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Daily Archives: July 10, 2013

A sonnet for St. Benedict


On July the 11th the Church celebrates the feast of St. Benedict of Nursia, the gentle founder of the Benedictine order and by extension the father of Monasticism. A moderate and modest man he would have been astonished to learn that his ‘simple school for prayer’, his ‘modest rule for beginners’ led to the foundation of communities which kept the Christian flame alight through dark ages, preserved not only Christian faith, scripture, and culture,but also the best of Classical Pagan learning and culture, fed the poor, transformed societies, promoted learning and scholarship, and today provides solace, grounding, perspective and retreat not only to monks and nuns but to millions of lay people around the world.
Here is my sonnet for Benedict, drawing largely on phrases from the Rule, I dedicate it to the sisters at Turvey Abbey. It will appear in my next book with Canterbury PressThe Singing Bowl

As always you can hear the sonnet by clicking on the ‘play’ button or the title.

You sought to start a simple school of prayer,
A modest, gentle, moderate attempt,
With nothing made too harsh or hard to bear,
No treating or retreating with contempt,
A little rule, a small obedience
That sets aside, and tills the chosen ground,
Fruitful humility, chosen innocence,
A binding by which freedom might be found

You call us all to live, and see good days,
Centre in Christ and enter in his peace,
To seek his Way amidst our many ways,
Find blessedness in blessing, peace in praise,
To clear and keep for Love a sacred space
That we might be beginners in God’s grace.

Malcolm Guite

Daily Haiku

vernon dewhurst


Monsoon rain’s grey curtain

Hides the steaming green mountains.

Frogs sprout like magic.

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1958 Rolls Royce Honeymoon Express By Thomas Sims



Yesterday, our Fourth of July,
We watched parades and cheered the sky.
Freedom given by our past,
We now take for granted, will it last?

Today, they remembered those before we came;
Honored their ancestors and descendents who remain.
Freedom returned, once stolen from their past,
They won’t take for granted, will it last?

Dedicated to the Mashpee Wampanoag & their 92nd Annual Powwow (July 5-7, 2013)

Copyright 2013 Wendy Shreve

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