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.