Saturday, 28 June 2008
Wednesday, 25 June 2008
illustration (vellum) from De medicinis simplicibus, Matthaeus Platearius
National Library, St. Petersburg, Russia / The Bridgeman Art Library
Virgin and Unicorn
Palazzo Farnese, Rome
The Lady and the Unicorn "To My Only Desire"
wool & silk tapestry
Musee Nacional Du Moyen Age
Of all birds the pelican loves its young the most, but when the chicks grow and begin to strike their parents in the face, the parents grow angry and strike back, killing their young. After three days the mother feels great remorse, and tearing open her own breast she bathes the dead chicks in her blood and restores them to life.
~ Legend from the Physiologus (ca. 2nd Century A.D.)
Saturday, 21 June 2008
Because my will is simple as a window
And knows no pride of original birth,
It is my life to die, like glass, by light:
Slain in the strong rays of the bridegroom sun.
Because my love is simple as a window
And knows no shame of original dust,
I longed all night, (when I was visible) for dawn my death:
When I would marry day, my Holy Spirit:
And die by transsubstantiation into light.
For light, my lover, steals my life in secret.
I vanish into day, and leave no shadow
But the geometry of my cross,
Whose frame and structure are the strength
By which I die, but only to the earth,
And am uplifted to the sky my life.
When I became the substance of my lover,
(Being obedient, sinless glass)
I love all things that need my lover's life,
And live to give my newborn Morning to your quiet rooms,
-Your rooms, that would be tombs,
Or vaults of night, and death, and terror,
Fill with the clarity of living Heaven,
Shine with the rays of God's Jerusalem:
O shine, bright Sions!
Because I die by brightness and the Holy Spirit,
The sun rejoices in your jail, my kneeling Christian,
(Where even now you weep and grin
To learn, from my simplicity, the strength of faith).
Therefore do not be troubled at the judgements of the thunder,
Stay still and pray, still stay, my other son,
And do not fear the armies and black ramparts
Of the advancing and retreating rains:
I'll let no lightning kill your room's white order.
Although it is the day's last hour,
Look with no fear:
For the torn storm lets in, at the world's rim,
Three streaming rays as straight as Jacob's ladder:
And you shall see the sun, my Son, my Substance,
Come to convince the world of the day's end, and of the night,
Smile to the lovers of the day in smiles of blood;
For though my love, He'll be their Brother,
My light - the Lamb of their Apocalypse.
The Blessed Virgin Mary Compared to a Window, Thomas Merton (1944)
Thursday, 19 June 2008
Wednesday, 18 June 2008
So to kick off, we're screening something nice and gentle that won't generate any arguments:
Mel Gibson's APOCALYPTO.
Starting next Wed 25th June at 8:00 p.m. at a parishioner's house. If you're in the parish, sign up on the list at the back of the church.
Otherwise, any film suggestions for a good Catholic debate?
Next Film Night is here.
1. Give God what's right -- not what's left.
2. Man's way leads to a hopeless end -- God's way leads to an
3. A lot of kneeling will keep you in good standing.
4. He who kneels before God can stand before anyone.
5. In the sentence of life, the devil may be a comma--but never let him be the period.
6. Don't put a question mark where God puts a period.
7. Are you wrinkled with burden? Come to the church for a face-lift.
8. When praying, don't give God instructions - just report for duty.
9. Don't wait for six strong men to take you to church.
10. We don't change God's message -- His message changes us.
11. The church is prayer-conditioned.
12. When God ordains, He sustains.
13. WARNING: Exposure to the Son may prevent burning.
14. Plan ahead -- It wasn't raining when Noah built the ark.
15. Most people want to serve God, but only in an advisory position.
16. Suffering from truth decay? Brush up on your Bible.
17. Exercise daily -- walk with the Lord.
18. Never give the devil a ride -- he will always want to drive.
19. Nothing else ruins the truth like stretching it.
20. Compassion is difficult to give away because it keeps coming back.
21. He who angers you controls you.
22. Worry is the darkroom in which negatives can develop.
23. Give Satan an inch & he'll be a ruler.
24. Be ye fishers of men -- you catch them & He'll clean them.
25. God doesn't call the qualified, He qualifies the called.
26. Read the Bible -- It will scare the hell out of you.
+ 1 more from me, #27 Families that pray together stay together.
Mantova, near Verona, northern Italy
This city produced, amongst other things, Blessed Osanna Andreasi (feast day today), Virgil, the Festivalletteratura ... and my maternal grandfather's family.
Pic of Blessed Osanna here.
A Sacred Relic of His Most Precious Blood is housed in the Basilica of San Andrea in Mantova.
He's going to stay at a Bridgittine convent for a while. St. Bridget was a pretty amazing woman for her time (14th century). She married a lord and bore him 8 children, one of whom became St. Catherine of Sweden. After her husband's death, she founded the Order of St. Saviour.
