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Tuesday 22 October 2013

The Sleeping Lady of Malta

Thanks to Wiki for The Sleeping Lady of Malta, circa 1,500 BC

Of what does she dream, this heavy lady of Malta, resting on her hard bed,
hand under her head, like a goddess taking a break from listening to her votaries singing chants over the wine-dark sea?

Does she dream, or is her sleep dreamless, that of the dead, who no longer hold imagination or memory? Has she let go of the last images of the Middle Sea's ships bringing her necklaces of shells from Syracuse?
Is her dream one of the dancing star-skirted lady?

Did her dreams end abruptly, like one caught off-guard in the night, facing a soft journey into eternity?
Or, is she still dreaming, holding on to images which she creates for the people of Malta, who no longer know her name?

This lady wears the billowing skirts of many goddesses and reveals her breasts to the world, as if to say she is worthy of the worship from those who need fertility.
 Those yearnings of Maltese maidens lie in the dust of 
─Žal-Saflieni-few want offspring now.

This lady's hair was done by one of the ancestor's of the blow-dry experts of Valletta, and she does not worry about her bare feet, so broken, so lost in memory. Does she does dream of some one, some god beyond the walls of Athens or Kedash?

Does he dream of her, he, buried in a cave or sandstorm, with his arm under his head?  Or did he find a lissome lass of 
 Dalmanutha or the ancient springs of Achsah?  Maybe he preferred dark, like the tents of Kedar?

His left arm is under my head
 and his right arm embraces me. Daughters of Jerusalem,
I charge you:
 Do not arouse or awaken love until it so desires. And, so, perhaps, she sleeps into
this tumultuous century, dreaming of lost love....

copyright 2013

The Strength of Love in the Dark Night

from St. John of the Cross

But here we must note that although, at the beginning, when this spiritual night commences, this enkindling of love is not felt, because this fire of love has not begun to take a hold, God gives the soul, in place of it, an estimative love of Himself so great that, as we have said, the greatest sufferings and trials of which it is conscious in this night are the anguished thoughts that it195 has lost God and the fears that He has abandoned it. And thus we may always say that from the very beginning of this night the soul is touched with yearnings of love, which is now that of estimation,196and now again, that of enkindling. And it is evident that the greatest suffering which it feels in these trials is this misgiving; for, if it could be certified at that time that all is not lost and over, but that what is happening to it is for the best—as it is—and that God is not wroth, it would care naught for all these afflictions, but would rejoice to know that God is making use of them for His good pleasure. For the love of estimation which it has for God is so great, even though it may not realize this and may be in darkness, that it would be glad, not only to suffer in this way, but even to die many times over in order to give Him satisfaction. But when once the flame has enkindled the soul, it is wont to conceive, together with the estimation that it already has for God, such power and energy, and such yearning for Him, when He communicates to it the heat of love, that, with great boldness, it disregards everything and ceases to pay respect to anything, such are the power and the inebriation of love and desire. It regards not what it does, for it would do strange and unusual things in whatever way and manner may present themselves, if thereby its soul might find Him Whom it loves.
6. It was for this reason that Mary Magdalene, though as greatly concerned for her own appearance as she was aforetime, took no heed of the multitude of men who were at the feast, whether they were of little or of great importance; neither did she consider that it was not seemly, and that it looked ill, to go and weep and shed tears among the guests provided that, without delaying an hour or waiting for another time and season, she could reach Him for love of Whom her soul was already wounded and enkindled. And such is the inebriating power and the boldness of love, that, though she knew her Beloved to be enclosed in the sepulchre by the great sealed stone, and surrounded by soldiers who were guarding Him lest His disciples should steal Him away,197 she allowed none of these things to impede her, but went before daybreak with the ointments to anoint Him.

Persecution Watch Kenya

From the Race Site

Morning Update: Day Four Rolex Middle Sea Race

22 October 2013

Photo: Kristina Plattner proudly displays the Line Honours flag for the Rolex Middle Sea Race RMYC/Jonathan Borg
Morning Glory Takes the Gun Louay Habib   2013 Rolex Middle Sea Race Line Honours Winner - Morning Glory (GER) Kristina Plattner’s Z-86, Morning Glory has claimed line honours in the Rolex Middle Sea Race. The German Maxi crossed the finish line at the Royal Malta Yacht Club on Tuesday, 22 October at 04:02 19sec, in an elapsed time of 2days 16hrs 12mins 19secs. “I have only raced offshore with my father before, so this was a new experience for me and I was a bit anxious before the race about how it would turn out. However, so many of the crew are old friends and they really looked after me, so it was not too difficult and I really enjoyed the race.” commented Morning Glory skipper, Kristina Plattner. “It is a beautiful race course and watching the sunrise at Stromboli will be a lasting memory. It was so beautiful and calm but at the same time my four hour watch was just finishing, so the dawn meant we could get some rest. The long beat near the finish was very tiring but it was so nice to get a warm reception when we crossed the line.” Volvo Ocean Race skipper, Chris Nicholson was one of the after-guard on board Morning Glory. “The conditions were lighter than predicted but that doesn't surprise anyone. This is a very changeable racecourse, which definitely keeps your concentration. Weather forecast and routing software are not that useful, you have to see what is happening around you and react. We definitely lost a lot of ground in the latter part of the race. It was a dead beat to Lampedusa with a lot of tacks that really slowed our speed towards the end.” Andres Soriano's Mills 72, Alegre was the second yacht to finish the race just before dawn. Alegre beat her close rival Luca Simone's JV72, Robertissima III to the line by more than an hour.

Purgatory or The Dark Night

St. John of the Cross calls the Dark Night a "purgatory".  And, as he, and later Garrigou-Lagrange tell us over and over, only the perfect see God.

Knowing that only those who have gone through the Dark Night of the Senses and who go into the Dark Night of the Spirit actually are pure enough to be free of the ego and work for God in the Church and not themselves. one wonders why more people do not cooperate with the graces of the Dark Night.

The list I made yesterday, distilling some of the characteristics of the Dark Night from John of the Cross' writings shows that one can endure this purgation here and now.

Why wait until purgatory? Why put off what can be done for the benefit of the Church as a whole and not merely for one's own benefit?

Many Church leaders are stuck in the lowest stages of spiritual growth. This is often too obvious, as actions from those cardinals, bishops, priests, nuns, lay people who are caught up in acting out of their egos rather than doing God's work are clear, if one is allowing God to deal with one in purification.

I do not need to name personages, but it is clear to me that too many cardinals and bishops are acting totally out of worldly standards of seeking fame, status, or achieving worldly goals. If we had more leaders who could give us good examples of humility and a purified will, the Church would be in a different place.

That so many of the laity think they can only achieve purgatory, instead of perfection, is a tragedy of our times. One is not a saint if one makes it to purgatory. Sorry, saints are those willing to go through purgatory on earth, another name for the Dark Nights of the Senses and Spirit.

To be continued....

Cat Day