An Irish Welcome

Céad Míle Fáilte friend and rover ...
Wherever you come from and whosoever you may be.
That's an Irish greeting and it means

you are welcome
a thousand times over.

Friday, May 28, 2010

Is that alright?

Sarah wrote:
I would say the song is about two people who love each other. But, if they act on their feelings, they will destroy each other (as in shooting each other with a gun). They are saying that it is better to give their gun/love away (it is better to not act on their feelings) than it is to destroy each other. 
"It's the wrong time 
For somebody new."
She cannot start a relationship.
"It's the wrong kind of place
To be cheating on you
It's the wrong time
She's pulling me through."
He is trying to move on. His potential partner/friend (?) is pulling him through the difficult situation.
"If you don't shoot it, how am I supposed to hold it?"
If I cannot love you, how am I supposed to deal with this love/deal with this situation? At the end of the song, they ask..
"Is that alright with you?"
They both say "no", as they are torn... 

What do you think?

The new rebel is a skeptic

Romance with Gilbert Keith Chesteron

The Modern Liberal, in Chesterton's work Orthodoxy (not about Orthodox Christianity)

The new rebel is a skeptic, and will not entirely trust anything. He has no loyalty; therefore he can never be really a revolutionist. And the fact that he doubts everything really gets in his way when he wants to denounce anything. For all denunciation implies a moral doctrine of some kind; and the modern revolutionist doubts not only the institution he denounces, but the doctrine by which he denounces it.

Thus he writes one book complaining that imperial oppression insults the purity of women, and then he writes another book (about the sex problem) in which he insults it himself. He curses the Sultan because Christian girls lose their virginity, and then curses Mrs. Grundy because they keep it. As a politician, he will cry out that war is a waste of life, and then, as a philosopher, that all life is waste of time. A Russian pessimist will denounce a policeman for killing a peasant, and then prove by the highest philosophical principles that the peasant ought to have killed himself.

A man denounces marriage as a lie, and then denounces aristocratic profligates for treating it as a lie. He calls a flag a bauble, and then blames the oppressors of Poland or Ireland because they take away that bauble. The man of this school goes first to a political meeting, where he complains that savages are treated as if they were beasts; then he takes his hat and umbrella and goes on to a scientific meeting, where he proves that they practically are beasts.

In short, the modern revolutionist, being an infinite skeptic, is always engaged in undermining his own mines. In his book on politics he attacks men for trampling on morality; in his book on ethics he attacks morality for trampling on men. Therefore the modern man in revolt has become practically useless for all purposes of revolt. By rebelling against everything he has lost his right to rebel against anything

(Orthodoxy 53).

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Spiritual commerce

... A word born of righteous activity (praxis) is one thing, and a beautiful speech is another. Even without experience, wisdom is clever at imparting beauty to her words, at speaking the truth without really knowing it, and at making declarations on virtue while the man himself never makes trial of it in his deeds. Speech that comes from righteous activity is a treasury of hope, but wisdom not based on righteous activity is a deposit of disgrace. Just as when an artist frescoes water on the walls and cannot relieve his thirst with it, or just as a man dreams beautiful dreams, even so is speech not based on righteous activity.

A man who talks of virtue from the experience of his own labour transmits that virtue to the hearer just as though he distributes money earned from his own commerce. ... Such a man opens his mouth with boldness even as the ancient Jacob said to Joseph the Chaste,

"Behold, I have given thee one portion above thy brethren, which I took from the Amorites with my sword and my bow." (Gen. 48:22)

Monday, May 24, 2010

The eyelid ...

... is a screen, a curtain and covering, and is a sort of dwelling place and fortress. The hand could cover the eye, but before the hand came, the eye would have already have been obscured. But now the eyelid lies close by, placed above; at once it perceives the harm and puts forward the covering. Because of this the pupil also, placed under a covering, is not continually open to attack. The eye, alone of our organs, wishes to be untouched; it is veiled by the covering of the eyelid.

It is surrounded by lashes. Why?

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Now is the time to ... gaze at the winter trees

"May such calm of soul be mine, so as to meet the force of circumstances"
-- Aescylus (circa 525-456 BC)

gaze at the winter trees

They may look sad without their leaves.
But look beyond the bare branches.
They signal nature's comforting cycles.
They represent the sure sign of regrowth.
They will blossom and bear fruit.

We all have our seasons.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

The story of the Claddah ring

The Claddagh ring (Irishfáinne Chladaigh) is a traditional Irish ring given as a token of love or worn as a wedding ring. The design and customs associated with it originated in the Irish fishing village of Claddagh, located just outside the city of Galway. The ring was first produced in the 17th century during the reign of Queen Mary II, though elements of the design are much older. Claddaghs continue to be worn, primarily by those of Irish heritage, as both a cultural symbol and as engagement and wedding rings.
Legend has it that an Irish young man, Richard Joyce, bound for the West Indian slave plantations - no doubt the Irish Caribbean island of Montserrat - was kidnapped himself in rough seas by a band of Mediterranean pirates and sold to a Moorish goldsmith who over the many long years of his exile helped him perfect the skills of a master craftsman.

