Thursday, November 4, 2010

Poet Franz Wright on the Gospel of John

Excerpt from Language as Sacrament in the New Testament

THE language of the New Testament has been with me since childhood. The words of Jesus, specifically, are so familiar that I am constantly in danger of becoming insensitive to their power. As an antidote to that I have been trying once again to think about Jesus’s words, the so-called authentic sayings of the historical Jesus, as well as those attributed to him by the earliest believing communities in the decades after his death, the words found in the mysterious fourth Gospel, for example, words which I think might more accurately be attributed to the risen Christ [See John 14:26].

I have been trying to read them again, and to think about them again from both a literary and a theological perspective, and then simply to experience them, and not for any mystical purposes (I personally have had just about enough mystical experience, and it’s become a life-or-death matter that I contemplate these things and even try to put them into practice in a rather orthodox and practical way).

I wanted to experience these words again naïvely, personally, literally, as if I had never heard them before. I wanted to find myself in the company of the other spiritually needy, blind, crippled, and lost individuals to whom they were first addressed by this adorable, radiant, and somewhat scary person who is like no one anyone has ever met...Read more

More on Franz Wright...

"The 'Ave Maria' was composed in about 1825 by Franz Schubert (1797-1828) when he was twenty-eight years old and filled with devotion. It was written for voice and piano and first Published in 1826 as Op 52 no 6.

Franz Schubert actually wrote the music for an excerpt from the poem “The Lady of the Lake” by Sir Walter Scott (1771-1832), which was translated into German by Adam Storck. Schubert called his piece Ellens dritter Gesang (Ellen’s third song).

"In this particular excerpt from the poem the heroine, Ellen Douglas, is in hiding and prays to the Virgin Mary. A letter from Schubert to his father and step-mother refers to his music to Ave Maria:“My new songs from Scott’s Lady of the Lake especially had much success. They also wondered greatly at my piety, which I expressed in a hymn to the Holy Virgin and which, it appears, grips every soul and turns it to devotion"...Read more

--->Catholics and "Do-Not-Resuscitate" Orders: "The Church does not explicitly address the morality of a "do-not-resuscitate order," but it still uses the distinction between "ordinary" or "proportionate" (=morally obligatory) and "extraordinary" or "disproportionate" (=morally not obligatory) treatments"...Read more

--->Useless Eaters: the Stigmatization of Illness. "The US, unquestionably, has the most reactionary and punitive attitude towards illness in the world"...Read more

--->Opinion: Danny Schecter: Oliver Stone's New "Wall Street" Heavy on Atmosphere, Light on Anger...Read it all

John Apostle--->Msgr. John F. McCarthy, Conference on Biblical Inerrancy, 2008: "...the historical-critical method is itself based on false philosophical presuppositions. Bultmann claims that the entire text of the Gospels is presented in a fictional genre, and neo-patristic scholars undertake to refute this claim, not only in general but also verse by verse. In doing so they first eliminate the rationalist presuppositions of Bultmann's method, and they then eliminate his use of these presuppositions in his exegetical works"...Read More

--->Happy Surprise: White House aligns with Supreme Court conservatives in religious schools case...

---->Christ cleanses conscience of 'garbage,' Pope says. "The garbage is not just in the different streets of the world. There is also garbage in our consciences and in our souls," he observed....

--->Here is I think a problem and an opportunity: A lot of money and respect awaits the persons who decide to create a truly prominent family television channel. I mean one with high and creative quality, not just endless reruns of Lassie and the Beverly Hillbillies, but wholesome programming which recruits creative writers, actors and actresses to join in this effort. I mean a television station (or stations) which refuses even subtly seductive, salacious Ads, which will force advertising agencies to tailor their Adverts to the new television programming (Rupert Murdoch's Hugh Hefner-admiring Fox channels do not fit the bill; his media empire is as salacious as other channels, sometimes worse).

And it must be a station which rejects all political correctness ideologies, which repulse a great majority of the people in this country who are given little choice.

Why such a proposal? Because there are millions and millions of Americans, to say nothing of the rest of the world, who wish for such a prime channel that is both truly safe for family viewing and creative and inspiring in contemporary content, alongside good quality movies, news, sports as well as programming from the past. This is not a market? I am convinced it would be a smashing success---IF it is creative, dedicated to traditional values, and without being so much as incrementally (sneakily) decadent.

The only reason for not taking advantage of this market would have to be a perverse and foolish intention to remake and transvalue traditional families, persons, and education.

---> Pro-Life Democrats Ousted as Election Centers on the Economy. Abortion issues seemed left in the dust as economic concerns drove this year's election, but on Tuesday voters ousted several pro-life Democrats and ushered in fiscal conservatives who tend to oppose abortion...Read it

--->I love this scientist; she is brilliant, opposes the globalization of the corporatocracy (Monsanto a special foe to her), and her proposal's for the earth and farming are sorely needed. I only wish she would give up the Gaia--goddess earth business (it's possible she intends only a metaphor when she rarely mentions it, I don't know) which mythology stands in the way of many hearing her otherwise important message...; in any case, there is much room for cooperation in those areas which affect us all. I am ambivalent or skeptical about apocalyptic climate change scenarios, simply because I am not a climatologist and in no position to evaluate all the data. I try to allow for both sides, skeptics and affirmers of climate change, to state their opinions and concerns, even as I resist the non sequiturs of ideologues (population controllers, eugenicists, Gaia New Age theories, etc.) who attempt to exploit any theories. But that we have a "simple" but quite serious ecological problem is, it seems to me, beyond question, since I see with my own eyes and intellect what industrial, technological and military hubris has done to our planet, and realize the need for "conversion" here to a more natural balance with creation as God intended it.

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