31 July 2012

St Ignatius de Loyola, Oremus!


Today is the feast day of Saint Ignatius de Loyola, founder of the Society of Jesus (Societas Iesu), commonly known as the Jesuits. As God's instrument, St Ignatius brought into the world an order that has done immeasurable miraculous good in order to bring about the Kingdom of God, given us great preachers, teachers and theologians, and by his own writings, given all powerful inspiration and meditations on strengthening our spiritual life. 

Of his writings, Ignatius' "Contemplation on Divine Love" I find the most powerful, unifying all that it is to be mindful of God's unspeakably glorifying presence in our life, and I offer it for your own meditations today, below. May St Ignatius and all the saints continue to pray for us and guide us by the power of God's grace.

30 July 2012

The Grey-Clad Monk - A Fable



“Suppose that a great commotion arises in the street about something, let us say a lamp-post, which many influential persons desire to pull down. A grey-clad monk, who is the spirit of the Middle Ages, is approached upon the matter, and begins to say, in the arid manner of the Schoolmen, ‘Let us first of all consider, my brethren, the value of Light. If Light be in itself good—‘ At this point he is somewhat excusably knocked down. All the people make a rush for the lamp-post, the lamp-post is down in ten minutes, and they go about congratulating each other on their unmediaeval practicality. But as things go on they do not work out so easily. Some people have pulled the lamp-post down because they wanted the electric light; some because they wanted old iron; some because they wanted darkness, because their deeds were evil. Some thought it not enough of a lamp-post, some too much; some acted because they wanted to smash municipal machinery; some because they wanted to smash something. And there is war in the night, no man knowing whom he strikes. So, gradually and inevitably, to-day, to-morrow, or the next day, there comes back the conviction that the monk was right after all, and that all depends on what is the philosophy of Light. Only what we might have discussed under the gas-lamp, we now must discuss in the dark.”
—G.K. Chesterton, Heretics

19 July 2012

Song of the Tendency by Raissa Maritain

Song of the Tendency

In the infinite longing
Through which I come to Thee
I know Thee
As the eternal love that breathes me in
And draws my soul to Thee.

Thou dividest me from me
My soul strives to quit me
I am lost in Thy charity
I am but nothingness which loves.

In the heart, the captive of Thy invisible hand,
Thy flaming secrets seem to part half-open;
All our senses – useless outpaced servants –
Seek after sleep to be more thoroughly Thine.
And yet I wake – watching for Thee to pass,
My spirit tends to Thee who can alone fill it,
To seize Thee I have only the touch of the soul
And this love, this love which binds me.

Sometimes to bear the weight of Thy presence,
My wailing breath breaks into a chant
A strange melody, song of the tendency
To Thee of whom I have a mysterious cognition
More certain than my life.

– Raissa Maritain