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 Hallelujah

I’ve heard there was a secret chord
That David played, and it pleased the Lord
But you don’t really care for music, do you?
It goes like this
The fourth, the fifth
The minor fall, the major lift
The baffled king composing Hallelujah

Hallelujah
Hallelujah
Hallelujah
Hallelujah

Your faith was strong but you needed proof
You saw her bathing on the roof
Her beauty in the moonlight overthrew you
She tied you to her kitchen chair
She broke your throne and she cut your hair
And from your lips she drew the Hallelujah

Hallelujah, Hallelujah
Hallelujah, Hallelujah

Now, maybe there’s a god above,
As for me, all I ever learned from love
Is how to shoot at someone who outdrew you
But it’s not a cry that you hear tonight,
It’s not some pilgrim claims to have seen the light
No it’s a cold and it’s a very broken Hallelujah.

Hallelujah, Hallelujah
Hallelujah, Hallelujah

Oh, people, I’ve been here before
I know this room and I’ve walked the floor
You see, I used to live alone before I knew you
And I’ve seen your flag on the marble arch
But this is not some kind of victory march, no
It’s a cold and it’s a very lonely Hallelujah

Hallelujah, Hallelujah
Hallelujah, Hallelujah

There was a time you let me know
What’s really going on below,
But now, now you never ever even show it to me, do you?
I remember when I moved in you,
And the holy dove, she was moving too,
And every single breath that we drew was Hallelujah.

Hallelujah, Hallelujah
Hallelujah, Hallelujah

I’ve done my best, I know it wasn’t much
I couldn’t feel, so I learned to touch
I’ve told the truth, I didn’t come all this way just to fool you
Yeah, even though it all went wrong
I’ll stand right here before the Lord of Song
With nothing, nothing on my tongue but Hallelujah

Hallelujah, Hallelujah
Hallelujah, Hallelujah

Hallelujah, Hallelujah
Hallelujah, Hallelujah

 

In The Center Of My Heart A Star

with thanks to Beth for the original posting…

Via dreaminginthedeepsouth.tumblr.com

By the Church on Sunday Morning Nobuyuki Taguchi

“It is perhaps the misfortune of my life that I am interested in far too much but not decisively in any one thing; all my interests are not subordinated in one but stand on an equal footing.”

— Søren Kierkegaard

*

“Most days I don’t know
what I want.
I want to escape,
I want to stay behind.
I want to leave without a goodbye
and disappear into the anonymity
of a new life,
I want to keep all the people I have loved
locked inside my heart forever.
Maybe it would be best to allow
the world to swallow me whole
and spit me out somewhere new.
I’ve spent a lifetime growing roots
into a place born of misery
and swallowing sunshine in
an effort to keep myself from
choking on the sadness that
smothered every single light that
threatened to expose this place.

I want everything.
I want to be a mystery to you,
untouchable,
a star all to myself
a galaxy away from your starved fingers,
I want you to cover my bones
with your body and kiss my secrets out of my skin,
I want to love and be loved,
I want to detach myself from
the danger of it all,
keep myself safe from breaking.

I want to be no one at all,
tossed into the wind with the
precious gift of knowing that
new beginnings are underway.
I want to be everywhere at once,
breathing new air,
shedding my skin with every new city.
I want to be someone,
I want my name to be held in someone’s
mouth with all the tenderness that
adoration brings.
I want to matter in the volatile way that
leaves fingerprints permanently etched into souls.

I am an island unknown to myself,
I am the brick house I’ve lived in
since I was a little girl.
I am simultaneously falling apart
and falling together.
I am a daughter of fire,
a descendant of the sea,
my entire being at war with
desire and reality.

I want it all to stop spinning.”

— Emily Palermo, Everything

*

“For a long time, memory researchers assumed that memories were like volumes stored in a library. When your brain remembered something, it was simply searching through the stacks and then reading aloud from whatever passage it discovered. But some scientists now believe that memories effectively get rewritten every time they’re activated, thanks to a process called reconsolidation. To create a synaptic connection between two neurons the associative link that is at the heart of all neuronal learning you need protein synthesis. Studies on rats suggest that if you block protein synthesis during the execution of learned behavior pushing a lever to get food, for instance the learned behavior disappears. It appears that instead of simply recalling a memory that had been forged days or months ago, the brain is forging it all over again, in a new associative context. In a sense, when we remember something, we create a new memory, one that is shaped by the changes that have happened to our brain since the memory last occurred to us.”

