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 had […]

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 friendly […]

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 a […]

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, where […]

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 Lord […]

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, […]

finding contrition of heart and poverty in spirit

From the Canon of St. Andrew of Crete (d. 740 or 720): My own thoughts like thieves have attacked me, wounding me and covering me with sores. Come now, O Christ my Saviour, to heal me. A priest was the first to see me naked and in dreadful condition, but he passed by on the […]