Saturday, January 31, 2009

When you come to the edge...

"When you come to the edge of all that you know, you must believe that one of two things will happen: There will be earth on which to stand or you will be given wings to fly."

--Author unknown

For his feast day

"Trust all things to Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament and to Mary Help of Christians
and you will see what miracles are."

--Saint John Bosco

Once again

How nice it is to hear the birds warbling once again,
echoing each others' song back and forth!

Friday, January 30, 2009


"I hope that real love and truth are stronger in the end than any evil or misfortune in the world."

--Agnes Wickfield in David Copperfield

A cold

For days I've been trying
to keep you away;
And just when I thought
that the coast was clear,
you appear.
You've caught me!
Or rather,
I've caught you.

Thursday, January 29, 2009


A sense of wonder is
the way of understanding,
with a child's heart,
that all that's true and good
has come from God; and that
the beauty which we see
is but a glimmer of His majesty.

To A Butterfly

I've watched you now a full half-hour,
Self-poised upon that yellow flower;
And, little Butterfly, indeed!
I know not if you sleep or feed.
How motionless!--not frozen seas
More motionless! and then
What joy awaits you, when the breeze
Hath found you out among the trees,
And calls you forth again!

This plot of orchard-ground is ours;
My trees they are, my Sister's flowers;
Here rest your wings when they are weary.
Here lodge as in a sanctuary!
Come often to us, fear no wrong;
Sit near us on the bough!
We'll talk of sunshine and of song,
And summer days when we were young;
Sweet childish days that were as long
As twenty days are now.

--William Wordsworth

For his feast day

"Nothing is so strong as gentleness, nothing so gentle
as real strength."--Saint Francis de Sales

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Garden in the sky

"Silently, one by one,
in the infinite meadows of heaven,
blossomed the lovely stars,
forget-me-nots of the angels."

--Henry Wadsworth Longfellow


A friend is another self,
as though a part of me I put aside,
almost forgotten,
was suddenly recalled.
And, the missing piece replaced,
I am whole once more.


"The friendship that can cease has never been real."

--Saint Jerome

God's Favor

"What a great favor God does to those He places in the company of good people!"

-Saint Teresa of Avila


"Friendship is the source of the greatest pleasures, and without friends even the most agreeable pursuits become tedious."

--Saint Thomas Aquinas

Tuesday, January 27, 2009


Such a puzzle I have never seen.
I am all unsure,
as the pieces sit before me,
just where to begin
to arrange them;
they seem to change before my eyes
in color, shape, and size.
A familiar piece? Yes, it's there
just in front of me.
I can see where it fits;
but, with so much space to fill,
it's bound to be a while
before the puzzle is complete,
and the picture it was meant to show
takes its place.
For now, I know
this puzzle is a mystery to me.


"There is nothing on this earth more to be prized than true friendship."

--Saint Thomas Aquinas


"Is this the ear you can't hear on? George Bailey, I'll love you till the day I die."

--It's A Wonderful Life


"Do you know," Peter asked, "why swallows build their nests in the eaves of houses? It is to listen to the stories."

--J. M. Barrie in Peter Pan

Growing pains

The man who has come after
is not the same as before.
To be sure,
he is not the same; yet,
do not count as loss
what is really gain.

Monday, January 26, 2009

That place between...

"Tinkerbell: You know that place between sleep and awake, the place where you can still remember dreaming? That's where I'll always love you, Peter Pan. That's where I'll be waiting."

--Peter Pan

Lo! In Thine Honest Eyes I Read

Lo! In thine honest eyes I read
The auspicious beacon that shall lead,
After long sailing in deep seas,
To quiet havens in June ease.

Thy voice sings like an inland bird
First by the seaworn sailor heard;
And like road sheltered from life's sea
Thine honest heart is unto me.

--Robert Louis Stevenson


The embers of the day are red
Beyond the murky hill.
The kitchen smokes; the bed
In the darkling house is spread:
The great sky darkens overhead,
And the great woods are shrill.
So far have I been led,
Lord, by Thy will:
So far I have followed, Lord, and wondered still.

The breeze from the enbalmed land
Blows sudden toward the shore,
And claps my cottage door.
I hear the signal, Lord--I understand.
The night at Thy command
Comes. I will eat and sleep and will not question more.

--Robert Louis Stevenson

The answer

"Every major question in history is a religious question. It has more effect in molding life than nationalism or a common language.

--Hilaire Belloc

Movie quote

"Okay, you got me out here. Where are we going?"
"I don't know."

Sunday, January 25, 2009


So what has changed?
and everything.

The perfect lover

"Only the perfect Christian can be the perfect lover."

--Fr. Eugene Boylan in This Tremendous Lover

Every path

Every path I take
leads to you.

I want to run away;
I want to stay.


