Daily Whitman


Crossing Brooklyn Ferry

  Ah, what can ever be more stately and admirable to me than
      mast-hemm'd Manhattan?
  River and sunset and scallop-edg'd waves of flood-tide?
  The sea-gulls oscillating their bodies, the hay-boat in the
      twilight, and the belated lighter?
  What gods can exceed these that clasp me by the hand, and with voices I
      love call me promptly and loudly by my nighest name as approach?
  What is more subtle than this which ties me to the woman or man that
      looks in my face?
  Which fuses me into you now, and pours my meaning into you?

  We understand then do we not?
  What I promis'd without mentioning it, have you not accepted?
  What the study could not teach—what the preaching could not
      accomplish is accomplish'd, is it not?


Divine Comedy for the Weekend


The Irish band, not the poem by Dante.

Daily Whitman

Brooklyn 2

Crossing Brooklyn Ferry

  Closer yet I approach you,
  What thought you have of me now, I had as much of you—I laid in my
      stores in advance,
  I consider'd long and seriously of you before you were born.

  Who was to know what should come home to me?
  Who knows but I am enjoying this?
  Who knows, for all the distance, but I am as good as looking at you
      now, for all you cannot see me?


Daily Whitman

Main Street Dubrovnik

Crossing Brooklyn Ferry

  It is not upon you alone the dark patches fall,
  The dark threw its patches down upon me also,
  The best I had done seem'd to me blank and suspicious,
  My great thoughts as I supposed them, were they not in reality meagre?
  Nor is it you alone who know what it is to be evil,
  I am he who knew what it was to be evil,
  I too knitted the old knot of contrariety,
  Blabb'd, blush'd, resented, lied, stole, grudg'd,
  Had guile, anger, lust, hot wishes I dared not speak,
  Was wayward, vain, greedy, shallow, sly, cowardly, malignant,
  The wolf, the snake, the hog, not wanting in me.
  The cheating look, the frivolous word, the adulterous wish, not wanting,

  Refusals, hates, postponements, meanness, laziness, none of these wanting,
  Was one with the rest, the days and haps of the rest,
  Was call'd by my nighest name by clear loud voices of young men as
      they saw me approaching or passing,
  Felt their arms on my neck as I stood, or the negligent leaning of
      their flesh against me as I sat,
  Saw many I loved in the street or ferry-boat or public assembly, yet
      never told them a word,
  Lived the same life with the rest, the same old laughing, gnawing, sleeping,
  Play'd the part that still looks back on the actor or actress,
  The same old role, the role that is what we make it, as great as we like,
  Or as small as we like, or both great and small.


Daily Whitman


Crossing Brooklyn Ferry

  What is it then between us?
  What is the count of the scores or hundreds of years between us?

  Whatever it is, it avails not—distance avails not, and place avails not,
  I too lived, Brooklyn of ample hills was mine,
  I too walk'd the streets of Manhattan island, and bathed in the
      waters around it,
  I too felt the curious abrupt questionings stir within me,
  In the day among crowds of people sometimes they came upon me,
  In my walks home late at night or as I lay in my bed they came upon me,
  I too had been struck from the float forever held in solution,
  I too had receiv'd identity by my body,
  That I was I knew was of my body, and what I should be I knew I
      should be of my body.

Daily Whitman


Crossing Brooklyn Ferry

  These and all else were to me the same as they are to you,
  I loved well those cities, loved well the stately and rapid river,
  The men and women I saw were all near to me,
  Others the same—others who look back on me because I look'd forward
      to them,
  (The time will come, though I stop here to-day and to-night.)


A Novena to Our Lady of Sorrows

A Novena For Life

God, come to my assistance.
Lord, make haste to help me.
Glory to the Father,
and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit.

As it was in the beginning, is now,
and will be for ever. Amen.



A Daily Reading From The Bible:
(click on scripture)


Holy Mother of God, hear the prayers of the Church  for all mothers,
especially those wearied by life and overcome by the suffering they bear for their children.

Hail Mary…

O Mother of the Word Incarnate, intercede for them  from your place in heaven,
that the mercy of your divine Son might lighten their burden and give them strength.

