Saturday, August 28, 2010

The Turtle Dove

The Turtle Dove By Sophie Anderson.

Funeral Of A Viking

Funeral of a Viking By Sir Franck Dicksee. 1893.

"The viking's body was laid on a pyre in his longship, covered in treasure and decorated with flowers and thorns, the emblems of sleep. His ship was set aflame and pushed out to sea where it shone brightly, before sinking into darkness."

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Finding Shelter

Butterfly by Dave Matthews Band

You are like a butterfly:
A Caterpillar's dream to fly.
So bust out of this old cocoon,
And dry your wings off,
Go ahead, and fly!

It's always such a lonely loom,
It's sudden like a broken bone,
And your luck won't always come along
So dry your tears away,

Go ahead and fly!

Dry your tears away,
Don't you... cry!

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

The Mystery Of Jesus Christ

Passages from the book, The Mystery of Jesus Christ by F. Ocariz, L.F. Mateo Seco and J.A. Riestra, which I am reading for my Theology of Christ course this semester. Want a taste of what I'm studying? Check out the beauty of the study of First Truth!

"The profession of faith-Jesus is the Christ-is a resume of the Christian faith."

"What identifies the Christian is nothing other than identification with Christ. From this it follows that the Church's mission is simply that of preaching the truth about Christ and changing people into Christ."

"The Church lives his mystery, draws unwearyingly from it and continually seeks ways of bringing this mystery of her Master and Lord to humanity-to the peoples, the nations, the succeeding generations, and every individual human being-as if she were ever repeating, as the Apostle did: 'For I decided to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ and him crucified (I Cor. 2:2)'.
-Redemptor hominis.

"The question...of who and what Jesus Christ is is the key question which neither theologian nor believer can avoid."

"It is Christ himself that man should search for, and not some 'image' of him, more or less beautiful, more or less touching.'

"The salvation-bearing reply to this question comes to us from 'on high' (cf. Mt. 16:17), for it is a response of faith, which is beyond man's natural powers; faith is a gift while being at the same time in conformity with reason, a reasonable service.

" 'Whoever seeks Christ without the Church, putting his trust in his own insight and what goes by the name of criticism, deprives himself of all possibility of finding the living Christ. Only the living comprehends and affirms the living.' In fact, 'without hte living Church, the Gospels, and, indeed, the entire New Testament would be simply a more or less stirring literary composition, raised, it is true, high above all other religious literature, even the Old Testament, but all the same just a body of writing robbed of the breath of life, the fresh inspiration of flesh-and-blood reality.' "

Friday, August 20, 2010

The Angel Of Music

A passage from Gaston Leroux's The Phantom of the Opera.

" 'Little Lotte thought of everything and nothing. Her hair was gold as the sun's rays and her soul as clear and blue as her eyes. She wheedled her mother, was kind to her doll, took great care of her frock and her little red shoes and her fiddle, but most of all loved, when she went to sleep, to hear the Angel of Music...'

"While the old man told this story, Raoul looked at Christine's blue eyes and golden hair; and Christine thought that Lotte was very lucky to hear the Angel of Music when she went to sleep. The Angel of Music played a part in all of Daddy Daae's tales; and he maintained that every great musician, every great artist received a visit from the Angel at least once in his life. Sometimes, the Angel leans over their cradle, as happened to Lotte; and that is how there are little prodigies who play the fiddle at six better than men at fifty, which, you must admit, is very wonderful. Sometimes, the Angel comes much later, because the children are naughty and won't learn their lessons or practice their scales. And sometimes, he does not come at all, because the children have a wicked heart or a bad conscience.

"No one ever sees the Angel; but he is heard by those who are meant to hear him. He often comes when they least expect him, when they feel sad and discouraged. Then their ears suddenly perceive celestial harmonies, a divine voice, which they remember all their lives long. Persons who are visited by the Angel quiver with a thrill unknown to the rest of mankind. And they cannot touch an instrument or open their mouths to sing, without producing sounds that put all other human sounds to shame. Then people who do not know that the Angel has visited these persons say that they have 'genius.' "

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Where Is The Horse & The Rider?

A song Aragorn recites about Rohan in J.R.R. Tolkien's The Two Towers:

Where now the horse and the rider? where is the horn that was blowing?
Where is the helm and the hauberk and the bright hair flowing?
Where is the hand on the harp-string, and the red fire glowing?
Where is the spring and the harvest and the tall corn growing?
They have passed like rain on the mountain, like a wind in the meadow;
The days have gone down in the West behind the hills into shadow.
Who shall gather the smoke of the dead wood burning?
Or behold the flowing years from the Sea returning?

A section of this song is sung by King Theoden in Peter Jackson's version of the film in an eerie scene which takes place in the king's chamber prior to the Battle of Helm's Deep.

Where is the horse and rider,
Where is the horn that was blowing
They have passed like rain on the mountain
Like wind in the meadow
The days have gone down in the West,
Behind the hills, into Shadow...

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Living A Life

A Passage from "Sometimes" By Mary Oliver.

Instructions For Living A Life:
Pay attention.
Be astonished.
Tell me about it.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

The Poem For The Organist

For those of you who may not know, I am studying to become an organist. Although when I was in high school I vowed that I would never become an old lady church organist, that is now my current life plan. What happened? I realized the beauty and complexity of this, the King of Musical Instruments (in the words of Pope Benedict XVI). It is an incredibly intimidating creature, but once mastered, its tones can strike awe and fear into the most brazen of souls, but it can also soothe the qualms of those souls weary of the burdens of this world. Anyway, this is my poem.

The Lost Chord
By Adelaide A. Procter

Seated one day at the Organ,
I was weary and ill at ease,
And my fingers wandered idly
Over the noisy keys.

I do not know what I was playing,
Or what I was dreaming then ;
But I struck one chord of music,
Like the sound of a great Amen.

It flooded the crimson twilight,
Like the close of an Angel's Psalm,
And it lay on my fevered spirit
With a touch of infinite calm.

It quieted pain and sorrow,
Like love overcoming strife ;
It seemed the harmonious echo
From our discordant life.

It linked all perplexéd meanings
Into one perfect peace,
And trembled away into silence
As if it were loth to cease.

I have sought, but I seek it vainly,
That one lost chord divine,
Which came from the soul of the Organ,
And entered into mine.

It may be that Death's bright angel
Will speak in that chord again,
It may be that only in Heaven
I shall hear that grand Amen.