Monday, January 11, 2010

every day

George De La Tour, St. Joseph the Carpenter

My local fraternity group says the following prayer everyday as part of our rule:

Holy Mary, Mother of God,

preserve in me the heart of a child,

pure and clean like spring water;

a simple heart

that does not remain absorbed

in its own sadness;

a loving heart

that freely gives with compassion;

a faithful and generous heart

that neither forgets good

nor feels bitterness for any evil.

Give me a sweet and humble heart

that loves without asking

to be loved in return,

happy to lose itself

in the heart of others,

sacrificing itself in front

of your Divine Son;

a great and unconquerable heart

which no ingratitude can close

and no indifference can tire;

a heart tormented by the glory of Christ,

pierced by His love

with a wound that will not heal

until heaven.

- Fr. Leonce de Grandmaison

The prayer also appears in the sidebar of this blog. The San Carlo priests pray this every day.

George De La Tour, The Education of the Virgin

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Dumbstruck by the Mystery

...our temptation is always to impose our prejudices or our measure on reality -- except when we are faced with a fact that leaves us dumbstruck, and instead of dominating the fact ourselves, we are dominated, overcome by it. If there were no moments of this kind, the Mystery could do anything, but in the end, we would reduce everything to the usual explanation. But not even a Nobel Prize winner can stop himself from being dumbstruck before an absolutely gratuitous gesture. If there were not these moments, we would find answers, explanations, and interpretations to avoid being struck by anything. It is good that some things happen that we cannot dominate, then we have to take them seriously, and this is the great question of philosophy. If the conditions for the possibility of knowledge (see Kant) impose themselves on reality or if there is something that is so powerfully disproportionate that it does not let itself be "grasped" by the conditions of possibility, then the horizon opens. If this were not the case, then we could dominate everything and be in peace, or at least without drama. Instead, not even the intelligence of a Nobel Prize winner could prevent him from coming face-to-face with a fact that made him dumbstruck -- instead of dominating, it was he who was dominated. Here begins the drama, because I am called to answer. It is the drama that unfolds between us and the Mystery, through certain facts, certain moments, in which the Mystery imposes itself with this evidence. These are facts that we cannot put in our pocket, which we cannot reduce to antecedent factors.
-- Julian Carron in "Friends, that is, Witnesses."