Monday, October 07, 2019

Lepanto

Battle of Lepanto (c. 1572), 
by Paolo Veronese (1528-1588)

Today's feast commemorates this battle.

Dr. Thursday's favorite poet published this work in 1911.

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White founts falling in the courts of the sun,
And the Soldan of Byzantium is smiling as they run,
There is laughter like the fountains in that face of all men feared,
It stirs the forest darkness, the darkness of his beard,
It curls the blood-red crescent, the crescent of his lips,
For the inmost sea of all the earth is shaken with his ships.
They have dared the white republics up the capes of Italy,
They have dashed the Adriatic round the Lion of the Sea,
And the Pope has cast his arms abroad for agony and loss,
And called the kings of Christendom for swords about the Cross,
The cold queen of England is looking in the glass;
The shadow of the Valois is yawning at the Mass;
From evening isles fantastical rings faint the Spanish gun,
And the Lord upon the Golden Horn is laughing in the sun.
Dim drums throbbing, in the hills half heard,
Where only on a nameless throne a crownless prince has stirred,
Where, risen from a doubtful seat and half attainted stall,
The last knight of Europe takes weapons from the wall,
The last and lingering troubadour to whom the bird has sung,
That once went singing southward when all the world was young,
In that enormous silence, tiny and unafraid,
Comes up along a winding road the noise of the Crusade.
Strong gongs groaning as the guns boom far,
Don John of Austria is going to the war,
Stiff flags straining in night-blasts cold
In the gloom black-purple, in the glint old-gold.
Torchlight crimson on the copper kettle-drums,
Then the tuckets, then the trumpets, then the cannon, and he comes.
Don John laughing in the brave beard curled,
Spurning of his stirrups like the thrones of all the world.
Holding his head up for a flag of all the free.
Love-light of Spain - hurrah!
Death-light of Africa!
Don John of Austria
Is riding to the sea.
Mahound is in his paradise above the evening star,
(Don John of Austria is going to the war.)
He moves a mighty turban on the timeless houri's knees,
His turban that is woven of the sunset and the seas.
He shakes the peacock gardens as he rises from his ease,
And he strides among the tree-tops and is taller than the trees,
And his voice through all the garden is a thunder sent to bring
Black Azrael and Ariel and Ammon on the wing.
Giants and the Genii,
Multiplex of wing and eye,
Whose strong obedience broke the sky
When Solomon was king.
They rush in red and purple from the red clouds of the morn,
From temples where the yellow gods shut up their eyes in scorn;
They rise in green robes roaring from the green hells of the sea
Where fallen skies and evil hues and eyeless creatures be;
On them the sea-valves cluster and the grey sea-forests curl,
Splashed with a splendid sickness, the sickness of the pearl;
They swell in sapphire smoke out of the blue cracks of the ground,-
They gather and they wonder and give worship to Mahound.
And he saith, 'Break up the mountains where the hermit-folk can hide,
And sift the red and silver sands lest bone of saint abide,
And chase the Giaours flying night and day, not giving rest,
For that which was our trouble comes again out of the west.
We have set the seal of Solomon on all things under sun,
Of knowledge and of sorrow and endurance of things done.
But a noise is in the mountains, in the mountains, and I know
The voice that shook our palaces - four hundred years ago:
It is he that saith not 'Kismet'; it is he that knows not Fate;
It is Richard, it is Raymond, it is Godfrey at the gate!
It is he whose loss is laughter when he counts the wager worth,
Put down your feet upon him, that our peace be on the earth.'
For he heard drums groaning and he heard guns jar,
(Don John of Austria is going to the war.)
Sudden and still - hurrah!
Bolt from Iberia!
Don John of Austria
Is gone by Alcalar.
St Michael's on his Mountain in the sea-roads of the north
(Don John of Austria is girt and going forth.)
Where the grey seas glitter and the sharp tides shift
And the sea-folk labour and the red sails lift.
He shakes his lance of iron and he claps his wings of stone;
The noise is gone through Normandy; the noise is gone alone;
The North is full of tangled things and texts and aching eyes,
And dead is all the innocence of anger and surprise,
And Christian killeth Christian in a narrow dusty room,
And Christian dreadeth Christ that hath a newer face of doom,
And Christian hateth Mary that God kissed in Galilee,
But Don John of Austria is riding to the sea.
Don John calling through the blast and the eclipse
Crying with the trumpet, with the trumpet of his lips,
Trumpet that sayeth ha!
Domino gloria!
Don John of Austria
Is shouting to the ships.
King Philip's in his closet with the Fleece about his neck
(Don John of Austria is armed upon the deck.)
The walls are hung with velvet that is black and soft as sin,
And little dwarfs creep out of it and little dwarfs creep in.
He holds a crystal phial that has colours like the moon,
He touches, and it tingles, and he trembles very soon,
And his face is as a fungus of a leprous white and grey
Like plants in the high houses that are shuttered from the day,
And death is in the phial, and the end of noble work,
But Don John of Austria has fired upon the Turk.
Don John's hunting, and his hounds have bayed -
Booms away past Italy the rumour of his raid.
Gun upon gun, ha! ha!
Gun upon gun, hurrah!
Don John of Austria
Has loosed the cannonade.
The Pope was in his chapel before day or battle broke,
(Don John of Austria is hidden in the smoke.)
The hidden room in man's house where God sits all the year,
The secret window whence the world looks small and very dear.
He sees as in a mirror on the monstrous twilight sea
The crescent of his cruel ships whose name is mystery;
They fling great shadows foe-wards, making Cross and Castle dark,
They veil the plum├Ęd lions on the galleys of St Mark;
And above the ships are palaces of brown, black-bearded chiefs,
And below the ships are prisons, where with multitudinous griefs,
Christian captives, sick and sunless, all a labouring race repines
Like a race in sunken cities, like a nation in the mines.
They are lost like slaves that swat, and in the skies of morning hung
The stair-ways of the tallest gods when tyranny was young.
They are countless, voiceless, hopeless as those fallen or fleeing on
Before the high Kings' horses in the granite of Babylon.
And many a one grows witless in his quiet room in hell
Where a yellow face looks inward through the lattice of his cell,
And he finds his God forgotten, and he seeks no more a sign -
(But Don John of Austria has burst the battle-line!)
Don John pounding from the slaughter-painted poop,
Purpling all the ocean like a bloody pirate's sloop,
Scarlet running over on the silvers and the golds,
Breaking of the hatches up and bursting of the holds,
Thronging of the thousands up that labour under sea
White for bliss and blind for sun and stunned for liberty.
Vivat Hispania! Domino Gloria!
Don John of Austria
Has set his people free!
Cervantes on his galley sets the sword back in the sheath
(Don John of Austria rides homeward with a wreath.)
And he sees across a weary land a straggling road in Spain,
Up which a lean and foolish knight forever rides in vain,
And he smiles, but not as Sultans smile, and settles back the blade...
(But Don John of Austria rides home from the Crusade.)
G.K Chesterton


