Daily Archives: September 9, 2006

Holy Sonnet VI by John Donne

This is my play’s last scene ; here heavens appoint
My pilgrimage’s last mile ; and my race
Idly, yet quickly run, hath this last pace ;
My span’s last inch, my minute’s latest point ;
And gluttonous Death will instantly unjoint
My body and soul, and I shall sleep a space ;
But my ever-waking part shall see that face,
Whose fear already shakes my every joint.
Then, as my soul to heaven her first seat takes flight,
And earth-born body in the earth shall dwell,
So fall my sins, that all may have their right,
To where they’re bred and would press me to hell.
Impute me righteous, thus purged of evil,
For thus I leave the world, the flesh, the devil.


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“God’s Building, Nobly Wrought”

And thus employed, they fell below
The sway of man’s perfidious foe:
Plunged in the smoky sheer abyss
They sank bereft of their true bliss.

But that sore plight of ruined man
Christ’s pity could not lightly scan:
Nor let God’s building nobly wrought
Ingloriously be brought to nought.

He wrapped Him in our fleshly guise,
That from the tomb He might arise,
And man released from death’s grim snare
Home to His Father’s bosom bear.

This is from Prudentius’ “Hymn for Christmas Day”, and is not taken at all in context. But the smoke and the buildings made this seem like a good quote for the victims. The image of people as buildings is not uncommon in early Christian literature. (Once you call ordinary Christians ‘temples’, the metaphor is open for use.)

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From St. Gregory the Great’s Moralia

Blessed Job, though aimed at for death in his temptation, gained growth unto life by the stroke. And our old enemy grieved to find that he had only multiplied his excellences by the very means, by which he had thought to do away with them… for one that is evil can never believe goodness to exist, though proved by his experience.

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One of Jesus’ Hard Sayings

You have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbor, and hate thy enemy. But I say to you, Love your enemies: do good to them that hate you: and pray for them that persecute and calumniate you: That you may be the children of your Father who is in heaven, who maketh his sun to rise upon the good, and bad, and raineth upon the just and the unjust. For if you love them that love you, what reward shall you have?

Of course, He also says elsewhere that “Vengeance is Mine”, and that the day of vengeance is coming. So evildoers shouldn’t get too comfy.

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Church Renovation the St. Naile Way

From the Irish manuscript Betha Naile (The Life of St. Naile):

Naile remained behind ordering the fair church, and levelling its cemetery, and strengthening its oratories, and ennobling its altars, and making ready its monuments, and consolidating its crosses, and cleansing the side of its fountains, so that thereafter it was a church angelic, golden-belled, heavenly, noble, of sacred beauty, divine, charitable, intelligent, hallowed.

Btw, here are some of his clerical colleagues:

Tigernach the long and fair of side, prompt to recite his hours; Ronan of the appropriate speech, graciously acute; Sinell of the mild appearance, prompt in genuflection; fair Senach of the liberal arts; and Fergus of the clear-judging advocacy; and Comgall the intelligent of the sacred bells, and many other saints, in this general council.

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