The Greatest Conquest

A Christmas gift I treasure greatly was a small, used paperback book of the verses of St. John of the Cross, translated by Roy Campbell.  I did not want to post on these verses until I’d been able to read and think on them all, but the surprising interest in yesterday’s post has led me to share this one. I hope it is not precipitate of me.

With a most unpoetic title – “Other verses with a divine meaning” (Otras del mistro a la divina), St. John of the Cross writes of the spiritual quest:

Other verses with a divine meaning

by St. John of the Cross,
translated by Roy Campbell

Not without hope did I ascend
Upon an amorous quest to fly
And up I soared, so high, so high,
I seized my quarry in the end.

As on this falcon quest I flew
To chase a quarry so divine,
I had to soar so high and fine
That soon I lost myself from view,
With loss of strength my plight was sorry
From straining on so steep a course.
But love sustained me with such force
That in the end I seized my quarry.

The more I rose into the height
More dazzled, blind and lost I spun.
The greatest conquest ever won
I won in blindness, like the night.
Because love urged me on my way
I gave that mad, blind, reckless leap
That soared me up so high and steep
That in the end I seized my prey.

The steeper upward that I flew
On so vertiginous a quest
The humbler and more lowly grew
My spirit, fainting in my breast.
I said ‘None yet can find the way’
But as my spirit bowed more low,
Higher and higher did I go
Til in the end I seized my prey.

By such strange means did I sustain
A thousand starry nights in one,
Since hope of Heaven yet by none
Was ever truly hoped in vain.
Only by hope I won my way
Nor did my hope my aim belie,
Since I soared up, so high, so high,
That in the end, I seized my prey.

From “The Poems of St. John of the Cross” translated by Roy Campbell, published by  Grosset & Dunlap,  Universal Library Edition, 1967, NY. There is another excellent edition by E. Allison Peers as well.

by peregrine for love of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, December 30, 2017.

Mary, Temple of the Trinity

From our archives.  we offer for this Advent a poem composed originally for the Feast of the Annunciation, but also apt for this season in which we anticipate the coming of the Savior of the world, born of the Virgin Mary in abject poverty, ignored by the powerful, disdained even by His own, who were unable to find room for Him in their busy, self- important lives.

But the shepherds came and adored Him. After two millennia, what shepherds will come? Who will adore?

The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the most High shall overshadow thee. And therefore also the Holy which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God.
The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the most High shall overshadow thee. And therefore also the Holy which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God.

 

                 Annunciation

Hail Mary, Temple of the Trinity!

        Hail, full of grace, the Lord is with thee,

Art thou astonished at His deference?

Fear not, for thou hast found grace with God.
             Thou shalt conceive … and bring forth a Son
                               Thou shalt call His name Jesus.

How shall it be?
          (Mindful of thy chastity)

And yet . . . it is thy purity draws Him down
Captivated by thy pure and humble love
                Thy Creator awaits at the door of thy will,

The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee
          . . .  the most High shall overshadow thee . . .
                        the Holy born of thee shall be called the Son of God.

His will is clear
          . . . moved by His will alone . . .

Behold the handmaid of the Lord
Be it done unto me…

The Architect of earth and heaven
                    Thus closed Himself in thy pure frame.
At thy “fiat” the Almighty Word
               leapt down from heaven
                              The Sword of Truth wrought death to death,
Obedient, He vanquished disobedient pride.

And the Word was made flesh and dwelt among us,

peregrine, March 25, 2004


Vouchsafe that I may praise thee, O Sacred Virgin! Give me strength against thine enemies!

© All Content Copyright 2013-2017 ReturntoFatima.org. All Rights Reserved.

St. Teresa of Avila, 2017

Today we honor St. Teresa of Avila, one of the greatest saints, yet, like St. Joseph, to whom she was devoted, one of the most approachable saints. Like all our greatest saints, ,we often find in her writings and life, wisdom to help us understand the challenges we face; though centuries pass, her words ring just as clear today, her wisdom fresh and appropriate as always.Plus, we close with a poem St. Teresa wrote that is quite lovely.