**********

Originally posted 10/7/2006.
Re-posted 10/7/2010.
Re-posted 10/7/2011.
Re-posted 10/7/2012.
Re-posted 10/7/2013.
Re-posted 10/7/2014.
Re-posted 10/7/2015.
Re-posted 10/7/2016.
Re-posted 10/7/2017.
Re-posted 10/7/2018.

Wednesday, October 02, 2019

Angels Amoungst Us


Yes, it is a children's prayer. But didn't He mention something about being child-like? On this Feast of the Guardian Angels, take time to say "thank you" to yours.

Angele Dei, qui custos es mei,
Me tibi commissum pietate superna;
Hodie, Hac nocte illumina,
custodi, rege, et guberna. Amen.

++++++++++

Angel of God, my guardian dear,
to whom His love commits me here,
ever this night be at my side,
to light and guard, to rule and guide. Amen.

++++++++++
What is man that you should be mindful of him, or the son of man that you should care for him? You have made him little less than the angels, and crowned him with glory and honor.

Psalm 8:5-6

**********

Originally posted 10/2/2006.
Re-posted 10/2/2010.
Re-posted 10/2/2012.
Re-posted 10/2/2015.
Re-posted 10/2/2017.
Re-posted 10/2/2018.

Tuesday, October 01, 2019

October 2019 Morning Offering Prayer Intention

Here is the intention for this month when reciting the Morning Offering:
A Missionary “Spring” in the Church. That the breath of the Holy Spirit engender a new missionary “spring” in the church
A reflection for this intention is found here.

Saturday, September 14, 2019

In Hoc Signo Crucis Vinces



Let us not then be ashamed to confess the Crucified. Be the Cross our seal made with boldness by our fingers on our brow and in everything; over the bread we eat, and the cups we drink; in our comings in, and goings out; before our sleep, when we lie down and when we awake; when we are in the way and when we are still. Great is that preservative; it is without price, for the poor's sake; without toil, for the sick, since also its grace is from God. It is the Sign of the faithful, and the dread of evils; for He has triumphed over them in it, having made a shew of them openly; for when they see the Cross, they are reminded of the Crucified; they are afraid of Him, Who hath bruised the heads of the dragon. Despise not the Seal, because of the freeness of the Gift; but for this rather honor thy Benefactor.
St. Cyril of Jerusalem, A.D. 315 - 386

V. We adore Thee, O Christ, and we bless Thee;
R. Because by Thy holy Cross Thou hast redeemed the world.

++++++++++

En ego, O bone et dulcissime Iesu, ante conspectum tuum genibus me provolvo, ac maximo animi ardore te oro atque obtestor, ut meum in cor vividos fidei, spei et caritatis sensus, atque veram peccatorum meorum poenitentiam, eaque emendandi firmissimam voluntatem velis imprimere; dum magno animi affectu et dolore tua quinque vulnera mecum ipse considero ac mente contemplor, illud prae oculis habens, quod iam in ore ponebat tuo David propheta de te, o bone Iesu: Foderunt manus meas et pedes meos: dinumeraverunt omnia ossa mea. Amen.

