On silence and noise

‘For someone who is far from God, silence is a difficult confrontation with his own self and with the rather dismal realities that are at the bottom of our soul. Hence, man enters a mentality that resembles a denial of reality. He gets drunk on all sorts of noises so as to forget who he is. Postmodern man seeks to anaesthetise his own atheism.’ – Cardinal Robert Sarah, ‘The Power of Silence: Against the Dictatorship of Noise’


Abide with me

Abide with me! Fast falls the eventide;
The darkness deepens; Lord with me abide.
When other helpers fail and comforts flee,
Help of the helpless, oh, abide with me!

Swift to its close ebbs out life’s little day;
Earth’s joys grow dim, its glories pass away;
Change and decay in all around I see.
O Thou, who changest not, abide with me!

I need Thy presence every passing hour;
What but Thy grace can foil the Tempter’s power?
Who like Thyself my guide and stay can be?
Through cloud and sunshine, oh, abide with me!

I fear no foe, with Thee at hand to bless;
Ills have no weight and tears no bitterness.
Where is death’s sting? where, grave, thy victory?
I triumph still if Thou abide with me.

Hold Thou Thy cross before my closing eyes,
Shine through the gloom, and point me to the skies.
Heaven’s morning breaks, and earth’s vain shadows flee;
In life, in death, O Lord, abide with me!

Forgiveness and fathers

How do we forgive our Fathers?
Maybe in a dream
Do we forgive our Fathers for leaving us too often or forever
when we were little?

Maybe for scaring us with unexpected rage
or making us nervous
because there never seemed to be any rage there at all.

Do we forgive our Fathers for marrying or not marrying our Mothers?
For Divorcing or not divorcing our Mothers?

And shall we forgive them for their excesses of warmth or coldness?
Shall we forgive them for pushing or leaning
for shutting doors
for speaking through walls
or never speaking
or never being silent?

Do we forgive our Fathers in our age or in theirs
or their deaths
saying it to them or not saying it?

If we forgive our Fathers what is left?

– D. Lourie


On Feminism

“Feminism is mixed up with a muddled idea that women are free when they serve their employers but slaves when they help their husbands.” G.K. Chesterton


Heart matters

‘The Heart open to God, purified by contemplation of God, is stronger than guns and weapons of every kind. The fiat of Mary [“Let it be to me according to your word”], the word of her heart, has changed the history of the world, because it brought the Saviour into the world—because, thanks to her ‘Yes’, God could become man in our world and remains so for all time. The Evil One has power in this world, as we see and experience continually; he has power because our freedom continually lets itself be led away from God. But since God himself took a human heart and has thus steered human freedom towards what is good, the freedom to choose evil no longer has the last word. From that time forth, the word that prevails is this: “In the world you will have tribulation, but take heart; I have overcome the world” (Jn 16:33).’

Joseph Ratzinger


Mastering desire for the sake of others

‘There is a wholeness about the fully grown man which makes him concentrate on the present moment. He may have unsatisfied desires, but he always keeps them out of sight and manages to master them some way or other. And the more need he has of self-mastery, the more confidence he will inspire among his comrades, especially the younger ones, who are still on the road he has already travelled. Clinging too much to our desires easily prevents us from being what we ought to be and can be. Desires repeatedly mastered for the sake of present duty make us, conversely, all the richer. To be without desire is a mark of poverty. At the moment I am surrounded by people who cling to their desires, so much so that they haven’t any interest for others: they give up listening, and are incapable of loving their neighbour.’

Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Letters and Papers From Prison, Letters to a Friend, March 19th 1944


What does it mean to be made “one flesh” in marriage?

“These words [one flesh] are not to be understood to mean that [husband and wife] only physically become one flesh and blood, but they pertain to everything that belongs to outward physical life. The written word flesh means one’s outward life in the flesh. It should transpire that everything belongs to both of them and that they accept everything together and that each one brings to the other body, goods, honor, shame, poverty, illness, and whatever else there is.”

Sermons on Genesis, 1527, [WA XXIV], quoted in Susan C. Karant-Nunn and Merry E. Wiesner, Luther on Women: A Sourcebook, [New York: Cambridge University Press, 2003], 18.)