Prophetic Vision Worldwide

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The Contemplations of Waiting

Earth is bowed with a weight
Hard and heavy to bear;
Bowed and curved around the great
Core of despair.
Go into a deep cave,
Where the stone groans in the dark
Like a voice in the grave;
Lift up the light, and mark
The heavy sag of stone,
bearing its load of woe
Till time shall be undone
And the aching form can go,
So men have always said;
Earth is heavy and cold...

But in sleep I saw her, clear
As a drop of dew:
Like a crystal was her sphere,
And the sun shone through:
Standing at midnight in the street...

Solemn and lovely visions
and holy dreams,
Mysterious portents,
wanderers who range
Among unearthly themes,
Strong catalysts that change
The colors and the contours
of the mind;
Be silent in your valleys in the moon,
Fade to the country that we
never find:
For I am listening for that mortal tune,
The broken anthem of
my fallen kind...

These in the light of heaven
I shall behold,
If I can come there,
standing in the flame
Of glory, with the blessed
in their gold.
There is no dream more wonderful,
for they
Are worth the whole creation,
each alone.
Grant me to see their beauty
on that Day!

—The Transparent Earth, Ruth Pitter

 

Batter my heart, three person’d God

  for you as yet but knock.

Breathe, shine, and seek to mend,

  that I may rise and stand

O’erthrow me, and bend your force to break,

  blow, burn, and make me new.

I, like an usurp’d town to another due

  labor to admit you but

Oh, to no end.

Reason, your viceroy in me

  should defend

But is captiv’d, and proves untrue.

Yet dearly I love You,

  and would be loved fain

But am betrothed unto your enemy

Divorce me, untie or break that knot again

Take me to You, imprison me

  For I

Except You enthrall me

  never shall be free

Nor ever chaste, except

You Ravish Me.

 

 —John Donne

 

In solitude we give passionate attention to our lives,

To our memories, to the details around us

 —Virginia Woolf

 

Out of suffering have emerged the strongest souls;

The most massive characters are seemed with scars;

 Martyrs have put on their coronation robes

 Glittering with fire;

 And through their tears have the sorrowful

 First seen the gates of heaven.

—Chapin

 

Imagination is the creative task of making symbols, joining things together in such a way that they throw new light on each other and on everything around them. The imagination is a discovering faculty, a faculty for seeing relationships, for seeing meanings that are special and even quite new. The imagination is something which enables us to discover unique present meaning in a given moment of our life. Without imagination the contemplative life can be extremely dull and fruitless.

—Thomas Merton

 

Everything has its wonders, even darkness and silence, and I learn, whatever state I may be in, therein to be content.

  –Helen Keller

 

All work that is worth anything is done in faith. . .

  –Albert Schweitzer

 

There is only one great adventure and that is inwards toward the self.

  –Henry Miller

 

Before an altar—with a gentle bride;

her face was fair, but that was not that which

made

The starlight of his Boyhood;---as he stood

Even at the altar, o’er his brow there came

The same self-aspect, and the quivering

  Shock

That in the antique oratory shook

His bosom in its solitude; and then—

As in that hour—a moment o’er his face

The tablet of unutterable thoughts

Was traced,---and then it faded as it came,

And he stood calm and quiet, and he spoke

The fitting vows, but heard not his own words,

And all things reel’d around him; he could not see

Not that which was, nor that which should have been—

But the old mansion, and the accustom’d hall,

And the remember’d chambers, and the place,

The day, the hour, the sunshine, and the shade,

All things pertaining to that place and hour,

And her who was his destiny, —came back

And thrust themselves between him and the light:

What business had they there at such a time?

 

A change came o’er the spirit of my dream.

The Lady of his love:-- Oh! she was changed

As by the sickness of the soul; her mind

Had wandered from its dwelling, and her eyes

They had not their own lustre, but the look

Which is not of the earth; she was become

The queen of a fantastic realm; her thoughts

Were combinations of disjointed things;

And rooms impalpable and unperceived

Of others’ sight familiar were to hers.

And this the world calls frenzy; but the wise

Have a far deeper madness, and the glance

Of melancholy is a fearful gift;

What is it but the telescope of truth?

Which strips the distance of its fantasies,

And brings life near in utter nakedness…

 

A change came o’er the spirit of my dream.

The Wanderer was alone as here to before,

The beings which surrounded him were gone,

Or at war with him; he was a mark

For blight and desolation, compass’d round

With Hatred and Contention; Pain was mix’d

In all which was served up to him, until,

Like to the Pontic monarch of old days,

He fed on poisons, and they had no power,

But were a kind of nutriment; he lived

Through that which had been death to many men,

And made him friends of mountains: with

  the stars

And the quick Spirit of the universe

He held his dialogues; and they did teach

To him the magic of their mysteries;

To him the book of Night was open’d wide,

And voices from the deep abyss reveal’d

A marvel and a secret—Be it so.

—Lord Byron

 

Heed not the face

Maiden, heed the heart.

The heart of a fine young man is oft deformed.

There are hearts where Love finds

    no abiding place.

 

Maiden, the pine tree is not fair,

Not fair as is the poplar tree

But its leaves are green in winter bare.

 

Alas! Why do I tell you this?

Beauty alone has right to live;

Beauty alone can only beauty love,

April doth turn her back on January.

 

Beauty is perfect,

Beauty wins all.

Beauty alone is lord of all.

 

The raven only flies by day,

The owl by night alone doth fly,

The swan by day and night alike

         may fly.

 

 —Victor Hugo

 

Dear sister, I was human not divine,

The angel left me woman as before,

And when, like flame beneath my heart, I bore

The Son, I was the vestal and the shrine.

 

My arms held heaven at my breast—not wine

But milk made blood, in which no mothering doubt

Prefigured patterns of the pouring out,

O Lamb! To stain the world incarnadine.

 

—Sheldon Vanauken

 

The Sound Of The Sea

 

The sea awoke at midnight from its sleep,

    And round the pebbly beaches far and wide

    I heard the first wave of the rising tide

    Rush onward with uninterrupted sweep;

A voice out of the silence of the deep,

    A sound mysteriously multiplied

    As of a cataract from the mountain’s side,

    Or roar of winds upon a wooded steep.

So comes to us at times from the unknown

   And inaccessible solitudes of being

   The rushing of the sea-tides of the soul;

And inspirations, that we deem our own,

   Are some divine foreshadowing and foreseeing

   Of things beyond our reason or control.

 

— Henry Longfellow