Lord’s Day, 7/29/12

My heart is heavy with the weight of things of which I may not yet speak. Were I free to speak of them, I have no proper words of my own.

          THE SECOND COMING

Turning and turning in the widening gyre
The falcon cannot hear the falconer;
Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
The best lack all conviction, while the worst
Are full of passionate intensity.

Surely some revelation is at hand;
Surely the Second Coming is at hand.
The Second Coming! Hardly are those words out
When a vast image out of Spiritus Mundi
Troubles my sight: a waste of desert sand;
A shape with lion body and the head of a man,
A gaze blank and pitiless as the sun,
Is moving its slow thighs, while all about it
Wind shadows of the indignant desert birds.

The darkness drops again but now I know
That twenty centuries of stony sleep
Were vexed to nightmare by a rocking cradle,
And what rough beast, its hour come round at last,
Slouches towards Bethlehem to be born?

(William Butler Yeats)

Somewhere in our history we passed a divide where politics began to be more highly valued than culture … Whereas I once believed that the decadence of the West could only be turned around through politics and intellectual dialectics, I am now convinced that authentic renewal can only emerge out of the imaginative visions of the artist and the mystic.

Gregory Wolfe, Beauty Will Save the World: Recovering the Human in an Ideological Age (quoted in a review in The American Conservative).

Have mercy on us, 0 Lord, have mercy on us; for at a loss for any defense, this prayer do we sinners offer Thee as Master; have mercy on us.

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit.

Lord have mercy on us, for we have hoped in Thee, be not angry with us greatly, neither remember our iniquities; but look upon us now as Thou art compassionate, and deliver us from our enemies, for Thou art our God, and we, Thy people; all are the works of Thy hands, and we call upon Thy name.

Both now and ever, and unto ages of ages. Amen.

(An Orthodox evening prayer.)