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invicem sunt

I am blessed to be a witness
Jul 29 '14

There is one saint in the calendar of the Church who has never been associated with the idea of punishment: even justice is alien to her, compared with the ideas of mercy and love. She is the one whom Catholics know as Our Lady.

Yet it is around this figure that the bitterest conflict has always been waged. No statues in Puritan England were more certain to be destroyed than hers, and the same was true in Spain in the 1930s. Ministers in their pulpits may question the divinity of Christ and cause no stir outside a few country rectories — but when the doctrine of the Assumption, which has been established as a feast of the Church for more than a thousand years, is defined as a dogma, the Archbishops of Canterbury and York claim that the division of Christendom has been widened. They believe in the resurrection of the dead — but to suggest that an actual resurrection has already taken place seems to them blasphemous.

No storm was raised when, a hundred years ago, Newman wrote: “Original sin had not been found in her, by the wear of her senses, and the waste of her frame and the decrepitude of years, propagating death. She died, but her death was a mere fact, not an effect; and, when it was over, it ceased to be.”

Temporarily there were other issues: the Protestant churches were worried by the idea of evolution, even the age of the earth was a cause of scandal because it was believed to contradict Genesis. But the conflict of science and religion always passes sooner or later: what remains is this mysterious savage war around the only figure of perfect human love.

What is the explanation? One theologian has explained it, for our generation, as a distrust of the concrete. We are so used to abstractions. Words like Democracy and Liberty can be used in quite opposite senses without arousing attention: they go in and out of our ears like air. So with religious belief. The Supreme Being, the Trinity, The Creator of all things, such phrases may once have excited thought, but they do so no longer. Even the concrete name Christ has become so diluted, into the Great Teacher, the First Communist, and the like, that only a small amount of opposition is raised by the idea that Christ is God — it is rather like saying Truth is God.

But the statement that Mary is the Mother of God remains something shocking, paradoxical, physical.

— Graham Greene, ‘Our Lady and her Assumption’, 1951, in Ian Thomson, ed., Articles of Faith: The collected Tablet journalism of Graham Greene, 19-20. (via thirstygargoyle)

99 notes (via threeacresandacrow & thirstygargoyle)

Jul 28 '14
a-bittersweet-life:

Art affirms all that is best in man—hope, faith, love, beauty, prayer…What he dreams of and what he hopes for…What is art?…Like a declaration of love: the consciousness of our dependence on each other. A confession. An unconscious act that none the less reflects the true meaning of life—love and sacrifice.
Andrei Tarkovsky

a-bittersweet-life:

Art affirms all that is best in man—hope, faith, love, beauty, prayer…What he dreams of and what he hopes for…What is art?…Like a declaration of love: the consciousness of our dependence on each other. A confession. An unconscious act that none the less reflects the true meaning of life—love and sacrifice.

Andrei Tarkovsky

931 notes (via pluckmyfeet & a-bittersweet-life)

Jul 27 '14
jcassian:

"If I can unite in myself the thought and the devotion of Eastern and Western Christendom, the Greek and the Latin Fathers, the Russians with the Spanish mystics, I can prepare in myself the reunion of divided Christians. From that secret and unspoken unity in myself can eventually come a visible and manifest unity of all Christians. If we want to bring together what is divided, we cannot do so by imposing one division upon the other or absorbing one division into the other. But if we do this, the union is not Christian. It is political, and doomed to further conflict. We must contain all divided worlds in ourselves and transcend them in Christ".
(Thomas Merton)

jcassian:

"If I can unite in myself the thought and the devotion of Eastern and Western Christendom, the Greek and the Latin Fathers, the Russians with the Spanish mystics, I can prepare in myself the reunion of divided Christians. From that secret and unspoken unity in myself can eventually come a visible and manifest unity of all Christians. If we want to bring together what is divided, we cannot do so by imposing one division upon the other or absorbing one division into the other. But if we do this, the union is not Christian. It is political, and doomed to further conflict. We must contain all divided worlds in ourselves and transcend them in Christ".