Hail Mary…

Glory to the Father….

As we contemplate this Mother, whose heart a sword has pierced  (cf.
Luke 2:35), our thoughts go to all  the suffering women in the world, suffering either physically  or morally. In this suffering  a woman’s sensitivity plays a role,  even though she often succeeds in resisting suffering better than a man.
It is difficult to enumerate these sufferings; it is difficult to call them all by name. We may recall her maternal care for her children, especially when they fall sick or fall into bad ways;  the death of those most dear to her;  the loneliness of mothers forgotten by their grown-up children; the loneliness of widows; the sufferings of women who struggle alone to make a living; and women who have been wronged or exploited. Then there are the sufferings of consciences as a result of sin,  which has wounded the woman’s human or maternal dignity: the wounds of consciences which do not heal easily. With these sufferings too we must place ourselves at the foot of the Cross.”

Pope John Paul II
Mulieris Dignitatem, 21)


Day 1

Pray for the Suffering Women of the World

Labor day usually brings to mind images of factory workers, farmers or heavy equipment operators. Yet we also use labor to describe the first work which brought each one of us to birth: those first hours of maternal sacrifice which brought us into the world. It’s too easy to forget that and all the other sacrifices which the vocation of motherhood entails. Pray for the mothers in labor today. Those who give birth. Those who work two jobs to support a child. Those who go without so their child’s needs are met. Those whose patient endurance is a sign of God’s love upon the cross.

Day 2 

Pray for Mothers who will Give Birth Today

‘At first I was scared,’ Sarah told me. ‘I was scared, excited and filled with the most incredible expectation. It was like those words we hear at Mass: we wait in joyful hope. I thought of all those women who feel the first kick, the stirrings of life deep within them. I prayed for them, that they would love their child, cherish their little baby and know that in being a mother they are involved in something so much bigger than themselves. They have been chosen by God to be custodians of the mystery of life. At first I was scared, and then I just cried … with joy.’

Day 3

Pray for Fathers  at the Birth of their Child

‘At first I was petrified”, Jon told me. “Petrified that I would faint or get in the way or not know what to do to help Sarah. But then I prayed to Mary. I know, praying to Mary is something you?d think a mother would be doing. But somehow, I think Mary understood Saint Joseph more than anyone else. She probably saw the fear in his eyes and sensed the restlessness of his heart. She probably spent a lot of time praying for him as well. And when I prayed to Mary for my child about to be born, I knew she understood and heard me and prayed for me to her son. At first I was petrified, and then I put everything into God’s hands.”

Day 4 

Pray for All Children

The eyes of a child are an infinite well of life, hope and goodness. If you doubt the value of life, look into the eyes of a child. If you are worn by life’s worries, look into the eyes of a child. If you want to see tomorrow, look into the eyes of a child. And what you will see is the divine spark which brought beauty out of chaos, the infinite beauty, which is the presence of the Creator in his creation.

Day 5 

Pray for Families

I know of a family which prays each night. Since the kids were little they are gathered from their games and their grumbling to the couch in the living room. There they pray for those whom they love and those they have a hard time loving. They pray for the unborn and for little babies. They pray for the sick and the dying. They pray for the Church and for their priest. Many a night it was the knowledge of those prayers that gave me hope and peace and a good night’s sleep.

Day 6 

Prayer for Life Begins in the Home

I know of another family which used to pray for unborn children every Friday night. They chose Friday because that’s when Christ, innocent and without sin, was sent to the cross. There’s no prayer more powerful than that said over little folded hands asking God to take care of all the babies who you’ve made.

Day 7 

Secret Suffering 

We look all around us at Church and see them: all the people whose kids never seem to scream and who look like they haven’t a problem in the world! But what if we really knew them? We would see the ‘secret sufferings’ that mirror our own. Mass is the gathering of those who have looked at the their own brokenness through the lens of the cross, and live! Today is the perfect day to pray for all God’s broken children and especially those who are tempted to break the lives of others.

