'This noble and elegant site
is both a tribute to a family's
history, and to a national
heritage.' -Daniel J. Cassidy
Swifter far than summer's flight --
Swifter far than youth's delight --
Swifter far than happy night,
Art thou come and gone --
As the earth when leaves are dead,
As the night when sleep is sped,
As the heart when joy is fled,
I am left lone, alone.
Percy Bysshe Shelley
'The Last Walk' by Greg Benton, 2010
Let us then move
in discharge of
our mission and
and nothing else.
Sir Winston Churchill
Stanmer Churchyard, Sussex
In the midst of life we are in death:
of whom may we seek for succour,
but of thee, O Lord, who for our sins
art justly displeased?
Yet, O Lord God most holy,
O Lord most mighty, O holy and
most merciful Saviour, deliver us not
into the bitter pains of eternal death.
Burial Office, The Book of Common Prayer
Dixi, custodiam. Psalm xxxix.
LORD, let me know mine end,
and the number of my days; *
that I may be certified
how long I have to live.
Behold, thou hast made my
days as it were a span long,
and mine age is even as
nothing in respect of thee; *
and verily every man living
is altogether vanity.
For man walketh in a vain
shadow, and disquieteth
himself in vain; * he heapeth
up riches, and cannot tell
who shall gather them.
And now, Lord, what is my
hope? * truly my hope is even
Deliver me from all mine
offences; * and make me not
a rebuke unto the foolish.
When thou with rebukes dost
chasten man for sin, thou
makest his beauty to consume
away, like as it were a moth
fretting a garment: *
every man therefore is but
Hear my prayer, O Lord,
and with thine ears consider
my calling; * hold not thy
peace at my tears;
For I am a stranger with thee,
and a sojourner, * as all my
O spare me a little, that I
may recover my strength, *
before I go hence, and be no
JESUS said, Let not your heart be troubled:
ye believe in God, believe also in me.
In my Father's house are many mansions:
if it were not so, I would have told you.
I go to prepare a place for you.
And if I go and prepare a place for you,
I will come again,and receive you unto myself;
that where I am, there ye may be also.
St. John xiv. 1.
Come, ye blessed children of
receive the kingdom prepared
for you from
the beginning of the
Honour all men.
Honour the King.
He who believes in me,
but he were dead, yet shall he live.
Jesus of Nazareth
Advance our standards, set upon our foes Our ancient world of courage fair
St. George Inspire us with the spleen of fiery dragons.
Richard III, Act V, Scene 3
Ode to Autumn
Season of mists and mellow fruitfulness,
Close bosom-friend of the maturing sun;
Conspiring with him how to load and bless
With fruit the vines that round the thatch-eves run;
To bend with apples the moss'd cottage-trees,
And fill all fruit with ripeness to the core;
To swell the gourd, and plump the hazel shells
With a sweet kernel; to set budding more,
And still more, later flowers for the bees,
Until they think warm days will never cease,
For Summer has o'er-brimm'd their clammy cells.
Who hath not seen thee oft amid thy store?
Sometimes whoever seeks abroad may find
Thee sitting careless on a granary floor,
Thy hair soft-lifted by the winnowing wind;
Or on a half-reap'd furrow sound asleep,
Drows'd with the fume of poppies, while thy hook
Spares the next swath and all its twined flowers:
And sometimes like a gleaner thou dost keep
Steady thy laden head across a brook;
Or by a cyder-press, with patient look,
Thou watchest the last oozings hours by hours.
Where are the songs of Spring? Ay, where are they?
Think not of them, thou hast thy music too,--
While barred clouds bloom the soft-dying day,
And touch the stubble-plains with rosy hue;
Then in a wailful choir the small gnats mourn
Among the river sallows, borne aloft
Or sinking as the light wind lives or dies;
And full-grown lambs loud bleat from hilly bourn;
Hedge-crickets sing; and now with treble soft
The red-breast whistles from a garden-croft;
And gathering swallows twitter in the skies.
AUTUMN-LES FEUILLES MORT
|To every thing there is a season,
and a time to every purpose under
The Michaelmas Daisy
Culzean Castle, Ayrshire
St. Michael the Archangel is the spiritual inspiration for the observance of 'Michaelmas'.
His feast day is 29th September. Michael is principal guardian and protector of the things
of heaven and a warrior against evil. He is usually depicted in art with his foot planted firmly
on the head of Satan, the enemy.
The Mass of St. Michael launches the 'season' that, in the English tradition, marks the
beginning of things in autumn...school terms, social calendars, re-newal of contracts,
and the marking of diminishing daylight that leads oh-so-inevitably to the darkness
of the winter months. The mornings are as crisp as fresh apples and the evenings
are sleep-friendly and cool. The leaves of autumn, whose colour is brilliant against the
changing sky, are falling, and the aroma in the air of that lovely smoke from lingering
fires hovers neatly over the landscape. Perfectly delightful, it of course doesn't last long.
I have always found Michaelmas and this time of year to be the most enjoyable.
Much like being sent off as a young boy with new pencils and a kit lovingly
'packed by Mum', this academic and social year begins with both anticipation
and expectation for new discoveries, new people, perhaps new friends, and an array
of sporting and theatrical events. This lasts generally until Hallowe'en and the realisation
that, by November, with all it's 'gloom' the 'fun' one was having in Michaelmas must
come to an end.
