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Saturday, July 30, 2011

Good Poetry: The Hound of Heaven, by Francis Thompson

I FLED Him, down the nights and down the days;
I fled Him, down the arches of the years;
I fled Him, down the labyrinthine ways
Of my own mind; and in the mist of tears
I hid from Him, and under running laughter.
Up vistaed hopes I sped;
And shot, precipitated,
Adown Titanic glooms of chasmèd fears,
From those strong Feet that followed, followed after.
But with unhurrying chase,
And unperturbèd pace,
Deliberate speed, majestic instancy,
They beat—and a Voice beat
More instant than the Feet—
‘All things betray thee, who betrayest Me.’
          I pleaded, outlaw-wise,
By many a hearted casement, curtained red,
  Trellised with intertwining charities;
(For, though I knew His love Who followèd,
        Yet was I sore adread
Lest, having Him, I must have naught beside).
But, if one little casement parted wide,
  The gust of His approach would clash it to.
  Fear wist not to evade, as Love wist to pursue.
Across the margent of the world I fled,
  And troubled the gold gateways of the stars,
  Smiting for shelter on their clangèd bars;
        Fretted to dulcet jars
And silvern chatter the pale ports o’ the moon.
I said to Dawn: Be sudden—to Eve: Be soon;
  With thy young skiey blossoms heap me over
        From this tremendous Lover—
Float thy vague veil about me, lest He see!
  I tempted all His servitors, but to find
My own betrayal in their constancy,
In faith to Him their fickleness to me,
  Their traitorous trueness, and their loyal deceit.
To all swift things for swiftness did I sue;
  Clung to the whistling mane of every wind.
      But whether they swept, smoothly fleet,
    The long savannahs of the blue;
        Or whether, Thunder-driven,
    They clanged his chariot ’thwart a heaven,
Plashy with flying lightnings round the spurn o’ their feet:—
  Fear wist not to evade as Love wist to pursue.
      Still with unhurrying chase,
      And unperturbèd pace,
    Deliberate speed, majestic instancy,
      Came on the following Feet,
      And a Voice above their beat—
    ‘Naught shelters thee, who wilt not shelter Me.’
I sought no more that after which I strayed
  In face of man or maid;
But still within the little children’s eyes
  Seems something, something that replies,
They at least are for me, surely for me!
I turned me to them very wistfully;
But just as their young eyes grew sudden fair
  With dawning answers there,
Their angel plucked them from me by the hair.
‘Come then, ye other children, Nature’s—share
With me’ (said I) ‘your delicate fellowship;
  Let me greet you lip to lip,
  Let me twine with you caresses,
  With our Lady-Mother’s vagrant tresses,
  With her in her wind-walled palace,
  Underneath her azured daïs,
  Quaffing, as your taintless way is,
    From a chalice
Lucent-weeping out of the dayspring.’
    So it was done:
I in their delicate fellowship was one—
Drew the bolt of Nature’s secrecies.
  I knew all the swift importings
  On the wilful face of skies;
  I knew how the clouds arise
  Spumèd of the wild sea-snortings;
    All that’s born or dies
  Rose and drooped with; made them shapers
Of mine own moods, or wailful or divine;
  With them joyed and was bereaven.
  I was heavy with the even,
  When she lit her glimmering tapers
  Round the day’s dead sanctities.
  I laughed in the morning’s eyes.
I triumphed and I saddened with all weather,
  Heaven and I wept together,
And its sweet tears were salt with mortal mine;
Against the red throb of its sunset-heart
    I laid my own to beat,
    And share commingling heat;
But not by that, by that, was eased my human smart.
In vain my tears were wet on Heaven’s grey cheek.
For ah! we know not what each other says,
  These things and I; in sound I speak—
Their sound is but their stir, they speak by silences.
Nature, poor stepdame, cannot slake my drouth;
  Let her, if she would owe me,
Drop yon blue bosom-veil of sky, and show me
  The breasts o’ her tenderness:
Never did any milk of hers once bless
    My thirsting mouth.
    Nigh and nigh draws the chase,
    With unperturbèd pace,
  Deliberate speed, majestic instancy;
    And past those noisèd Feet
    A voice comes yet more fleet—
  ‘Lo! naught contents thee, who content’st not Me!’

