Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Brief Hiatus

Dear All,

Things have been crazy hectic in my life for the past couple of months! I could go into lots of detail, but I won't. Suffice it to say, I'm taking a couple of days off, and will be back in full effect in May.

Peace out,

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Newsy Bits

Lots of news in my life:

My Godson is officially adopted into the family, as of Easter Monday!

Neighbor Ed just got tenure!

My friend Charlotte just got back from Istanbul and posted some of her amazing photos on Facebook. I'm really hoping she might be a guest blogger here and talk about her travels and the religious art she saw there. One of her stops was the Hagia Sophia (picture on left).

I'm trying to plan an academic path to a Master's degree for myself. I have a meeting with an advisor this afternoon!

And finally, this isn't in the news of the me, rather the news of the "we" but - I am so proud of our President and First Lady. Out planting trees:

Friday, April 10, 2009

Good Friday

I am always amazed by the people around the world that re-enact the crucifixion. They do it as penance, or to bring themselves closer to Jesus' suffering, I suppose. But, I thought the point of Jesus' death was that he did it for us. I can see the appeal, though.

Holy Week is so dramatic, and some of us just thrive on drama. I have never been able to bring myself to attend the Good Friday services. I am overwhelmed at Palm Sunday, where we hear the story of what happened on Friday, and I am often reduced to tears. For me, it's the betrayal that is so upsetting. And the guilt - that the crowd shouting to "crucify him!" is US. We are the ones for whom this all happened. So, in a way, I get the "Penitentes" who nail themselves to crosses. If it helps reduce the guilt of it, maybe it's not so bad after all.

UPDATE: A friend just sent me this link to the "Facebook Passion." FANTASTIC!

Thursday, April 9, 2009

It's Almost Easter

So, All, I finished my Lenten endeavor - to read all 4 Gospels. I did it! Here's a great video - "From Jesus To Christ: the First Christians" that I watched many years ago, and got for my birthday recently. It's a great companion when reading the Gospels. Helps a LOT.

From Wikipedia, source of all knowledge:
  • Matthew the Evangelist, the author of the first gospel is symbolized by a human (not an angel as sometimes thought) - a figure of humanity and reason. Matthew's gospel starts with Jesus' genealogy from Abraham; it represents Jesus' Incarnation, and so Christ's human nature. Christians should use their reason for salvation.
  • Mark the Evangelist, the author of the second gospel is symbolized by a lion - a figure of courage and monarchy. Mark has John the Baptist preaching "like a lion roaring" at the beginning of his Gospel. It also represents Jesus' Resurrection (because lions were believed to sleep with open eyes, a comparison with Christ in the tomb), and Christ as king. Christians should be courageous for salvation.
  • Luke the Evangelist, the author of the third gospel (and presumably the Acts of the Apostles) is symbolized by an ox bull or calf - a figure of sacrifice, service and strength. Luke's gospel starts on the temple duties of Zacharias in the temple; it represents Jesus' sacrifice in the Passion, and Christ as priest (this also represents Mary's obedience). Christians should be prepared to sacrifice themselves for salvation.
  • John the Evangelist, the author of the fourth gospel is symbolized by an eagle[3] - a figure of the sky, and believed to be able to look straight into the sun. John starts with an eternal overview of Jesus the Logos and goes on to describe many things with a "higher" level of theology than the other three "terrestrial" Synoptic Gospels; it represents Jesus' Ascension, and Christ's divine nature. Christians should look directly on eternity without flinching for salvation.
I can never remember which symbol is for which Evangelist, but I thought the above was helpful. I still don't love John's Gospel, but that's OK.

Happy Easter, Everyone!