When in 1689 King William III negotiated the return of the slaves, Joyce returned to Galway - despite, it said, the Moor's offer of the daughter's hand in marriage and a princely dowry of half of all his wealth.

Back in Ireland a young women had never stopped faithful waiting for her true love to return. Upon which time when he presented her with the now famous Royal Claddagh gold ring - a symbol of their enduring love. Two hands to represent their friendship, the crown to signify their loyalty and lasting fidelity, and the sign of the heart to symbolise their eternal love for each other.

They soon married, never to be separated again.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Now is the time to ... value wisdom

"The years teach much which the days never knew."
- Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1883)

value wisdom

Don't underestimate the value of knowledge, yours or others.
Seek out those who've been there. Ask them what they've learned.
Listen to them. Distil their wisdom.

Apply it to your own journey.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Now is the time to ... nurture your creativity

 "Love the art in yourself, not yourself in the art." 
- Konstantin Stanislavsky (1863-1938)

Nurture your creativity

We are all creative and artists of some kind. 
Some are better than others, and a few are geniuses. 
But we all have a creative spirit.

Allow it to rise up. Nurture it, challenge it.

Give it freedom to grow ...

Monday, May 17, 2010

Now is the time to ... find your spark

We all have a spark within us that ignites our creative spirit. Sometimes it is overshadowed by the big obstacles that threaten the light in our lives. But our spark will survive our darkest times, waiting to show the way to a brighter future.

find your spark

He will give justice

In a parable, the Lord spoke of the need for constant prayer and of the avoidance of discouragement.

Do not fall into despondency if at times you do not get what you ask for. Keep up your courage. It will come later. For the Lord went on to tell another parable:

"If I do not fear God and have no reverence for man, yet since this woman affords me such pains I had better do her justice." (Luke 18:4-5)

The same thing will happen to those who cry out to God day and night-He will give them justice, and do it quickly. Take courage then, and persevere in your holy prayer with all sails unfurled.

Friday, May 14, 2010

A La Claire Fontaine by Shang Wen Jie

This is Shang Wen Jie's interpretation of a very old french children's song for the movie the "Painted Veil". The lyrics for this piece date back to the 16th century, and are credited to a French juggler and I offer a translation for your pleasure and enjoyment:

By the clear running fountain
I strayed one summer day.
The water looked so cooling
I bathed without delay.

Many long years have I loved you,
Ever in my heart you'll stay.

Beneath an oak tree shady
I dried myself that day
When from the topmost branch
A bird's song came my way.

Sing, nightingale, keep singing,
Your heart is always gay.
You have no cares to grieve you,
While I could weep today.

You have no cares to grieve you,
While I could weep today,
For I have lost my loved one
In such a senseless way.

She wanted some red roses
But I did rudely say
She could not have the roses
That I had picked that day.

Now I wish those red roses
Were on their bush today
While I and my beloved
Still went our old sweet way.

A red, red rose ...

I had this poem on the blog and then removed it last night ... but a Celtic friend reposted it and I think this poem wants to remain in my memory thus back on this page it goes:

A Red, Red Rose

O my Luve's like a red, red rose
That’s newly sprung in June;
O my Luve's like the melodie
That’s sweetly play'd in tune.

As fair art thou, my bonnie lass,
So deep in luve am I:
And I will luve thee still, my dear,
Till a’ the seas gang dry:

Till a’ the seas gang dry, my dear,
And the rocks melt wi’ the sun:
I will luve thee still, my dear,
While the sands o’ life shall run.

And fare thee weel, my only Luve
And fare thee weel, a while.
And I will come again, my Luve,
Tho’ it were ten thousand mile.


This song represents that deeply felt longing for homeland; where is Caledonia? Caledonia is a romantic or poetic name for Scotland, the land of "light" ...

To me "Caledonia", the Land of Light is my hearts longing ... the video captures images of beautiful landscaping sculpted by Him who is the Way and the Light and reminds me of what it is that God has given us ... a gift - our home. 

I do not know my eternal homeland and I do not even know this homeland but I know I long for it and its authentic beauty and warmth. I long for the Creator who gives us gifts that our humanity destroys.

I don't know if you can see
The changes that have come over me
In these last few days I've been afraid
That I might drift away
So I've been telling old stories, singing songs
That make me think about where I came from
And that's the reason why I seem
So far away today.

