John Donne

CHRISTMAS REFLECTION: This Is Truly Peace by John Donne

January 3, 2019

From The Showing Forth of Christ The whole life of Christ was a continual passion; others die martyrs but Christ was born a martyr.  He found a Golgotha (where he was crucified) even in Bethlehem, where he was born; for to his tenderness then the straws were almost as sharp as the thorns after and the manger as uneasy at first as his cross at last.  His birth and his death were but one continual act, and his Christmas Day and his Good Friday are but the evening and the morning of one and the same day.  And as even his birth is his death, so every action and passage that manifests Christ to us is his birth. Every manifestation of Christ to the world, to the church, to a particular soul, is an Epiphany, a Christmas Day.  Now there is [...]

POETRY: Death by John Donne

December 20, 2018

Death be not proud, though some have called thee Mighty and dreadful, for thou art not so; For those whom thou think’st thou dost overthrow Die not poor death, nor yet can’st thou kill me; From rest and sleep, which but thy pictures be, Much pleasure, then from thee much more must flow; And soonest our best men to thee do go, Rest of their bones and soul’s delivery; Thou art slave to fate, chance, kings, and desperate men And dost with poison, war, and sickness dwell; And poison and charms can make us sleep as well, And better than they stroke; why swell’st thou then? One short sleep past, we wake eternally And death shall be no more. Death, thou shalt [...]

POETRY: Batter My Heart, Three-Person’d God by John Donne

October 28, 2017

Batter my heart, three-person’d God, for you As yet but knock, breathe, shine, and seek to mend; That I may rise and stand, o’erthrow me, and bend Your force to break, blow, burn, and make me new. I, like an usurp’d town to another due, Labor to admit you, but oh, to no end; Reason, your viceroy in me, me should defend, But is captiv’d, and proves weak or untrue. Yet dearly I love you, and would be lov’d fain, But am betroth’d unto your enemy; Divorce me, untie or break that knot again, Take me to you, imprison me, for I, Except you enthrall me, never shall be free, Nor ever chaste, except you ravish [...]

POETRY: Temple by John Donne

October 21, 2017

With his kind mother who partakes thy woe, Joseph turn back; see where your child doth sit, Blowing, yea blowing out those sparks of wit, Which himself on the doctors did bestow; The Word but lately could not speak, and lo, It suddenly speaks wonders, whence comes it, That all which was, and all which should be writ, A shallow seeming child, should deeply know? His Godhead was not soul to his manhood, Nor had time mellowed him to this ripeness, But as for one which hath a long task, ’tis good, With the sun to begin his business, He in his age’s morning thus began By miracles exceeding power of [...]

POETRY: Wilt Thou Love God? by John Donne

October 15, 2017

Wilt thou love God, as he thee? then digest, My Soule, this wholsome meditation, How God the Spirit, by Angels waited on In Heaven, doth make his Temple in thy brest. The Father having begot a Sonne most blest, And still begetting, (for he ne’r begonne) Hath deign’d to chuse thee by adoption, Coheire to his glory, and Sabbaths endless rest; And as a robb’d man, which by search doth finde His stolne stuffe sold, must lose or buy it againe: The Sonne of glory came downe, and was slaine, Us whom he had made, and Satan stolne, to unbinde. ‘Twas much, that man was made like God before, But, that God should be made like man, much [...]

POETRY: The Holy Ghost by John Donne

October 4, 2017

O Holy Ghost, whose temple I Am, but of mud walls, and condensèd dust, And being sacrilegiously Half wasted with youth’s fires, of pride and lust, Must with new storms be weather-beat; Double in my heart Thy flame, Which let devout sad tears intend; and let (Though this glass lanthorn, flesh, do suffer maim) Fire, Sacrifice, Priest, Altar be the [...]

POETRY: Ascension, by John Donne

May 25, 2017

Salute the last, and everlasting day, Joy at the uprising of this Sun, and Son, Ye whose true tears, or tribulation Have purely wash’d, or burnt your drossy clay. Behold, the Highest, parting hence away, Lightens the dark clouds, which He treads upon; Nor doth He by ascending show alone, But first He, and He first enters the way. O strong Ram, which hast batter’d Heaven for me! Mild lamb, which with Thy Blood hast mark’d the path! Bright Torch, which shinest, that I the way may see! O, with Thy own Blood quench Thy own just wrath; And if Thy Holy Spirit my Muse did raise, Deign at my hands this crown of prayer and [...]

