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POETRY: Non-Disparagement Agreement, by Mary F. C. Pratt

After David Weinstock If you won’t tell how I cried, I won’t tell how you left. You won’t tell my raging, either, how I blamed you for everything: my sister’s dying, the terrorists, war, cancer and pain, blindness, stupidity. So  you won’t tell how I slammed doors, broke goblets, made a fool of myself every time I remembered. And I won’t tell how quiet you were, how you wouldn’t turn back when I called. I won’t tell of the blank, the emptiness of [...]
  • litany for guardian angels the value of sparrows
    For Private Recitation Lord, have mercy on me. Christ, have mercy on me. Lord, have mercy on me. Jesus, hear me. Jesus, graciously hear me. God the Father of Heaven, have mercy on me. God the Son, redeemer of the world, have mercy on me. God the Holy Spirit, have mercy on me. Holy Trinity, One God, [...]
  • drug addiction
    (I collect prayers, and I’m especially fond of novenas.  I find them to be a very practical means of organizing thoughts and hopes.  A year or so ago, I was putting together a litany for parents with wayward children. It was dedicated to a woman who was going through a very bad time with her daughter, a young woman whose life was being slowly ruined because of her addiction to drugs.  I was shocked, and somewhat horrified, when I could not find a prayer concerning addiction, any kind [...]

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Thomas Merton

  • i believe in love thomas merton

    POETRY: I Believe In Love, by Thomas Merton

    Translated from the French by William Davis Je Crois en L’Amour Je crois en l’Amour Qui dort et vit, cache dans les semences, Et lorsque je respire mon printemps Dans la fraicheur des sommets liturgiques En voyant tous les arbres et les blés verts, L’émoi s’éveille au plus profound De mon être mortel: et l’adoration Sonne comme les cloches légendaires Qui entonnent leurs chants sourds au sein de l’océan. Et quand le soleil géant de mon été A frappe l’or de toutes mes [...]
  • silence of the psalms thomas merton

    SILENCE: The Silence Of The Psalms, by Thomas Merton

    From Bread In The Wilderness One thing remains to be explained, we have emphasized, in this book, the truth that the Psalms most often become contemplation when, through them, we manage to unite our sufferings with the sufferings of Christ, so that he in turn lifts us up in his own triumph and raises us to a foretaste of his glory.  Why this emphasis on suffering?  Suffering is not the only theme in the Psalter. We bring the substance of our own lives to the Psalter and offer it to Christ to [...]
  • other side of despair thomas merton

    SATURDAY READING: The Other Side Of Despair, by Thomas Merton

    From The Critic 24 (October-November 1965) Ten years ago, conservative writers were already engaged in a definitive summing up of the “existentialist revolt.”  What had begun, they said, in the eccentric religiosity of Kierkegaard had ended in the open rebellion of Sartre against all that was decent and sane; and now it had even penetrated Catholic thought with the contagious of situation ethics. But the church was on the watch, the warning had been sounded.  Indeed, the encyclical [...]
  • array of saints poetry thomas merton

    POETRY: Thomas Merton — An Array Of Saints

    St. Agnes: A Responsory Cujur pulchritudinem Sol et luna mirantur. . . Hear with joy this child of God Plays in the perfect garden of her martyrdom, Ipsi soli servo fidem. Spending the silver of her little life To bring her Bridegroom these bright flowers Of which her arms are full. Cujus pulchritudinem. . . With what white smiles She buys the Popes their palliums, And lavishes upon our souls the lambs of her confession! Sol et luna mirantur, Ipsi soli servo fidem. Her virtues, with their [...]
  • peace christian responsibility thomas merton

    SATURDAY READING: Peace — A Religious Responsibility, by Thomas Merton

    Between 1918 and 1939 religious opposition to war was articulate and widespread, all over Europe and America.  Peace movements of significant proportions were active in Germany, Britain, and the United States.  Yet they were crushed without difficulty and almost without protest by totalitarian regimes on the one hand, and silenced by the outbreak of a clearly defensive war on the other.  Since 1945 there has been nothing to compare with the earlier movements of protest.  Instead we have [...]
  • thomas merton angels

    POETRY: Thomas Merton Sings Of Angels

    Song for Our Lady of Cobre The white girls lift their heads like trees, The black girls go Reflected like flamingoes in the street. The white girls sing as shrill as water, The black girls talk as quiet as clay. The white girls open their arms like clouds, The black girls close their eyes like wings: Angels bow down like bells, Angels look up like toys, Because the heavenly stars Stand in a ring: And all the pieces of the mosaic, earth, Get up and fly away like birds. The Messenger There is [...]
  • paper cranes thomas merton

    POETRY: Paper Cranes: (The Hibakusha Come To Gethsemani), by Thomas Merton

    How can we tell a paper bird Is stronger than a hawk When it has no metal for talons? It needs no power to kill Because it is not hungry. Wilder and wiser than eagles It ranges round the world Without enemies And free of cravings. The child’s hand Folding these wings Wins no wars and ends them all. Thoughts of a child’s heart Without care, without weapons! So, the child’s eye Gives life to what it loves Kind as the innocent sun And lovelier than all [...]
  • blessed virgin thomas merton