Lord, I am Thine, for I was born for Thee! Reveal what is it Thou dost ask of me.
Lord, I am Thine, for I was born for Thee!
Reveal what is it Thou dost ask of me.

 

In her work, The Way of Perfection, she discusses the ‘Our Father’, Our Lord’s own prayer. She especially recommends it as part of thanksgiving after Communion. In Chapter 35, St. Teresa remarks on the evils of the protestant attacks on the Blessed Sacrament and the Mass that were even then occurring.   As you read this, consider what her response would be to Pope Bergoglio’s enthronement of Luther in the Vatican in our times.   One portion of her commentary strikes us as most appropriate to these times in which we suffer with Christ the Passion of His Church. St. Teresa, remarking of the Lord’s Prayer,

“Let us rely on Our Lord’s command to us to pray to Him, and in fulfillment of our obedience to Him, let us beseech His Majesty, in the name of the good Jesus, … that He prevent Him from being so ill-treated. Since His Holy Son has given us this excellent way in which we can offer Him up frequently as a sacrifice, let’s make use of this precious gift so that it may stay the advance of such terrible evil and irreverence as is paid in many places to this Most Holy Sacrament.

For as those Lutherans seem to want to drive Him out of the world again: they destroy churches, cause the loss of many priests and abolish the sacraments. And there is something of this even among Christians, who sometimes go to church meaning to offend Him rather than to worship Him.”

She then goes on to importune the Heavenly Father to spare Our Lord the offenses He suffers against His Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, begging Him, although she is unworthy,

“Indeed, it may perhaps be for my sins, and because I have so greatly offended Thee, that so many evils come. What then can I do, my Creator, but present to Thee this most Holy Bread which, though Thou gavest it to us, I return to Thee, beseeching Thee, by the merits of Thy Son, to grant me this favor, which on so many counts, He has merited. Do Thou, Lord, calm this sea, and no longer allow this ship, which is Thy Church, to endure so great a tempest. Save us, my Lord, for we perish.” (Way of Perfection, p. 234-236).

It is as if she was anticipating the Angel of Fatima’s Prayer,  isn’t it?

Here in closing, is a poem of hers that recently came to our attention, thanks to Rorate Caeli:

Continue reading “St. Teresa of Avila, 2017”

To Mary, Temple of the Trinity, 2017

The time of this Novena has been an especially painful one for me as I have watched in increasing perplexity the unfolding drama of the “regularization” dialogue with apostate Rome. Our Heavenly Father, in His wisdom, in place of a brilliant mind, gave me instead a heart filled with love for Him. With my limitations, this situation presents itself to me in very simple, clear terms:

Does Pope Francis, in any way, show us his love of, reverence for, Our Lord Jesus Christ and the Church he founded? Does he show us, teach us his flock, love for, reverence for, Our Lord’s Mother, the Blessed Virgin Mary?

If Pope Francis does not, then he is no friend, no follower of Jesus Christ, our Savior and the true Head of the One True Church founded by Him.  If therefore, Pope Francis is no friend of Our Lord Jesus Christ, why is Bishop Fellay associating himself with him? We are not to associate ourselves with those who betray Christ, are we? 

In my pain, I tend to forget, and so I remind myself, and you too, that when we have prayed so profoundly to Our Most Blessed Mother, we must then let go of our burden and trust in her love for us, her children. For it would be an insult to her to continue to be in anguish once we have entrusted our cares to her. And so, let us end our Novena of the Annunciation with this meditative poem celebrating the grandeur of the Word made flesh, that dwells among us and comes to us daily through the consecrated hands of our beloved priests.

†  †  †

Today, the eve of the Feast of the Annunciation, we conclude our Novena. And again we offer the popular poem for the Annunciation shared with us by Peregrine, a reader/contributor.

“The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the most High shall overshadow thee. And therefore also the Holy which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God.”

 

                 Annunciation

Hail Mary, Temple of the Trinity!

        Hail, full of grace, the Lord is with thee,

Art thou astonished at His deference?

Fear not, for thou hast found grace with God.
             Thou shalt conceive … and bring forth a Son
                               Thou shalt call His name Jesus.

