Thursday, April 9, 2009
1 I am the man who has seen affliction under the rod of his wrath;
2 he has driven and brought me into darkness without any light;
3 surely against me he turns his hand again and again the whole day long.
4 He has made my flesh and my skin waste away, and broken my bones;
5 he has besieged and enveloped me with bitterness and tribulation;
6 he has made me dwell in darkness like the dead of long ago.
7 He has walled me about so that I cannot escape; he has put heavy chains on me;
8 though I call and cry for help, he shuts out my prayer;
9 he has blocked my ways with hewn stones, he has made my paths crooked.
10 He is to me like a bear lying in wait, like a lion in hiding;
11 he led me off my way and tore me to pieces; he has made me desolate;
12 he bent his bow and set me as a mark for his arrow.
13 He drove into my heart the arrows of his quiver;
14 I have become the laughingstock of all peoples, the burden of their songs all day long.
15 He has filled me with bitterness, he has sated me with wormwood.
16 He has made my teeth grind on gravel, and made me cower in ashes;
17 my soul is bereft of peace, I have forgotten what happiness is;
18 so I say, "Gone is my glory, and my expectation from the LORD."
19 Remember my affliction and my bitterness, the wormwood and the gall!
20 My soul continually thinks of it and is bowed down within me.
21 But this I call to mind, and therefore I have hope:
22 The steadfast love of the LORD never ceases, his mercies never come to an end;
23 they are new every morning; great is thy faithfulness.
24 "The LORD is my portion," says my soul, "therefore I will hope in him."
25 The LORD is good to those who wait for him, to the soul that seeks him.
26 It is good that one should wait quietly for the salvation of the LORD.
Book of Lamentations 3:1-26, RSV
Monday, March 2, 2009
A rare day in Raleigh -- just a few inches of snow, but enough to make the snowplow-challenged South come to a halt. The philosophy here is "God put it there -- God'll take it away."
Neither the kids nor I have school today, and they're basking in the leisure. Of course, we'll be making this up during Spring Break, but it's a small price to pay ...
Sunday, January 25, 2009
Y'all had better check around the house for those forgotten tomes before the library police come for you!
Monday, January 19, 2009
Friday, January 9, 2009
Details on funeral arrangements are here, along with some past columns written by Fr. Neuhas on death, dying, and becoming Catholic.
In paradisum deducant te Angeli; in tuo adventu suscipiant te Martyres, et perducant te in civitatem sanctam Jerusalem.
Chorus Angelorum te suscipiant, et cum Lazaro quondam paupere aeternam habeas requiem.
May the Angels lead thee into paradise: may the Martyrs receive thee at thy coming, and lead thee unto the holy city of Jerusalem.
May the choir of Angels receive thee, and mayest thou have eternal rest with Lazarus, who once was poor.
Friday, January 2, 2009
And on a more hopeful note:
"The object of a New Year is not that we should have a new year. It is that we should have a new soul and a new nose; new feet, a new backbone, new ears, and new eyes. Unless a particular man made New Year resolutions, he would make no resolutions. Unless a man starts afresh about things, he will certainly do nothing effective."
- G.K. Chesterton
Our best wishes for a happy 2009 to all of you.
Thursday, December 25, 2008
A Child of the Snows
Gilbert Keith Chesterton (1874-1936)
There is heard a hymn when the panes are dim,
And never before or again,
When the nights are strong with a darkness long,
And the dark is alive with rain.
Never we know but in sleet and in snow,
The place where the great fires are,
That the midst of the earth is a raging mirth
And the heart of the earth a star.
And at night we win to the ancient inn
Where the child in the frost is furled,
We follow the feet where all souls meet
At the inn at the end of the world.
The gods lie dead where the leaves lie red,
For the flame of the sun is flown,
The gods lie cold where the leaves lie gold,
And a Child comes forth alone.
Sunday, December 21, 2008
Me: Daniel, get the shepherd from the Nativity set away from Kilala!
My son Daniel: Hey, cat, you're herding him! If you take him away from his flock, he'll have a sheepless night!
Richard (Dad): He'll be sheep-deprived.
My son Michael: He's a mutton for punishment.
It took a while to recover from the fit of giggles.
Friday, December 19, 2008
Paula Coleman has a useful site for book lovers called "Book Nook Directories." There you'll find listings for booksellers throughout the Carolinas and Georgia, both web-only and brick-and-mortar.
Thursday, December 18, 2008
The Journey of the Magi
T. S. Eliot
"A cold coming we had of it,
Just the worst time of the year
For a journey, and such a long journey:
The was deep and the weather sharp,
The very dead of winter."
And the camels galled, sore-footed, refractory,
Lying down in the melting snow.
There were times we regretted
The summer palaces on slopes, the terraces,
And the silken girls bringing sherbet.
Then the camel men cursing and grumbling
And running away, and wanting their liquor and women,
And the night-fires gong out, and the lack of shelters,
And the cities hostile and the towns unfriendly
And the villages dirty, and charging high prices.:
A hard time we had of it.
At the end we preferred to travel all night,
Sleeping in snatches,
With the voices singing in our ears, saying
That this was all folly.
Then at dawn we came down to a temperate valley,
Wet, below the snow line, smelling of vegetation;
With a running stream and a water-mill beating the darkness,
And three trees on the low sky,
And an old white horse galloped away in the meadow.
Then we came to a tavern with vine-leaves over the lintel,
Six hands at an open door dicing for pieces of silver,
And feet kicking the empty wine-skins.
But there was no information, and so we continued
And arrived at evening, not a moment too soon
Finding the place; it was (you may say) satisfactory.
And I would do it again, but set down
This set down
This: were we lead all that way for
Birth or Death? There was a Birth, certainly,
We had evidence and no doubt. I have seen birth and death,
But had thought they were different; this Birth was
Hard and bitter agony for us, like Death, our death.
We returned to our places, these Kingdoms,
But no longer at ease here, in the old dispensation,
With an alien people clutching their gods.
I should be glad of another death.
My fellow Mary Louis Academy alumna, Brenda Becker, photographed Prospect Park in the course of a year and created this beautiful calendar for 2009:
I lived in Queens, New York, from the time I was born until I was 26. I regret now that I never visited that park. It is an oversight I plan to rectify on my next trip back. I'm grateful to Brenda for showing me what I missed.