    POETRY: Canticle For The Blessed Virgin, by Thomas Merton

    I Die, Boreas, And drown your ruins in the gaudy sea, December, clash your cymbals once again And put them away. The crops come thronging from the ground. The land is green with strength. The harvests sing like confidence In the ascetic earth. Let there be no more patience With your iron music, death: Stand, continents, and wear the spring your crown! The ox-eyed land, The muted lakes, The cloudy groves that praise you, Lady, with their blooms, Fuse and destroy their lights And burn them into [...]
  • original child bomb thomas merton

    POETRY: Original Child Bomb, by Thomas Merton

    Points for meditation to be scratched on the walls of a cave 1: In the year 1945 an Original Child was born. The name Original Child was given to it by the Japanese people, who recognized that it was the first of its kind. 2: On April 12th, 1945, Mr. Harry Truman became the President of the United States, which was then fighting the Second World War. Mr. Truman was a vice president who became President by accident when his predecessor died of a cerebral hemorrhage. He did not know as much about [...]
  • Hagia Sophia

    POETRY: Hagia Sophia, by Thomas Merton

    I. Dawn.  The Hour of Lauds. There is in all visible things an invisible fecundity, a dimmed light, a meek namelessness, a hidden wholeness.  This mysterious Unity and Integrity is Wisdom, the Mother of all, Natura naturans.  There is in all things an inexhaustible sweetness and purity, a silence that is a fount of action and joy.  It rises up in wordless gentleness and flows out to me from the unseen roots of all created being, welcoming me tenderly, saluting me with indescribable [...]
  • holy trinity thomas merton

    POETRY: Freedom As Experience, by Thomas Merton

    When, as the captive of Your own invincible consent, You love the image of Your endless Love, Three-Personed God, what intellect Shall take the measure of that liberty? Compared with Love, Your Triune Law, All the inexorable stars are anarchists: Yet they are bound by Love and Love is infinitely free. Minds cannot understand, nor systems imitate The scope of such simplicity. All the desires and hungers that defy Your Law Wither to fears, and perish in imprisonment: And all the hopes that seem [...]
  • minotaur thomas merton

    POETRY: From The Second Chapter Of A Verse History Of The World, by Thomas Merton

    Minotaur There was a time when the young girls of this city had to put on their pink dresses and take arms full of flowers and go up the gangplank on to a ship, and that ship carried them away to an island from which they never returned. For at that time we were ruled from the throne where Aegean Minos sat in- extricate in the midst of his house. He was the king of the monsters. Your shoes untie, your mantle you untwitch Your stocking is all runs, you gaudy bitch Sang to his muse some poet, but [...]
  • cambridge england thomas merton

    POETRY: The Biography, by Thomas Merton

    Oh read the verses of the leaded scourges, And what is written in their terrible remarks: “The Blood runs down the walls of Cambridge town, As useless as the waters of the narrow river— While pub and alley gamble for His vesture.” Although my life is written on Christ’s Body like a map, The nails have printed in those open hands More than the abstract names of sins, More than the countries and the towns, The names of streets, the numbers of the houses, The record of the days [...]
  • program for monks thomas merton

    POETRY: A Practical Program For Monks, by Thomas Merton

    1 Each one shall sit at table with his own cup and spoon, and with his own repentance. Each one’s own business shall be his most important affair, and provide his own remedies. They have neglected bowl and plate. Have you a wooden fork? Yes, each monk has a wooden fork as well as a potato. 2 Each one shall wipe away tears with his own saint, when three bells hold in store a hot afternoon. Each one is supposed to mind his own heart, with its conscience, night and morning. Another turn on [...]
  • trappist abbey matins thomas merton

    POETRY: The Trappist Abbey — Matins, by Thomas Merton

    (Our Lady of Gethsemani, Kentucky) When the full fields begin to smell of sunrise And the valleys sing in their sleep, The pilgrim moon pours over the solemn darkness Her waterfalls of silence, And then departs, up the long avenue of trees. The stars hide, in the glade, their light, like tears, And tremble where some train runs, lost, Baying in eastward mysteries of distance, Where fire flares, somewhere, over a sink of cities. Now kindle in the windows of this ladyhouse, my soul, Your [...]

A quote from Thomas Merton

Happiness is not a matter of intensity but of balance, order, rhythm and harmony.

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Psalm 24

The Earth is the Lord's, and the fullness thereof; the world, and they that dwell therein.

2 For he hath founded it upon the seas, and established it upon the floods.

3 Who shall ascend into the hill of the Lord? or who shall stand in his holy place?

4 He that hath clean hands, and a pure heart; who hath not lifted up his soul unto vanity, nor sworn deceitfully.

5 He shall receive the blessing from the Lord, and righteousness from the God of his salvation.

6 This is the generation of them that seek him, that seek thy face, O Jacob. Selah.

7 Lift up your heads, O ye gates; and be ye lift up, ye everlasting doors; and the King of glory shall come in.

8 Who is this King of glory? The Lord strong and mighty, the Lord mighty in battle.

9 Lift up your heads, O ye gates; even lift them up, ye everlasting doors; and the King of glory shall come in.

10 Who is this King of glory? The Lord of hosts, he is the King of glory. Selah.