Holy Saturday meditations

1. G. K. Chesteron: The Poet and The Lunatics

"Thank God for hard stones; thank God for hard facts; thank God for thorns and rocks and deserts and long years. At least I know now that I am not the best or strongest thing in the world. At least I know now that I have not dreamed of everything."

2. "Let's get artists into our churches," by Rachel Campbell-Johnston for the
Times Online

"It is less art that needs the Church, but the Church, in its waning popularity, that needs art. It should embrace the opportunities offered to it by culture. There have been a few attempts to revive its patronage over the past century. Matisse’s Chapelle du Rosaire on the French Riviera, designed by the pioneering Modernist in every detail from the stained-glass windows to the holy-water stoup, remains a place of prayer as much as artistic pilgrimage.

And last year Anthony Caro, in what probably counts as the most significant religious commission since then, installed a series of his big industrial sculptures in niches behind the font in the bombed-out choir of the church of Saint-Jean-Baptiste in Bourbourg in northern France. The result is a truly extraordinary fusion of Gothic architecture and contemporary sculpture, of soaring stone arches and monumental abstracts in wood and steel."

3. To remind us why it matters that we have Christ-fearing bishops, here's a bit of lame speech by my former bishop in Texas, Andy Doyle. It's what I call an exercise in doublespeak pablum.

“While many may not be able to articulate fully the theology of resurrection, I think most Christians would say that they experience a sense of it in Christian community,” said the Right Rev. C. Andrew Doyle. “They experience resurrection through relationships with others, through the community a congregation offers and from service and outreach to other people. Christians testify that they experience, receive, and act out of the mystery of resurrection — this feeling of constant renewal.”

Lastly, in honor of the Holy Spirit, by whom the Father raises his Son Jesus from the dead, here is a most gorgeous hymn to the Spirit, "Veni Sancte Spiritus." We'd be none the poorer for singing it on the Holy Triduum, not just Pentecost.

Come, Thou holy Paraclete,
And from Thy celestial seat
Send Thy light and brilliancy:
Father of the poor, draw near;
Giver of all gifts, be here;
Come, the soul’s true radiancy.

Come, of comforters the best,
Of the soul the sweetest guest,
Come in toil refreshingly:
Thou in labor rest most sweet,
Thou art shadow from the heat,
Comfort in adversity.

O Thou Light, most pure and blest,
Shine within the inmost breast
Of Thy faithful company.
Where Thou art not, man hath naught;
Every holy deed and thought
Comes from Thy divinity.

What is soilèd, make Thou pure;
What is wounded, work its cure;
What is parchèd, fructify;
What is rigid, gently bend;
What is frozen, warmly tend;
Strengthen what goes erringly.

Fill Thy faithful, who confide
In Thy power to guard and guide,
With Thy sevenfold mystery.
Here Thy grace and virtue send:
Grant salvation to the end,
And in Heav’n felicity.

(Photos: via the Boston Times, sent to me by my good father)


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