SEA OF ROSARIES: THE MADONNA TEACHING HER CHRIST CHILD IN PRAYER

The Madonna teaching her Christ child in prayer ©2018 Alfred Eaker

Ave Maria by Hildegard of Bingen

Behold, Mary, you who increase life, who rebuilds the path,

You who confused death and wore down the serpent,

To you Eve raised herself up, her neck rigid with inflated arrogance.

You strode upon this arrogance

while bearing God’s Son of Heaven,

through whom the spirit of God breaths.

O gentle and loving Mother, I behold you.

For Heaven released into the world that which you brought forth.

This one, through whom the spirit of God breaths.

Glory to the Father, and the Son and the Holy Spirit.

And to this one, through whom the spirit of God breaths.

SEA OF ROSARIES: BLUE MADONNA AND THE HOLY INNOCENTS

Blue Madonna and the Holy Innocents ©2018 Alfred Eaker

AVE GENEROSA by Hildegard of Bingen

I behold you,
noble, glorious and whole woman,
the pupil of purity.
You are the sacred matrix
in which God takes great pleasure.

The essences of Heaven flooded into you,
and the Great Word of God dressed itself in flesh.

You appeared as a shining white lily,
as God looked upon you before all of Creation.

O lovely and tender one,
how greatly has God delighted in you.
For He has placed His passionate embrace within you,
so that His Son might nurse at your breast.

Your womb held joy,
with all the celestial symphony sounding through you,
Virgin, who bore the Son of God,
when your purity became luminous in God.

Your flesh held joy,
like grass upon which dew falls,
pouring its life-green into it,
and so it is true in you also,
o Mother of all delight.

Now let all Ecclesia shine in joy
and sound in symphony
praising the most tender woman,
Mary, the bequeather/seed-source of God.
Amen

SEA OF ROSARIES: Black Madonna of The Candlemas

Black Madonna Of The Candlemas ©2018 Alfred Eaker

The Candlemas Procession (Thomas Merton)

Lumen
Ad revelationem gentium.

Look kindly, Jesus, where we come,
New Simeons, to kindle,
Each at Your infant sacrifice his own life’s candle.

And when Your flame turns into many tongues,
See how the One is multiplied, among us, hundreds!
And goes among the humble, and consoles our sinful
kindred.

It is for this we come,
And, kneeling, each receive one flame:
Ad revelationem gentium.

Our lives, like candles, spell this simple symbol:
Weep like our bodily life, sweet work of bees,
Sweeten the world, with your slow sacrifice.
And this shall be our praise:
That by our glad expense, our Father’s will
Burned and consumed us for a parable.

Nor burn we now with brown and smoky flames, but
bright
Until our sacrifice is done,
(By which not we, but You are known)
And then, returning to our Father, one by one,
Give back our lives like wise and waxen lights.

SEA OF ROSARIES: Our Lady of Manaoag

Our Lady of Manaoag ©2018 Alfred Eaker

The Divine Dew by Therese of Lisieux

My Sweet Jesus, You appear to me
On your Mother’s breast, all radiant with love.
Love is the ineffable mystery
That exiled you from your Heavenly Home…
Ah! let me hide myself under the veil
Concealing you from all mortal eyes,
And near you, O Morning Star!
I shall find a foretaste of Heaven.

From the moment a new dawn awakens,
When we see the first lights of the sun,
The young flower beginning to open
Awaits a precious balm from on high.
It is the good-giving morning dew,
Which, producing an abundant sap,
Makes the flower of the new bud open a little.

Jesus, you are that Flower just open.
I gaze on you at your first awakening.
Jesus, you are the ravishing Rose,
The new bud, gracious and scarlet red.
The ever-so-pure arms of your dear Mother
For for you a cradle, a royal throne,
Your sweet sun is Mary’s breast,
And your Dew is Virginal Milk!…

My Beloved, my divine little Brother,
In your gaze I see all the future.
Soon, for me, you will leave your Mother.
Already Love impels you to suffer.
But on the cross, O Full-blossomed Flower!
I recognize your morning fragrance.
I recognize Mary’s Dew.
Your divine blood is Virginal Milk!…

This Dew hides in the sanctuary.
The angels of Heaven, enraptured, contemplate it,
Offering to God their sublime prayer.
Like Saint John, they repeat: “Behold.”
Yes, behold, this Word made Host.
Eternal Priest, sacerdotal Lamb,
The Son of God is the Son of Mary.
The bread of Angels is Virginal Milk.

