The World Fell Silent

Did everyone simultaneously become deaf or did everything in the universe fall silent? 

On a certain level the two are the same despite the first being a defect in hearers and the latter a simple absence of noise-making. But whether it was deafness striking all creatures that can hear or every noise being utterly quieted, there was made Silence.

Imagine if you will, a world forced for a day to bear no noises.

People put their hands to their ears, a strange fear creeping up their arms.
Man-made noise, pretended art, dies leaving only the cold hole that it formerly clouded. Images serve as no shield. There is nothing to drown the heavy soundlessness. Now consciences long strangled begin to whisper, questioning, probing, revealing in reflection.
All attempted speech makes only a little tingling in the throat. Curses and angry words move only in hearts, poison only the hearts who made them.
Many turn about and go numbly, quickly, to the safety of their homes, little man-made worlds. Shelters offer no refuge – further must many fly.
God is too proximate when the mind is unfettered, the self is too well known and some unbind their souls.

The Word of God remains unheard still by these, His commands and pleas abandoned.
But there are still a few who remember Him as always.

In the clarity of quietude angels continue their missions unmoved.
The old priest in the chapel never notices the difference, for all the noises of earth are nothing.
Religious women bring forth prayer in silence still and listen with their hearts.
The mother holding her sleeping child looks in silence – nearly adoration – on the miracle she made with God.
Men follow St. Joseph, continue the work of their hands and never feel the absence of idle talk.
Butterflies swoop skyward and the little ants continue on with their duties, unfazed as ever by the oddities of humanity.

The Ressurection

As the first pulse of the world beat out in throbbing tones,
Fanning heat from the depths of the darkest regions,
In a blast more fearful than Lucifer’s fall
At which our globe still grievously groans,
Or Zeus’s rods of war now molten,
In a thunderous whiplash striking the earth
Opening a wound as a lance to a heart,
So casting himself from Heaven came the angel to God,
Calling for stones to yield and give birth,
Rending the barrier of men apart,
And the soldiers’ spirits retreated before the awful sight,
Falling as smitten with the spirit’s rod.
The messenger tore the iron chains and rock apart,
In a righteous fury and holy might,
Summoning Creation to salute its King,
Bowing to the One Who Lives.

Christus Surrexit!

Weep Not for Me

Weep not for me, children of God, but for yourselves,
Sinners, and for the sins yet to be by your children.
Rejoice that you see my suffering, for it is fitting that I –
So that all may know what sins have caused – should die.
Sorrow not for my wounds nor for the burdening beam,
Which heavy now, pushes further into my brow the thorns
Of pride that so numbly ride and rule the Head of God,
But for the transgressions that make My Blood stream.

Shed no tear for this Blood shed,
Let lamentations cease. Give peace instead,
And follow Me distantly to the death of your sins,
Mourn the lives lost, dear daughters – not Mine;
Rather each everlasting life spent spurning My Love.
Cry for the crimes convicting Me, Who now,
Obeying and willingly reach out to gather in all from the world.

When the earth is shadowed in darkness,
And the Light of the World seems unlit,
The unworthy dust, more worthy than man,
Will drink, and writhe at the cost of this Blood.
Weep then for your loss, and for your Mother’s grief
Who bore to you Me in no pain,
But now in receiving all as her new children,
Conceives this Conception, gives birth by My death.

Regret the cause of her sorrow,
And look on He Who you killed –
Not for My pain, My wounds, My death,
But hers, and theirs and yours,
And in this you will honour Me,
Remembering why –
I must die.


Cross of the Rock-shelter River

In a somber light a man passed by
The lonely path which carried him
Through shadow’d gloom within his heart
Without, it shone around him dark.

In day or night there was no change,
For dwelling alone, turned within
Naught to be seen but dull, unending
Living – man’s death with his sin.

So round ensnared by mind and thought
He traveled days and down the hills,
Turning ’round the mystery
Of our enslavement to our wills.

Until there found him forest green
And shaded hollow filled within
Near mottled flecks of violet shade
In feath’ry air, a misty sheen

Where stilled a hushed echo
And little creatures fled
Away from Man as man fled God
The trees clear bled, and green turned grey.

He halted, hearing a new wind
And with the sun’s break in the leaves –
Or was it leaves that broke the light? –
A shiv’ring slice of thought came twining
Through a door outside his mind.

You care for the tree which held Me,
And work with  tools that pierced Me,
But sadness finds you when you look,
At yourself and the faults and failings,
Of the souls I saved through these.


Don’t seal closed the open door,
I stand without a-waiting.
You snare your thoughts in circles,
Bruising your soul with sin,
But find escape, this prison break
When you just let Me in.

Escape not from yourself
Run never from your nature
If God became as one of thee,
You flee – you flee from me.


