Thursday, April 30, 2009


"After wandering along the lane for two hours, giving way to every variety of thought, re-considering events, determining probabilities, and reconciling herself, as well as she could, to a change so sudden and so important, fatigue, and a recollection of her long absence made her at length return home; and she entered the house with the wish of appearing cheerful as usual, and the resolution of repressing such reflections as must make her unfit for conversation."

--Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

The road ahead

It is there before you; and though
you don't know where it's leading,
you will follow as it winds along
past all that is familiar
to all that is unknown.
It is a journey full of promise,
and of this you can be certain:
you won't be traveling alone.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009


To the top of the hill
we'll climb, hand in hand:
then stand to look down
at the beauty below.
And we'll know then
that never had there been
such a day as this one;
nor would there ever be again.

Monday, April 27, 2009


"Those who dance are thought mad by those who hear not the music."



"Dancing is the poetry of the foot."

--John Dryden

This dance

Will you dance with me?
I'll sing a song,
and you' ll sing, too.
Oh, won't it be nice
to dance beneath stars,
your hand holding mine?
The glow of the moon
will show us the way,
and we'll follow the music
until night disappears.

Friday, April 24, 2009


Tonight how sweet it is to feel the peace
of drowsy-lidded sleep as it draws near!
My heart is singing lullabies; and
my angel will keep watch over my dreams
until the gentle dawn awakens me to
all the promise of the morning light.


Polly, she is kind,
she is pretty and she's fine.
She's fallen for a sailor,
and he to her has proved kind.
He said, "I'm sorry for to say,
Polly, I must sail away;
oh, but I will take you dancing
upon our wedding day.
And I will take you dancing
upon our wedding day."

Seven years or more,
oh, seven years or more
Polly's waiting for her sailor.
She weeps there on the shore.
When a man came by,
weeping Polly he did spy.
"Maiden, let me take you dancing,
and let your tears be dry.
Maiden, let me take you dancing,
and let your tears be dry.

Polly, in surprise, she wipes a tear
and then she sighs.
"I fear that my young sailor
on the ocean bed lies.
For you I have no care,
for my heart is with him there;
and I'll never go a-dancing
with you, I do declare.
No, I'll never go a-dancing
with you, I do declare."

"Polly, don't you see?
Oh, it's happy we will be,
for I am your own sailor
who has come from the sea.
It's here with you I'll stay,
and no more I'll sail away;
and we will go a-dancing
upon our wedding day;
oh, let me take you dancing
upon our wedding day;
and we will go a-dancing
upon our wedding day."

--as sung by Kate Rusby :

The little way of the Little Flower

"...I want nothing but what He wants. It is what He does that I love."

--St. Therese of Lisieux as quoted in I Believe in Love

Her story:

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Ned of the Hill

Dark is the evening and silent the hour.

Who is the minstrel by yon lonely tower,

Whose harp he's so tenderly touching with skill?

Oh, who can it be but Ned of the Hill?

Who sings, "Lady love, come with me now,

Come and live merrily under the bough; and

I'll pillow your head where the fairies tread

If you will but wed with Ned of the Hill."

Ned of the Hill has no castle or hall,

No spearmen or bowmen to come at his call;

But one little archer of exquisite skill

Has loosed a bright shaft for Ned of the Hill.

Who sings, "Lady love, come to me now, come

and live merrily under the bough; and

I'll pillow thy head where the fairies tread

If you will but wed with Ned of the Hill."

It is hard to escape from this fair lady's bower

For high is the castle and guarded the tower;

But there's always a way where there is a will,

And so she has gone with Ned of the Hill.

Who sings, "Lady love, come to me now, come

and live merrily under the bough; and

I'll pillow thy head where the fairies tread

If you will but wed with Ned of the Hill."

--British folk song

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Song of the sea

The sky is vast, and the plains roll on for miles.
The scent of earth and grass are all around me.
There's beauty here, it's true, and yet
there is a part of me which longs to trade
this sea of green for one of blue.


"...How long she lay there she knew not. She had lost count of time; dreamily she looked up at the moonlit sky, and listened to the monotonous roll of the waves.

The invigorating scent of the sea was nectar to her wearied body, the immensity of the lonely cliffs was silent and dreamlike. Her brain only remained conscious of its ceaseless, its intolerable torture of uncertainty.

She did not know!--"

--from Baroness Orczy's The Scarlet Pimpernel

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

The feast of Saint Anselm

"I want to understand something of the truth which my heart believes and loves. I do not seek thus to understand in order to believe, but I believe in order that I may understand."

