Posted in FEASTS and SOLEMNITIES, MARIAN POETRY, The ANNUNCIATION, The INCARNATION

Second Thought for the Day – 25 March – The Annunciation by Thomas Merton

Second Thought for the Day – 25 March – The Annunciation

the annunciation poem by thomas merton 25 march 2020

The Annunciation
By Fr Thomas Merton (1915-1968)

Ashes of paper, ashes of a world
Wandering, when fire is done:
We argue with the drops of rain!

Until one comes Who walks unseen
Even in elements we have destroyed.
Deeper than any nerve
He enters flesh and bone.
Planting His truth, He puts our substance on.
Air, earth and rain
Rework the frame that fire has ruined.
What was dead is waiting for His Flame.
Sparks of His Spirit spend their seeds, and hide
To grow like irises, born before summertime.
These blue thinas bud in Israel.

The girl prays by the bare wall
Between the lamp and the chair.
(Framed with an angel in our galleries
She has a richer painted room, sometimes a crown.
Yet seven pillars of obscurity
Build her to Wisdom’s house, and Ark and Tower.
She is the Secret of another Testament
She owns their manna in her jar.)

Fifteen years old –
The flowers printed on her dress
Cease moving in the middle of her prayer
When God, Who sends the messenger,
Meets His messenger in her Heart.
Her answer, between breath and breath,
Wrings from her innocence our Sacrament!
In her white body God becomes our Bread.

It is her tenderness
Heats the dead world like David on his bed.
Times that were too soon criminal
And never wanted to be normal
Evade the beast that has pursued
You, me and Adam out of Eden’s wood.
Suddenly we find ourselves assembled
Cured and recollected under several green trees.

Her prudence wrestled with the Dove
To hide us in His cloud of steel and silver:
These are the mysteries of her Son.
And here my heart, a purchased outlaw,
Prays in her possession
Until her Jesus, makes my heart
Smile like a flower in her blameless hand.

Fr Thomas Merton (1915-1968), Trappist monk and priest is recognized as one of the major spiritual fathers of our times.   His longing for silence and solitude, his contemplative vision, his engagement with need for world peace through inner life of the spirit, his journey across religious traditions, cultures and disciplines, make him a man for all times but especially for our own.   Thomas Merton expressed this vision in his poetry, novels, essays, devotionals and autobiographical writings.

Posted in CHRISTMASTIDE!, FEASTS and SOLEMNITIES, MARIAN POETRY, MARIAN PRAYERS, Our MORNING Offering, POETRY, PRAYERS for SEASONS, The BLESSED VIRGIN MARY, The INCARNATION, The NATIVITY of JESUS

Our Morning Offering – 1 January – ‘Now will I sing to Thy mother!’

Our Morning Offering – 1 January – The Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God and the Octave Day of the Nativity of the Lord

CHRISTMAS
By Gertrude von le Fort (1876-1971)

Your voice speaks:
Little child out of Eternity, now will I sing to Thy mother!
The song shall be fair as dawn-tinted snow.
Rejoice Mary Virgin, daughter of my earth, sister of my soul,
rejoice, O joy of my joy!
I am as one who wanders through the night
but you are a house under stars.
I am a thirsty cup but you are God’s open sea.
Rejoice Mary Virgin, blessed are those who call you blessed,
never more shall child of man lose hope.
I am one love for all, I shall never cease from saying:
one of you has been exalted by the Lord.
Rejoice Mary Virgin, wings of my earth, crown of my soul,
rejoice joy of my joy!
Blessed are those who call you blessed.

The Baroness Gertrud von Le Fort (full name Gertrud Auguste Lina Elsbeth Mathilde Petrea Freiin von Le Fort – 11 October 1876 – 1 November 1971 – aged 95) was a German writer of novels, poems and essays.
She converted to Catholicism in 1925 and most of her writings came after this conversion. She published over 20 books, comprising poems, novels and short stories.   Her work gained her the accolade of being “the greatest contemporary transcendent poet.”   Her works are appreciated for their depth and beauty of their ideas and for her sophisticated refinement of style.   She was nominated by Hermann Hesse for the Nobel Prize in Literature and was granted an honorary Doctorate of Theology for her contributions to the issue of faith in her works.CHRISTMAS BY GERTRUDE VON LE FORT 1 january 2019.jpg

