The Feast of All Saints

The beautiful Christmas Carol of Saint Alphonsus Liguori: 


May the Incarnate God
who allows Himself to be clothed by us
even in His innocence
who permits us to feed Him
even in His bounty
who comes to be housed in our unclean hearts
even in His purity
who sweats and bleeds and endures the harshest pains
even in His perfection
who invites us to teach Him
even in His omniscience
who makes Himself dependent
even in His omnipotence
who limits Himself to a body
even in His infinity

who withstands every insult
even in His majesty
who cries out for our tender care
even in His strength
who romps and plays and crawls
even in His solemnity
who reaches for His Motherís face
even in His sufficiency
who brings the world to its knees
before Him in a stable
and lifts us to the highest glory
even in our deficiency
who calls to us from His crib
come, follow me!
Seize the light I share with you
and never let it go!
May the Infant Jesus inspire you
to yield in humble awe before His glory
and may the greatest Gift He brings
find a home in your soul




From creche to cross
From crib to crown
Yahweh sent
His honor down
From dove to cock
From myrrh to thorn
Divinityís gift
To Adam torn
From milk to mud
From cry to kiss
God descends
to manís abyss
And for this truth
The heart resounds
No more break
From heavenís bounds
Life came down
For womb and hill
To be denied
And love us still

Advent, 2001 

on a slab of wood He rests

a trust of baby's faith

tied in mother's cloth

the path He awaits


will bring mud and blood and spit

flung across white

His wrap a diaper for us

His slab soon set aright


only thirty three

years from the barn

He rises along wood

no more baby's arm


reaching for the breast

of a mother forlorn

but enveloped for hope

by a Father reborn


to bring a baby's heart

beating freshly clean

bright symbol of weak

where power has been


overload these arms

that carry crude wood

turn them upside yours

and feed me baby food



celticli.gif (2262 bytes)


O Lord I listen to the bells
that hearken your arrival soon
and all I ask of You to give
is the slicing of the moon

that eclipses my heart from the sun
and makes of me a woeful cry
missing the lambent manger scene
and the angelsí lullabye

I know You are but a babe
simultaneously far from the womb
Lord shake and rattle me
Ďtil every space is Your room

and the crying sound I hear
is but Your laugh at the night
a raucous, soaring, glorious noise
soothing every strangerís plight

Sing to me that madrigal
resounding with a groomís delight
a joyful and insistent call
heaving darkness into light

And dear Lord, with all this done
bring me home, shouting free
searching for the Babyís Breath
settling down on me

With every turn, all motion raised
and basking in the downy scent
of life eternal come to us
from a stall in Bethlehem

celticli.gif (2262 bytes)

The Birth of Christ

Had you not simplicity, how should it befall you
What the darkest night illuminates?
Behold how God, who thundered over the nations,
So tenderly through you enters the world.

Had you imagined something a bit more grand?

What is grandeur? Aslant through all dominions
He traversed, He thrust His measured destiny.
Even a star has no such regal path.
Do you see, these kings themselves are grand:

To you they trudge, hoarding before your lap

Treasures, which they hold as grandest things;
And maybe you are astonished at these giftsÖ
But peer into the enfolding of your cloak
How He, already, outshines them all.

All amber, shipped from distant climes,

Each golden artifact and perfumed spice
That roams distraught among the senses Ė
All these were of such sudden brevity
And, in the end, brought only sorrow.

But (you will see) He, alone, brings joy.

Rainer Maria Rilke



celticli.gif (2262 bytes)

A Sinful Beggar
(or, Skipping Advent)

I came to a feast
with an open hand
and all I saw was dross
for a common man

No meat or treat
no fire or cloth
just a pinch of crumbs
upon a simple lough

The morsels gently floating
from an outcast arm
a plea for love incarnate,
echo from a barn

where the babe lay waiting
for a fallen world
the tempest of abating
from sinfulness to star

he lies a simple man
abed with motherís milk
one who is a feast
while I prefer the silt

he wants me to reside
only in his love
but fill me with your feast
only known above

lift me from this lake
where you cast your bread
and offer me your heart
Iíll take that instead


celticli.gif (2262 bytes)

Ave Maria Gratia Plena

Was this His coming! I had hoped to see
A scene of wondrous glory, as was told
Of some great God who in a rain of gold
Broke open bars and fell on Danae:
Or a dread vision as when Semele,
Sickening for love and unappeased desire,
prayed to see Godís clear body, and the fire
Caught her brown limbs and slew her utterly.
With such glad dreams I sought this holy place,
And now with wondering eyes and heart I stand
Before this supreme mystery of Love:
Some kneeling girl with passionless pale face,
An angel with a lily in his hand,
And over both the white wings of a dove.

Oscar Wilde


celticli.gif (2262 bytes)

            A Child My Choice

Let folly praise that fancy loves, I praise and love that Child,
Whose heart no thought, whose tongue no word, whose hand no deed defiled.
I praise Him most, I love Him best, all praise and love are His;
While Him I love, in Him I live, and cannot live amiss.
Love's sweetest mark, laud's highest theme, man's most desired light,
To love Him life, to leave Him death, to live in Him delight.
He mine by gift, I His by debt, thus each to other due.
First friend He was, best friend He is, all times will try Him true.
Though young yet wise, though small yet strong; though man yet God He is;
As wise He knows, as strong He can, as God He loves to bless.
His knowledge rules, His strength defends, His love doth cherish all;
His birth our joy, His life our light, His death our end of thrall.
Alas! He weeps, He sighs, He pants, yet do His angels sing;
Out of His tears, His sighs and throbs, doth bud a joyful spring.
Almighty Babe, whose tender arms can force all foes to fly,
Correct my faults, protect my life, direct me when I die!

Saint Robert Southwell, S.J.

celticli.gif (2262 bytes)


May the humble



Comfort you in distress

Soothe you in sorrow

Strengthen you in adversity

Encourage you in difficulty

Exult with you in joy

Embrace you in longing

Raise you in glory

& Open your heart to

His abiding love

This Christmas and forever!



back to Feast of All Saints Home Page