— Slate Magazine, “The Science of Eternal Sunshine by Steven, March 22, 2004

*

“In the waters of purity, I melted like salt
Neither blasphemy, nor faith, nor conviction, nor doubt remained.
In the center of my heart a star has appeared
And all the seven heavens have become lost in it.”

— Rumi

 
*

via Diana Butler Bass

Wisdom from Vincent Harding, historian, activist, author, preacher, who passed away this week at 82.
“We are not alone in this struggle for the re-creation of our own lives and the life of our community. It has long been written and known that those who choose to struggle for the life of the earth and its beings are part of an ageless, pulsating membrane of light that is filled with the lives, hopes, and beatific visions of all who have fought on, held on, loved well, and gone on before us. For this task is too magnificent to be carried by us alone, in our house, in our meeting, in our organization, in our generation, in our lifetime… we are all a part of one another, and we are all part of the intention of the great creator spirit to continue being light and life.

[ We are to seek out ] … a path that expresses our own searching – expanding the confidence in the healing power of the universe, in the presence of a loving, leading Power, exposing us always to the harsh and the tender, to the dreadful and the compassionate, prying our lives open to the evidence of things unseen.”
Amen.

 
*

“This is what Wisdom means: To be changed without the slightest effort on your part, to be transformed, believe it or not, merely by waking to the reality that is not words, that lies beyond the reach of words. If you are fortunate enough to be Awakened thus, you will know why the finest language is the one that is not spoken, the finest action is the one that is not done and the finest change is the one that is not willed.”

— Anthony de Mello [pure Grace – thanks to Stephen Parker for the quote]
 
*

Let Your Enemy Be Your Teacher
Monday, May 12, 2014


Make friends with your opponent quickly while he is taking you to court; or he will hand you over to the judge, and the judge to the officer, and the officer will throw you into prison. You will not get out until you have paid the last penny. — Matthew 5:25-26

Persona and shadow are correlative terms. Your shadow is what you refuse to see about yourself, and what you do not want others to see. The more you have cultivated and protected a chosen persona, the more shadow work you will need to do. Conversely, the more you live out of your shadow self, the less capable you are of recognizing the persona you are trying to protect and project. It is like a double blindness keeping you from seeing—and being—your best and deepest self. As Jesus put it, “If the lamp within you is, in fact, darkness, what darkness there will be” (Matthew 6:23). It is all about seeing—and seeing fully and truthfully. It takes a lifetime.

Your persona is what most people want from you and reward you for, and what you choose to identify with, for some reason. As you do your inner work, you will begin to know that your self-image is nothing more than just that, and not worth protecting, promoting, or denying. As Jesus says in the passage above, if you can begin to “make friends” with those who have a challenging message for you (your “enemies”), you will usually begin to see some of your own shadow. If you don’t, you will miss out on much-needed wisdom and end up “imprisoned” within yourself or taken to “court” by others; and you will undoubtedly have to “pay the last penny” to reorder your life and your relationships. In the spiritual life, your enemies are really your friends, and that is not just doubletalk. It is very often true.

Richard Rohr: Adapted from Falling Upward: A Spirituality for the Two Halves of Life,pp. 127-129

 
*

via Parabola Magazine

A simple science

Last night I spoke with a young Chinese woman clearly troubled about confronting deeply negative circumstances in her life; and one of my best friends is struggling with disease and heartbreak.

In their own way, each of them brings their whole Being, everything they are, into this personal moment of struggle and suffering, wondering why things have to be this way, and whether there isn’t a force, a material inner force, that can go against such things.

It prompted me to explain to my friend that people think metaphysics is about some cosmological pie-in-the-sky stuff; angels and cosmic evolution and so on. People write extraordinarily complicated texts about metaphysics, filled with magical diagrams and rays of cosmic energy, hydrogens and galaxies, and so on. It’s fair to say quantum physics is probably simpler to understand.