"The face is the mirror of the mind, and eyes without speaking
confess the secrets of the heart."

--Saint Jerome

For Margaret

"Writing, I think, is not apart from living. Writing is a kind of double living. The writer experiences everything twice. Once in reality and once in the mirror which waits always before or behind."

--Catherine Drinker Bowen

Saturday, January 24, 2009


You are here.
So real.
I can feel you
standing just behind me.
"How did you find me?",
I turn to say.
But you're not there.
You've vanished.
Gone away.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Shall I?

I'm thinking of changing my name, at least for a time,
from Kindred Spirit to Miss Understood or, better yet,
Miss Construed. Shall I? It's something to ponder...


I am a well,
deep and strong.
I wait.
You come along,
but not too close
for fear of falling
into the heart of me.
I hear your approach;
and the sound
of your footsteps
echoes through the depths,
of my soul.
The whole of me is there,
though your eyes can only see
a part of me.
There is only so much I may show.
How little you really know of me!

Have you seen?


"I have not the pleasure of understanding you."

--Jane Austen in Pride and Prejudice


"Seldom, very seldom, does complete truth belong to any human disclosure; seldom can it happen that something is not a little disguised or a little mistaken."

--Jane Austen

To answer your question...

"Obstinate, headstrong girl! I am ashamed of you!..."

--Lady Catherine to Elizabeth Bennet in Pride and Prejudice

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Thank You for my life...

This gift is mine to hold but for a while; then I must return it to the One who gave it to me. It is such a treasure, more precious than all of the riches of the world, and what will I do with it in the time which is left for me to possess it? My eyes are just beginning to see its beauty, my mind is just beginning to grasp its worth. The days pass so quickly, and my life is such a wonder. May I never waste another moment of it.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

The Feast of Saint Agnes

"The Feast of Saint Agnes is marked every year in Rome with a custom rich in symbolism and tradition. Two very young lambs from the sheepfold belonging to the Trappist Fathers of Tre Fontaine near Saint Paul's Basilica are crowned and placed in baskets decorated with red and white flowers and ribbons signifying Saint Agnes' purity and martyrdom. The lambs are ceremoniously incensed and blessed after having been carried in procession to the altar near the end of Solemn Mass at the Basilica of Saint Agnes Outside the Walls. The lambs are then shown to the Pope at the Vatican and afterwards entrusted to the care of the Benedictine nuns of Santa Cecilia in Trastavere who rear them until Holy Thursday when they are then sheared. The wool from these lambs is used to weave the pallia, articles of ecclesiastical apparel worn by the Pope as well as by metropolitan archbishops and patriarchs..."

The Latin word for lamb is "agnus". Saint Agnes, martyr of purity, pray for us!

Tuesday, January 20, 2009


"Youth does not only consist of a stage limited by time, but is rather a moral attitude that is characterized by a deep confidence in the achievement of good and truth."

--Blessed Anacleto Gonzalez Flores


"In the world it is called Tolerance, but in hell it is called Despair, the sin that believes in nothing, cares for nothing, seeks to know nothing, interferes with nothing, enjoys nothing, hates nothing, finds purpose in nothing, lives for nothing, and remains alive because there is nothing for which it will die."

--Dorothy Sayers


"The safest place for me to be is in the center of God's will, and if that is in the line of fire, that's where I'll be."

--U.S. Army Chaplain Fr. Tim Vakoc

" You are too hasty, Sir..."

"You could not make me happy, and I am convinced that I am the last woman in the world who would make you so.... I do assure you, Sir, that I have no pretension to that kind of elegance which consists in tormenting a respectable man. I would rather be paid the compliment of being believed sincere. I thank you again and again for the honour you have done me in your proposals, but to accept them is absolutely impossible. My feelings in every respect forbid it. Can I speak plainer? Do not consider me now as an elegant female intending to plague you, but as a rational creature speaking the truth from her heart."

--Elizabeth Bennet to Mr. Collins in Pride and Prejudice

Monday, January 19, 2009

Back again

Is there more than one of you?
Of course there's not; it isn't true.
But the name is yours, and his words
remind me of the warbling birds.
So much like you in many ways--
reminding me of early days
when you would write so many things
about yourself to me;
How long ago it seems,
but now you're back again.
Not really,
though for all the world
you remind me of him.
No, that isn't true.
He reminds me of you.

I sing to use the waiting

I sing to use the waiting,
My bonnet but to tie,
And shut the door unto my house:
No more to do have I,

Till, his best step approaching,
We journey to the day,
And tell each other how we sang
To keep the dark away.

--Emily Dickinson

Sunday, January 18, 2009


I should write to you;
it's only polite,
but what to say
between everything and
I know--


My garden is sleeping. These are the long days of Winter. At least to my mind they are like the darkness before the dawn. There are no flowers to cheer me, no green to freshen the landscape made bleak by ice and snow. Even the sunshine, welcome as it is, reminds me of how long I must wait before Spring comes to stay. I miss the songs of the birds. I miss the warmth of the sun. I miss the long walks on my favorite paths. But I must wait.

