Saturday, August 26, 2006

The Little Way

Check out this website devoted to St. Therese of Lisieux and Carmelite spirituality:, run by a catholic bookstore in Salinas California called Corpus Christi Book+Store (also an associated blog).

Friday, August 25, 2006

The Testament of King St. Louis IX

... From a spiritual testament by King Saint Louis IX to his son, courtesy of Canterbury Tales.
My dearest son, my first instruction is that you should love the Lord your God with all your heart and all your strength. Without this there is no salvation. Keep yourself, my son, from everything that you know displeases God, that is to say, from every mortal sin. You should permit yourself to be tormented by every kind of martyrdom before you would allow yourself to commit a mortal sin.

If the Lord has permitted you to have some trial, bear it willingly and with gratitude, considering that it has happened for your good and that perhaps you well deserved it. If the Lord bestows upon you any kind of prosperity, thank him humbly and see that you become no worse for it, either though vain pride or anything else, because you ought not to oppose God or offend him in the matter of his gifts.

Be kindhearted to the poor, the unfortunate and the afflicted. Give them as much help and consolation oas you can. Thank God for all the benefits he has bestowed upon you, that you may be worthy to receive greater. Always side with the poor rather than with the rich, until you are certain of the truth.

Be devout and obedient to our mother the Church of Rome and the Supreme Pontiff as your spiritual father.

In conclusion, dearest son, I give you every blessing that a loving father can give a sons. May the three Persons of the Holy Trinity and all the saints protect you from every evil. And may the Lord give you the grace to do his will so that he may be served and honored through you, that in the next life we may together come to see him, love him and praise him unceasingly. Amen.

Thursday, August 24, 2006


by Edgar Degas

I don't know what it is about this painting that fascinates me... perhaps its the woman's melancholy expression, or the full glass of cloudy absinthe sitting in front of her.

From Wikipedia:
Painted in 1876, it depicts two figures, a woman and man, who sit in the center and right of this painting, respectively. The man, wearing a hat, looks right, off the canvas, while the woman, dressed formally and also wearing a hat, stares vacantly downward. A glass filled with the titular greenish liquid, absinthe, sits before her. The woman in the painting is the actress Ellen Andrée, the man Marcellin Desboutin, painter, engraver and, at the same time, celebrated Bohemian character. The café where they are taking their refreshment is the Café de la Nouvelle-Athènes in Paris. n its first showing in 1876 it was panned by critics, who called it ugly and disgusting. It was put into storage until an 1892 exhibit where it was booed off the easel.

It was shown again in 1893 in England, this time titled "L'Absinthe" where it sparked controversy. The persons represented in the painting were considered by English critics to be shockingly degraded and uncouth...
Queenship of the Blessed Virgin Mary (belated)

Rerum Supremo in Vertice...
You are given your place,
O Virgin, O Queen,
at creation's highest point;
enriched abundantly are you
with beauty of every kind.

Amidst all the rest of created things
you shine forth
as the finest of God's works,
for it was your destiny to bear a Son:
a Son, but also the very One who created you.

Just as Christ was king,
purpled, blood-stained
on that exalted tree,
so are you, sharer in his suffering,
the mother of all who live.

Adorned with praises so high,
look upon us who rejoice in you;
in your joy, accept the proclaiming song
that we pour forth gladly unto you.

To the Father, and to the Advocate blest,
and to the Son be great glory given;
they have enclothed you
with a garment of grace
most wondrous to behold.
Regina Caeli, ora pro nobis...


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