Monthly Archives: January 2014

Some Iron Maiden for the Weekend

Rubá’í of the Day


When dawn doth silver the dark firmament,
Why shrills the bird of dawning his lament?
It is to show in dawn’s bright looking-glass
How of thy careless life a night is spent.

Rubá’í of the Day


Why unripe grapes are sharp, prithee explain,
And then grow sweet, while wine is sharp again?
When one has carved a block into a lute,
Can he from that same block a pipe obtain?

Rubá’í of the Day

Monk Hands

Of wisdom’s dictates two are principal,
Surpassing all your lore traditional;
Better to fast than eat of every meat,
Better to live alone than mate with all!

A Prayer and a Hymn by St. Thomas Aquinas

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St. Thomas Aquinas’s Prayer for Scholars, courtesy of here:

Ineffable Creator,

You who are the true source of life and wisdom and the Principle on which everything depends, be so kind as to infuse in my obscure intelligence a ray of your splendor that may take away the darkness of sin and ignorance.

Grant me keenness of understanding, ability to remember, measure and easiness of learning, discernment of what I read, rich grace with words.

Grant me strength to begin well my studies; guide me along the path of my efforts; give them a happy ending.

You who are true God and true Man, Jesus my Savior, who lives and reigns forever.


I own a copy of the icon above.  Below is a video of my favorite of the many chants he composed, Tantum Ergo, used at the end of Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament, just before Benediction.  Enjoy it on this, his feast day.

Rubá’í of the Day


Never in this false world on friends rely,
(I give this counsel confidentially);
Put up with pain, and seek no antidote;
Endure your grief, and ask no sympathy!

Rubá’í of the Day


Behold, where’er we turn our ravished eyes,
Sweet verdure springs, and crystal Kausars rise;
And plains, once bare as hell, now smile as heaven:
Enjoy this heaven with maids of Paradise!

Quote for the Week


A cultural inheritance may be acquired between dusk and dawn, and many have been so acquired. But the new “culture” was an inheritance of darkness, wherein “simpleton” meant the same thing as “citizen” meant the same thing as “slave.” The monks waited. It mattered not at all to them that the knowledge they saved was useless, that much of it was not really knowledge now… empty of content, its subject matter long since gone. Still, such knowledge had a symbolic structure that was peculiar to itself, and at least the symbol-interplay could be observed. To observe the way a knowledge-system is knit together is to learn at least a minimum knowledge-of-knowledge, until someday — someday, or some century — an Integrator would come, and things would be fitted together again. So time mattered not at all. The Memorabilia was there, and it was given to them by duty to preserve, and preserve it they would if the darkness in the world lasted ten more centuries, or even ten thousand years…

–Walter M. Miller, Jr., A Canticle for Leibowitz; courtesy of Wikiquote

Miller’s magnum opus, one of the masterpieces of 20th Century science fiction.  I’ll be putting up a post on it in the near future.

Rubá’í of the Day


You know all secrets of this earthly sphere,
Why then remain a prey to empty fear?
You can not bend things to your will, but yet
Cheer up for the few moments you are here!

Rubá’í of the Day


Bow down, heaven’s tyranny to undergo,
Quaff wine to face the world, and all its woe;
Your origin and end are both in earth,
But now you are above earth, not below!