Mary is a big deal.

I’m not Roman Catholic and while I don’t pray to the Blessed Virgin, she is a big deal. Check this out hymn and think about it:

Hail Mary, full of grace! All generations, bless
our highly-favoured sister in her holiness!
Rejoice with her, who first received
God’s Word made human, and believed.

Heaven and earth stand still while Mary, wrapped in thought,
accepts the words of joy and dread the angel brought
to bear the Christ, and hold him dear
in costly love, in pain and fear.

Courage and strength were hers when, virgin and alone,
she freely chose the will of God and made it her own.
She laughed, and sang a woman’s song:
God lifts the weak, puts down the strong.

Now may we seek the path that Mary’s feet once trod,
sufficient in herself to bear the fullness of God –
for Christ will come where faith and love
receive him still, and make him room.

 

I’m using other Peoples’ words

I’ve been posting lots of prayers and hymns and things lately. The words haven’t really been mine much over the past month. I know that. But I’d like to take a moment and tell you about why.

This past month has been one of the hardest on record. In the space I don’t have the ability to post you an interesting something without it being really emotionally raw. I generally try to avoid sharing the details of my life on this blog, but as it goes even my attempts to say something without saying something (if you follow me) have been impossible to pull off.

So, I’ve been sharing words of other people. I hope that in these words you find a bit of what I’m experiencing. In them there are places I find hope, places that echo the knee-deep emotional swamp I’m walking through, and places were I hope other people might find connection in the words that I have connected with. Hopefully in all of these words of other people God is revealing Himself to you. I know that this is what has been happening for me.

For the time being I think that a blog-bound discourse which is grounded in other people’s thoughts is the best way I can share with you.

Reading

I’m reading this book. It’s money in the bank. The quote off the back is below. It’s pretty inspiring.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In our time nobody is content to stop with faith but wants to go further. It would perhaps be rash to ask where these people are going, but it is surely a sign of breeding and culture for me to assume that everybody has faith, for otherwise it would be queer for them to be . . . going further. In those old days it was different, then faith was a task for a whole lifetime, because it was assumed that dexterity in faith is not acquired in a few days or weeks. When the tried oldster drew near to his last hour, having fought the good fight and kept the faith, his heart was still young enough not to have forgotten that fear and trembling which chastened the youth, which the man indeed held in check, but which no man quite outgrows. . . except as he might succeed at the earliest opportunity in going further. Where these revered figures arrived, that is the point where everybody in our day begins to go further.”

Faith as a lifetime pursuit is not something that I really feel that I’ve ever heard emphasized before. The way he writes is incredibly soothing for some reason. It’s like Tiramisu. It’s delicious, but if I eat too much at once I will be lost.

Prayer O’ the Day

Wind of God, blow far from us
all dark despair,
all deep distress,
all groundless fears,
all sinful desires,
all Satan’s snares,
all false values,
all selfish wishes,
all wasteful worries.

Blow into us
your holy presence,
your living love,
your healing touch,
your splendid courage,
your mighty strength,
your perfect peace,
your caring concern,
your divine grace,
your boundless joy.
Wind of God, blow strong, blow fresh, blow now. Amen.

“Father, have you gone stark raving mad?” A Letter from W. H. Auden

This is really a wonderful letter. It made me really happy.

A Desert Father

Mother Winnie Varghese from S. Mark’s in the Bowery posted this wonderful letter from W. H. Auden about new liturgies.  It is a treat and is below!  S. Mark’s is also being considered for a Partners in Preservation grant and would benefit from your frequent votes. R+

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Hymn of the Day

Holy is the seed-time,
when the buried grain
Sinks to sleep in darkness,
but to wake again.
Holy is the spring-time,
when the living corn
Bursting from its prison
riseth like the morn.

Holy is the harvest,
when each ripened ear,
Bending to the sickle,
crowns the golden year.
Store them in our garners;
winnow them with care;
Give to God the glory
in our praise and prayer.

Holy seed our Master
soweth in his field;
Be the harvest holy
which our hearts shall yield;
Quickened by his Spirit,
strengthened by his grace,
Till in risen splendour
we behold his face.

Glory to the Father,
who beheld our need;
Glory to the Saviour,
who hath sown the seed;
Glory to the Spirit,
giving the increase;
Glory, as it has been, is,
and ne’er shall cease! Amen.