Monday, August 27, 2007

"Come Be My Light"

"So many unanswered questions live within me afraid to uncover them — because of the blasphemy — If there be God — please forgive me — When I try to raise my thoughts to Heaven — there is such convicting emptiness that those very thoughts return like sharp knives & hurt my very soul. — I am told God loves me — and yet the reality of darkness & coldness & emptiness is so great that nothing touches my soul. Did I make a mistake in surrendering blindly to the Call of the Sacred Heart?"
-- Mother Teresa, addressed to Jesus, at the suggestion of a confessor, undated

Mother Teresa, has always been this character of superhuman strength to me, yet one whose ministry did not particularly appeal to me. What is even more amazing, is that, since the darkness began at her new ministry in Calcutta, how she managed to carry out her ministry of love amongst the poorest, without consolations from God at all! There is a new book I haven't read yet, Mother Teresa: Come Be My Light; it draws from her letters describing her spiritual dark nights in a very moving way, but in it some already predicted she will soon be known as one of the mystic saints.

Read the entire article here.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Automatic Confessions

Much as I am so grateful for the Sacrament of Reconciliation and hold it in high esteem, this video is both too sad and too funny not to look at. Watching this made me want to pray for more priests and for more people to discover this wonderful sacrament!

Monday, August 20, 2007


I've been saving this post for the feast of Assumption since stumbling upon it a few months ago, but come Assumption, no internet connection was available--what bliss! Anyway, here it is, it's never too late to publish a tribute to Our Lady ;) It's a Francis Thompson poem, and needless to say, a classic! Enjoy!

'Thou needst not sing new songs, but say the old.'--COWLEY. (my note: found in the source of this poem)

Mortals, that behold a Woman,
Rising 'twixt the Moon and Sun;
Who am I the heavens assume? an
All am I, and I am one.

Multitudinous ascend I,
Dreadful as a battle arrayed,
For I bear you whither tend I;
Ye are I: be undismayed!
I, the Ark that for the graven
Tables of the Law was made;
Man's own heart was one, one Heaven,
Both within my womb were laid.
For there Anteros with Eros
Heaven with man conjoin-ed was,--
Twin-stone of the Law, Ischyros,
Agios Athanatos.

I, the flesh-girt Paradises
Gardenered by the Adam new,
Daintied o'er with sweet devices
Which He loveth, for He grew.
I, the boundless strict savannah
Which God's leaping feet go through;
I, the heaven whence the Manna,
Weary Israel, slid on you!
He the Anteros and Eros,
I the body, He the Cross;
He upbeareth me, Ischyros,
Agios Athanatos!

I am Daniel's mystic Mountain,
Whence the mighty stone was rolled;
I am the four Rivers' fountain,
Watering Paradise of old;
Cloud down-raining the Just One am,
Danae of the Shower of Gold;
I the Hostel of the Sun am;
He the Lamb, and I the Fold.
He the Anteros and Eros,
I the body, He the Cross;
He is fast to me, Ischyros,
Agios Athanatos!

I, the presence-hall where Angels
Do enwheel their plac-ed King--
Even my thoughts which, without change else,
Cyclic burn and cyclic sing.
To the hollow of Heaven transplanted,
I a breathing Eden spring,
Where with venom all outpanted
Lies the slimed Curse shrivelling.
For the brazen Serpent clear on
That old fang-ed knowledge shone;
I to Wisdom rise, Ischyron,
Agion Athanaton!

See in highest heaven pavilioned
Now the maiden Heaven rest,
The many-breasted sky out-millioned
By the splendours of her vest.
Lo, the Ark this holy tide is
The un-handmade Temple's guest,
And the dark Egyptian bride is
Whitely to the Spouse-Heart prest!
He the Anteros and Eros,
Nail me to Thee, sweetest Cross!
He is fast to me, Ischyros,
Agios Athanatos!

'Tell me, tell me, O Belov-ed,
Where Thou dost in mid-day feed!
For my wanderings are reprov-ed,
And my heart is salt with need.'
'Thine own self not spellest God in,
Nor the lisping papyrus reed?
Follow where the flocks have trodden,
Follow where the shepherds lead.'
He, the Anteros and Eros,
Mounts me in AEgyptic car,
Twin-yoked; leading me, Ischyros,
Trembling to the untempted Far.

'Make me chainlets, silvern, golden,
I that sow shall surely reap;
While as yet my Spouse is holden
Like a Lion in mountained sleep.'
'Make her chainlets, silvern, golden,
She hath sown and she shall reap;
Look up to the mountains olden,
Whence help comes with lioned leap.'
By what gushed the bitter Spear on,
Pain, which sundered, maketh one;
Crucified to Him, Ischyron,
Agion Athanaton!

