At the Sabine Farm

There’s a certain slant of light,
On winter afternoons,
That oppresses, like the weight
Of cathedral tunes.

Heavenly hurt it gives us;
We can find no scar,
But internal difference
Where the meanings are.

None may teach it anything,
‘Tis the seal, despair,-
An imperial affliction
Sent us of the air.

When it comes, the landscape listens,
Shadows hold their breath;
When it goes, ‘t is like the distance
On the look of death.

Emily Dickinson 

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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  1. Fr Renzo di Lorenzo says:

    Fr Z,

    Is that the “Hound of Heaven” I see rounding the back right corner of the drive?

    Couldn’t help that. I started giving a vocation retreat today. One of the points I tried to put across is that if the vocation is true, it is the Lord who comes after us, singles us out, chooses us, and leaves for the better with, I should hope, a look “like the distance on the look of death”, that is, His glorious, self-giving death, bringing us a TRUE springtime, resurrection unto life eternal.

  2. Jon says:


    Okay, my critique…the font to my eye is a tad too small almost everywhere, with the sidebars being especially difficult to read because of their light blue color. The black borders are also somewhat overpowering, which combined with the Arial-like font gives everything a “modern” look. Less warmth, I’d say.

    Although your blog is my constant sustenance, I have to admit that the new format reminds me a bit of what Amy Wellborn did with her blog. I used to go there often, but I rarely ever do now because it’s more difficult to read and is visually so much less appealing. I’d hate to see that happen here…but hey, that’s just me.

  3. Jon says:

    P.S. – Of course that didn’t mean I’d come here less often. I just want to make sure little German guys with 80 year-old eyes have no problem with it!

  4. Henry Edwards says:

    Jon: …but hey, that’s just me.

    I gotta admit this new design hasn’t yet grabbed me either. Just as with the liturgy, I still long for the old.

    At first sight, I thought maybe I ought to move up my appointment for an eye examination, but if your young eyes have the same problem, maybe I can wait awhile.

  5. Will says:

    My only real problem with the design, as I just emailed Fr. Zuhlsdorf, is that it wants to be wider than my browser. This causes all kinds of elements to collide. The tab-bar at the top is broken, the blog title and logo are overlapping, and in this post, the picture and the text are all smashed together.

    As for the text size, you can change that through the view menu (view -> text size).

  6. Neal says:

    Bring back the vetus ordo websitae!

  7. Jon says:


    They may be young, but you’ve seen my glasses!

  8. jacobus says:

    I agree with the other critiques of the new layout, Father. You shouldn’t try to mess with perfection! A few tweaks here or there — the top could be improved (I especially liked the graphic with all the asci priests) — but the layout is already quite good.

  9. Folks, there are going to be changes. The old theme does not work with more recent versions of the the software that powers this blog.

    I repeat, there will be changes.

    I asked repeatedly if skilled folks out there could help with design and a theme, etc. After nibbles, nothing ever happened. Good intentions but no follow through. I understand that people have lives of course.

    This is, btw, a paradigm of what happens in parishes: People says “I want this! I want that!”, but in the end they are not usually the people who show up when the work must be done.

    For me to build a theme that looks like the old theme, but is compatible with recent versions of WordPress is beyond me. It has already taken a lot of time to get where I am, and I have done it pretty much alone. I am a Latinist and theologian, not a code writer.

    You will have to deal with what my meager and poorly honed skill can come up with, I am afraid. I ask pardon in advance if what I build isn’t quite right for everyone’s needs.

  10. Karen says:


    I would love to help you, but I can’t even figure out my cell phone. I will pray that you find someone very competent to help you out.


  11. Brian2 says:

    So, I guess the Sabine Farm isn’t in Italy? I’ve never been sure. But because of a fascination with Titus Livy, I always liked to think that your farm was in the ancestral land of the Sabines…

    I think the new site looks nice

  12. mike says:

    When it comes, the landscape listens,
    Shadows hold their breath;
    When it goes, ‘t is like the distance
    On the look of death.”



  13. Mary says:

    I like Emily Dickinson much better with semicolons instead of all those dashes.

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