Wednesday, October 28, 2015

One Could Do Worse

'When I see birches bend to left and right
Across the lines of straighter darker trees,
I like to think some boy's been swinging them....

'I'd like to go by climbing a birch tree, 
And climb black branches up a snow-white trunk
Toward heaven, till the tree could bear no more, 
But dipped its top and set me down again.
That would be good both going and coming back.

'One could do worse than be a swinger of birches.'

Robert Frost, from 'Birches'

Painting: Winslow Homer. The Birch Swing ,1864

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Getting Personal

'Only in this personal relationship with Christ, 
only in this encounter with the Risen One, 
do we really become Christians.... 
Therefore, let us pray to the Lord to enlighten us, 
so that, in our world, He will grant us the encounter 
with His presence, and thus give us a lively faith, 
an open heart, and great charity for all, 
capable of renewing the world.'

Pope Benedict XVI, 2008

Painting: Barna da Siena, Mystic Marriage of St Catherine

Friday, October 23, 2015

Joined By One Treasure

'Never think that geographical distance can separate souls whom God has united by the ties of His love. The children of the world are separated from one another because their hearts are in different places; but the children of God, having their hearts where their treasure is, and sharing only one treasure, which is the same God, are consequently always united and joined together.'

St. Francis de Sales

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

May People Not See Me

'Jesus, help me to spread Your fragrance 
wherever I am. Fill my heart with Your Spirit 
and Your life. Penetrate my being and take 
such hold of me that my life becomes a radiation 
of Your own life. Give Your light through me and remain in me in such a way that every soul I 
come in contact with can feel Your presence in me.

'May people not see me, but see You in me.'

                     John Henry Newman

Friday, October 16, 2015

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Sunday, October 11, 2015

O Catch the Transient Hour

'Catch, then, 
O catch 
the transient
hour; improve 
each moment
as it flies!'

St. Jerome

Painting: Charles Courtney Curran

Saturday, October 10, 2015

Proceed With Caution

'All that proceeds from heretics should be 
suspected, especially books, however good they may be.'

St. Ignatius of Loyola

Painting: Rembrandt, Parable of the Rich Man

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Which Gives Life a New Horizon

'Being Christian is not the result of an ethical choice or a lofty idea,
 but the encounter with an event, a Person, 
which gives life a new horizon and a decisive direction.'

Pope Benedict XVI, Deus Caritas Est, 2006

Painting: Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio, The Conversion on the Way to Damascus (detail)

Sunday, October 4, 2015

If, in the Decisive Moments of Their Lives

'Some would be surprised if they knew 
what God could make of them if, 
in the decisive moments of their lives, 
they gave ear to the voice of grace!'

St. Ignatius of Loyola

Painting: Lilla Cabot Perry, Lady with Violets 1910

Friday, October 2, 2015

The Sins of My Youth, and My Frailties

'Your ways, O Lord, make known to me; teach me Your paths. 
Guide me in Your truth and teach me, for You are my God and Savior, 
and for You I wait all the day.
Remember that Your compassion, O Lord, and Your kindness are from old. 
The sins of my youth and my frailties remember not;
in Your kindness remember me,
because of Your goodness, O Lord.'

Psalm 25:4-7

Painting: Charles Courtney Curran, Ragged Clouds 1922, in US public domain due to age