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

Saturday, February 25, 2006

... And today is mine!



Eden
by Thomas Traherne (1637 - 1674)


"A learned and a happy ignorance
Divided me
From all the vanity,
From all the sloth, care, pain, and sorrow that advance
The madness and the misery
Of men. No error, no distraction I
Saw soil the earth, or overcloud the sky.

I knew not that there was a serpent's sting,
Whose poison shed
On men, did overspread
The world; nor did I dream of such a thing
As sin, in which mankind lay dead.
They all were brisk and living wights to me,
Yea, pure and full of immortality.

Joy, pleasure, beauty, kindness, glory, love,
Sleep, day, life, light,
Peace, melody, my sight,
My ears and heart did fill and freely move.
All that I saw did me delight.
The Universe was then a world of treasure,
To me an universal world of pleasure.

Unwelcome penitence was then unknown,
Vain costly toys,
Swearing and roaring boys,
Shops, markets, taverns, coaches, were unshown;
So all things were that drown'd my joys:
No thorns chok'd up my path, nor hid the face
Of bliss and beauty, nor eclips'd the place.

Only what Adam in his first estate,
Did I behold;
Hard silver and dry gold
As yet lay under ground; my blessed fate
Was more acquainted with the old
And innocent delights which he did see
In his original simplicity.

Those things which first his Eden did adorn,
My infancy
Did crown. Simplicity
Was my protection when I first was born.
Mine eyes those treasures first did see
Which God first made. The first effects of love
My first enjoyments upon earth did prove;

And were so great, and so divine, so pure;
So fair and sweet,
So true; when I did meet
Them here at first, they did my soul allure,
And drew away my infant feet
Quite from the works of men; that I might see
The glorious wonders of the Deity."

* * * * *

Twenty-nine years have passed since first mine eyes saw the light of this world, and each passing year the God who first called me into being and loved me has revealed still more abundantly His love and tender mercy for me. From the first love of my parents and family to the love of friends, teachers and His sacred ministers, He has shown me just how rich is His gift of life; how grace-filled is every moment. From shore to shore, He has been with me, closer than I can ever comprehend; most intimate Friend, opening mine eyes to new discoveries and cultures, only to find He is already there awaiting me. Time and time again, with the patience and care only a Father has, He calls me back to Him each time I stray and in weakness err from the path of righteousness. What wondrous grace! Reborn in the womb of the font, He has given me a Mother, His Holy Church, the Spouse of the Bridegroom, and through her, He fills my mind and heart with the wonder of Himself, the beauty of holiness in His saints and He calls me to greater fidelity, inspiring me with His very Spirit, my Comforter and Advocate. And O! Most glorious, He comes to me and lightens the darkness of my mind with His Living Word and nourishes my unworthy soul with His very Flesh. And the precious Blood which He shed for me upon the Holy Rood, He sheds still, in remittance of my sins by the ministry of His priest. And yet even so, He never fails, with a Lover's inventive desire, to reveal even more the infinite broadness of His love: in this past year He has deigned to lead me into the family of His Friars Preachers, there with brothers and sisters to praise Him, to bless Him and to preach Him to all nations.

And so, on this anniversary of my birth, I thank you, O Lord, for the wonder of my being and for the life you have given me. I offer you my life, my very self, as a thanksgiving sacrifice. May it be acceptable in your sight.

May the Blessed Virgin, my Mother and yours, teach me and guide my every step, for I am still an unruly child, ungainly of gait and in need of direction. And by your grace, may my pilgrimage attain at last to that heavenly homeland, where I may see you face to face, my Creator God.

Amen.


17 Comments:

Blogger Julie D. said...

HAPPY BIRTHDAY!

9:10 pm  
Anonymous Chris T. said...

Happy birthday, Fra Lawrence!!

9:18 pm  
Blogger Mark Mossa, SJ said...

Raise a glass of Bucks Fizz! (here we call it a Mimosa--I like your name better)

Happy Birthday!

Peace,

Mark

11:21 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

God bless you and may all Dominican saints including Bl.Augustin Kazotic and Bl.Ozana Kotorska pray for you (to mention only the two Croatian)!

Tomi

3:42 am  
Anonymous Faith said...

O Lord, I thank and praise you for the wonder of life you have given Fra Lawrence. May the Holy Spirit continue to guide you in your vocation. May St. Michael protect you. May St. Dominic infuse wisdom and knowledge. And may you grow to feel more and more of His redeeming love. ~Amen

4:02 am  
Blogger antonia said...

Happy Birthday!!

12:37 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

We thank the Lord Whenever we think of you!

Happy happy Birthday!

fr.allan,op
& Dom-Net Staff

2:31 pm  
Blogger Liturgeist said...

Happy Birthday!

Weird. You have mine. I want it back... this is too confusing... ;-)

My love,

JMR Xx

9:33 pm  
Blogger Br Lawrence, O.P. said...

Thank you all for your prayers and kind wishes. It's been a lovely and blessed day!

12:20 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

we remember you and your intentions in the Mass. Happy Birthday Bro. Lawrence!!!

Fr. TerryOP

3:41 am  
Blogger Audrey said...

Fra. Lawrence,

Happy Belated Birthday!

I didn't know you're a Malaysian until I came to your great blog.

God bless you in everything you do!

1:10 pm  
Blogger Moniales said...

Happy Birthday, dear Brother, from all your sisters in Summit!

We dont' understand why you were voted the BEST!

There's always next year!

3:56 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

My prayers and belated best wishes.
Best,
Michaelk

12:28 am  
Blogger Enbrethiliel said...

+JMJ+

Happy Birthday! :D

Are those the Banaue Rice Terraces behind you in the photo?

6:56 am  
Blogger srpreacheress said...

Happy and Blessed Belated Birthday, Brother! I am honored to have your birthday (and Brother Paul's) in such close proximity to mine! Almost a "Dominican Birthday Triduum"! Thank you for your magnificent blogging, a real preaching ministry, which is appreciated by so many of us (who, yes, are confused that you didn't win the "Best Blog by a Seminarian"!). Have a wonderful Lent!

3:32 pm  
Blogger Boeciana said...

Very belated but very happy birthday, and may you have a blessed lent!

4:20 pm  
Blogger Antonia said...

Happy belated birthday! May you have a blessed year ahead :)

4:47 pm  

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