--Saint Anselm, whom Dante places among the spirits of light and power in the Sphere of the Sun.

The music of the Elves

"I thought that Elves were all for moon and stars; but this is more elvish than anything I ever heard tell of. I feel as if I was inside a song, if you take my meaning."

--Sam to Frodo in Lothlorien, in Tolkien's Lord of the Rings

The music of Lothlorien:

Monday, April 20, 2009

In Exmoor...

"And through the dewy meadow's breast, fringed with shade, but touched on one side with the sun-smile, ran the crystal water, curving in its brightness like diverted hope."

--from R. D. Blackmore's Lorna Doone


"They said they would rather be outlaws for a year in Sherwood Forest than President of the United States forever."

--from The Adventures of Tom Sawyer by Mark Twain

Sunday, April 19, 2009

A Walking Song

"Still round the corner there may wait
A new road or a secret gate,
And though we pass them by today,
Tomorrow we may come this way
And take the hidden paths that run
Towards the Moon or to the Sun."

--sung by Frodo, Sam, and Pippin as they set off for Buckland in Tolkien's Lord of the Rings

The Mystical Rose of the Saints

"Dante, in his thirtieth canto of Paradise, compares the light of glory, with which it is given intelligent creatures to see openly the Creator, to a river of light that flows in an immense circle around the Most Blessed Trinity. Disposed in a gentle declivity are all of the souls of the Blessed, in more than a thousand circular steps ascending toward the center, whence all the splendor comes from the rays which God projects on that assembly of Blessed:

"Therefore, in the form of a candid rose
The blessed militia she pointed to me,
That Christ in His Blood did espouse. "
(Par. c. 31)

while the Angels flitted here and there alighting upon the petals of that enormous flower and from there reascended
"up there where His love sojourns forever"
as swarms of bees, that now alight on the flowers to extract the nectar and now return to the beehive.

In describing the loveliness of those Angels with face resplendent as a vivid flame, with golden wings and the rest of the body more candid than snow, the poet observes that, descending into the rose, they directed each Blessed coming up to the Fatherland to their proper place, allotting to each that measure of light and love that each had earned during life on this land of exile.

O beautiful Angels, assign also to us a place in that mystical rose when we shall land on the shores of the celestial bliss, so that, from one of its petals, immersing the pupil of our eyes in that river of light, we may satisfy this thirst of truth and love which in vain we now try to quench in earthly things."

from Heaven: Where Love reigns by Sister Mary Raphael, D. S. P.

Friday, April 17, 2009

The beauty of the world

Spring, and the birds are singing in the trees above me, their music echoing the joy within my heart as I walk beneath a canopy of leaves and sky. Time stands still; and the breezes dance around me as I move along the path which stretches far before me. The path goes on and I follow, never doubting that each step is the one I should be taking. The beauty of the world is all around me, and I pause to savor it as this moment lasts much longer than a moment should. How much God has given to me, and how little I have to give in return! But it is the very gift that He wants. So, like a child with earth-stained hands, I run to lay the flowers of my gratefulness at His feet.

Thursday, April 16, 2009


"An adventure is only an inconvenience rightly considered. An inconvenience is only an adventure wrongly considered."

--G.K. Chesterton in "On Chasing After One's Hat"

Every day is a new adventure.-- :-) Kindred Spirit

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

To Hohn, I mean, Han Solo...

C-3PO: Sir, the possibility of successfully navigating an asteroid field is approximately *3,720 to 1.

Han Solo: Never tell me the odds.

*(The odds of a certain someone making no spelling errors in any given e-mail are much higher, of course.) :-)

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

There is a way...

"Where will wants not, a way opens."

--Eowyn in The Return of the King


He called me,
and I ran to Him;
like a moth to a flame,
I flew to Him
as He drew me.
Wanting only to be near Him,
hearing nothing but His voice,
I knelt before Him;
And felt such joy
that I could scarcely
tear myself away from Him.
Then suddenly I knew
that this is how it feels
to have been wounded by Love.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Happy Easter!

Here is a link to the traditional Latin Mass for Easter, "the most beautiful thing this side of Heaven":
May God bless you all, and may you have a blessed and joyous Easter!

Tell Us Now O Death, Where Is Thy Sting?

Tell us now, O Death, where is thy sting? Allelúia!
Evermore you serve our risen King, Allelúia!
Both sin and death He overcame, Allelúia!
And won from God the highest name, Allelúia!
Allelúia, allelúia, allelúia!