But that’s not what it’s like at all. Metaphysics is about here and now; it is about the power of Being, which emerges from the divine inward flow and is manifested through intellect and will. So we have an ability to manifest something materially, something extraordinary and positive, which affirms our Being; yet outward circumstances so often arrange themselves as destructive forces, and they seem more powerful than we are.

All of the great stories of heroism, from the epic of Gilgamesh to the stories from the concentration camps, celebrate humanity’s efforts to manifest the positive forces of being against these destructive outward circumstances. It is easy to swallow them as stories on a grand scale; but it is much more difficult to digest them when they are served cold and dirty on the hard plate of one’s personal life. That is when we really have to tighten our belts, pick up the fork, and eat what is true about our life and ourselves; and this is a dish we come to most reluctantly. It takes a greater kind of courage than the courage we read about in the heroic epics to confront our own lives; and although we can take inspiration from the great stories, it is every inward and outward breath of our own life that we have to deal with. This can be an anguishing labor. No one feels as grand as Hercules cleaning out the stables when one is dealing with the mental illness of a loved one or cancer.

This is where real metaphysics comes in. Physics is the study of objects, events, circumstances, and conditions; material things, things as they are. Metaphysics is the study of Being; of what we are as individuals, of how our consciousness encounters the material. So it’s an incredibly practical discipline; and everything about it is about beginning to understand that the external forces and events we confront are not who we are; in a certain sense, they don’t even exist. All they are is data; and data has no organized form or objective sense of what it is. It isn’t intelligent.

In the same sense that atomistic materialism tells us there is nothing more than these little bits of stuff that make up bigger stuff, all that data can ever say is that it is there. But our Being, our awareness — that is what allows us to inwardly form a relationship to the outer, and it is in that place, within us, that the outer events acquire form, which we can have an attitude towards.

This means, oddly, that the realm of heroism doesn’t lie in outward action; it is within us, where we form our attitude towards things, that the hero is born, not in the deeds that he or she does to save the world. Every human being who gets up in the morning and forms a positive attitude to overcome their obstacles and live in the face of the destructive forces around them is a hero. And they will always be a hero, whether they succeed or fail, because the hero is already there in the attitude, regardless of whether they live or die in the context of all the forces that would drag us down.

The hero starts here, and starts now, by saying, yes – I can Be. I can have a wish for the good.

We have a choice in our lives. We can practice this simple science of metaphysics in simple ways, by understanding how we form the outer world through our inner attitude; and we can begin in every moment by trying to make an effort for the good, rather than letting everything go down.

—Lee van Laer, poetry editor

time expands

Juan Gatti.

With much thanks to Beth at Alive On All Channels…As Time Expands

A Wave Can Be a Particle   by Eleanor Lerman

Here is the problem: that the life the body
contains may not be the same as the life
that the mind imagines. Indeed, the suspicion grows
as time expands that we are hiding things
from ourselves. Big things, shaped like nebulae
or chandeliers; in other forms they express velocity
They are going so fast that we doubt we saw them,
but we did. Before and after we were born, we did

We do. Which is why the suspicion grows that
laid out on a cold bed in the dying light may be
the fate only of bones. That there is, perhaps,
another example to consider: as a wave can be
a particle and a particle a wave, you need not
chain yourself to the belief that a steady state
is the singularity that holds all value

but may think, instead, of the feeling that
comes over you in the moment before a
weeping ghost appears to you (and only you?)
from the darkness beyond the bedroom door,
or approach the threshold you must cross when
you go into the woods and find yourself upon
the hidden path that, rumor has it, leads directly

into the void—but step, instead, into
another springtime. On the flowering lawn,
a girl you swear that you once knew
is laughing, and all around her (but not
only her), the windy sky is full of stars

Eleanor Lerman is the author of six volumes of poetry, a collection of short stories and two novels. She is a National Book Award nominee, 2006 winner of the Lenore Marshall Prize, and recipient of NEA and Guggenheim fellowships. Her most recent poetry collection is Strange Life (Mayapple Press, 2014).

