Canticle of Mary

(The Magnificat)

My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord,
my spirit rejoices in God my Savior
for he has looked with favor on his lowly servant.

From this day all generations will call me blessed:
the Almighty has done great things for me,
and holy is his Name.

He has mercy on those who fear him
in every generation.

He has shown the strength of his arm,
he has scattered the proud in their conceit.

He has cast down the mighty from their thrones,
and has lifted up the lowly.

He has filled the hungry with good things,
and the rich he has sent away empty.

He has come to the help of his servant Israel
for he has remembered his promise of mercy,
the promise he made to our fathers,
to Abraham and his children for ever.

Glory be to the Father, and to the Son,
   and to the Holy Spirit,
as it was in the beginning, is now,
and will be for ever,
world without end. Amen.

"...not into temptation"

(A meditation on each word(s)
 of the Lord's prayer)

Even though I profess
You are the one true God,
the world contains 
so many of
its own gods.

Trying to seduce me
that their fantasies 
are able to
fulfill my 
needs and wants.

may every choice
I make today,
be considered
Your Way
and the 
world's temptations.


A Christmas Circular Letter

The city had withdrawn into itself 
And left at last the country to the country; 
When between whirls of snow not come to lie 
And whirls of foliage not yet laid, there drove 
A stranger to our yard, who looked the city, 
Yet did in country fashion in that there 
He sat and waited till he drew us out 
A-buttoning coats to ask him who he was. 
He proved to be the city come again 
To look for something it had left behind 
And could not do without and keep its Christmas. 
He asked if I would sell my Christmas trees; 
My woods—the young fir balsams like a place 
Where houses all are churches and have spires. 
I hadn't thought of them as Christmas Trees. 
I doubt if I was tempted for a moment 
To sell them off their feet to go in cars 
And leave the slope behind the house all bare, 
Where the sun shines now no warmer than the moon. 
I'd hate to have them know it if I was. 
Yet more I'd hate to hold my trees except 
As others hold theirs or refuse for them, 
Beyond the time of profitable growth, 
The trial by market everything must come to. 
I dallied so much with the thought of selling. 
Then whether from mistaken courtesy 
And fear of seeming short of speech, or whether 
From hope of hearing good of what was mine, 
I said, "There aren't enough to be worth while." 

"I could soon tell how many they would cut, You let me look them over." 

                                    "You could look. 
But don't expect I'm going to let you have them." 
Pasture they spring in, some in clumps too close 
That lop each other of boughs, but not a few 
Quite solitary and having equal boughs 
All round and round. The latter he nodded "Yes" to, 
Or paused to say beneath some lovelier one, 
With a buyer's moderation, "That would do." 
I thought so too, but wasn't there to say so. 
We climbed the pasture on the south, crossed over, 
And came down on the north.
                                     He said, "A thousand." 
"A thousand Christmas trees!—at what apiece?" 

He felt some need of softening that to me:
 "A thousand trees would come to thirty dollars." 

Then I was certain I had never meant 
To let him have them. 
Never show surprise! 
But thirty dollars seemed so small beside 
The extent of pasture I should strip, three cents 
(For that was all they figured out apiece), 
Three cents so small beside the dollar friends 
I should be writing to within the hour 
Would pay in cities for good trees like those, 
Regular vestry-trees whole Sunday Schools 
Could hang enough on to pick off enough. 
A thousand Christmas trees I didn't know I had! 
Worth three cents more to give away than sell, 
As may be shown by a simple calculation. 
Too bad I couldn't lay one in a letter. 
I can't help wishing I could send you one, 
In wishing you herewith a Merry Christmas. 

Robert Frost

"And lead us..."

(A meditation on each word(s)
 of the Lord's prayer)

It is true
that the angels
cheer and rejoice
over the one
that the Shepherd
has returned to the fold.

they are mystified
at the Master's
difficulty to
lead the 99
from the 
pastures of the past
fresh new meadows.


"...we forgive those who trespass against us."

(A meditation on each word(s) 
of the Lord's prayer)

The Physician

"In order to stop
you must end
this self-medication of 
and hurts."

But we respond:
"We will
really suffer!"

And He answered:
"Then healing 
can start."

So we make the decision-
Should we
consider this cure
start exploring
second opinions?

"As we..."

(A meditation on each word(s) 
of the Lord's prayer)

we're having this
nice conversation of
what You will provide
now and in the future.

And then
You bring 
into the discussion.

"What could we do for You?"
we ask.

And after a
moment of
the Other speaks
one word:


William Ernest Henley

Out of the night that covers me,
      Black as the pit from pole to pole,
I thank whatever gods may be
      For my unconquerable soul.

In the fell clutch of circumstance
      I have not winced nor cried aloud.
Under the bludgeonings of chance
      My head is bloody, but unbowed.

Beyond this place of wrath and tears
      Looms but the Horror of the shade,
And yet the menace of the years
      Finds and shall find me unafraid.

It matters not how strait the gate,
      How charged with punishments the scroll,
I am the master of my fate,
      I am the captain of my soul.


“Christmas traffic”

Three, two, one, liftoff
Signals Mission Control. And off they go.
To the dark parts of the planets
In their pressurized spacesuits,
Cocooned in technology, the astronauts.

Mission control whispers in someone’s ear.
Yes, she says, I will. And in due time
A different traveler makes a quieter journey,
Arriving hungry, naked, but true to instructions,
Docking on Earth, taking the one small step.

U. A. Fanthorpe

"And forgive us our trespasses"

(A meditation on each word(s) 
of the Lord's prayer)

As we cleanse
our temples
and rid 
ourselves of 
all the souvenirs
from the places
where we thought
we could find
unconditional love,

please take them
along with our
desires for them.

And afterwards, 
 lead us
your rebellious children
in a service
of rededication.