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Friday 15 August 2014

Well, I suspect something more behind this...

disinformation or misinformation or pushing the bitcoin or.....causing collapse on purpose?

Interesting Read #19

Art Critique, Again

All of us who paint, paint in a context. We either paint in Western traditions, or Eastern traditions, Oriental or African traditions, and so on.

We do not paint in a vacuum. We may choose to depart from centuries of symbolism, but we cannot entirely do that without destroying history, symbolism and imagery. The desconstructionists and post-deconstructionists do this in philosophy and linguistics-destroy the meaning of word and, therefore, destroy context and the search for meaning.

There is no artist who can create something "new" as only God can create out of nothing (poesis), while artists only imitate (mimesis). We, creatures ourselves, "make" art which is already in the mind of God.

Now, there is demonic art, as well as good art. There is art which is pornographic, violent, and prurient. There has been in my lifetime many examples of blasphemous art. One thinks of the horrible statue of the Holy Virgin Mary with elephant dung as part of the depiction. It was rightly declaimed as rude and an insult to Catholics. The use of fetuses in art in England when I was there almost thirty years ago was another example of "statement art" which was horrible and most likely satanic.

But, Christian artists can make mistakes, gross errors of judgement, by ignoring the symbolism and imagery of the last two millennia. David Jones wrote of "The Break", the time in the early Twentieth Century, when art was separated from Western symbolism.

I found this to be true when I was teaching a class on the literature of the Holy Grail. Some students did not know what a chalice was, what the word meant. They knew only the word "cup".

The great symbolism of the Holy Grail cannot be taught without context and the same is true of reading Dante, or Eliot or Jones and many others.

When an artist paints Christ or Mary, there are hundreds of clues which one can read which are like shorthand, telling us the meaning in a painting. Icons are full of these clues. To ignore or purposefully distort these ancient images and symbols indicates a Protestant or secular mindset.

Why show the Wedding Feast at Cana with customs which were not known at the time, or without the traditional symbolism? Why attempt something new just to seem trendy or to supposedly "appeal" to modern, contemporary life? We do not learn anything about Christ and Mary out of context. The Scriptures give us the context. They were Jews, living in a very ordered and stratified culture, plus enduring Roman civilization and conquest.

For example, to depict Our Lady as controlling the entire event of the changing of the water into wine misses the entire point of the event. "Do whatever HE tells you"....Not, "Do whatever I tell you."  Mary would have not be prominent after Christ entered into the action, and the older paintings which show her in the background or off to the side make this point.

Small hints in a painting or drawing point to truths and realities of the mind, heart and spirit.

I can tell a modern Protestant painting of the Baptism of Christ, done by someone who believes in the heresy of Christ not knowing He was God until that moment, from a Catholic one, which depicts the humility of Christ in the Presence of the Trinity from all time. All types of hints show us the beliefs of painters.

To show Christ as an Arab is absolutely wrong. He was a Jew and still is as Man of that ethnic group. There is no such thing as a "cosmic Christ" or a Chinese Christ. That Mary has appeared to some as a member of an ethnic group has to do with God allowing Mary to appear to the senses of the person who is witnessing the apparition. So, Our Lady of Guadalupe reveals Mary as an Aztec princess, with many symbols and images to show she is the Mother of God.

But for a Western painter to show Christ as someone other than He is begs the question of whether this artist actually has a relationship with Christ.

Now, missionaries may show Christ as an Inuit Baby in the Manger, but at some point, they would teach Christ as in the line of David, of the Royal House, with a genealogy which includes some Gentiles, like Ruth the Moabitess.

To deny Christ's Jewishness is racist at worst and mythology at best.

For artists to take chances or push the envelope regarding the depictions of Christ and His Mother seems not to be the reason for painting. Painting is an act of prayer, or adoration. Those who paint icons know this. One goes to Mass, Adoration, prays and fasts before "writing" an icon.

Sadly, EWTN missed a great opportunity for teaching about the God-Man, about the Incarnation and the truths of the New Testament times in the series of new paintings in the mysteries.

I hope never to see them again. Some are actually disturbing in their falsity. Some are misguided attempts to be inclusive. Some are just not "good" art and many have left the 2,000 year heritage of images and symbols at our command, our shorthand in painting.

Father Z. just highlighted a magnificent print depicting the Wedding Feast at Cana in Japanese terms. But, the real symbolism is still there. The artist has not changed the role of Mary or Christ. There are six wine amphorae, shown as beautiful Ming-like ware. But, the spirit of the work is that of the Scripture passage. There is Christian imagery on the screen. Inculuration is not the same as distortion.

