Posted in CHRISTMASTIDE!, IGNATIAN/JESUIT SJ- Reflections, Jesuit Saints and more, POETRY

Quote of the Day – 24 December – The Burning Babe and the Shepherds at The Midnight Hour

Quote/s of the Day – 24 December – The Nativity of the Lord, Mass at Midnight

The Burning Babe
St Robert Southwell SJ (1561-1595)
Priest and Martyr

As I in hoary winter’s night stood shivering in the snow,
Surprised I was with sudden heat
which made my heart to glow;
And lifting up a fearful eye to view
what fire was near,
A pretty Babe all burning bright did in the air appear;
Who, scorchëd with excessive heat,
such floods of tears did shed
As though His floods should quench His flames
which with His tears were fed.
Alas, quoth He but newly born in fiery heats I fry,
Yet none approach to warm their hearts
or feel My fire but I!
My faultless breast the furnace is,
the fuel ,wounding thorns,
Love is the fire and sighs, the smoke,
the ashes, shame and scorns;
The fuel, justice layeth on
and mercy blows the coals,
The metal in this furnace
wrought, are men’s defiled souls,
For which, as now on fire I am, to work them to their good,
So will I melt into a bath, to wash them in My Blood.
With this He vanished, out of sight
and swiftly shrunk away,
And straight I called unto mind
that it was Christmas day.

Verses from the Shepherds’ Hymn
Richard Crashaw (c 1612-1649)
Canon of the Holy House of Loreto

WE saw Thee in Thy balmy nest,
Young Dawn of our eternal day;
We saw Thine eyes break from the East,
And chase the trembling shades away:
We saw Thee and we blest the sight,
We saw Thee by Thine own sweet Light.

Poor world, said I, what wilt thou do
To entertain this starry stranger?
Is this the best thou canst bestow—
A cold and not too cleanly manger?
Contend, the powers of heaven and earth,
To fit a bed for this huge birth.

Proud world, said I, cease your contest,
And let the mighty Babe alone;
The phoenix builds the phoenix’ nest,
Love’s architecture is His own.
The Babe, whose birth embraves this morn,
Made His own bed ere He was born.

I saw the curl’d drops, soft and slow,
Come hovering o’er the place’s head,
Off’ring their whitest sheets of snow,
To furnish the fair Infant’s bed.
Forbear, said I, be not too bold;
Your fleece is white, but ’tis too cold.

I saw th’ obsequious Seraphim
Their rosy fleece of fire bestow,
For well they now can spare their wings,
Since Heaven itself, lies here below.
Well done, said I but are you sure
Your down, so warm, will pass for pure?

No, no, your King ‘s not yet to seek
Where to repose His royal head;
See, see how soon His new-bloom’d cheek
‘Twixt mother’s breasts is gone to bed!
Sweet choice, said we; no way but so,
Not to lie cold, you sleep in snow!

She sings Thy tears asleep and dips
Her kisses in Thy weeping eye;
She spreads the red leaves of Thy lips,
That in their buds yet blushing lie.
She ‘gainst those mother diamonds tries
The points of her young eagle’s eyes.

Welcome—tho’ not to those gay flies,
Gilded i’ th’ beams of earthly kings,
Slippery souls in smiling eyes—
But to poor shepherds, homespun things,
Whose wealth ‘s their flocks, whose wit ‘s to be
Well read in their simplicity.

Yet, when young April’s husband show’rs
Shall bless the fruitful Maia’s bed,
We’ll bring the first-born of her flowers,
To kiss Thy feet and crown Thy head.
To Thee, dread Lamb! whose love must keep
The shepherds, while they feed their sheep.

To Thee, meek Majesty, soft King
Of simple graces and sweet loves!
Each of us his lamb will bring,
Each his pair of silver doves!
At last, in fire of Thy fair eyes,
Ourselves become our own best sacrifice!

The Midnight Hour
(Fr or Br) Frederick M Lynk, SVD

The Virgin Mother kneels upon the floor
And holds her Baby in her arm,
Her heart is gladder than her lips can say,
To keep her newborn Baby snug and warm,
A Babe more sweet and fair and dear
Than any rosebud in the bright sunshine,
Whose little eyes look straight into her own,
O, blessed maid, God’s Son is also thine.

‘Twas holy midnight, when He came to earth:
As pours a sun ray through a limpid glass,
Not leaving any mark upon its face;
A drop of dew upon the fresh green grass,
A little star that fell upon her lap,
A cooing Babe, that seeks her virgin breast.
The hopes of all the sin-cursed world
Upon this Baby’s eyelids rest.

And ever since the midnight hour is holy,
And millions of human hearts are stirred,
To wonderment and love for Him, Who came,
To save the world, God’s own Incarnate Word.
He came in darkness, He who was The Light,
His Godhead shone from clear blue Baby eyes,
The curse of earth’s first sin, was lifted then,
That midnight hour re-opened paradise!

