SEA OF ROSARIES: Black Madonna of The Candlemas

“The Candlemas Procession” (Thomas Merton) LumenAd 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 sinfulkindred. 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 willBurned and consumed us for … Continue reading SEA OF ROSARIES: Black Madonna of The Candlemas

SEA OF ROSARIES: OUR LADY OF THE PILLAR

“Landscape: Wheatfields” (Thomas Merton) Frown there like Cressy or like Agincourt,You fierce and bearded shocks and sheavesAnd shake your grain-spears,And know no tremor in your vigilantYour stern array, my summer chevaliers! Although the wagons,(Hear how the battle of those wheels,Worrying the loose wood with their momentary thunderLeaves us to guess some trestle, there, behind the sycamores.)Although the empty wagons come, Rise up, like kings out of the pages of a chronicleAnd cry your courage in your golden beards;For now the summer-time is half-way done,Gliding to a dramatic crisisSure as the deep waters to the sedentary mill. Arise like kings and … Continue reading SEA OF ROSARIES: OUR LADY OF THE PILLAR

SEA OF ROSARIES: BLACK MADONNA OF REGLA (ODE OF THE THEOTOKOS)

“Carol” (Thomas Merton) Flocks feed by darkness with a noise of whispers,In the dry grass of pastures,And lull the solemn night with their weak bells. The little towns upon the rocky hillsLook down as meek as children:Because they have seen come this holy time. God’s glory, now, is kindled gentler than low candlelightUnder the rafters of a barn:Eternal Peace is sleeping in the hay,And Wisdom’s born in secret in a straw-roofed stable. And O! Make holy music in the stars, you happy angels.You shepherds, gather on the hill.Look up, you timid flocks, where the three kingsAre coming through the wintry … Continue reading SEA OF ROSARIES: BLACK MADONNA OF REGLA (ODE OF THE THEOTOKOS)

SEA OF ROSARIES: BLACK MADONNA OF LORETO (THE CANTICLE OF MARY)

“The Messenger” (Thomas Merton) There is some sentry at the rim of winterFed with the speech the wind makesIn the grand belfries of the sleepless timber.He understands the lasting strife of tears,And the way the world is strung;He waits to warn all life with the tongue of March’sbugle,Of the coming of the warrior sun.When spring has garrisoned up her army of water,A million grasses leave their tents, and stand in rowsTo see their invincible brother.Mending the winter’s ruins with their laughter,The flowers go out to their undestructive wars. Walk in the woods and be witnesses,You, the best of these poor … Continue reading SEA OF ROSARIES: BLACK MADONNA OF LORETO (THE CANTICLE OF MARY)

SEA OF ROSARIES: THE MARRIAGE OF OUR LADY TO ST. JOSEPH

“A Christmas Card” (Thomas Merton) When the white stars talk together like sistersAnd when the winter hillsRaise their grand semblance in the freezing night,Somewhere one windowBleeds like the brown eye of an open force. Hills, stars,White stars that stand above the eastern stable. Look down and offer Him.The dim adoring light of your belief.Whose small Heart bleeds with infinite fire. Shall not this Child(When we shall hear the bells of His amazing voice)Conquer the winter of our hateful century? And when His Lady Mother leans upon the crib,Lo, with what rapiersThose two loves fence and flame their brillancy! Here in … Continue reading SEA OF ROSARIES: THE MARRIAGE OF OUR LADY TO ST. JOSEPH

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 … Continue reading SEA OF ROSARIES: Pieta

SEA OF ROSARIES: Our Lady of La Vang (Annunciation)

“La Comparsa En Oriente” (Thomas Merton) Drums of the early evening wakeThe mountain full of ore, and the canebrake.Up at Cobre tall tambores callOne who rings gangarias with a nail,One with feathers for sleeves,One whose arms are birds,One with a mouth full of great firesAnd lights instead of words. One with a tobacco leaf hatRings his drum like a bell,And brings the saints of heaven, with claves,Down from the starlit hill;A black angel beats an ass’s jawAnd (tick tick) a white the clavesWhile the sodality of the blessed virginFollow after, carrying flowers. Five angels beating bongos,Seven saints ringing their bells,Wear … Continue reading SEA OF ROSARIES: Our Lady of La Vang (Annunciation)

SEA OF ROSARIES: Our Lady of Piat (Nativity)

Our Lady of Piat (Nativity) © 2018 Alfred Eaker  Advent (Thomas Merton) Charm with your stainlessness these winter nights, Skies, and be perfect! Fly, vivider in the fiery dark, you quiet meteors, And disappear. You moon, be slow to go down, This is your full! The four white roads make off in silence Towards the four parts of the starry universe. Time falls like manna at the corners of the wintry earth. We have become more humble than the rocks, More wakeful than the patient hills. Charm with your stainlessness these nights in Advent, holy spheres, While minds, as meek … Continue reading SEA OF ROSARIES: Our Lady of Piat (Nativity)

