Sunday, July 24, 2016

Project BLACK MAMBA: XVII Sunday in Ordinary Time

'Tis the Seventeenth Sunday in Ordinary Time: Wikipedia-link.

Otherwise, 24 July would be the feast of Blessed Louise of Savoy, Religious (circa 1461-1503): Blessed-link & Wikipedia-link.

'Twould also be the feast of Saint Sharbel Makhluf, Priest, O.L.M. (1828-1898): Saint-link ┼źnus, Saint-link duo, & Wikipedia-link.

Commentary: Wayback Machine.

Scripture of the Week
Mass Readings
The Book of Genesis, chapter eighteen, verses twenty thru thirty-two;
Psalm One Hundred Thirty-eight, verses one thru three & six thru eight;
The Letter to the Colossians, chapter two, verses twelve thru fourteen;
The Gospel according to Luke, chapter eleven, verses one thru thirteen.

Poetry Smackdown
One of the many virtues of National Review magazine is that a poem is published in nearly every issue. The following is from the 27 June 2016 issue, Volume LXVIII, № XI. (The masthead of that issue of National Review gives the issue number as "Volume LXVIII, № 11," but your humble narrator finds the incongruity 'twixt the Roman & Arabic numerals distasteful. But I digress.)
"Altar"
by William W. Runyeon

The altar of the great cathedral
brings indoors something of the majesty
of the open sky, as the architect
lifts the eyes of all from the altar
to the wide beauty and precision
of the ceiling, jeweler's art in the sky,
a world, in its refinement and artistry,
of museums as much as of worship.

This is hallowed ground far different
from the wilderness altar of Moses,
his burnt offering at the high place
at Gibeon. It is our place to be
grateful for different gifts at different times.

From a heritage of thousands of years,
of the written words, saints, orthodoxies;
of priests, interpreters, wars, revisions,
and renewals; worship wears very'
different vestments from the rough cloth of
religion hewn from the desert, from the
wilderness, where orthodoxies are tribal,
and living by cohesion essential for
survival of both group and individual.

Weather permitting, the greater gift lies
with a cross lashed together from sticks,
deep in the forest, upon an altar
simple as a fallen log, brushed clean;
its moment of clarity, silence, and
prayer, through the tall trees, where great
shafts of light are the majesty of Heaven;
and the hands of man, an afterthought.

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