The Blessed Virgin Compared To The Air We Breathe

 

Mother Mary
Statue of Blessed Virgin Mary with St. Anne  ~ (Photo taken by me at The Basilica of Sainte-Anne-de-Beaupré in Quebec, Canada)

 

Wild air, world-mothering air,
Nestling me everywhere,
That each eyelash or hair
Girdles; goes home betwixt
The fleeciest, frailest-flixed
Snowflake; that’s fairly mixed
With, riddles, and is rife
In every least thing’s life;
This needful, never spent,
And nursing element;
My more than meat and drink,
My meal at every wink;
This air, which, by life’s law,
My lung must draw and draw
Now but to breathe its praise,
Minds me in many ways
Of her who not only
Gave God’s infinity
Dwindled to infancy
Welcome in womb and breast,
Birth, milk, and all the rest
But mothers each new grace
That does now reach our race —
Mary Immaculate,
Merely a woman, yet
Whose presence, power is
Great as no goddess’s
Was deemed, dreamed; who
This one work has to do —
Let all God’s glory through,
God’s glory which would go
Through her and from her flow
Off, and no way but so.

I say that we are wound
With mercy round and round
As if with air: the same
Is Mary, more by name.
She, wild web, wondrous robe,
Mantles the guilty globe,
Since God has let dispense
Her prayers his providence:
Nay, more than almoner,
The sweet alms’ self is her
And men are meant to share
Her life as life does air.

If I have understood,
She holds high motherhood
Towards all our ghostly good
And plays in grace her part
About man’s beating heart,
Laying, like air’s fine flood,
The deathdance in his blood;
Yet no part but what will
Be Christ our Saviour still.
Of her flesh he took flesh:
He does take fresh and fresh,
Though much the mystery how,
Not flesh but spirit now
And makes, O marvellous!
New Nazareths in us,
Where she shall yet conceive
Him, morning, noon, and eve;
New Bethlems, and he born
There, evening, noon, and morn —
Bethlem or Nazareth,
Men here may draw like breath
More Christ and baffle death;
Who, born so, comes to be
New self and nobler me
In each one and each one
More makes, when all is done,
Both God’s and Mary’s Son.

Again, look overhead
How air is azured;
O how! Nay do but stand
Where you can lift your hand
Skywards: rich, rich it laps
Round the four fingergaps.
Yet such a sapphire-shot,
Charged, steeped sky will not
Stain light. Yea, mark you this:
It does no prejudice.
The glass-blue days are those
When every colour glows,
Each shape and shadow shows.
Blue be it: this blue heaven
The seven or seven times seven
Hued sunbeam will transmit
Perfect, not alter it.
Or if there does some soft,
On things aloof, aloft,
Bloom breathe, that one breath more
Earth is the fairer for.
Whereas did air not make
This bath of blue and slake
His fire, the sun would shake,
A blear and blinding ball
With blackness bound, and all
The thick stars round him roll
Flashing like flecks of coal,
Quartz-fret, or sparks of salt,
In grimy vasty vault.

So God was god of old:
A mother came to mould
Those limbs like ours which are
What must make our daystar
Much dearer to mankind;
Whose glory bare would blind
Or less would win man’s mind.
Through her we may see him
Made sweeter, not made dim,
An her hand leaves his light
Sifted to suit our sight.

Be thou then, O thou dear
Mother, my atmosphere;
My happier world, wherein
To wend and meet no sin;
Above me, round me lie
Fronting my froward eye
With sweet and scarless sky;
Stir in my ears, speak there
Of God’s love, O live air,
Of patience, penance, prayer:
World-mothering air, air wild,
Wound with thee, in thee isled,
Fold home, fast fold thy child.

~ A poem by Fr. Gerard Manley Hopkins, S.J. (1844-89)

 

Happy Birthday Blessed Virgin Mary! ❤ Ora Pro Nobis!

 

Hold On To Your Saint!

 

All-Saints-Montage
(Photo collage~source unknown)

 

That we are entering an age of martyrdom must be obvious to anybody with a nose on their face and eyes in their head! When it comes, the name of God, Our Lady, and your patron saint should be on your lips. Your patron saint is very close to you, a creature like you.

What characterizes a saint?

A saint is a lover of God; that is, a lover of all human beings.
A saint listens to the Lord and lets his words penetrate the heart. He doesn’t respond with “if”s and “but”s.
The saints were free. Those who do the will of God are free, for when you do your own will, you are bound.
When you go in search of God, hold on to the hand of your saint. He or she will lead you to God as no one else can.