How shall it be?
          (Mindful of thy chastity)

And yet . . . it is thy purity draws Him down
Captivated by thy pure and humble love
                Thy Creator awaits at the door of thy will,

The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee
          . . .  the most High shall overshadow thee . . .
                        the Holy born of thee shall be called the Son of God.

His will is clear
          . . . moved by His will alone . . .

Behold the handmaid of the Lord
Be it done unto me…

The Architect of earth and heaven
                    Thus closed Himself in thy pure frame.
At thy “fiat” the Almighty Word
               leapt down from heaven
                              The Sword of Truth wrought death to death,
Obedient, He vanquished disobedient pride.

And the Word was made flesh and dwelt among us,

peregrine, March 25, 2004

Let us hold fast to the truth: we are her children after all!

  Our Lady of Fatima, Queen of the Most Holy Rosary, crush satan’s head and drive him from the Church!

  Immaculate Heart of Mary, Queen of our hearts, Mother of the Church, do thou offer to the Eternal Father the Precious Blood of Our Lord Jesus Christ, for the conversion of poor sinners, especially our Pontiff.

  St. Joseph, protect our families, protect our priests!

  St. Michael the Archangel, defend us in battle!

  Pray the Rosary and confound the devil and those who serve him!

~ posted by evensong with love the Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart of Mary and the Sacred Heart of Jesus Christ, King.

Vouchsafe that I may praise thee, O Sacred Virgin, give me strength against thine enemies!

Please note: This post, and the poem, are property of peregrine, a friend of Fatima. Please respect her wishes and do not copy her work elsewhere without permission. Thank you.

Mary, Temple of the Trinity

Today, the eve of the Feast of the Annunciation,  we conclude our Novena. And again we share the popular poem for the Annunciation shared with us by Peregrine, a reader/contributor.

The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the most High shall overshadow thee. And therefore also the Holy which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God.

 

 

                 Annunciation

Hail Mary, Temple of the Trinity!

        Hail, full of grace, the Lord is with thee,

Art thou astonished at His deference?

Fear not, for thou hast found grace with God.
             Thou shalt conceive … and bring forth a Son
                               Thou shalt call His name Jesus.

How shall it be?
          (Mindful of thy chastity)

And yet . . . it is thy purity draws Him down
Captivated by thy pure and humble love
                Thy Creator awaits at the door of thy will,

The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee
          . . .  the most High shall overshadow thee . . .
                        the Holy born of thee shall be called the Son of God.

His will is clear
          . . . moved by His will alone . . .

Behold the handmaid of the Lord
          Be it done unto me…

The Architect of earth and heaven
                    Thus closed Himself in thy pure frame.
At thy “fiat” the Almighty Word
               leapt down from heaven
                              The Sword of Truth wrought death to death,
Obedient, He vanquished disobedient pride.

And the Word was made flesh and dwelt among us,

peregrine, March 25, 2004

Please note: This post, and the poem, are property of peregrine, a friend of Fatima. Please respect her wishes and do not copy her work elsewhere without permission. Thank you.

St. Teresa of Avila, Saint for the Post-Synod Church

Today we honor St. Teresa of Avila, one of the greatest saints, yet, like St. Joseph, to whom she was devoted, one of the most approachable saints. Like all our greatest saints,we often find in her writings and life, wisdom to help us understand the challenges we face; though centuries pass, her words ring just as clear today, her wisdom fresh and appropriate as always.

Lord, I am Thine, for I was born for Thee! Reveal what is it Thou dost ask of me.
Lord, I am Thine, for I was born for Thee!
Reveal what is it Thou dost ask of me.

In her work, The Way of Perfection, she discusses the ‘Our Father’, Our Lord’s own prayer. She especially recommends it as part of thanksgiving after Communion. In Chapter 35, St. Teresa remarks on the evils of the protestant attacks on the Blessed Sacrament and the Mass that were even then occurring. One portion of this strikes us as most appropriate to these times in which we suffer with Christ the Passion of His Church. St. Teresa, remarking of the Lord’s Prayer,

“Let us rely on Our Lord’s command to us to pray to Him, and in fulfillment of our obedience to Him, let us beseech His Majesty, in the name of the good Jesus, … that He prevent Him from being so ill-treated. Since His Holy Son has given us this excellent way in which we can offer Him up frequently as a sacrifice, let’s make use of this precious gift so that it may stay the advance of such terrible evil and irreverence as is paid in many places to this Most Holy Sacrament.

