Friday, March 28, 2008

A Child, to Mary

This one was written not-quite-so-long ago... as the date tells, it's about three years old. Enjoy.

Mary, you were little once,
A child, as I today;
Mary, you were little once,
Hear me while I pray!
Dearest Mother, dressed in blue,
With your veil so white,
Let me be your little child,
Give me grace’s light.

Mary, you are innocent,
Guard my innocence;
To be a Mother you were meant,
Be then my defense.
Lady in your robe of white,
With your sash of blue,
Teach me how to do what’s right;
Let me come to you.

Mary, you were sorrowful,
Comfort me I pray,
I am sad and sinful,
Help me on my way.
Mary, in your gown of black,
Weeping for your Son,
Lead my soul and take me back
To the Holy One.

Mary, you are Heaven’s queen,
Rule me also then,
Teach me how to take the road
Back to grace again.
Mary with your starry crown,
Fair as moon and sun,
Help me always, up and down,
Till my life is done.
---Inés de Erausquin
April 16, 2005

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Another oldie!...

This Sailor's Song was written the year I studied the Sea in literature... we read everything from The Odyssey to Two Years Before the Mast to Moby Dick. I was around fourteen and loved it. A tinge of inspiration comes also from my dear Tolkien -- remember Legolas' Song of the Sea?

A Sailor’s Song

To the sea! To the sea! Fly away on the gales,
With white seagulls darting high over the sails;
I must go, for the seagulls are singing to me,
And this is their song, “To the sea, to the sea!”

To the waves! for the song of the gulls in the sky
Is a call that no sailor can ever deny;
The albatross soars through the air high above,
And I come, O ye gulls, to the sea that I love.

To your ships! They are waiting to sail on the wave,
To faraway lands, with crews gallant and brave;
They climb in the rigging, they jump to the mast,
Till back in their haven they land – home at last.

I’ll sing to Poseidon, the lord of the ocean,
Whose every whim swift sets the waters in motion;
I’ll doze in my hammock, and there I’ll lie deep
In slumber while Neptune’s waves rock me to sleep.

Come away! to the sea! to the waves, for they call,
And high on the mast I’ll have no cares at all;
For I feel that the seagulls still sing unto me
That high mirthful call, “To the sea, to the sea!”

Friday, March 14, 2008

An Older Poem

This one, in a much lighter vein than most I've posted before, I wrote when I was maybe twelve or thirteen, inspired by a delightful dream. (Who hasn't had that longing at least once?)

I Can Fly!

This morning when I woke up,
I had a funny feeling;
I jumped from bed and suddenly
I floated toward the ceiling;
And then I realized what was up
And felt quite queer – oh my!
Because, you see, peculiarly,
I found that I can fly!

Oh boy, but I was happy!
Quick as you blink an eye,
I soared right out the window,
Into the sunlit sky.
I spun about among the trees
So high above the ground,
I felt that I could clear the sun
And moon with just one bound!

I soared into a cloud of fog
And whizzed back down again;
I flew back in my window then,
And dressed and flew again.
I had my breakfast in a flash,
And then away I flew,
And all the people that saw me
Were startled this to view.

I flew about the town all day,
But got home to have meals,
And then I went back to the clouds
And danced Virginia reels.
And as I fall asleep tonight,
I’ll think with mirth so high,
“Tomorrow I can start once more,

For – golly! – I can fly!”

Thursday, March 13, 2008

FlyLady and the Spiritual life

FlyLady is a website run by a lady with a mission to help distraught "SHEs," (Sidetracked Home Executives) organize their homes and their lives. As I was finishing the dishes tonight and thinking about shining it, the idea suddenly hit me that she works in very much the same way as a traditional spiritual director.
Well, look:
Shining your sink and keeping it that way is the first step every Flybaby takes. This means empty, clean, and dry it every night, noon, and morning, and this one bright spot in the heart of your home immediately gives you the part of virtue that is perhaps hardest to attain--happiness in doing good consistently. This is something you can keep doing every day, and seeing your shiny sink in the morning makes you smile. Then, too, its beauty spreads throughout the kitchen--after all, if you put the dishes in the washer instead of the sink, you might as well run it, and wipe down the countertops, etc. But this only comes later. In the spiritual life, your sink is of course your dominant fault, which St. Ignacio says to check on when? Morning, noon and night! And St. Thomas Aquinas says that any virtue practiced to perfection brings with it all the other virtues, so it spreads just like the sink.
Progress, not perfection, is one of Flylady's biggest mottos, and Babysteps are the way to go. In the spiritual life, I think the application is obvious--it's St. Therese's "Little Way" in fact. We are going towards perfection, naturally, but we can't expect any one day or action to be perfect, and perfectionism only slows us down. "Even the just man sins seven times a day." So the idea is to do what you can, say your confiteor at the end of the day, and don't waste sleeping time at night agonizing over how much time you wasted or how many people you yelled at. Just count 'em up once, say you're sorry and will do better tomorrow, and forget about it.
FLYing is a funny one; it means Finally Loving Yourself and I've seen a fundamentalist saying this is one of the bad points of Flylady, since we're supposed to be worrying about loving God, not ourselves. However, in the Latin Mass article on melancholics, someone made the very good point that "love thy neighbor as thyself" has no meaning unless you do love yourself very much, and this is something that melancholics have trouble with, apparently. Flylady is always saying that you can't take good care of your family if you don't take care of yourself (in fact she has weekly pamper missions) and she definitely has the right idea. Yes, the great saints always had a double standard--tough on themselves and pampering everyone else--but they had no trouble loving themselves or other people (they did penance out of love for themselves, in fact). And look at what it led to for St. Bernard--he got sick and wasn't allowed to follow the community life for I forget how long!
Declutter--very important. "Our stuff drags us down and keeps us from flying!" I think any Christian can see the application of this one, without my help, but let me just say that Flylady applies it to mental clutter as well, and this is important.

Saturday, March 8, 2008

Ave Regina Cælorum

Again, trying to stay literal, the Lenten hymn to Our Lady.

Hail, O Queen of heaven high,
Angels' Mistress, hail, we cry!

Gate of heaven, root most bright
From which sprang creation's light!

Joyful be, O maiden fairest,
Of all virgins brightest, rarest!

Farewell, fairest, full of grace;
Pray to Christ for all our race.