SEA OF ROSARIES: Our Lady Of Aparecida

“Aubade: The Annunciation” (Thomas Merton) When the dim light, at Lauds, comes strike her window, Bellsong falls out of Heaven with a sound of glass. Prayers fly in the mind like larks, Thoughts hide in the height like hawks: And while the country churches tell their blessings to the distance, Her slow words move (Like summer winds the wheat) her innocent love: Desires glitter in her mind Like morning stars: Until her name is suddenly spoken Like a meteor falling. She can no longer hear shrill day Sing in the east, Nor see the lovely woods begin to toss their manes. … Continue reading SEA OF ROSARIES: Our Lady Of Aparecida

SEA OF ROSARIES: Annunciation

Annunciation (oil on canvas) © 2011 Alfred Eaker Annunciation (Thomas Merton) Ashes of paper, ashes of a world Wandering, when fire is done: We argue with the drops of rain! Until one comes Who walks unseen Even in elements we have destroyed. Deeper than any nerve He enters flesh and bone. Planting His truth, He puts our substance on. Air, earth, and rain Rework the frame that fire has ruined. What was dead is waiting for His Flame. Sparks of His Spirit spend their seeds, and hide To grow like irises, born before summertime. These blue thinas bud in Israel. The … Continue reading SEA OF ROSARIES: Annunciation

SEA OF ROSARIES: OUR LADY OF THE WOODS

OUR LADY OF THE WOODS ©1994 ALFRED EAKER Winter’s Night (Thomas Merton) When, in the dark, the frost cracks on the window The children awaken, and whisper. One says the moonlight grated like a skate Across the freezing river. Another hears the starlight breaking like a knifeblade Upon the silent, steelbright pond. They say the trees are stiller than the frozen water From waiting for a shouting light, a heavenly message. Yet it is far from Christmas, when a star Sang in the pane, as brittle as their innocence! For now the light of early Lent Glitters upon the icy … Continue reading SEA OF ROSARIES: OUR LADY OF THE WOODS

SEA OF ROSARIES: Our Lady of Sorrows

“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

SEA OF ROSARIES: Our Lady of Cobre and the dance of the scared feminine

Our Lady Of Cobre and the dance of the sacred feminine ©2018 Alfred Eaker  Song for Our Lady of Cobre (Thomas Merton) The white girls lift their heads like trees, The black girls go Reflected like flamingoes in the street. The white girls sing as shrill as water, The black girls talk as quiet as clay. The white girls open their arms like clouds, The black girls close their eyes like wings: Angels bow down like bells, Angels look up like toys, Because the heavenly stars Stand in a ring: And all the pieces of the mosaic, earth, Get up and … Continue reading SEA OF ROSARIES: Our Lady of Cobre and the dance of the scared feminine

SEA OF ROSARIES: Our Lady Of Guadalupe: A Woman Clothed In The Sun (and the Dragon of Chaos)

Our Lady of Guadalupe: A Woman Clothed In The Sun (and The Dragon of Chaos) © 2018 Alfred Eaker Duns Scotus (Thomas Merton) Striking like lightning to the quick of the real world Scotus has mined all ranges to their deepest veins: But where, oh, on what blazing mountain of theology And in what Sinai’s furnace Did God refine the gold? Who ruled those arguments in their triumphant order And armed them with their strict celestial light? See the lance-lightning, blade-gliter, banner-progress As love advances, company by company In sunlit teams his clean embattled reasons, Until the firmament, with high … Continue reading SEA OF ROSARIES: Our Lady Of Guadalupe: A Woman Clothed In The Sun (and the Dragon of Chaos)

SEA OF ROSARIES: Our Lady, Star of the Sea

Our Lady: Star of the Sea © 2018 Alfred Eaker The Blessed Virgin Mary Compared to a Window (Thomas Merton) Because my will is simple as a window And knows no pride of original birth, It is my life to die, like glass, by light: Slain in the strong rays of the bridegroom sun. Because my love is simple as a window And knows no shame of original dust, I longed all night, (when I was visible) for dawn my death: When I would marry day, my Holy Spirit: And die by transsubstantiation into light. For light, my lover, steals … Continue reading SEA OF ROSARIES: Our Lady, Star of the Sea

SEA OF ROSARIES: Our Lady of Pontmain

“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

SEA OF ROSARIES: Our Lady of Kibeho

“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

SEA OF ROSARIES: Our Lady of La Salette

“La Salette,” by Thomas Merton It is a hundred years since your shy feetVentured to stand upon the pasture grass of the highAlps, Coming no deeper in our smoky atmosphereThan these blue skies, the mountain eyesOf the two shepherd children, young as flowers,Born to be dazzled by no mortal snow. Lady, it is a hundred yearsSince those fair, terrible tearsReproved, with their amazing griefAll the proud candor of those altitudes:Crowning the flowers at your feetWith diamonds, that seized upon, transfigured intonails of lightThe rays of the mountain sun!- And by their news,(Which came with cowbells to the evening villageAnd to … Continue reading SEA OF ROSARIES: Our Lady of La Salette