Then commanded and spake to me
He who framed all things that be;
And my Maker entered through me,
In my tent His rest took He.
Lo! He standeth, Spouse and Brother;
I to Him, and He to me,
Who upraised me where my mother
Fell, beneath the apple-tree.
Risen 'twixt Anteros and Eros,
Blood and Water, Moon and Sun,
He upbears me, He Ischyros,
I bear Him, the Athanaton!

Where is laid the Lord arisen?
In the light we walk in gloom;
Though the sun has burst his prison,
We know not his biding-room.
Tell us where the Lord sojourneth,
For we find an empty tomb.
'Whence He sprung, there He returneth,
Mystic Sun,--the Virgin's Womb.'
Hidden Sun, His beams so near us,
Cloud enpillared as He was
From of old, there He, Ischyros,
Waits our search, Athanatos.

Who will give Him me for brother,
Counted of my family,
Sucking the sweet breasts of my Mother?--
I His flesh, and mine is He;
To my Bread myself the bread is,
And my Wine doth drink me: see,
His left hand beneath my head is,
His right hand embraceth me!
Sweetest Anteros and Eros,
Lo, her arms He leans across;
Dead that we die not, stooped to rear us,
Thanatos Athanatos.

Who is She, in candid vesture,
Rushing up from out the brine?
Treading with resilient gesture
Air, and with that Cup divine?
She in us and we in her are,
Beating Godward: all that pine,
Lo, a wonder and a terror!
The Sun hath blushed the Sea to Wine!
He the Anteros and Eros,
She the Bride and Spirit; for
Now the days of promise near us,
And the Sea shall be no more.

Open wide thy gates, O Virgin,
That the King may enter thee!
At all gates the clangours gurge in,
God's paludament lightens, see!
Camp of Angels! Well we even
Of this thing may doubtful be,--
If thou art assumed to Heaven,
Or is Heaven assumed to thee!
Consummatum. Christ the promised,
Thy maiden realm is won, O Strong!
Since to such sweet Kingdom comest,
Remember me, poor Thief of Song!

Cadent fails the stars along:-
Mortals, that behold a woman
Rising 'twixt the Moon and Sun;
Who am I the heavens assume? an
All am I, and I am one.

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Back from hiatus

I'm back from a short almost 2-weeks break. Holiday's great, but I think what's even better is getting back to work with a greater conviction that work is GOOD :) Meanwhile time passed really fast and some update trivia:
- I cannot recognize my parents' house in Jakarta; it has been transformed completely!
- Actus Essendi is now in Rome: Arrivederci!
- The aspirations widget is (mysteriously) available for download from several sites (Softpedia, ZDNet, and from its original main Yahoo! Widget Gallery). So far there has been 1780 downloads, and some feedback include: shorter aspirations, aspirations from some requested popular saints, and one request for a rosary widget! (Coming SOON)

Meanwhile, holiday (or summer, whichever is your case) is getting over, get back to work!

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Memorial: St Alphonsus Liguori

The Church celebrates the feast of St Alphonsus Liguori today. His writings have recently entered my life, and most of the aspirations I put into the widget are attributed to him. Although many saints are endearing to individual members of the militant Church because they identify with their lives with the Saints' circumstances, yet in the case of St Alphonsus, I can say that reading his life makes me feel like I know 'em (the Saints) all, major and minor. All the elements are there: suffering, doubts, scrupulosity, struggle, and suffering in particular because of our own lack of love!

Fr Tim had three interesting posts about St Alphonsus recently. I read them with fascination (not knowing much about this saint) and his writings (in-print and elsewhere!).

Someone once remarked, after a sermon by Alphonsus, "It is a pleasure to listen to your sermons; you forget yourself and preach Jesus Christ."

Catholic Carnival #130

What is Catholic Carnival? Apparently, it's been going on for a while (#130, and published weekly, this goes back to more than 2 years ago!). It's a type of Blog Carnival, and it is a "collection of blog posts from various bloggers and often from different points of view on a specific topic."

So this week I discovered it for the first time :) It contains (perhaps not surprisingly) highlights from around the Catholic blogosphere: sometimes short reflections, sometimes pieces of news, and sometimes, like my contribution this time, it's neither...

Sarah at "just another day of Catholic pondering" is hosting the Catholic Carnival this week. Do pop over to her blog to read this week's delightful posts... (including this commentary on the 'hound of heaven'!)