 
*

Holy hours come sometimes to all of us, freighted with love, when life seems worth living, and we feel a profound rest. All weariness is gone, all loneliness; we have a perfect peace in our heart.

James Freeman Clarke (Unitarian, clergy, reformer) Go Up Higher (1877) p.8

*
“Resurrection means that the worst thing is never the last thing.”

— Frederick Buechner

George Herbert 

The Call

Come, my Way, my Truth, my Life:
Such a Way, as gives us breath:
Such a Truth, as ends all strife:
Such a Life, as killeth death.

Come, my Light, my Feast, my Strength:
Such a Light, as shows a feast:
Such a Feast, as mends in length:
Such a Strength, as makes his guest.

Come, my Joy, my Love, my Heart:
Such a Joy, as none can move:
Such a Love, as none can part:
Such a Heart, as joyes in love.

Antiphon (1)

Chorus: Let all the world in ev’ry corner sing,
My God and King.

The heav’ns are not too high,
His praise may thither flie:
The earth is not too low,
His praises there may grow.

Chorus: Let all the world in ev’ry corner sing,
My God and King.

The church with psalms must shout,
No doore can keep them out:
But above all, the heart
Must bear the longest part.

Chorus: Let all the world in ev’ry corner sing,
My God and King.

Love Bade Me Welcome

LOve bade me welcome: yet my soul drew back,
Guiltie of dust and sinne.
But quick-ey’d Love, observing me grow slack
From my first entrance in,
Drew nearer to me, sweetly questioning,
If I lack’d any thing.

A guest, I answer’d, worthy to be here:
Love said, You shall be he.
I the unkinde, ungratefull?  Ah my deare,
I cannot look on thee.
Love took my hand, and smiling did reply,
Who made the eyes but I?

Truth Lord, but I have marr’d them: let my shame
Go where it doth deserve.
And know you not, sayes Love, who bore the blame?
My deare, then I will serve.
You must sit down, sayes Love, and taste my meat:
So I did sit and eat.

Easter

RIse heart; thy Lord is risen. Sing his praise
Without delayes,
Who takes thee by the hand, that thou likewise
With him mayst rise:
That, as his death calcined1 thee to dust,
His life may make thee gold, and much more, just.

Awake, my lute, and struggle for thy part
With all thy art.
The crosse taught all wood to resound his name,
Who bore the same.
His stretched sinews taught all strings, what key
Is best to celebrate this most high day.

Consort both heart and lute, and twist a song
Pleasant and long:
Or, since all musick is but three parts2 vied
And multiplied,
O let thy blessed Spirit bear a part,
And make up our defects with his sweet art.

I Got Me Flowers

I got me flowers to strew Thy way,
I got me boughs off many a tree;
But Thou wast up by break of day,
And brought’s Thy sweets along with Thee.
Yet though my flower be lost, they say
A heart can never come too late;
Teach it to sing Thy praise this day,
And then this day my life shall date.

The Sunne arising in the East,
Though he give light, & th’ East perfume;
If they should offer to contest
With thy arising, they presume.
Can there be any day but this,
Though many sunnes to shine endeavour?
We count three hundred, but we misse:
There is but one, and that one ever.

Virtue

SWEET day, so cool, so calm, so bright!
The bridal of the earth and sky—
The dew shall weep thy fall to-night;
      For thou must die.
Sweet rose, whose hue angry and brave          5
Bids the rash gazer wipe his eye,
Thy root is ever in its grave,
      And thou must die.
Sweet spring, full of sweet days and roses,
A box where sweets compacted lie,   10
My music shows ye have your closes,
      And all must die.
Only a sweet and virtuous soul,
Like season’d timber, never gives;
But though the whole world turn to coal,   15
      Then chiefly lives.

Easter Wings

Lord, Who createdst man in wealth and store,
      Though foolishly he lost the same,
                  Decaying more and more,
                       Till he became
                         Most poore:

                         With Thee
                       O let me rise,
                  As larks, harmoniously,
      And sing this day Thy victories:
Then shall the fall further the flight in me.

