Stone Poems

Recently I visited Barcelona, Spain and I was very impressed with the magnificent work of Barcelona’s most famous architect Antoni Gaudí (1852-1926). He was a man of profound sensibility towards beauty and the gift of creation. A true mystic and a poet. He was inspired by nature. As he would often say, “Anything created by human beings is already in the great book of nature.” Gaudí was a devout Catholic man. A man of deep faith. He went to church twice a day. He was also inspired by the writings of Saint John of the Cross, a Discalced Carmelite saint. He believed with conviction his architectural ability was a gift from God, and that his pursuit of excellence in his field benefitted his city and his beloved Catalonia.

Here, I share a beautiful poem and a few photographs I took of some of the work of this great and humble Catalán architect that won the hearts and the admiration of not only the people of Catalonia but the whole world.

*If you would like to know more about Antoni Gaudí, please check:
https://www.barcelonaexperience.com/sightseeing/about-gaudi
https://www.catholic.org/news/hf/faith/story.php?id=66039

Barcelona 2018 casa batlo7

Casa Batlló, Photo taken by me in September 2018

 

To Antoni Gaudí, poet and architect

Haven’t you ever thought that Gaudí was a poet
and that his work breathes poetry?
Message, light of expression and harmony
they have always been a path to the final goal.

Haven’t you seen a wonderful verse vibrate in its structure,
and felt the songs of rhyme in its harmony,
or the rhythm of expression in the symphony
of the materials, the colors, the architecture?

Not every poem is born of words,
not only with words you compose a poem;
the image, the sentiment, the charm, cherishing
are other ways of saying beauty or fable.

To wake up emotion, spell, message
any art can open the mind to the heart,
the dream of an excellent and strong creative being
can describe a poem with its language.

The art in Gaudí has dreamt dreams of stone;
placed its voice in the charm of new columns,
builds spaces with the taste of other perfumes
and in the infinite of its time there is no ashes.

He has searched for God, the nature, the beauty
and its wish of building has brought the wish,
of approaching, with brand new eyes, the earth to the ski,
always striving for perfection and more grandeur.

His transcendental sense has never hindered
that even human warmth was always present
in the details of its work in all moments,
from the halls of the palace to the garden.

And even the temples combine splendor
and humanity. The figures offer
the echo of a godliness, which expand
with overflowing love.

He had mistery in its heart,
the metaphor in its vision,
the structure in its brains
and in its fingers a touch of soul.

Each design is a symbol,
each shape has a spirit,
each color a word
And each detail a kiss.

The “torres del Naixement ” are like flames,
the lightning of forged iron shout at the wind,
the seats that surround Parc Güell resemble waves
the mosaics of live colors are like rising sun.

God’s poet, space’s poet and nature’s poet,
poet of the well-being and of peace,
you have built your world of architecture
garnishing the blue ski with magic poems.

Your poems of stone always wake up a charm
from the unit to the detail,
from the biggest to the smallest,
from elegance to precision,
from the root to the summit,
from surprise to miracle,
under daylight or moonlight,

And what is this other than the being of a great artist
who sings with barroc songs, exuberant, modernist,
until it created a personal and unconfusing style
who has impacted the whole world with its unique vibration?

The great Gaudí, who is for everybody, an incomparable architect,
he is for me, more than anything else, one of the greatest poets.
With a language of stone has written profound poems,
religious, lordly, of nature and symbolism.

As every poet he has strived for emotion and perfection,
with metaphoric conceptions or with peculiar features.
It is still moments, ideas turned to a volume,
structured concepts, well suggested sentiments,
which will consolidate as the infinite time goes by.

