charbel had lived and upon development of the picture saw that St. Charbel miraculously appeared with the monks, according to information provided by St. Anthony’s Church.

StShar02

Art work for holy pictures of this saint is now taken from this photo.   Can you see him? (Hint: smack dab in the middle) click on the picture and then zoom in….

St. Charbel is listed among The Incorruptibles, saints whose bodies were found intact years after burial. His body kept pouring oil and blood until the year before his canonization in 1977.

“…a hermit of the Lebanese mountain is inscribed in the number of the blessed, a new eminent member of monastic sanctity is enriching, by his example and his intercession, the entire Christian people.   May he make us understand, in a world largely fascinated by wealth and comfort, the paramount value of poverty, penance and asceticism, to liberate the soul in its ascent to God…” ……….Pope Paul VI, October 9, 1977

St Charbel Makhluf, Pray for us!

st charbel - pray for us.2.

Watch – “The Saint Charble Song” …it’s special…

A beautiful ode to Saint Charbel, written by J. Michael Thompson- (a Catholic Composer, professor of ecclesiastical chant):

The mountain heights of Lebanon
Resound with songs of joy;
The cedars of that ancient land
Stand tall as we employ
Our hymns of praise and thankfulness
For Sharbel’s saintly ways,
Lived out in strict humility
That guided all his days.

True monk and hermit of the hills,
Saint Maron’s modest son
Scorned wealth and comfort in his life
That heaven’s crown be won.
Of Mary, heaven’s Queen and Gate,
Devoted son was he,
Who cherished all the ancient rites
With great humility.

Fierce lover of the lowly life,
True father of the poor,
As you have done, so help us all
To struggle and endure,
That Christ be praised in ev’ry life,
That riches not ensnare
Or rule us in our daily walk;
That strong may be our prayer!

O Father, Son, and Spirit blest,
One God in persons three,
Receive this hymn we offer now,
And keep your Church e’er free
To follow, as Saint Sharbel did,
Enflamed with love so bright
That we, with eyes fixed firm on Christ,
May vanquish sin’s dark night.