Mary came her buried Lord to seek, Allelúia!
Joyfully she heard the angel speak, Allelúia!
"Why seek the living with the dead?" Allelúia!
"For Christ is risen as He said," Allelúia!
Allelúia, allelúia, allelúia!

Come and see the place where He was laid, Allelúia!
Come, and let your hearts be unafraid, Allelúia!
Remember that He told you then, Allelúia!
That He must die and rise again, Allelúia!
Allelúia, allelúia, allelúia!

Monday, April 6, 2009


The weather has been rather wintry the last few days, so I've had to postpone my long walks through the fields until Spring returns. Since it is Holy Week I've been using the time to think about what Our Lord was doing during the days before Good Friday. And it occurred to me that, though He prepared for His public life by fasting and praying alone in the desert, He readied Himself for all of the torments of His Passion by spending that time in the company of His friends.

What a thought: that Our Lord especially befriended mortal men, choosing only a small number from among their fellows, preferring them to others in this special way. And their presence is what He wanted , even needed in His human nature, to help sustain Him for the combat which lay ahead. The friends of God, and He so drawn to them that He asked the three who were dearest to Him to watch and pray with Him as He endured His agony in the garden--it is an amazing thing to ponder. Three times He came to them then, His humanity crying out in loneliness and dread, showing how much He longed for their company, how highly He valued their friendship.

We creatures, too, cry out in our loneliness and dread. We were not made to be alone; we crave the company of others. And so God places us in families so that we will not be alone. As time passes, these family members then leave home to form new families, each becoming its own new family. These blood-ties remain, yet they also change. It is not so with friendship.

The family is a gift from God; but a friend is also His gift, one which all men seek but so few find. A friend is not tied by blood but by a bond which may be as deep, and is sometimes deeper. Our lives here are so brief, and the moments are so much more precious when shared with a friend. How true it is that in the company of a true friend the hours pass like minutes!

I thought of all that a friend is-- and that is so very much. A friend is "another self", someone who "loves at all times." Every man is our neighbor, but only those certain few can truly be called friend. Friendship comes from God's love; and it is He whom we see and love in our friend. And Our Lord Himself is our greatest friend: "greater love than this no man hath than that He gives His life for His friends."

And so I will try to remember these things, especially on Holy Thursday and Good Friday, when the true friends of Our Lord were so few in number. And I will pray especially then for my friends who are, with my family, my greatest treasures.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

To sea...

Lucy Muir: I don't know anything about the sea, except that it is romantic.
Captain Gregg: Hmm. That's what all landsmen think. Seamen know better.
Lucy Muir: Then why do they go to sea?
Captain Gregg: Because they haven't the sense to stay ashore.

--from The Ghost and Mrs. Muir, 1947

from Vespers of Palm Sunday

"For it is written; I will strike the Shepherd, and the sheep of the flock shall be dispersed. But after I shall be risen again, I will go before you into Galilee: there you shall see Me, says the Lord. "


A little drink,
a little bread,
a little place
to lay my head.
a book to read,
a place to pray,
a song to sing
throughout the day.
Such work to do
as God has planned,
that I may help
my fellow man.
A soul at peace
and truly free.
To live happily
in simplicity.

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Between the lines

At first you came right up to me,
a little shy, but bolder as the time went on.
You came so close, you could have touched me
then and there; but suddenly you vanished
into thin air, leaving me to wonder why
you walked away: but now I know,
though you didn't mean to show me,
that what you wanted was to stay.


You stretched out your hand,

and as I went to take it,

you disappeared as quickly

as you first appeared,

leaving me to wonder whether

you were ever there at all.

Or did I dream you? Surreal.

It feels that way.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

A Child's Prayer

O my dear, forgive me for my sins.
I am very, very, very, very sorry
for putting more thorns and nails
in your skin, dear Jesus.

--written by Mary Jordan, age 10

Wednesday, April 1, 2009


"The roofs are shining from the rain,
The sparrows twitter as they fly,
And with a windy April grace
The little clouds go by.
Yet the back yards are bare and brown
With only one unchanging tree.
I could not be so sure of Spring
Save that it sings in me."

--Sara Teasdale


"The sun was warm but the wind was chill.
You know how it is with an April day.
When the sun is out and the wind is still,
you're one month on in the middle of May.
But if you so much as dare to speak,
a cloud comes over the sunlit arch,
And wind comes off a frozen peak,
And you're two months back in the middle of March."

--Robert Frost, Two Tramps in Mud Time, 1926