Sunday, January 20, 2008

Wendell Berry, "Manifesto: The Mad Farmer Liberation Front"

Love the quick profit, the annual raise,
vacation with pay. Want more
of everything ready-made. Be afraid
to know your neighbors and to die.
And you will have a window in your head.
Not even your future will be a mystery
any more. Your mind will be punched in a card
and shut away in a little drawer.
When they want you to buy something
they will call you. When they want you
to die for profit they will let you know.

So, friends, every day do something
that won’t compute. Love the Lord.
Love the world. Work for nothing.
Take all that you have and be poor.
Love someone who does not deserve it.
Denounce the government and embrace
the flag. Hope to live in that free
republic for which it stands.
Give your approval to all you cannot
understand. Praise ignorance, for what man
has not encountered he has not destroyed.

Ask the questions that have no answers.
Invest in the millenium. Plant sequoias.
Say that your main crop is the forest
that you did not plant,
that you will not live to harvest.
Say that the leaves are harvested
when they have rotted into the mold.
Call that profit. Prophesy such returns.

Put your faith in the two inches of humus
that will build under the trees
every thousand years.
Listen to carrion - put your ear
close, and hear the faint chattering
of the songs that are to come.
Expect the end of the world. Laugh.
Laughter is immeasurable. Be joyful
though you have considered all the facts.
So long as women do not go cheap
for power, please women more than men.
Ask yourself: Will this satisfy
a woman satisfied to bear a child?
Will this disturb the sleep
of a woman near to giving birth?

Go with your love to the fields.
Lie down in the shade. Rest your head
in her lap. Swear allegiance
to what is nighest your thoughts.
As soon as the generals and the politicos
can predict the motions of your mind,
lose it. Leave it as a sign
to mark the false trail, the way
you didn’t go. Be like the fox
who makes more tracks than necessary,
some in the wrong direction.
Practice resurrection.

from "The Country of Marriage"
by Wendell Berry

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Oscar Wilde, "The Life of Christ"

The whole life of Christ - so entirely may sorrow and beauty be made one in their meaning and manifestation - is really an idyll, though it ends with the veil of the temple being rent, and the darkness coming over the face of the earth, and the stone rolled to the door of the sepulchre. One always thinks of him as a young bridegroom with his companions, as indeed he somewhere describes himself; as a shepherd straying through a valley with his sheep in search of green meadow or cool stream; as a singer trying to build out of the music the walls of the City of God; or as a lover for whose love the whole world was too small. His miracles seem to me to be as exquisite as the coming of spring, and quite as natural. I see no difficulty at all in believing that such was the charm of his personality that his mere presence could bring peace to souls in anguish, and that those who touched his garments or his hands forgot their pain; or that as he passed by on the highway of life people who had seen nothing of life's mystery, saw it clearly, and others who had been deaf to every voice but that of pleasure heard for the first time the voice of love and found it as 'musical as Apollo's lute'; or that evil passions fled at his approach, and men whose dull unimaginative lives had been but a mode of death rose as it were from the grave when he called them; or that when he taught on the hillside the multitude forgot their hunger and thirst and the cares of this world, and that to his friends who listened to him as he sat at meat the coarse food seemed delicate, and the water had the taste of good wine, and the whole house became full of the odour and sweetness of nard.

from "De Profundis"
by Oscar Wilde

Monday, January 07, 2008

H.A Williams, "Written in blood"

Theological truth is the truth of God's relationship with man and it is the fruit not of learning but of experience. In this sense all theology, properly so called, is written in blood. It is an attempt to communicate what has been discovered at great cost in the deepest places of the heart - by sorrow and joy, frustration and fulfillment, defeat and victory, agony and ecstasy, tragedy and triumph. Theology, properly so called, is the record of a man's wrestling with God. Wounded in some way or other by the struggle the man will certainly be, but in the end he will obtain the blessing promised to those who endure.

The theologian in this respect is no different from the poet or dramatist. All of them must write in blood.

- H.A. Williams CR, Foreword to "Love's Endeavour, Love's Expense" by W.H. Vanstone

Friday, January 04, 2008

Jennifer Warnes & Leonard Cohen, "St. Bernadette"

St. Bernadette

St. Bernadette of Lourdes was very VERY fortunate. When our lady appeared to her in the grotto the first time, Bernadette was full to the brim with faith. No-one would believe her because they could not see the things she saw, but Bernadette would not change it. The special virtue of the well-known St. Bernadette is faith. I am going to imatate her by praying the rosary and believing that Our Blessed Lady will save the world from Communism.

By Jennifer Warnes
November 29, 1956



Dear Jenny,

It is quite clear now that your imitation of St. Bernadette, praying the rosary, and your belief in Our Blessed Lady, did save the world from Communism.

A special Papal Commission has been convened to study your case, and the rumor in the Vatican is that your grade will be elevated to A+.

I hope that you will keep on praying for the safety of the world. To tell the truth, I depend on your efforts.

Much love,