Thursday, December 18, 2014

or nothing at all

People who know nothing of God and whose lives are centered on themselves, imagine that they can only find themselves by asserting their own desires and ambitions and appetites in a struggle with the rest of the world. They try to become real by imposing themselves on other people, by appropriating for themselves some share of the limited supply of created good and thus emphasizing the difference between themselves and the other men and women who have less then they, or nothing at all.
~Thomas Merton~

Monday, December 15, 2014

present to myself

"When I am not present to myself, 
then I am only aware of that half of me, 
that mode of my being which turns outward to created things. 

And then it is possible for me to lose myself among them. 
Then I no longer feel the deep secret pull of the gravitation of love 
which draws my inward self toward God. 

My will and my intelligence lose their command of the other faculties. 

My senses, my imagination, my emotions, scatter to pursue their various quarries all over the face of the earth. 

Recollection brings them home. 
It brings the outward self into line with the inward spirit, 
and makes my whole being answer the deep pull of love 
that reaches down into the mystery of God."

~~Thomas Merton from "No Man is an Island"~~

Saturday, December 13, 2014

If You Want

you want
the Virgin will come walking down the road
pregnant with the holy
and say,

“I need shelter for the night, please take me inside your heart,
my time is so close.”

Then, under the roof of your soul, you will witness the sublime
intimacy, the divine, the Christ
taking birth

as she grasps your hand for help, for each of us
is the midwife of God, each of us.

Yes there, under the dome of your being does creation
come into existence externally, through your womb, dear pilgrim—
the sacred womb of your soul,

as God grasps our arms for help; for each of us is
His beloved servant

If you want, the Virgin will come walking
down the street pregnant
with Light and
sing . . .

“If You Want” by St. John of the Cross, translated by Daniel Ladinsky,
Love Poems from God: Twelve Sacred Voices from the East and West
(used with permission)

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Misa Criolla

UPDATE: A video of the entire Mass for Latin America on the Feast of Our Lade of Guadalupe, December 12, 2014, is HERE.

Friday's Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe will be celebrated at the Vatican as a Solemnity by the first Latin American Pope.

Presiding at the 6:00 PM (Rome time) Spanish-language Eucharist in Saint Peter's, Pope Francis will honor the Patroness of the Americas "asking her intercession for the evangelization of her peoples, for their growth in humanity and for the building up of conditions of peace, justice and unity among the sister nations."
At 4:45 PM (Rome time), the image of Our Lady of Guadalupe will be solemnly carried into the basilica, together with the flags of all nations of the Americas, the "Guadalupe Rosary"will be prayed and an Advent devotion, accompanied by songs from the popular tradition of Latin America.
Holy Mass will be accompanied by the songs of the Misa Criolla by the Argentine composer Ariel Ramírez, under the direction of his son, Facundo Ramírez, with the collaboration of his musical ensemble, soloist Patricia Sosa, and the Roman choral group, "Musica Nuova." Coincidently, it is precisely 50 years since Ariel Ramírez presented this Mass setting, then newly-composed, to Blessed Paul VI. The setting is known to be a favorite of Francis who always presented a CD of the original Ariel Ramirez version as a gift to bishops and Cardinals who came to visit him in Buenos Aires.
The Vatican booklet for Friday's celebration is online here.
And a sample of the Misa Criolla Gloria is here:

HT: Fr. D

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Dorothy Day Advent Reflection

Woodcut by Harlan Hubbard

Advent is a time of waiting, of expectation, of silence.  Waiting for our Lord to be born. A pregnant woman is so happy, so content. She lives in such a garment of silence, and it is as though she were listening to hear the stir of life within her. One always hears the stirring compared to the rustling of a bird in the hand. But the intentness with which one awaits such stirring is like nothing so much as a blanket of silence.  Dorothy Day

- See more at:

Sunday, November 30, 2014

Advent: when the ladder climbing stops we are ready to gather around the manger

This is how Advent always begins. In the place where everything seems lost; where the human condition is experienced at its most starkly bleak. It is only within this manger of dread, desolation and despair that Christmas makes sense. Only there can we feel its new born warmth for ourselves and cradle its living truth in our arms. Nowhere else. God invites us to journey into our darkness on the strength of a promise, daring to believe that the incarnation of love will become real in the wombspace of our fragile faith. ... Read/See the rest HERE.

Alexandra Bircken: ESKALATION from The Hepworth Wakefield on Vimeo.

HT: Phil (Ennis Blue)

Saturday, November 29, 2014

Francis visit to Hagia Sophia and the Blue Mosque

Francis repeated Benedict XVI’s gesture today: A moment of silence before the niche that points in the direction of Mecca. “God must not only be glorified and praised, but also worshipped.” After his visit to the Blue Mosque, the Pope moved on to Hagia Sophia, the great Christian cathedral that was transformed into a mosque first and then a museum.

At the end of his visit, Francis wrote the words Hagia Sophia in Greek in the museum’s guestbook, followed by the quote: “Quam dilecta tabernacula tua Domine (Psalmus 83).Contemplating the beauty and the harmony of this sacred place, my soul rises up to the Almighty, the source and origin of all beauty. I ask the Almighty to always guide humanity’s hearts along the path of truth, goodness and peace.”

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Merton's typewriter

One of Merton's typewriters, now at the Merton Study Center, Bellarmine University, Louisville.

I know, this blog has been dormant for awhile. Haven't come across anything worthy of the contemplative sense that I have for louie. I'm not sure why. 

HT: to Jim Forest for the typewriter photo

Thursday, September 18, 2014

My Love Of What I Own May Be Killing Somebody Somewhere

"Therefore, if I don't pretend, like other people, to understand the war, I do know this much: that the knowledge of what is going on only makes it seem desperately important to be voluntarily poor, to get rid of all possessions this instant. I am scared, sometimes, to own anything, even a name, let alone coin, or share in the oil, the munitions, the airplane factories. I am scared to take a proprietary interest in anything, for fear that my love of what I own may be killing somebody somewhere."
--Thomas Merton, from a diary entry during WWII reflecting upon the connections between possessions and complicity in violence worldwide

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

be converted

This is the mission entrusted to the church,
     a hard mission:
to uproot sins from history,
to uproot sins from the political order,
to uproot sins from the economy,
to uproot sins wherever they are...

No one wants to have a sore spot touched,
and therefore a society with so many sores twitches
when someone has the courage to touch it
and say: "You have to treat that.
     You have to get rid of that.
     Believe in Christ.
     Be converted."

--Oscar Romero

HT: Experimental Theology