St Bridget prayed for a long time to know how many wounds Our Lord suffered in His Passion. Eventually, He appeared to her and said: "I received 5475 blows upon My Body. If you wish to honor them in some way, recite fifteen Our Fathers and fifteen Hail Mary with the following Prayers, which I Myself shall teach you, for an entire year. When the year is finished, you will have honored each of My Wounds."
Our Lord makes magnificent promises to those who are able to complete this devoutly. The 15 St Bridget Prayers
Tuesday, 17 June 2008
No. 36 of a work of 40 songs by Rolando Cori Traverso entitled La Ciudad Hermosa (Beautiful City).
No. 36 is dedicated to the martyrs of the Nazi regime Edith Stein (Teresa Benedicta of the Cross), Franz Reinisch, Karl Leisner, Maximilian Kolbe, and of the Spanish Civil War, María Pilar, Teresa and María Angeles ~ some of those beatified by Pope John Paul II in 1987.
While the update to fertility law maintains the ban on creating cloned babies, it has inadvertently made it much simpler for ministers to overturn it. If a reproductive cloning technique could be shown to be suitable for preventing the birth of children suffering from a rare type of genetic disease, it could be cleared for clinical use without changing the statute book.
A spokesman for the Department of Health said: “This power can only be used to permit the practice of curing an embryo or an egg of a serious mitochondrial disease. The Government will not use this power to permit the practice of reproductive cloning.”
Read the full article here.
Sign this petition to HM the Queen to withhold Royal Assent to the HFE Bill.
The private sector is being encouraged to run these centres. Companies like Virgin, United Health and supermarket chains like Sainsbury's will be offered contracts to finance 'higher quality' services such as extended opening hours. The commercialisation means small doctor's surgeries would lose patients and might have to close.
The 'super-surgeries' or polyclinics could mean the end of family doctors. The Martini-style health care - anytime, anywhere, any doctor - means patients will see a different doctor every time and have to explain their history all over again, while shutting down local surgeries in rural areas means the elderly and the sick will have to travel long distances to receive health care.
Monday, 16 June 2008
Considering Our Lady is apparently in front of them, the people seem remarkably casual about it. One is chatting away (attention deficit?). Looks like they're sitting round the campfire.
Saturday, 14 June 2008
Hortensia Serra Poveda was a 29 year-old woman nine months pregnant at the time of Franco's genocide during the Spanish Civil War.
She begged her captors to allow the baby to be born first so that he could be baptised, however they refused and the mother and baby were killed.
Poveda, along with with 249 other Valencian martyrs, are now up for beatification, the Holy See announced this week. [Zenit]
The President addressed the Pontiff as "your eminence"-- ... But in an earlier meeting with Pope Benedict just over one year ago, President Bush had addressed the Pontiff simply as "sir."
Where's Laura's mantilla?
|WILD air, world-mothering air,|
|Nestling me everywhere,|
|That each eyelash or hair|
|Girdles; goes home betwixt|
|The fleeciest, frailest-flixed||5|
|Snowflake; that ’s fairly mixed|
|With, riddles, and is rife|
|In every least thing’s life;|
|This needful, never spent,|
|And nursing element;||10|
|My more than meat and drink,|
|My meal at every wink;|
|This air, which, by life’s law,|
|My lung must draw and draw|
|Now but to breathe its praise,||15|
|Minds me in many ways|
|Of her who not only|
|Gave God’s infinity|
|Dwindled to infancy|
|Welcome in womb and breast,||20|
|Birth, milk, and all the rest|
|But mothers each new grace|
|That does now reach our race—|
|Merely a woman, yet||25|
|Whose presence, power is|
|Great as no goddess’s|
|Was deemèd, dreamèd; who|
|This one work has to do—|
|Let all God’s glory through,||30|
|God’s glory which would go|
|Through her and from her flow|
|Off, and no way but so.|
Gerald Manley Hopkins, Poems. London: Humphrey Milford, 1918
See the final verse here
Friday, 13 June 2008
He's holding what looks like a Rosary. It's a komvoskini (Gk.) or prayer rope. Similar.
from the Greek, hesychasmos, or hesychia - stillness, silencing, silence, quietening, calming, calm
Domine Iesu Christe, Fili Dei, miserere mei, peccatricis. (peccatoris if prayed by a male)
Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner.
"The Prime Minister made clear that the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Bill would be subject to free votes on three ethical issues - on whether human admixed embryos are permitted within the strict limits set out in the Bill, on the question of permitting 'saviour siblings' in the context of rare genetic conditions, and on changing the IVF requirements for clinics to require the 'need for supportive parenting' to be taken into account (this replaces the words in the 1990 Act that requires clinics to take account of 'the need for a father'). Any amendments tabled on abortion would also be subject to a free vote.
These issues have now been debated in the House of Commons, on 19 and 20 May, and the position in the Bill was upheld."
Thanks for letting us know. Like we didn't already. At least that petition actually worked.
Sign this petition to HM the Queen to withhold Royal Assent to the HFE Bill.