1176. Is not this lily pure? What fuller can procure a white so perfect, spotless clear as in this flower doth appear? ~Francis Quarles

And the stately lilies, fair in silvery light,
like saintly vestals, pale in prayer.
Their pure breath sanctifies the air, and
their luscious fragrance wanders
round and round the garden fair.
~Edited poem
by Julia C.R. Dorr

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Is White a Color?
White-pristine, unblemished-
They say it is not a color.
Yet I see white mists and clouds
Lingering on blue mountains.

White-no shades, no off white,
no cream-just white, pure as this lily
Or as snow on shimmering peaks.
‘Tis this, that’s my favorite sight.

The paper on which I write is white,
White that is clean and holy and pure.
They say that light too is white
Because it combines all the colors.

White is the mother of all colors, the
Churning of yellow, blue, green and so on.
It is the matriarch then of all colors,
The fountain of all extent colors.
~Excerpted, edited, and adapted verses
from a poem by John Matthew

[ She ] My beloved is mine and I am his; he browses among the lilies. ~Song of Songs 2:16  ✝

454. Faith is the bird that sings when the dawn is still dark. ~Rabindranath Tagore

Faith in God is the gift
that takes us beyond our limited self,
with all its incessant demands.
It opens us to a life that stretches us,
enlightens us, and it springs surprise upon us.
Such faith, like love, sees that which
is invisible and lives by it.
~Vincent Nichols

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Holy Life-Giver,

Doctor of the desperate,
Healer of everyone broken past hope,
Medicine for all wounds,
Fire of love,
Joy of hearts,
fragrant Strength,
sparkling Fountain,
Protector,
Penetrator,
in You we contemplate
how God goes looking for those who are lost
and reconciles those who are at odds with Him.

You bring people together.
You curl clouds, whirl winds,
send rain on rocks, sing in creeks,
and the lush earth green.
You teach those who listen,
breathing joy and wisdom into them.

We praise You for these gifts,
Light-giver,
Sound of joy,
Wonder of being alive,
Hope of every person,
and our strongest Good.

~St. Hildegard of Bingen

The Lord is my light and my salvation; Whom shall I fear? The Lord is the strength of my life; Of whom shall I be afraid? ~Psalm 27:1   ✝

Thank you, Jesus, that you save, you heal, you restore, and you reveal Your Father’s heart to us! May I dwell in Your holy presence and praise Your name for all you have given.

** Image via Pinterest

415. In the right light, at the right time, everything is extraordinary. ~Aaron Rose

Light gives of itself freely,
filling all available space.
It does not seek anything in return;
it asks not whether you are friend or foe.
It gives of itself
and is not thereby diminished.
~Michael Strassfeld

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It was day’s end, and the light had almost drained out of the day, but before the sun vanished, it filled a portion of one last cup with its splendor. This hibiscus had been perched atop its stem since first light, and now it was one of the fortunate “available spaces” to be kissed by the last light of day as well. The flower that had been a thing of great beauty all the live long day was a chalice to be blessed one last time by an essential piece of Creation, light.

For with you(God) is the fountain of life; in your light we see light. ~Psalm 36:9  ✝

Thank you, Lord Jesus, that you save, you heal, you restore, and you reveal Your Father’s heart to us! You have captured me with grace and I’m caught in Your infinite embrace! Like Saint Hildegard Lord, may I too be a feather on your holy breath and spread, like seeds, the gospel abroad.

358. White. . .is not a mere absence of colour; it is a shining and affirmative thing, as fierce as red, as definite as black. . . ~G. K. Chesterton

White, pristine, unblemished…

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The paper I write is white

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White is holy, pure

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They say light is white
Because it combines all colors

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So white is the mother of all colors

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The churning of all yellow, blue, green

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Colors sacrifice their egos
To the eternal white
The matriarch of all colors

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The fountain of extent colors
~Excerpted random lines
from a poem by John Matthew

White appears often in nature, and down through the ages references have been made to it in music, art, poetry, and prose. It seems it’s a color many have sought and still seek to embrace. Could it be because it’s the color of the heavenly orbs, the moon and stars that illuminate darkness, or because it’s the color of light, light that warms, heals, and inspires faith, or because it’s perceived as the color of purity, purity of the spirit, of the soul, and in the Christ. Regardless of what draws mortals into its web, many, like me, adore white and sing its praises especially the white flowery faces that grace a garden. In them it’s easy to see that as Chesterton asserts the color white is a “shining and affirmative” thing. Walter Bellingrath once rightfully noted that a garden “is like a beautiful woman with a different ball gown for each week of the year.” And dressed in her gowns of glistening white, a garden is one of the most glamorous and inspiring muses at the party.

Go, eat your food with gladness, and drink your wine with a joyful heart, for it is now that God favors what you do. Always be clothed in white, and always anoint your head with oil. ~Ecclesiastes 9:7-8 ✝

Thank you, Lord Jesus, that you save, you heal, you restore, and you reveal Your Father’s heart to us! You have captured me with grace and I’m caught in Your infinite embrace!

