October 13th, 2013
Astronomers demonstrate that you and your tiny earth are ask but lost in a corner of this ever-expanding universe… [Some] would have you deem yourself and your earth next to worthless. That conclusion, false though it be, cab have a soul-destroying effect on you if you do not keep on reminding yourself that it was in this all-but-lost corner of the universe that his God became man—-and became man for you; that it was here that God became a corpse—-and became a corpse for you; that here everlasting life with God the all-holy was made possible by God for you… it is here in this tiny corner that God lewis on creating you do that you may, in your own specific manner, fulfill the special function that the omnipotent Maker of this ever-expanding universe had in mind when He said fiat for you.
Fr. M. Raymond, O.C.S.O., Spiritual Secrets of a Trappist Monk
December 23rd, 2012

"Prepare yourself at once to give a real assent to the truth that first place in your life is not enough for the God who made you! He has not loved you with an everlasting love just to have the first place in your life, ahead of many other loves and countless other interests. He does not now exert His omnipotence, not every day, from dawn to dusk and then through the night, ply His Providence just to have first place in your life. He would never shatter nothingness with His creative cry of fiat just for first place. He merits and He wants the only place!

That does not mean that you are not to have other loves and other interests—far from it. Once you have given God the only place in your life, your loves are multiplied and your interests become innumerable; for you live fully, and the almost limitless capacity of your heart for loves and your mind for interests, in God and under God and for God, will be receiving its fill.”

Fr. M. Raymond, O.C.S.O, Spiritual Secrets of a Trappist Monk
December 22nd, 2012
Know thyself, and you will become a garnerer who every day goes forth to a fresh field for God and is found at nightfall still busy binding sheaves that will stay tight for all eternity. Know thyself, and there will be no footstep in your life that will be without specific godly meaning. Know thyself, and you will come to some knowledge of the Infinite.
Fr. M. Raymond, O.C.S.O, Spiritual Secrets of a Trappist Monk
September 20th, 2011
Every one of us is in the image of God, and every one of us is like a damaged icon. But if we were given an icon damaged by time, damaged by circumstances, or desecrated by human hatred, we would treat it with reverence, with tenderness, with broken-heartedness. We would not pay attention primarily to the fact that it is damaged, but to the tragedy of its being damaged. We would concentrate on what is left of its beauty, and not on what is lost of its beauty. And this is what we must learn to do with regard to each person as an individual, but also – and this is not always as easy – with regard to groups of people, whether it be a parish or a denomination, or a nation. We must learn to look, and look until we have seen the underlying beauty of this group of people. Only then can we even begin to do something to call out all the beauty that is there. Listen to other people, and whenever you discern something which sounds true, which is a revelation of harmony and beauty, emphasize it and help it to flower. Strengthen it and encourage it to live.
- Metropolitan Anthony (Bloom) of Sourozh

Greek philosophers foreshadowing Christ

simplyorthodox:

As outlined by numerous Fathers of the Church, Christ was the expectation of all the nations, and as such, many of the writings from disperate cultures throughout the world tell of and indicate the great Redeemer of the whole world Who was to come: Jesus Christ.

-The Greek Sybil, the Philosopher: “The eternal king has come from heaven, who will judge all flesh and the whole world.”

-The Greek Solon, the Wise and Law-giver: “Being himself the fatherless father, thrice-praised and thrice-radiant as the light, it is God who suffers and not godhead which suffers, who therefore is light, this mortal-body is God, and man always bringing among mortals.

-The Greek Pythagoras, the Philosopher and Mathematician: “God is nous and word and spirit and word incarnate from the Father.”

-The Greek Apollon, the Philosopher: “I speak of one God exalted in three, who created heaven and earth, God ever was and is and will be, neither changed, nor ceasing.”

-The Greek Thucydides, the Historian: “Not another God, nor angel, nor demon, nor wisom, nor any thing else in essence, but the Lord alone is creator of all, the all-perfect Word of all things.”

-The Greek Plato, the Philosopher: “From the all-pure virgin mother-bride will be born the sole child of God. The fleshless one becomes flesh and is born on earth, he who is the creator of heaven and earth.”