Naked I wait Thy love’s uplifted stroke!
My harness piece by piece Thou hast hewn from me,
    And smitten me to my knee;
  I am defenceless utterly.
  I slept, methinks, and woke,
And, slowly gazing, find me stripped in sleep.
In the rash lustihead of my young powers,
  I shook the pillaring hours
And pulled my life upon me; grimed with smears,
I stand amid the dust o’ the mounded years—
My mangled youth lies dead beneath the heap.
My days have crackled and gone up in smoke,
Have puffed and burst as sun-starts on a stream.
  Yea, faileth now even dream
The dreamer, and the lute the lutanist;
Even the linked fantasies, in whose blossomy twist
I swung the earth a trinket at my wrist,
Are yielding; cords of all too weak account
For earth with heavy griefs so overplussed.
  Ah! is Thy love indeed
A weed, albeit an amaranthine weed,
Suffering no flowers except its own to mount?
  Ah! must—
  Designer infinite!—
Ah! must Thou char the wood ere Thou canst limn with it?
My freshness spent its wavering shower i’ the dust;
And now my heart is as a broken fount,
Wherein tear-drippings stagnate, spilt down ever
  From the dank thoughts that shiver
Upon the sighful branches of my mind.
  Such is; what is to be?
The pulp so bitter, how shall taste the rind?
I dimly guess what Time in mists confounds;
Yet ever and anon a trumpet sounds
From the hid battlements of Eternity;
Those shaken mists a space unsettle, then
Round the half-glimpsèd turrets slowly wash again.
  But not ere him who summoneth
  I first have seen, enwound
With glooming robes purpureal, cypress-crowned;
His name I know, and what his trumpet saith.
Whether man’s heart or life it be which yields
  Thee harvest, must Thy harvest-fields
  Be dunged with rotten death?
      Now of that long pursuit
    Comes on at hand the bruit;
  That Voice is round me like a bursting sea:
    ‘And is thy earth so marred,
    Shattered in shard on shard?
  Lo, all things fly thee, for thou fliest Me!
  Strange, piteous, futile thing!
Wherefore should any set thee love apart?
Seeing none but I makes much of naught’ (He said),
‘And human love needs human meriting:
  How hast thou merited—
Of all man’s clotted clay the dingiest clot?
  Alack, thou knowest not
How little worthy of any love thou art!
Whom wilt thou find to love ignoble thee,
  Save Me, save only Me?
All which I took from thee I did but take,
  Not for thy harms,
But just that thou might’st seek it in My arms.
  All which thy child’s mistake
Fancies as lost, I have stored for thee at home:
  Rise, clasp My hand, and come!’
  Halts by me that footfall:
  Is my gloom, after all,
Shade of His hand, outstretched caressingly?
  ‘Ah, fondest, blindest, weakest,
  I am He Whom thou seekest!
Thou dravest love from thee, who dravest Me.’

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Riding Shotgun VII

This week we pray for the repose of the souls of two people who died recently; Dr. Warren Carroll and Mrs. Betty Garza.

Mrs. Betty Garza died on July 11, 2011.  She was preceded in death by her husband several years earlier, and we got to know her while we attended Blessed Sacrament Catholic Church in Dallas.  Here she is pictured along with Fr. Paul Weinberger.  Betty never remarried, and never removed her wedding ring.  She was heard to say that she married her husband, Dr. Marc Garza, for all eternity.  She was a wonderful example of fidelity to all of us.

These two folks have one thing in common: neither was blessed with any children, yet they contributed greatly to the common good.  For Mrs. Garza, she suffered several miscarriages.

Both Warren Carroll and Betty Garza are examples of the good all people can do in whatever vocation they are called to.  Both were called to the married life where the blessing of children was denied them.  So they probably never came home to a closet dusted with baby powder - as I just did - but they also missed out on the amusement of watching an 8-, 9-, and 10-year old boys cleaning up the mess.

As a reminder, I include below a holy card of St. Benedict I received from Christendom College recently:

Eternal rest, grant unto them, oh Lord, and may perpetual light shine upon them.

May their souls, and all the souls of the Faithful Departed, rest in peace.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Amyoplasia Congenita Syndrome

Name: Amyoplasia Congenita Disruptive Syndrome


Part of Arthrogryposis Multiplex Congenita
Multiple joint contractures
Two forms:

Neuropathic: reduced number of anterior horn cells; demyelinated motor roots; fewer axons in peripheral nerve roots.
Myopathic: contractors due to lack of intrauterine movement.