EWTN is an American company. It ministers around the world, but mostly to the English speaking world. I could bet that most of those who watch EWTN are Americans.

I cannot understand dropping centuries of richness for the sake of appeal. It does not work.

Truth And Heresy in Art And A Plea to EWTN

Read today's Gospel again on Christ saying that those who have faith in Him are more blessed than the physical bearing in His Mother's Womb. But, think differently on this. Think like St. Augustine, whose sermon on this passage reminds us that Mary bore Christ through Faith, not through the physical relationship with a man. Christ, the Word of God, entered Mary, and all who listened are blessed, though not in the degree Mary is. Mary's obedience in faith at the Annunciation brought forth the "yes" to the Incarnation. St. John Paul II echoes this in Redemptoris Mater.

43. The Church "becomes herself a mother by accepting God's word with fidelity."122 Like Mary, who first believed by accepting the word of God revealed to her at the Annunciation and by remaining faithful to that word in all her trials even unto the Cross, so too the Church becomes a mother when, accepting with fidelity the word of God, "by her preaching and by baptism she brings forth to a new and immortal life children who are conceived of the Holy Spirit and born of God."123 This "maternal" characteristic of the Church was expressed in a particularly vivid way by the Apostle to the Gentiles when he wrote: "My little children, with whom I am again in travail until Christ be formed in you!" (Gal. 4:19) These words of Saint Paul contain an interesting sign of the early Church's awareness of her own motherhood, linked to her apostolic service to mankind. This awareness enabled and still enables the Church to see the mystery of her life and mission modelled upon the example of the Mother of the Son, who is "the first-born among many brethren" (Rom. 8:29

Mary's relationship with Christ is of the order of perfection, the unitive state to the utmost degree. As fully perfect from her Incarnation, Mary had no sin, no concupiscence and no effects of Original Sin.

I make a plea to EWTN, which in view of the Teaching Magisterium, depicts Mary as not perfect and not Ever-Virgin.

I was visiting someone who has EWTN on their cable television. When the rosary came on, I was asked to join the woman and I said, of course, yes.

However, by the end of the rosary, I was saddened and disturbed to the point where I have to write this post.

Some of the art used to depict some of the mysteries include heretical references. In other words, the paintings are "Protestant".

Now, a Catholic knows the Gospel and the teaching of the Church regarding Mary. I want to clarify and argue against some of the depictions of Mary in the art used by EWTN.

First of all, I shall start with the most obvious and the least complicated. In all of the apparitions of Mary, the saints who saw her said over and over that she was the most beautiful woman they had ever seen. Some of the artwork in the EWTN mysteries shows Mary not only as not beautiful, but plain and even ugly.

This is contrary to almost 2,000 years of iconography and paintings, sculptures and friezes of Our Lady. To depict her as ugly or plain is not in keeping with tradition with a small t, nor with the wisdom handed down within the Catholic culture. Nor are the paintings in keeping with the approved apparitions, even Fatima and Lourdes, where the saints said that the Woman was beautiful.

Here is St. John Paul II on the art pertaining to Mary from Redemptoris Mater:

33. This year there occurs the twelfth centenary of the Second Ecumenical Council of Nicaea (787). Putting an end to the wellknown controversy about the cult of sacred images, this Council defined that, according to the teaching of the holy Fathers and the universal tradition of the Church, there could be exposed for the veneration of the faithful, together with the Cross, also images of the Mother of God, of the angels and of the saints, in churches and houses and at the roadside.84 This custom has been maintained in the whole of the East and also in the West. Images of the Virgin have a place of honor in churches and houses. In them Mary is represented in a number of ways: as the throne of God carrying the Lord and giving him to humanity (Theotokos); as the way that leads to Christ and manifests him (Hodegetria); as a praying figure in an attitude of intercession and as a sign of the divine presence on the journey of the faithful until the day of the Lord (Deesis); as the protectress who stretches out her mantle over the peoples (Pokrov), or as the merciful Virgin of tenderness (Eleousa). She is usually represented with her Son, the child Jesus, in her arms: it is the relationship with the Son which glorifies the Mother. Sometimes she embraces him with tenderness (Glykophilousa); at other times she is a hieratic figure, apparently rapt in contemplation of him who is the Lord of history (cf. Rev. 5:9-14).85
It is also appropriate to mention the icon of Our Lady of Vladimir, which continually accompanied the pilgrimage of faith of the peoples of ancient Rus'. The first Millennium of the conversion of those noble lands to Christianity is approaching: lands of humble folk, of thinkers and of saints. The Icons are still venerated in the Ukraine, in Byelorussia and in Russia under various titles. They are images which witness to the faith and spirit of prayer of that people, who sense the presence and protection of the Mother of God. In these Icons the Virgin shines as the image of divine beauty, the abode of Eternal Wisdom, the figure of the one who prays, the prototype of contemplation, the image of glory: she who even in her earthly life possessed the spiritual knowledge inaccessible to human reasoning and who attained through faith the most sublime knowledge. I also recall the Icon of the Virgin of the Cenacle, praying with the Apostles as they awaited the Holy Spirit: could she not become the sign of hope for all those who, in fraternal dialogue, wish to deepen their obedience of faith?
34. Such a wealth of praise, built up by the different forms of the Church's great tradition, could help us to hasten the day when the Church can begin once more to breathe fully with her "two lungs," the East and the West. As I have often said, this is more than ever necessary today. It would be an effective aid in furthering the progress of the dialogue already taking place between the Catholic Church and the Churches and Ecclesial Communities of the West.86 It would also be the way for the pilgrim Church to sing and to live more perfectly her "Magnificat."

