The sermon that I preached (more or less) in the village church of Grub im Wienerwald this morning, the Solemnity of the Assumption, the 10th anniversary of my first profession, the 7th anniversary of my solemn profession.
Our earthly life is a strange mixture of joy and misery. When we look at the wonder and beauty of our world— the blazing light of the sun turning the sky into a blue dome, flashing on the snowy tops of mountains, filtering through the green leaves of the trees, glittering on the waters. What wonders! What joys! When we look at ourselves— these marvelous embodied spirits with eyes to see the brilliantly colored flowers, and ears to hear the rustling of the wind in the tree tops, and tongues to taste the sun-ripened peach; and above all, the light of intellect to penetrate to the depths and know the greater wonders of the first beginnings and causes of things. And the joys of friendship! Joys doubled and tripled by being shared in mutual benevolence and understanding. And the intoxicating ecstasy of young love! Beauty that transfixes the heart. And the joys of family life— to see new life come into the world, and take its first steps and begin to share the wonder of this world. The joy of growing old in faithfulness and seeing one’s children and one’s children’s children about one. And And the glory of the city at peace; noble, high and fair: rerum pulcherrima Roma. “The world is so full of a number of things, / I’m sure we should all be as happy as kings.” How do our hearts not burst with so much joy? Ich schnitt es gern in alle Rinden ein, / ich grüb es gern in jeden Kieselstein… Continue reading
Today, on the eve of the Solemnity of the Assumption, four new novices were invested here in Heiligenkreuz. Casting off the old man, to be clothed in the new man in true justice and holiness. My own investiture as a novice was eleven years ago today.
Photos: Stift Heiligenkreuz on Facebook
The first volume of the Aquinas Institute for the Study of Sacred Doctrine’s long awaited translation of St. Thomas’s first major theological work, the Commentary on the Sentences, is here. And the have put the whole text online! Praise God!
Second Spring, the journal founded by the late Stratford Caldecott, that extraordinary and wonderful man, with his wife Leonie, has a beautiful new website. The header image of the new website is a painting of an oak tree by the Caldecott’s daughter Rose. In a reflection thereon, Leonie Caldecott writes:
As well as being the symbol of England, the oak tree is surely an apt symbol of the resilience needed to remain productive and fertile in the midst of inhospitable conditions. Wood: that substance on which God-made-man stretched himself out in that mysterium tremendum, is conceived of here as a sign of new life being added to the old. In place of the rainbow which normally unites sunshine and rain, the sign of the ancient covenant cast above the floodwaters, our noble tree roots the crux of the matter back in the earth. It is surely no coincidence that in The Lord of the Rings Gandalf the White, rescued miraculously from the maw of the Balrog, is discovered after the encounter with the Ents of Fanghorn Forest. Ents are slow-moving, considered creatures. For an Ent, as for any tree, there is no such thing as a state of emergency.
I’m so glad that Second Spring has itself shown something of the oak’s resilience. It’s continuation after Strat’s death is a fitting act of piety towards him, and of generosity toward the rest of us.