“My Easter Message” by Darius M. Ratcliff

HAPPYEASTER

“Buona Pasqua”

(Italian – Happy Easter)

MY EASTER MESSAGE

Do you seek eternal laughter,

And no tears to follow after;

You can find by Christ receiving,

Once for all on Him believing.

If the Christ you are refusing,

If His word you’re not perusing:

Am I right, or merely guessing,

You’ll be missing heaven’s blessing.

Why then wait till comes disaster?

Years are passing fast and faster:

Now’s the day for you to hearken,

Lest the night forever darken.

If the world your heart is filling,

And to change you’re all unwilling:

Do you know what you’ll be reaping?

Must your journey end in weeping?

Perhaps you dread a life of giving,

Ever for some others living:

Surely it is worth the trying;

On the Lord’s own word relying.

There is joy in Christian giving,

And for others always living:

You’ll be glad when you surrender,

And to Christ your service render.

Others are the world reminding,

What they want in Christ they’re finding:

In this life of thrill and action,

They are finding satisfaction.

When the shades of night are fallen,

And our lives are past recalling,

Are you sure that you’ll be voicing

Songs of heaven’s glad rejoicing?

You today may this be knowing

And like Jesus, too be growing

If you come to Jesus merely,

And accept Him now sincerely.

Image above retrieved from:

http://digitalgallery.nypl.org/nypldigital/dgkeysearchdetail.cfm?trg=1&strucID=1065603&imageID=1587578&total=18&num=0&word=jesus%20christ%20resurrection&s=1&notword=&d=&c=&f=&k=1&lWord=&lField=&sScope=&sLevel=&sLabel=&sort=&imgs=20&pos=14&e=w

Image Details

Image Title:  Buona Pasqua. Item Physical Description: 1 postcard : col., embossed ; 14 x 9 cm.

 Notes: Gold metallic accents. Source: Holiday postcards / Easter — Foreign. Source Description: 16 postcards : col. ; 9 x 14 cm. Location: Mid-Manhattan Library / Picture Collection. Catalog Call Number: PC POC Easter – Foreign. Digital ID: 1587578. Record ID: 1065603. Digital Item Published: 9-10-2007; updated 5-15-2012.

“The Riddle” by Darius M. Ratcliff

The Light of the World  by William Holman Hunt (1827 – 1910)
John 8:12

THE RIDDLE

Birds of a feather flock together,

Thus has is always been:

Crows flock with crows, and wrens flock with wrens:-

Like, is the nearest of kin.

Christ is the head of a new-born race;

Children of light are they:

Earth knows them not, and the world loves not; –

Darkness cares not for the day.

Christ is the light, and Christ the way,

Christ the salvation of men:

Once let the dreamers turn to the light,

True is their fellowship then.

Pray for the eyes fast blinded by night;

Hope for the straying feet:

Patiently teach them by word and by deed;

Patiently mercy entreat.

Swift speeds the time, another today,

Birds now with us are flown:

Thanks to our God will fill our hearts is

Seeds for a harvest we’ve sown.

Image above retrieved from:
http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File%3AHunt_Light_of_the_World.jpg
William Holman Hunt [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

“I Weep” by Darius M. Ratcliff

“Christ Weeping Over Jerusalem”
Ary Scheffer, (1795 – 1858)
Luke 19:41

I WEEP

I weep, but there has been no church bell’s knell;

Nor is my sadness the sadness of farewell:

Oh, if my loved were only absent, just away!

Of, if my loved had entered heaven’s day!

Then I could bear it, and once more rejoice,

Though I might often miss a long loved voice.

There is a fate than that of death more sad,

A fate that can new sorrow ever add;

There is an absence that is absence from the heart

When those we love from ways of life depart.

I have great sorrow and unceasing pain,

But may my prayer at last, not be in vain.

Image above retrieved from:

Ary Scheffer [Public domain or Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

“The Mother’s Meditations” by Darius M. Ratcliff

Madonna with the Bouquet of Lilies”

 

THE MOTHER”S MEDITATIONS

“Father we thank thee for this food:”

In childish voices low and sweet,

With heads low bowed and folded hands,

Together Allen and Sis repeat.

And now another tiny one

Has come our little home to share:

I thank God for these children dear

Now place within my earthly care.

Allen and Sis repeat their thanks

For our supply of daily food;

Shall I not lift my voice with theirs

And thank Thee for these children good?

And must I guide these little feet?

And must I show to them the way?

I’ll need, O Christ, thy help in this:

Teach me, O Lord, teach me to pray.

I want to be a child myself,

A child of God while here on earth:

I come to thee just as I am;

Grant me, O Lord, the second birth.

Work with me, Lord, in these blessed days:

I know their number ‘ll be too few:

Help me to mold these little lives

So that they’ll be forever true.

I thank thee for thy holy church,

Redeemed by Christ to be His bride:

Now left on earth to do His work,

To teach, to love, to help, to guide.

This church is now thy gift to me,

To help to make these children thine:

May they through life the Savior know,

May they through Him have life divine.

I pray thee for my children Lord:

Too soon from me their feet will roam;

I pray thee Lord to keep those feet

And guide them to thy heavenly home.

