Core: noun, the most important part of a thing, the essence; from the Latin cor, meaning heart.

Click for Main Weblog

  Needless Commentary from Small-Town America  

The Weblog at The View from the Core - Fri. 11/29/02 10:54:35 PM

"Driven by Love"

By Fr. John Jacob Hugo.

Gerard Serafin has blogged the text of Fr. Hugo's memorial sermon for his dear friend Dorothy Day.

My recollection — which my very well be faulty after all these years — is that Fr. Hugo did not himself preach this sermon. He was not well enough, indeed, to attend Dorothy's funeral. But he wrote this sermon IIRC for a memorial service which, in the end, he could not attend either. Somebody else was going to preach from his text.

I remember him reading it to me one day: he wanted to know how it sounded. He sat at his desk, and I sat opposite in a rocking chair. It was a long time ago, so I hardly remember it: but I am sure it is the same sermon, because the first line stuck in my mind and I recognized it instantly: "This celebration, I am told, is intended to bring together those especially who have had a historic relationship with the Catholic Worker." I must say, Fr. Hugo expressed his opinion to me that most of the Catholic Worker movement had become so... I don't know how else to say it... secularized that he feared that the sermon would be lost on many people hearing it because they simply would not comprehend Dorothy's divine motivations.

The text quotes St. John of the Cross:

"My occupation: love. It's all I do."

Fr. Hugo used to say that he thought that line was the most beautiful in all of poetry. (Pace Dante.) The Saint had become Fr. Hugo's favorite poet late in life: in fact, I recall him taking up the slender volume of St. John's poetry and saying "This is all the spiritual reading I need nowadays."

For those who might be interested to know, I credit Fr. Hugo's love of St. John's poetry, and of Gerard Manley Hopkins' poetry too, for sparking my own deeper interest in poetry. He gave me, more than twenty years ago, a copy of the third edition of John Frederick Nims' translation of the Saint's poetry. He said it was the first really good translation, and "There is only one theme running through all, the love of the bride for the Bridegroom." He also liked Chesterton and Belloc: I have his copy of Belloc's Sonnets and Verse. I still remember with what delight he read aloud "Lines to a Don". :)

Lane Core Jr. CIW P — Fri. 11/29/02 10:54:35 PM
Categorized as Religious.


The Blog from the Core © 2002-2008 E. L. Core. All rights reserved.

  Needless Commentary from Small-Town America  

The View from the Core, and all original material, © 2002-2004 E. L. Core. All rights reserved.

Cor ad cor loquitur J. H. Newman — “Heart speaks to heart”