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Errantry: Novak's Journal
...Words to cast/My feelings into sculpted thoughts/To make some wisdom last
Personal: Various Chrysogonus Bios Online 
14th-Mar-2009 02:50 am
Chrysogonus Fest 1997

Tuesday, Nov. 25, 2008
Chrysogonus Waddell, monk and author, dies
By Jim Warren - jwarren@herald-leader.com

The Rev. Chrysogonus Waddell, a Trappist monk, composer, author and member of the Abbey of Gethsemani for 58 years, has died. He was 78. The Rev. Waddell died Sunday at the abbey infirmary after suffering a series of strokes. He had declined life support.

The Rev. Waddell was born March 1, 1930, in the Philippines, where his father was serving in the U.S. Army. Although he grew up in an Episcopalian family, he converted to Roman Catholicism at age 19. He came to Gethsemani in 1950, arriving on a bus just like the Rev. Thomas Merton, another member of Gethsemani who became famous as a writer and thinker. Although he traveled around the world, the Rev. Waddell lived the rest of his life at the abbey. He was ordained a priest in 1958.

The Rev. Waddell held a strong interest in music from his youth, and studied for two years at the Philadelphia Conservatory. In 1962, the Trappist order sent him to Rome to further his theological studies at the Pontifical College of San Anselmo. He composed many chants and pieces of music, some of which went into a recording, Music From the Abbey of Gethsemani. It featured pieces sung by monks at the abbey, composed and arranged by the Rev. Waddell. He also adapted the traditional Gregorian chant for use in vernacular liturgy. In addition to composing music, the Rev. Waddell wrote five books and more than 175 articles. He also was an accomplished organist.

A funeral Mass will be held at the abbey at 4 p.m. Tuesday. The Rev. Waddell will be buried afterward in the cemetery on the grounds of the abbey.




Chrysogonus Waddell
A christological interpretation of Psalm 1? The psalter and Christian prayer
Communio 22.3 Fall 1995:





Sunday, 8 March 2009 http://nunraw.blogspot.com/2009/03/fr-chrysogonus-ocso.html
Fr. Chrysogonus ocso
Fr. Chrysogonus Waddell

I learned from the OCSO Order Necrology that Fr. Chrysogonus died at Gethsemani Abbey November 23, 2OO8 :

Community Note: Our beloved Fr Chrysogonus Waddell entered into the joy of the Lord on this solemnity of Christ the King. Blessed with many talents and an exuberant spirit, Fr Chrysogonus returned the gifts generously and tirelessly. His musical compositions are known and played throughout the world.

His scholarly contributions are highly renowned and acclaimed. Humble and faithful, humorous and devout, he sought the face of the Lord with zeal and tenacity. May his song in heaven be jubilant and eternal!

The memory of Fr. Chrysogonus is very moving to me from when I first got to know him at the time we shared some study days at Monte Cistello 1960s.

Two days ago I was dusting bottom library shelves in the books on Our Lady and I came upon a print-off from LITURGY, the quarterly periodical produced by Fr. Chrysogonus. He published the article, THE BLESSED VIRGIN COMPARED TO THE AIR WE BREATHE by Gerard Manley Hopkins with Conference Notes of Thomas Merton. (LITURGY Vol. 25:1 3-19, 1991).

The Blessed Virgin poem above forms an apt Memorial for the thanksgiving and prayer of the life of Chrysogonus we cherish.


THE BLESSED VIRGIN COMPARED To THE AIR WE BREATHE

by Gerard Manley Hopkins
(Stonyhurst, May 1883)
With Conference Notes of
Thomas Merton
Getsemani 1954