Image above retrieved from:

http://digitalgallery.nypl.org/nypldigital/id?1577655

Image Title:  Madonna mit dem Lilienstrauss.

Alternate Title: The madonna with the bouquet of lilies.

Creator: Woelfle, Johann — Engraver

Additional Name(s): Dolci, Carlo, 1616-1686 — Artist

Medium: Lithographs

Source: Königl. Bayer. Pinakothek zu München und Gemälde-Gallerie zu Schleissheim. Mit seiner Majestät des Königs von Bayern allerhöchster Genehmigung in lithographierten Abbildungen, herausgegeben in der Kunst-Anstalt von Piloty & Loehle in München.

 

 

“I’ll Win the Crown, Beyond the Cross” by Darius M. Ratcliff


I’ll Win the Crown, Beyond the Cross

 

Now if the man who owns and tills the fields

Must work, or else his land no harvest yields;

And if the man who seeks to win a race,

Must train if he would even hope to place;

Can we e’er hope to win the greatest prize

If for that prize we do no exercise?

If for fool’s gold men toil and sweat,

Should we do less true wealth to get?

If for a car men pay the price,

Think you that less will here suffice?

No, I must strive if I would win,

I’ll do my part, right now begin.

It is my right to have my pay,

It is my right my hand to stay:

On rights of mine I’ll not insist,

If doing this, will aught assist.

I’ll keep my eye on real rewards;

For what care I for earthly hoards?

I’ll be as Jew, I’ll be as weak,

I’ll be all things, the lost to seek:

I’ll run the race, the prize attain,

I’ll fight this fight, the crown I’ll gain;

I’ll spare not self, I’ll fear no loss,

I’ll win the crown, beyond the cross.

Image above retrieved from:
http://www.theworkofgodschildren.org/collaboration/index.php?title=File:Cross_and_Crown_001.jpg

“The War is O’er” by Darius M. Ratcliff

Papauer I ‘Morpheus’. [Memorial Day Poppy] (1768-1786)

THE WAR IS O’ER

The guns are still, the war is o’er,

The boys come home from foreign shore;

As they now reach their journey’s end

They’re met by relative and friend:

Their medals won, their ribbons gay

Are marked with pride for many a day.

We think of those who lonely dwell,

And tears are shed for those who fell.

But now we note how selfish greed

Has fastened on our country’s need:

The gangster in the market black

Does scrupple not his land to sack:

Base men lead forth the strike parade

Till we a stricken land are made:

And gamblers follow in their wake,

And liquor men their booty take.

The world seems just a sorry mess

Where few care ought for righteousness;

The nations growl and lust for power,

And hasten not the peaceful hour;

The starving millions cry for bread;

Whole nations face a future dread:

Although a righteous few are left,

They seem well nigh of power bereft.

But what means all this wrack to us?

We’re told by Christ it should be thus.

This is the day the Lord has made:

We have the Son of God to aid:

Our lives in Christ can be as grand

As any lived in any land;

In meeting new the world’s deep need,

We can make great our heavenly meed.

We turn aside on this spring day

To honor those who’ve passed away.

(When our day too on earth is done,

What victory then shall we have won?)

We honor those who wrought to win

These labors we have entered in.

Although we seem both few and weak,

In us will Christ the victory see.
Image above:
Image ID: 1161429. Papauer I ‘Morpheus’. [Memorial Day Poppy] (1768-1786)
Retrieved from:
http://digitalgallery.nypl.org/nypldigital/id?1161429

“The Riches of Christ” by Darius M. Ratcliff

Part of sedilia, St. John’s Church Osnabruck, Germany. (1868)

THE RICHES OF CHRIST

I offer you treasures more precious than gold,

More precious than treasures than banks on earth hold.

The riches of earth delude and ensnare;

Man loves them though Christ has bade him to beware:

The riches of Christ delight and refine;

They shine in full splendor when life we resign.

In the day when the worldling awakens to his loss,

When diamonds and riches and gold are just dross;

Then the ones who have labored for riches above,

Will attain them forever in a home of pure love.

If today then seem dim like the gold of a dream,

While the treasures of earth so glitteringly beam;

A tomorrow is coming on wings swift and sure:-

How then will it see? Which then will endure?

I bid you awake, to awaken today:

Lay hold of these riches, lay hold, don’t delay:

I bid you despise, to despise earthly gain:

To hold it as cheap, as a dangerous bane.

If I could but tell all the values to you,

Of the prize held aloft for mortals to view:

How it dwarfs human minds and still beckons on;

How the angels for this would mortal life don:

How it saves from earth’s darkness, the darkness of night.

And in place gives the kingdom, the kingdom of light:

How it makes the heart sing with joys evermore,

How it lasts through eternity, a billion years more:

How it means for us home, a home of pure love,

A home of rich  fellowship with saints saved above:

How it makes us God’s children, — to the world always odd, —

And we’re to be filled with the fullness of God.

When the Christ comes again, appearing in glory,

Then we shall be like Him. This is the story.

Image above:
Image ID: 819337. Part of sedilia, St. John’s Church Osnabruck, Germany. (1868)
Retrieved from:
http://digitalgallery.nypl.org/nypldigital/id?819337
Original Source:
“The study book of medieval architecture and art : a series of working drawings of the principal monuments of the Middle Ages.”