My second point of contention, which is much more serious to consider, is that Mary is an Ever-Virgin, before, during and after the Birth of Christ. In some of the paintings on EWTN, Mary is seen doing the breathing exercises for birth and has a midwife. There was no midwife and Mary did not experience a natural Birth of Christ, but a supernatural Birth. I was shocked, and so was the older woman, in her eighties, sitting next to me. She said, "I was taught Mary was in ecstasy". I agreed, and said that was the teaching I received as well. These several depictions of the midwife are scandalous, as is the specific on showing Mary doing the birth-exercises for breathing. This is a Protestant view of the Virgin Birth. Protestants do not understand the way of perfection on this earth, which is why they do not honor Mary or other saints. They do not understand the Mystical Marriage.

As I was taught in school and in theology class, through the long teaching of the Church, Mary's hymen was never broken. Christ miraculously was born, and Mary was in ecstasy when the Incarnate God came into the world. Many taught pre-Vatican II heard this in grade-school and in high school, if not college. Catholics always understood her as the new-Eve, not experiencing the curse of Genesis 3:16,  To the woman also he said: I will multiply thy sorrows, and thy conceptions: in sorrow shalt thou bring forth children, and thou shalt be under thy husband' s power, and he shall have dominion over thee.

The earliest painting, and most in the Medieval and Renaissance show Mary in contemplation at the Birth of Christ. She did not need pain management techniques. The Birth of Christ was miraculous.

Mary was free of Original Sin and all its consequences. That is one reason we celebrate today, the Assumption. She was freed from corruption in any way.

And, the Popes back us up. Here are a few references, which I found through the Catechism of the Catholic Church entry on the Virgin Birth:

from Mystici Corporis Christi, Pope Pius XII.

110. Venerable Brethren, may the Virgin Mother of God hear the prayers of Our paternal heart - which are yours also - and obtain for all a true love of the Church - she whose sinless soul was filled with the divine spirit of Jesus Christ above all other created souls, who "in the name of the whole human race" gave her consent "for a spiritual marriage between the Son of God and human nature."[216] Within her virginal womb Christ our Lord already bore the exalted title of Head of the Church; in a marvelous birth she brought Him forth as the source of all supernatural life, and presented Him newly born, as Prophet, King and Priest to those who, from among Jews and Gentiles, were the first to come to adore Him. Furthermore, her only Son, condescending to His mother's prayer in "Cana of Galilee," performed the miracle by which "his disciples believed in Him."[217] It was she, the second Eve, who, free from all sin, original or personal, and always more intimately united with her Son, offered Him on Golgotha to the Eternal Father for all the children of Adam, sin-stained by his unhappy fall, and her mother's rights and her mother's love were included in the holocaust. Thus she who, according to the flesh, was the mother of our Head, through the added title of pain and glory became, according to the Spirit, the mother of all His members. She it was through her powerful prayers obtained that the spirit of our Divine Redeemer, already given on the Cross, should be bestowed, accompanied by miraculous gifts, on the newly founded Church at Pentecost; and finally, bearing with courage and confidence the tremendous burden of her sorrows and desolation, she, truly the Queen of Martyrs, more than all the faithful "filled up those things that are wanting of the sufferings of Christ...for His Body, which is the Church";[218] and she continues to have for the Mystical Body of Christ, born of the pierced Heart of the Savior,[219] the same motherly care and ardent love with which she cherished and fed the Infant Jesus in the crib.

from Ineffabilis Deus, from Pope Pius IX, on Mary's body being inviolate.

