Archive for May, 2012

May 21, 2012

all led by God

Philo was following exactly the same line of thought when, writing the Life of Moses, he observed, “The care needed in guarding flocks is a preparation for kingship.”

…The task of the shepherd is so important that it is rightly attributed not only to kings, sages, and souls of perfect purity, but even to the sovereign God. …Like a flock, the earth, the water, the air, the fire, all the plants also, all the beings found there, both mortal and divine, the nature of heaven too, the revolutions of the sun and moon, and more, the variations and harmonious movements of all the stars, are all led by God, shepherd and king, according to Justice and the Law.

From Divine Craftsmanship by Jean Hani (66), and quoting Philo from De vita Moysis and De agricultura.

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May 8, 2012

star-charts on the inner walls

Stone
by Charles Simic

Go inside a stone
That would be my way.
Let somebody else become a dove
Or gnash with a tiger’s tooth.
I am happy to be a stone.

From the outside the stone is a riddle:
No one knows how to answer it.
Yet within, it must be cool and quiet
Even though a cow steps on it full weight,
Even though a child throws it in a river;
The stone sinks, slow, unperturbed
To the river bottom
Where the fishes come to knock on it
And listen.

I have seen sparks fly out
When two stones are rubbed,
So perhaps it is not dark inside after all;
Perhaps there is a moon shining
From somewhere, as though behind a hill—
Just enough light to make out
The strange writings, the star-charts
On the inner walls.

See and hear the poet read this poem here.

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May 4, 2012

an earthly trinity to match the heavenly

For every work [or act] of creation is threefold, an earthly trinity to match the heavenly.

First, [not in time, but merely in order of enumeration] there is the Creative Idea, passionless, timeless, beholding the whole work complete at once, the end in the beginning: and this is the image of the Father.

Second: there is the Creative Energy [or Activity] begotten of that idea, working in time from the beginning to the end, with sweat and passion, being incarnate in the bonds of matter: and this is the image of the Word.

Third: there is the Creative Power, the meaning of the work and its response in the lively soul: and this is the image of the indwelling Spirit.

And these three are one, each equally in itself the whole work, whereof none can exist without other: and this is the image of the Trinity.

From The Mind of the Maker by Dorothy Sayers on page 28 (via Gene Callahan).

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May 3, 2012

educating the soul to conform it to reality

Classically, among the great Western philosophers and theologians, happiness denoted the state of the genuine fulfillment of human nature that resulted from being properly related as a person to the truth of reality. Educating the soul to conform it to reality, rather than conforming reality to the dictates of the individual soul, was the secret to the happy life. But those days of defining happiness and the good life, and what it means to be truly human, are long gone.

From Reordered Love, Reordered Lives by David Naugle, page 10.

May 2, 2012

ordered to make an ark

From Divine Craftsmanship by Jean Hani:

But every word of Scripture, beyond its obvious sense, conceals a deeper one, for, being the word of God, it necessarily has a universal bearing. …Besides, if even in the life of an ordinary person nothing happens by chance, then even more so must everything in the life of Christ have a profound reason for being manifested. [55-56]

…The formulation is necessarily accomplished in the Holy Scriptures by images and symbols. And these latter are not just any image or symbol; they are sacred symbols and images which can, and even, in a certain way, must be the same in Christianity and other religions. [57]

…In every tradition there exists a cosmic Tree, symbolizing the whole of Creation considered as a living organism and structured according to the two axes, the vertical and the horizontal, embodied in the trunk and the branches. The shape of the tree is not other than the Cross.  …The cross is the essential figure of all carpentry work and of all architecture, in that it expresses the co-ordinates of space. The wood of the cross is the cosmic tree from which the Divine Carpenter makes the world, and the tree of the cross as such is the spiritual blueprint according to which Jesus the Carpenter reconstructs the world, or builds the new world.

This new world is the Church, often compared to a ship the biblical ‘type’ of which is the Ark, the work of carpenter Noah. Now Noah is a figure of Christ, as the Ark is a figure of the Church. This is widely developed in Patristic literature. According to Origen, ‘Our Lord is our Noah, whom the Father at the end of time has ordered to make an ark.’ Moreover, he relates the three dimensions of the Ark—the length, the breadth, and the height—to those of the Cross suggested by the famous passage from the Epistle to the Ephesians (3:18). [58]

And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God. (Ephesians 3:17b-19)

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