For as those Lutherans seem to want to drive Him out of the world again: they destroy churches, cause the loss of many priests and abolish the sacraments. And there is something of this even among Christians, who sometimes go to church meaning to offend Him rather than to worship Him.”

She then goes on to importune the Heavenly Father to spare Our Lord the offenses He suffers against His Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, begging Him, although she is unworthy,

“indeed, it may perhaps be for my sins, and because I have so greatly offended Thee, that so many evils come. What then can I do, my Creator, but present to Thee this most Holy Bread which, though Thou gavest it to us, I return to Thee, beseeching Thee, by the merits of Thy Son, to grant me this favor, which on so many counts, He has merited. Do Thou, Lord, calm this sea, and no longer allow this ship, which is Thy Church, to endure so great a tempest. Save us, my Lord, for we perish.” (Way of Perfection, p. 234-236).

It is as if she was anticipating the St. Michael’s Prayer at Fatima, isn’t it?

Here in closing, is a poem of hers that recently came to our attention, thanks to Rorate Caeli:

Lord, I am Thine, for I was born for Thee!

Lord, I am Thine, for I was born for Thee!
Reveal what is it Thou dost ask of me.
O sovereign Lord, of majesty supreme!
O Wisdom, that existed from all time!
Bounty, showing pity on my soul!
God, one sole Being, merciful, sublime.
Behold this basest of created things.
As thus, with hardihood its love it sings.
And tell me, Lord, what Thou dost ask of me!

Lo, I am Thine ! Thou hast created me.
And I am Thine, Thou hast redeemed me.
And I am Thine, for Thou dost bear with me.
And Thine, for Thou hast called me to Thee,
And Thine, Who dost preserve me at Thy cost
Nor leavest me to perish ‘mid the lost
Say what it is, Lord, Thou dost will of me.

Declare what dost decree, O Master kind!
If serf so vile have any fitting task,
And tell what office by Thy will ordained
Is work that from so base a slave dost ask!
Behold, sweet Love, I wait for Thy command,
Behold me. Lord, before Whose face I stand!
Do Thou reveal what Thou dost will of me?

Behold my heart, which here I bring, and in
Thine hand as glad entire free-offering lay,
Together with my body, life, and soul,
The love, the longings that my being sway!
To Thee, Redeemer and most gentle Spouse,
In willing holocaust I pledge my vows.
What is there. Lord, that I may do for Thee?

Bestow long life, or straightway bid me die;
Let health be mine, or pain and sickness send,
With honour or dishonour ; be my path
Beset by war, or peaceful till the end.
My strength or weakness be as Thou shalt choose.
For naught Thou askest shall I e’er refuse,
I only wish what Thou wilt have of me.

Assign me riches, keep in poverty,
And let me cherished or neglected dwell,
In joy or mourning as Thou wilt, upraised
To highest heaven, or hurled down to hell!
Whether the sky be bright, from cloudlets free,
It matters not, I leave the choice to Thee,
What lot, Lord, wilt Thou decide for me?

Give contemplation if Thou wilt, or let
My lonely soul in dryness ever pine;
Abundance and devotion be the gift
Thou choosest, or a sterile soul be mine!
Majesty supreme, in naught apart
From Thy decree can I find peace of heart!
Say what it is, Lord, Thou dost wish of me?

Lord, give me wisdom, or, if love demand.
Leave me in ignorance ; it matters naught
If mine be years of plenty, or beset
With famine direful and with parching drought!
Be darkness over all or daylight clear.
Despatch me hither, keep me stationed here,
Say what it is, Lord, Thou wilt have of me?

