Sunday, March 1, 2015

In the Faith of the Living



'The death of the martyrs blossoms in the faith of the living.'

Pope St. Gregory I




Painting: John Marshall Gamble

Saturday, February 28, 2015

When the Moment Comes


'The world today is tearing up the photographs of a good society, a good family, a happy, individual personal life. But the Church is keeping the negatives. And when the moment comes when the world wants a reprint, we will have them.' 

Archbishop Fulton Sheen


Painting: Lovis Corinth 

Friday, February 27, 2015

This Name is Medicine


'Does one of us feel sad? Let the Name of Jesus come into his heart...  and where is the man who, terrified and trembling before impending peril, has not been suddenly filled with courage and rid of fear by calling on the strength of that Name? Where is the man who, tossed on the rolling seas of doubt, did not quickly find certitude by recourse to the clarity of Jesus' Name? Was ever a man so discouraged, so beaten down by afflictions, to whom the sound of this Name did not bring new resolve? In short, for all the ills and disorders to which flesh is heir, this Name is medicine.'


St. Bernard of Clairvaux

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Until it Sings

'Lord! The hurt Thou sendest me,
    help me to bear
in silence; nor let others see
    how sad I fare.
Help me to keep it just for Thee,
    to clip its wings
and guard it close within my breast
    until it sings.'

from "Listening to the Indwelling Presence,"
compiled by a Religious, Pellegrini, Australia, 1940, p. 110 





 

Painting: Chaplin, A Beauty with Doves

Monday, February 23, 2015

Ever After


Once upon a time, I was a child who loved fairy tales.  I loved seeing goodness and truth triumph over evil villains.  Happily ever after, that was the expected end.  And so it was.  And so it always was. 

Snow White was a favorite.  Oh, such a story!  The wicked queen enticed Snow White with an apple.  In her guise of a pitiable old lady, the wicked one held forth the fruit, and she lied. What harm, after all, was a lie?  It was nothing in the mouth of one who had a jealous, murderous heart. 

One bite of the apple was all it took; just one little bite. Snow White fell lifeless, and was laid to rest by her mourning friends.

Enter the prince. One kiss from him and lo, she awoke. She was kissed awake by love.  

Many years after being a child reading fairy stories, I'm of the opinion that these are more than simply tales. More, even, than 'this-world-centered morality tales.'  After all, where do we find Ever After in this world?   We can find commitment, and self-sacrifice, and heroism, and lasting marriage.  But even sacramental marriage vows end with 'till death do us part.'  No matter how much a man loves his wife, once she has passed from this life, he cannot kiss her alive.

Enter the Savior.  Not because someone dreamed Him up in order to make of this life a fairy tale; I'm convinced the truth is just the opposite.  Writers of fairy tales and legends knew/know in their hearts that this was how the real story is meant to be.

'The Lord God ... instructed him, saying: 'From every tree of Paradise, you shall eat.  But from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, you shall not eat. For in whatever day you will eat from it, you will die.'  (Genesis)


'The serpent said to the woman: By no means will you die.  For God knows that, on whatever day you will eat from it, your eyes will be opened; and you will be like gods.... ' (Genesis)

'For God so loved the world that He gave His only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but shall have eternal life.'  (John 3:16)

'Let Him kiss me with the kisses of His mouth...' (Song of Songs 1:2)

'Eye has not seen, ear has not heard, nor has it so much as dawned on man what God has prepared for those who love Him.'  (1 Corinthians 2:9)

'I saw new heavens and a new earth... I also saw a new Jerusalem, the holy city, coming down out of heaven from God, beautiful as a bride prepared to meet her husband.... He shall dwell with them and they shall be His people and He shall be their God who is always with them.  He shall wipe every tear from their eyes, and there shall be no more death or mourning, crying out or pain...'  (Revelation 21) 


And so it is.  And so it always is.

And we shall live happily ever after.  

(This is an edited repost from It's Only Write, 2014)

Painting: Duncan, 1915, Sleeping Princess




Saturday, February 21, 2015

We Need Fear No Evil

'When we have once placed ourselves 
in the hands of God, we need fear no evil. 
If adversity comes, He knows how to turn it to our advantage, through means which will in time be made clear to us.' 

St. Vincent de Paul












Painting: George Hitchcock, Dutch Girl Before a Daffodil Field

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

To Cling to What is True

'Christian abnegation
is not composed
completely of renunciation; 
it leads to something
tangible and definite.
We abandon what is false 
to cling to what is true. 
We empty our hearts
of earthly things 
to make room for eternal. 
We lose our selves 
to gain Christ.'

Father William Doyle

















Painting: Jules-Joseph Lefebvre

Monday, February 16, 2015

From Somewhere Else

'The false optimism, the modern happiness, tires us because it tells us we fit into this world. The true happiness is that we don't fit. We come from somewhere else.'

G.K. Chesterton












Painting: Edward Austin Abbey, In the Choir

Sunday, February 15, 2015

Would You Like to be a Mere Sketch?

'You complain because the same trials 
are constantly returning. 
But look here, what have you to fear? 
Are you afraid of the Divine Craftsman 
Who wants to perfect 
His masterpiece in this way? 
Would you like to come from the hands 
of such a magnificent Artist 
as a mere sketch and no more?'

St. Padre Pio



Thursday, February 12, 2015

We Can Make it a Day of Loving God



"To make an act of love requires but a few seconds.


 




 








"We can make these acts at any hour, we can multiply them, and how wonderful is their effect!...



"Who would 
not, during the day, 
multiply acts of love?  

 













"You who are reading this, pause a minute and say 'My God, I love You!  My God, I love You!'" (Father William Doyle)




Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Wake Up the Universe!



'The whole world is asleep, and God, so full of goodness, 
so great, so worthy of all praise - no one is thinking of Him! 
See, nature praises Him, 
and man ... who ought to praise Him, sleeps!  
Let us go and wake up the universe... and sing His praises.'

Blesssed Mariam Baourdy



Painting: Farquharson Joseph, Southland Hills, in US public domain due to age


Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Soulful Cooperation


'There is no greater joy on earth than to be chosen by our Lord
to co-operate with Him in the sanctification of souls.'

Dom Marmion



Painting: Shannon, in US public domain due to age

Sunday, February 8, 2015

Then We Need Not Worry


'Let us place our confidence in God and set ourselves in complete dependence upon His Providence. Then we need not worry about what others say of us or do to us, for it will all turn out to our advantage.'

St. Vincent de Paul


Painting: Anton Laupheimer Schreibender, Mönch

Thursday, February 5, 2015

Where Have all the Stories Gone? Gone to Memoirs, Every One.


Confession:  I have been writing (true) stories that are not on this blog.

A few weeks ago, I pointed those kind persons who'd asked "where have all the stories gone?" toward a new page right here on the Breadbox Letters. But in case anyone is interested in more current scribbles, you can check out my blog It's Only Write.

Well.  I say "more current." But the truth is, some of these are about events that happened years ago. Like a little old gently maturing lady penning her memoirs, I'm looking over events, old and new, and setting some down on paper. Or at least on screen.

No RSVP required.


Painting: Haynes King



Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Nothing is Too Small



'Try to remember that nothing is too small to offer to Him - that is, the tiniest act of self-conquest is of immense value in his eyes, and even lifting one's eyes as an act of love brings great grace.' (Father William Doyle)



Painting: George Dunlop Leslie