Today [Tomorrow] is the feast day of John Donne.
From the Lectionary:
"All mankind is one volume. When one man dies, one chapter is torn out of the book and translated into a better language. And every chapter must be so translated. God employs several translators. Some pieces are translated by age, some by sickness, some by war, some by justice. But God's hand shall bind up all our scattered leaves again for that library where every book shall lie open to another."
In light of the previous discussion here about the Alpha Series and in light of the fact that I am a retired librarian, you can guess that these words of Donne speak to my heart.
I like this from James Kiefer:
...he saw in his wife Anne (as Dante had earlier seen in Beatrice) a glimpse of the glory of God, and in human love a revelation of the nature of Divine Love. His poetry, mostly written before his ordination, includes poems both sacred and secular, full of wit, puns, paradoxes, and obscure allusions at whose meanings we can sometimes only guess, presenting amorous experience in religious terms and devotional experience in erotic terms, so that I have seen one poem of his both in a manual of devotion and in a pornography collection.
Reminds me of "Song of Songs".
Of course, I can't leave off without this quote from Donne, which is also pertinant to the Alpha discussion:
No man is an island, entire of itself; every man is a piece of the continent, a part of the main. If a clod be washed away by the sea, Europe is the less, as well as if a promentory were, as well as if a manor of thy friend's or of thine own were. Any man's death dimishes me because I am involved in mankind, and therefore never send to know for whom the bell tolls; it tolls for thee.
The entire "Meditation 17" which includes the above quote is well worth reading at the Lectionary site. In the Bible readings appointed for the day, I find, once again, the beautiful words from the "Book of Wisdom":
For wisdom is more mobile than any motion;
because of her pureness she pervades and penetrates all things.
For she is a breath of the power of God,
and a pure emanation of the glory of the Almighty;
therefore nothing defiled gains entrance into her.
For she is a reflection of eternal light,
a spotless mirror of the working of God,
and an image of his goodness.
Although she is but one, she can do all things,
and while remaining in herself, she renews all things;
in every generation she passes into holy souls
and makes them friends of God, and prophets;
for God loves nothing so much as the person who lives with wisdom.
What a feast of words for the feast of the day!
Almighty God, the root and fountain of all being: Open our eyes to see, with your servant John Donne, that whatever has any being is a mirror in which we may behold you; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.
UPDATE: Julie+ in the comments tells me that I have jumped a week ahead in the celebration of John Donne's feast day. She is absolutely correct.
But I needed John Donne today, and God knew that. "The wind blows where it chooses, and you hear the sound of it, but you do not know where it comes from or where it goes. So it is with everyone who is born of the Spirit." John 3:8
What are calendars to the Spirit?
And didn't I ever get the jump on everyone? Ha!
UPDATE 2: I leave you with John Donne once again on the day before the proper day of his feast, as I head off for New Orleans. Au revoir.