Forever – is composed of Nows – ‘Tis not a different time – Except for Infiniteness – And Latitude of Home – From this – experienced Here – Remove the Dates – to These – Let Months dissolve in further Months – And Years – exhale in Years – Without Debate – or Pause – […]
“Christ alone has been the only one of the philosophers, magi etc. to have stamped eternal life, the infinity of time, the nullity of death, the necessity and sense of serenity and dedication, as the most important certainty. He lived serenely, as an artist greater than all other artists.… Try to understand the essence of […]
The Word in the Wilderness
FEBRUARY 1, 1798, SOMERSET FROM HER DIARY Dorothy Wordsworth The wind blew so keen in our faces that we felt ourselves inclined to seek the covert of the wood. There we had a warm shelter, gathered a burthen of rotten boughs blown down by the wind of the preceding night. The sun shone clear, but […]
“I have become all things to all men, so that I may by all means save some.”
Christians ought not to be threatened by fantasy and imagination. Great painting is not “photographic”: think of the Old Testament art commanded by God. There were blue pomegranates on the robes of the priest who went into the Holy of Holies. In nature there are no blue pomegranates. Christian artists do not need to be […]
GRACE On the Memorial Service to C.S Lewis Poet’s Corner, Westminster Abbey, 22 November 2013 Holly Ordway Noon-tide on Saint Cecilia’s day, and here In England’s royal church, I sit and watch The winter sunlight streaming in, gold, clear, Silent, pure, almost solid to the touch. Nor is it fairy-gold; it does not fade. For […]
PRIDE AND PREJUDICE Jane Austen Vanity and pride are different things, though the words are often used synonymously. A person may be proud without being vain. Pride relates more to our opinion of ourselves, vanity to what we would have others think of us. This must have been a bittersweet day for Jane. On January […]
Josh Herring is a Humanities Instructor at Thales Academy, a graduate of Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary and Hillsdale College, and a doctoral student in Faulkner University’s Great Books program.
THE DIVINE COMEDY Dante Alighieri And I, in the midst of all this circling horror, began, “Teacher, what are these sounds I hear? What souls are these so overwhelmed by grief?” And he to me: “This wretched state of being is the fate of those sad souls who lived a life but lived it with […]
A man’s thoughts and feelings are sometimes noble but his life is defined by his deeds.
THE COTTER’S SATURDAY NIGHT ROBERT BURNS Then homeward all take off their several way; The youngling cottagers retire to rest; The parent-pair their secret homage pay, and proffer up to Heaven the warm request That he who stills the raven’s clam’rous nest And decks the lily fair in flowery pride, Would, in the way his […]
Men who produce works of genius are not those who live in the most delicate atmosphere, whose conversation is the most brilliant or their culture the most extensive, but those who have had the power, ceasing suddenly to live only for themselves, to transform their personality into a sort of mirror, in such a way […]
“Every art, and every science reduced to a teachable form, and in like manner every action and moral choice, aims, it is thought, at some good: for which reason a common and by no means a bad description of the Chief Good is, “that at which all things aim.” ― Aristotle, Ethics The word “docile” […]
ON THIS DAY I COMPLETE MY THIRTY-SIXTH YEAR Lord Byron ’TIS time this heart should be unmoved, Since others it hath ceased to move: Yet, though I cannot be beloved, Still let me love! Had she lived to an old age, Marilyn Monroe would be in her nineties. That’s hard to imagine. She shares a […]
GRANDMOTHER’S HOUSE Holly Ordway Three hundred years and more this house has stood Along the gravelled road to Heald Pond, Its lawns and gardens neighbored by the woods. I knew it well. But decades now have gone And I have not returned. Till now. It seems To be an empty shell, a skeleton Just like […]
The fact that He generously gives such things to so many demonstrates that He is near to the lonely, the broken—just as near as He is to the people who seem to have it all together.
The Rubáiyát Omar Khayyám The moving finger writes; and, having writ, Moves on: nor all your Piety nor Wit Shall lure it back to cancel half a Line, Nor all your Tears wash out a Word of it. Omar Khayyam was born in 1048 in present day Iran. In the Encyclopedia of Religion and […]
from WILLIAM WILSON EDGAR ALLAN POE Let me call myself, for the present, William Wilson. The fair page now lying before me need not be sullied with my real appellation. This has been already too much an object for the scorn—for the horror—for the detestation of my race. To the uttermost regions of the […]
from THE IMITATION OF CHRIST Thomas à Kempis He who learns to live the interior life and to take little account of outward things, does not seek special places or times to perform devout exercises. A spiritual man quickly recollects himself because he has never wasted his attention upon externals. No outside work, no business […]
A silly idea is current that good people do not know what temptation means. This is an obvious lie. Only those who try to resist temptation know how strong it is… A man who gives in to temptation after five minutes simply does not know what it would have been like an hour later. That […]
God is a really good parent.
