Please fast and pray every Thursday for the renewal of the Catholic Church in America. Please note: The Cybersociety will fast on Fridays beginning January 2013, in accordance with ancient custom.

Friday, December 18, 2015

And a Child Shall Lead Them

This valley wood is pledged
To the set shape of things;
Here are no harpies fledged,
No rocs may clap their wings.

Here poised in quietude,
Calm elementals brood;
They fend away alarms
From this green wood.

Only, the lawns are soft,
Slow branches sway aloft,
Small pathways idly tend
Towards no fearful end.

--With apologies to Robert Graves, lines from "An English Wood"

Friday, December 11, 2015

Reverent Expectation

My friends, we will not go again or ape an ancient rage,
Or stretch the folly of our youth to be the shame of age,
But walk with clearer eyes and ears this path that wandereth,
And see undrugged in evening light the decent inn of death.
--G.K. Chesterton,  "The Rolling English Road" 

--roc scssrs

Friday, November 20, 2015

City of Light

And when he was come near, he beheld the city, and wept over it. Saying, if thou hadst known, even thou...the things which belong unto thy peace!...Thy enemies compass thee round, and keep thee in on every side. (Luke 19:41-42)

Friday, November 13, 2015

"It is hard to give up what we are accustomed to, but harder to go contrary to our own will. If we would do ourselves a little violence in the beginning, afterwards we should be able to do all things with ease and joy."--The Imitation of Christ

Friday, November 6, 2015

"If we strove like valiant men to stand in the battle, then verily we should see the Lord from heaven assisting us."--The Imitation of Christ

Friday, October 16, 2015

"Without you, your sin will die."

 (St. Caesarius of Arles, 470-543)

Friday, September 25, 2015

The wind blows where it wishes, and you hear the sound of it, but cannot tell where it comes from and where it goes. So is everyone who is born of the Spirit. (John 3:8)

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

"...and be renewed in the spirit of your mind."
(Ephesians 4:23)

Friday, July 31, 2015

There be three things which are too wonderful for me, yea, four which I know not:

the way of an eagle in the air, the way of a serpent upon a rock,

the way of a ship in the midst of the sea, and the way of a man with a maid.

(Proverbs 30:18-19)

Friday, July 10, 2015

Lilies of the Field

"Some deficiency must be forgiven all, because all are men; and more must be allowed to pass uncensured in the greater part of the world, because none can confer upon himself abilities....It is, however, reasonable, to have perfection in our eye, that we may always advance toward it."
(Samuel Johnson (1709-1784), "The Benefits of Human Society")

Friday, June 19, 2015

"The trying of your faith worketh patience. Let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing."--James 1:3-4.

Friday, May 15, 2015

"The trouble into which your dissipations and distractions throw you, your sense of separation from God and all your resistance to what is good would cease if you received these painful states humbly; they are neither sins nor spiritual evils, but merely the loving chastisement of your Father, who uses this way of purifying you from all the stains of your former life. All that saddens you and makes you think you are lost will, if borne with patience, humility, and conformity to God's will, be changed into a treasure which will enrich you more in one day than would a whole year of consolation and ecstasies." (St. Claude de la Colombiere, Letters,1679)

Friday, May 8, 2015

Friday, May 1, 2015


"I was entirely happy. Perhaps we feel like that when we die and become part of something entire, whether it is sun and air, or goodness and knowledge. At any rate, that is happiness; to be dissolved into something complete and great. When it comes to one, it comes as naturally as sleep."--Willa Cather, My Antonia

...what we shall be has not yet been revealed...(1 John 3:2)

Friday, April 24, 2015

Mature Hope

"The more mature hope becomes, the more clearly it perceives the nonsense of a mere existence running toward death. Hope is continually being confirmed in little, outwardly insignificant but irrefutable ways. How? In the sparks that flash forth in love's response. Summoned by love, hearts recognize each other now here and now there....This is a spark from the immense fire that burns in its unapproachable center. Hope would not exist if it did not come from the immense fire at the heart of things, if eternal love--contrary to appearances--were not the meaning of life." (Hans Urs von Balthasar, You Crown the Year with Your Goodness)

Friday, April 17, 2015


"The new earth that will some day come will result both from man's endeavor and from God's act in raising it up to a final and complete form. Once we have summoned the courage to entrust ourselves to this hope, however, how can we live? How can we apply it? The power of  hope grows within us by battling against meaninglessness and futility. The vast regions of unbelief all around us; all the mortal weariness of our culture; the absurd with all it powers of persuasion; all of this must be negated, constantly, by our hope."--Hans Urs von Balthasar, You Crown the Year with Your Goodness

Friday, April 10, 2015

Easter Week


Christ keep the hollow-land
Through the sweet springtide,
When the apple blossoms bless
The lowly bent hill side.

Christ keep the hollow-land
All the summertide;
Still we cannot understand
Where the waters glide.

