Dignity by Too-qua-stae

And what, in fact, is dignity? In those
Who have it pure, it is the soul’s repose, 
The base of character—no mere reserve 
That springs from pride, or want of mental nerve.
The dignity that wealth, or station, breeds, 
Or in the breast on base emotion feeds, 
Is easy weighed, and easy to be sized—A bastard virtue, much to be despised.

True dignity is like a summer tree.
Beneath whose shade both beast, and bird, and bee,
When by the heated skies oppressed, may come,
And feel, in its magnificence, at home;
Or rather like a mountain which forgets
Itself in its own greatness, and so lets
Vast armies fuss and fight upon its sides,
While high in clouds its peaceful summit hides,
And from the voiceless crest of glistening snow,
Pours trickling fatness on the fields below;
Repellant force, that daunts obtrusive wrong,
And woos the timid steps of right along;
And hence a garb which magistrates prepare,
When called to judge, and really seem to wear.
In framing character on whate’er plan,
‘Tis always needed to complete the man,
The job quite done, and Dignity without,
Is like an apple pie, the fruit left out.

Isola Tiberina, Roma
Photo by Small Circle Big Circle

A verse for our time by Rudolf Steiner

A Verse for Our Time

We must eradicate from the soul
All fear and terror of what comes towards man out of the future.

We must acquire serenity
In all feelings and sensations about the future.

We must look forward with absolute equanimity
To everything that may come.

And we must think only that whatever comes
Is given to us by a world-directive full of wisdom.

It is part of what we must learn in this age,
namely, to live out of pure trust,
Without any security in existence.

Trust in the ever present help 
Of the spiritual world.

Truly, nothing else will do
If our courage is not to fail us.

And let us seek the awakening from within ourselves
Every morning and every evening.

– Rudolf Steiner

Photo by small circle big circle

Patient trust by Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, SJ

Above all, trust in the slow work of God.
We are quite naturally impatient in everything to reach the end without delay.
We should like to skip the intermediate stages.
We are impatient of being on the way to something unknown, something new.

And yet it is the law of all progress
that it is made by passing through some stages of instability—
and that it may take a very long time.

And so I think it is with you;
your ideas mature gradually—let them grow,
let them shape themselves, without undue haste.
Don’t try to force them on,
as though you could be today what time
(that is to say, grace and circumstances acting on your own good will)
will make of you tomorrow.

Only God could say what this new spirit
gradually forming within you will be.
Give Our Lord the benefit of believing
that his hand is leading you,
and accept the anxiety of feeling yourself
in suspense and incomplete.

—Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, SJ

Madonna del Parto – unknown Master – Italy – 1490s
Photo by Small Circle Big Circle

A prayer – St. Ignatius of Loyola

Take Lord and receive all my liberty, my memory, my understanding and my will, all that I have and possess. Everything I have is yours, for you have given it all to me; to you I return it. Take me, Lord, and do what you like with me, only give me your grace and your love, for that is enough for me. Amen.

– Saint Ignatius of Loyola

Photo by Small Circle Big Circle

I worried by Mary Oliver

I worried a lot. Will the garden grow, will the rivers
flow in the right direction, will the earth turn
as it was taught, and if not how shall
I correct it?

Was I right, was I wrong, will I be forgiven,
can I do better?

Will I ever be able to sing, even the sparrows
can do it and I am, well,
hopeless.

Is my eyesight fading or am I just imagining it,
am I going to get rheumatism,
lockjaw, dementia?

Finally I saw that worrying had come to nothing.
And gave it up. And took my old body
and went out into the morning,
and sang.

– Mary Oliver

Collage by Carolina Perrone

Peace prayer – Saint Francis of Assisi

Lord, make me an instrument of your peace:
where there is hatred, let me sow love;
where there is injury, pardon;
where there is doubt, faith;
where there is despair, hope;
where there is darkness, light;
where there is sadness, joy.

O divine Master, grant that I may not so much seek
to be consoled as to console,
to be understood as to understand,
to be loved as to love.
For it is in giving that we receive,
it is in pardoning that we are pardoned,
and it is in dying that we are born to eternal life.
Amen.

Acrylic painting by Carolina Perrone

Signore, fa di me
uno strumento della Tua Pace:
Dove è odio, fa ch’io porti l’Amore,
Dove è offesa, ch’io porti il Perdono,
Dove è discordia, ch’io porti l’Unione,
Dove è dubbio, ch’io porti la Fede,
Dove è errore, ch’io porti la Verità,
Dove è disperazione, ch’io porti la Speranza,
Dove è tristezza, ch’io porti la Gioia,
Dove sono le tenebre, ch’io porti la Luce.
Maestro, fa che io non cerchi tanto
Ad esser consolato, quanto a consolare;
Ad essere compreso, quanto a comprendere;
Ad essere amato, quanto ad amare.
Poiché, così è:
Dando, che si riceve;
Perdonando, che si è perdonati;
Morendo, che si risuscita a Vita Eterna