Archive for December, 2011

A new year resolution

Saturday, December 31st, 2011

Another year has gone by! It does seem that the older one gets, the quicker they pass. I am reminded, here, of the words of the Psalmist (90: 12):

Teach us to number our days aright, that we might gain wisdom of heart.

Every day is a gift, and each moment is an opportunity to grow more fully in this “wisdom of heart.” My one and only resolution for 2012 is to live these moments more fully, open to God’s loving guidance. I am also aware that a moment missed is lost forever, but this is not a total tragedy for as long as we are alive we are constantly given another moment, and another . . .

There are many obstacles to living fully in the present moment: selfishness, judgmentalism, a desire to control the outcome, comparing ourselves with others, and so forth. But even to be aware of these attitudes is a way of living fully, and we cannot re-assert our openness to God if we are unaware of our inner storm clouds. Having done so, we can then gently refocus on God’s invitation to be here now in love.

Love seems to be the key. As long as we are willing to give what is required (including simply listening or waiting) and do what needs to be done in the interest of love, we can live more fully in the moment. When this willingness to love is weakened or lost, however, we are “off to the races” with our default, fallen consciousness running the show. Lord have mercy!

May you have many moments well-lived during the coming year.

On Christian Enlightenment

Tuesday, December 13th, 2011

“So love is the way to Christian enlightenment and there is no other.  This love has a twofold thrust: love of God and love of neighbour.  In either case it is ecstatic.  That is to say, my consciousness expands and I go out of myself–I go out to all men and women who have ever lived or ever will love, to the whole material universe of moons and stars and planets, to every blade of grass and every grain of sand, to every living creature, and to the great mystery at the centre of all, the great mystery we call God–and God is love.”
- William Johnston, Letters to Contemplatives

Te Deum: a prayer of praise

Sunday, December 4th, 2011

Here is information from Wikipedia about this marvelous prayer of praise:

Authorship is traditionally ascribed to Saints Ambrose and Augustine, on the occasion of the latter’s baptism by the former in AD 387. It has also been ascribed to Saint Hilary, but says “it is now accredited to Nicetas, bishop of Remesiana; (4th century)”.

The petitions at the end of the hymn (beginning Salvum fac populum tuum) are a selection of verses from the book of Psalms, appended subsequently to the original hymn.

The hymn follows the outline of the Apostles’ Creed, mixing a poetic vision of the heavenly liturgy with its declaration of faith. Calling on the name of God immediately, the hymn proceeds to name all those who praise and venerate God, from the hierarchy of heavenly creatures to those Christian faithful already in heaven to the Church spread throughout the world. The hymn then returns to its creedal formula, naming Christ and recalling his birth, suffering and death, his resurrection and glorification. At this point the hymn turns to the subjects declaiming the praise, both the universal Church and the singer in particular, asking for mercy on past sins, protection from future sin, and the hoped-for reunification with the elect.


God, we praise you; Lord, we proclaim you!
You, the Father, the eternal –
all the earth venerates you.
All the angels, all the heavens, every power –
The cherubim, the seraphim –
unceasingly, they cry:
“Holy, Holy, Holy, Lord God of Hosts:
heaven and earth are full of the majesty of your glory!”
The glorious choir of Apostles –
The noble ranks of prophets –
The shining army of martyrs –
all praise you.
Throughout the world your holy Church proclaims you.
– Father of immeasurable majesty,
– True Son, only-begotten, worthy of worship,
– Holy Spirit, our Advocate.
You, Christ:
– You are the king of glory.
– You are the Father’s eternal Son.
– You, to free mankind, did not disdain a Virgin’s womb.
– You defeated the sharp spear of Death, and opened the kingdom of heaven to those who believe in you.
– You sit at God’s right hand, in the glory of the Father.
– You will come, so we believe, as our Judge.
And so we ask of you: give help to your servants, whom you set free at the price of your precious blood.
Number them among your chosen ones in eternal glory.
Bring your people to safety, Lord, and bless those who are your inheritance.
Rule them and lift them high for ever.
Day by day we bless you, Lord: we praise you for ever and for ever.
Of your goodness, Lord, keep us without sin for today.
Have mercy on us, Lord, have mercy on us.
Let your pity, Lord, be upon us, as much as we trust in you.
In you, Lord, I trust: let me never be put to shame.
Almighty and merciful God, as we hurry to greet the coming of your Son
let no earthly affairs impede us:
fill us with heavenly wisdom and make us his companions.
He lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
God for ever and ever.