POETRY: Good Morning, Father by Anna Beth Fore

February 2, 2019

From: A Voice for My Soul The Lord remembers us and will bless us; He will bless the house of Israel, He will bless the house of Aaron, He will bless those who fear the Lord— small and great alike. (Psalm 115:12-13) Father, greet me this morning with your Heavenly kiss. Sprinkle your blessing on me with the morning mist. Father, smile lovingly at me as the sun begins to rise. Look after me and protect me with a father’s intimate eyes. Father, show me your wonders and surprise me every day. Reveal your might power in a creative, awesome way. Father, share your mysteries and fill my heart with delight. Give me fresh enlightenment and enhance my spiritual sight. Father, play ethereal songs for me as the celestial bodies romance; among the [...]

POETRY: I Bask In Your Glory, Lord by Anna Beth Fore

January 18, 2019

From: A Voice for My Soul Save us, O Lord our God, and gather us from the nations, that we may give thanks to your holy name and glory in  your praise. (Psalm 106:47) I bask in your glory, Lord, as I behold your majesty. I’m in awe of your creation and the wondrous world I see. I bask in your glory, Lord, and feel your presence everywhere. I search for you in the heavens, and I know that you are there. I bask in your glory, Lord, as I hear the mighty oceans roar. I’m inspired by your creatures when I watch the eagles soar. I bask in your glory, Lord, when I feel the sun’s light. I’m amazed at your power when I see the stars at night! I bask in your glory, Lord, when I hear the songbirds sing. I’m delighted every moment with the [...]

POETRY: A Voice For My Soul by Anna Beth Fore

January 11, 2019

From: A Voice for My Soul O God, you are my God, earnestly I seek you; my soul thirsts for you, my body longs for you, in a dry and weary land where there is no water. (Psalm 63:1) My soul longs to speak to you, Lord, and to share my thoughts with you. My heart desires to know you, Lord, and your Spirit my being imbue. Holy Father, bless me with your words to express my soul with a voice. Give me words of praise and adoration, and in my heart, let me sing and rejoice. May my soul cry out to you, O Lord, when I experience pain and suffering. May your Holy Spirit speak for me when my own words I cannot bring. Give me words of wisdom, dear Lord, words of discernment and spiritual insight, words of empathy and understanding, so that they [...]

POETRY: The Definition Of Art by Boris Pasternak

March 9, 2018

It rips open its shirt, exposes Beethoven’s hirsute torso, places its palms, like checkers, over sleep and conscience, night and love. And with what dark longing, wild grief and havoc, it conjures the world’s end on horseback over pawns on foot. The root cellar’s ice is rife with the oohs and aahs of stars. Cool Tristan, full-throated, gasps, like a nightingale over Isolde’s vine. And gardens, and ponds, and fences, even the white heat of creation, are just eruptions of passion accumulated by the human [...]

POETRY: Diseases Of Earth by Boris Pasternak

March 2, 2018

More! When laughter erupts with mother of pearl, bacterial tides, wet rumblings and staphylococcus clouds, knives will flash like lightning. Then—enough! Immovable titans will choke in the black vaults of day. Then tetanus will retrieve the shadows, and snakes go into torpor. The flood is here! Glitter of watery fear, wind, shards of vicious spitting. Where? From clouds, from fields, from Kliazma, or from one sardonic pine? Are these poems fermented enough to stun the thunder? It must have been delirious to consent to be the [...]

POETRY: The Definition Of Soul by Boris Pasternak

February 23, 2018

It falls like a ripe pear into the storm with a single clinging leaf. How faithful—it quits its branch— reckless—it chokes in the heat. It falls like a pear, more askew than the wind. How faithful— Look back: it thundered beautifully, bloomed, scattered—into ashes. The storm burned our country. Fledgling, will you know your nest? O my quivering goldfinch, my leaf, why do you flutter against my shy silk? Do not fear, my single clingng song. What should we strive for? O indivisible trembling—you don’t get that deadly phrase “stay [...]

POETRY: On The Spirit Adulterated By The Flesh by Henry Colman

October 31, 2017

Thy testimonies also are my delight and my counselors.  My soul cleaveth unto the dust: quicken thou me according to thy word. (Psalm 119:24-25) How do I spin my time away In caring how to get Ungodly wealth, and fret My self to sweat, As if thou Lord hadst meant this clay No after life, no reckoning day. What graceless fool would love his Earth So, as with all his might To pamper with delight The same ‘gainst right, Forgetting his divine soul’s birth Was nobler, and of greater worth? Thou Lord didst frame this soul of mine Only to honor thee, Not basely fond to be Of vanity, Unflesh it then, and so refine It Lord it may be all divine. Quicken my dull-drooping spirit That it may praise thy name, Cleanse it from sin and blame, [...]

HUMANITY: Body And Soul by Mark Edmundson

January 8, 2016

From The Hedgehog Review Does the body still exist if we do not have souls?  It may sound like a flippant question – or at least a sophistic one.  I intend it as neither: Does the body still exist if we do not have souls? That we do not have souls is a palpable fact to many – I would even say most – members of the educated classes in the West today.  They don’t go to church.  They don’t spend a lot of time thinking about a possible life to come.  They don’t bother themselves terribly about the matter of God. But no one denies that we possess bodies.  We are all flesh and blood and bones.  This much is common knowledge and beyond any real dispute.  We eat and drink and sleep and copulate – and now, of [...]