The seraphim feeds on glory.
In Paradise his joy is full.
Weak child that I am, I only see in the ciborium
The color and figure of Milk.
But that is the Milk a child needs,
And Jesus’ Love is beyond compare.
O tender Love! Unfathomable power,
My white Host is Virginal Milk!

SEA OF ROSARIES: OUR LADY OF THE PILLAR

Our Lady of the Pillar ©2018 Alfred Eaker

Landscape: Wheatfields (Thomas Merton)

Frown there like Cressy or like Agincourt,
You fierce and bearded shocks and sheaves
And shake your grain-spears,
And know no tremor in your vigilant
Your stern array, my summer chevaliers!

Although the wagons,
(Hear how the battle of those wheels,
Worrying the loose wood with their momentary thunder
Leaves us to guess some trestle, there, behind the sycamores.)
Although the empty wagons come,

Rise up, like kings out of the pages of a chronicle
And cry your courage in your golden beards;
For now the summer-time is half-way done,
Gliding to a dramatic crisis
Sure as the deep waters to the sedentary mill.

Arise like kings and prophets from the pages of an
ancient Bible,
And blind us with the burnish of your message in our June:
Then raise your hands and bless us
An depart, like old Melchisedech, and find your
proper Salem.

The slow hours crowd upon us.
Our days slide evenly toward the term of all our liturgy,
And all our weeks are after Pentecost.

Summer divides his garrisons,
Surrenders up his strongest forts,
Strikes all his russet banners one by one.
And while these ancient men of war
Casting us in the teeth with the reproof of their surrender
(By which their fruitfulness is all fulfilled,)
Throw down their arms.

Face we the day when we go up to stake our graces
Against unconquerable God:
Try, with our trivial increase, in that time of harvest
To stem the army of His attributes!

Oh pray us full of marrow, Queen of Heaven,
For those mills, His truth, our glory!
Crown us with alleluias on that day of fight!

(Light falls as fair as lyres, beamy between the branches,
Plays like an angel on the mill-dam, where the lazy stream
Suddenly turns to clouds of song and rain,)
Oh pray us, Lady, full of faith and graces,
Arm us with fruits against that contest and comparison,
Arm us with ripeness for the wagons of our Christ!

SEA OF ROSARIES: Black Madonna of Oropa

Black Madonna of Oropa ©2018 Alfred Eaker

Aubade-Harlem by Thomas Merton
Across the cages of the keyless aviaries,
The lines and wires, the gallows of the broken kites,
Crucify, against the fearful light,
The ragged dresses of the little children.
Soon, in the sterile jungles of the waterpipes and ladders,
The bleeding sun, a bird of prey, will terrify the poor,
These will forget the unbelievable moon.
But in the cells of whiter buildings,
Where the glass dawn is brighter than the knives of surgeons,
Paler than alcohol or ether, shinier than money,
The white men’s wives, like Pilate’s,
Cry in the peril of their frozen dreams:
“Daylight has driven iron spikes,
Into the flesh of Jesus’ hands and feet:
Four flowers of blood have nailed Him to the walls of Harlem.”
Along the white halls of the clinics and the hospitals
Pilate evaporates with a cry:
They have cut down two hundred Judases,
Hanged by the neck in the opera houses and the museum.
Across the cages of the keyless aviaries,
The lines and wires, the gallows of the broken kites,
Crucify, against the fearful light,
The ragged dresses of the little children.

