Friday, January 29, 2010

The level of womanhood

To a great extent the level of any civilization is the level of its womanhood. When a man loves a woman, he has to become worthy of her. The higher her virtue, the more her character, the more devoted she is to truth, justice, goodness, the more a man has to aspire to be worthy of her. The history of civilization could actually be written in terms of the level of its women.”

-- Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen

Thursday, January 28, 2010

The road must be trod

"The road must be trod, but it will be very hard. And neither strength nor wisdom will carry us far upon it. This quest may be attempted by the weak with as much hope as the strong. Yet it is oft the course of deeds that move the wheels of the world: Small hands do them because they must, while the eyes of the great are elsewhere."

--J.R.R. Tolkien

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

The hero's heart

"Not the glittering weapon fights the fight, but rather the hero's heart.”


Tuesday, January 26, 2010

To trust in Him

"In God, we live every commonplace as well as the most exalted moment of our being. To trust in Him when no need is pressing, when things seem going right of themselves, may be harder than when things seem going wrong."

--George MacDonald

Monday, January 25, 2010

Beauty of the soul

"Inasmuch as love grows in you, so beauty grows.  For love is the beauty of the soul."

--Saint Augustine

Saturday, January 23, 2010

The path of petals

As I neared the communion rail
I saw it-
a path of white rose petals
leading past the hem
of her white satin gown,
past the bridegroom
to the altar,
to Him.
And I saw the path of thorns and dust
leading to Calvary,
the one the Bridegroom trod
in His blood-soaked robe
for His bride,
for us.
Two paths to Heaven-
the second one is loveliest.

(originally posted 1/11/09)

Friday, January 22, 2010


“We never understand how little we need in this world until we know the loss of it.”

--Sir James M. Barrie

Thursday, January 21, 2010

The Feast of Saint Agnes

He lifts me to the golden doors;
The flashes come and go;
All heaven bursts her starry floors,
And strows her lights below,
And deepens on and up! the gates
Roll back, and far within
For me the Heavenly Bridegroom waits,
To make me pure of sin.
The sabbaths of Eternity,
One sabbath deep and wide--
A light upon the shining sea--
The bridegroom with his bride!

--from Alfred, Lord Tennyson's Saint Agnes' Eve

Saint Agnes, pray for us. 

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

God's glory

"A man can no more diminish God's glory by refusing to worship Him than a lunatic can put out the sun by scribbling the word 'darkness' on the walls of his cell."

--George MacDonald

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

No other way

"[God desires] not that He may say to them, "Look how mighty I am, and go down upon your knees and worship", for power alone was never yet worthy of prayer; but that He may say thus: "Look, my children, you will never be strong but with My strength. I have no other to give you. And that you can get only by trusting in Me. I can not give it you any other way. There is no other way."

--George MacDonald

Monday, January 18, 2010

Best of a book

“The best of a book is not the thought which it contains, but the thought which it suggests; just as the charm of music dwells not in the tones but in the echoes of our hearts.”

--John Greenleaf Whittier

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Communion with God

"There is a communion with God that asks for nothing, yet asks for everything... He who seeks the Father more than anything He can give, is likely to have what he asks, for he is not likely to ask amiss."

--George MacDonald

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Mind the present

"It has been well said that no man ever sank under the burden of the day. It is when tomorrow's burden is added to the burden of today that the weight is more than a man can bear. Never load yourselves so, my friends. If you find yourselves so loaded, at least remember this: it is your own doing, not God's. He begs you to leave the future to Him and mind the present. "

--George MacDonald

Friday, January 15, 2010


"A man may be haunted with doubts, and only grow thereby in faith. Doubts are the messengers of the Living One to the honest. They are the first knock at our door of things that are not yet, but have to be understood... Doubt must precede every deeper assurance; for uncertainties are what we first see when we look into a region hitherto unknown, unexplored, unannexed."

