February 23, 2019

Winter Spirituality III

Winter Spirituality III Thoughtful for Winter’s future sorrow, Its gloom and scarcity; Prescient to-day, of want to-morrow, Toiled quiet Memory. ‘Tis she that from each transient pleasure Extracts a lasting good; ‘Tis she that finds, in summer, treasure To serve for winter’s food. And when Youth’s summer day is vanished, And Age brings Winter’s stress, […]

Winter Spirituality II

Winter Spirituality II • • • The Darkling Thrush by Thomas Hardy (1900) I leant upon a coppice gate, When Frost was spectre-gray, And Winter’s dregs made desolate The weakening eye of day. The tangled bine-stems scored the sky Like strings of broken lyres, And all mankind that haunted nigh Had sought their household fires. […]

Poem: At the New Year (Kenneth Patchin)

At the New Year by Kenneth Patchen In the shape of this night, in the still fall         of snow, Father In all that is cold and tiny, these little birds         and children In everything that moves tonight, the trolleys         and the lovers, Father In the great hush […]

When is the time for love to be born?

The Risk of Birth, Christmas 1973 This is no time for a child to be born, With the earth betrayed by war and hate And a comet slashing the sky to warn That time runs out and the sun burns late. That was no time for a child to be born, In a land in the crushing […]

“Winter: A Dirge,” by Robert Burns

Winter: A Dirge By Robert Burns The wintry west extends his blast, And hail and rain does blaw; Or, the stormy north sends driving forth The blinding sleet and snaw: While tumbling brown, the burn comes down, And roars frae bank to brae; And bird and beast in covert rest, And pass the heartless day. […]

For Election Day 2018

Note from CM: It’s election day here in the U.S., as citizens go to the polls to vote in the midterms — the elections between our quadrennial presidential decision. Here is a simple reminder from over a century ago of the humble grandeur of this privilege we participate in as Americans. • • • If […]

Wendell Berry: “The best of human work…”

The best of human work defers always to the in-forming beauty of Nature’s work. But human work, true to the nature of places as it should be, is not natural and is not a mirror held up to nature. At best it is the gift of the Heavenly Muse to the farmer’s art or the […]

Christina Rossetti: Good Friday

Good Friday By Christina Rossetti Am I a stone and not a sheep That I can stand, O Christ, beneath Thy Cross, To number drop by drop Thy Blood’s slow loss, And yet not weep? Not so those women loved Who with exceeding grief lamented Thee; Not so fallen Peter weeping bitterly; Not so the […]

Jan Richardson: Blessing the Seed

Very truly, I tell you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains just a single grain; but if it dies, it bears much fruit. (John 12.24) • From a lectionary reading for Lent 5: John 12.20-33 • • • Reflection for the Fifth Sunday in Lent (March 25) By […]

The Fifth Day of Christmas

Readings for the Day Isaiah 49:5-15 Psalm 148 Matthew 12:46-50 ❄︎ Collect for the Day O God, who makest us glad by the yearly remembrance of the birth of thy only Son Jesus Christ: Grant that as we joyfully receive him for our Redeemer, so we may with sure confidence behold him when he shall […]