God can be God even in the very heart of human terror

The dark background against which Jesus is shown [in the transfiguration icon] is something you will see in other icons as a way of representing the depths of heavenly reality. In the transfiguration, what the disciples see is, as you might say, Jesus’ humanity “opening up” to its inner dimensions. …So the disciples look atContinue reading “God can be God even in the very heart of human terror”

a light that is merciless until they can accept its mercy

Wendell Berry on Heaven and Hell: I imagine the dead waking, dazed, into a shadowless light in which they know themselves altogether for the first time. It is a light that is merciless until they can accept its mercy; by it they are at once condemned and redeemed. It is Hell until it is Heaven.Continue reading “a light that is merciless until they can accept its mercy”

If you would find the newborn king

From the sermons of Meister Eckhart. Sermon One (Pf 1, Q 101, QT 57): Here, in time, we are celebrating the eternal birth which God the Father bore and bears unceasingly in eternity, because this same birth is now born in time, in human nature. St. Augustine says, ‘What does it avail me that this birthContinue reading “If you would find the newborn king”

even as the day softens away into the sweet Twilight

This has been my Object, and this alone can be my Defence–and O! that with this my personal as well as my LITERARY LIFE might conclude!—the unquenched desire I mean, not without the consciousness of having earnestly endeavoured to kindle young minds, and to guard them against the temptations of Scorners, by showing that theContinue reading “even as the day softens away into the sweet Twilight”

attention is the rarest and purest form of generosity

Simone Weil on her birthday. First, from Gravity and Grace (1947): Imaginary evil is romantic and varied; real evil is gloomy, monotonous, barren, boring. Imaginary good is boring; real good is always new, marvelous, intoxicating. …We have to try to cure our faults by attention and not by will. The will only controls a fewContinue reading “attention is the rarest and purest form of generosity”

cowled with smoke and starred with lamps

Modern Elfland by G.K. Chesterton I cut a staff in a churchyard copse, I clad myself in ragged things, I set a feather in my cap That fell out of an angel’s wings. I filled my wallet with white stones, I took three foxgloves in my hand, I slung my shoes across my back, AndContinue reading “cowled with smoke and starred with lamps”

teaching long of rest and waiting

These are thoughts that I put down as I sat with my Grandma and other family members near the end of my Grandma’s life. She was in her own bedroom and surrounded by loved ones: My body holds me closer hourly It will have me know it fully before I’m fully known Jacob wrestled theContinue reading “teaching long of rest and waiting”

I certainly can’t conceive … any grosser abuse of language than to call a discussion a meditation

Delightful collection of “less commonly used quotes” from the letters of C.S. Lewis: Many men of our time have lost not only the supernatural light but also the natural light which pagans possess. I certainly can’t conceive any less suitable preparation for Holy Communion than a discussion or any grosser abuse of language than toContinue reading “I certainly can’t conceive … any grosser abuse of language than to call a discussion a meditation”

to look at it no one would know it had anything to do with fire, or light

It has seemed to me Sometimes as though the Lord breathes on this poor gray ember of Creation and it turns to radiance—for a moment or a year or the span of a life. And then it sinks back into itself again, and to look at it no one would know it had anything toContinue reading “to look at it no one would know it had anything to do with fire, or light”