Oh, but let me tell you that I love you
That I think about you all the time
Caledonia you're calling me
And now I'm going home
If I should become a stranger
You know that it would make me more than sad
Caledonia's been everything
I've ever had.

Now I have moved and I've kept on moving
Proved the points that I needed proving
Lost the friends that I needed losing
Found others on the way
I have kissed the ladies and left them crying
Stolen dreams, yes there's no denying
I have traveled hard with coattails flying
Somewhere in the wind.


Now I'm sitting here before the fire
The empty room, the forest choir
The flames that could not get any higher
They've withered now they've gone
But I'm steady thinking my way is clear
And I know what I will do tomorrow
When the hands are shaken and the kisses flow
Then I will disappear.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

My candlelight

Death indeed has already come and has not left me; its teeth continually in my flesh.

My candle is burning down ...

O my Immortal God, look mercifully upon a candle that is burning out, and purify its flame. For only a pure flame rises toward Your face, and enters Your eye, with which you watch the whole world.

How difficult it is for a sinful soul when it is undiluted by flesh and unhidden by flesh! Truly, a wheel does not go into the mud by itself, but only if a coachman drives it there. Surely you realize now that the wheel became sullied by the coachman's own will.

You sinful soul, yearn no longer to return to the body, as though you could supposedly flee from the evil stench that is suffocating you where you are now. You would only bring that same stench back with you, and would increase it in a new body. You sinful soul; yearn no longer to enter the body, as though you could flee the fire that is roasting you and the smoke that is smothering you! You would only bring the fire and smoke with yourself, and your body would not be your rescuer but your burnt offering.

Shatter the narrowness of my soul, O expanse of the triradiate Godhead!
Illuminate my mind, O light of angels and creatures.
Make my life logical, Most Wise logos of God.
Make my soul a virgin, and be her eye and her song.

You righteous souls, pray to the Lord. Even though we are weaker than you, we nevertheless pray to God for you. We pray out of the love with which our heart burns for you, even as a younger and weaker brother reaches out to help his older and stronger brother. For all of you, both righteous and sinful, we who are half dead, half-alive pray to the Mercy of Heaven, so that you may not be confounded, so that you may not be afraid and look back, but may, in the fullness of summer, head ever forward and ever higher:

toward light and joy
toward peace and plenitude.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Severe temptations ...

The greater the progress the soul makes the more fearful the adversaries that take over the war against her.

I do not accept the opinion, that the same demons always remain about her ... Those who fall into more severe temptations above all know the truth of this view, for they observe that the measure of purity of heart they have achieved is worked over by successive demons [stronger demons].

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Dont tell me that the struggle is sin alone!

Our holy God lets temptations come upon those who love Him in order to 
teach them the art of war. 

The grace of God withdraws and then clouds of temptation rise and one reaches the point of saying, "See! God has abandoned me!" Then he has myriads of thoughts, strangulation of soul, and darkness and lapses everywhere!

Holy Wisdom, our holy God, causes all these, and we learn that only God is able to save us and that without God all our own works are rubbish and chaff, which all scatter with the slightest wind of temptation, and it becomes apparent that we are rusty things, feeble and unable to face any temptation whatsoever without the aid of our holy God's grace.

Through such things the grace of divine providence teaches us the lesson of self-knowledge; that is, of true, cognizant, solid, bedrock humility; for without it, it is impossible to build a spiritual house. He abandons us to the point of despair, so that we are compelled to cry out to Him mournfully and lamentably, so that our mouth and heart may be sanctified.

Temptations, therefore, bring about all these things. Indeed, let us pray that God will protect us from temptations, but when they come, we must pass through them with patience and wisdom to profit from them. Therefore, have patience in all things and thus save yourself.

Monday, May 3, 2010

Pay attention ...

Thank you God for the rocks that do not hit me ...

You Raise Me Up

 Piano piece in this video is called "Rain" by Dax Johnson.

When I am down and, oh my soul, so weary;
When troubles come and my heart burdened be;
Then, I am still and wait here in the silence,
Until you come and sit awhile with me.

You raise me up, so I can stand on mountains;
You raise me up, to walk on stormy seas;
I am strong, when I am on your shoulders;
You raise me up: To more than I can be.

You raise me up, so I can stand on mountains;
You raise me up, to walk on stormy seas;
I am strong, when I am on your shoulders;
You raise me up: To more than I can be.

There is no life - no life without its hunger;
Each restless heart beats so imperfectly;
But when you come and I am filled with wonder,
Sometimes, I think I glimpse eternity.

You raise me up, so I can stand on mountains;
You raise me up, to walk on stormy seas;
I am strong, when I am on your shoulders;
You raise me up: To more than I can be.

You raise me up, so I can stand on mountains;
You raise me up, to walk on stormy seas;
I am strong, when I am on your shoulders;
You raise me up: To more than I can be.