In like manner did they use the words of the prophets to describe this wondrous abundance of divine gifts and the original innocence of the Virgin of whom Jesus was born. They celebrated the august Virgin as the spotless dove, as the holy Jerusalem, as the exalted throne of God, as the ark and house of holiness which Eternal Wisdom built, and as that Queen who, abounding in delights and leaning on her Beloved, came forth from the mouth of the Most High, entirely perfect, beautiful, most dear to God and never stained with the least blemish.
The Annunciation
When the Fathers and writers of the Church meditated on the fact that the most Blessed Virgin was, in the name and by order of God himself, proclaimed full of grace[22] by the Angel Gabriel when he announced her most sublime dignity of Mother of God, they thought that this singular and solemn salutation, never heard before, showed that the Mother of God is the seat of all divine graces and is adorned with all gifts of the Holy Spirit. To them Mary is an almost infinite treasury, an inexhaustible abyss of these gifts, to such an extent that she was never subject to the curse and was, together with her Son, the only partaker of perpetual benediction. Hence she was worthy to hear Elizabeth, inspired by the Holy Spirit, exclaim: "Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb."[23]
Mary Compared with Eve
Hence, it is the clear and unanimous opinion of the Fathers that the most glorious Virgin, for whom "he who is mighty has done great things," was resplendent with such an abundance of heavenly gifts, with such a fullness of grace and with such innocence, that she is an unspeakable miracle of God -- indeed, the crown of all miracles and truly the Mother of God; that she approaches as near to God himself as is possible for a created being; and that she is above all men and angels in glory. Hence, to demonstrate the original innocence and sanctity of the Mother of God, not only did they frequently compare her to Eve while yet a virgin, while yet innocence, while yet incorrupt, while not yet deceived by the deadly snares of the most treacherous serpent; but they have also exalted her above Eve with a wonderful variety of expressions. Eve listened to the serpent with lamentable consequences; she fell from original innocence and became his slave. The most Blessed Virgin, on the contrary, ever increased her original gift, and not only never lent an ear to the serpent, but by divinely given power she utterly destroyed the force and dominion of the evil one.
Biblical Figures
Accordingly, the Fathers have never ceased to call the Mother of God the lily among thorns, the land entirely intact, the Virgin undefiled, immaculate, ever blessed, and free from all contagion of sin, she from whom was formed the new Adam, the flawless, brightest, and most beautiful paradise of innocence, immortality and delights planted by God himself and protected against all the snares of the poisonous serpent, the incorruptible wood that the worm of sin had never corrupted, the fountain ever clear and sealed with the power of the Holy Spirit, the most holy temple, the treasure of immortality, the one and only daughter of life -- not of death -- the plant not of anger but of grace, through the singular providence of God growing ever green contrary to the common law, coming as it does from a corrupted and tainted root.
Explicit Affirmation . . .
As if these splendid eulogies and tributes were not sufficient, the Fathers proclaimed with particular and definite statements that when one treats of sin, the holy Virgin Mary is not even to be mentioned; for to her more grace was given than was necessary to conquer sin completely.[24] They also declared that the most glorious Virgin was Reparatrix of the first parents, the giver of life to posterity; that she was chosen before the ages, prepared for himself by the Most High, foretold by God when he said to the serpent, "I will put enmities between you and the woman."[25]-unmistakable evidence that she was crushed the poisonous head of the serpent. And hence they affirmed that the Blessed Virgin was, through grace, entirely free from every stain of sin, and from all corruption of body, soul and mind; that she was always united with God and joined to him by an eternal covenant; that she was never in darkness but always in light; and that, therefore, she was entirely a fit habitation for Christ, not because of the state of her body, but because of her original grace.
. . . Of a Super Eminent Sanctity
To these praises they have added very noble words. Speaking of the conception of the Virgin, they testified that nature yielded to grace and, unable to go on, stood trembling. The Virgin Mother of God would not be conceived by Anna before grace would bear its fruits; it was proper that she be conceived as the first-born, by whom "the first-born of every creature" would be conceived. They testified, too, that the flesh of the Virgin, although derived from Adam, did not contract the stains of Adam, and that on this account the most Blessed Virgin was the tabernacle created by God himself and formed by the Holy Spirit, truly a work in royal purple, adorned and woven with gold, which that new Beseleel[26] made. They affirmed that the same Virgin is, and is deservedly, the first and especial work of God, escaping the fiery arrows the the evil one; that she is beautiful by nature and entirely free from all stain; that at her Immaculate Conception she came into the world all radiant like the dawn. For it was certainly not fitting that this vessel of election should be wounded by the common injuries, since she, differing so much from the others, had only nature in common with them, not sin. In fact, it was quite fitting that, as the Only-Begotten has a Father in heaven, whom the Seraphim extol as thrice holy, so he should have a Mother on earth who would never be without the splendor of holiness. 

