Archive for April 5th, 2020

Each bird has its unique call signifying its species. Quite impressively, birds have dialects, variations by locale. Whether to make territorial claims or impress the opposite sex, calls and songs are a blend of species patterns and learned nuances.

Individuation blended with common patterns make up the choral world of birds. We delight in listening and, the closer we listen, the more attuned we become to subtlety.

This same story of commonalities orchestrated with uniquenesses and accents is the mark of human speech and expression. We hear the special qualities of a single voice while marveling at the alchemical blend of melodies and harmonies among choraleers.

The Christic journey is about seeking the simple one word portal to the Sacred. The anonymous English mystic and author of The Cloud of Unknowing and Book of Privy Counseling, encourages such one word prayers. The goal is an open heart that calls for emptying of all other thought: Contemplation.

Only God’s Grace makes contemplation real, yet we need to spend our lives making space for the Spirit to fill. Like the birds, we have our own voice. Embedded in it, woven into the harmonics, is the voice above all voices.

Gerard Manley Hopkins captures this mystery in his inspired poetry:

“Let me be to Thee as the circling bird,
Or bat with tender and air-crisping wings
That shapes in half-light his departing rings,
From both of whom a changeless note is heard.
I have found my music in a common word,
Trying each pleasurable throat that sings
And every praised sequence of sweet strings,
And know infallibly which I preferred.

The authentic cadence was discovered late
Which ends those only strains that I approve,
And other science all gone out of date
And minor sweetness scarce made mention of:
I have found the dominant of my range and state –
Love, O my God, to call Thee Love and Love.”

~ Gerard Manley Hopkins

© The Harried Mystic, 2020 and Br. Anton, TSSF. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited.

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