My tender age in sorrow did beginne;
      And still with sicknesses and shame
                  Thou didst so punish sinne,
                       That I became
                         Most thinne.

                         With Thee
                       Let me combine,
                  And feel this day Thy victorie;
      For, if I imp my wing on Thine,
Affliction shall advance the flight in me. 

Peace

Sweet Peace, where dost thou dwell?  I humbly crave,
Let me once know.
I sought thee in a secret cave,
And ask’d, if Peace were there.
A hollow winde did seem to answer, No:
Go seek elsewhere.
I did; and going did a rainbow note:
Surely, thought I,
This is the lace of Peaces coat:
I will search out the matter.
But while I lookt, the clouds immediately
Did break and scatter.

Then went I to a garden, and did spy
A gallant flower,
The Crown Imperiall: sure, said I,
Peace at the root must dwell.
But when I digg’d, I saw a worm devoure
What show’d so well.
At length I met a rev’rend good old man,
Whom when of Peace
I did demand, he thus began:
There was a Prince of old
At Salem dwelt, who liv’d with good increase
Of flock and fold.

He sweetly liv’d; yet sweetnesse did not save
His life from foes.
But after death out of his grave
There sprang twelve stalks of wheat:
Which many wondring at, got some of those
To plant and set.
It prosper’d strangely, and did soon disperse
Through all the earth:
For they that taste it do rehearse,
That vertue lies therein,
A secret vertue bringing peace and mirth
By flight of sinne.

Take of this grain, which in my garden grows,
And grows for you;
Make bread of it: and that repose
And peace, which ev’ry where
With so much earnestnesse you do pursue,
Is onely there.


Truly, Friend,
For ought I heare, our Master shows to you
More favour then you wot1 of. Mark the end.
The Font did onely, what was old, renew:
The Caldron suppled, what was grown too hard:
The Thorns did quicken, what was grown too dull:
All did but strive to mend, what you had marr’d.
Wherefore be cheer’d, and praise him to the full
Each day, each houre, each moment of the week,
Who fain would have you be new, tender, quick.

(from)Music at Midnight: The Life and Poetry of George Herbert by John Drury -review

The Guardian Thursday 15 August 2013 09.01 EDT  Helen Cooper

Portrait of George Herbert

Master of simplicity … detail of Portrait of George Herbert in Bemerton by William Dyce (1806-1864). Photograph: DeAgostini/Getty Images

Giving equal weight to the man and his work, this is the perfect introduction to a parson-poet who has fallen out of fashion….

Herbert’s life does not superficially offer much for the biographer: no wars, no quarrels, a happy marriage, disengagement from the religious controversies of the day in favour of an unwavering adherence to the Church of England. What made him extraordinary in an age of colourful characters was the poetry, and that is accordingly at the centre of this book.

Alongside his narrative of outward events  (Drury)….offers a running commentary on a full half of the 173 poems that make up the 1633 collection, The Temple, many of them quoted in full, plus four of the Latin poems. Readers who are tempted into the book by its focus on the life will finish with something far richer than more conventional biographies offer.

George Herbert was born in 1593 to a minor branch of the aristocratic Herbert family, probably in Montgomery in mid-Wales. His father died when he was three, and a few years later his mother moved to London, where she ran a household distinguished for its hospitality towards intellectuals. John Donne addressed some poems to her, and was to preach her funeral sermon. George was sent to Westminster School at the time when the great preacher and linguist Lancelot Andrewes, ….a master of style, especially of the “terse and urgent” short clause. TS Eliot was an admirer…(and preached his mother’s funeral in 1627)

A distinguished career at Trinity College, Cambridge, culminated in Herbert’s appointment as university orator in 1620. The post required him to be the public face of the university, in charge of its formal Latin correspondence and orations., (but left much of the work to others)….perhaps because of his recurrent ill health, perhaps to try to resolve his increasingly urgent personal dilemma as to whether to pursue a career that would satisfy his worldly ambitions, or to enter the priesthood.

