Wednesday, February 20, 2008

In Hora Mortis Nostræ Podcast

Click to listen

A deviation from our normal poetry podcast, here is a reflection on my experience at a prayer vigil for life.

It is late on the night of the tenth day of the 40 days for life prayer vigil. The half-lidded moon shines down upon us, thin clouds veiling its cold white light...but the pale yellow light from the street lamps dimly illuminates our faces. The bare branches of the oak tree eeriely silhouetted against the darkened inky blue sky, the branch tips splayed like gnarly fingers.. We are praying the rosary, eight souls standing at the bottom of the hill facing the darkened menace of the tower beneath which was housed a killing place. Our prayers fall softly from our lips, the night air muting our voices. We finish the Sorrowful Mysteries and after a short parting conversation, we disperse, our relief crew walking up the hill. We know that tomorrow, we will return.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Summer's Day Podcast

For Valentine's Day, I'm reposting the podcast that started it all....

Shall I compare thee to a summer's day?
Thou art more lovely and more temperate.
Rough winds do shake the darling buds of May,
And summer's lease hath all too short a date.
Sometime too hot the eye of heaven shines,
And often is his gold complexion dimm'd;
And every fair from fair sometime declines,
By chance or nature's changing course untrimm'd;
But thy eternal summer shall not fade
Nor lose possession of that fair thou ow'st;
Nor shall Death brag thou wander'st in his shade,
When in eternal lines to time thou grow'st:
So long as men can breathe or eyes can see,
So long lives this, and this gives life to thee.

~William Shakespeare

If you want to listen to me read the sonnet:

Stopping by the side of the road whilst traveling through Tuscany one brilliant morning in May

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Nunc Dimittis Podcast

~A reflection on when a priest dies on the Feast of Candlemas.

Click here to listen

A Song for Simeon

~by T.S. Eliot

Lord, the Roman hyacinths are blooming in bowls and
The winter sun creeps by the snow hills;
The stubborn season has made stand.
My life is light, waiting for the death wind,
Like a feather on the back of my hand.
Dust in sunlight and memory in corners
Wait for the wind that chills towards the dead land.

Grant us thy peace.
I have walked many years in this city,
Kept faith and fast, provided for the poor,
Have taken and given honour and ease.
There went never any rejected from my door.

Who shall remember my house, where shall live my children’s children
When the time of sorrow is come ?
They will take to the goat’s path, and the fox’s home,
Fleeing from the foreign faces and the foreign swords.

Before the time of cords and scourges and lamentation
Grant us thy peace.
Before the stations of the mountain of desolation,
Before the certain hour of maternal sorrow,
Now at this birth season of decease,
Let the Infant, the still unspeaking and unspoken Word,
Grant Israel’s consolation
To one who has eighty years and no to-morrow.

According to thy word,
They shall praise Thee and suffer in every generation
With glory and derision,
Light upon light, mounting the saints’ stair.
Not for me the martyrdom, the ecstasy of thought and prayer,
Not for me the ultimate vision.
Grant me thy peace.

(And a sword shall pierce thy heart,
Thine also).

I am tired with my own life and the lives of those after me,
I am dying in my own death and the deaths of those after me.
Let thy servant depart,
Having seen thy salvation.