Infused, Not Acquired

Franceschini, Baldassare. St. Catherine of Siena. 17th century. Dulwich Picture Gallery, London.
Franceschini, Baldassare. St. Catherine of Siena. 17th century. Dulwich Picture Gallery, London.

Catharína, virgo Senénsis, piis orta paréntibus, beáti Domínici hábitum, quem Soróres de Poeniténtia gestant, impetrávit. Summa eius fuit abstinéntia et admirábilis vitæ austéritas. Cum Pisis morarétur, die Domínico, refécta cibo cælésti et in éxtasim rapta, vidit Dóminum crucifíxum magno cum lúmine adveniéntem, et ex eius vúlnerum cicatrícibus quinque rádios ad quinque loca sui córporis descendéntes. Mystérium advértens, Dóminum precáta, ne cicatríces apparérent, contínuo rádii, colóre sanguíneo mutáto in spléndidum, in formam puræ lucis pervenérunt ad manus, pedes et cor eius. Tantus vero erat dolor, quem sensibíliter patiebátur, licet vúlnerum cruénta signa non apparérent, ut, nisi Deus minuísset, brevi se créderet moritúram. Doctrína eius infúsa, non acquisíta fuit. Aveniónem ad Gregórium Papam undécimum profécta, illi votum eius de peténda Urbe, soli Deo notum, sese divínitus cognovísse monstrávit, et auctor fuit, ut Póntifex ad Sedem Románam personáliter accéderet. Anno ætátis suæ tértio círciter et trigésimo migrávit ad Sponsum. Quam Pius secúndus sanctárum Vírginum número adscrípsit. Brevarium Romanum.

A Waddin Toast

A Highland Dance (1780) by David Allan, Scottish National Gallery.
A Highland Dance (1780) by David Allan, Scottish National Gallery.

Be as the swans that glimmer ower the loch
Waddit for life, until Daith dis them pairt
Be as the Cushie Doos, that coort foraye
Their dearies, wi a douce an tender-hairt

Be as the Ernes, sae fierce, an yet sae leal
Far reengin, yet wi a returnin wing
Be as the Hoolets, bosied in the laft
Inbye their nest, fur comfort see them cling

As burnie seeks the sea, an trees seek the air
The merriege o a man an wife should be
As blythe as blossom in the aspen’s hair
As merry as the rowan on the lea

It merks the stert o halvin life’s lang tcyaave
Fin twa lie doon tae taste life’s sweets thegither
Sae let the bells ring oot, the whisky poor
Let aa gweed wishes bless this pair foriver

A Waddin Toast by Sheena Blackhall.

Forget Not

Arms of the Earl of Argyll, folio 10 recto, "Scottish Armorial" English MS 4, Rylands Collection, University of Manchester Library. The 16th century manuscript has been partially destroyed by fire.
Arms of the Earl of Argyll, folio 10 recto, “Scottish Armorial” English MS 4, Rylands Collection, University of Manchester Library. The 16th century manuscript has been partially destroyed by fire.

Ne obliviscáris voces inimicórum tuórum: supérbia eórum, qui te odérunt, ascéndit semper.

Psalmus lxxiii. 23.

Mine Own Word Alone

Portrait study of Sir Thomas More by Hans Holbein the Younger, black and coloured chalks on paper, 40.2 × 30.1 cm, Royal Collection, Windsor.
Portrait study of Sir Thomas More by Hans Holbein the Younger, black and coloured chalks on paper, 40.2 × 30.1 cm, Royal Collection, Windsor.

Howbeit what faith my words will have with him in these mine own causes, I cannot very surely say, nor yet very greatly care. And yet stand I not in so much doubt of myself, but that I trust well that among many good and honest men, among which sort of folk I trust I may reckon him, mine own word would alone, even in mine own cause, be somewhat better believed than would the oaths of some twain of this new brotherhood in a matter of another man. St. Thomas More, Apology (1533).

Sine Ulla Condicione

Pope Benedict XVI.
Pope Benedict XVI.

Ei Nos, sicut Petrus, quoque fidelitatem Nostram sine ulla condicione promissam renovamus. Ei uni servire cogitamus Nosque totos eius Ecclesiae ministerio devovere. Primum nuntium Summi Pontificis Benedicti XVI post concelebrationem eucharisticam cum cardinalibus electoribus in Capella Sistina, die XX mensis Aprilis, anno Domini MMV.

Harrowing Inroads

“Viking Raider Stone” from Lindisfarne, thought to depict the Northmen who attacked the monastery in A.D. 793.
“Viking Raider Stone” from Lindisfarne.

Her wæron reðe forebecna cumene ofer Norðhymbra land, ⁊ þæt folc earmlic bregdon, þæt wæron ormete þodenas ⁊ ligrescas,⁊ fyrenne dracan wæron gesewene on þam lifte fleogende. Þam tacnum sona fyligde mycel hunger, ⁊ litel æfter þam, þæs ilcan geares on .vi. Idus Ianuarii, earmlice hæþenra manna hergunc adilegode Godes cyrican in Lindisfarnaee þurh hreaflac ⁊ mansliht.

This year came dreadful fore-warnings over the land of the Northumbrians, terrifying the people most woefully: these were immense sheets of light rushing through the air, and whirlwinds, and fiery dragons flying across the firmament. These tremendous tokens were soon followed by a great famine: and not long after, on the sixth day before the Ides of January in the same year, the harrowing inroads of heathen men made lamentable havoc in the church of God in Holy-island, by rapine and slaughter.

Anglo-Saxon Chronicle, A.D. 793.

The Glory of Brightness

Image of the Enthroned Virgin and Child from a 12th century copy of St. Augustine's commentary on the last fifty psalms. It was produced at the Benedictine Abbey of Eynsham and displays Anglo-Saxon stylistic elements rare in a manuscript of this date. MS. Bodl. 269 fol. iii recto.
Image of the Enthroned Virgin and Child from a 12th century copy of St. Augustine’s commentary on the last fifty psalms. It was produced at the Benedictine Abbey of Eynsham and displays Anglo-Saxon stylistic elements rare in a manuscript of this date. MS. Bodl. 269 fol. iii recto.

Quam si diligentius aspicias, nihil virtutis est, nihil speciositatis, nihil candoris gloriae, quod ex ea non resplendeat.1

Der Pseudo-Hieronymus-Brief IX “Cogitas me”, ed. Ripberger, §92.

Nis heo nanes haliges mægnes bedæled, ne nanes wlites, ne nanre beorhtnysse; and forðy heo wæs ymbtrymed mid rosen and lilian, þæt hyre mihta wæron mid mihtum underwriðode, and hire fægernys mid clænnysse wlite wære geyht.2

The Homilies of the Anglo-Saxon Church, Vol. I.

1If you consider most diligently, there is nothing of excellence, nothing of beauty, nothing of the glory of brightness, which does not shine brightly from her.

2She is void of no holy virtue, nor any beauty, nor any brightness; and therefore was she encircled with roses and lilies, that her virtues might be supported by virtues, and her fairness increased by the beauty of chastity.