(Thomas Merton)

14 notes (via greluc & jcassian)

Jul 26 '14
Facing it — always facing it — that’s the way to get through.
Joseph Conrad  (via selbstvergessen)

(Source: misswallflower)

5,986 notes (via alighthouseofwords & misswallflower)

Jul 25 '14
Though the flesh be bugged, the circumstances of existence are still pretty glorious.

Jack Kerouac

(via atelierellsworth)

64 notes (via chasingtailfeathers & atelierellsworth-deactivated201)

Jul 24 '14
Ultimately, most things that are offensive are also lazy and unoriginal; because you can’t reach that point of view by looking at the world honestly…You reach that point of view by taking short cuts and by just sort of repeating what someone else told you.
Joseph Fink

(Source: podquotes)

19,338 notes (via threeacresandacrow & podquotes)

Jul 23 '14
Christ’s birth from the Virgin knows no equal among women, but is mirrored in nature. Someone may ask how the Virgin gave birth to the Savior. She begot Him as a blossom emanates perfume. The blossom of the vine remains incorrupt after it has given off its perfume.
— Saint Anthony of Padua (1195-1231), Doctor of the Church (via rudyscuriocabinet)

13 notes (via greluc & rudyscuriocabinet)

Jul 22 '14
Ordinarily I go to the woods alone, with not a single
friend, for they are all smilers and talkers and therefore
unsuitable.

I don’t really want to be witnessed talking to the catbirds
or hugging the old black oak tree. I have my way of
praying, as you no doubt have yours.

Besides, when I am alone I can become invisible, I can sit
on the top of a dune as motionless as an uprise of weeds,
until the foxes run by unconcerned. I can hear the almost
unhearable sound of the roses singing.

If you have ever gone to the woods with me, I must love
you very much.
Mary Oliver, “How I Go to the Woods” (via hiddenshores)

7,969 notes (via tenthousandangels & hiddenshores)

Jul 21 '14
When we speak of Nature it is wrong to forget that we are ourselves a part of Nature. We ought to view ourselves with the same curiosity and openness with which we study a tree, the sky or a thought, because we too are linked to the entire universe.
— Henri Matisse (via cosmic-rebirth)

4,273 notes (via montessorimuse & cosmic-rebirth)

Jul 20 '14
theparisreview:

The Lessons of Water
The best way to conduct oneself may be observed in the behavior of water. —Tao te ching
When given a place to wait, it fills that placeBy taking the shape of what contains it,Its upper surface poised and level,Absorbing, accepting what it can as lightlyOr heavily as it does itself. If pressedDown, it will offer back in all directionsEverything it was given. If chilled, it will shatterDaylight and whiten to stars, will harden and sharpenAnd turn unforseeably dazzling. Neglected,It will disappear, being transformed and liftedInto thin air. Or thrown away, it will gatherWith other water, which is all one water,And rise and fall, regather and go on risingAnd falling the more quickly its path descendsAnd the more slowly as it wears that path away,To be left awhile, to stir for the moon, to waitFor the wind to begin again.
—David Wagoner. Art credit David Moses.

theparisreview:

The Lessons of Water

The best way to conduct oneself may be observed in the behavior of water. —Tao te ching

When given a place to wait, it fills that place
By taking the shape of what contains it,
Its upper surface poised and level,
Absorbing, accepting what it can as lightly
Or heavily as it does itself. If pressed
Down, it will offer back in all directions
Everything it was given. If chilled, it will shatter
Daylight and whiten to stars, will harden and sharpen
And turn unforseeably dazzling. Neglected,
It will disappear, being transformed and lifted
Into thin air. Or thrown away, it will gather
With other water, which is all one water,
And rise and fall, regather and go on rising
And falling the more quickly its path descends
And the more slowly as it wears that path away,
To be left awhile, to stir for the moon, to wait
For the wind to begin again.

David Wagoner. Art credit David Moses.

821 notes (via theparisreview)