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”

the direction in which their unmarred fulfillment must lie

J.R.R.Tolkien in his notes on “Athrabeth Finrod ah Andreth.” Finrod, however, sees now that, as things were, no created thing or being in Arda, or in all Eä, was powerful enough to counteract or heal Evil: that is to subdue Melkor (in his present person, reduced though that was) and the Evil that he hadContinue reading “the direction in which their unmarred fulfillment must lie”

we find it hitched to everything else in the universe

From John Muir: Nature Writings (an anthology): When we try to pick out anything by itself, we find it hitched to everything else in the universe. One fancies a heart like our own must be beating in every crystal and cell, and we feel like stopping to speak to the plants and animals as friendlyContinue reading “we find it hitched to everything else in the universe”

Honor all Matter and Venerate It

As modern Western people, our dichotomized categories and preconceived notions about body, soul, matter, and spirit are tragically inadequate to the task of engaging with the full mystery and beauty of reality. Ancient people understood reality in ways that we have lost the ability to understand: its full dimensionality, interiority, and microcosmic qualities. As aContinue reading “Honor all Matter and Venerate It”

Light within light

The moon looks wonderful in this warm evening light, just as a candle flame looks beautiful in the light of morning. Light within light. It seems like a metaphor for something. So much does. Ralph Waldo Emerson is excellent on this point. It seems to me to be a metaphor for the human soul, theContinue reading “Light within light”

till the ductile anchor hold

Walt Whitman (1819–1892). Leaves of Grass. 1900. 208. A Noiseless Patient Spider A NOISELESS, patient spider, I mark’d, where, on a little promontory, it stood, isolated; Mark’d how, to explore the vacant, vast surrounding, It launch’d forth filament, filament, filament, out of itself; Ever unreeling them—ever tirelessly speeding them. And you, O my Soul, whereContinue reading “till the ductile anchor hold”

a way to make your soul grow

The arts are not a way of making a living. They are a very human way of making life more bearable. Practicing an art, no matter how well or badly, is a way to make your soul grow, for heaven’s sake. Sing in the shower. Dance to the radio. Tell stories. Write a poem toContinue reading “a way to make your soul grow”

ripened with legends

Translated by Stephen Spender and J. L. Gili from “Ballad of the Little Square” by Frederico Garcia Lorca: My heart of silk is filled with lights, with lost bells, with Lillie’s and bees. I will go very far, farther than those hills, farther than the seas, close to the stars, to beg Christ The LordContinue reading “ripened with legends”

the ways in which they unsettle us

One could dare say that a man’s friends do more harm to his soul than his enemies. The Lord Himself said, ‘A man’s foes, shall be they of his own household’ (Matthew 10:36; Micah 7:6). Those who live under the same roof with us, and who are so concerned for our bodily needs and comfort,Continue reading “the ways in which they unsettle us”