Oratoire Saint-Martin

Here is a brief posting to replace an earlier one which expressed a lack of prudence on my part. The most I will say is that I am now separated and many things remain in the air. In the meantime, I have a new rented home in the Mayenne and will make the best I can of life.

This experience has brought home to me the idea of self-reliance and taking responsibility. There is no place for “quietism”! My life will be centred around the little oratory (place of prayer) where I have an altar to celebrate Mass, the workshop and my office and library all over the house.

I hope to continue my ministry of study and writing, promoting the practical revival of the use / rite of Sarum and an authentic contemplative life without delusion or pretension. St Martin’s Oratory will also be a kind of “sanatorium” to recover from many things I fail to understand fully myself. The essential is to take everything day by day, baby steps in this kind of “re-birth”.

These little limbs,
These eyes and hands which here I find,
These rosy cheeks wherewith my life begins,
Where have ye been? behind
What curtain were ye from me hid so long?
Where was, in what abyss, my speaking tongue?

When silent I
So many thousand, thousand years
Beneath the dust did in a chaos lie,
How could I smiles or tears,
Or lips or hands or eyes or ears perceive?
Welcome ye treasures which I now receive.

I that so long
Was nothing from eternity,
Did little think such joys as ear or tongue
To celebrate or see:
Such sounds to hear, such hands to feel, such feet,
Beneath the skies on such a ground to meet.

New burnished joys,
Which yellow gold and pearls excel!
Such sacred treasures are the limbs in boys,
In which a soul doth dwell;
Their organizèd joints and azure veins
More wealth include than all the world contains.

From dust I rise,
And out of nothing now awake;
These brighter regions which salute mine eyes,
A gift from God I take.
The earth, the seas, the light, the day, the skies,
The sun and stars are mine if those I prize.

Long time before
I in my mother’s womb was born,
A God, preparing, did this glorious store,
The world, for me adorn.
Into this Eden so divine and fair,
So wide and bright, I come His son and heir.

A stranger here
Strange things doth meet, strange glories see;
Strange treasures lodged in this fair world appear,
Strange all and new to me;
But that they mine should be, who nothing was,
That strangest is of all, yet brought to pass. – Thomas Traherne

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3 Responses to Oratoire Saint-Martin

  1. jimofolym says:

    You are frequently in my prayers, Father. May your continuing journey be blessed as vocations are ‘callings’, not homecomings, necessarily. As I approach our Eastern Pascha, I will light several candles for you. \
    From the other end of the earth in Olympia, Washington state,
    May Christ continue to shine in your life and in your words!
    Rdr. James Morgan

  2. Wayne Pelling says:

    All the very best Father for the future and especially as you seek to revive the Sarum Rite

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