--William Morris (1834-1896), "The Hollow-Land"

Friday, April 3, 2015

Good Friday

"What is the good of trying to teach people to love God without preaching through those wounds?"
--Thomas Merton, The Sign of Jonas

"Jesus gave us more than a sublime doctrine: He gave us Himself."--Thomas Merton, What is Contemplation?

Friday, March 27, 2015


"Set up waymarks for yourself, make yourself guideposts, consider well the highway, the road by which you went. Return, o virgin Israel, return to these your cities. How long will you waver...? (Jeremiah 31:21-22)

Friday, March 20, 2015

Grace in Exile

And there the Lord opened the sense of my unbelief that I might at last remember my sins and be converted with all my heart to the Lord my God....I cannot be silent about the great grace which the Lord has deigned to bestow upon me in the land of my captivity; for this I can give to God in return after having been chastened by Him, to exalt and praise His wonders before every nation anywhere under heaven. (The Confession of St. Patrick)

Thus says the Lord: Behold, I will restore the fortunes of the tents of Jacob, and have compassion on his dwellings; the city shall be rebuilt upon its mound, and the palace shall stand where it used to be. Out of them shall come songs of thanksgiving, and the voices of those who make merry. (Jeremiah 30: 18-19)

Friday, March 13, 2015

Jeremiah, Patrick, and Exile

I will appoint over them four kinds of destroyers, says the Lord: the sword to slay, the dogs to tear, and the birds of the air and the beasts of the earth to devour and destroy.

Those who are for pestilence, to pestilence, and those who are for the sword, to the sword; those who are for famine, to famine, and those who are for captivity, to captivity. (Jeremiah 15:3,2)

"I am Patrick, a sinner, most unlearned, the least of all the faithful, and utterly despised by many. I was taken into captivity to Ireland
with many thousands of people and deservedly so, because we turned away from God, and did not keep His commandments, and did not obey our priests, who used to remind us of our salvation. And the Lord brought over us the wrath of his anger and scattered us among many nations, even unto the utmost part of the earth, where now my littleness is placed among strangers"--The Confession of Saint Patrick.

Friday, March 6, 2015


Hear and give ear, be not proud, for the Lord has spoken. Give glory to the Lord your God before he brings darkness, before your feet stumble on the twilight mountains, and while you look for light he turns it into gloom and makes it deep darkness.--Jeremiah 13:15-16.

Friday, February 27, 2015

Lenten Prophet

Correct me, O LORD, but in just measure; not in thy anger, lest thou bring me to nothing -- Jeremiah 10:24.

Friday, February 20, 2015

Retreat Week: Fragment

Two monks...were caretakers;
they fed the pigeons,
and kept the hunting dogs in trim.
--Lawrence Durrell, The Greek Islands

Friday, February 13, 2015


"We crave love. And we deceive ourselves again and again. Finally the day comes ...when we lift toward God the homage we ought never to have given elsewhere."
(George Sand, Lelia., tr. by M.J. Howe.)

"Amo quia amo, amo ut amem."
("I love simply because I love, and I love in order to love."--St. Bernard of Clairvaux)

Friday, February 6, 2015

Bible Study: Kings

And Hilkiah gave the book to Shaphan, and he read it...Then Shaphan the secretary told the king, "Hilkiah the priest has given me a book." And Shaphan read it before the king. And when the king heard the words of the book of the law, he rent his clothes. And the king commanded Hilkiah the priest,..."Go, inquire of the LORD for me...for great is the wrath of the LORD that is kindled against us, because our fathers have not obeyed the words of this book, to do according to all that is written concerning us."  (2 Kings 22: 8-13)

"For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and spirit, of joints and marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart." (Hebrews 4:12)

Friday, January 30, 2015

"It is a great thing when Christ, hidden in souls--and perhaps forced by the world to keep in hiding--manifests Himself unexpectedly by an unplanned expression of His presence.Then souls light up on all sides with recognition of Him and discover Him in themselves when they did not even imagine He could be anywhere."--Thomas Merton, The Sign of Jonas

Friday, January 23, 2015

"If they sin against thee--for there is no man who does not sin--and thou art angry with them, and dost give them to an enemy....If they lay it to heart and repent, and make supplication to thee...then hear thou in heaven thy dwelling place their prayer and their supplication, and maintain their cause and forgive thy people who have sinned against thee."--1 Kings 8:46-50.

Friday, January 16, 2015

"Now, beneath the blows of the warm rays, that which lies under the snow remains bare, both of the former color and the cold; so will I thee inform, with light so living, that it shall tremble in its aspect to thee."--Dante, Paradiso, Canto II, Charles Eliot Norton translation,

Friday, January 9, 2015

Morning Prayer from Judges

"Up! Up! For this is the day...which the Lord has given...into your hand. Does not the Lord go out before you?" (Judges 4:14) 

Friday, January 2, 2015

Kings from the East

Rise up in splendor, Jerusalem!
Your light has come,
The glory of the Lord shines upon you. (Is. 60:1)

The kings of Tarshish and the isles shall offer gifts;
The kings of Arabia and Seba shall bring tribute. (Ps. 72)

From the readings for the Feast of the Epiphany.