Sunday Pause for Thought


RondaTrinity[1]

St Augustine wrote of God in his ‘Confessions’:

“You, my God, are supreme… You are the most hidden from us and yet the most present amongst us, the most beautiful and yet the most strong, ever enduring and yet we cannot comprehend you. You are unchangeable and yet you change all things. You are never new, never old, and yet all things have new life from you.”

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dsc08423

 

a stone at dawn

cold water in the basin

these walls’ rough plaster

imageless

after the hammering

of so much insistence

on the need for naming

after the travesties

that passed as faces,

grace: the unction

of sheer nonexistence

upwelling in this

hyacinthine freshet

of the unnamed

the faceless

 Amy Clampitt

Thorn-92[1]

 

thorn

In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread:
you put this rather beautifully,
and gave me leave to sing my work
until my work became the song.

In sorrow shalt thou eat of it:
a line on which a man might ring
the changes as he tills the ground
from which he was taken. Thistle, thorn

(in the which is the fruit of a tree yielding seed),
these too shall it bring forth to thee,
all the days of thy life till the end,
the synagogue of the ear of corn.

Poem and plowman cleave the dark.
One can’t eat art. But dust is art,
and unto dust shall I return.
O let my song become my work.

Amanda Jernigan, Adam’s Prayer

 

aboutworkingmemory[1]  

“Nothing holds firm.  Everything is here today and gone tomorrow.   But the good things of life– truth, justice, and beauty– all great accomplishments need time, constancy, and memory, or they degenerate. The man who feels neither responsibility towards the past nor desire to shape the future is one who forgets.  And I do not know how one can really get at such a person and bring him to his senses.”                                                

 

dietrich-bonhoeffer[1]

-Dietrich Bonhoeffer (d. 1945)

Book with opened pages of shape of heart

 

The French scientist and theologian Pierre Teilhard de Chardin sums it up nicely in his book “The Divine Milieu.” He writes:

“God obviously has no need of the products of your busy activity since he could give himself everything without you. The only thing that concerns him, the only thing he desires intensely, is your faithful use of your freedom and the preference you accord him over the things around you. Try to grasp this: the things that are given to you on earth are given to you purely as an exercise, a ‘blank sheet’ on which you make your own mind and heart. You are on a testing ground where God can judge whether you are capable of being translated to heaven and into his presence. You are on trial so that it matters very little what becomes of the fruits of the earth, or what they are worth. The whole question is whether you have learned how to obey and how to love.”

 

silence[2]

‘Silence’, said Seraphim, ‘is the cross on which man must crucify his ego’;

‘Silence transfigures a man into an angel; it is the spiritual practice which most surely preserves inner peace.’

He was constantly repeating the words of St Ambrose, ‘I have seen many who were saved by silence but none who were saved by chatter.

 

fig01[1]

 

torso

We cannot know the indescribable face
Where the eyes like apples ripened. Even so,
His torso has a candelabra’s glow,
His gaze, contained as in a mirror’s grace,

Shines within it. Otherwise his breast
Would not be dazzling. Nor would you recognize
The smile that moves along his curving thighs,
There where love’s strength is caught within its nest.

This stone would not be broken, but intact
Beneath the shoulders’ flowing cataract,
Nor would it glisten like a stallion’s hide,

Brimming with radiance from every side
As a star sparkles. Now it is dawn once more.
All places scrutinize you. You must be reborn.

Delmore Schwartz, Archaic Bust Of Apollo (After Rilke)

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