Feast of Conversion of St Paul 2013

 Conversion of St Paul by Roy Ruiz Clayton 
Image source
My post from last year for the Feast of the Conversion of Paul is here.

My related post from last year on "Writing Daemons, St Francis de Sales and Damascene Road Experiences is here, from which this beautiful poem by Czeslaw Milosz is reposted.....

Late Ripeness

Not soon, as late as the approach of my ninetieth year,
I felt a door opening in me and I entered
the clarity of early morning.

One after another my former lives were departing,
like ships, together with their sorrow.

And the countries, cities, gardens, the bays of seas
assigned to my brush came closer,
ready now to be described better than they were before.

I was not separated from people,
grief and pity joined us.
We forget—I kept saying—that we are all children of the King.

For where we come from there is no division
into Yes and No, into is, was, and will be.
We were miserable, we used no more than a hundredth part
of the gift we received for our long journey.

Moments from yesterday and from centuries ago—
a sword blow, the painting of eyelashes before a mirror
of polished metal, a lethal musket shot, a caravel
staving its hull against a reef—they dwell in us,
waiting for a fulfillment.
I knew, always, that I would be a worker in the vineyard,
as are all men and women living at the same time,
whether they are aware of it or not.

 Enya sings How Can I Keep From Singing ?
A beautiful song..

It reminds me to keep believing that the Holy Spirit is working in ways I may not always be aware of consciously; that there are signs and wonders that a new creation is going on all the time, despite the immense pain and pangs involved in its gestation.  
I firmly believe and hope that the repressed, distorted or even lost anima of the church and world will burst into a new song one of these days.  
That's the conversion of heart my faith asks and prays for these days and that's what this song is about for me right now.

How Can I Keep From Singing 
My life goes on in endless song
Above earth's lamentations,
I hear the real, though far-off hymn
That hails a new creation.

Through all the tumult and the strife
I hear it's music ringing,
It sounds an echo in my soul.
How can I keep from singing?

While though the tempest loudly roars,
I hear the truth, it liveth.
And though the darkness 'round me close,
Songs in the night it giveth.

No storm can shake my inmost calm,
While to that rock I'm clinging.
Since love is lord of heaven and earth
How can I keep from singing?

When tyrants tremble in their fear
And hear their death knell ringing,
When friends rejoice both far and near
How can I keep from singing?

In prison cell and dungeon vile
Our thoughts to them are winging,
When friends by shame are undefiled
How can I keep from singing?
 The lyrics below are slightly different to the song by Enya and come from an older hymn of the same name.

My life flows on in endless song; 
Above earth's lamentation, 
I hear the sweet, tho' far-off hymn 
That hails a new creation; 
Through all the tumult and the strife I hear the music ringing; 
It sounds an echo in my soul-- 
How can I keep from singing? 
What though my joys and comforts die? 
The Lord my Saviour liveth; 
What though the darkness gather round? 
Songs in the night he giveth.
No storm can shake my inmost calm 
While to that refuge clinging; 
Since Christ is Lord of heaven and earth, 
How can I keep from singing? 
I lift my eyes; the cloud grows thin; 
I see the blue above it; 
And day by day this pathway smooths, 
Since first I learned to love it; 
The peace of Christ makes fresh my heart, 
A fountain ever springing; 
All things are mine since I am his
How can I keep from singing?

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