Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Puccini: O Mio Babbino Caro

Dear Friends,

         A wonderful piece with which to start the day. Such is the power of Puccini's genius.


Life, and Other Miracles XXI

Beholding Fire

O my Spirit! Why do you so pine for the embrace
of lovers, and follow their happy walk with greedy
eye? It seems almost as if water for parched lips,
this love that is ubiquitous, but which is never here.

Be careful what prayer you speak in silence of heart,
for what seems wonderful may yet be ice over lake,
and when one steps forth with unsure step, in unhappy
instant one falls through, and is dragged beneath the sheet.

Or, consider it yet a flame! Yea, for flame was blessed
by God to multiply undiminished, like all that lives,
and when it flickers it is a spark of star alive before
your very eyes. But spill it from its waxen cradle.

Then, it shall draw power from everything touching it,
paper and wood, house of stone and glass of windows:
it will not stop, unquenched in its passion, until it
consumes everything, and leaves the home an ashen heap.

Yet what will you do? Always live in the winter, when
the warm breath of spring flies about? Though the fire
is a force of its own rule, for this the freezing man should
banish it from life, and with it dispatch perhaps the soul?

No. For fire only feeds on what if given it, and smolders
when there is no charity. It destroys only when no watch
stands over it, punishing neglect with great consequence.
Love, thus, is full-time duty and employ, nothing less.

Are you, Spirit, yet so selfish and imperfect, ready to mix
with another person? To keep vigil over breath of lover,
to prepare for vigil over son and daughter? Ask this before
you beg the cross they bear, with such agony and ecstasy.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Mozart: Laudate Dominum


          It is Easter! For Christians everywhere, it is a season of rejoicing at the glorious masterpiece of salvation that has been accomplished through the resurrection. Please, enjoy this prayer written in music that the genius Mozart so long ago composed, yet even today moves the hearts of all to a sublime consideration of the divine, of the eternal. And sung by Kiri te Kanawa! What more can a music-lover ask for?


Life, and Other Miracles XX

There is a wonderful museum in upstate New York, called the Corning Glass Museum. If you are ever passing through the area on your way to Canada or acquaintances in the Finger Lakes region, it is truly a feast for the eyes. For our international friends, their online gallery is an amazing resource to indulge in. It was because of my visit there that this next poem was written.



God, the Glassmaker

Master, You compare Our Father to the potter,
who molds and crafts the clays of Earth, with measured
stroke and gentle touch converting what was dust
into person, infusing in his beauty the eternal part.

But, my God, let me offer yet another metaphor,
by which to approach the Mystery of Trinity: You are
the Glassmaker, who continuously takes the sands,
and in fire of love fuses flesh and spirit into one.

Yea, from the furnace You take a shining morsel
of crystal, still as if confection glowing, rolling
and stretching it, fire into diamond transforming,
with Your breath making and filling the blazing void.

Beneath Your hands, morsel into chalice changes,
You dip once more the masterpiece into bath of glass:
emerging, You endow the whole with feet and hands,
crown the top with mark of favor, placing Your monogram.

At last the vessel in full glory is circumspect by angels,
who marvel at its depth, the use for which it was made:
to hold the Blood of Christ on Earth, and thus exude
the ruby Light and Glory of the Glassmaker in Heaven.

Though as with the little Jesus, when men so cruelly sought
His destruction, this singular chalice in hands of the world
is found, it seems to fill this star with bile, mar its beauty
in bath of filth, even cause it to fall without care, breaking.

But, my Lord, for the Glory of Your Name, you gather
the crystal so neglected by the world: what was impure,
You wash away, what by repeated ablution has become cloudy,
by caring grinding and polishing You restore to perfection.

What has cracked or chipped, You doth gingerly replace,
the gem of stone with gem of living love, and what has
shattered, You place in furnace and repeat Your first work,
desiring that all the work of Your hands be gathered into one.

The beast seems to be raging through Your shop, my Christ,
the world seems to find fault, consider bubbles and veins
evidence of wrong in Your infallible work! But they know not
what the Lord doth know, and see when it is placed in Heaven’s ray.

Special Post: Pope Francis


          As you well know, the Catholic Church again has a pope! And what a worthy Vicar of Christ the Holy Spirit has elected for His Church! I hope that all reading, of whatever confession, will be happy in knowing a wonderful and deeply moral man has been chosen to further the cause of peace and justice in our broken world.


Habemus Papam Franciscum!
The chimney overflows with the smoke of joy!
Alleluia, hear the happy peal of bells! Quick,
beat the chosen Pontiff to the door! Go, and see
still the closed door, hiding his kind, gentle face.

See! See how something stirs! Is it them, is it
the grand procession that carries forth God’s
Vicar to the world? Amen, it is the golden Cross,
unmistakable, that leads the members and the head.

Amidst the red at last appears white Jorge, humble
servant of all servants, from henceforth Francis
he is known, smiling rebuilder of God’s Holy Church,
with mighty grace summoned from New World.

Yea, behold Peter! Shout the ecstasy of spirit!
All of Rome is aglow with orange light, all the Earth
with hearts delighted at the choice: forsooth Spirit
elected worthy Pope, to guide us to peaceful shore.

But quell now! No one dares speak as Francis greets
his flock, as he prays for old Pontiff hidden in Lord,
and begs the people of God confirm his Holy Office
with solemn blessing, an offering of honest hope.

My Lord! Be pleased to hear this little supplication,
for in Francis I see answer to so many of our calls,
pour out abundance of Thine grace upon him,
that till You call him, he may serve you as You deserve.

Let not the men of ill will prevail upon him, in this
Age of Judges: after new Moses and new Joshua,
let this Judge like the Savior rule Church Militant,
with charity, mercy, and abundance of blessing.

And so Canaan shall be ruled by You, o Lord,
we shall not mix and mingle with the lost world,
the corruption of old is replaced holy faithfulness,
and Mother Church in fresh waters shall be bride
ready to pass through Heaven’s humble portal.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Special Post: Pope Benedict XVI


          It is with grave sadness that I meet our Holy Father's decision to resign. A revolutionary act, yet fully anticipated by Canon Law, it is indicative of a serious deterioration in the Holy Father's health, far beyond what we are privy to. Let us pray for Holy Mother Church, that the Holy Spirit may guide her in the election of a worthy successor to bear the unique cross that is the office of the Supreme Pontiff, and that the suffering Christ may bless the Holy Father with a graceful conclusion to his life and the bliss of heavenly reward at his passing.

          I ask that my Christian brothers and sisters pray for us, as well as those of other faiths and all men of good will.


Sunday, February 10, 2013

Dubois: Toccata


          Please enjoy this delightful piece, as well as this very informative and important article:  http://www.salon.com/2013/02/10/to_get_the_gold_they_will_have_to_kill_every_one_of_us/