— Shreeya Sinha (@ShreeyaSinha) January 8, 2020
Daily Archives: January 7, 2020
Let us now return to the exposition of the Gospel, where we previously left it. The astronomers went into the place where the child was staying, and found him with his mother. Then with prostrate bodies they worshipped Christ, and opened their coffers, and offered to him threefold gifts, gold, and incense, and myrrh. Gold is fitting for a king; incense belongs to God’s service; with myrrh the bodies of the dead are prepared that they may not soon rot. These three astronomers worshipped Christ, and offered to him symbolic gifts. The gold betokened that he is true King; the incense that he is true God; the myrrh that he was then mortal, though now he continues immortal in eternity…
My brothers, let us offer to our Lord gold, for we confess that he is true King, and rules everywhere. Let us offer to him incense, for we believe that he was always God, who at that time appeared as a man. Let us bring him myrrh, for we believe that he was mortal in our flesh, who is incapable of suffering in his divine nature. He was mortal in human nature before his Passion, but he is henceforth immortal, as we all shall be after the universal resurrection.
We have spoken of these threefold gifts, how they apply to Christ. We also wish to say how they apply to us in a figurative sense. Truly gold betokens wisdom; as Solomon said, “A goldhoard much to be desired lies in the mouth of a wise man.” Incense represents holy prayer, of which the psalmist sang, “Lord, let my prayer be sent forth like burning incense in thy sight.” By myrrh is shown the mortality of our flesh, of which Holy Church says, “My hands dropped myrrh.” To the born King we bring gold, if we are shining in his sight with the brightness of heavenly wisdom. Incense we bring him, if we set fire to our thoughts on the altar of our heart with the eagerness of holy prayers, so that through heavenly desire we may give forth something of a sweet smell. Myrrh we offer him if we quell the lusts of the flesh by self-restraint.
Read it all (and note the link to the full sermon text).
— Joan Stonham (@eynsham1) July 17, 2017
Bishops of the two regions most affected by the current Australian bushfire crisis have issued pastoral letters to their congregations.
The Bishop of Gippsland, Dr Richard Treloar, in a letter read in churches across his diocese on Sunday, wrote that “our hearts and hand go out” to the people in the fire-ravaged areas of east Gippsland. Two people have died and hundreds of homes and other buildings have been destroyed.
He continued: “We commit ourselves to a sustained relief effort, working within and beyond our churches with people of good will to support those most affected by the fires and their aftermath, and to rebuild hope where hope has been lost.”
The Bishop of Canberra and Goulburn, Dr Mark Short, has also written to all parishes in his diocese, which extends to the south coast of New South Wales. Some small towns in the south coast region have been virtually obliterated, and at least one church was burnt down.
“We grieve with and for those who have lost property and loved ones”, Dr Short wrote. “We groan with and for creation as it waits for rescue. We long for quenching rain and relief. . . Please join with me in thanking God for every act of courage and kindness.”
— Church Times (@ChurchTimes) January 7, 2020
The Bishop of Ludlow, the Rt Revd Alistair Magowan, has today announced he will retire at the end of April. He has been both a Suffragan Bishop and Archdeacon in the Diocese of Hereford since 2009. Bishop Alistair’s last official service will be on Easter day 2020 with a farewell in the Cathedral later that month. “Bishop Alistair has exercised a significant role in shaping the Diocese of Hereford over the last 11 years,” said the Bishop of Hereford Designate, Rt Revd Richard Jackson.
Bishop Alistair expressed his gratitude for the many partnerships between Church and local community across the diocese of which he has been a part. He said: “It is a privilege, joy and humbling experience to have worked with so many wonderful people and organisations across the whole diocese over the last 11 years. As bishop it has also been my privilege to ordain, baptise and confirm many people over the years, and a great joy to be involved in the appointment of nearly all of the clergy who currently serve the churches of the Ludlow Archdeaconry which covers parts of North Herefordshire and South Shropshire.”