ADVENT MEDITATION: God Has The Keys Of Death by John Donne

December 5, 2016

From Death’s Duel To God, the Lord, belongs escape from death. (Psalm 68:20) This whole world is but a universal churchyard, but our common grave, and the life and motion that the greatest persons have in it is but as the shaking of buried bodies in their graves by an earthquake.  That which we call life is but a week of death, seven days, seven periods of our life spent in dying, a dying seven times over; and there is an end.  Our birth dies in infancy and our infancy dies in youth, and youth and the rest die in age, and age also dies and determines all.  Nor do all these, youth out of infancy, or age out of youth, arise as a phoenix out of the ashes of another phoenix formerly dead, but as a wasp or a serpent out of a carrion, [...]

POETRY: At The Round Earth’s Imagined Corners, by John Donne

March 16, 2016

Divine Meditations: VII At the round earth’s imagined corners, blow Your trumpets, angels, and arise, arise From death, you numberless infinities Of souls, and to your scattered bodies go, All whom the flood did, and fire shall o’erthrow, All whom war, dearth, age, agues, tyrannies, Despair, law, chance, hath slain, and you whose eyes, Shall behold God, and never taste death’s woe. But let them sleep, Lord, and me mourn a space, For, if above all these, my sins abound, ‘Tis late to ask abundance of thy grace, When we are there; here on this lowly ground, Teach me how to repent; for that’s as good As if thou hadst sealed my pardon, with thy [...]

PRAYER: A Confession by John Donne

March 8, 2016

Forgive me, O Lord, O Lord, forgive me my sins, the sins of my youth, and my present sins, the sin that my parents cast upon me, original sin, and the sins that I cast upon my children, in an ill example; actual sins, sins which are manifest to all the world, and sins which I have so labored to hide from the world, as that now they are hid from mine own conscience, and mine own memory. Forgive me my crying sins, and my whispering sins, sins of unchaitable hate, and sins of unchaste love, sins against thee and against thy power, O almighty Father, against thy wisdom, O glorious Son, against thy goodness, O blessed Spirit of God; and sins against him and him, against superiors and equals, and inferiors; and sins against me and me, against [...]

POETRY: We Say Good-bye To Birth And Hello To Death (Four Poems)

February 13, 2013

Prayer Whatever happens. Whatever what is is is what I want. Only that. But that. (Galway Kinnell) All That Time I saw two trees embracing. One leaned on the other as if to throw her down. But she was the upright one. Since their twin youth, maybe she had been pulling him toward her all that time, and finally almost uprooted him. He was the thin, dry, insecure one, the most wind-warped, you could see. And where their tops tangled it looked like he was crying on her shoulder. On the other hand, maybe he had been trying to weaken her, break her, or at least make her bend over backwards for him just a little bit. And all that time she was standing up to him the best she could. She was the most stubborn, the straightest one, that’s a [...]

CHRISTMAS MEDITATION: The Showing Forth Of Christ by John Donne

January 6, 2013

Lord, now lettest thou thy servant depart in peace, according to thy word: for my eyes have seen thy salvation. (Luke 2:29-30) The whole life of Christ was a continual Passion; others die martyrs but Christ was born a martyr.  He found a Golgotha, where he was crucified, even in Bethlehem, where he was born; for to his tenderness then the straws were almost as sharp as the thorns after, and the manger as uneasy at first as the cross at last.  His birth and his death were but one continual act, and his Christmas day and his Good Friday are but the evening and morning of the same day.  And as even his birth is his death, so every action and passage that manifests Christ to us is his birth, for Epiphany is manifestation.  Every [...]

POETRY: A Hymn To God The Father by John Donne

August 16, 2012

I Wilt thou forgive that sin where I begun, Which is my sin, though it were done before? Wilt thou forgive that sin, through which I run, And do run still: though still I do deplore? When thou hast done, thou hast not done, For I have more. II Wilt thou forgive that sin which I have won Others to sin? and, made my sin their door? Wilt thou forgive that sin which I did shun A year, or two, but wallowed in a score? When thou hast done, thou hast not done, For I have more. III I have a sin of fear, that when I have spun My last thread, I shall perish on the shore; But swear by thy self, that at my death thy son Shall shine as he shines now, and heretofore; And, having done that, thou hast done, I fear no [...]