April 2012


 

 

All the others translate: the painter sketches
A visible world to love or reject;
Rummaging into his living, the poet fetches
The images out that hurt and connect.
From Life to Art by painstaking adaption
Relying on us to cover the rift;
Only your notes are pure contraption,
Only your song is an absolute gift.

Pour out your presence, O delight, cascading
The falls of the knee and the weirs of the spine,
Our climate of silence and doubt invading;
You, alone, alone, O imaginary song,
Are unable to say an existence is wrong,
And pour out your forgiveness like a wine.

 

W.H.Auden

The Prayer to Saint George directly refers to the courage it took for the saint to confess his Christianity before opposing authority:

Almighty God, who gave to your servant George boldness to Confess the Name of our Savior Jesus Christ before the rulers of this world, and courage to die for this faith: Grant that we may always be ready to give a reason for the hope that is in us, and to suffer gladly for the sake of our Lord Jesus Christ; who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.

The same sentiment is present within the following two Prayers to Saint George:

St. George, Heroic Catholic soldier and defender of your Faith, you dared to criticize a tyrannical Emperor and were subjected to horrible torture. You could have occupied a high military position but you preferred to die for your Lord. Obtain for us the great grace of heroic Christian courage that should mark soldiers of Christ. Amen

Saint George Prayer:

O GOD, who didst grant to Saint George strength and constancy in the various torments which he sustained for our holy faith; we beseech Thee to preserve, through his intercession, our faith from wavering and doubt, so that we may serve Thee with a sincere heart faithfully unto death. Through Christ our Lord. Amen.

  Prayers of Intercession to Saint George:

Faithful servant of God and invincible martyr, Saint George; favored by God with the gift of faith, and inflamed with an ardent love of Christ, thou didst fight valiantly against the dragon of pride, falsehood, and deceit. Neither pain nor torture, sword nor death could part thee from the love of Christ. I fervently implore thee for the sake of this love to help me by thy intercession to overcome the temptations that surround me, and to bear bravely the trials that oppress me, so that I may patiently carry the cross which is placed upon me; and let neither distress nor difficulties separate me from the love of Our Lord Jesus Christ. Valiant champion of the Faith, assist me in the combat against evil, that I may win the crown promised to them that persevere unto the end

The Novena  to Saint George does not have a specific warrior context, but simply asks God for divine assistance and the imitation of the life of the saint:

Almighty and eternal God! With lively faith and reverently worshiping Thy divine Majesty, I prostrate myself before Thee and invoke with filial trust Thy supreme bounty and mercy. Illumine the darkness of my intellect with a ray of Thy heavenly light and inflame my heart with the fire of Thy divine love that I may contemplate the great virtues and merits of the Saint in whose honor I make this novena, and following his example imitate, like him, the life of Thy Divine Son.

‘Control’ in this context has two distinct meanings, both equally crucial.

In the first place, ‘control’, as you would expect, means priority and ability to manage, not to force, the compliance of others, to determine what others think or do.

 In the second, more elusive sense – a sense which, nevertheless, saves my life and which, once achieved, may induce the relinquishing of ‘control’ in the first sense — ‘control’ means that when something untoward happens, some trauma or damage, whether inflicted by the commissions or omissions of others, or some cosmic force, one makes the initially unwelcome event one’s own inner occupation.

 You work to adopt the most loveless, forlorn, aggressive child as your own, and do not leave her to develop into an even more vengeful monster, who constantly wishes you ill. In ill-health as in unhappy love, this is the hardest work: it requires taking in before letting be.

  Gillian Rose Loves Work Page 90 & 91

 

this blessing
God’s love
calls us
to that elsewhere world
which only lovers
eyes alight, eyes aflame
can see at all.

only those who have
self surrendered:
once, they were flecks of fire;
now, they are
the radiant sun.

 

Rumi

 
Rise, heart, thy lord is risen. Sing his praise
Without delays,
Who takes thee by the hand, that thou likewise
With him may’st rise:
That, as his death calcinиd thee to dust,
His life may make thee gold, and, much more, just.

Awake, my lute, and struggle for thy part
With all thy art,
The cross taught all wood to resound his name
Who bore the same.
His stretchиd sinews taught all strings what key
Is best to celebrate this most high day.

Consort, both heart and lute, and twist a song
Pleasant and long;
Or, since all music is but three parts vied
And multiplied
Oh let thy blessиd Spirit bear a part,
And make up our defects with his sweet art.

 
George Herbert

 

When Death Comes   

When death comes

like the hungry bear in autumn;

when death comes and takes all the bright coins from his purse

 

to buy me, and snap the purse shut;

when death comes

like the measle-pox;

 

when death comes

like an iceberg between the shoulder blades,

 

I want to step through the door full of curiosity, wondering:

what is it going to be like, that cottage of darkness?

 

And therefore I look upon everything

as a brotherhood and sisterhood,

and I look upon time as no more than an idea

and I consider eternity as another possibility,

 

and I think of each life as a flower, as common

as a field daisy, and as singular,

 

and each name a comfortable music in the mouth,

tending, as all music does, toward silence,

 

and each body a lion of courage, and something

precious to the earth.

 

When it’s over, I want to say: all my life

I was a bride married to amazement.

I was the bridegroom taking the world into my arms.

 

When it’s over, I don’t want to wonder

if I have made of my life something particular, and real.

I don’t want to find myself sighing and frightened,

or full of argument.

 

I don’t want to end up simply having visited this world.

 

Mary Oliver

This is it. The is what we have always feared –

The moment of surrender, the helpless moment

When there is nothing to do but to let go…

“Into Thy hands” – into another’s hand

No matter whose; the enemy’s hand, death’s hand,

God’s…The moment not to be evaded

Which says, “You must,” the moment not of choice

When we must choose to do the thing we must

And will to let our own will go. Let go.

It is no use now clinging to the controls,

Let some one else take over. Take, then, take…

There, that is done…into Thy hand, O God.

 

Dorothy L. Sayers

 

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