14 August 2013

Liturgical Pic of the Day

A great photo of one of our priests in New York City.  He is celebrating Mass in the Dominican Rite in thanksgiving for a couple's 10th wedding anniversary.  This is at the high altar of the Church of St. Vincent Ferrer in The City.

08 August 2013

The Hound of Heaven

I have been slow to post here this summer, but felt compelled after finding this great nugget on the Internet. The poem The Hound of Heaven by Francis Thompson is one of my favorite poems in the English language. It is a poem that must be heard and not simply read to be fully understand.  Thompson's ability with both the meaning and feel of words is simply genius.  The poem is about man's tendency to seek happiness in so many lesser things, and in so doing failing to seek the goodness in God.  And at the same time, it reveals the ever persevering love of God that chases us in that very quest for lesser goods, which we fail to realize is nothing more than man's natural desire for God alone. Thompson's ability to pace the words helps convey the sense of the 'chase' -- as hounds in a hunt. The story of the poet himself, Francis Thompson, is also interesting.  He was a drug addict and lived a rather tortured life, in many ways the cliche of the tortured poet.  But most modern "tortured poets" ever produced anything so beautiful.

You can find the text to the poem here, or with illustrations here, or with glossed notes here.  There are some more wonderful illustrations (an example of which is to the left), from R.H. Ives Gammel, here.

So, you can imagine how excited I was when I found on the Internet a version of the poem as read by Richard Burton, one of the great actors of the 20th century.  This is pure gold: