Thursday, January 01, 2009

Hail, full of grace ...

The Bach-Gounod version of "Ave Maria" as sung by the late Karen Carpenter:

I will begin again

A little U2 from, oh, goodness, can it be?, over a quarter-century ago.

January 1, 2009

Octave of Christmas; Solemnity of Mary, the Mother of God.

I may stop posting these liturgical calendar updates, except for major feasts; I think those of you who wish to, can find your way to to get all the info.

Happy New Year! So far, so good ...

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Should auld acquaintance be forgot

The folks at recommend some Poems for the New Year.

Year's End

by Richard Wilbur (b. 1921)

Now winter downs the dying of the year,
And night is all a settlement of snow;
From the soft street the rooms of houses show
A gathered light, a shapen atmosphere,
Like frozen-over lakes whose ice is thin
And still allows some stirring down within.

I've known the wind by water banks to shake
The late leaves down, which frozen where they fell
And held in ice as dancers in a spell
Fluttered all winter long into a lake;
Graved on the dark in gestures of descent,
They seemed their own most perfect monument.

There was perfection in the death of ferns
Which laid their fragile cheeks against the stone
A million years. Great mammoths overthrown
Composedly have made their long sojourns,
Like palaces of patience, in the gray
And changeless lands of ice. And at Pompeii

The little dog lay curled and did not rise
But slept the deeper as the ashes rose
And found the people incomplete, and froze
The random hands, the loose unready eyes
Of men expecting yet another sun
To do the shapely thing they had not done.

These sudden ends of time must give us pause.
We fray into the future, rarely wrought
Save in the tapestries of afterthought.
More time, more time. Barrages of applause
Come muffled from a buried radio.
The New-year bells are wrangling with the snow.

another thought from Merton

That which is oldest is most young and most new. There is nothing so ancient and so dead as human novelty. The "latest" is always stillborn. It never even manages to arrive. What is really new is what was there all the time.

Thomas Merton, from "Sentences," chapter 15 of New Seeds of Contemplation (New Directions Paperbook 1091), p. 107

This week's Marianne Moore

Obscenity as a protest is better than obscenity as praise, but there is -- between the mechanics of power in a spark of feeling and the mechanics of power in a speck of obscenity -- an ocean of difference, and it does not seem sagacious for either to mistake itself for the other.

Excerpt from Marianne Moore's review of One Times One by E E Cummings; in The Complete Prose of Marianne Moore, p. 395

Great paragraph!

If we know how great is the love of Jesus for us we will never be afraid to go to Him in all our poverty, all our weakness, all our spiritual wretchedness and infirmity. Indeed, when we understand the true nature of His love for us, we will prefer to come to Him poor and helpless. We will never be ashamed of our distress. Distress is to our advantage whe we have nothing to seek but mercy. We can be glad of our helplessness when we really believe that His power is made perfect in our infirmity.

Thomas Merton, Thoughts in Solitude, part one, chapter VI

December 30, 2008

Sixth day in the Octave of Christmas.

Monday, December 29, 2008

December 29, 2008

Fifth day in the Octave of Christmas: optional memorial of St Thomas Becket, bishop and martyr, who was famously murdered in the cathedral at Canterbury.

Sunday, December 28, 2008