Wild air, world-mothering air,
Nestling me everywhere,
That each eyelash or hair
Girdles; goes home betwixt
The fleeciest, frailest-flixed
Snowflake; that 's fairly mixed
With, riddles, and is rife
In every least thing's life;
This needful, never spent,
And nursing element;
My more than meat and drink,
My meal at every wink;
This air, which, by life's law,
My lung must draw and draw
Now but to breathe its praise,
Minds me in many ways
Of her who not only
Gave God's infinity
Dwindled to infancy
Welcome in womb and breast,
Birth, milk, and all the rest
But mothers each new grace
That does now reach our race—
Mary Immaculate,
Merely a woman, yet
Whose presence, power is
Great as no goddess's
Was deemèd, dreamèd; who
This one work has to do—
Let all God's glory through,
God's glory which would go
Through her and from her flow
Off, and no way but so.
I say that we are wound
With mercy round and round
As if with air: the same
Is Mary, more by name.
She, wild web, wondrous robe,
Mantles the guilty globe,
Since God has let dispense
Her prayers his providence:
Nay, more than almoner,
The sweet alms' self is her
And men are meant to share
Her life as life does air.
If I have understood,
She holds high motherhood
Towards all our ghostly good
And plays in grace her part
About man's beating heart,
Laying, like air's fine flood,
The deathdance in his blood;
Yet no part but what will
Be Christ our Saviour still.
Of her flesh he took flesh:
He does take fresh and fresh,
Though much the mystery how,
Not flesh but spirit now
And makes, O marvellous!
New Nazareths in us,
Where she shall yet conceive
Him, morning, noon, and eve;
New Bethlems, and he born
There, evening, noon, and morn—
Bethlem or Nazareth,
Men here may draw like breath
More Christ and baffle death;
Who, born so, comes to be
New self and nobler me
In each one and each one
More makes, when all is done,
Both God's and Mary's Son.
Again, look overhead
How air is azurèd;
O how! nay do but stand
Where you can lift your hand
Skywards: rich, rich it laps
Round the four fingergaps.
Yet such a sapphire-shot,
Charged, steepèd sky will not
Stain light. Yea, mark you this:
It does no prejudice.
The glass-blue days are those
When every colour glows,
Each shape and shadow shows.
Blue be it: this blue heaven
The seven or seven times seven
Hued sunbeam will transmit
Perfect, not alter it.
Or if there does some soft,
On things aloof, aloft,
Bloom breathe, that one breath more
Earth is the fairer for.
Whereas did air not make
This bath of blue and slake
His fire, the sun would shake,
A blear and blinding ball
With blackness bound, and all
The thick stars round him roll
Flashing like flecks of coal,
Quartz-fret, or sparks of salt,
In grimy vasty vault.
So God was god of old:
A mother came to mould
Those limbs like ours which are
What must make our daystar
Much dearer to mankind;
Whose glory bare would blind
Or less would win man's mind.
Through her we may see him
Made sweeter, not made dim,
And her hand leaves his light
Sifted to suit our sight.
Be thou then, O thou dear
Mother, my atmosphere;
My happier world, wherein
To wend and meet no sin;
Above me, round me lie
Fronting my froward eye
With sweet and scarless sky;
Stir in my ears, speak there
Of God's love, O live air,
Of patience, penance, prayer:
World-mothering air, air wild,
Wound with thee, in thee isled,
Fold home, fast fold thy child.


Conference Notes of THOMAS MERTON

The theme of the poem: the Universal Mediation of the Blessed Mother.

The poem develops in the form of an argument to prove that Mary's influence is as ever present, as necessary, as perfectly efficacious in producing spiritual life and keeping it in existence, as the air we breathe is necessary for preserving bodily life.

1. The all-pervading presence of air - the presence of Mary everywhere. Air is everywhere; it surrounds all things, it penetrates them all. "World mothering" air. Things are "nestled" in the air as children in the arrns of another. "Nestling Ire everywhere."

The smallest, frailest things - "frailest flixed snowf'Lake " - are "fairly riddled " with air. It is a

Needful, never spent
And nursing elerrent.

We are "nursed" by the air - it is our "meal at every wink" .

Hence the surrounding air is a Mother that protects and nourishes her child. This makes him at once think of Mary, and her presence.

She is Mother first of all to "God's infinity - dwindled to infancy". But also she "Mothers each new grace - that does new reach our race."

Hence the great power of Mary, a power that was never attributed to any goddess although she is a mere woman.

Her whole mission, her "vocation" is to be the medium which "lets all God's glory through" as the sky filters the light of the sun and pours it through on to the world .

. . . . ... . . . .. who

This one work has to do—

let all God's glory through,

God's glory, which would go

Through her and from her flow

Off, and no way but so.

2. Here he takes up the same idea and deepens it, makes it more concrete and precise. To be surrounded by her influence is to be surrounded by ''mercy''. Mary is present not only as a remote influence, not only in the gifts she brings to us. She is herself the mercy that surrounds us, so that we live in her. (Like a spirit she is present where she acts.)

