Wednesday, January 8, 2020

the way you walk, the way you stand ...

(Photo by Paul Davis)
“It is not by preaching or expounding the sutras (scriptures) that you fulfill the task of awakening others to self-realization; it is rather by the way you walk, the way you stand, the way you sit and the way you see things.” 
Thich Nhat Hanh

(Photo by Paul Davis)

Monday, January 6, 2020

Feast of the Epiphany

“Today the Magi find, crying in the manger, the one they have followed as he shone in the sky. 
Today the Magi see clearly, in swaddling clothes, the one they have long awaited as he lay hidden among the stars. 
Today the Magi gaze in deep wonder at what they see: heaven on earth, earth in heaven, man in God, God in man, one whom the universe cannot contain now enclosed in a tiny body. 
As they look, they believe and do not question, as their symbolic gifts bear witness: incense for God, gold for a king, myrrh for one who is to die.”

St. Peter Chrysologus

Wednesday, January 1, 2020

God alone is good

Bell from the old Abbey Gatehouse, photo by Harry L. Hinkle

"Bells are meant to remind us that God alone is good, that we belong to Him, that we are not living for this world.

"They break in upon our cares in order to remind us that all things pass away and that our preoccupations are not important.

"They speak to us of our freedom, which responsibilities and transient cares make us forget.

"They are the voice of our alliance with the God of heaven.

"They tell us that we are His true temple. They call us to peace with Him within ourselves."

- Thomas Merton, Thoughts in Solitude, 67

Sunday, December 29, 2019

Off the train, get off!

Blessed Franz Jagerstaater

Below is an excerpt from Daniel Berrigan's meditation -- Meditation on a Martyr, in Tribute to Franz Jagerstatter -- on the occasion of Jagerstaater's Beatification in 2007. 

Read the whole thing HERE

When asked how he could resist Hitler when his own bishops were telling him not to, Jagerstaater said that "they had not been give the grace to see ... "

Was he right in refusing to board the train, and others, who consented and climbed aboard, desperately wrong ? 
Maybe. But this is cold comfort, this proving something, 
he the winner, they the losers. 
Let us say rather, some of the passengers, since his death have undergone a change of heart, stepped down from this train. 
They have come on an insight, not a comforting one, but salutary. The quality of his Christianity; and their own. 
The difference; but also, through him, the possibility.  
The possibility of - faith. Bedrock. Faith in the living God. 
And of necessity; no more faith placed in the idolatrous state, the hideous 'fatherland', the 'volk'.   
That ragged solitary figure trudging alongside the train -he beckons them. 
Off the train, get off !   

To speak of today; it is no longer Hitler's death train we ride, the train of the living dead. Or is it ? 
It is. The same train. Only, if possible (it is possible), longer, faster, cheaper. On schedule, every hour on the hour, speedy and cheap and - unimaginally lethal. An image of life in the world. A ghost train still bound, mad as march weather, for hell. On earth.

Friday, December 27, 2019

his own life flows forth from the mystery of God

Alfred Delp painted in 1939 by his brother-in-law Fritz Kern, who was killed in Crimea in 1941. 
"God is personally here in our midst. ... This is the hidden and holy burden of all the experiences we undergo … 
And man will discover that he is living God's life within himself, in his very heart's core, 
proving the truth of the words of great and intuitive men like Eckhart, St. Augustine and the rest.   
He will arrive at a state of perception in which he realizes that the Supreme Being actually resides within him.   
He will find himself and regain faith in his own dignity, his mission and his purpose in life precisely to the extent that he grasps the idea of his own life flowing forth within him from the mystery of God … 
"Only when a man arrives at that state of mastery and freedom can he breathe freely.   
The world and life itself then owe him nothing for he lives with every fibre of his being… " (pp. 39-40)
- Fr. Alfred Delp SJ, “The Prison Meditations of Father Alfred Delp”, 1963 Herder and Herder New York
See also: The Prison Meditations of Father Delp

Thursday, December 26, 2019

Christmas is the mystery of contact with God

"Christmas is the mystery of contact with God, fundamentally and actually." (p. 72)
- Fr. Alfred Delp SJ, “The Prison Meditations of Father Alfred Delp”, 1963 Herder and Herder New York
See also: The Prison Meditations of Father Delp

Wednesday, December 25, 2019

Whose small Heart bleeds with infinite fire

Harlan Hubbard woodcut

When the white stars talk together like sisters
And when the winter hills
Raise their grand semblance in the freezing night,
Somewhere one window
Bleeds like the brown eye of an open forge.

Hills, stars,
White stars that stand above the eastern stable,
Look down and offer Him
The dim adoring light of your belief,
Whose small Heart bleeds with infinite fire.

Shall not this Child
(When we shall hear the bells of His amazing voice)
Conquer the winter of our hateful century?

And when His lady Mother leans upon the crib,
Lo, with what rapiers
Those two loves fence and flame their brilliancy!

Here in this straw lie planned the fires
That will melt all of our sufferings:
He is our Lamb, our holocaust!

And one by one the shepherds, with their snowy feet,
Stamp and shake out their hats upon the stable dirt,
And one by one kneel down to look upon their Life.

-Thomas Merton, "A Christmas Card", Figures for an Apocalypse, p. 79

the way you walk, the way you stand ...

(Photo by  Paul Davis ) “It is not by preaching or expounding the  sutras  (scriptures) that you fulfill the task of awakening others to...