|Doctor Faustus, as performed by the Grassroots Shakespeare Company|
|Doctor Faustus, as performed by the Grassroots Shakespeare Company|
|Johnny Chuck, Old Mother West Wind (1913)|
|Grandmother and me|
|Picture by Eliza Wheeler|
|Mother West Wind (1916) by Bertha Lum|
|Detail of Plato from Raphael's "The School of Athens"|
|J.R.R. Tolkien and C.S. Lewis|
You look at trees and label them just so,
(for trees are ‘trees,’ and growing is ‘to grow’);
you walk the earth and tread with solemn pace
one of the many minor globes of Space:
a star's a star, some matter in a ball
compelled to courses mathematical
amid the regimented, cold, inane,
where destined atoms are each moment slain.
He sees no stars who does not see them first
of living silver made that sudden burst
to flame like flowers beneath an ancient song,
whose very echo after-music long
has since pursued. There is no firmament,
only a void, unless a jeweled tent
myth-woven and elf-patterned; and no earth,
unless the mother's womb whence all have birth.
Man, Sub-creator, the refracted light
through whom is splintered from a single White
to many hues, and endlessly combined
in living shapes that move from mind to mind…
I will not treat your dusty path and flat,
denoting this and that by this and that,
your world immutable wherein no part
the little maker has with maker's art.
In Paradise perchance the eye may stray
from gazing upon everlasting Day
to see the day illumined, and renew
from mirrored truth the likeness of the True…
In Paradise they look no more awry;
and though they make anew, they make no lie.
Be sure they still will make, not being dead,
and poets shall have flames upon their head,
and harps whereon their faultless fingers fall:
there each shall choose for ever from the All.
|First editions of The Hobbit and The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe|
|Mircea Eliade and Joseph Campbell|
|George Lucas (left) filming Star Wars: A New Hope|
The Western was possibly the last generically American fairy tale, telling us about our values. And once the Western disappeared, nothing has ever taken its place. In literature we were going off into science fiction...so that's when I started doing more strenuous research on fairy tales, folklore, and mythology, and I started reading Joe [Campbell’s] books. Before that I hadn't read any of Joe's books...It was very eerie because in reading The Hero with a Thousand Faces I began to realize that my first draft of Star Wars was following classic motifs...so I modified my next draft [of Star Wars] according to what I'd been learning about classical motifs and made it a little bit more consistent...I [then] went on to read “The Masks of God” and many other books (Stephen and Robin Larsen, Joseph Campbell: A Fire in theMind, p. 541).
|Harrison Ford as Han Solo and me as Harrison Ford as Han Solo|
One by one, Lord, I see and I love all those whom you have given me to sustain and charm my life. One by one also I number all those who make up that other beloved family which has gradually surrounded me, its unity fashioned out of the most disparate elements, with affinities of the heart, of scientific research and of thought. And again one by one — more vaguely it is true, yet all-inclusively — I call before me the whole vast anonymous army of living humanity; those who surround me and support me though I do not know them; those who come, and those who go; above all, those who in office, laboratory and factory, through their vision of truth or despite their error, truly believe in the progress of earthly reality and who today will take up again their impassioned pursuit of the light.
Greatness, true greatness, mightiness of mind,
And greater greatness, grandeur of the soul,
Tell but one tale — capacity, not place;
Capacity, whose sire, experience,
Whose ancestors, innate intelligence,
Original, inborn nobility,
As oft in hut as mansion have their home.
‘Tis not the crowning that creates the king.
Man's proper place where God hath need of him.
Naught can be vain that leadeth unto light ;
Struggle and stress, not plaudit, maketh strong ;
Victor and vanquished equally may win,
Climbing far heights, where fame, eternal fame,
White as the gleaming cloak of Arctic hills,
Rests as a mantle, fadeless, faultless, pure,
On loftiest lives, whose snowy peaks, sun-crowned,
Receive but to dispense their blessedness.
This man beside us also has a hard fight with an unfavouring world, with strong temptations, with doubts and fears, with wounds of the past which have skinned over, but which smart when they are touched. It is a fact, however surprising. And when this occurs to us we are moved to deal kindly with him, to bid him be of good cheer, to let him understand that we are also fighting a battle; we are bound not to irritate him, nor press hardly upon him nor help his lower self (p. 168).
So far as we break the bonds of self and project ourselves into the life of our brother man, we are bound to be courteous, because we shall now be interested in what is dear to him. This man also has a family and a business; this man also has had sicknesses and trials. Imagine! We must not therefore talk without ceasing about our children, our interests, our afflictions, our life. This man also has a church, and a creed, and opinions of his own, and a history. Remarkable!
One of the Traherne stained glass windows at
the Anglican Cathedral in Hereford, England.
You never enjoy the world aright; till you so love the beauty of enjoying it, that you are covetous and earnest to persuade others to enjoy it. And so perfectly hate the abominable corruption of men in despising it, that you had rather suffer the flames of Hell than willingly be guilty of their error. There is so much blindness and ingratitude and damned folly in it. The world is a mirror of infinite beauty, yet no man sees it. It is a Temple of Majesty, yet no man regards it. It is a region of Light and Peace, did not men disquiet it. It is the Paradise of God. (Centuries of Meditations, First Century, Section 31)
|The archbishop of Buenos Aires, Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio, washes the feet of an unidentified woman on Holy Thursday at the Buenos Aires' Sarda maternity hospital on March 24, 2005.|
Make us worthy Lord to serve our fellow men throughout the world,who live and die in poverty and hunger.Give them through our hands, this day, their daily breadand by our understanding love, give peace and joy.Lord, make me a channel of thy peace,That where there is hatred I may bring love,That where there is wrong, I may bring the spirit of forgiveness,That where there is discord, I may bring harmony,That where there is error I may bring truth,That where there is doubt I may bring faith,That where there is despair I may bring hope,That where there are shadows I may bring light,That where there is sadness I may bring joy.Lord, grant that I may seek rather to comfort than to be comforted,To understand than to be understood,To love than to be loved.For it is by forgetting self that one finds.It is by forgiving that one is forgiven,It is by dying that one awakens to eternal life.Amen.
One of the most famous moments in St. Francis's life is the day he was passing by the church of St. Damiano. It was old and near collapse. From St. Bonaventure's “Life of Francis of Assisi”: “Inspired by the Spirit, he went inside to pray. Kneeling before an image of the Crucified, he was filled with great fervor and consolation. . . . While his tear-filled eyes were gazing at the Lord's cross, he heard with his bodily ears a voice coming from the cross, telling him three times: ‘Francis, go and repair my house which, as you see, is falling into ruin.’” Francis was amazed “at the sound of this astonishing voice, since he was alone in the church.” He set himself to obeying the command.
That is more than strength…This is not cynical humanity. This is showing there is another way to be.