Sonnet 19: When I consider how my light is spent
BY JOHN MILTON
When I consider how my light is spent,
Ere half my days, in this dark world and wide,
And that one Talent which is death to hide
Lodged with me useless, though my Soul more bent
To serve therewith my Maker, and present
My true account, lest he returning chide;
“Doth God exact day-labour, light denied?”
I fondly ask. But patience, to prevent
That murmur, soon replies, “God doth not need
Either man’s work or his own gifts; who best
Bear his mild yoke, they serve him best. His state
Is Kingly. Thousands at his bidding speed
And post o’er Land and Ocean without rest:
They also serve who only stand and wait.”
"Action and contemplation are very close companions; they live together in
one house on equal terms. Martha and Mary are sisters. "
"What we love we shall grow to resemble."
St. Bernard of Clairvaux, 12th Century
It is solved by walking. - St. Augustine
"Life is sacramental: the outward signs reveal the inward grace. The outward sign of bread and wine at this altar are what they are — real bread from the earth and wine, the fruit of the vine — and yet they are revelatory of more, of Jesus’ real presence. That sacramental principle is a template for life. The whole of life is intended to be like that: sacramental. It is what it is, and yet it is symbolic of something more, a channel of revelation." Br. Curtis Almquist SSJE
by George Herbert
Love bade me welcome. Yet my soul drew back
Guilty of dust and sin.
But quick-eyed Love, observing me grow slack
From my first entrance in,
Drew nearer to me, sweetly questioning,
If I lacked any thing.
A guest, I answered, worthy to be here:
Love said, You shall be he.
I the unkind, ungrateful? Ah my dear,
I cannot look on thee.
Love took my hand, and smiling did reply,
Who made the eyes but I?
Truth Lord, but I have marred them: let my shame
Go where it doth deserve.
And know you not, says Love, who bore the blame?
My dear, then I will serve.
You must sit down, says Love, and taste my meat:
So I did sit and eat.
Source: George Herbert and the Seventeenth-Century Religious Poets (W. W. Norton and Company, Inc., 1978)
In the dooryard fronting an old farm-house near the white-wash’d palings,
Stands the lilac-bush tall-growing with heart-shaped leaves of rich green,
With many a pointed blossom rising delicate, with the perfume strong I love,
With every leaf a miracle—and from this bush in the dooryard,
With delicate-color’d blossoms and heart-shaped leaves of rich green,
A sprig with its flower I break.
"If I have noticed anything remarkable, it is that the extraordinary lies within the ordinary. Go but a step beneath, beyond , the common experience and you find the uncommon. In the secular, you come upon the sacred. The finite is of a piece with infinity." - Abbie Graham
How Far Is It To Bethlehem?