~ By Pere Brosa, Gaudí First Prize of Poetry and Short Narrative from Barcelona, Spain

Barcelona 2018 casa batlo fachada

Casa Batlló, photo taken by me in September 2018

 

Barcelona 2018 casa batlo detalle

Casa Batlló (details) photo taken by me in September 2018

 

Barcelona 2018 casa batlo Gaudi

Casa Batlló (beauty is everywhere) photo taken by me in September 2018

 

Barcelona 2018 la pedrera casa mila

Casa Milà, popularly known as La Pedrera or “The stone quarry” photo taken by me in September 2018

 

Barcelona 2018 casa Gaudi best shot

Gaudí House-Museum located within the Park Güell in Barcelona was the residence of Antoni Gaudí for almost 20 years, from 1906 till the end of 1925. Photo taken by me in September 2018

Barcelona 2018 casa Gaudi great shot

Gaudí House-Museum gardens and sculptures…So beautiful. Photo taken by me in September 2018

 

Barcelona 2018 sagrada familia Gaby

The Basílica i Temple Expiatori de la Sagrada Família, (my photo) September 2018

 

Barcelona 2018 sagrada familia

Basilica of The Holy Family (Sagrada Familia) western side (Passion Façade) Photo taken by me in September 2018

 

 

“Come as you are”

 


“Be compassionate as your Father is compassionate. Do not judge, and you will not be judged yourselves; do not condemn, and you will not be condemned yourselves; grant pardon, and you will be pardoned.”
Luke 6:36-37


 

August-Afternoon-Conversation 3

Art by Patrick Stewart (Madonna House Apostolate)

 

Hospitality of the heart means accepting others as they are, not as we would like them to be, and allowing them to make themselves at home in one’s heart. To be at home in another person’s heart is to touch love. It is through the love of our brothers and sisters in Christ that we begin to understand the love of God.

~ A short meditation by Catherine De Hueck Doherty

 

Pax et Bonum ❤

Searching for My Beloved!

Every first Friday of the month we have Adoration of the Most Blessed Sacrament in my Parish. The first Friday of every month is also dedicated to the devotion of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus. Today at Eucharistic Adoration I was inspired during prayer to write this reflection and poem.

Carmelite nun with Jesus art by Carl henry Boch

A Carmelite nun consoles Our Lord Jesus, art by Carl Heinrich Bloch

 

Beloved,
I’m searching for You
and I can’t find You anywhere
around my garden.

I’m shouting Your Holy Name
Yeshúa! Yeshúa! Yeshúa!
And I find no answer.
I look and look everywhere
and nothing!
There is no trace of You.

I keep walking 
and find a path that leads me
to the base of the mountain.
I look up the hill
and I begin to sense Your presence.

I feel that You’re inviting me to climb,
so I begin to ascend up the mountain,
I’m so eager to meet with You, my Beloved.

Despite my tiredness and pain
I continue on the journey.
Then suddenly I see You approaching me,
I can begin to see Your full figure
with Your white spotless tunic,
I can see the contour of Your hair but I can’t see Your face,
and You know what I’m thinking about…
Then suddenly, You begin to talk to my heart,
“Not yet my beloved child, not yet.” 
“You can’t see my face now.”
“But come and see my hands and my feet.”

As I get closer to You,
I lay down to Your feet and caress it lovingly,
then I can see they are bleeding from the old wounds.
I say nothing! I can’t talk, I have no words.
I feel only sorrow.
Then, as I rise and hold Your hands,
they are also bleeding from the old wounds.

I break down in tears,
there are no words between us,
only a sacred silence.
Then, I see Your side where Your Divine Heart is,
and I can see drops of red blood beginning to soak Your spotless garment.
I do not know what to do!
I’m at a loss for words!
I stand still…

Then, You gently speak to my heart once more.
It was Heart to heart…
“My beloved child,
I’m still suffering greatly.
My wounds can never be closed.
They continue to be open for all.
I bleed out of love and for love.
I feel Your pain and the pain of every creature on earth.
Console My Suffering Heart, console it.”

How, my Beloved Lord? How?

“Loving Me, loving Me in all and in everyone.”

