I reach for Mother Mary

“I Shall Not Walk Alone”

Battered and torn
still I can see the light
tattered and worn
but I must kneel to fightFriend of mine
what can’t you spare
I know some times
it gets cold in there

When my legs no longer carry
and the warm wind chills my bones
I reach for Mother Mary
and I shall not walk alone

Hope is alive
while we’re apart
only tears
speak from my heart
break the chains
that hold us down
and we shall be
forever bound

When I’m tired and weary
and a long way from home
I reach for Mother Mary
and I shall not walk alone
I shall not walk alone

Beauty that
we left behind
how shall we
tomorrow find

Set aside
our weight in sin
so that we
can live again

When my legs no longer carry
and the warm wind chills my bones
I reach for Mother Mary
and I shall not walk alone
I shall not walk alone


In the Midst of Joy: Everything Sad Becomes Untrue

Sr. Dorcee:

Awake, thou wintry earth!

Originally posted on Barnstorming:


Just after the climax of the trilogy The Lord of the Rings, Sam Gamgee discovers that his friend Gandalf was not dead (as he thought) but alive.
He cries, “I thought you were dead! But then I thought I was dead myself! Is everything sad going to come untrue?”
The answer of Christianity to that question is – yes.

Everything sad is going to come untrue and it will somehow be greater for having once been broken and lost.

Embracing the Christian doctrines of the incarnation and Cross brings profound consolation in the face of suffering.
The doctrine of the resurrection can instill us with a powerful hope.
It promises that we will get the life we most longed for,
but it will be an infinitely more glorious world
than if there had never been the need for bravery, endurance, sacrifice, or salvation.
~Pastor Tim Keller in Reason for…

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With the eyes of faith

Originally posted on Witnesses to Hope:

I love pondering the post-Resurrection appearances of Christ.  I guess I feel in good company when those who had spent three solid years with Christ failed to recognize Him.  It’s always a reminder to me of the need to sharpen our eyes of faith, to look for Him in His many disguises.  In today’s Gospel, we see Jesus showing a sense of humor (in my opinion).  He repeats advice that He had given them when He first met them: put the net down on the other side.  How many times does that happen to us, that God comes to us in a familiar way?  Let’s not miss His appearances to us in our every day life.

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Yet the star of hope has risen

Kroug icon“Christ descended into ‘Hell’ and is therefore close to those cast into it, transforming their darkness into light.  Suffering and torment is still terrible and well-nigh unbearable.  Yet the star of hope has risen–the anchor of the heart reaches the very throne of God.  Instead of evil becoming unleashed within man, the light shines victorious: suffering–without ceasing to be suffering–becomes, despite everything, a hymn of praise.”  (Benedict XVI, Spe Salvi)


The one who still burns the light of hope

Sr. Dorcee:

She leads us in hoping against hope . . .

Originally posted on Witnesses to Hope:

{This is a repost . . .]

mary-pierced-heartHave you ever wondered why Saturday is traditionally observed as the day of Our Lady? A few years ago I was reading a book by John Saward (The Beauty of Holiness, the Holiness of Beauty), and, in a section about our Lady, he described Mary’s unfailing faith through the long, terrible day after Christ’s death when she alone kept faith in her Son.   I had never before heard of this mariological foundation for Saturday being traditionally her day:

The yes [her continued yes to the Lord that began with her Annunciation yes] of Our Lady does not end on Good Friday and [Christ’s] yielding of the spirit . . . . The faith and love of Our Lady last into Holy Saturday.  The dead body of the Son of God lies in the tomb, while His soul descends into Sheol, the…

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Seven last words (3)

The Crucifixion by Fr. John W. Lynch, continued  (You can read the first part here and the second part here.)

Thereafter time on Him became a slow,
Eventless draining and His body sagged
And ebbed and whitened in the drip of long,
Increasing silences that breathed and soaked
And mingled on His limbs until the flow
Pulled down from Him all semblance to a Man,
To make Him but a Wound that hung from nails.

He does not move nor murmur to the dark,
And now is gone beyond His hand had strained
Against the stake, and helpless, tried to brush
The dried ad stiffened cavern of His mouth,
He whispered, and they heard His human need.

‘I thirst.

A sponge upon a reed was thrust to Him,
And He who gave good wine had tasted sharp,
Astringent vinegars that were the last
Of favours that the earth could give to Him.
He wakened: He was tall again and taut
Against the throning of His cross; His head
Was crowned, and on Him majesty returned.
He drank the air and as a Man who sees
Far kingdoms over continents beyond
The sun, He traces with His eyes the dim
Receding circles of the world.  He feels
The freedom of His hands, the swing, the lope
And striding of His feet; He feels His heart
Within Him beating to the endless stroke
Of Infinite, and swelling to subdue
The vast dimensions of forgotten time.
He stand, He towers, He is Adam come
Again to the ancient garden: He is man
And woman, He is Paul and Magdalen
The martyrs, housewives, sinners, and the saints.

