Saturday, September 11, 2010

Friday, September 10, 2010

Offering One's Death - Knox

IS IT POSSIBLE THAT the hall-mark of the true Christian is not, necessarily at least, being brave about death; but rather, being prepared to offer whatever shrinking he feels about it as part of the sacrifice which he makes of his life to God? Fear is not a sin. You may through fear, by neglecting your duty, by denying your faith; granted. But fear in itself is not a sin; or what was our Lord doing in Gethsemani? It seems to me that whatever were the precise feelings of fear and disgust; the Greek is perhaps better represented if we say that he began to be mystified and dismayed - he was evidently condescending, as far as Incarnate God could, to our human weakness, and inviting us to unite our secret misgivings about death with the sacrifice he was making then. We were to see - that is how I read the story - that we should not be held responsible for having a dry feeling in the mouth, and a quaking about the legs, in moments of danger; that was not the point.

The point was, first, that we should do our duty, whatever inward tremors we had to crush down in the doing of it. And second, that we should make an offering to God of this human weakness, this shameful disability, and tell him, "My God, I know I'm a coward, but I want to offer my terrors, like every other discomfort my human destiny involves, to you. Cowards die many times before their deaths; and all those deaths I offer to you" ...

The dearer a thing life seems to you, the harder it seems to relinquish, the more motive for generosity in offering it. So little, the real value of the sacrifice we make, when we give our souls into his hands; all the better, then, if (by a kind of sentimental value) it means much to us, who make it.

- Ronald Knox

Invitation to Chivalry

Prayerfully consider joining Corpus Christianum, a growing, international association of men and women devoted to the practice of Marian chivalry, praying daily and diligently for:

- The renewal, unity, and spread of Christendom

- The Supreme Pontiff and all priests/religious

- The protection of Christians around the world

- The restoration of the family

- The conversion of sinners and the sanctification of all people

There is no monetary cost or subscription involved in joining Corpus Christianum (members of all ethnic and economic backgrounds are welcome), but it will, I assure you, be the finest offering of yourself, your soul and body, to God's Kingdom you can make. Pro Christo et Ecclesia.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary

Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary (1305) - Giotto

Dom Bosco - Relics Touring

The relics of Saint John Bosco will be visiting the United States and Canada very soon. Read where you may be able to venerate the great saint's remains here. And, if you don't know of his famous vision of the trials of Mother Church and the Holy Father, go here.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Raphael Tapestries, 'Cartoons'

Four of the tapestries Raphael designed for the Sistine Chapel will go on display this week alongside the drawings that were the models for the weavings.

The Victoria and Albert Museum (V&A) announced the display, to begin Wednesday and run through mid-October. The drawings (called "cartoons") for the tapestries have been on display at the V&A since 1865 but this will be the first time that the cartoons and tapestries have been displayed together -- something Raphael himself never witnessed.

The tapestries were commissioned in 1515; Raphael was asked to make drawings of Sts. Peter and Paul to complete the Sistine Chapel but in a medium quite unlike Michelangelo's.

The cartoons are the same size as the final project (more than 11 feet by 17 feet) and are mirror images of the tapestries, since they were woven from the back .. MORE>>

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Rossetti PRB

Lady of the Holy Grail - Rossetti

In a Fallen World - Knox

WHAT ST. PAUL WOULD TELL us, I think, is that all this suffering is beastly, to be sure; but there is nothing surprising about it, nothing unexpected about it. It all fits in, you see, with the conditions of our life here, because we live in a fallen world.

"We ourselves, although we have already begun to reap our spiritual harvest" - although, that is, we have eternal life already abiding in us through our baptism - "we ourselves groan in our hearts, waiting for that adoption which is the ransoming of our bodies from slavery." We look forward to heaven not merely as a place in which our souls will be happy, but as a place in which our bodies, mysteriously restored to us, will share those conditions of happiness. Man, yes, if you like, man is a misfit, in this imperfect world which is all the world we know at present. Man so infinitely great, whose thought can read the secrets of nature, can sweep the heavens in their immensity, and look beyond them in thought, as he sees in them the hand of the God who made them; man so infinitely great, harnessing the forces of nature and taming the beasts to his will; man with all his splendid works of art, his exuberant fancy, his aspiration towards holiness, his capacity for receiving God. And man, at the same time, so infinitely little. Man, always making resolutions which he doesn't keep, always being blinded by prejudices and aversions which he can't account for; man looking back on his own conduct and knowing himself mean, and selfish, and degraded; there is no littleness like his. All you can say of him, then, is that he, too, is a misfit ... He gets bored, for example - the dumb animals don't get bored ... But man must be always amusing himself, distracting himself; he can't bear to be left alone with his own thoughts. Why's that? Because he is a misfit; he was born for a nobler world than this transitory world, and he lives here in exile ...

St. Paul would tell us that all the sufferings people are having to undergo, all the sufferings you and I may have to undergo, before the thing is finished, aren't really so very extraordinary; it's just the world, our fallen world, being true to form. Man is meant to lives, not in enjoyment of this world, but in hope of the next. All his efforts to settle down and make himself comfortable here defeat their own ends; all the civilization he is so proud of only results in horrible bloodthirsty affairs ... which do their best to turn us all into savages. You can't ever really feel at home in this world until you realize that you're an exile. You can't ever really make the best of this world until you begin to understand that it's only an out-of-date model which has got to be scrapped. That is how the saints have lived; that is how the saints have managed to alter the course of the world's history - by not minding much whether the course of the world's history was changed or not. St. Paul, for example, whose preaching changed the face of Europe; and all the time he was saying to himself, "Heaven! The adoption of the sons of God! It can't be far off now; thank goodness, it can't be far off now! The creaking machinery of this imperfect creation must surely run down at last."

- Ronald Knox