If Thou shouldst destine me for happiness,
For Love’s sake, joy and happiness I greet;
Bid me endure and labour till I die.
Resigned, in work and pain my death I’ll meet,
Reveal the how, the where, the when; for this
Is the sole boon, O Love, I crave of Thee,
That thou declare what Thou wouldst have of me!

Let Calvary or Thabor be my fate,
A desert or a fertile land of rest;
Like Job, in sorrow let me mourning weep,
Or lie, like John, in peace upon Thy breast;
Bear fruit and flourish, or, a withered vine
I’ll perish fruitless, so the choice be Thine!
Reveal, O Lord, what Thou dost ask of me!

Like Joseph as he lay in shackles bound.
Or holding over Egypt first command;
David chastised, atoning for his sins,
Or David crowned as ruler o’er the land;
With Jonas struggling, ‘mid the raging sea
Submerged, or set from ills and tempests free
Declare, O Lord, what Thou wilt have of me!

Then bid me speak or bid me silence keep,
Make me a fecund or a barren land;
Expose my wounds by the stern Law’s decree
Or comfort me by Gospel message bland.
Let me in torture lie or comfort give,
I crave alone that Thou within me live,
And shouldst reveal what Thou wilt have of me!

Lord, I am Thine, for I was born for Thee!
Reveal what is it Thou dost ask of me.

~ evensong ~

St. Teresa of Avila – 500th Anniversary

Today, 28 March, 2015, we celebrate the 500th anniversary of the birth of St. Teresa of Avila. She is one of the most approachable saints and her writings of centuries ago are remarkably apt for today.

"Lord, calm this sea, no longer allow this ship, which is Thy Church, to endure so great a tempest. Save us O Lord, for we perish!"
“Lord, calm this sea, no longer allow this ship, which is Thy Church, to endure so great a tempest. Save us O Lord, for we perish!”

In her work, The Way of Perfection, she discusses the ‘Our Father’, Our Lord’s own prayer. She especially recommends it as part of thanksgiving after Communion. In Chapter 35, St. Teresa  remarks on the evils of the protestant attacks on the Blessed Sacrament and the Mass that were even then occurring. One portion of this strikes us as most appropriate to these times in which we suffer with Christ the Passion of His Church. St. Teresa, remarking of the Lord’s Prayer,

“Let us rely on Our Lord’s command to us to pray to Him, and in fulfillment of our obedience to Him, let us beseech His Majesty, in the name of the good Jesus, … that He prevent Him from being so ill-treated. Since His Holy Son has given us this excellent way in which we can offer Him up frequently as a sacrifice, let’s make use of this precious gift so that it may stay the advance of such terrible evil and irreverence as is paid in many places to this Most Holy Sacrament.

For as those Lutherans seem to want to drive Him out of the world again: they destroy churches, cause the loss of many priests and abolish the sacraments. And there is something of this even among Christians, who sometimes go to church meaning to offend Him rather than to worship Him.”

She then goes on to importune the Heavenly Father to spare Our Lord the offenses He suffers against His Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, begging Him, although she is unworthy,

“indeed, it may perhaps be for my sins, and because I have so greatly offended Thee, that so many evils come. What then can I do, my Creator, but present to Thee this most Holy Bread which, though Thou gavest it to us, I return to Thee, beseeching Thee, by the merits of Thy Son, to grant me this favor, which on so many counts, He has merited. Do Thou, Lord, calm this sea, and no longer allow this ship, which is Thy Church, to endure so great a tempest. Save us, my Lord, for we perish.” (Way of Perfection, p. 234-236).

It is as if she was anticipating the Forgotten Prayer of Fatima, isn’t it?

Here in closing, is a poem of hers that recently came to our attention, thanks to Rorate Caeli:

Lord, I am Thine, for I was born for Thee!

Lord, I am Thine, for I was born for Thee!
Reveal what is it Thou dost ask of me.
O sovereign Lord, of majesty supreme!
O Wisdom, that existed from all time!
Bounty, showing pity on my soul!
God, one sole Being, merciful, sublime.
Behold this basest of created things.
As thus, with hardihood its love it sings.
And tell me, Lord, what Thou dost ask of me!