I say that we are wound
With mercy round and round
As if with air: the same
Is Mary, more by name,
She, wild web, wondrous robe,
Mantles the guilty globe . . .

Nay, more than almoner

The sweet alms' self is her

And men are meant to share

Her life as life does air.

Mary is the life of our life. We breathe Mary. We live entirely by her.

As children within their mother's womb.

In other words, she is Mediatrix of all grace.

The doctrine of Mary' s Mediation of all grace:

God, who could have given us . all without Mary, freely decreed and positively ordained that grace should not be given to us without her intercession. " ... from her flow off, and no way but so." (see above)

The mediation of Mary is clearly subordinated to God. "Since God has let her dispense - her prayers his providence." She is "more than almoner," she is the "sweet alms' self", because all His gifts cane to us not only through her but as it were in her.

It is secondary to the mediation of Christ. She received all from and in Him. But it is universal.

a) In time - she has been since the Assumption the administrator of all grace for all people.

b) She is the administrator of omes et singulaegratiae [each and every grace] .

- sanctifying grace and the annexed gifts.

- actual graces - together with temporal goods and preservation fram evil.

- the graces of the sacraments - in so far as she merited de congruo the institution of the sacraments, and in so far as her intercession disposes us for a proper reception of the sacraments and obtains for us opportunities so to receive them.

This is summarized by Gerard Manley Hopkins as follows e

If I have understood,

She holds high motherhood

Towards all our ghostly good

And plays in grace her part

About man' s beating heart,

Laying, like air's fine flood

The deathdance in his blood;

Yet no part but what will

Be Christ our Saviour still.

Note the "action" of the imagery:

a) Mystery - is simply evoked. "If I have understood", and the word "ghostly" - ancient English word for "spiritual" - but sane resonance from modern usage of the word,

b) Action - ''man's beating heart" - "the deathdance in his blood." Rapid pulsing movements as of a thing precariously alive - fragile, palpitating life of the heart, and the inseparable presence of death within man I s very life (through original sin), since every heart beat is a renewal of life but a closer step towards death. But "like air's fine flood" - a smooth sweeping, uniform, silent action (suggesting efficacy, irresistible power') , Mary "allays", quiets, soothes, silences the "deathdance" - the agitation of man's sinful heart.

Apply this to contemplation of Mary - how close we are to hesychasm, although Gerard Manley Hopkins arrived at it purely spontaneously. Every breath, Mary invades our whole being, silencing, pacifying, smoothing out our life. Taste the sweetness of the air and feel its silence pour into you when you meditate. Mary. Quickly comes to constant sense of her presence. (cf. Yoga)

3. The life that is nourished and grows in us each moment is the life of CHRIST. At each breath of grace in our soul, Christ takes flesh, or rather "takes spirit" in us new:

And makes, O marvellous

New Nazareths in us,
Where she shall yet conceive
Him, morning, noon, and eve ...

Men here may draw like breath

More Christ and baffle death;

Who, born so, canes to be

New self and nobler me

In each one and each one

More makes, when all is done,

Both God I S and Mary' s Son.

So by the fact that we live in her, Christ is mothered in us. It is the doctrine of Bl. Guerric on the soul as the "mother of Christ" - but simplified by Gerard Manley Hopkins. To make Christ live in us, we need only to "breathe" Mary. Christ thus born in us is our true self ­"New self and nobler ne." And this takes place in all - his horizons widen out and embrace the whole Mystical Body, person by person: "in each one and each one."

4. As the purity of air filters the light of the sun without diminishing it, spreads it out, evenly and distributes it in the many colours of all things, so Mary’s purity does not "stain" the light of God, but brings it to us perfect.

Yet such a sapphire-shot,

Charged, steeped sky will not

Stain light. Yea, mark you this

It does no prejudice.

The glass-blue days are those

When every colour glows ,

Each shape and shadow shows ,

Blue be it: this blue heaven

The seven or seven times seven

Hued sunbeam will transmit

Perfect, not alter it.

5. Nevertheless, the air softens the harsh light of the sun.

And Mary' s mediation also brings us the light of God in a way that is bearable to our weak sight, without changing it. He comes to us "made sweeter, not made dim."