 

~ My Personal Reflection

 

 


“There is in the Sacred Heart the symbol and express image of the infinite love of Jesus Christ which moves us to love in return.”
Pope Leo XIII


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

One Thing is Necessary


“O poor little one, tossed with tempest, without all comfort, behold I will lay thy stones in order, and will lay the foundations with sapphires.”  (Isa. 54, 11.)

Jesus by george kordis

Icon of Jesus by artist George Kordis

 

If we only knew the one thing necessary! (Luke x., 42.) If we only thought of building the one house upon the one foundation! But what can we expect? We build upon the sand.
Is it any wonder that the house will not stand? Such winds blow! Such floods come down! And when the dilapidated building has almost tumbled to the ground, we go into retreat to try to prop it up. And like a child who sees his house of cards collapse and wishes to put it up again, we think about making fresh resolutions and new practices, as external and shallow and incoherent as those which have preceded them: therefore, as frail; and our building is bound to come to the ground once more when smitten by the winds and the floods. And we do not think of trying to find the rock, we do not endeavour to build upon a solid and deep foundation. Do we even know that our building must have a foundation?

In order to erect a building, one must first of all pay attention to the foundations. Without a foundation there is nothing solid, nothing strong, and nothing lasting. The important thing, therefore, is to know the foundations of the Spiritual Life, and to lay them down strongly, and to set the building of perfection on the one basis, apart from which nothing can be erected: “for no one can lay other foundation than that which has been already laid.”

Would that we could say with St. Paul: “According to the grace of God that is given to me, as a wise architect, I have laid the foundation which is Christ Jesus.”  (I Cor. III, X-XI.)

If the natural rock possesses such astonishing abundance of beauty and wealth, what must be the magnificence, and bounty, and graciousness of the Spiritual Rock, the Living Stone, the Good, the Lovable, Christ! And what should we think of ourselves who are called upon to be living stones built up, a spiritual house, to offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to Jesus Christ, the Corner-stone of life! Weakness takes root with Divine Rock! Sullen clay finds a home in the Living Spiritual Stone! The finite goes in quest of the Infinite! The streamlet loses itself in the great Ocean of God! How lifeless and insignificant when unflooded by His Light!

When the Master spoke of the unshakable house whose foundation was cut deep into, and built upon a rock, He was speaking of Himself as the only safe and secure foundation for the soul amid the winds and waves and whirl-blasts of time. The rain fell, the floods came, the winds beat vehemently upon the house, but did not shake it for it was embedded in the impregnable and unchanging Rock. The rock then is a happy symbol of the sustaining power, the grandeur, the majesty of Christ, to whom we must cling until He draws us down to dwell within Himself. There we shall find the riches of His wisdom and knowledge which will enable us to go through life, not only as strong and mighty warriors, but with a superabundance of love which renders the rough ways smooth, and makes bearable the painful.

Taking root in Christ is seldom accomplished in a day. Little by little through fidelity to His inspirations, we take a firmer hold of the strong and loving Lord. It is not always easy to be faithful to grace, but it is the building up, stone by stone, of this spiritual house in which we offer spiritual sacrifices acceptable to Jesus Christ, which accomplishes the task.

We catch glimpses here and there, of the marvels of grace in the souls of others. We see men and women of the world bearing weighty burdens of care and responsibility with a smile upon their lips and a kindliness of manner at which we wonder. Others, with lifelong sorrows pressing upon the heart—sorrows from which there is no escape, but about which the sufferers are silent and uncomplaining, because of their love for Him to whom they offer holocausts within the shelter of their soul. Could we but see the thousands of hidden sanctuaries ablaze with the light of heeded grace, we should strive to be of the number of those whose ambition it is to keep aglow every taper of spiritual light shed upon us by the inexhaustible bounty of the Holy Spirit. These sanctuaries are everywhere—not only in the cloister but all along the highways of life, amid the din and noise and laughter of the world, down among the slums and water fronts of great cities, even in the midst of corruption where it seems impossible for sinlessness to thrive; there we find the exquisite touch of God’s grace, for the Master has His friends in every walk of life.

