The Twelfth Day Of Christmas

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 […]

The Holy Sonnets by John Donne (1633)

Spiritual truth is difficult for the rational mind to grasp.  The Bible says the Holy Spirit will guide us to all truth and indeed, absent God’s intrusion our modern minds gravitate to only that which is reasonable – and reason is a hobbled teacher.  We understand this most directly in matters of love, for as Pascal […]

The Only Thing Between Me and Tragedy: Day 5

Tess of the D’Urbervilles Thomas Hardy ‘Forgive me as you are forgiven! I forgive YOU, Angel.’                              ‘You—yes, you do.’ ‘But you do not forgive me?’                                                                                   ‘O Tess, forgiveness does not apply to the case! You were one person;  now you are another. My God—how can forgiveness meet such a grotesque-prestidigitation as that!’                                                                                                         He […]

The Only Thing Between Me and Tragedy: Day 4

Tess of the D’Urbervilles Thomas Hardy ‘I cannot help associating your decline as a family with this other fact—of your want of firmness. Decrepit families imply decrepit wills, decrepit conduct. Heaven, why did you give me a handle for despising you more by informing me of your descent! Here was I thinking you a new-sprung […]

The Only Thing Between Me and Tragedy: Day 2

Tess of the D’Urbervilles Thomas Hardy If an offense come out of the truth, better is it that the offense come than that the truth be concealed. College years have always been a challenge to young people.  The newness of independent living combined with an environment designed to stretch their understanding and awareness is often […]

The Only Thing Between Me and Tragedy: Day 1

Tess of the D’Urbervilles Thomas Hardy . . . he now began to discredit the old appraisements of morality. He thought they wanted readjusting. Who was the moral man? Still more pertinently, who was the moral woman? The beauty or ugliness of a character lay not only in its achievements, but in its aims and […]

Stranded in Time: How the Metaphysical and Physical are Necessarily Linked by Kate Thomsen Gremillion

“A human being is a vessel that God has built for himself and filled with His inspiration so that his works are perfected in it” Hildegard von Bingen, O.S.B., the twelfth century mystic, theologian, poet, and composer/playwright lived so long ago that it warrants a timeline of sorts to see just how ahead of her […]

What Do You Seek?

Great Expectations Charles Dickens There was a long hard time when I kept far from me the remembrance of what I had thrown away when I was quite ignorant of its worth. Our lives, like the characters of Dickens’ finest novel, are filled with great expectation.  We likewise are often disappointed –  in spite of […]

Engaging With Art by Kate Thomsen Gremillion

“Art is a distinct and irreplaceable way of knowing the world because it alone unlike science or philosophy uses and engages the fullness of our humanity” ~Dana Gioia “But surely arrested development consists not in refusing to lose old things but in failing to add new things.” ~CS Lewis To grow ourselves in the art […]

The Life Giving Power Of Words: Day 3

Charlotte’s Web E.B. White How’s this?” he asked, showing the ad to Charlotte. It says ‘Crunchy.’ ‘Crunchy’ would be a good word to write in your web.” Just the wrong idea,” replied Charlotte. “Couldn’t be worse. We don’t want Zuckerman to think Wilbur is crunchy. He might start thinking about crisp, crunchy bacon and tasty […]

The Life Giving Power Of Words: Day 2

Charlotte’s Web E.B. White These autumn days will shorten and grow cold. The leaves will shake loose from the trees and fall. Christmas will come, then the snows of winter. You will live to enjoy the beauty of the frozen world.… Winter will pass, the days will lengthen, the ice will melt in the pasture […]

Books Promiscuously Read: Day 3

Emily Dickinson Tell all the truth but tell it slant — Success in Circuit lies Too bright for our infirm Delight The Truth’s superb surprise As Lightning to the Children eased With explanation kind The Truth must dazzle gradually Or every man be blind — Children are inquisitive and insatiable for knowledge.  This can be […]

Easter by George Herbert

    Rise heart; thy Lord is risen. Sing his praise     Without delays,     Who takes thee by the hand, that thou likewise     With him mayst rise.     That, as his death calcined1 thee to dust,     His life may make thee gold, and much more just.         Awake, my lute, and struggle […]

Maundy Thursday by Malcolm Guite

Here is the source of every sacrament, The all-transforming presence of the Lord, Replenishing our every element, Remaking us in his creative Word. For here the earth herself gives bread and wine, The air delights to bear his Spirit’s speech, The fire dances where the candles shine, The waters cleanse us with his gentle touch. […]

The Anointing At Bethany by Malcom Guite

Come close with Mary, Martha, Lazarus, So close the candles flare with their soft breath, And kindle heart and soul to flame within us Lit by these mysteries of life and death. For beauty now begins the final movement, In quietness and intimate encounter, The alabaster jar of precious ointment Is broken open for the […]

Love’s As Warm As Tears by C. S. Lewis

Love’s as warm as tears, Love is tears: Pressure within the brain, Tension at the throat, Deluge, weeks of rain, Haystacks afloat, Featureless seas between Hedges, where once was green. Love’s as fierce as fire, Love is fire: All sorts ‒ Infernal heat  
 Clinkered with greed and pride,  
 Lyric desire, sharp-sweet,  
 Laughing, […]

Gethsemane by Rowan Williams

Who said that trees grow easily compared with us? What if the bright bare load that pushes down on them insisted that they spread and bowed and pleated back on themselves and cracked and hunched? Light dropping like a palm levelling the ground, backwards and forwards? Across the valley are the other witnesses of two […]

The Agony by George Herbert

Philosophers have measur’d mountains, Fathom’d the depths of seas, of states and kings; Walk’d with a staff to heav’n and traced fountains: But there are two vast, spacious thins, The which to measure it doth more behove; Yet few there are that sound them, ‒ Sin and Love. Who would know Sin, let him repair […]

Golgotha by John Heath-Stubbs

In the middle of the world, in the centre Of the polluted heart of man, a midden; A stake stemmed in the rubbish From lipless jaws, Adam’s skull Gasped up through the garbage: ‘I lie in the discarded dross of history, Ground down again to the red dust, The obliterated image. Create me.’ From lips […]

The Incarnate One by Edwin Muir

The windless northern surge, the sea-gull’s scream, And Calvin’s kirk crowning the barren brae. I think of Giotto the Tuscan shepherd’s dream, Christ, man and creature in their inner day. How could our race betray The Image, and the Incarnate One unmake Who chose this form and fashion for our sake? The Word made flesh […]

Strong Son of God, Immortal Love by Alfred Tennyson

Strong Son of God, immortal Love, Whom we, that have not seen thy face, By faith, and faith alone, embrace, Believing where we cannot prove; … Our little systems have their day; They have their day and cease to be: They are but broken lights of thee, And thou, O Lord, art more than they. […]

Faith In Honest Doubt by Alfred Tennyson

You tell me, doubt is Devil-born. I know not: one indeed I knew In many a subtle question versed, Who touch’d a jarring lyre at first, But ever strove to make it true: Perplext in faith, but pure in deeds, At last he beat his music out. There lives more faith in honest doubt, Believe […]