PALM SUNDAY, by John Keble
And He answered and said unto them, I tell you, that if these should hold their peace, the stones would immediately cry out. St. Luke 19:40
YE whose hearts are beating high
With the pulse of Poesy,
Heirs of more than royal race,
Fram’d by Heaven’s peculiar grace,
God’s own work to do on earth,
(If the word be not too bold,)
Giving virtue a new birth,
And a life that ne’er grows old—
Sovereign masters of all hearts!
Know ye, who hath set your parts?
He who gave you breath to sing,
By whose strength ye sweep the string,
He hath chosen you, to lead
His Hosannas here below;—
Mount, and claim your glorious meed;
Linger not with sin and woe.
But if ye should hold your peace,
Deem not that the song would cease—
Angels round his glory-throne,
Stars, His guiding hand that own,
Flowers, that grow beneath our feet,
Stones in earth’s dark womb that rest,
High and low in choir shall meet,
Ere His Name shall be unblest.
Lord, by every minstrel tongue
Be thy praise so duly sung,
That thine angels’ harps may ne’er
Fail to find fit echoing here:
We the while, of meaner birth,
Who in that divinest spell
Dare not hope to join on earth,
Give us grace to listen well.
But should thankless silence seal
Lips, that might half Heaven reveal,
Should bards in idol-hymns profane
The sacred soul-enthralling strain,
(As in this bad world below
Nobles things find vilest using,)
Then, thy power and mercy shew,
In vile things noble breath infusing;
Then waken into sound divine
The very pavement of thy shrine,
Till we, like Heaven’s star-sprinkled floor,
Faintly give back what we adore.
Childlike though the voices be,
And untunable the parts,
Thou wilt own the minstrelsy,
If it flow from childlike hearts.
Kosmas Aitolos: “If a man insults me, kills my father, my mother, my brother, and then gouges out my eye …”
“If a man insults me, kills my father, my mother, my brother, and then gouges out my eye, as a Christian it is my duty to forgive him. We who are pious Christians ought to love our enemies and forgive them. We ought to offer them food and drink, and entreat God for their souls. And then we should say: ‘My God, I beseech Thee to forgive me, as I have forgiven my enemies.’”
– St. Kosmas Aitolos
“If wounds in the body have been neglected and left unattended, they do not react to medicine when the doctors apply it to them; but if they have first been cleansed, then they respond to the action of the medicine and so are quickly healed. In the same way, if the soul is neglected and wholly covered with the leprosy of self-indulgence, it cannot experience the fear of God, however persistently it is warned of the terror and power of God’s judgement. When, however, through great attentiveness the soul begins to be purified, it also begins to experience the fear of God as a life-giving medicine which, through the reproaches it arouses in the conscience, burns the soul in the fire of dispassion. After this the soul is gradually cleansed until it is complete purified; its love increases as its fear diminishes, until it attains perfect love, in which there is no fear but only the complete dispassion which is energized by the glory of God.”
– St Diadochos of Photiki, On Spiritual Knowledge
“First of all I wish to warn you that in disputations with unbelievers about articles of the Faith, you should not try to prove the Faith by necessary reasons. This would belittle the sublimity of the Faith, whose truth exceeds not only human minds but also those of angels; we believe in them only because they are revealed by God.
“Yet whatever come from the Supreme Truth cannot be false, and what is not false cannot be repudiated by any necessary reason. Just as our Faith cannot be proved by necessary reasons, because it exceeds the human mind, so because of its truth it cannot be refuted by any necessary reason. So any Christian disputing about the articles of the Faith should not try to prove the Faith, but defend the Faith. Thus blessed Peter (1 Pet 3:15) did not say: “Always have your proof”, but “your answer ready,” so that reason can show that what the Catholic Faith holds is not false.”
~St. Thomas Aquinas: “De Rationus Fidei” (Reason for the Faith Against Muslim Objections)