SEA OF ROSARIES: Black Madonna of Tindari

Black Madonna of Tindari ©2018 Alfred Eaker

Proverbs by Thomas Merton

1. I will tell you what you can do ask me if you do not understand what I just said

2. One thing you can do be a manufacturer make appliances

3. Be a Man-u-fac-tu-rer

4. Make appliances sell them for a high price

5. I will tell you about industry make appliances

6. Make appliances that move

7. Ask me if you do not understand what is move

8. First get the facts

9. Where to apply? Ask industry

10. Do not expect to get by without Mr. and Mrs. Consumer

11. Man-u-fic-tion

12. I am wondering if you got the idea be a manu

13. MAKE FALSE GODS

14. Apply mind energy they will move

15. Mention one of the others see what happens

16. Now apply that to our problem

17. Try not to understand

18. Be a mounte-fictioner

19. Surpass all others in price and profit

20. Assail the public with lies

21. Home-spun-facts-are-more-fun repeat this

22. Prevent spreading on garments

23. Breathe more than others

24. Supply movement and traction

25. Our epidemix will exceed

26. A homemade appliance: no honorable mention

27. Now you can refer to garments and spread out

28. But there are still more facts

29. For excitement: say whose epidemic may be next

30. Apply this to the facts and see what happens

31. Wear dermal gloves in bed

32. Here is an appliance that will terrorize mothers

33. And fight the impossible

34. Man-u-fac-ture: wear it on your head

35. Beat it here come the mothers

SEA OF ROSARIES: OUR LADY OF MOUNT CARMEL (THE ASSUMPTION)

SEA OF ROSARIES: OUR LADY OF MOUNT CARMEL (THE ASSUMPTION) ©2018 Alfred Eaker

To the Blessed Virgin Mary
Of Mount Carmel

by Therese of Lisieux

A place of beauty and green serenity
Blowing breeze of coolness
Transported from the sea.
Earth’s creation finds abode in thee
With the holy hermits of Elias’ glory
This is Carmel
a mountain most heavenly.

O Virgin Mary, Queen most holy
You are our Lady inspiring many.
Your quiet life, simplicity, purity
All speak to me of Carmel’s story.

Glorious Lady, our mother too!
Who comes to us when life is blue.
In gentle stillness of your ways
You whisper softly, firmly,
“You do exactly as Jesus says.”

To be with us forever,

not to leave us ever
Her Scapular she gave us.
To those with true devotion,

a token of compassion
a garment of salvation.

As Saint Elias beheld your image
God and Father whose Spouse thou art
Behold your image in our lives and hearts.

Dear Lady of Carmel,
Virgin of our solitude,
Teach us how to please the Spirit
Show us God our only good.
To climb life’s mountain heights
In the steep ways of the spirit
Faith, hope and love

Our surest guides.

When life’s burden weighs heavy
And the journey makes me weary
Mother of Carmel, come quickly
With your mantle covering me
I will find repose in thee
Like a child asleep

with confidence
So deep.

SEA OF ROSARIES: Pieta

PIETA (2011) oil on canvas © 2011 Alfred Eaker

Death (Thomas Merton)

Where are the merchants and the money-lenders
Whose love sang in the wires between the seaports and the
inland granaries?

Is the old trader any safer than the sailor sent to drown
Crossing the world’s end in a wooden schooner?
Where are the generals who sacked the sunny cities
And burned the cattle and the grain?
Or is the politician any safer in his offices
Than a soldier shot in the eye?

Take time to tremble lest you come without reflection
To feel the furious mercies of my friendship,
(Says death) because I come as quick as intuition.

Cliffs of your hangovers were never half so dizzy as my
infinite abyss:
Flesh cannot wrestle with the waters that ire in the earth,
Nor spirit rest in icy clay!

More than the momentary night of faith, to the lost dead,
Shall be their never-ending midnight:

Yet all my power is conquered by a child’s “Hail Mary”
And all my night forever lightened by one waxen candle!

SEA OF ROSARIES: Our Lady of Akita (The Magnificat)

Our Lady Of Akita ©2018 Alfred Eaker

 Luke 1:39-56 (The Magnificat)

And Mary rising up in those days, went into the hill country with haste into a city of Juda. And she entered into the house of Zachary, and saluted Elizabeth.

And it came to pass, that when Elizabeth heard the salutation of Mary, the infant leaped in her womb. And Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Ghost: And she cried out with a loud voice, and said: Blessed art thou among women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb. And whence is this to me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me? For behold as soon as the voice of thy salutation sounded in my ears, the infant in my womb leaped for joy. And blessed art thou that hast believed, because those things shall be accomplished that were spoken to thee by the Lord.

And Mary said: My soul doth magnify the Lord. And my spirit hath rejoiced in God my Savior.Because he hath regarded the humility of his handmaid; for behold from henceforth all generations shall call me blessed. Because he that is mighty, hath done great things to me; and holy is his name. And his mercy is from generation unto generations, to them that fear him.

He hath shewed might in his arm: he hath scattered the proud in the conceit of their heart.  He hath put down the mighty from their seat, and hath exalted the humble. He hath filled the hungry with good things; and the rich he hath sent empty away. He hath received Israel his servant, being mindful of his mercy: As he spoke to our fathers, to Abraham and to his seed forever.