(Source: full-of-grace-and-truth.blogspot.com)

September 15th, 2011
I saw the angel in the marble and carved until I set him free.
Michelangelo (via storiadellarte)

(via caravaggista)

August 29th, 2011
In books we never find anything but ourselves. Strangely enough, that always gives us great pleasure, and we say the author is a genius.
Thomas Mann

(Source: criminalsofpurpose, via bibliofila)

August 28th, 2011
Who has not heard Dostoevsky’s oft-quoted remark, “Beauty will save us?” Usually people forget to mention, however, that by redeeming beauty Dostoevsky means Christ. He it is whom we must learn to see. If we cease to know him only through words but are struck by the arrow of his paradoxical beauty, then we will truly come to know him and will no longer merely know about him at second-hand. Then we will have encountered the beauty of truth, of redeeming truth. Nothing can bring us into contact with the beauty of Christ himself more than the world of beauty created by faith and the light that shines upon the faces of the saints, through which his own light becomes visible.
Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger 

(Source: amazon.com, via fathershane)

August 25th, 2011

The Gaiety of the Old Cathedrals

…some will say that it is the liberty of the Middle Ages in the use of the comic or even the coarse that makes the Gothic more interesting than the Greek. There is more truth in this; indeed, there is real truth in it. Few of the old Christian cathedrals would have passed the Censor of Plays. We talk of the inimitable grandeur of the old cathedrals; but indeed it is rather their gaiety that we do not dare to imitate. We should be rather surprised if a chorister suddenly began singing “Bill Bailey” in church. Yet that would be only doing in music what the mediaevals did in sculpture. They put into a Miserere seat the very scenes that we put into a music hall song: comic domestic scenes similar to the spilling of the beer and the hanging out of the washing.

G. K. Chesterton in the Architect of Spears

August 24th, 2011

Gothic on the March

The truth about Gothic is, first, that it is alive, and second, that it is on the march. It is the Church Militant; it is the only fighting architecture. All its spires are spears at rest; and all its stones are stones asleep in a catapult. In that instant of illusion, I could hear the arches clash like swords as they crossed each other. The mighty and numberless columns seemed to go swinging by like the huge feet of imperial elephants. The graven foliage wreathed and blew like banners going into battle; the silence was deafening with ail the mingled noises of a military march; the great bell shook down, as the organ shook up its thunder. The thirsty-throated gargoyles shouted like trumpets from all the roofs and pinnacles as they passed; and from the lectern in the core of the cathedral the eagle of the awful evangelist clashed his wings of brass. 

And amid all the noises I seemed to hear the voice of a man shouting in the midst like one ordering regiments hither and thither in the fight; the voice of the great half-military master-builder; the architect of spears. I could almost fancy he wore armour while he made that church; and I knew indeed that, under a scriptural figure, he had borne in either hand the trowel and the sword. 

From the Architect of Spears by G. K. Chesterton

(Source: catholic-forum.com)

August 23rd, 2011

A few photographs from an awesome presentation given by a Polish priest about his experience living as a priest in communist Russia and Poland. 

The faith of those who have struggled in such situations is truly inspiring to me. 

August 21st, 2011
When night comes, and retrospect shows that everything was patch-work and much that one had planned left undone, when so many things rouse shame and regret, then take all as is, lay it in God’s hands, and offer it to Him. In this way, we will be able to rest in Him, actually to rest and to begin the new day like a new life.
St. Teresa Benedicta of the Cross (Edith Stein)

(via catholiclifeguard-deactivated20)

August 20th, 2011

"In the Image of a Maker"

"Man himself, being made in the image of a maker, is himself a maker or re-maker of beauty, a beauty that flows from the Craftsman-Creator and like the divine light in Christ at His Tranfiguration shines through the whole of creation. Thus beauty is no mere subjective value in the eye of the beholder, nor the delight in the lust of the eye of the flesh, but quite as much as goodness and truth, belongs to an objective reality almost beyond our reason or experience, though we distantly behold its splendour. And so in lowlier measure, the universe in its beauty, as in its truth and goodness, worships and proclaims its celestial origin and end, its alpha and omega, and man is priveleged to perceive, and then to recreate in the art through which he offers praise and thanksgiving, the reflected and transmuted glory of the God who made him to be His forever. "

Sheridan Gilley in the foreward to John Saward’s book The Beauty of Holiness and the Holiness of Beauty

August 17th, 2011

Indeed earth is not even earth without heaven, as a landscape is not a landscape without the sky. And in, a universe without God there is not room enough for a man.

G.K. Chesterton in The Crimes of England (via gkchestertonquote)
August 16th, 2011
[The medieval artist] did not work for society people and the dealers, but for the faithful commons; it was his mission to house their prayers, to instruct their minds, to rejoice their souls and their eyes. Matchless epoch, in which an ingenuous folk was educated in beauty without even noticing it… More beautiful things were then created and there was less self-worship. The blessed humility in which the artist was situated exalted his strength and his freedom. The Renaissance was destined to drive the artist mad and make him the most miserable of men.
Jacques Maritain, Art and Scholasticism