POETRY: A General Communion, by Alice Meynell

October 19, 2016

I saw the throng, so deeply separate, Fed at one only board— The devout people, moved, intent, elate, And the devoted Lord. O struck apart! not side from human side, But soul from human soul, As each asunder absorbed the multiplied, The ever unparted, whole. I saw this people as a field of flowers, Each grown at such a price The sum of unimaginable powers Did no more than suffice. A thousand single central daisies they, A thousand of the one; For each, the entire monopoly of day; For each, the whole of the devoted [...]

MYSTICISM: The Mysticism Of Human Communion by Mother Maria Skobtsova

November 6, 2015

The most doubtful, disputable, and satisfying thing about all the concepts of “Christianity turned toward the world,” “social Christianity,” and similar trends that have been put forward in modern times, is their secondary character, their incommensurability with the idea of Christian life understood as communion with God.  Something of the “second sort,” applied, appended, is not bad in itself, but is also not necessary – and in any case cannot exhaust the fullness of Christian life.  Primary Christianity, on the other hand, exhausts everything, because it is oriented toward authentic spiritual life, that is, toward communion with God.  In this characterization there is undoubtedly a portion of [...]

HOLY COMMUNION: Earthing The Eucharist by Ken Newell

February 27, 2014

From Treasures of Irish Christianity, Salvador Ryan and Brendan Leahy, editors I felt churned up inside with anger and despair when I got the news.  On Wednesday afternoon, 5 February 1992, two UFF gunmen walked into Sean Graham’s Bookmakers on Belfast’s Ormeau Road and shot dead five innocent Catholics, four men and a fifteen-year-old boy.  My church was close by. The next evening I visited the five families with some of our church elders and prayed with them.  We were welcomed with extraordinary warmth.  As Sunday approached I found it difficult to concentrate on preparing the liturgy for the Lord’s Supper.  I kept asking myself, “What is the link between the sacrament and the murders?”  Slowly it [...]

POETRY: The Eucharistic Hymns Of Thomas Aquinas

February 26, 2014

Pange Lingua Gloriosi Corporis Mysterium Tell, tongue, the mystery of the glorious Body and of the precious Blood, which, for the price of the world, the fruit of a noble Womb, the King of the Nations poured forth. Given to us, born for us, from the untouched Virgin, and dwelt in the world after the seed of the Word had been scattered. His inhabiting ended the delays with wonderful order. On the night of the Last Supper, reclining with His brethren, once the Law had been fully observed with the prescribed foods, as food to the crowd of Twelve He gives Himself with His hands. The Word as Flesh makes true bread into flesh by a word and the wine becomes the Blood of Christ. And if sense is deficient to strengthen a sincere heart Faith alone [...]

PRAYER: Prayers For Healing In The Eucharist, by Jim McManus

February 24, 2014

From The Healing Power of the Sacraments The church always prayed for the healing of the whole person just before communion.  One prayer used in the private preparation of the priest is: Lord Jesus Christ, with faith in your love and mercy I eat your body and drink your blood.  Let it not bring me condemnation but health of mind and body. As he purifies the sacred vessels the priest prays, Lord, may I receive these gifts in purity of heart.  May they bring me healing and strength now and forever. What are these prayers for health of mind and body asking for?  Our expectations must correspond to our words.  If the sentiments in our hearts are not in accord with the words on our lips, we are not really praying at all. Just after the [...]

POETRY: The Sacraments by Louise Erdrich

December 13, 2013

1 Baptism As the sun dancers, in their helmets of sage, stopped at the sun’s apogee and stood in the waterless light, so, after loss, it came to this: that for each year the being was destroyed, I was to sacrifice a piece of my flesh. The keen knife hovered and the skin flicked in the bowl. Then the sun, the life that consumes us, burst into agony. We began, the wands and the head crowns of sage, the feathers cocked over our ears. When the bird joined the circle and called, we cried back, shrill breath through the bones in our teeth. Her wings closed over us, her dark red claws drew us upward by the scars, so that we hung by the flesh as in the moment before birth when the spirit is quenched in whole pain, suspended until there is no [...]

LENT: Second Sunday in Lent, by Henri J. M. Nouwen

February 24, 2013

From Show Me The Way He was still speaking when suddenly a bright cloud covered them with shadow, and suddenly from the cloud there came a voice which said, “This is my son, the beloved; he enjoys my favor.  Listen to him.” (Matthew 17:5) When we break bread together, we reveal to each other the real story of Christ’s life and our lives in him.  Jesus took bread, blessed it, broke it, and gave it to his friends.  He did so when he saw a hungry crowd and felt compassion for them (Matthew 14:19; 15:36); he did it on the evening before his death when he wanted to say farewell (Matthew 26:26); he did so when he made himself known to the two disciples whom he met on the road to Emmaus (Luke 24:30).  And ever since his [...]

POETRY: The Communion, by Thomas Merton

October 19, 2012

O sweet escape! O smiling flight! O what bright secret breaks our jails of flesh? For we are fled, among the shining vineyards, And ride in praises in the hills of wheat, To find our hero, in His tents of light! O sweet escape! O smiling flight! O sweet escape! O smiling flight! The vineyards break our fetters with their laughter! Our souls walk home as quiet as skies. The snares that death, our subtle hunter, set, Are all undone by beams of light! O sweet escape! O smiling flight! O sweet escape! O smiling flight! Unlock our dark! And let us out of night! And set us free to go to prison in this vineyard, (Where, in the vines, the sweet and secret sun Works our eternal rescue into wine) O sweet escape! O smiling flight! We’ll rob [...]

POETRY: Four Poems by César Vallejo

July 4, 2012

Anger Anger which breaks a man into children, Which breaks the child into two equal birds, And after that the bird into a pair of little eggs: The poor man’s anger Has one oil against two vinegars. Anger which breaks a tree into leaves And the leaf into unequal buds And the bud into telescopic grooves; The poor man’s anger Has two rivers against many seas. Anger which breaks good into doubts And doubt into three similar arcs And then the arc into unexpected tombs; The poor man’s anger Has one steel against two daggers. Anger which breaks the soul into bodies And the body into dissimilar organs And the organ into octave thoughts; The poor man’s anger Has one central fire against two craters. Black Stone on Top of a [...]