from Redemptoris Mater of St. John Paul II

The Coptic and Ethiopian traditions were introduced to this contemplation of the mystery of Mary by St. Cyril of Alexandria, and in their turn they have celebrated it with a profuse poetic blossoming.81 The poetic genius of St. Ephrem the Syrian, called "the lyre of the Holy Spirit," tirelessly sang of Mary, leaving a still living mark on the whole tradition of the Syriac Church.82 In his panegyric of the Theotókos, St. Gregory of Narek, one of the outstanding glories of Armenia, with powerful poetic inspiration ponders the different aspects of the mystery of the Incarnation, and each of them is for him an occasion to sing and extol the extraordinary dignity and magnificent beauty of the Virgin Mary, Mother of the Word made flesh.83
It does not surprise us therefore that Mary occupies a privileged place in the worship or the ancient Oriental Churches with an incomparable abundance of feasts and hymns.
32. In the Byzantine liturgy, in all the hours of the Divine Office, praise of the Mother is linked with praise of her Son and with the praise which, through the Son, is offered up to the Father in the Holy Spirit. In the Anaphora or Eucharistic Prayer of St. John Chrysostom, immediately after the epiclesis the assembled community sings in honor of the Mother of God: "It is truly just to proclaim you blessed, O Mother of God, who are most blessed, all pure and Mother of our God. We magnify you who are more honorable than the Cherubim and incomparably more glorious than the Seraphim. You who, without losing your virginity, gave birth to the Word of God. You who are truly the Mother of God."

 from Pope Emeritus, then Benedict XVI, from a General Audience, January 2, 2008:

All other titles attributed to Our Lady are based on her vocation to be the Mother of the Redeemer, the human creature chosen by God to bring about the plan of salvation, centred on the great mystery of the Incarnation of the Divine Word. In these days of festivity we have paused to contemplate the depiction of the Nativity in the crib. At the centre of this scene we find the Virgin Mother, who offers the Baby Jesus for the contemplation of all those who come to adore the Saviour: the shepherds, the poor people of Bethlehem, the Magi from the East. Later, on the Feast of the "Presentation" which we celebrate on 2 February, it will be the elderly Simeon and the prophetess Anna who receive the tiny Infant from the hands of his Mother and worship him. The devotion of the Christian people has always considered the Birth of Jesus and the divine motherhood of Mary as two aspects of the same mystery of the Incarnation of the Divine Word, so it has never thought of the Nativity as a thing of the past. We are "contemporaries" of the shepherds, the Magi, of Simeon and of Anna, and as we go with them we are filled with joy, because God wanted to be the God-with-us and has a mother who is our mother.
All the other titles with which the Church honours Our Lady then derive from the title "Mother of God", but this one is fundamental. Let us think of the privilege of the "Immaculate Conception", that is, of Mary being immune to sin from conception: she was preserved from any stain of sin because she was to be the Mother of the Redeemer. The same applies to the title "Our Lady of the Assumption": the One who had brought forth the Saviour could not be subject to the corruption that derives from original sin. And we know that all these privileges were not granted in order to distance Mary from us but, on the contrary, to bring her close; indeed, since she was totally with God, this woman is very close to us and helps us as a mother and a sister. The unique and unrepeatable position that Mary occupies in the Community of Believers also stems from her fundamental vocation to being Mother of the Redeemer. Precisely as such, Mary is also Mother of the Mystical Body of Christ, which is the Church. Rightly, therefore, on 21 November 1964 during the Second Vatican Council, Paul VI solemnly attributed to Mary the title "Mother of the Church". 

One may also look at the Councils of Ephesus and Lateran.
Here is the CCC section to look up. I read footnotes.

I appeal to EWTN to remove the artwork which contradicts the teaching of the Church on Mary's complete virginity and the depictions of her as anything but beautiful.

to be continued...there are other issues as well with some of the other mysteries. 

