Monday, 31 March 2008

The Annunciation

Without this freely given assent of Mary, God cannot become man. Certainly, this Yes Mary says is wholly by grace. The dogma of the Immaculate Conception of Mary, whereby she was freed from original sin, has in fact just exactly this as its sole significance: that no human being can set in motion the process of salvation by his own powers alone, but that his Yes is wrapped up and supported within by that divine love which comes first and before all else and that already surrounds man before he is even born. "All is grace". Yet grace does not remove freedom; rather, it brings it into being. The entire mystery of redemption is present in this story and is summed up in the figure of the Virgin Mary: "Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord; let it be to me according to your word" (Lk 1:38)
From God is Near Us - Pope Benedict XVI.

Please don't forget about this is so important. What a mystery! What love!

Deo Gratias.

Sunday, 30 March 2008

Divine Mercy

Think of Holman-Hunt's "Light of the World", Christ on the outside waiting for you to let him in.

Now, look at this stunning image of Divine Mercy and meditate on what happens when He is the other side of the door.

Domine, non sum dignus, ut intres sub tectum meum: sed tantum dic verbo, et sanabitur anima mea.

Lots to pray for:
Philip and Stephen : "carpe canem"
Sr Mary Martha, lost her father on Easter Sunday
All those of us struggling with the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune.
All those in need of Divine Mercy.

Deo Gratias

Wednesday, 26 March 2008

Some blogs for an idle moment

As I'm too befuddled with the ongoing dreadful work situation to think straight at the moment, I thought I'd just alert you to some really excellent stuff that is being written at the moment.

Joe at "Catholic Commentary" has an excellent summary of the Bishops and the media and the dreadful mess of British politics and legislation here.

Adreinne is beginning her series on the Faith and 12 Steps here.

James Mawdsley writes movingly about his imprisonment in Burma here.

The Ironic Catholic has one of her funniest ever posts here.


Sunday, 23 March 2008

Easter Blessings to you all!

Christ has risen; he is the light of his people, whom he has redeemed with his blood, alleluia.

Happy Easter to you and yours.

Saturday, 22 March 2008

Noli me tangere - Fra Angelico

When the Risen Lord calls Mary by her name, surely it was only God's will that prevented her from dying on the spot....can there ever have been a more beautiful shock to a human heart?

Thou also, by the blood of thy testament, hast sent forth thy prisoners out of the pit wherein is no water.
Zacharias 9:11

Friday, 21 March 2008

What's going on over there?

Please pray for the likes of my sister and parents who had no idea today was Good Friday, they were worried they couldn't contact us and it never occurred to them we may be at Church.

Tuesday, 18 March 2008

Despised and most abject of men, a man of sorrows and acquainted with infirmity: and his look was as it were hidden and despised. Whereupon we esteemed him not. Surely he hath borne our infirmities and carried our sorrows: and we have thought him as it were a leper, and one struck by God and afflicted. But he was wounded for our iniquities: he was bruised for our sins. The chastisement of our peace was upon him; and by his bruises we are healed. All we like sheep have gone astray, every one hath turned aside into his own way: and the Lord hath laid on him the iniquity of us all.

He was offered because it was his own will, and he opened not his mouth. He shall be led as a sheep to the slaughter and shall be dumb as a lamb before his shearer, and he shall not open his mouth.

Isaiah 53:3-7

Zurbaran- Agnus Dei

Saturday, 15 March 2008

Too clever...

A square has sides of equal length and 4 points where the edges meet. A cube is similar to a square but exists in 3 dimensions, it has 8 points where its edges meet. Mathematically there is no reason why you can't extend this pattern to higher dimensions as a simple formula will tell you the relationship between the dimensions of the object and the number of points (where the edges meet), the formula for the number of points is 2 to the power n where n is the dimension of the object.

The square is 2D and has 2 to the power 2 points (that's 4 points). A cube is a 3D square and has 2 to the power 3 points (that's 8 points). Make a cube out of paper and unfold it to make it 2D again, you can make the shape of a cross out of the paper.

A hypercube exists in higher dimensions, in 4D it will have 2 to the power 4 points. "Unfold" it and you get a shape in 3D called a tesseract.

The painting below by Salvador Dali has Christ crucified on a tesseract. It is a very, very clever painting.

Here is Christ crucified till the ends of the Earth, outside the simple time and place of Calvary 2000 or so years ago. There are no nails and no wounds, but there is pain, look at His hands. Forget about those who literally crucified Christ, He forgave them from the cross for they knew not what they were doing. Christ's pain, in this depiction, is in His heart, it is for our sins that separate us from Him. Our sins, here and now.

We must act. See how the Virgin at his fees raises herself above the 2D chessboard of ordinary reality buy her total devotion to Christ. We must do the same and prepare to plunge ourselves into the depths of His Passion.

Dali could never depict the Passion, not even the nail wounds in Christ's flesh. I like that honesty, and to me it demonstrates a very human and God fearing side to this most exuberant and deliberately enigmatic of artists.

Sunday, 9 March 2008

"Unbind him, let him go free"

Carravaggio's depiction of today's Gospel ties in well with the first reading from Ezekiel. There, God summoned the dry bones and Ezekiel prophesied; the bones got up, got flesh and then received the spirit (the order is important). Carravaggio's painting of Lazarus shows him still very much corpse-like even after being unbound. Christ summoned the dead Lazarus from the tomb, the dead Lazarus answered His call and slowly life was breathed into him.

More usually, we picture a staggering Lazarus leaving the tomb, alive, haunted and stinking. Reading the Gospel seems to allow for either interpretation. The interpretation that inspires Carravaggio seems the more dignified and loving. If we ever try to imagine the Resurrection of the Dead, it really shouldn't look like a cheap zombie movie.

In being raised from the dead, Lazarus was probably going to have to spend the early days of the rest of his life in hiding from those who would have him displayed as a freak, those who wished to gawp and not believe. What's the betting Martha spent the rest of her life looking out for her brother and leading him from one place of safety to the next?

How much more significant becomes the Passion of Our Lord. Sharing in our suffering and grief and raising from the dead is one thing (God with Elijah did that to the Widow's son), taking on our sins and dying for us so that we may have eternal life is something else entirely.

Friday, 7 March 2008

Hello again...

Thanks for all your kind words and prayers. I didn't get the job, but I think I would have been more terrified if I had. There is no point in rushing into something simply to get out of the situation you are in. It was a good experience and the guy who got the job was fantastic, I don't feel in any way that I have lost out.

Something will turn up, I'm sure. I feel strangely calm at the moment, like there is a scent of something better on the air.....

Monday, 3 March 2008

Some News

Many, many thanks for all your concern and prayers.

I have a job interview on Wednesday. I'll let you know how I get on. As it stands I need to see a bit more of the place to decide if I really want to work there and I need to make sure history won't repeat itself ....

As God wills, as God pleases.

I just wish I wasn't so tired!!!!!