~ A Meditation by Catherine Doherty

 

You are our letter, written on our hearts, known and read by all, shown to be a letter of Christ administered by us, written not in ink but by the Spirit of the living God, not on tablets of stone but on tablets that are hearts of flesh.
~ 2 Cor 3: 2-3 

 

The Suffering That Transforms Us

 

Christ art by ladislav zaborsky
Art by Ladislav Záborský

 

Suffering is not only physical; it can be mental or spiritual as well. In proportion to the love of God and others that grows in the soul, a massive transformation takes place through suffering. This is the threshold of a mystery into which God gently leads you.

If you follow him into his pain, it changes you. If you keep your hand in God’s hand, love will grow. He who holds his hand in the hand of God knows love, for God is love.

And there, I think, is something very profound, very mysterious and deep.

 

. . .we even boast of our afflictions, knowing that affliction produces endurance, and endurance, proven character, and proven character, hope, and hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out into our hearts through the holy Spirit that has been given to us.
~ Rm 5:3-5 

 

~ A Meditation by Catherine Doherty

 

 

In sorrow and suffering, go straight to God with confidence, and you will be strengthened, enlightened and instructed.
~ Saint John of Cross

Jesu, Highest Heaven’s Completeness

 

christsb
“Christ Embracing St Bernard of Clairvaux” art by Francisco Ribalta (1625-27)  Museo del Prado  Madrid, Spain

 

Jesu, highest Heaven’s completeness,
Name of music to the ear,
To the lips surpassing sweetness,
Wine the fainting heart to cheer.

Eating Thee, the soul may hunger,
Drinking, still athirst may be;
But for Earthly food no longer,
Nor for any steam but Thee.

Jesu, all delight exceeding,
Only hope of heart distrest;
Weeping eyes and spirit mourning
Find in Thee a place of rest.

Stay, O Beauty uncreated,
Ever ancient, ever new;
Banish deeds of darkness hated,
With Thy sweetness all bedew.

Jesu, fairest blossom springing
From a maiden ever pure,
May our lips Thy praise be singing
While eternal years endure.

 

~ A poem by Saint Bernard of Clairvaux

Center of Our Hearts

 

Jesus Sacred Heart statue
Vintage wood carving Sacred Heart of Jesus statue from Spain (1930)

 

O God, what will You do to conquer
the fearful hardness of our hearts?
Lord, You must give us new hearts,
tender hearts, sensitive hearts,
to replace hearts that are made of marble
and of bronze.
You must give us Your own Heart , Jesus.

Come, lovable Heart of Jesus.
Place Your Heart deep in the center of our hearts
and enkindle in each heart a flame of love
as strong, as great, as the sum of all the reasons 
that I have for loving You, my God.

O holy Heart of Jesus, dwell hidden in my heart,
so that I may live only in You and only for You,
so that, in the end, I may live with You eternally
in heaven.

Amen!

~ A prayer to the Sacred Heart of Jesus by St. Claude de la Colombière,, S.J. 

 

 

“On awaking, enter in the Sacred Heart of Jesus and consecrate to It your body, your soul, your heart and your whole being, so as to live but for Its love and glory alone.”
~ Saint Margaret Mary  

 

 

A Very Blessed Feast of The Sacred Heart of Jesus to All!

 

 

 

How Do I Know God’s Will?

 

Jesus and the duty of the present moment
Art by Ladislav Záborský

 

If you ask, “How do I know what God wants of me at a given time,” the answer lies in the duty of the moment.

What is your next duty? It’s not a question of sitting around talking about the Holy Spirit! It is getting up at night to change or feed a baby, doing the duty of a nurse or the work of a man is supporting his family. Does one like it? That depends on how much one loves!

 

His mother said to the servers, “Do whatever he tells you.” John 2:5

 

~ A Meditation by Catherine De Hueck Doherty

Contemplation

 

lavender
Photo source unknown

 

The path to the prayer room
runs beside a bed of herbs —
rosemary, sage, holy basil,
chervil, chives.

Lavender. Walking,
I pluck a stalk and crush
the woolly flowers lightly in
my hand, pausing
to inhale the fragrance.

I carry the sprig down
the steps, into the place of 
contemplation. My body stills,
but thumb and finger lift
the purple flame, an oblation.

The aroma is itself a prayer,
a reaching, a receiving. I sit
in silence, breathing what God is
telling me: he is in me
as he is in the flower.

Thanks be to God.

~ A poem by Luci Shaw