Lo, I am Thine ! Thou hast created me.
And I am Thine, Thou hast redeemed me.
And I am Thine, for Thou dost bear with me.
And Thine, for Thou hast called me to Thee,
And Thine, Who dost preserve me at Thy cost
Nor leavest me to perish ‘mid the lost
Say what it is, Lord, Thou dost will of me.

Declare what dost decree, O Master kind!
If serf so vile have any fitting task,
And tell what office by Thy will ordained
Is work that from so base a slave dost ask!
Behold, sweet Love, I wait for Thy command,
Behold me. Lord, before Whose face I stand!
Do Thou reveal what Thou dost will of me?

Behold my heart, which here I bring, and in
Thine hand as glad entire free-offering lay,
Together with my body, life, and soul,
The love, the longings that my being sway!
To Thee, Redeemer and most gentle Spouse,
In willing holocaust I pledge my vows.
What is there. Lord, that I may do for Thee?

Bestow long life, or straightway bid me die;
Let health be mine, or pain and sickness send,
With honour or dishonour ; be my path
Beset by war, or peaceful till the end.
My strength or weakness be as Thou shalt choose.
For naught Thou askest shall I e’er refuse,
I only wish what Thou wilt have of me.

Assign me riches, keep in poverty,
And let me cherished or neglected dwell,
In joy or mourning as Thou wilt, upraised
To highest heaven, or hurled down to hell!
Whether the sky be bright, from cloudlets free,
It matters not, I leave the choice to Thee,
What lot, Lord, wilt Thou decide for me?

Give contemplation if Thou wilt, or let
My lonely soul in dryness ever pine;
Abundance and devotion be the gift
Thou choosest, or a sterile soul be mine!
Majesty supreme, in naught apart
From Thy decree can I find peace of heart!
Say what it is, Lord, Thou dost wish of me?

Lord, give me wisdom, or, if love demand.
Leave me in ignorance ; it matters naught
If mine be years of plenty, or beset
With famine direful and with parching drought!
Be darkness over all or daylight clear.
Despatch me hither, keep me stationed here,
Say what it is, Lord, Thou wilt have of me?

If Thou shouldst destine me for happiness,
For Love’s sake, joy and happiness I greet;
Bid me endure and labour till I die.
Resigned, in work and pain my death I’ll meet,
Reveal the how, the where, the when; for this
Is the sole boon, O Love, I crave of Thee,
That thou declare what Thou wouldst have of me!

Let Calvary or Thabor be my fate,
A desert or a fertile land of rest;
Like Job, in sorrow let me mourning weep,
Or lie, like John, in peace upon Thy breast;
Bear fruit and flourish, or, a withered vine
I’ll perish fruitless, so the choice be Thine!
Reveal, O Lord, what Thou dost ask of me!

Like Joseph as he lay in shackles bound.
Or holding over Egypt first command;
David chastised, atoning for his sins,
Or David crowned as ruler o’er the land;
With Jonas struggling, ‘mid the raging sea
Submerged, or set from ills and tempests free
Declare, O Lord, what Thou wilt have of me!

Then bid me speak or bid me silence keep,
Make me a fecund or a barren land;
Expose my wounds by the stern Law’s decree
Or comfort me by Gospel message bland.
Let me in torture lie or comfort give,
I crave alone that Thou within me live,
And shouldst reveal what Thou wilt have of me!

Lord, I am Thine, for I was born for Thee!
Reveal what is it Thou dost ask of me.

For our latest post on St. Teresa of Avila and her opinions on the Bergoglian Reformation, please see:

St. Teresa of Avila, 2016.

Thank you so much for reading!

Immaculate Heart of Mary, Queen of our hearts, Mother of the Church, do thou offer to the Eternal Father the Precious Blood of Our Lord Jesus Christ, for the conversion of poor sinners, especially our Pontiff.
St. Teresa of Avila, pray for us! Pray for the Pope!
Remember, pray the Rosary and confound satan and all who serve him.

~ by evensong, for love of the Immaculate Heart of Mary.
Vouchsafe that I may praise thee, O Sacred Virgin. Give me strength against thine enemies.