EVELYN UNDERHILL THROUGH LENT: The Interior Life by Evelyn Underhill

March 5, 2015

From The House of the Soul When Saint Paul described our mysterious human nature as a “Temple of the Holy Spirit” – a created dwelling-place or sanctuary of the uncreated and invisible Divine Life – he was stating in the strongest possible terms a view of our status, our relation to God, which has always been present in Christianity; and is indeed implicit in the Christian view of Reality.  But that statement as it stands seems far too strong for most of us.  We do not feel in the very least like the temples of Creative Love.  We are more at ease with Saint Teresa, when she describes the soul as an “interior castle” – a roomy mansion, with various floor and apartments from the basement upwards; not all [...]

PRAYER: Ten Meditations, by Francis de Sales

July 28, 2014

From Introduction to the Devout Life (A modern rewriting, making these meditations easier to read and understand, can be found at the website for the Oblates of St. Francis de Sales.) The whole Earth is laid waste with desolation, because there is no one that thinks in his heart. (Jeremiah 12:2) The First Meditation On our creation Preparation 1.  Place yourself in the presence of God.  Beseech him to inspire [...]

REFLECTION: Exclamations of the Soul to God (I through V), by Teresa of Ávila

November 10, 2013

I O life, life, where can you find your sustenance when you are absent from thy life?  In such great loneliness, how do you occupy yourself?  What do you do, since all your actions are faulty and imperfect?  Wherein do you find comfort, O my soul, in this stormy sea?  I grieve for myself, but still more do I grieve for the time when I lived without grief.  O Lord, how smooth are your paths!  Yet who will walk in them without fear?  I fear to live without serving you, yet when I set out to serve you I find no way of doing so that satisfies me or can pay any part of what I owe.  I feel that I would gladly spend myself wholly in your service, and yet, when I consider my wretchedness, I realize that I can do nothing good unless you [...]

POETRY: The Healing Touch

October 30, 2013

Learning CPR Enid Shomer The dummies, all named Annie, all without hearts, arrive in blue valises, their faces scuffed like soles of shoes. Powerful coil springs in their chests resist like bone when the clear plastic lungs inflate. A box like a small traffic signal lights up to show if the help we give is: (red) breaking a rib; (green) helping her breathe; (yellow) reviving the pulse. The heart can stop for six minutes before small deaths in the brain carry off the soul as we know it: speech, movement, a clear memory we can dip into like a spring- fed well. We kneel like runners ready to spring at the gun. But before the heroics, before we help, we make sure Annie hasn’t fainted or isn’t clearing her mind with simple sleep the [...]

POETRY: Two Poems on the Soul, by Carl Dennis

October 16, 2013

On the Soul They told you you owned it and you believed them, Flattered as if a real-estate man, Pointing to a mansion with a lofty portico On the crest of a hill, had assured you it was yours, And the dream sounded too good to be resisted Even when the doorman had sent you around back, Even after ten years’ work in the kitchen, Ten years on your bed of straw Dreaming of the empty suite upstairs And of the empty bed with the crown Hanging from the bedpost, bejeweled with your name. It would have been better if they’d said nothing, Or told you it lived its own life, like deer Hidden in the woods, not seen from the road As you drive past in the car, not seen When you stop and climb the fence. Even if they browse on your own land, [...]

HOMILY: The Seven Gifts of the Holy Spirit — Sails of the Soul, by Kenneth Baker, SJ

October 15, 2013

The spirit of the Lord shall rest on him, the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of counsel and might, the spirit of knowledge and the fear of the Lord. (Isaiah 11:2) In this series of sermons we have reflected on the infused theological and moral virtues.  Today I want to speak to you about the Seven Gifts of the Holy Spirit which are given to us at our Baptism along with sanctifying grace.  Surely you have heard them mentioned at some time in a catechism class, in your reading, or in a sermon. You probably have never heard a complete sermon on the Gifts of the Holy Spirit.  They are wisdom, understanding, knowledge, counsel, fortitude, piety, and fear of the Lord.  I will not try to explain each one in detail today – [...]

MEDITATION: True Rest of the Soul, Johann Gerhard

October 14, 2013

The mind that leans upon the Lord is at rest. The soul often seeks rest in transitory and worldly things but does not find it.  Why?  Because the soul is nobler than all other creatures; it cannot find rest and peace in such ignoble things.  All worldly things are fleeting and transitory, while the soul is immortal.  Therefore, how will you find true rest in them?  All these things are earthly, while the origin of our soul is heavenly.  Therefore, how is it possible to fulfill its desires with them?  In Christ, it finds rest. (Matthew 11:29)  He is able to satisfy and fulfill its desires.  Facing the wrath of God, it finds rest in the wounds of Christ.  Facing the accusations of Satan, it rests in the power of Christ.  Facing [...]