Find not disgrace in wandering
Deliberations deep,
If you will turn out from within
‘Tis My truth that you seek.

You think you fear Eternity –
But think of it as time,
You trap yourself in creation
Forgetting it is Mine.

While men fight bitter battles,
Rivers of blood red spills,
But the Man alive brings comfort
To the lost soul in the hills.


And as the moon arched high that night,
As sun fled playfully,
In a final jest the great light gave
The flare of the Trinity.

*The photo was taken on the bank of the Androscoggin River at sunset.
Its name comes from the Abenaki or Penobscot dialects, and means ‘River of rock shelters’.




The New Year

Ah, so 2020 is exiting and now everything will be fine – right?
My dear superstitious friends, 2020 happened to be the year in which humanity made a fumble. The name we place on a certain segment of time has nothing to do with what we do within it (proven by most children during ‘naptime’).
Of course we can always hope that this coming year will be ‘better’ than the past was, but maybe we ought to be hoping to be better in the year instead, and then Actually Being Better. If we wait around for humanity to perfect itself, we’ll die having done nothing for our souls

We live in a world where we are told simultaneously that we have to create ourselves, our futures, our world, and that we are helpless and despair is normal. That’s all true to some extent: We don’t make ourselves as we are in our body-soul-ness, but we do have some say in forming ourselves physically and spiritually; present actions necessarily have effect on the future and our neighbors; we are utterly helpless on our own; despair could be said to be ‘normal’ but that doesn’t necessitate ‘goodness’ or any moral excuse for doing so.

What we don’t hear much is that we have been given everything without deserving it, and should receive and give our Time, Bodies, Souls, with grateful humility and love, and exchange this short life for an unending one. We’re invited to do that by the Creator, always have been.
He gives something to us and asks for it back – perhaps that seems unfair but without Him we would have nothing to give. Love gives entirely of what is asked of it for the good of another and is consequently united to the Beloved. We are human and Small Fallen Ones at that, so we are given many opportunities to do just that.

It’s just another year, to Whom are we going to give it?
Who and What are you going to love primarily?
How are you going to write this next paragraph in your Eternity?

Our Plight in a Cardinal

Yesterday I was out early, near the edge of the woods. A small fluttering chirp arrested my attention, directing it from a tree and towards the ground. In a small, open-faced woodshed there was a bird – a cardinal, half-grown – thrashing at the walls, jumping against them, chirping and flailing uselessly. It was too young to fly but had left the nest under unknown circumstances.
I watched it for a minute, hoping that perhaps it would turn around and walk out of the opening which was as wide as the wall it was facing. An attempt was made to chase it out. It retreated valiantly into a corner, hiding against the wood.
So I caught it. . . after the fourth attempt. A shrill scream burst from the shiny black beak, little legs and claws kicked, wings fluttered; then it bit me. Unknown to this frightened creature, it was fighting the person who was freeing it, biting and clawing to be let go and be lost again in the dark and open prison.
Despite it’s feeble (though somewhat painful) protesting, I carried it to the bird feeder and – the plan was to let it go near a food source. It jumped down prematurely however, scuttled beneath the porch and that was the last I saw of it.

A bit of frustration followed. After the (small) effort and time taken to bring the cardinal out of its self-imposed cage to the open air and food, it had hidden itself in a darker place and likely got lost, unable to be brought out.

Now this all is what we do to God all the time, isn’t it? Our angels spend the time we are given in doing what they can to let us out from the giant prisons of vice which are, admittedly, easy to get in to but difficult to turn about in.
Once blinded, a person remains blind until Christ touches the eyes of the soul, if we let Him touch us. We must be captured, lifted, carried, shown the sun and sky, brought to food and safety. If one acts with Humility, to permit God to raise him, feed him, show him the light and the way, that person will survive to fledge and fly with plumage, coloured with the Blood of Christ.

And now, dear Reader, which of you has not struck and fought against your Saviour?
Which of us has not thought or felt, at one time or another – even briefly –  that the yoke of freedom is more heavy than the chain, that the sight of sun is more stabbing than darkness, that our crippled wings of reason could challenge Faith and our bodies the Hand of God?

Judgement of a Soul

“Now you stand before me, give me the account of your soul. In this book is written all by your angel; all things you ever said, thought, did; to others or alone; with good intent or false. Shall we open it?”

The soul hid his face and replied: “You have already seen, you already know. Have mercy on me, my Lord.”

“Not all who address me as ‘Lord’ shall enter the Kingdom of Heaven, you know.
Look yourself and see what you have done with the Time appointed. Here . . . what is written?”

