Contemplata aliis Tradere

A meagre contribution to the mission and work of the Order of Preachers: my reflections, thoughts, ideas and the occasional rant on matters mainly theological, philosophical and ecclesiastical, drawn primarily from my reading and experience of life and the world. Striving to be always Catholic, firmly Christian and essentially Dominican, flavoured with dashes of Von Balthasar.

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Location: Oxford, United Kingdom

A son of the English Province of the Order of Friars Preachers (Dominicans); born in Malaysia but have lived in the USA, Singapore, the UK & the Philippines for varying durations. A pilgrim and way-farer, a searcher for Truth on the journey of Life... "Wherever the Catholic sun doth shine, There’s always laughter and good red wine. At least I’ve always found it so. Benedicamus Domino!" - Hilaire Belloc

Sunday, May 15, 2005

Veni Sancte Spiritus!

Today, to mark the great feast of Pentecost, I would like to share the words and prayer of Hans Urs von Balthasar, one of my favourite theologians and a spiritual giant of 20th century theology. The words are taken from "Explorations in Theology- III: Creator Spirit" published in translation by Ignatius Press (1993) and is entitled "Prayer for the Spirit":

"Be rain that falls on our dryness, be the river that flows through our landscape, so that it may receive in you its center and the cause of its ripening and bearing fruit. And when your water produces blossoms and fruit in us, then we do not wish to consider these as our own shoots and produce, since they come from you... They are fruit from our land but they are brought forth by you, and you can use them for yourself or for us... For no tree enjoys its own fruits; the only concern of the tree is that the stones fall into the right ground and a new fruit tree comes into being; but the sweet flesh of the fruit that the tree produces with so much care and skill - for whom is it? For the birds, for the worms; and finally, for the one who owns the tree. And still more finally, for every hungry person who passes by. You trees, O God, know this, and we do not. They bear in themselves a mystery of the gift of self that we must first learn. They do not say "I"; but we say "I", and we must first learn how to say "you"... You yourself are the disposition of love that we ask of you."

Or, as the sublime 'golden' Sequence for Pentecost, the 'Veni Sancte Spiritus' says:

Where you are not, man has naught,
Nothing good in deed or thought,
Nothing free from taint of ill.

Heal our wounds, our strength renew;
On our dryness pour Thy dew;
Wash the stains of guilt away:

Bend the stubborn heart and will;
Melt the frozen, warm the chill;
Guide the steps that go astray.

Amen. Alleluia!


Blogger jordan said...

I really like that quote, thanks for posting it. What kind of tree is that? It's beautiful.

2:30 am  
Blogger Br Lawrence, O.P. said...

I am not sure what the actual name of the tree is although I have been accustomed to calling that type of tree the "Flame of the Forest".

It is quite common in South-East Asia and this particular one was located on Mount Makiling in Laguna, the Philippines at the (sadly abandoned) Arts Center complex.

2:01 pm  

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