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16th April – Today in History

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A significant birth:

1867 Wilbur Wright (of Wright Brothers Fame)

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A significant death:

1948 Babe Ruth (baseball legend)

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Significant Event:

1724 First Easter observed

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Resurrection

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Long, long, long ago;
Way before this winter’s snow
First fell upon these weathered fields;
I used to sit and watch and feel
And dream of how the spring would be,
When through the winter’s stormy sea
She’d raise her green and growing head,
Her warmth would resurrect the dead.

Long before this winter’s snow
I dreamt of this day’s sunny glow
And thought somehow my pain would pass
With winter’s pain, and peace like grass
Would simply grow.  (But) The pain’s not gone.
It’s still as cold and hard and long
As lonely pain has ever been,
It cuts so deep and fear within.

Long before this winter’s snow
I ran from pain, looked high and low
For some fast way to get around
Its hurt and cold.  I’d have found,
If I had looked at what was there,
That things don’t follow fast or fair.
That life goes on, and times do change,
And grass does grow despite life’s pains.

Long before this winter’s snow
I thought that this day’s sunny glow,
The smiling children and growing things
And flowers bright were brought by spring.
Now, I know the sun does shine,
That children smile, and from the dark, cold, grime
A flower comes.  It groans, yet sings,
And through its pain, its peace begins.

– Mary Ann Bernard

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Sonnet Written In Holy Week At Genoa

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I WANDERED in Scoglietto’s green retreat,

The oranges on each o’erhanging spray

Burned as bright lamps of gold to shame the day;

Some startled bird with fluttering wings and fleet

Made snow of all the blossoms, at my feet

Like silver moons the pale narcissi lay:

And the curved waves that streaked the sapphire bay

Laughed i’ the sun, and life seemed very sweet.

Outside the young boy-priest passed singing clear,

“Jesus the Son of Mary has been slain,

O come and fill his sepulchre with flowers.”

Ah, God! Ah, God! those dear Hellenic hours

Had drowned all memory of Thy bitter pain,

The Cross, the Crown, the Soldiers, and the Spear.

– Oscar Wilde

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Forty Days and Forty Nights

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Forty days and forty nights
Thou wast fasting in the wild;
Forty days and forty nights
Tempted, and yet undefiled.

Sunbeams scorching all the day;
Chilly dew-drops nightly shed;
Prowling beasts about Thy way;
Stones Thy pillow; earth Thy bed.

Should not we Thy sorrow share
And from worldly joys abstain,
Fasting with unceasing prayer,
Strong with Thee to suffer pain?

Then if Satan on us press,
Jesus, Savior, hear our call!
Victor in the wilderness,
Grant we may not faint nor fall!

So shall we have peace divine:
Holier gladness ours shall be;
Round us, too, shall angels shine,
Such as ministered to Thee.

Keep, O keep us, Savior dear,
Ever constant by Thy side;
That with Thee we may appear
At the eternal Eastertide.

– George H Smyttan (1856)

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Ash Wednesday

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Because I do not hope to turn again
Because I do not hope
Because I do not hope to turn
Desiring this man’s gift and that man’s scope
I no longer strive to strive towards such things
(Why should the aged eagle stretch its wings?)
Why should I mourn
The vanished power of the usual reign?

Because I do not hope to know again
The infirm glory of the positive hour
Because I do not think
Because I know I shall not know
The one veritable transitory power
Because I cannot drink
There, where trees flower, and springs flow, for there is nothing again

Because I know that time is always time
And place is always and only place
And what is actual is actual only for one time
And only for one place
I rejoice that things are as they are and
I renounce the blessed face
And renounce the voice
Because I cannot hope to turn again
Consequently I rejoice, having to construct something
Upon which to rejoice

And pray to God to have mercy upon us
And pray that I may forget
These matters that with myself I too much discuss
Too much explain
Because I do not hope to turn again
Let these words answer
For what is done, not to be done again
May the judgement not be too heavy upon us

Because these wings are no longer wings to fly
But merely vans to beat the air
The air which is now thoroughly small and dry
Smaller and dryer than the will
Teach us to care and not to care
Teach us to sit still.

Pray for us sinners now and at the hour of our death
Pray for us now and at the hour of our death.

– TS Eliot

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Easter Blessings

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An Easter Blessing

Bless this day the joy of life,
The revelation of the flesh,
The paradise of man and wife
Joined to share the gift of bliss.
Bless this day the pain of life,
The passion that redeems the flesh,
The love between a man and wife
Beyond all agony and bliss.

Bless this day the end of life,
The peace within the dying flesh,
The bond between a man and wife
That long outlasts their bit of bliss.

Bless this day the whole of life,
The grace of being more than flesh,
The voyage of a man and wife
Across the mystery of bliss.

– Nicholas Gordon

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