I look forward to Pope Francis' words

 "The Korean Church is unique because it was founded entirely by lay people. This fledgling Church, so young and yet so strong in faith, withstood wave after wave of fierce persecution. Thus, in less than a century, it could boast of 10,000 martyrs. The death of these martyrs became the leaven of the Church and led to today's splendid flowering of the Church in Korea. Even today their undying spirit sustains the Christians in the Church of silence in the north of this tragically divided land" (Saint John Paul II, speaking at the canonization of the 103 martyrs, 1984).
from the last letter of St. Andrew Kim Taegon:

My dear brothers and sisters, know this: Our Lord Jesus Christ upon descending into the world took innumerable pains upon and constituted the holy Church through his own passion and increases it through the passion of its faithful....Now, however, some fifty or sixty years since the holy Church entered into our Korea, the faithful suffer persecutions again. Even today persecution rages, so that many of our friends of the same faith, among whom I am myself, have been thrown into prison....Since we have formed one body, how can we not be saddened in our innermost hearts? How can we not experience the pain of separation in our human faculties?
However, as Scripture says, God cares for the least hair of our heads, and indeed he cares with his omniscience; therefore, how can persecution be considered as anything other than the command of God, or his prize, or precisely his punishment?...We are twenty here, and thanks be to God all are still well. If anyone is killed, I beg you not to forget his family. I have many more things to say, but how can I express them with pen and paper? I make an end to this letter. Since we are now close to the struggle, I pray you to walk in faith, so that when you have finally entered into Heaven, we may greet one another. I leave you my kiss of love.

124 Additional Korean Martyrs To Be Beatified This Weekend

.See this website for more information. 103 were canonized in 1984 by St. John Paul II, who also visited Korea.

Friends of the teaching of God of Heaven

Another Voice

I have written about mimimalism and simplicity many times on this blog. Now, here is a young voice on the topic. You might want to follow these writers.

Good Blog To Follow

STM's Litany of Loreto Rosary Repeat for Today's Feastday

14 Jan 2014
This is all my own work using some of the saints as mentioned. My main sources are St. Bernard of Clairvaux, Ronald Knox's "Esther as a Type for Our Lady", C. C. Martindale's "The Litany of Our Lady" and "The Mary Book", ...

14 Jan 2014
Dear Mother, pray that we may be encompassed by Christ, becoming one with Him. Help us, as you are one with Him in glory. You are the New Eve, allowing the Yes of your heart, mind, and will to change history, our history, ...

14 Jan 2014
The Litany of Loreto Rosary The Joyous Mysteries The Second Mystery The Visitation Luke 1:39-56. Our Father "And how have I deserved that the Mother of my Lord should come to me?" Come, Dear Mother, and be with us ...

14 Jan 2014
The Litany of Loreto Rosary Part Four-The Joyous Mysteries-The Third Mystery, The Birth of Our Lord. Posted by Supertradmum. I am sorry this is taking so long to put on, as I know some of you will want to use it. But there are ...
14 Jan 2014
Lady Mary, pray that we become humble enough, like you, to submit to rules which we think are inferior to our state of grace or position in life, an attitude which reveals pride. Help us to respect the weak, who are easily ...
14 Jan 2014
But, did she understand the limitations of her relationship with Him? I think so, I think the Virgin most Renowned in all of creation knew from her own Immaculate Conception her role as Mother of God, as the Virgin above all ...
14 Jan 2014
The Litany of Loreto Rosary The First Sorrowful Mystery Matthew 26: 36-46. Our Father Mary, pray for us that we may be watchful at all times, for the coming of the Lord, even if watchfulness brings suffering. Hail Mary one

14 Jan 2014
The Litany of Loreto The Second Sorrowful Mystery The Scourging at the Pillar John 19:1-5. Our ... Mother of the Suffering Christ, pray for us that we may not be afraid of the sufferings of our lives, of our friends, of our relatives.
15 Jan 2014
The Litany of Loreto Rosary The Third Sorrowful Mystery The Crowning of Thorns John 19:23. Our Father Mother Mary, enlighten our minds that we may understand deeply the significance of Christ's Passion in our lives.

15 Jan 2014
Dear Sorrowful Mother, you watched your Son stumble through the crowded streets cramed with the ugly crowds in Jerusalem on His way to His death. He did not speak to you on this last ... Labels: Litany of Loreto Rosary ...
15 Jan 2014
The Litany of Loreto The Fifth Sorrowful Mystery The Crucifixion and Death of Our Lord John 19:17-30. Our Father Our Lady of Sorrows, Mater Dolorosa, pray for us. Hail Mary one. John 1:5. And the light shines in the darkness ...

15 Jan 2014
The Litany of Loreto Rosary The First Glorious Mystery The Resurrection John 20:1-18. Our Father Virgin Mother Mary, as you died with Christ by enduring Calvary, so have you been raised by Him into glory. Pray that we may ...