++++++++++

Behold, O good and most sweet Jesus, I fall upon my knees before Thee, and with most fervent desire beg and beseech Thee that Thou wouldst impress upon my heart a lively sense of faith, hope and charity, true repentance for my sins, and a firm resolve to make amends. And with deep affection and grief, I reflect upon Thy five wounds, having before my eyes that which Thy prophet David spoke about Thee, o good Jesus: "They have pierced my hands and feet, they have counted all my bones." Amen.

**********

Originally posted 9/14/2006.
Re-posted 9/14/2017.
Re-posted 9/14/2018.

A Stumbling Block


Refrain:
Lift high the cross, the love of Christ proclaim,
Till all the world adore His sacred Name.

Led on their way by this triumphant sign,
The hosts of God in conquering ranks combine.

(Refrain)

Each newborn servant of the Crucified
Bears on the brow the seal of Him Who died.

(Refrain)

O Lord, once lifted on the glorious tree,
As Thou hast promised, draw the world to Thee.

(Refrain)

So shall our song of triumph ever be:
Praise to the Crucified for victory.

(Refrain)

But may I never boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, through which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world. (Galatians 6:14)

I include my post from 2006 as well.

**********

Originally posted 9/14/2007.
Re-posted 9/14/2011.
Re-posted 9/14/2012.
Re-posted 9/14/2014.
Re-posted 9/14/2015.
Re-posted 9/14/2016.
Re-posted 9/14/2017.
Re-posted 9/14/2018.

Thursday, September 12, 2019

The "Double Perfect" Anniversary

Is it that time again?

Yes, it is.

Fourteen years of some kind of presence on the internet is celebrated today.

In some ways, it is quite an achievement. Many 'blogs far, far better that what this infinitesimal corner of the universe offers have fallen by the wayside. Those 'bloggers were far more knowledgeable and articulate that I could ever hope to be. (And, yes, I would link to their posts. As I acknowledged one time, I know good material when I steal it.) But, I have persevered by the grace of God fortifying my own determination to just remain on-line, sporadic as I have been for much of this 'blog's existence.

It has never been about quantity, but rather quality. It has never been about recognition, but rather glorification. It has never tried to be about me, but rather God working through me. And when the focus has been just that, the results have been satisfying.

That has been my mindset since the outset. I am not a professional writer; even being called a hack would be a compliment. I offer what I can when I can. I want what I post to reflect truth, goodness, and beauty. Do I want to do more? Sure I do; the fire, while its just an ember, is still glowing. I just want to be authentic when I hit the publish button.

As long as I remain grounded in these principles I have established for myself, I will still be here. I still enjoy doing this, which has also helped my longevity.This 'blog is not on life-support; I would say it's more in hibernation. And that's OK. I'll come out of hiding when it's appropriate.

So, on I go with some things old, some things new, some things borrowed, but all things for God.

I've said it before and I'll say it again, will all the sincerity I've had since that very first post:

"Welcome to my infinitesimal corner of the universe!"


September 2019 Morning Offering Prayer Intention

Here is the intention for this month when reciting the Morning Offering:
The Protection of the Oceans. That politicians, scientists, and economists work together to protect the world’s seas and oceans.
A reflection for this intention is found here.

Wednesday, September 11, 2019

A Legal Memorial

The day is almost over.

The memorials have been held.

One of the most tragic events in this country's history has been commemorated.

From coast to coast, and especially in New York, NY, Washington, DC,and Shanksville, PA, we have dutifully recalled what happen 18 years ago today. This new Patriot's Day carried with it, as it has since its inception, all the sadness and solemnity as is its due.

And how could it not? We recall the loss of life, the grieving that still exists, and the renewal of the promises we made as a country regarding this. I hope you availed yourself to some of this ceremony or in some way honored all those victimized.

I don't know if we are trying to make sense of  this still. But, then again, how does one make any sense of evil?

A lot of faith has carried a lot of people through this. And it still will.

These words are just an infinitesimal attempt to mark the occasion. As there is this time of the year, there are far better tributes on the interwebs.

All I wanted to do today is what this country should always do when this date comes on the calendar.


Thursday, August 22, 2019

August 2019 Morning Offering Prayer Intention

Here is the intention for this month when reciting the Morning Offering:
Families, Schools of Human Growth. That families, through their life of prayer and love, become ever more clearly “schools of true human growth”.
A reflection for this intention is found here.

Better late than almost never (see last month).

July 2019 Morning Offering Prayer Intention

This was the intention for this month when reciting the Morning Offering:
The Integrity Of Justice. That those who administer justice may work with integrity, and that the injustice which prevails in the world may not have the last word.
A reflection for this intention is found here.

My sincere apologies for failing to post this when it was time.