Locality is no obstacle to the entrance of Divine Grace within the soul. It halts before each casement begging for admittance; we have but to open the door and bid it welcome and our house will be flooded with light which, day by day, will increase in brightness until all things will be seen and judged by the brilliancy of the Holy Spirit. This is the life of the friends of Christ and He has many such. These friends are generally hidden, but their strength, resulting from fidelity to the prompting of the Holy Spirit, is felt by others who are influenced and sustained by it. The things that are visible to the naked eye are, for the most part, temporal, whereas the things hidden and unguessed, unlooked for and obscure, are eternal.

How often does not our superficial spiritual life leave Jesus outside and on the surface! And He Himself declares that He wishes to dwell within the soul, and the soul to dwell within Himself. (John XV, 4.) Is not the point to which souls must be brought to-day, when so many of them have forgotten the paths of the Interior Life—the fundamental dogma of the Indwelling of God in the soul?

The abiding of Christ involves the positive clinging to Him. It is like the growth of friendship; at first these two people were very little to each other, but by interaction and acts of kindness they grew to know each other better, then one took more hold upon the other’s thoughts, the influence became stronger; when outwardly separated they were less and less apart in thought. The drawing near of two friends or their separation is like nothing else. It is the mysterious action of one person upon another. So is the soul’s coming to the Master of Love. The mind is more constantly filled with His Presence, His influence gradually penetrates through the whole soul, shaping and forming the character. The first question in coming to any decision is, “What would He wish?” The last question when any work is done is, “Will it be pleasing to Him?” The whole character is swayed and controlled by His influence. How wonderful it is to see many a rough, undisciplined, self-centered man pass beneath the spell of that Sacred Presence and gradually become transformed, still indeed himself, but with all that unmistakable characteristic that betokens His work.

~ A Meditation compiled by A Religious, ‘In Love with the Divine Outcast’ 1934

 


“A God is the Divine Guest of my soul, dwelling there day and night, desirous of receiving the unceasing homage of my intimate friendship and my love.”


 

 

Live in the Light!

 

art by akiane kamarik between my fingers

Between My Fingers, art by Akiane Kramarik

 

Light is a symbol for everything that is good in our lives. God knew we can’t live without light, and therefore the first word he uttered when he, in the beginning, created heaven and earth were: “Let there be light.” And there was light. And God saw that the light was good (Gen 1:3-4).

We see for ourselves that the light is good. That is why we seek it out whenever we can. Unfortunately, we often look in the wrong direction.

Even though God separated the light from darkness on the first day of creation, we often do not see the difference. We confuse the two, seeing light as darkness and darkness as light.

We no longer have clear insights. Things have gone so far that, at times, it is considered a pity to possess clear, unequivocal answers to the questions of life. Some hold that it is a sign of courage to dare living with doubt. Still others stretch tolerance so thin in ethical and religious questions that they no longer see any line between true and false. They think everything is equally good.

Is humanity intent on taking creation back to the original chaos? God has drawn clear lines between light and darkness. But humankind—no longer listening to God—can’t distinguish between day and night, good and evil, left and right.

Yet, the light is there, independent of our confusion, and offers itself to anyone who is open to receive.

~ A Meditation by Father Wilfrid Stinissen, O.C.D.

 

 

Let There Be Light

Over the water of the world again
the Spirit broods;
Over the chaos the minds of all
and down the dream-deserted solitudes.

I know His ominous presence, and I hear
His prophecy of flight
over a world of thought at the first clear
and thunderous dismissal of the night.

How shall that burst of radiance be greeted
as, from the black abyss,
the first day wakens when it hears repeated
that cry to light, torn out of Genesis?

~ A poem by Sister Miriam of the Holy Spirit (Jessica Powers), O.C.D. 

 

art by akiane kamarik the reflection

The Reflection, art by Akiane Kramarik