ON DAILY MASS Holly Ordway Sunlight gilds the pine boughs at my window, Each needle haloed, dark against the light, As if this evanescent brightness shows The good this day may hold. The time is tight, To catch my breath before the press of all I have to do; the minutes slip away, The fading […]
Emily Dickinson said it best: “Forever is composed of nows.”
A bit funny, but some 50 years later, I still long for the smell of God, a smell so unlike any other. He smelled like home.
Savior! I’ve no one else to tell— And so I trouble thee. I am the one forgot thee so— Dost thou remember me? Nor, for myself, I came so far— That were the little load— I brought thee the imperial Heart I had not strength to hold— The Heart I carried in my own— Till […]
Richard III Shakespeare K. Rich. A horse! a horse! my kingdom for a horse! Cate. Withdraw, my lord; I’ll help you to a horse. K. Rich. Slave, I have set my life upon a cast And I will stand the hazard of the die: I think there be six Richmonds in the field; Five have […]
A SUDDEN GOLDFINCH Holly Ordway The branch is bare and black against the fog; Cold droplets bead along the twigs, and fall. The hours are passing, ready to be gone, And now they’re past, dissolved, beyond recall, Beyond my reach. A sudden goldfinch clings And bends the twig so slightly with its weight It seems […]
Inherent in the idea of story is something fundamental to our understanding of who we are, where we come from, how we grow up, what we experience, and what we accept as true.
The crib becomes an altar: therefore dies No ox nor sheep; for in their fodder lies The Prince of Peace, who, thankful for his bed, Destroys those rites in which their blood was shed. ~Sir John Beaumont, from Of The Epiphany The Christian season of Epiphany has almost faded into obscurity. How ironic. The word […]
A SILENT PROMISE JAY EMERSON JOHNSON Light comes back as it always does just before Christmas Day like finding a treasured keepsake forgotten in attic recesses and I start to think about Hoovering up brittle evergreen needles, fingering the stubborn ones out from a wooly carpet’s fibers. Light comes back slowly tracing an ancient arc […]
UPON THE CIRCUMCISION JOHN MILTON YE flaming Powers, and wingèd Warriors bright, That erst with music, and triumphant song, First heard by happy watchful Shepherds’ ear, So sweetly sung your joy the clouds along, Through the soft silence of the listening night,— Now mourn; and if sad share with us to bear Your fiery essence […]
Verbicide—the ‘murder’ of words.
The famous 17th century English philosopher, not the machete-wielding bald guy on the island.
Pray for the innocent and ask God to make us instruments of peace.
MAPS Holly Ordway Antique maps, with curlicues of ink As borders, framing what we know, like pages From a book of travelers’ tales: look, Here in the margin, tiny ships at sail. No-nonsense maps from family trips: each state Traced out in color-coded numbered highways, A web of roads with labeled city-dots Punctuating the route […]
Gloria in Excelsis Deo
For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known. 1 Corinthians 13:12
Dr. Greg Smith’s book The Testing of God’s Sons is clearly the work of both pastor and professor. Here we find a resource rich repository to be frequently revisited for insight to the gospel ministry. Beyond its academic value is the apparent spiritual maturation of an author whose experience bears out the truth of his work. The humanistic worldview so prevalent in its inward gaze for eternal answers has been expertly answered by one who hastens us to look to God, who so loves the world.
EVENSONG IN OXFORD ON ST. CECILIA’S DAY Holly Ordway “My soul doth magnify the Lord,” we sing, And offer back, in music’s common voice, The melody He made; the gift we bring Is wholly His—and so we dare rejoice With Mary’s words, entrusting her with all Our hopes and fears, to prism them to praise […]
I love old boneyards. I really do. Not in a morose kind of way, though. It’s healthy, in fact. Let me explain what I mean.
CONVERSION Holly Ordway A twitch upon the thread, and here I stand, Pausing at this door. I wish that I Could look aside, or back away, pretend I don’t see where this threshold leads, deny The summons and the sudden urgency That blows away as so much useless chaff My nonchalant excuses for delay. I […]
Help me. help me, help me.
Pain’s only valuable lesson is that we are insufficient.
Wonder and worship are the beginning of understanding.
People see evil in the world and say “How can God exist?” It’s the wrong question.
Marilynn Robinson is unmatched for her ability to take a clear eyed look at Christianity and humanism and find integrated roots in the common tree.
We all want to be better people, but what does that mean?
“But we could hear her, because she began just after we came up out of the ditch, the sound that was not singing and not unsinging. “Who will do our washing now, Father?” I said.”