It is the waiting that I need so very much-- and that I very much do not want. There are many lessons here, if only I will learn them. While my garden is sleeping, I am waiting. And learning.

Taking tea on my twenty-first birthday, Part 1

On the morning of my twenty-first birthday I awoke to find myself in the place which had occupied my daydreams for as long as I could remember. It was nearly mid-April and the streams of Spring were coursing once again through the countryside of Stratford, a world alive with so many English beauties and wonders that I could scarcely begin to apprehend them all . I walked in a waking dream, so it seemed then and still seems, along cobbled streets which ran to and from the river Avon. Here and there pairs of swans like kings and queens were gliding upon the silvered water as the sun streamed from sapphire skies. I watched the clouds collide and pass each other, blown by strong and silent winds aloft; and soon there began to fall the tiniest of snowflakes, like the laughter of children from a distance. There I stood in the center of the loveliest snow globe I had ever seen as the scenes unfolded before me.

The Secret Sits

We dance round in a ring and suppose,
But the Secret sits in the middle and knows.

--Robert Frost


We make ourselves a place apart
Behind light words that tease and flout,
But oh, the agitated heart
Till someone really find us out.

"Tis pity if the case require
(Or so we say) that in the end
We speak the literal to inspire
The understanding of a friend.

But so with all, from babes that play
At hide-and-seek to God afar,
So all who hide too well away
Must speak and tell us where they are.

--Robert Frost

Friday, January 16, 2009


You are rearranging
the tiles
once again,
Changing the form
and color
Of the picture of
Your image altered
in my mind's eye,
I wonder if you
are more yourself
than before.
I can't be sure.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

The tower to be built

"...before setting to work for God and to fight against the devil, first calculate your forces; and if you consider yourself well enough equipped to begin, you are a fool, because the tower to be built costs an outrageous price, and the enemy coming out to meet you is an angel, before whom you are of no account. Get to know yourself so well that you cannot contemplate yourself without flinching. Then there will be room for hope. In the sure knowledge that you are obliged to do the impossible in Him who strengthens you, then you are ready for a task which can be performed only through the Cross."

--Jacques Maritain, as quoted by Father Gerald Vann, O.P. in The Seven Swords

The suitor

He is coming on the feast
of Saint Valentine--
his choice, not mine,
of days for meeting
face to face.
The place, the day, are both arranged,
and so the suitor makes his way
to me.
Time always tells,
and we shall see.
But this I know: I am no one's thrall.
I will choose to whom I give my hand,
my heart--
if at all.

from "The Hound of Heaven"

"...All which I took from thee I did but take
Not for thy harms,
But just that thou might'st seek it in My arms.
All which thy child's mistake
Fancies as lost, I have stored for thee at home:
Rise, clasp My hand, and come!"
Halts by me that footfall:
Is my gloom, after all,
Shade of His hand, outstretched caressingly?
"Ah, fondest, blindest, weakest,
I am He Whom thou seekest!
Thou dravest* love from thee, who dravest Me."

--Francis Thompson


My virtual book of days

They have always drawn me,
those books of days:
long ago
copied by loving hand,
and embellished so patiently
with color and line.
Here is mine--
a virtual book of days;
its pages seen,
yet never touched by hand,
not even mine.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Worth anything

"I hope that this is really not bad after all, that it's not just terrible and not any good, " I said to my daughter after reading what I'd written. "The words just flow so freely; they come to my mind and there they are ," I continued. "Surely nothing that is this easy can be worth anything."

Only now

I have walked the paths laid out for me;
I have worn the letters pinned to me;
I have smiled and nodded pleasantly;
I have borne the cruelties dutifully;
I have tried to live most honorably;
And now I see how beautifully it all has worked
To lead me to myself,
Beyond myself
To where I must be--
To the One who fashioned me.
To live life freely and truly is to
Live as humbly as a child.
Only now do I begin to see.

Star Thoughts

"I shall see a star tonight
From a distant mountain height;
From a city you will see
The same star that shines on me.

'Tis not of the firmament
On a solar journey bent;
Fixed it is through time and weather;--
'Tis a thought we hold together."

--Frances Shaw

Who loves the rain

"Who loves the rain
And loves his home
And looks on life with quiet eyes,
Him will I follow through the storm;
And at his hearth-fire keep me warm;
Nor hell nor heaven shall that soul surprise
Who loves the rain
And loves his home
And looks on life with quiet eyes."

--Frances Shaw

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

The perfect lover

"Only the perfect Christian can be the perfect lover."

--Dom Eugene Boylan in This Tremendous Lover

"...but still there is much that is fair..."

