Monthly Archives: April 2015

St Catherine of Seina poetry

“Strange that so much suffering is caused because of the misunderstandings of God’s true nature. God’s heart is more gentle than the Virgin’s first kiss upon the Christ. And God’s forgiveness to all, to any thought or act, is more certain than our own being.”

Catherine of Siena Doctor of the Church

….for what is the mind to do
with something that becomes the mind’s ruin:
a God that consumes us
in His grace….

I see that you have endowed your vicar
by nature
with a fearless heart;
so I humbly, imploringly beg you
to pour the light beyond nature
into the eye of his understanding.
For unless this light,
acquired through pure affection for virtue,
is joined with it,
a heart such as his tends to be proud.

Today again let every selfish love be cut away
from those enemies of yours
and from the vicar
and from us all,
so that we may be able to forgive those enemies
when you bend their hardness.

For them, that they may humble themselves
and obey this lord of ours,
I offer you my life
from this moment
and for whenever you wish me to lay it down
for your glory.


Morning introspection

O infinite God, how sweetly have you now poured out your goodness in me! When I did not exist, you gave me being. When I left you, you would not leave me. When I tried to escape you, you so gently took me captive. O eternal Wisdom, my heart would now like to burst into a thousand pieces and, embracing you in its bliss, consume all its days with you in constant love and full praise. This is the desire of my heart. That person is truly blessed whose desire you so lovingly anticipate that you never let him rest until he seeks his rest in you alone.

O exquiste, lovely Wisdom, since I have found it is you whom my soul loves, do not despise your poor creature. Look how numb my heart is to the whole world, in joy and sorrow. Lord, is my heart ever to remain mute to you? Permit, beloved Lord, permit my wretched soul to speak a word with you, for my full laden heart can no longer carry on alone. It has no one in this wide world with whom to share its burden except you, tender, belvoed Lord and Brother. Lord, you alone see and know the nature of a heart filled with love. You know that no one can love something he cannot at all know. Therefore, since I shall now love you alone, let me get to know you better so that I can learn to love you completely.

–Henry Suso ‘Little Book of Eternal Wisdom’.

Words from Suso jumped out at me this morning. Life conditions have confused the idea of love. My vision becoming cloudy. Allowing mysteries to remain stronger than conclusions, I adhere to patience–prayer and adoration my focus. The other night I slept listening to St Teresa of Avila’s ‘Way of Perfection’. A chapter was looping and I kept hearing over and over that God is a jealous God, being so He sought certain souls strictly for His own. At times, it is an idea that torments. I am amazed how much stern attention St Teresa gives in instructing the sisters of St Joseph’s upon the proper tempering of love in the nurturing of their cloistered souls. Again the theme is presented of an extraordinary love centered upon God. I am in the world, and my heart grows weary alone. My life has been difficult. No self-pity, accountability registering, yet a conviction has entrenched itself within, firmly opening my heart to the sacrament of marriage as a final repose of sanctity within my complex life. It is why I posted the header painting of an early Catholic wedding, Holy Spirit hovering and blessing from above. Am I being selfish, obstinate, weak and immature? Absolutely convinced I acted properly in demanding more from my spiritual partner, I am now not sure where to go. Uncomfortable and flustered, I am confident it is right where God wants me to be right now. The empty longing channeled into efficacious prayer, peace and discernment, still seeks worldly attention thus a looking back occurs. I desire a reconciliation with Father David Mary. Attempting to arraign an appropriate visit, I want to worship with the friars once again. Never was I happier in my adult life. Childhood allowed wonder and accumulated moments of sheer joy, yet reaching adulthood the wheels absolutely fell off my vehicle of unrequited delusional over-attempts at life. I want to post words from St Teresa, directed toward the cloistered life, they properly demonstrate the tender mercy we must render to one another when interacting through the bonding of religious conviction. Virtue is beautiful. Godly things are beautiful. Beautiful things naturally call forth love. Spiritually healthy, love is alluring. Love in all its depths brings forth a smile to the wicked mind of Satan, a firm resolution God armed him with a weapon of mass destruction.

The important thing is that these two kinds of mutual love should be untainted by any sort of passion, for such a thing would completely spoil this harmony. If we exercise this love, of which I have spoken, with moderation and discretion, it is wholly meritorious, because what seems to us sensuality is turned into virtue. But the two may be so closely intertwined with one another that it is sometimes impossible to distinguish them, especially where a confessor is concerned. For if persons who are practicing prayer find that their confessor is a holy man and understands the way they behave, they become greatly attached to him. And then forthwith the devil lets loose upon them a whole battery of scruples which produce a terrible disturbance within the soul, this being what he is aiming at. In particular, if the confessor is guiding such persons to greater perfection, they become so depressed that they will go so far as to leave him for another and yet another, only to be tormented by the same temptation every time. –St Teresa ‘Way of Perfection’ instruction of the twelve sisters on proper interaction with a confessor (a male).

