Saturday, May 03, 2008

Friday, May 02, 2008

Fr Groeschel

A sister who was the head of the Holy Ghost Hospital in Rome introduced herself to Pope John XXIII by saying, "I'm the superior of the Santo Spiritu." The pope shot back, "The superior of the Holy Ghost! I'm only the Vicar of Christ."

Benedict J. Groeschel, CFR, Healing the Original Wound, p. 85

Thursday, May 01, 2008


In this, the diocese of mice,
Who's bishop of breathing?

Theodore Roethke, from "O, Lull Me, Lull Me"


The May Magnificat
by Gerard Manley Hopkins, SJ (1844-89)

May is Mary's month, and I
Muse at that and wonder why:
      Her feasts follow reason,
      Dated due to season—

Candlemas, Lady Day;
But the Lady Month, May,
      Why fasten that upon her,
      With a feasting in her honour?

Is it only its being brighter
Than the most are must delight her?
      Is it opportunest
      And flowers finds soonest?

Ask of her, the mighty mother:
Her reply puts this other
      Question: What is Spring?—
      Growth in every thing—

Flesh and fleece, fur and feather,
Grass and greenworld all together;
      Star-eyed strawberry-breasted
      Throstle above her nested

Cluster of bugle blue eggs thin
Forms and warms the life within;
      And bird and blossom swell
      In sod or sheath or shell.

All things rising, all things sizing
Mary sees, sympathising
      With that world of good,
      Nature's motherhood.

Their magnifying of each its kind
With delight calls to mind
      How she did in her stored
      Magnify the Lord.

Well but there was more than this:
Spring's universal bliss
      Much, had much to say
      To offering Mary May.

When drop-of-blood-and-foam-dapple
Bloom lights the orchard-apple
      And thicket and thorp are merry
      With silver-surfèd cherry

And azuring-over greybell makes
Wood banks and brakes wash wet like lakes
      And magic cuckoocall
      Caps, clears, and clinches all—

This ecstasy all through mothering earth
Tells Mary her mirth till Christ's birth
      To remember and exultation
      In God who was her salvation.

Monday, April 28, 2008


Blogging hiatus upcoming

from this evening until late Thursday.

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Sestina at 20

Make ready for the coming of the spring!
Away with all those memories of pain!
A world begins where few thoughts are final.
Through rayed blue skies the shining seagulls plunge
Suddenly, as if to halt a crisis
Wherein the land thickens with strange green growth.

Patches of earth, so long unused to growth,
Are now faced with the happy threat of spring:
A sweet disturbance and a welcome crisis,
A dangerous thrill, a pleasurable pain.
Green stems soar into light; careful roots plunge
Fingers into darkness whose face is final.

Winter had a way of seeming final,
Excluding possibilities of growth.
Snowflakes fell; the mercury took its plunge.
We waited for the necessary spring
To melt the brace of icy pain
Which placed our hearts in subzero crisis.

In each new weather, twittering in crisis,
Brisk sparrows gather in trees that are final
On branches that tremble in frequent pain.
We hear crisp notes, exclamations of growth --
How do we take the temperature of spring?
How deeply into subsoil must we plunge?

Answer: We deal in surfaces, no plunge
Involved in calculating our crisis.
It is spring when the wind says it is spring;
The sentence of our skin and pulse is final.
We know we have achieved our sought-for growth
In the smooth scour of sunlight when our pain

Of winter changes into sweeter pain.
Love menaces us and we take the plunge;
We gamble on joy's exponential growth,
Oblivious of a round-the-corner crisis.
"But hope is endless, fear is never final,"
Hints the blunt dusk. We feel the sting of spring

And thus does spring remind us of our pain.
Summer makes it final. The brief nights plunge
Our blood into a crisis we call growth.


Even in the darkness of mortal sin, faith is constantly preaching.

Fr Frederick Faber, via Groeschel, Healing the Original Wound, p. 57