Posted in CHRISTMASTIDE!, MARIAN POETRY, MARIAN REFLECTIONS, St Pope JOHN PAUL, The BLESSED VIRGIN MARY, The CHRIST CHILD, The NATIVITY of JESUS

Thought for the Day – 30 December – Her Amazement at her Only Child – Karol Wojtyla

Thought for the Day – 30 December – The Sixth Day in the Christmas Octave

Her Amazement at her Only Child
Karol Wojtyla
Saint Pope John Paul II (1920-2005)

Light piercing, gradually, everyday events,
a woman’s eyes, hands
used to them since childhood.
Then brightness flared, too huge for simple days,
and hands clasped when the words lost their space.

In that little town, my Son, where they knew us together,
You called me mother but no-one had eyes to see,
the astounding events as they took place day by day.
Your life became the life of the poor
in Your wish to be with them, through the work of Your hands.

I knew – the light that lingered in ordinary things,
like a spark sheltered under the skin of our days —
the light was You,
it did not come from me.

And I had more of You in that luminous silence,
than I had of You as the fruit of my body, my blood.

ST JOHN PAUL II’S CHRISTMAS POETRY
Poem from his 1950 Collection, “The Mother”

 

her amazement at her only child - st john paul karol wojtyla 30 dec 2019.jpg

Posted in CATHOLIC-PRAYERS OF THE CHURCH, HYMNS, MARIAN POETRY, MARIAN PRAYERS, MARIAN TITLES, PRAYERS of the CHURCH, PRAYERS of the SAINTS, SAINT of the DAY, The BLESSED VIRGIN MARY, The LITTLE OFFICE of MARY

Second Thought for the Day – 14 December – Ave Maris Stella

Second Thought for the Day – 14 December – Saturday of the Second week of Advent, Year A, the Memorial of St Venantius Fortunatus (c 530 – c 609) and a Marian Saturday

The Ave Maris Stella (“Hail Star of the Sea”) is a plainsong Vespers hymn to Mary.   It was especially popular in the Middle Ages and has been used by many composers as the basis of other compositions.   The creation of the original hymn has been attributed to several people, including Saint Venantius Fortunatus (6th century) Saint Bernard of Clairvaux (12th century) and Hermannus Contractus (11th century).

The text is found in 9th-century manuscripts, kept in Vienna and in the Abbey of Saint Gall.

The melody is found in the Irish plainsong “Gabhaim Molta Bríde”, a piece in praise of St Bridget of Ireland.   There are many translations of this most beautiful and favourite Catholic prayer, the one below is found in The Little Office of the Blessed Virgin Mary.

Ave Maris Stella

Hail, O Star of the ocean,
God’s own Mother blest,
ever sinless Virgin,
gate of heav’nly rest.

Taking that sweet Ave,
which from Gabriel came,
peace confirm within us,
changing Eve’s name.

Break the sinners’ fetters,
make our blindness day,
Chase all evils from us,
for all blessings pray.

Show thyself a Mother,
may the Word divine
born for us thine Infant
hear our prayers through thine.

Virgin all excelling,
mildest of the mild,
free from guilt preserve us
meek and undefiled.

Keep our life all spotless,
make our way secure
till we find in Jesus,
joy for evermore.

Praise to God the Father,
honour to the Son,
in the Holy Spirit,
be the glory one.
Amenave maris stellas 14 dec 2019 poss by st venantius fortunatus 14 dec 2019 or st bernard.jpg

Posted in ADVENT PRAYERS, CATHOLIC-PRAYERS OF THE CHURCH, CHRISTMASTIDE!, HYMNS, MARIAN POETRY, MARIAN PRAYERS, MARIAN Saturdays, Our MORNING Offering, POETRY, PRAYERS of the CHURCH, PRAYERS of the SAINTS, SAINT of the DAY, The ANNUNCIATION, The INCARNATION, The LITTLE OFFICE of MARY, The NATIVITY of JESUS, YouTube VIDEOS

Our Morning Offering – 14 December – The God whom earth and sea and sky

Our Morning Offering – 14 December – Saturday of the Second week of Advent, Year A, the Memorial of St Venantius Fortunatus (c 530 – c 609) and a Marian Saturday

The God whom earth and sea and sky
For Mary, The Mother of God
For the Annunciation and Christmas
By St Venantius Fortunatus (c 530 – c 609)

The God whom earth and sea and sky
Adore and praise and magnify,
Whose might they claim, whose love they tell,
In Mary’s body comes to dwell.