15 Jan 2014
The Litany of Loreto-The Second Glorious Mystery The Ascension Acts 1:1-14. Our Father Mary Mother, pray that we may be bold and zealous for the sake of the Kingdom. Hail Mary one. Deuteronomy 30:14. But the word is ...

15 Jan 2014
The Litany of Loreto Rosary The Third Glorious Mystery The Descent of The Holy Spirit. Acts 2:1-3. Our Father. Come, Holy Spirit Come. Hail Mary one. Philippians 1:14. And the greater number of the brethren in the Lord, gaining courage from my chains, have dared to speak the word of God more freely and ... She was pure from the first moment of her existence, as a tiny creature in her mother's womb, free from an concupiscence, from all impurities, from Original Sin.

16 Jan 2014
The Litany of Loreto Rosary Part 15-The Glorious Mysteries-The Fourth Glorious Mystery, The Assumption. Posted by Supertradmum. The Litany of Loreto Rosary The Fourth Glorious Mystery The Assumption Our Father Glorious Virgin, stir up the virtue of faith ... all inherit from our mothers and fathers. Mary, the Immaculate Conception, was born free of all fault, either physical, psychological, or spiritual, so that she would be the perfect Mother for the perfect Son of God.
16 Jan 2014
The Litany of Loreto Rosary The Fifth Glorious Mystery The Coronation of The Virgin Mary Our Father Virgin, Mother, Queen, accept this rosary, as it comes to an end, as a finite gift to you. Hail Mary one. Sirach 1:8-9. There is ...

Trying To Find Poetry in The Land of Pines

I have not written any poetry since I moved, since I left the Midwest. I was thinking about that this evening. Some places are more conducive to writing poetry than others. Interestingly, sometimes I write poetry months after an event, not during.

Such is love and sorrow-it may become more understandable in reflection.

But, again, geography affects my poetry genes.

It is too quiet here. There are no cicadas singing at night. There are no tree frogs. I have only heard two different owls, once each, in a month, and one mysteriously chirping bird on one morning; a bird which sounded like the peal of bells. I was so excited I listened for the entire half-hour as it sang its evocative song. For forty years, I kept a bird diary and I memorized bird songs. I have no idea what bird blessed the air with its change-ringing.

Now, it is too quiet.

I only have one small patch of sky above me, as I am in the forest. I cannot write about my beloved stars. These elude me, hiding in the arms of the trees. The sky is dormant in clouds and rain during the day. But, Dublin rain inspired me, as did London rain. This north country rain does not inspire me. It makes me cold and wet.

At night, the trees in the forest seems like the ones described in my children's book, Heidi, with the wind in the pines and firs magnified by the tall trees. I call this Heidi's Grove. But, there is no kindly grandfather. I miss my duvet, a word not known here.  I did not bring a feather bed, as I had no idea that Summer and her train of flower-maidens had left this area in disgust and walk in the southern lands far from these dark lakes and tumbling rocks, like the Entwives, seeking a better home.

It is too dark for me to take a walk at night down to the closest lake, as I have no chaperon, and this is a wild land. It is not the animals that are wild, as they are in the dark forest, not by the lake. The wild ones are the strange people who come and go like ghosts camping on the edges. They come from the past and live in the past and have no poetry. Their camps are ghost camps, with ghostly fires, and ghostly sounds. I have met people with no poetry in their bones or souls. They sit in front of campfires with old boomboxes spewing out 1980s music, as if time has stopped here. In fact, where I am staying, all the clock are broken. I tried to change the batteries, but none work, and there are many, many clocks, gathering dust, caught in a gloom of Miss Havesham's house.
Pip: 'Is Manor House the name of this house, miss?'
Estella.: 'One of its names, boy.'
Pip: 'It has more than one, then, miss?'
Estella.: 'One more. Its other name was Satis; which is Greek, or Latin, or Hebrew, or all three—or all one to me—for enough.'
Pip: 'Enough House,' said I; 'that's a curious name, miss.'
Estella.: 'Yes,' she replied; 'but it meant more than it said. It meant, when it was given, that whoever had this house, could want nothing else. They must have been easily satisfied in those days, I should think.
Some people seem satisfied without poetry.

Perhaps, I write better in more domestic or urban atmospheres. In County Meath, I wrote tons of poetry a few years ago in a small town punctuated with roses, roses, roses, and the red moon. I could see the road running down to Cnoc na Teamhrach. And I have written in England, the land of poetry, in a small room near the Surrey Hills, with the sound of robins in the hedge purposefully getting me off tack, and the scent of the sea springing over the hills like the young lambs, full of life and joy, gamboling, reminding me of the stomping feet of the dancers around East Coker.