Posted in CHRISTMASTIDE!, IGNATIAN/JESUIT SJ- Reflections, Jesuit Saints and more, MARTYRS, POETRY, QUOTES of the SAINTS, SAINT of the DAY, The NATIVITY of JESUS, Ven Servant of God John A Hardon

Quote/s of the Day – 21 February – The Burning Babe

Quote/s of the Day – 21 February – the Memorial of St Peter Damian OSB (1007-1072) Doctor of the Church and St Robert Southwell SJ (1561-1595) Priest and Martyr

The Burning Babe, by Saint Robert Southwell

burning-babe-excerpt-st-robert-southwell-mem-21-feb-21-jan-2019 and 21 feb 2020 as quote of the day

As I in hoary winter’s night stood shivering in the snow,
Surprised I was with sudden heat which made my heart to glow;
And lifting up a fearful eye to view what fire was near,
A pretty babe all burning bright did in the air appear;
Who, scorchëd with excessive heat, such floods of tears did shed
As though his floods should quench his flames which with his tears were fed.
Alas, quoth he, but newly born in fiery heats I fry,
Yet none approach to warm their hearts or feel my fire but I!
My faultless breast the furnace is, the fuel wounding thorns,
Love is the fire, and sighs the smoke, the ashes shame and scorns;
The fuel justice layeth on, and mercy blows the coals,
The metal in this furnace wrought are men’s defiled souls,
For which, as now on fire I am to work them to their good,
So will I melt into a bath to wash them in my blood.
With this he vanished out of sight and swiftly shrunk away,
And straight I called unto mind that it was Christmas day.

It’s not surprising, it’s one of the great poems of the English language.

St Robert Southwell S.J. (1561-1595) Martyr, Religious Priest, Poet, Hymnodist, Writer, clandestine missionary was born in 1561 in Horsham Saint Faith, Norfolk, England and he was martyred by being hanged, drawn and quartered on 21 February 1595 (aged 33) in Tyburn, London, England. St Robert was Canonised on 25 October 1970 by Blessed Pope Paul VI.
“His poetry – we don’t know exactly when he began to write but it must have been very young because he wrote a great deal of which we have the record and by now the English speaking world knows Robert Southwell. His two outstanding poems are ‘The Burning Babe’ and ‘The Virgin Mary to Christ On The Cross.’” (Ven Fr John A Hardon SJ)

St Peter Damian quotes here:
https://anastpaul.com/2019/02/21/quote-s-of-the-day-21-february-st-peter-damian/
And some from St Robert Southwell here:
https://anastpaul.com/2018/02/21/quote-s-of-the-day-21-february-the-memorial-of-st-peter-damian-o-s-b-1007-1072-and-st-robert-southwell-s-j-1561-1595/

Posted in CHRISTMASTIDE!, IGNATIAN/JESUIT SJ- Reflections, Jesuit Saints and more, POETRY, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on MARTYRDOM, SAINT of the DAY, SPEAKING of ....., The CHRIST CHILD, The NATIVITY of JESUS, The PASSION

Thought for the Day – 21 January – The Burning Babe

Thought for the Day – 21 January – Monday of the Second week in Ordinary Time –  and The Memorial of St Agnes (c 291- c 304) Virgin and Martyr

Seeing as it is the Memorial of St Agnes and we are thinking about martyrdom, I have included the post below, which is an excerpt from my post on St Robert Southwell’s Memorial – 21 February.    It is talk by Servant of God, Fr John A Hardon SJ (1914-2000) (a hero!).   If you wish to read the whole post, it is here:  https://anastpaul.wordpress.com/2018/02/21/saint-of-the-day-21-february-st-robert-southwell-s-j-1561-1595-martyr/

“There are two books, prose writings, that Robert Southwell wrote that are worth reading.   They are of course written in 16th century English but, powerful, written to encourage his fellow Catholics to remain firm in their faith.   The one is called ‘Mary Magdalene’s Funeral Tears’.   And the other one is called ‘Epistle of Comfort‘.   We would probably call it a letter of encouragement.   

His poetry – we don’t know exactly when he began to write but it must have been very young because he wrote a great deal of which we have the record and by now the English speaking world knows Robert Southwell.   His two outstanding poems are ‘The Burning Babe’ and ‘The Virgin Mary to Christ On The Cross.’”

The Burning Babe, by St Robert Southwell SJ (1561-1595) Martyr

As I in hoary winter’s night stood shivering in the snow,
Surprised I was with sudden heat which made my heart to glow;
And lifting up a fearful eye to view what fire was near,
A pretty babe all burning bright did in the air appear;
Who, scorchëd with excessive heat, such floods of tears did shed
As though his floods should quench his flames which with his tears were fed.
Alas, quoth he, but newly born in fiery heats I fry,
Yet none approach to warm their hearts or feel my fire but I!
My faultless breast the furnace is, the fuel wounding thorns,
Love is the fire, and sighs the smoke, the ashes shame and scorns;
The fuel justice layeth on, and mercy blows the coals,
The metal in this furnace wrought are men’s defiled souls,
For which, as now on fire I am to work them to their good,
So will I melt into a bath to wash them in my blood.
With this he vanished out of sight and swiftly shrunk away,
And straight I called unto mind that it was Christmas day.

It’s not surprising, it’s one of the great poems of the English language.burning babe excerpt - st robert southwell - mem 21 feb - 21 jan 2019 on martyrdom mem of st agnes

St Agnes, Pray for Us!bernardo-lorente-german-sevilla-1680-sevilla-1759-e2809csaint-agnese2809d-pray-for-us

St Robert Southwell, Pray for Us!st robert southwell - pray for us - 21 feb 2018