November 2013

Newman Himself (& Von Speyr on Newman)

With the morn, those angel faces smile which I have loved long since and lost awhile . —John Henry Newman Notes of condolence are among of the hardest things of all to write. They are obliged to console. Consolation is their raison d’etre. Yet how is that accomplished? What can be said at the moment grief demands its due without falling into maudlin cliché? Anguish seems better left with silence. Yet silence is cruel, a retreat from the one who grieves and an abandonment of the dead. Continue Reading
In Morte Sumus

I heard a voice from heaven, saying unto me, Write: From henceforth blessed are the dead who die in the Lord. —Book of Common Prayer Souls Transformed into Birds (15th C.). Venetian manuscript illustration for Dante’s Divine Comedy. Biblioteca Marciana, Venice. Can we stay awhile with death? This is November, month of the Holy Souls. Poor Souls, in the wording of my childhood. It is the season to remember that “in the midst of life, we are in death.” The Church gives us a full month to consider what the culture around us strains to obscure. Continue Reading