…In that open field
If you do not come too close, if you do not come too close,
On a summer midnight, you can hear the music
Of the weak pipe and the little drum
And see them dancing around the bonfire
The association of man and woman
In daunsinge, signifying matrimonie-
a dignified and commodiois sacrament.
Two and two, necessarye conjiunction,
Holding eche other by the hand or arm
Whiche betokenth concord. Round and round the fire
Leaping through the flames, or joined in circles,
Rustically solemn or in rustic laughter
Lifting heavy feet in clumsy shoes,
Earth feet, loam feet, lifted in country mirth
Mirth of those long since under earth
Nourishing the corn. Keeping time,
Keeping the rhythm in their dancing
As in their living in the living seasons
The time of the seasons and the constellations
The time of milking and the time of harvest
The time of the coupling of man and woman
And that of beasts. Feet rising and falling.
Eating and drinking. Dung and death.

I know why T. S. left Harvard. Perhaps I need the mists and the sea. Perhaps, I need the sound of church bells, or the blackbird. Perhaps, I need a certain domesticity, like walking to Mass, coming home for a coffee and croissant, getting the post, praying at regular hours, studying at regular hours, cleaning at regular hours, walking to a sunny place and corner shop to say hi to friends, going to the small, dim chapel for Adoration where the old nuns sleep; and, me, sleeping when the sun goes down and rising when it rises. The trees hide the sun here. I cannot see it rise or set. And, my bell-bird has left me.

My mother is a St. Louis girl and I wrote a poem long ago about her. It was published. She once said to me that she loved the big cities as one could be anonymous. Perhaps, I need anonymity, which one does not find in a hamlet where everyone knows everything about everybody back a hundred and fifty years.  I am the stranger, which is fine, but strangers are not welcomed in the big tree country, not even as staying strangers. We are suspect. Maybe I am suspect because I might write a poem about the hamlet, about the hatred of strangers, which I see is really the fear of people who are not their own.

Not having poetry breathing forth from my soul is like breathing with one lung. Perhaps, the air is too rarefied here, too high, in these foothills. This is not a land of poetry; it is a land of action, hunting, fishing, striving, sitting without thought at the end of an endless day with a weak beer. But, even my ancestors on the hard-working prairie played the violin and read Jungmann in the twilight.

I shall have to go to a land of poetry. I can write in pubs and in country houses where there is a rhythm of life. I can write in London, or any place where history crawls up and strokes its back on my legs and feet, wanting attention and love. I can write by the Middle Sea, where the waves crash into the rocks seen by Turgut Reis.

Perhaps, it is this lack of history. In some of these forests surrounding my view, no man or woman has ever walked. Perhaps, it is the lack of resonance with any past which stops my words. But, when in Alaska, God's own country, more remote and detached, I could see poetry pouring out of Kenai River, on the backs of the Sockeyes, but not here among the balsam fir and red spruce.

The Benedictines moved to the mountains and the Cistercians took the valleys. My home would be with the Cistercians, in-between the nursing arms of the rivulets, bouncing down the hills, like at Fountains. The Benedictines would climb these foothills to the mountains, and clear a place for a great monastery. But, none ever came here, only the lone Jesuits, carving out the sacred in the profane, leaving no tracks, like the wild boar I think visits the side of the house some nights. I know the smell of a pig. But, it leaves and trundles back into the wild, needled, red ground, a trespasser, like the Jesuits, who walked under these fir trees. The Blackrobes pierced the krummholz with the Kyrie eleison, and conquered the then unnamed Lampson Falls with preaching and the mumbling of Vespers, but they left no mark on this red, sandy earth.

I can only write a short poem for now, a haiku.

Black fir sentinels
Bar the sun and sounds of grace.
She sits in darkness.

Well, as I am in the Dark Night, perhaps this is appropriate, like a pathetic fallacy. One can only wait for the sun and the sky to open up. I wonder if I shall find poetry in this place of firs and pines?

Speech in English from Pope


Please pray for my blog. I am having terrible troubles with both the computer and the Net. Praise God in all things. I tried to attach this primary post at least twenty times to the Litany post. The problem may be the blog server.

Etheldredasplace: A Rosary of Loreto
14 Jan 2014
Years ago, many, many, I wrote a meditative rosary based on the Litany of Loreto. I had lost it, as it was before PCs and had written in long-hand. My mom told me today that she has it in the attic, which is chock-a-clock like ...