And then His love is falling on the hills,
The roads, the little sea that had been dear.
He touches to the mountains where He spoke
His prayer, and He remembers Bread.  His hands
Enclose again the smiling of a child.
They test the tumult of the fish in the nets.
He hears the echoed word He said to John
And to Martha: Peter keeps command against
The years.  The cot and table that He knew
At Nazareth are not afar from Him.
And He remembers Joseph and the straw:

Then breath is great within Him.  He is tall
And upward from His cross His voice ascends
To break confining spaces of the stars
And thrust His triumph past the stars.

It is finished!’

His head is sinking: peace is on His brow.

‘Father, into Thy hands I commend my spirit.’

This sterile wood He carried to the hill
Has burgeoned with His meaning, and the Tree
Of good and evil, standing in all storm
And contradiction, waits the endless Spring.

The seven last words (2)

The Crucifixion by Fr. John W. Lynch continued . . .

The light is bronze against Him in a sheet
Of stilled, unblinking time that does not move,
Nor yield, nor cease until a shimmering
Like golden curtains comes, and looking down,
He finds that time has folded to a a long,
Bright, gleaming coronal, and she is there.
He does not look away, He watches her,
And the light that was a crown about her, breaks,
Increases, brightens, and becomes a path
Where she is mounting, mounting up to Him,
Not for comfort, not for any kiss
Of soothing, not to lessen Him nor ask
His hands refuse these nails for Infancy:
Not soften, not unloose the years!
He seeks her here and in her heart He finds
Too deep a silence for the need of tears,
For new Announcement bleeds in her, so old
It is Gethsemani, and Nazareth,
Fused and sealed within a single will
That still is crying: ‘This be done to me.’

Woman, behold thy Son.

The dark was like a thin, descending shroud
Of cold that closed around the world and left
Him shivering beneath an ashen sun.
The wind was chill upon Him, stirred His hair
In faint and lonely movement, and the dust
That lay along the barren rocks had raised
And sifted softly when the wind had gone.
He was alone: and in His hands the nails
Were cinders of a fire once and flamed
And reddened in His blood, but now had dulled
To crusting of a spread, accustomed pain,
Without a plan.  He ha wearied of His crown;
His head that had bowed upon His breast
Tossed upward in search of any friend,
To find around Him blackness and the deep,
Unstarred abysses where creation’s Word
Has hung no light or mercy to the blank
Rejections of a worse than primal dark,
The wind that knifed across His shivered soul
Came cutting from the frozen lids of Hell . . .

‘My God, my God, why hast Thou forsaken me?’

The seven last words (1)

This time of year I go searching.  Searching for poetry and art.  I think that’s because of the high holy mysteries we are entering into.  Nothing else can attempt to express the depth and richness of these holy matters.  So for the next few days I will give you pieces of a poem I found somewhere by Fr. John W. Lynch–I believe the same who wrote the magnificent A Woman Wrapped in Silence.  I give it to you in pieces because it’s worth savoring bits at a time.  The seven last words.

The Crucifixion

He is alive with pain: His body lifts
and turns and quivers as the lightning streaks
Again, and iron thunder cracks and breaks
And shatters in the dark beneath His blood;
Until the tremors in His flesh are stopped,
And breathing, He discovers He is vised.
His body forms a frame to hold a frame;
He is a Man made once with blunted beams! . . .
Their voices rise to Him from distant pits.
They are like echoes of an ended world
He once had known where men with hands and feet
Could move among contentions and be brave
With gesture.  He could hear them, feel their stride
And strut along the ground, receive their scorn,
Their laughter, know that they were tall and bold
And beckoning to Him that He come down,
Come down and be a Man again in whole,
Unfastened body that will need a robe
And pathway to the pardons of the world.

‘Father, forgive them for they know not what they do.’

The blood swelled sickly in His mouth, and breath
Was ended, and His heart was all he heard.
Somewhere, as a bird might sing to Him,
Above Him, level to His hair, so near
He need not search, nor move, nor seek for space
Of quiet in the sounding of His blood,
He hears a voice that begs last royal gift
Of brief remembering. He cannot see,
And wrenching now athwart the rigid wood,
His head uplifted, pulling at the nails,
He cannot reach last moment of relief
That He may bring to eyes that seek His own.
They are two faces in the sun, so fixed
Against the posts that they must stare outward only,
Separate, and must declare their loves
In quick companionship of lonely words.

‘This day thou shalt be with me in Paradise.’

One less kiss

Sr. Dorcee:

From a few years ago. The readings were different this year, but the message is still so important for each of us.

Originally posted on Witnesses to Hope:

Following up on yesterday’s gospel which is one of my very favorite readings:  I did a study once on all the New Testament scriptures that talk about women at the feet of Jesus.  I usually meditate on various of them this time of year because most of them occurred near and at the time of the Lord’s Passion (like yesterday’s reading).  Luke 7 recounts a story similar to yesterday’s Gospel, but in a different context, and in it, it is said that the woman “covered his feet with kisses” (Lk 7:38).  Jesus himself remarks on this to Simon (at whose house he was) and actually upbraids him for not welcoming Him in the same fashion. “You did not give me a kiss . . . ”  Let not the same be said of us.  Let us then not hold back our kisses for His sacred feet.  Mother Teresa once said…

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