Friday 14 November 2014
"Do you want the Lord to give you many graces? Visit Him often. Do you want Him to give you few graces? Visit Him rarely. Do you want the devil to attack you? Visit Jesus rarely in the Blessed Sacrament. Do you want him to flee from you? Visit Jesus often. Do you want to conquer the devil? Take refuge often at the feet of Jesus. Do you want to be conquered by the devil? Forget about visiting Jesus. My dear ones, the visit to the Blessed Sacrament is an extremely necessary way to conquer the devil. Therefore, go often to visit Jesus and the devil will not come out victorious against you."
- St. John Bosco
I have just watched for the umteenth time the first series of By The Sword Divided, shown from 1983-1985. The first series in available on YouTube and both are available on disc.
If you know nothing about the English Civil War, 1642–1651, this TV series is a decent introduction and pro-monarchist.
One of the most obvious perspectives in the drama must be the choices members of the Lacey family make, causing division, which leads not only to the break-up of the family, but to death and destruction.
Now, despite the wooley-headed views of sex in the drama, which most likely does reveal many of the mind-sets of the time, the family members make moral choices for various reasons. Some of these reasons are rooted in the Ten Commandments, and loyalty to the King, but some are based on family loyalties and on personal attachments as well.
For the discerning viewer, these choices can be judged according to motivation and intention. A message for all of us is that we need to purify motivations and intentions even in fighting a good cause.
Intentions and motivations make or break the saint. Doing good charitable works for praise and glory, obviously, are not the motivations of a saint, who does good works out of love for God and neighbor.
The television series does show people who are genuinely religious, genuinely religious but deluded, genuinely religious and yet deceiving others, and those who are using religion in order to gain and maintain power.
We all must ask ourselves at some point in our spiritual reflections as to what the motivations are for our pursuing perfection.
As one character states in the series, in the end, it all comes down to love, or hate.
|Photograph © Andrew Dunn, 29 August 2005.|
This royal throne of kings, this sceptered isle,
This earth of majesty, this seat of Mars,
This other Eden, demi-paradise,
This fortress built by Nature for herself
Against infection and the hand of war,
This happy breed of men, this little world,
This precious stone set in a silver sea,
Which serves it in the office of a wall
Or as a moat defensive to a house,
Against the envy of less happier lands,
This blessed plot, this earth, this realm, this England,
This nurse, this teeming womb of royal kings,
Feared by their breed and famous by their birth
[Richard II, 2.1, 40-51]