"The world is indeed full of peril, and in it there are many dark places; but still there is much that is fair, and though in all lands love is now mingled with grief, it grows perhaps the greater."

-Haldir in The Fellowship of the Ring

Wintry days

These wintry days have their own particular beauty: icy-blue skies like frozen oceans or bright but bitter-cold ones when the sun is out. I have learned to tell what weather is coming by watching the flight of migratory birds above me. These creatures always know which way to go to survive the long Winter; their Creator has fashioned them to know. It is a wonder to see it, to be a part of it, even from a distance.

Soon the snowdrops will awaken and begin to peep their tiny white heads above the soil. The robins will sing, and the stream will rush on without ice or snow to slow it. Spring is coming, and I will walk my favorite trails once again.

Nothing... to recommend her...

"She has nothing, in short, to recommend her, but being an excellent walker. I shall never forget her appearance this morning. She really looked almost wild... To walk three miles, or four miles, or five miles, or whatever it is, above her ankles in dirt, and alone, quite alone! what could she mean by it? It seems to me to shew an abominable sort of conceited independence, a most country-town indifference to decorum."

--Mrs. Hurst in Pride and Prejudice.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Flos florum

"Of all the flowers
from all the gardens
in all the world
you are the one
I choose,
over and over
and always."
These are the words by which I will know you.


Dear one,
won't you leave the dark world
in which you live
for a bright one?
It is light which you crave,
The Light which will save you.
I was once there
where you are now.
I knew the blackness well;
I mistook it for my friend.
But a friend will always lead us
to the truth.
The darkness is a black lie.
Cast it away
for good.
Yes, for good.

Passing through the penumbra*

I see you there
in shadowed space,
midst dark and light:
day and night
a tunnel
where you find yourself
since you lost yourself.
There is light at the end,
but how to find it?
There is a way.
I'll show you
if you will let me.

*penumbra--a partial shadow, as in an eclipse, between regions of complete shadow and complete illumination.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

It never will be far

"Stars over snow,
And in the west a planet
Swinging below a star---
Look for a lovely thing and
you will find it,
It is not far---
It never will be far."

----Sara Teasdale

From Vespers for the Feast of the Holy Family

Qua vestra sedes floruit
Virtutis omnis gratia,
Hanc detur in domesticis
Referre posse moribus.

Your home it was a garden,
made glad with fairest flowers;
may life thus blossom sweetly'
in every home of ours.

But Mary kept all these words, pondering them in her heart.

Seven swords

"Over the iron forest
He saw Our Lady stand;
Her eyes were sad withouten art,
And seven swords were in her heart--
But one was in her hand."

--from G. K. Chesterton's "Ballad of the White Horse"

To feed thy soul

"If of thy mortal goods thou art bereft,
And of thy meager store
Two loaves alone to thee are left,
Sell one, and with the dole
Buy hyacinths to feed thy soul."

--Sheikh Muslih-uddin Saadi Shirazi

The bluebell

"I do not think I have ever seen anything more beautiful than the bluebell I have been looking at. I know the beauty of our Lord by it."

--Gerald Manley Hopkins

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Walking with a friend...

"Walking with a friend in the dark is better than walking alone in the light."

--Helen Keller

Friday, January 9, 2009

A twist on Tennyson

"I am sick of half-shadows," said the lady.
"I would banish the halfhearted,
the halfway,
the half-effort
for the wholesome,
the whole cloth,
the whole self.

Wholeheartedly, all the way, everything--
it must be wholly real,
or I want no part of it."

Dimidium animae meae

I am myself once again.
The girl of long ago and far away
is here and now.
But is there more to this story?
I must read on.
These fairy tales always have
a happy ending,
after the test.
How strange to feel whole
if I am really half.

Worth the effort

Father Gerald Vann in The High Green Hill: "Do you remember Our Lord's words to Simon: Launch out into the deep? ...religion... is not something added on to life, but an entirely new dimension into which life is plunged as you plunge into the sea. ... It means not just knowing more things than you otherwise would, but knowing something underneath all things, knowing the secret heart of things, because you know the Presence, the Love, that is in and about all things... If you plunge into this element you escape from the narrow confines of the selfish and the shallow, and move in immensity... This is the greatest adventure of all, since it is what, through God's mercy, reveals to us life in its fullness; it is worth the effort."

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Winter birds

I heard the birds singing
in frozen trees;
And I wondered how,
in bitter cold,
with Spring so far away,
such hope could move those tiny hearts
to sing for joy unseen.

A Trail of Flowers

If I strewed the path from here to there
With all of the flowers of Spring
Would you follow it
And find the way to me?
Would you try?

Lucky Moon

Cool and distant,
far above
in blackest night
you shine.
Lucky moon...
Serene and lovely
light of stars,
shine kindly
as I walk this path