“The Evening of the Visitation” (Thomas Merton) Go, roads, to the four quarters of our quiet distance,While you, full moon, wise queen,Begin your evening journey to the hills of heaven,And travel no less stately in the summer skyThan Mary, going to the house of Zachary. The woods are silent with the sleep of doves,The valleys with the sleep of streams,And all our barns are happy with peace of cattle gone to rest.Still wakeful, in the fields, the shocks of wheatPreach and say prayers:You sheaves, make all your evensongs as sweet as ours,Whose summer world, all ready for the granary and … Continue reading SEA OF ROSARIES: Our Lady of Sorrows
“Hagia Sophia” (Thomas Merton) I. Dawn. The Hour of Lauds. There is in all visible things an invisible fecundity, adimmed light, a meek namelessness, a hidden whole-ness. This mysterious Unity and Integrity is Wisdom,the Mother of all, Natura naturans. There is in allthings an inexhaustible sweetness and purity, a silencethat is a fount of action and joy. It rises up in word-less gentleness and flows out to me from the unseenroots of all created being, welcoming me tenderly,saluting me with indescribable humility. This is atonce my own being, my own nature, and the Gift ofmy Creator’s Thought and Art within … Continue reading SEA OF ROSARIES: Our Lady of Pontmain
“Canticle for the Blessed Virgin” (Thomas Merton) Die, Boreas,And drown your ruins in the gaudy sea,December, clash your cymbals once againAnd put them away.The crops come thronging from the ground.The land is green with strength.The harvests sing like confidenceIn the ascetic earth.Let there be no more patienceWith your iron music, death:Stand, continents, and wear the spring your crown! The ox-eyed land,The muted lakes,The cloudy groves that praise you,Lady, with their blooms,Fuse and destroy their lightsAnd burn them into gold for you, great Virgin,Coining your honor in the glorious sun. The skies speed up to meet you, and the seasSwim you … Continue reading SEA OF ROSARIES: Our Lady of Kibeho
I graduated from Christian Theological Seminary with a Masters degree in Theological Studies. It is the progressive, ecumenical seminary in Indiana, or, rather, it was. As I was graduating, a new president was coming in. His name is Matthew Myer Boulton. I was informed that he had an evangelical background, had married, and converted to Disciples of Christ via his wife. As expected when there is a change in new leadership, I heard a few nervous grumblings. However, as I was too preoccupied with finishing my final semester, I rather pooh poohed the grumblings, which turned out to be a grave error.
This is not to say, I did not have initial misgivings. Quite the contrary, I had enormous trepidation, particularly on the day of our commencement. Boulton had invited a guest speaker to deliver one of the most pronounced, jaw-dropping reprehensible screeds I have ever had the misfortune to be inundated with.
The speaker, Rev. David Hampton, who was reportedly getting his honorary PhD for monies contributed to CTS, took the platform and essentially delivered a tent revival diatribe,which had the chutzpah to mix New Age claptrap phraseologies with dyed in the wool, sawdust on the floor, ho-de-ho backwoods melodramatics. The speaker, from the kitsch named organization: Light Of The World, made every effort to promote himself and his organization as the group most responsible for having notified the world at large of the hate crime brewing in Florida under the guise of George Zimmerman. Additionally, we were told that it was Light of the World, which had single handedly reversed public apathy regarding the tragic case and had stirred up support for Treyvon Martin’s family. Like Mighty Mouse, Light of the World had come to save the day. I half expected every sentence to end with a shrewdly timed Aa-ya aa-ya. I have to give credit where credit is due. Hampton knew how to work the herd.
Unfortunately, he followed this up with an even more divisive and ill-timed screed on gay marriage, which ended with an erroneous comparison of that to looming mortal sins. The worked over crowd was equally divided between cowardly amens and pent rage.
Fr. Justin Belitz O.F.M.. The above are images from his retreat at the Infant Jesus Parish in Morley Western Australia, April 2010. In March, 2011 Fr. Justin returned to the parish for a follow up retreat. Fr. Justin’s retreat centers around the teaching of his latest book, Success:Full Relating. This is Fr. Justin’s third book in the success series. It is a guide to successful life goals and relationships. Success:Full Relating is also the most theological of his books, outlining the matriarchal/creation model of spirituality and the patriarchal/ fall/redemption model. Fr. Justin’s approach is lucid, optimistic, and inspiring. Fr. Justin … Continue reading Fr. Justin Belitz O.F.M. Success:Full Relating (Spirituality for the 21st Century and Beyond) Australia Retreat