On Life and Motherhood

Life (that is the quality of being alive) is so easily seen in all aspects of creation, and this kind of seeing may be far more reliable than we know. Rocks and landscapes live lives of great loveliness, depth, and mystery. After all, the Spirit, the Giver of Life, broods over all that “is not”Continue reading “On Life and Motherhood”

He provided a new, sacramental mode of presence

From Patrick Henry Reardon’s book Reclaiming the Atonement: An Orthodox Theology of Redemption (Volume 1 of 3: The Incarnate Word). The Divine Liturgy, we may say, is the oven of the Holy Spirit. That grain of wheat which was sown in the earth on Good Friday sprang forth as the infinite paschal harvest and nowContinue reading “He provided a new, sacramental mode of presence”

deep within the clay

A nativity poem by Scott Cairns (about the overshadowing of Mary by the Holy Spirit): Deep within the clay, and O my people very deep within the wholly earthen compound of our kind arrives of one clear, star-illumined evening a spark igniting once again the ember of our lately banked noetic fire. She burns butContinue reading “deep within the clay”

ooze of oil

Gerard Manley Hopkins (1844–89): God’s Grandeur THE WORLD is charged with the grandeur of God. It will flame out, like shining from shook foil; It gathers to a greatness, like the ooze of oil Crushed. Why do men then now not reck his rod? Generations have trod, have trod, have trod; And all is searedContinue reading “ooze of oil”

tame as canaries

When posting about the Bible as “a cornucopia of scenes and images” yesterday, this poem came to mind (much thanks to Christine Perrin for introducing it to my class and me). It recalls the burning bush as well as the tree of life, the great tree of Nebuchadnezzar’s dream in the prophet Daniel, and the mighty mustardContinue reading “tame as canaries”

therefore call one man

Today several friends spent the morning together reading poetry connected to Pentecost (June 12 on the church calendar). I had several other passages vying in my mind for today, but this poem by Czeslaw Milosz drove them all out for now. VENI CREATOR Come, Holy Spirit, bending or not bending the grasses, appearing or not above our heads inContinue reading “therefore call one man”