Monthly Archives: December 2016

Advent exultation

Dear little friends, this beautiful rosebud is for you; it is one of the beads of your Rosary, and it may seem to you to be such a tiny thing. But if you only knew how precious this bead is! This wonderful bud will open out into a gorgeous rose if you say your Hail Mary really well. Of course it would be too much to expect you to say the whole fifteen mysteries every day, but do say at least five mysteries, and say them properly with love and devotion. This Rosary will be your little wreath of roses, your crown for Jesus and Mary. Please pay attention... –St Louis de Montfort


Finding one’s path

“To go to God there are many ways perhaps more excellent than the one we follow; let us recognize its excellence, but let us put forth all our efforts to progress in the way God has given us, because it is there where He wants us to be.”  –St Francis de Sales

St Francis de Sales


Sincerity and detachment

Not alone must we be careful to preserve purity of intention in all our enterprises, but we must also firmly attach ourselves to our duty…to the sole will of God, and we must make ourselves virtuously indifferent to failure or success.  On the one hand, we are reasonably sure that God wills this work for us at the moment; but, on the other hand, we never know what His future intentions may be.  “Very often, in order to exercise us in holy indifference (even as to what regards His service) He inspires us with noble undertakings, the success of which, however, He does not will.”  Thus, Providence appears to be playing with us.  But the play is for us very profitable, indeed, since we always win even whilst losing.  For we derive from it, God so arranging, the merit of our pious intentions, the merit of our conscientious labour, and the merit of a trial patiently endured.  On the other hand, perhaps success would have occasioned the loss of our humility, our detachment, and of other virtues besides.  “Nevertheless, we must not allow such considerations to paralyze our efforts or to diminish our zeal.  We must neglect nothing that is required for the success of the enterprise which God has placed in our hands; but at the same time we are to be so disposed that should it issue in failure, we shall support the disappointment with meekness and calm.  –Abbot Vitalis Lehodey ‘Holy Abandonment’


The rest of the triology

When David’s life by Saul was often sought,
And worlds of woe did compass him about,
On dire revenge, he never had a thought,
But in his griefs, Hope still did help him out.

When the poor cripple by the pool did lie,
For many years in misery and pain,
No sooner he on Christ had set his eyes,
But he was well, and comfort came again,
No David, Job, nor cripple, in more grief,’
Christ give me patience, and my Hopes relief.

And here is one to think about, enjoy and reflect upon, worldly and moving.


Advent Week 3 reading and a song: JOY

Now be patient, brothers, until the Lord’s coming. Think of a farmer: how patiently he waits for the precious fruit of the ground until it has had the autumn rains and the spring rains!  You too must be patient; do not lose heart, because the Lord’s coming will be soon.  Do not make complaints against one another, brothers, so as not to be brought to judgement yourselves; the Judge is already to be seen waiting at the gates.  For your example, brothers, in patiently putting up with persecution, take the prophets who spoke in the Lord’s name…  –2 James 5:7-10

We enjoyed another performance by Mignarda, the Cleveland classical duo—singer and lute player, once again accompanied by a friend on cello and violin.  The theme of darkness (light) and melancholy was explored in the compositions of John Downland, a subject I found fascinating.  This particular song coalesced nicely with the second scriptural reading from today’s Mass.

Thou mightie God, that rightest every wrong,
Listen to patience in a dying song.
When Job had lost his Children, Lands, and goods,
Patience asswaged his excessive paine,
And when his sorrowes came as fast as flouds,
hope kept his hart, till comfort came againe.


Advent reflection on Our Lord: Jesus passing through

“The Spirit of the Lord is upon me because he has anointed me; to bring good news to the poor he has sent me, to proclaim to the captives release, and sight to the blind; to set at liberty the oppressed, to proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord, and the day of recompense” (Is. 61:1–2).

Here counter-revelation—revelation of scandal and hate. Outburst of man’s irritation against God and the essence of God: holiness. Scandal is revolt against the living God. At the bottom of the human heart, side by side with longing for the eternal source and fulfillment of all things, lurks resistance to that source: elementary sin in its lair.

But the hour is Satan’s. From those who had just witnessed, amazed and moved, the grace and beauty of Jesus’ words, a paroxysm of rage breaks lose. They thrust him out of the synagogue and through the streets of the city to the precipice of the hill on which it lies, to hurl him from it. Rejection of the kingdom’s eternal, inexpressible abundance has become a living possibility. Already the cross stands waiting.

But what occurs here in Nazareth is an even greater proof of spiritual force. The excited mob, infuriated by neighborly hate and general demonic hysteria, surrounds Jesus, drives him up the hill to the brink of the precipice and tries to force him over it to his death. Suddenly, in the thick of the clamor and chaos, the quiet words: “But he, passing through their midst, went his way.” No return of violence for violence. Soundlessly, effortlessly, divine freedom walks right through the seething mob, its irresistible force bound by nothing on earth but its own “hour.” –Romano Guardini ‘The Lord’