O Mother blest! the chosen shrine
Wherein the architect divine,
Whose hand contains the earth and sky,
Has come in human form to lie.

Blest in the message Gabriel brought,
Blest in the work the Spirit wrought,
Most blest, to bring to human birth
The long desired of all the earth.

O Lord, the Virgin-born, to you
Eternal praise and laud are due,
Whom with the Father we adore
And Spirit blest for evermore.

the god whom earth and sea and sky st venantius fortunatus 14 dec 2019 hymn poem for mary

Posted in ADVENT QUOTES, CATHOLIC DEVOTIONS of the Month, MARIAN POETRY, MARIAN PRAYERS, MARIAN QUOTES, MARIAN REFLECTIONS, MARIAN TITLES, Pope BENEDICT XVI, The IMMACULATE CONCEPTION

Devotion for December The Immaculate Conception

Devotion for December
The Immaculate Conceptiondecember-month-of-the-imm-conception-1-dec-2018 and 1 dec 2019.jpg

During Advent, as we prepare for the birth of Christ at Christmas, we also celebrate one of the great feasts of the Catholic Church.   The Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception (8 December-moved to 8 December in 2019) is not only a celebration of the Blessed Virgin Mary but a foretaste of our own redemption.

In keeping the Blessed Virgin free from the stain of sin from the moment of her conception, God presents us with a glorious example of what mankind was meant to be. Mary is truly the second Eve, because, like Eve, she entered the world without sin. Unlike Eve, she remained sinless throughout her life—a life that she dedicated fully to the will of God.   The Eastern Fathers of the Church referred to her as “without stain” (a phrase that appears frequently in the Eastern liturgies and hymns to Mary), in Latin, that phrase is immaculatus: “immaculate.”

The Immaculate Conception was not, as many people mistakenly believe, a precondition for Christ’s act of redemption but the result of it.   Standing outside of time, God knew that Mary would humbly submit herself to His will and in His love for this perfect servant, He applied to her at the moment of her conception the redemption, won by Christ, that all Christians receive at their Baptism.

It is appropriate, then, that the Church has long declared the month in which the Blessed Virgin not only was conceived but gave birth to the Saviour of the world, as the Month of the Immaculate Conception.

The star of Mary Immaculate shines down on the path of Advent….

What person is more luminous than Mary?

Who can be for us, better than her, the star of hope,

the sunrise that proclaims the day of salvation?

Pope Benedict XVI

Holy light on earth’s horizon,
Star of hope to those who fall,
Light amid a world of shadows,
Dawn of God’s design for all.mary immaculate conception december devotion - holy light on earth's horizon 1 dec 2019.jpg

Mary, Virgin of Advent, may we always walk with you in the light of the Lord, Jesus, the fruit of your womb!    Amenthe star of mary immaculate shines down on the path of advent - pope benedict - dec month of the imm conception 1 dec 2019.jpg

Posted in CATHOLIC-PRAYERS OF THE CHURCH, Hail MARY!, HYMNS, MARIAN POETRY, MARIAN PRAYERS, MARIAN Saturdays, Our MORNING Offering, POETRY, PRAYERS of the CHURCH, The BLESSED VIRGIN MARY

Our Morning Offering – 26 October – Ave Maria, Amen

Our Morning Offering – 26 October – Saturday of the Twenty-ninth week in Ordinary Time, Year C and a Marian Saturday

Ave Maria, Amen
Traditional Catholic Hymn/Poem
Unknown Author

A song ascends from vale to heights,
from town to town a hundred times,
Ave Maria, Amen.

In every place the earth around,
at every bells resound,
Ave Maria, Amen.

All creatures, be they low or high,
send joyous songs up to the sky,
Ave Maria, Amen.

Stars near each other in their rays
and greet each other on their ways,
Ave Maria, Amen.

The angels at the throne of God
with harps and flutes the Highest land,
Ave Maria, Amen.

And all the blest in paradise
to joyous, happy praise give rise,
Ave Maria, Amen.

Thus praises sound through space and time
in everlasting, glorious rhyme,
Ave Maria, Amenave maria amen - trad catholic hymn poem - 26 oct 2019.jpg