There are sane lines that remind us of Blake - a sudden picture of the sun without the protecting atmosphere of the earth –

Whereas did air not make

This bath of blue and slake

His fire, the sun would shake,

A blear and blinding ball

With blackness bound, and all

The thick stars round him roll

Flashing like specks of coal,

Quartz-fret, or sparks of salt,

In grimy, vasty vault.

These are some of the most marvellous lines in the poem. Brings out the feeling of a "hostile" heaven full of fires to which we are not tempered, whose sight hurts and frightens us - fires set in a vast emptiness in which we are likely to blow away.

This is the picture of the Old Testament God: "So God was god of old."

But the Incarnation has made "our daystar much dearer to mankind" .

Whose glory bare would blind
Or less would win man I s mind.
Through her we may see him
Made sweeter, not made dim,
And her hand leaves his light
Sifted to suit our light.

6. The closing lines are a beautiful prayer to Mary Mediatrix of grace.

Be thou then, O thou dear
Mother, my atmosphere;
My happier world,
wherein to wend and meet no sin;
Above me, round ne lie
Fronting my froward eye

With sweet and scarless sky;
Stir in my ears, speak there
Of God I S love, O live air,

Of patience, penance, prayer:

World-mothering air, air wild,
Wound with thee, in thee isled,
Fold home, fast fold thy child.

The final lines take up the first words of the poem and show all their meaning in a summary of the poem: our life consists in being clasped to our Mother’s breast, as we are "isled" and "mothered", that is to say, surrounded by the air.

Mary is all around us. We need to be aware of her to be "isled" in her, folded in her arms. This awareness is something she must give us, it being one of the great graces she procures for us. Thus we ask her to "fast fold" us, her children, in her arms.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Posted by Fr Donald at 16:59




Father Chrysogonus Waddell, RIP
By
Paul Zalonski
on November 25, 2008 9:25 PM | Permalink | Comments (0) on Communio website http://communio.stblogs.org/2008/11/father-chrysogonus-waddell-rip.html

Fr Chrysogonus Waddell entered into the joy of the Lord on this solemnity Father Chrysogonus.jpgof Christ the King. Born in 1930 to parents serving in the military and stationed in the Philippines, he joined the community of the Abbey of Gethsemani on August 2, 1950.

His ordination to the priesthood took place on May 31, 1958. Blessed with many talents and an exuberant spirit, Fr Chrysogonus returned the gifts generously and tirelessly. His musical compositions are known and played throughout the world.

His scholarly contributions are highly renowned and acclaimed. Humble and faithful, humorous and devout, he sought the face of the Lord with zeal and tenacity. May his song in heaven be jubilant and eternal!

A Kentucky obit. (linked to above)




Chrysogonus Waddell, OCSO on World Library Publications website http://www.wlp.jspaluch.com/351.htm

Father Chrysogonus Waddell, OCSO, passed from this life and entered life eternal on the solemnity of Christ the King, November 23, 2008, at the age of 78.

Father Chrysogonus studied music composition with Vincent Perschetti at the Philadelphia Conservatory. A convert to Roman Catholicism in 1949, he entered the Abbey of Our Lady of Gethsemani the following year. He was ordained a priest in 1958 and pursued further theological studies in Rome at the College of San Anselmo. Following in the tradition of his fellow Cistercian, Thomas Merton, Father Chrysogonus lived in a hermitage away from the abbey for nearly thirty years. He was choirmaster at the abbey for a number of years. In addition to his compositions, Father Chrysogonus published many scholarly works and translations of monastic and liturgical texts. A widely-recognized chant scholar, and consultor on chant and translations to the International Commission on English in the Liturgy (ICEL), he traveled frequently, presenting at musicological and Cistercian conferences.

The ongoing association of the monks of Gethsemani and the Notre Dame Folk Choir under the direction of Steve Warner has resulted in the inclusion of a number of compositions by Father Chrysogonus in the series Songs of the Notre Dame Folk Choir.

In 2005, WLP began Music from the Abbey of Gethsemani, a new octavo series of music first sung by the monks at Gethsemani adapted and arranged for parish choirs by Father Chrysogonus. This series led to a recording in 2007 of music for the Easter season, Christ Is Risen, Truly Risen! (sung by the William Ferris Chorale directed by Paul French). Father Chrysogonus was a true friend of the entire WLP staff and we will miss his humble, gentle spirit and unique musical gifts.

(three, not thirty years in the hermitage, I believe.)
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