**Some of the images are from Pinterest

318. Water is the driver of nature. ~Leonardo da Vinci

Be praised, My Lord,
through Sister Water;
she is very useful,
and humble,
and precious,
and pure.
~St. Francis of Assisi

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The sight of water, be it in a pond, a river, the sea, a fountain, or even a drop from a spigot touches something deep in “the temple of my inner being.” I love to sit quietly and watch water fall or splash or ripple or break like the waves on a seashore. And if I peer down long enough into the mysterious depths of a body of water, my mind conjures up images of earth’s origins, and subsequently the Garden of Eden comes alive in my soul’s eye. Even gauzy reflections which quiver and quake in a puddle or body of water seem to possess a captivating life, a compelling story, a gripping sanctity of their own.

Although I know not where it rests in the human psyche, I believe somewhere therein mortals recognize familiar things not necessarily of this world, things they appear to know without human tutelage or logic’s reason. In the same way a child instinctively recognizes its biological mother even after the umbilical cord is severed, I believe we, who are temporarily separated from the Holy Source of our being, retain a sense of the Father’s parenting presence because we belong to the Lord and are inextricably a part of Him. It could be that’s why earth and its waters not only call to me but also comfort me.

…by God’s word the heavens existed and the earth was formed out of water and by water. ~2 Peter 3:5  ✝

Thank you, Jesus, that you save, you heal, you restore, and you reveal Your Father’s heart to us!

**Photo via Pinterest

276. There is no greater sorrow in the world, than eyes unseeing, color everywhere, or ears unhearing, softly wafted notes from nature’s great cathedral of the air. ~Mabel G. Austin

What is pink? a rose is pink
By a fountain’s brink.
What is red? a poppy’s red
In its barley bed.
What is blue? the sky is blue
Where the clouds float thro’.
~Christina Rossetti

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Well, it’s another gloomy winter’s day hereabouts, but I’m a singin’ away, a singin’ in the rain as a matter of fact.  “I’m laughing at the clouds so dark up above, what a glorious feelin’ I’m happy again…”  Okay, so it isn’t much rain, but it has rained a bit nevertheless.  And what am I a singing?  I’m a singin’ the blues.  No, no, no, not the sad blues–the happy blues because some of my little, blue grape hyacinths are blooming in the greenhouse, and they like “girls in white dresses with blue satin sashes” are “a few of my favorites things.”  I love the color blue and I love some of the expressions using the color blue, expressions like:  true blue, out of the blue, bluer than blue, blue on blue, once in a blue moon, something borrowed, something blue, and on and on it goes.  I also love some of the ways people describe what the color blue means to them.  For example I’ve heard things like: blue is the wonder in my mind; blue is the sound a sunny day makes; blue is the smell of blueberries ripening in the sun; blue is the wind over water; blue is the color of the never-ending sky; blue is the place where song birds fly; blue is a world of sweet mellow joy; blue is the sky that God holds close to His presence; blue was meant for us to see and believe.

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Blue is the color of God’s Glory according to some rabbinic sages, and it is a constant in our lives.  Not only is it the color of the clear sky and the deep sea, but it’s the color of our planet, Mother Earth, our precious blue pearl in the heavens.  God does indeed hold the sky close to His presence, and we were meant to see evidence of Him, our Creator, in its orbs and in “my blue, blue, blue heaven.”

Speak to the Israelites, and tell them to make fringes on the corners of their garments throughout the generations to put a blue cord on the fringe at each corner.  ~Numbers 15:38  ✝

190. Listen! the wind is rising, and the air is wild with leaves… ~Humbert Wolfe

Yet one smile more, departing, distant sun!
One mellow smile through the soft vapory air. . .
Yet a few sunny days, in which the bee
Shall murmur by the hedge that skirts the way,
The cricket chirp upon the russet lea,
And man delight to linger in thy ray.
Yet one rich smile, and we will try to bear
The piercing winter frost, and winds, and darkened air.
~William Cullen Bryant

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What a season of contrasts autumn is!  Many of its striking contradistinctions and “mellow smiles” can be seen on a single day, and yesterday was a fascinating example of Fall’s many faces.  Early in the morning the sky was a clear, brilliant blue, and as I wandered the yard I found a butterfly prettily perched on the leaves of a climbing rose.  Then the winds picked up and threatening clouds blew in.  About 30 minutes later, a narrow band of rain clouds passed over us leaving not a single drop, however, in their wake.  Afterwards the sun sat smiling again in the sapphire sky, but it was streaked with a few bands of Cirrus clouds.  Not too long after that the stormy/clear scenario repeated itself.  Finally late in the afternoon a blustery wind blew down like rain more of the yellow leaves off the willow tree as it chased the sun away for good.  What had been an almost balmy day in the mid-70‘s had rapidly changed, and the bite of the chilling north wind stung my unsuitably-clad body when I went out to unplug the fountain and close up the greenhouse.

He(God) wraps us the waters in his clouds, yet the clouds do not burst under their weight.  ~Job 26:8  ✝