Cleft palate


Hypoplastic lungs
Diaphragmatic hernia


Pyloric stenosis


Joint deformities


Difficult airway
Positioning nightmare
Difficult intravenous access possible
No relationship between arthrogryposis syndromes and MH


Arthrogryposis Multiplex Congenita
Guerin-Stern Syndrome
Otto Syndrome
Rocher-Sheldon Syndrome
Rossi Syndrome
Congenital Arthromyodysplastic Syndrome
Myodysplasia Foetalis Deformans
Myodystrophia Foetalis Deformans


Sunday, July 17, 2011

July 17, 1794

A shining example of fortitude, faith, obedience, and humility.  They died as obedient sisters to the last, asking for permission to die from their Prioress before climbing up to the guillotine.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

The Holy Martyrs of Compeigne

Laudate Dominum omnes gentes
Laudate eum, omnes populi
Quoniam confirmata est
Super nos misericordia eius,
Et veritas Domini manet in aeternum.

Gloria Patri et Filio et Spiritui Sancto.
Sicut erat in principio, et nunc, et semper.
Et in saecula saeculorum.

This weekend we remember the Holy Martyrs of Compeigne, who were beheaded with the guillotine on July 17, 1794 in Paris, France.

This is a picture of a small statue of the Blessed Mother holding Jesus, which was kissed by each nun before she climbed the ladder up to the executioner:

The nuns are listed below, or can be found at this website:

  • Madeleine-Claudine Ledoine (Mother Teresa of St. Augustine), prioress, b. in Paris, 22 Sept., 1752, professed 16 or 17 May, 1775;
  • Marie-Anne (or Antoinette) Brideau (Mother St. Louis), sub-prioress, b. at Belfort, 7 Dec., 1752, professed 3 Sept, 1771;
  • Marie-Anne Piedcourt (Sister of Jesus Crucified), choir-nun, b. 1715, professed 1737; on mounting the scaffold she said "I forgive you as heartily as I wish God to forgive me";
  • Anne-Marie-Madeleine Thouret (Sister Charlotte of the Resurrection), sacristan, b. at Mouy, 16 Sept., 1715, professed 19 Aug., 1740, twice sub-prioress in 1764 and 1778. Her portrait is reproduced opposite p. 2 of Miss Willson's work cited below;
  • Marie-Antoniette or Anne Hanisset (Sister Teresa of the Holy Heart of Mary), b. at Rheims in 1740 or 1742, professed in 1764;
  • Marie-Françoise Gabrielle de Croissy (Mother Henriette of Jesus), b. in Paris, 18 June, 1745, professed 22 Feb., 1764, prioress from 1779 to 1785;
  • Marie-Gabrielle Trézel (Sister Teresa of St. Ignatius), choir-nun, b. at Compiègne, 4 April, 1743, professed 12 Dec., 1771;
  • Rose-Chrétien de la Neuville, widow, choir-nun (Sister Julia Louisa of Jesus), b. at Loreau (or Evreux), in 1741, professed probably in 1777;
  • Anne Petras (Sister Mary Henrietta of Providence), choir-nun, b. at Cajarc (Lot), 17 June, 1760, professed 22 Oct., 1786.
  • Concerning Sister Euphrasia of the Immaculate Conception accounts vary. Miss Willson says that her name was Marie Claude Cyprienne Brard, and that she was born 12 May, 1736; Pierre, that her name was Catherine Charlotte Brard, and that she was born 7 Sept., 1736. She was born at Bourth, and professed in 1757;
  • Marie-Geneviève Meunier (Sister Constance), novice, b. 28 May, 1765, or 1766, at St. Denis, received the habit 16 Dec., 1788. She mounted the scaffold singing "Laudate Dominum". In addition to the above, three lay sisters suffered and two tourières. The lay sisters are:
  • Angélique Roussel (Sister Mary of the Holy Ghost), lay sister, b. at Fresnes, 4 August, 1742, professed 14 May, 1769;
  • Marie Dufour (Sister St. Martha), lay sister, b. at Beaune, 1 or 2 Oct., 1742, entered the community in 1772;
  • Julie or Juliette Vérolot (Sister St. Francis Xavier), lay sister, b. at Laignes or Lignières, 11 Jan., 1764, professed 12 Jan., 1789.
The two tourières, who were not Carmelites at all, but merely servants of the nunnery were: Catherine and Teresa Soiron, b. respectively on 2 Feb., 1742 and 23 Jan., 1748 at Compiègne, both of whom had been in the service of the community since 1772.

I have reviewed the book To Quell the Terror in the past; I strongly recommend this book rather than the fictionalized account of this incident found in the more famous book called The Song at the Scaffold by Gertrude von Le Fort.  Another great reference I found online is this blog.

Before going out to their execution, the Prioress obtained some hot chocolate for the nuns; it was their only nutrition they received for the last 24 hours of their lives.  In honor of them, I plan on making a big cup of hot chocolate to drink in honor of these wonderful women who died 217 years ago this weekend.