Day 8 

The Holy Cross

Each time I pray, I am called to join my prayer with Christ’s perfect prayer upon the cross. It is easy from the vantage of the cross to see the world clearly. To see how easy it is to join the suffering of the innocent to the suffering of him who is without sin. We should work for an end to all the forms of violence which threaten life. That is a wonderful good. But it is even more important to stand with the Virgin Mother and to beg her son to come to our aid.

 click for larger image

Day 9

Our Lady of Sorrows

We end as we began nine days ago: with Mary, weeping silently beside the cross. Weeping for the innocent child so violently taken. Weeping for the nation which has let him die. Weeping for her child and for our, we place them both in her arms.

Today is the Feast of Our Lady of Sorrows. Novena courtesy of EWTN.

Daily Whitman


Crossing Brooklyn Ferry

  It avails not, time nor place—distance avails not,
  I am with you, you men and women of a generation, or ever so many
      generations hence,
  Just as you feel when you look on the river and sky, so I felt,
  Just as any of you is one of a living crowd, I was one of a crowd,
  Just as you are refresh'd by the gladness of the river and the
      bright flow, I was refresh'd,
  Just as you stand and lean on the rail, yet hurry with the swift
      current, I stood yet was hurried,
  Just as you look on the numberless masts of ships and the
      thick-stemm'd pipes of steamboats, I look'd.

  I too many and many a time cross'd the river of old,
  Watched the Twelfth-month sea-gulls, saw them high in the air
      floating with motionless wings, oscillating their bodies,
  Saw how the glistening yellow lit up parts of their bodies and left
      the rest in strong shadow,
  Saw the slow-wheeling circles and the gradual edging toward the south,
  Saw the reflection of the summer sky in the water,
  Had my eyes dazzled by the shimmering track of beams,
  Look'd at the fine centrifugal spokes of light round the shape of my
      head in the sunlit water,
  Look'd on the haze on the hills southward and south-westward,
  Look'd on the vapor as it flew in fleeces tinged with violet,
  Look'd toward the lower bay to notice the vessels arriving,
  Saw their approach, saw aboard those that were near me,
  Saw the white sails of schooners and sloops, saw the ships at anchor,
  The sailors at work in the rigging or out astride the spars,
  The round masts, the swinging motion of the hulls, the slender
      serpentine pennants,
  The large and small steamers in motion, the pilots in their pilothouses,
  The white wake left by the passage, the quick tremulous whirl of the wheels,
  The flags of all nations, the falling of them at sunset,
  The scallop-edged waves in the twilight, the ladled cups, the
      frolic-some crests and glistening,
  The stretch afar growing dimmer and dimmer, the gray walls of the
      granite storehouses by the docks,
  On the river the shadowy group, the big steam-tug closely flank'd on
      each side by the barges, the hay-boat, the belated lighter,
  On the neighboring shore the fires from the foundry chimneys burning
      high and glaringly into the night,
  Casting their flicker of black contrasted with wild red and yellow
      light over the tops of houses, and down into the clefts of streets.


Daily Whitman


Crossing Brooklyn Ferry

  The impalpable sustenance of me from all things at all hours of the day,
  The simple, compact, well-join'd scheme, myself disintegrated, every
      one disintegrated yet part of the scheme,
  The similitudes of the past and those of the future,
  The glories strung like beads on my smallest sights and hearings, on
      the walk in the street and the passage over the river,
  The current rushing so swiftly and swimming with me far away,
  The others that are to follow me, the ties between me and them,
  The certainty of others, the life, love, sight, hearing of others.

  Others will enter the gates of the ferry and cross from shore to shore,
  Others will watch the run of the flood-tide,
  Others will see the shipping of Manhattan north and west, and the
      heights of Brooklyn to the south and east,
  Others will see the islands large and small;
  Fifty years hence, others will see them as they cross, the sun half
      an hour high,
  A hundred years hence, or ever so many hundred years hence, others
      will see them,
  Will enjoy the sunset, the pouring-in of the flood-tide, the
      falling-back to the sea of the ebb-tide.


Quote for the Week


Beauty without purpose is beauty without virtue.
But all beautiful things, inherently, have this function —
to excite the viewers toward sublime thought.
Glory to the world, that good teacher.

–Mary Oliver, “Evidence”; courtesy of Wikiquote


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