Liturgical practice is logically prior to, and has spiritual priority over, the mere knowledge of or familiarity with the Sacred Scriptures. The Sacred Scriptures were not (only) meant to be read, but to be lived; it is in living the Sacred Scriptures that their most important purpose is served. Where and how are the Sacred Scriptures lived most completely and totally? In and by the Bride of Christ, which is the Church. It is through the Church’s Song, the Divine Office and the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, that the Church lives, in a real sense, the Sacred Scriptures.

Reference for thought: “The incarnate mind, the tongue, and the tale are in our world coeval”, Tolkein, On Fairy Stories; in conjunction with my remembering encountering an adaptation of verses from Sacred Scripture in the Liturgy during Mass, and realizing that, as the Steward and Possessor of Sacred Scripture, it is within the authority of the Church to do with it as she pleases.

 

Portents

Tomorrow is the day that I
will tidy up the room

and look you in the face and cry
about the misplaced broom.

Hoping against hope that I’ll do
all those things I said,

you’ll say “you know that I love you
for trying, now make the bed.”

Compline

The just man keeps his eyes on You
for days and months and years,

but I can’t seem to even do
a second of these prayers

without inviting every thought
devoid of You to bed.

I dim the light, but then am sought
by common guests unfed.

If golden rings had not been made
what gift could take their place?

Rose petals wilt, inked words will fade,
and moths will feast on lace.

Blessed then, sempiternal King
are you in your Wisdom,

for choosing gold to clothe the ring,
are strength and softness one.

It’s said

It’s said that nothing stays the same,
that all good things will go

“A fool’s errand,” you’ve heard them say
“to think it won’t be so.”

“Oh, hope? How cute. Just wait and see,”
the thrice dead bones intone,

“and isn’t it a little proud
to think that you might know

what we did not to keep from hate
and bitterness and low

whispers said in confidence and
the lustful glances sown,

from wanting what we didn’t have,
and keeping wrongs in tow,

from using what our loved one’s gave
to feed our hearts of stone?”

Four lips open in “Gloria
in excelsis Deo,

no pride is found in one who hopes,
and no one claims to know

how to avoid fates similar
to those that you’ve been shown

in fact it is our ignorance,
knowing we do not know,

that humbles us to power divine
and makes our hearts beat so.

Your words fall short as you can see
from rendering their blow

so kindly crawl back to your hole
and let us the hell alone.”

If I had known to where it was
that I was meant to walk,

no angel would have prompted me
to turn and see the lock

of flaxen hair that lay upon
eternity besought

in Marian cathedral halls
my heart of hearts was caught.

Seven Dolors

“A sword shall pierce” the old man croaked,
in bitter prophecy.

The screams of innocents were heard
as they began to flee.

The child was lost and found again
pronouncing a decree,

a little way from where he met
his ma’ in agony.

Forsook but not forgot he died
as she fell on her knees,

the lance by which the Blood was shed
she could not help but see.

The Body spiced and wrapped in stone,
she found it hard to breathe.

What I would give that I could see
a place to draw the line

between the good that I desire
and what is really thine.

Gone from my heart is love of Love
and in its place you’ll find

an image of created good,
the pale facade of life.

As son of Adam I am cursed
to take what’s yours as mine,

to constantly corrupt what’s given
by treating it divine.

Why must I be moved?

Why must I be moved? I’m fine here, thanks.

Don’t you know rolling stones gather no moss?

Patience sometimes pays late, not that you’d know.

 

I admit, deserts ain’t hospitable

places for moss waiting to get gotten,

but, the worthwhile isn’t ever easy.

 

“As a dog returneth to his vomit,

so the stone arolleth in search of moss,”

Wisdom said. Got a problem with Wisdom?

 

Well, I got a problem with being moved.

It brings with it all kinds of things. Nausea,

a sense of the fleetingness of life, etc.

 

 

When would we stop? Hmm? Imagine moving.

Forever. And ever. Doesn’t sound pleasant.

It couldn’t be worse, or it could, I guess.

 

Because though moss gathered consumes stone,

it abides, contra those slag chasers, dew,

and rain, lecherous leeches, here, then gone.

 

If I’m to be moved, I’ll be moved.

Please, let me gather my thoughts and decide.

I’m being moved! Where are we moving? Wait!

A heuristic for the use of vulgar words

A useful heuristic:

Is what I’m saying proper?

For example, suppose I am a doctor, and I am attempting to explain a medical condition to a patient. The patient has not completed high school, and I am reasonably certain that he has very little understanding of how the human body works. It would be improper of me to use terms that escape his understanding, like ‘angina’, or ‘intraventricular hemorrhage”. My use of these words would not be proper to the context.

The question with regard to vulgar words then becomes, are vulgar words *ever* proper? If their use is malum in se, then they would never be proper in any context. No circumstance would ever warrant their use.

So, are all of the ostensibly vulgar words improper in every circumstance? There are clear counterexamples: “damn” and “bitch” are proper in some circumstances.

I admit that I cannot think of any circumstance where “f***” and related words are proper, beyond the trivial circumstance of us mentioning the word “f***”, but even then, it’s only being mentioned, and not being used.

I think some sort of middle ground can be held by claiming that, some words are never proper, and these words are properly called “vulgar”, whereas all other words are sometimes proper, but of this set of words that are sometimes proper, there is a subset of such words that are proper only in very few circumstances, and these words are the ones commonly considered to be “vulgar”.

This leads to the following conversational rule:

Only appeal to the use of words commonly considered to be vulgar if there is no more proper word that can be used in that circumstance.

Thus, we would be able to delineate between our friend or coworker’s improper use of the word “shit” in “Hand me the shit in the drawer”, and St. Paul’s proper use of the word “skubala” in his epistle to the Philippians.