Besides, I have to de-scale my coffee maker this weekend.

*Praise the Lord, all nations;
Praise Him, all people.
For He has bestowed
His mercy upon us,
And the truth of the Lord endures forever.
Glory to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit,
as it was in the beginning, is now, and forever,
and for generations of generations.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Riding Shotgun VI

This week we shall pray for my brother, Fr. Denis Donahue, who was ordained to the priesthood on May 19, 1990.

He is a good brother and a good priest.  Like all priests, he needs our prayers and sacrifices to help him in his vocation.

22nd Anniversary Video

Here is a video Carolyn made commemorating our 22nd anniversary.  All of these pictures are from the past year.  Thank you Carolyn, and thank you, God, for such a wonderful wife and children.  We are truly blessed beyond measure.

Tuesday, July 05, 2011

Riding Shotgun V

I was off last week, so I did not change the prayer cards in the car.

This week, I have two prayer cards along for the ride. One is a prayer before surgery, another is a prayer card for one of the sisters at the Carmelite convent in Irving who died in March.

First, let us look at the prayer before surgery:

I like this picture because it reminds me of places where the Crucifix is placed along a path, inviting the pilgrim to pause for a moment's prayer or reflection. I can think of a garden in San Antonio,or the Grotto in Emmittsburg, Maryland, where one can pray the Stations of the Cross while enjoying the great outdoors. It is a bit more difficult with little children, though.

On the back, there is a prayer for those about to have surgery:

I love the fact that it includes an act of contrition, because God knows that people do die in surgery. It is my strong desire that I would be able to receive the Anointing of the Sick and be able to make a good confession before any operation I might need.

In my profession, there have been times where I have anticipated the death of a patient - especially in the case of trauma patients. At that point, when general anesthesia is more resuscitation than anesthesia, I have actually leaned close to the head of the patient and said prayers for them. I tell them that they are in danger of dying, that God loves them, and then say an act of contrition for them. If there is any chance that they have any awareness of what is happening to them, I hope to help them prepare for the end of their life.

It has been years since I have had to do this, and it saddens me to think of those who have died in the operating room after some act of violence or imprudence.


The prayer card for Mother Jeanne Marie Ange of the Infant Jesus, OCD, I think also has a medical connection. I have to check with my sources, but I believe that Mother was a nurse and then a CRNA before entering Carmel.

I don't recall meeting Mother, because most of our contact was with the porter - and even that was through a screen. I suspect she was not the one to run and answer the door whenever we dropped something off there. We did see the sisters around All Saints Day, when the children would dress up as saints and the sisters would have to guess their names.

One year, I was a prop for one of my daughters who was dressed up as St. Therese of Liseaux. I just had to stand next to her with a handkerchief over my face; that is what Louis Martin did a lot of around the end of his life. The sisters figured it out, though.

In totally unrelated news, the 'Big Blue' got new shocks and tires. Now it is a smoother and safer ride for the whole family.

Friday, July 01, 2011

For Carolyn

The quote from Proverbs below reminds me of Carolyn.

Here is a picture of St. Frances of Rome. She was a Wife, Mother, and Religious who lived from 1384 to 1440:

On the back is this quote from Proverbs, which is appropriate to recall on our wedding anniversary:

A good wife who can find?
She is far more precious than jewels.
The heart of her husband trusts in her,
and he will have no lack of gain.
She does him good, and not harm,
all the days of her life.
She seeks wool and flax,
and works with willing hands.

She puts her hands to the distaff,
and her hands hold the spindle.
She opens her hand to the poor,
and reaches out her hands to the needy.

Charm is deceitful, and beauty is vain,
but a woman who fears the Lord is to be
Give her of the fruit of her hands,
and let her works praise her in the gates.

Proverbs 31:10-13, 19-20, 30-31

When I first typed this in, I misspelled 'gain' for 'gin,' which changed the sentence above to:

"The heart of her husband trusts in her, and he will have no lack of gin."

Well now.

Thankfully God has given me a wonderful wife rather than an endless supply of gin.

Here is an icon I bought at Clear Creek Monastery for Carolyn. It is the Holy Family:

Here we are on our wedding day:

Here are the flowers I sent to Carolyn today. I am so blessed with her, and I thank God for her in my life!

Our Lady of the Mysterious Decapitation

Our Lady of the Mysterious Decapitation
Now restored with the help of some cement!

Prayer to Our Lady of the Mysterious Decapitation

Mary my mother, take my hand today, and all days.
Lead me away from all occasions of sin.
Guide me in fulfilling your last words in the Gospel,
"Do whatever He tells you."

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