In 1629 he married (Jane Danvers and in 1630 took holy orders) and  accepted the living of Bemerton, close to Salisbury and the cathedral music that he loved…(and) died in his parsonage in 1633. (At Bemerton, George Herbert preached and wrote poetry; helped rebuild the church out of his own funds; he cared deeply for his parishoners. He came to be known as “Holy Mr. Herbert” around the countryside in the three years before his death.)

St. Peter's

A number of the poems recorded in the early Williams manuscript allow for an exploration of how Herbert’s poetry developed. His parents’ tomb invites the poem on “Church Monuments”; his own death is the context for a discussion of his magnificent “Death, thou wast once an uncouth hideous thing”, a skeleton whose skull he re-imagines as the eggshells that “fledged souls left behind”. An account of the annual liturgical cycle makes space for his poetry on Christmas, the Passion and Easter.

….”Love bade me welcome” – is a recurrent touchstone from the first page, but every chapter is given its share of his finest poems.

Herbert is at once a master of simplicity and extraordinarily complex. Many of the difficulties for modern readers come from unfamiliarity with matters that Herbert’s contemporaries took for granted, and Drury is expert at summarising the basics needed for understanding each poem. His commentary assumes little advance knowledge, and he rarely omits any essential information that some readers might need (one instance is the image of human flesh as “but the glass, which holds the dust / That measures all our time”: an hourglass, not an unwashed beer glass). Biblical, liturgical and classical references are explained, unfamiliar words are glossed, the processes of alchemy described, and the difference between an iamb and a trochee spelled out. The last, indeed, proves especially important: the poems show an exceptionally subtle mastery of rhythm within simple metrical frameworks, and Drury will not let us overlook either (though his discussion of Latin metrics is a little odd). The Complete Poetry that Drury is now editing for Penguin Classics should fill in the gaps and provide yet more riches.

A few decades ago, some knowledge of Herbert’s poetry was a standard element of cultural literacy. His insistence on both inward and outward spirituality is scarcely fashionable now, though even atheist readers find him deeply attractive….Herbert writes of love and spiritual dryness, and can positively look forward to the Day of Judgment as a time for the reuniting of friends.

….The title comes from a recorded remark of his, that the memory of having helped a poor man with a fallen horse would supply him with a better “music at midnight” than the real thing that he made with his friends.

It isn’t easy to avoid hagiography in writing such a life (the earliest, Izaak Walton’s of 1670, for example), but Drury can at least let the poetry carry most of the weight. Ours is too cynical an age to believe in sanctity. Without ever saying so, this book is a reminder that it may be possible.

• Helen Cooper’s Shakespeare and the Medieval World is published by Arden Shakespeare.

See musical settings here.

And another recent posting regarding Herbert’s work/writings/pastoral style

George Herbert, the sacramental imagination and the catholic Anglican future

In the course of an excellent series reflecting on George Herbert, Mthr Miranda Threlfall-Holmes discusses George Herbert’s poem The Agony:

How can we measure the immeasurable? We can’t. The stock in trade questions of academic theology – what is sin, what is love, what did Jesus’ death accomplish – are not answered. We are simply presented with the image of Christ on the cross. And in doing so, Herbert is of course at his most profoundly theological. The poem’s construction itself communicates the fundamental Christian doctrine that God’s answer to all our questions is not words or theories, but to become incarnate as a human being and simply say: I am. Taste and see.

….”Who help one another see that which we do not readily see with our own eyes”.  The role of art and artist – and to be specific, on this day of Herbert’s commemoration, the role of poetry and poet – has a particular vocation in this regards.  Take Herbert’s Aaron.  What do we see when the priest at the altar?  We see frail – often very frail – flesh-and-blood, a bundle of contradictions and aspirations.  As for the priest, him- or herself, they are only too aware of this:

Profaneness in my head,
Defects and darkness in my breast,
A noise of passions ringing me for dead
Unto a place where is no rest :
Poor priest ! thus am I drest.

Herbert, however, helps us see what we are not seeing – the sacramentality of priesthood, the gift in frail flesh-and-blood:

 Only another head
I have another heart and breast,
Another music, making live, not dead,
Without whom I could have no rest :
In Him I am well drest.