--George MacDonald

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Keep love in your heart

Keep love in your heart. A life without it is like a sunless garden when the flowers are dead. The consciousness of loving and being loved brings a warmth and richness to life that nothing else can bring.

--Oscar Wilde

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

The face of God

"When we see the face of God we shall know that we have always known it. He has been a party to, has made, sustained and moved moment by moment within, all our earthly experiences of innocent love.”

--C. S. Lewis

Tuesday, January 12, 2010


Sometimes our fate resembles a fruit tree in winter. Who would think that those branches would turn green again and blossom, but we hope it, we know it.

--Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe

Monday, January 11, 2010

True friends

“True friends... face in the same direction, toward common projects, interests, goals.”

--C. S. Lewis

Sunday, January 10, 2010


“What seem our worst prayers may really be, in God's eyes, our best. Those, I mean, which are least supported by devotional feeling. For these may come from a deeper level than feeling. God sometimes seems to speak to us most intimately when He catches us, as it were, off our guard.”

--C. S. Lewis

Saturday, January 9, 2010

One kind word

"One kind word can warm three winter months."

--Japanese proverb

Friday, January 8, 2010

Every winter

"Every winter,
When the great sun has turned his face away,
The earth goes down into a vale of grief,
And fasts, and weeps, and shrouds herself in sables,
Leaving her wedding-garlands to decay--
Then leaps in spring to his returning kisses. "

--Charles Kingsley in Saint's Tragedy (Act III, Scene 1)

Thursday, January 7, 2010


"When we lose one blessing, another is often most unexpectedly given in its place.”

--C. S. Lewis

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

The Legend of the Christmas Rose

The Christmas Rose Story

When the Magi laid their rich offerings of myrrh, frankincense, and gold, by the bed of the sleeping Christ Child, legend says that a shepherd maiden stood outside the door quietly weeping.

She, too, had sought the Christ Child. She, too, desired to bring him gifts. But she had nothing to offer, for she was very poor indeed. In vain she had searched the countryside over for one little flower to bring Him, but she could find neither bloom nor leaf, for the winter had been cold.

And as she stood there weeping, an angel who just happened to be passing saw her sorrow, and brushed aside the snow at her feet. And there sprang up on the spot a cluster of beautiful winter roses, waxen white with pink tipped petals.

Not exactly myrrh, nor frankincense, nor gold, said the angel, but there is nothing more beautiful for the Christ Child than these pure Christmas roses.

Joyfully the shepherd maiden gathered the roses and made her offering of a Christmas gift of roses to the Holy Child.

(A blessed little Christmas to you all on this Feast of the Epiphany of Our Lord and the first anniversary of A Trail of Flowers:  thank you for following,  and may Almighty God guide you every step of the way.)  

Tuesday, January 5, 2010


"Miracles are a retelling in small letters of the very same story which is written across the whole world in letters too large for some of us to see."

--C.S. Lewis

Monday, January 4, 2010

Dream a new dream

“You are never too old to set another goal or to dream a new dream.”

--C. S. Lewis

Sunday, January 3, 2010

True love

"When one loves, one does not calculate."

--Saint Therese of Lisieux

(On this Octave day of the Feast of Saint John, the beloved disciple,  I wish you the incalculable love which only Love can give.)

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Scattering flowers

"Love proves itself by deeds, so how am I to show my love? Great deeds are forbidden me. The only way I can prove my love is by scattering flowers and these flowers are every little sacrifice, every glance and word, and the doing of the least actions for love."

--Saint Therese of Lisieux, born January 2, 1873

Saint Therese, pray for us. 

Friday, January 1, 2010

Good for us

"I am sure God keeps no one waiting unless that is good for us to wait."

--C. S. Lewis


"Only the heart knows how to find what is precious."

--Fyodor Dostoyevsky

(And may you, dear readers, find what is most precious in this new year.  May Almighty God richly bless you and all those dear to you.)