An unfinished poem, sometimes I start and lose the fire. I do not believe in creating just to create. If not cleansing or enlightening I must stop. I easily know the difference between effort and effusion.

Before the Eucharist

Sensitive to the touch, an open wound, a core calling forth, proper healing amassing time, redundancy and new wineskins, it was not the first time tears were exposed,
War hounds bellowing, battles waging, seeking no victory, open and steady, bloodbath and ready, rode hard, scarred, worn, and torn, entrenching during a stalled retreat,
Cast not thy pearls before swine, efficacious prayers, obstacles removed, virtue the aim, unification accosted, it is the best I can do, taking what I can within silence and stillness, a thief amidst the dark night, stolen grace makes no sense, that which does not exist does not exist,
Lord exposed before my heart adores, revealed not ugliness, pain, utter intense, hurting immense, no answers, no questions, all hope, no regrets, fundamental, central, that which is given, granted, presented, aching since birth, I never knew how to properly love.



Manhood guidance

Those who give themselves to prayer should in a special manner have always a devotion to St. Joseph; for I know not how any man can think of the Queen of the angels, during the time that she suffered so much with the Infant Jesus, without giving thanks to St. Joseph for the services he rendered… Saint Teresa of Avila

Blessed day of difficult work allows me to give praise to the blessings of St Joseph.

St Joseph, Father and guardian of virgins. To whose faithful keeping Christ Jesus, innocence itself and Mary, virgins of virgins, were entrusted. I pray and beseech by that two-fold and most precious charge, Jesus and Mary, to save me from all uncleanliness. Keep my mind untainted. My Heart pure. And my body chaste. Help me always to serve Jesus and Mary in perfect chastity.  Teach me Joseph how to be a good man.  Amen.



Futility blessings

‘Four Quartets’ clip
T.S. Eliot

Trying to use words, and every attempt
Is a wholy new start, and a different kind of failure
Because one has only learnt to get the better of words
For the thing one no longer has to say, or the way in which
One is no longer disposed to say it. And so each venture
Is a new beginning, a raid on the inarticulate,
With shabby equipment always deteriorating
In the general mess of imprecision of feeling,
Undisciplined squads of emotion. And what there is to conquer
By strength and submission, has already been discovered
Once or twice, or several times, by men whom one cannot hope
To emulate – but there is no competition –
There is only the fight to recover what has been lost
And found and lost again and again: and now, under conditions
That seem unpropitious. But perhaps neither gain nor loss.
For us, there is only the trying. The rest is not our business.

Words from a Trappist monk–told to me, heard from a dying monk by a hosting monk when he was younger. The first monk the hosting brother witnessed pass away in community.  The death cementing the finality of his cloistered life discernment.  The abbey graveyard became a daily reality. The words shaped his spiritual life. ‘As my life draws to an end, I realize very few things were truly any of my business’. The hosting monk, elderly during our time together, wasting time gracefully, commented: ‘When I was young, I read voraciously, now I hardly read and what I do read rarely makes sense, nor can I stay focused. I am working with watercolors, however my efforts are abysmal. I have these images and colors in my mind, yet they do not come through. I once saw a snow covered pine tree through a window frame unintentionally placing a cross before the winter scene. It seemed something important presented itself. I wanted to convey it, yet I doubt my ambition will be accomplished. My efforts are childish’.


Purposeful prayer

Prayer…is not the end we propose to ourselves in a spiritual life; it is only a means by which we help ourselves to make progress in virtue, and to obtain a victory over our passions and evil inclinations, in order that, having surmounted all the obstacles that hinder us from approaching God, and having made straight the path that leads to Him, we may unite ourselves inseparably with Him. When St Paul had the eyes of his soul entirely opened by God, by that light which flashed on him from heaven, and by that divine voice that said to him, “I am Jesus whom you persecute”, what a change was made upon a sudden in him? With what promptitude, with what submission, did he then abandon himself to the will of God, as his own words testify—“Lord, what would you have me do?”…-–St Alphonsus Rodriguez

…as he went on his journey,
it came to pass…
a light from heaven shined
round about him….
falling on the ground,
…heard a voice…
Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me?
…Who art thou, Lord?
…I am Jesus whom thou persecutest.
It is hard for thee to kick against the goad.
…trembling and astonished…
Lord, what wilt thou have me to do?