Christ is my only head,
My alone only heart and breast,
My only music, striking me e’en dead ;
That to the old man I may rest,
And be in Him new drest.

So holy in my Head,
Perfect and light in my dear Breast,
My doctrine tuned by Christ (who is not dead,
But lives in me while I do rest),
Come, people ;  Aaron’s drest.

What of the act of penitence?  What do we see? A form of therapy? Mindfulness?  Introspection? Herbert in The Altar, quite dramatically, brings us before what we do not initially see, the sacramentality of penitence, of penitence as gift which makes new:

A broken ALTAR, Lord, thy servant reares,
Made of a heart, and cemented with teares:
Whose parts are as thy hand did frame;
No workmans tool hath touch’d the same.
A HEART alone
Is such a stone,
As nothing but
Thy pow’r doth cut.
Wherefore each part
Of  my hard  heart
Meets in this frame,
To praise thy Name;
That, if I chance to hold my peace,

These stones to praise thee may not cease.
O let thy blessed SACRIFICE be mine,
And sanctified this ALTAR to be thine.

Herbert’s gift of leading us to reflect upon and – to some extent – experience, to at least partially ‘taste and see’ the sacramental imagination was quite powerfully described by Threlfall-Holmes in a personal reference in the first of her articles on his poetry:

For Herbert, religion is never simply a set of dogmatic assertions, or a collection of cultural practices, as historical religion is sometimes caricatured. Nobody reading these poems can be left in any doubt as to Herbert’s emotional engagement with his subject matter. The question Herbert’s poetry raises is eternally contemporary. The poems don’t ask us “Is this true?” but “How do I feel about this?”

It is this question that slipped under my guard as a teenager. It was easy to dismiss the truth of the 20 impossible things that religion seemed to expect me to believe before breakfast. It was much harder to dismiss my own emotional reaction to these poems: the beauty, the yearning, the enticing danger. They left me with the sense that I was standing on a cliff, staring out to sea, hearing marvellous tales of lands beyond the horizon and wondering if they were, after all, just fairy tales or whether the intensity with which the tales were told was evidence that the teller had indeed seen a barely imagined kingdom.

Not every teenager or adult will read or respond to Herbert.  He does, however, show how it can be done, how the veil of the secular culture can be lifted in order that the glory and beauty of the Crucified and Risen One may be perceived, touched, tasted, felt: how secular postmoderns can be embraced by the sacramental imagination.

The 19th century catholic revival in Anglicanism was much less a product of the Tracts for the Times than it was the hymns of John Mason Neale and Christina Rossetti, the architecture of the Cambridge Camden Society, and the liturgical formation provided by Directorium Anglicanum. The future of catholic Anglicanism – our ability to engage in the new evangelisation – will be similarly dependent on whether we can nurture artists, poets, writers, musicians, singers, architects who can both enact and contribute to a liturgical culture and participate in a cultural engagement which brings the consumers and citizens of the 21st century to encounter and experience the Church’s sacramental imagination: the Word made flesh, wounded and crucified, risen and glorified, who calls us to participate in his Paschal Mystery.

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Joan of Arc

I know this now. Every man gives his life for what he believes. Every woman gives her life for what she believes. Sometimes people believe in little or nothing yet they give their lives to that little or nothing. One life is all we have and we live it as we believe in living it. And then it is gone. But to sacrifice what you are and live without belief, that's more terrible than dying.--

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Beannacht

On the day when
the weight deadens
on your shoulders
and you stumble,
may the clay dance
to balance you.

And when your eyes
freeze behind
the grey window
and the ghost of loss
gets in to you,
may a flock of colours,
indigo, red, green,
and azure blue
come to awaken in you
a meadow of delight.

When the canvas frays
in the currach of thought
and a stain of ocean
blackens beneath you,
may there come across the waters
a path of yellow moonlight
to bring you safely home.

May the nourishment of the earth be yours,
may the clarity of light be yours,
may the fluency of the ocean be yours,
may the protection of the ancestors be yours.
And so may a slow
wind work these words
of love around you,
an invisible cloak
to mind your life.

John O'Donohue, Echoes of Memory