From Carl: Time to get cultured, St. Augustine’s! Near the end of last semester, I had discussed contributing something weekly to the website/newsletter with Fr. Kevin and Dondra. As many of you know, I am an English Ph.D. student at The Ohio State University, so I spend a lot of my time reading, writing, watching movies, and generally consuming “culture,” popular or otherwise. Given this, I have decided to present to you each week a different piece of art, whether that be a poem, song, book, film, etc., and some of my reflection on it. It might be one of my all-time favorite pieces of art or something I just encountered in the last week. Over the course of my life, God has spoken to me time and time again through music, poetry, and film—so I started looking for Him in those things and I hope I can encourage you to do the same. For this initial post, I want to begin with a poem/prayer that has deeply informed my experience of culture and life since I discovered it in college. It comes from Sir Francis Drake, well known sixteenth-century explorer. “Disturb us, Lord, when We are too well pleased with ourselves, When our dreams have come true Because we have dreamed too little, When we arrived safely Because we sailed too close to the shore. Disturb us, Lord, when With the abundance of things we possess We have lost our thirst For the waters of life; Having fallen in love with life, We have ceased to dream of eternity And in our efforts to build a new earth, We have allowed our vision Of the new Heaven to dim. Disturb us, Lord, to dare more boldly, To venture on wider seas Where storms will show your mastery; Where losing sight of land, We shall find the stars. We ask You to push back The horizons of our hopes; And to push into the future In strength, courage, hope, and love. This we ask in the name of our Captain, Who is Jesus Christ.” I remember stumbling upon this prayer in college and being blown away by the message at the core: God wants us to dream bigger and live bolder. As someone who liked (and still likes) to play it safe and have everything figured out, I was struck by the vision of wild, risky faith presented in Drake’s prayer, captured beautifully in the phrase, “Where losing sight of land, we shall find the stars.” Now, slightly older and possibly wiser, I find another facet of this prayer equally powerful and especially relevant for our community at St. Augustine’s. How do we know when we’ve dreamed too little? How can we tell that we are sailing too close to shore? Initially, I want to answer these questions by claiming that responsibility for myself. After all, I should be able to tell if my dreams are big enough, right? Well, if we keep reading, we see that Drake suggests something else: “We ask You to push back the horizons of our hopes.” If our dreams are too little, God will reveal that to us. The repetition of “disturb us, Lord” further underscores the reality that God sends us forth into those wilder seas, just like He invites us to partake in the Eucharist. And, as the final lines of the prayer offer, when we do embark into those frothing, churning waters, Jesus stands as our Captain. All we need to do is jump on board.