Slowly the soul raised his eyes to the pages as his angel opened the book, glistening with dark writing.
“So many things,” he said, “words of vices. Forgetting that One God alone Is, so many times I placed things of the fallen earth before you; Abuse of my tongue in blasphemous bouts of anger, calling on the powers of Heaven and Hell without regard, insulting Your Mother; Failing multiple times to attend the Mass or wandering in my mind when it is You I should have seen; Authorities countlessly scorned . . . “

Here the soul faltered and closed his eyes.
“I need not the pages to tell me. I know what I have done.”

“Then continue on.”

“Anger, unjust injury to other men, neglecting those who needed food, clothing, shelter. Once I looked on a woman with lust, not heeding my place or her soul. Oh, how could I have . . . Desiring what was unlawful and unjust. Lies and slander, deceitful speech and gossip. Being dissatisfied with the talents of others I knew, wanting them myself, looking at the property they owned and wanting it for my own.”

For what seemed like days to the soul, he stood with eyes closed and told of his misdeeds. When at last he could recall no more, “What then do you deserve?” asked the Judge softly.

“Hell.”

“And what do you desire?”

“Mercy.”

“Read the page again.”

The soul glanced up. The page was streaked with crimson, blotting out, washing away the black ink. Try as he might . . .

“Where has it gone? I can read nothing!”

As you can read, so do I remember,” the Messiah replied, “Justice convicts, Mercy forgets.”

“Oh, Sacred Mercy, Fountain of Compassion and Hope!” cried the angel, falling prostrate before throne, “Ask, O soul, and you shall truly receive!”

“Here now is a page blotted clean. Let us begin anew. In your shame you have forgotten all the good works of your life. Let me now relate them to you, and your angel will write them here – in gold.”
To God you gave honour and placed Me above all else; You praised My Name and offered much prayer to Heaven for the world; You have thousands of times stood near my Cross and joined yourself to My Sacrifice – Do you remember?
To your parents you gave assistance until their death and afterwards prayed for their souls, giving them much consolation; In humility, always did you strive to obey all men placed above you by My decree; You fed my hungry brethren, you gave them drink, clothed and sheltered them, buried those who walked on to Eternity, visited the sick, the lonely – You do remember this?
You gave consolation to the sorrowing, instructed those less of knowledge than you, brought sinners back to My fold, gave prudent words to they who were lost in doubt. You guarded Purity, cherished your wife and loved her beyond her death . . . Remember all.

For a year the soul knelt in front of the throne, hearing again and again the innumerable moments of grace in his past life, listening to the beautiful words, remembering, being drawn into happiness.
Do you remember? Take consolation. All of this, you did for me.”

Pages now shimmered with white gold, the crimson Blood bathed them with light.
The angel wrote a name on the last page – a name wholly unpronounceable in any mortal tongue. The soul read it and saw with wonder a reflection of himself within a greater Light.

“You are in Me, and I in thee. Come. Now you will be called Blessed. Enter, into the place which was prepared for you.

Be Our Fire

Frosty gale, come up, come up,
Climb up and o’er the mount.
Flying, singing, Icily flinging,
The snowflakes like stars beyond count.

Wailing winds, come down, down,
From scorched hilltops high.
Fan the dust from our souls,
Revive the white coals,
‘Till they blaze and burn with a sigh.

Oh God, our God, draw near to us,
We would love through you alone.
Be the Sweetness between us,
The Fire in our hearts,
And Desire to be brought Home.

“Come, Lord, stir us up and call us back. Kindle and seize us. Be our fire and our sweetness. Let us love. Let us run.
~ St. Augustine of Hippo

First Hope

The man took fruit from the hand of Eve,
And bitter was the taste within,
A lie was plucked from the youthful tree,
The skin was soft, the core too harsh,
For any of flesh to bear.

The sun was quenched before the noon,
Within their souls they felt,
A chill of guilt, and heat of shame,
The man looked fearful at his wife –
Her eyes burned his, apart they ran.

When evening had cooled the garden,
Descended God to earth as He
Did daily to walk with His newest children,
But found them not before Him there,
He looked and saw them cowering.

And from their Paradise they were banished,
They themselves had turned away,
A serpent writhed in pain before a Cherubim,
Sword of the Almighty’s flaming wrath,
Denying all the fruit of Life.

Oh you first of Man and Woman,
What grievous choice in Pride you made!
You now have nothing but a promise
Made in love, of Love to you.

Your children will bleed and suffer,
Generations will fall away,
You will have been but dust for centuries,
Before the world shall see the day –
The Day of Salvation, when on a Tree,
A Man unblemished will take your sin.

The Tree of Life has changed for all,
It’s Fruit is bitter-sweet,
We must now take up our inheritance,
The misery of the Fall, but Hope
Remains to us at it did you,
We hold the fruit of Sin,
And die not for Sin but Salvation,
Like you, one day, your God will meet.

Now take we up these days of Penance,
And Prayer before commemorating
The fasting of the Christ – the Forty Days –
Who felt the hunger of humanity.