Of course, most of the world doesn't even know or care that 'Michaelmas' exists.
Children aren't queuing up in stores to 'visit St. Michael'.
There are no Michaelmas chocolates, Michaelmas family dinners, Michaelmas gifts
or popular Michaelmas carols.
More importantly, the world in general neither recognises the ancient symbolism of
the Archangel nor his role within the economy of salvation, i.e., work, the battle against evil.
St. Michael and his feast may not be in the daily news but it's message most certainly
is 'front page'.
All of which prompts one to consider the matters of great import and concern
confronting us over this autumnal equinox: a very nervous economy, the ever-present
threat of terror, the insidious and malicious challenges from within and without to our
precious freedom and, indeed, to our quality of life.
Politics, in all it's glitz, vanity, ugliness, promise and hope is at the forefront in Canada
and the United States with election campaigns. It fills the autumn air with repeated messages
aimed to elicit feelings of support for a candidate or cause that is often underscored with a
vile and sickening drone of hateful deceit from a legion of those whose inspiration
is Macchiavelli and his contemporary companions.
The means and meanness in much of the communication between political 'adversaries'
has, in this satellite age, become a 24/7 tortuous bombardment of half-truths,
mis-information, deliberate manipulation, temptation, mocking of character,
invasion of privacy, and outright lies; all characteristic of the evil that permeates the
powers of this world and fuelled by a coterie of the political elite and their 'friends'
in the vulgar media.
The aspirations of life for millions of us, from the unborn to the elderly, the gifted and
the infirm, for the stable perpetuity of a prosperous and free society is very much at stake.
Even more than the rise in the price of oil, the rise in the cost of preserving and
fostering our way of life; not only for us, but for those who are to come emerges as
the issue of today. So much has already been lost to us in this foolish and greedy generation
through the erosion of our Christian foundation. For so many of us in Canada, Britain and
America much of the cultural landscape is unrecognisable. Still, we must remain steadfast,
vigilant and full of hope as we view the darkness in our midst; for it is our battle.
Who of us would cede, in a Faustian bargain, the lives of our children, our dear ones, the
innocents, and indeed our very souls, to the likes of the devil for the sake of popularity,
fool's gold and empty pleasure? Apparently, quite a few people, as we know.
So many, either through wilful ignorance or selfish indifference, choose the shallow
and the fraud.
In our vote for imperfect people with their imperfect abilities we are required to look
beyondthe slick style of 'American Idol' and discern both the real character and the
authentic principles embraced by them. It is the devil's trick to mesmerise and deceive.
Whatever it is that might keep us from seeing 'the light' of God, His Love and His goodness,
cannot be allowed to keep us from the very high purpose to which we have been called and
for which we are moved to foster at home and in our communities as well as deep within.
'Be of good cheer', our Lord said, 'I have overcome the world'. Yet the fulfilment of that
wonderful promise is yet to come. In the meantime, we need to be on the lookout, not
only in politics, but where we live.
Our civilisation and the world itself is suffering many ills today whose origin can be placed
directly in the lap of the Evil One. It is incumbent upon all of us who know Christ our King,
to put on the whole armour of God and firmly side with the messengers of truth and
righteousness, and St. Michael the Archangel whose prayers and inspiration we so
One is reminded of John Henry Newman's famous hymn written whilst
he was very ill in Italy and eager to return home to England.
Lead kindly light amid the encircling gloom, lead Thou me on.
The night is dark, and I am far from home; lead Thou me on!
Keep Thou my feet; I do not ask to see
The distant scene; one step enough for me.
I was not ever thus, nor prayed that Thou shouldst lead me on;
I loved to choose and see my path; but now lead Thou me on!
I loved the garish day, and, spite of fears,
Pride ruled my will. Remember not past years!
So long Thy power hath blest me, sure it still will lead me on.
Oâ€™er moor and fen, oâ€™er crag and torrent, till the night is gone,
And with the morn those angel faces smile, which I
Have loved long since, and lost awhile!
Meantime, along the narrow rugged path, Thyself hast trod,
Lead, Saviour, lead me home in childlike faith, home to my God.
To rest forever after earthly strife
In the calm light of everlasting life
May we journey through Michaelmas and this lively season and confidently
walk through the many shades of darkness that are before us, with a strength that is as
that of Saint Michael, warrior of heaven...and with our feet firmly planted against evil's ugly
and oft-rearing head.
St. Michael the Archangel
violates the Devil's 'civil rights'.
A MICHAELMAS MOMENT
Saint Michael the Archangel,
defend us in battle.
Be our protection
against the wickedness
and snares of the devil.
May God rebuke him,
we humbly pray;
and do Thou,
O Prince of the Heavenly Host,
by the Divine Power of God,
cast into hell Satan
and all the evil spirits
who roam throughout the world
seeking the ruin of souls.
Sancte Michaël Archangele,
defende nos in proelio;
contra nequitiam et insidias
diaboli esto praesidium.
Imperet illi Deus,
supplices deprecamur: tuque,
Princeps militiae caelestis,
Satanam aliosque s
qui ad perditionem animarum
pervagantur in mundo,
divina virtute in infernum detrude.