Proponents often tout polyamory as an ethical, “consensual” form of non-monogamy. However, a recent survey, co-sponsored by the Wheatley Institution and Brigham Young University’s School of Family Life, found that less than half of women who had been in a consensual non-monogamous relationship said that both partners desired the arrangement equally.
And, among all survey respondents, it turned out that “men desired an open sexual relationship almost four times more than their female counterparts.” To be sure, plenty of male respondents in the survey reported that their female partner wanted an open relationship more than they did; but, no matter the direction of the data, the findings suggest that the mainstreaming of polyamory would likely result in many individuals (particularly women) feeling pressured to enter arrangements that would not be their first choice. And, as others have observed, these findings should encourage an appropriate dose of doubt regarding the “consensual” nature (for all affected parties) of so-called consensual non-monogamous relationships.
Another study (referenced here) on this topic found that “commitment emerged as a central concept in polyamorous relationships” but that when “rule violations” of commitment occurred they were “not generally interpreted as ‘cheating’ but rather as opportunities to renegotiate agreements.” In other words, even in polyamorous relationships, there are rules and violations of rules. The main difference, it appears, is that in “radically honest” relationships the dishonest partners — those who don’t play by the rules — face few consequences.
How can this be considered honest?
I will take comments on this submitted by email only to KSHarmon[at]mindspring[dot]com.
Surprise, surprise: “men desired an open sexual relationship almost four times more than their female counterparts.” So: guess who wins & who loses if polyamory gains? https://t.co/jY3wFbyFmu
— Brad Wilcox (@WilcoxNMP) January 7, 2020
(LARB) The Outer Fringes of Our Language: A Conversation with Werner Herzog Robert Pogue Harrison interviews Werner Herzog
ROBERT POGUE HARRISON: In your conversation with Paul Cronin in 2014, you say, “Read, read, read, read, read. Those who read own the world; those who immerse themselves in the internet or watch too much television lose it. […] Our civilization is suffering profound wounds because of the wholesale abandonment of reading by contemporary society.” Could you share with us some of your thoughts about your relationship to reading books and the value of the literary?
WERNER HERZOG: In a way, it has been something that is guiding me throughout my life. Beyond this auditorium, there are many more students at Stanford University, and many of them do not really read — including film students. They read a book about editing, but they haven’t read, let’s say, the dramas of Greek antiquity. And I keep saying to them you have to read. Read, read, read, read, read, read, read, read. If you do not read, you will become a mediocre filmmaker at best, but you will never make a really good film. And almost everyone that I know who has made very strong, very good substantial films are people who are reading all the time. I see three, four films a year, maybe sometimes a little bit more during a festival, but I do read.
And of course, I’ve written prose and some poetry. I am fairly certain that my written work will outlive my films.
Is that right?
It’s very, very clear. There’s no doubt whatsoever in me.
“Read, read, read, read, read. Those who read own the world . . . Our civilization is suffering profound wounds because of the wholesale abandonment of reading by contemporary society.” – Werner Herzoghttps://t.co/A4HsLJxoSK
— Ernest Hilbert (@everseradio) January 2, 2020
Teenagers and young adults in the United States are being ravaged by a mental health crisis — and we are doing nothing about it. As of 2017, statistics show that an alarming number of them are suffering from depression and dying by suicide. In fact, suicide is now the second leading cause of death among young people, surpassed only by accidents.
After declining for nearly two decades, the suicide rate among Americans ages 10 to 24 jumped 56 percent between 2007 and 2017, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. And for the first time the gender gap in suicide has narrowed: Though the numbers of suicides are greater in males, the rates of suicide for female youths increased by 12.7 percent each year, compared with 7.1 percent for male youths.
At the same time, the rate of teen depression shot up 63 percent, an alarming but not surprising trend given the link between suicide and depression: In 2017, 13 percent of teens reported at least one episode of depression in the past year, compared with 8 percent of teens in 2007, according to the National Survey on Drug Use and Health.
How is it possible that so many of our young people are suffering from depression and killing themselves when we know perfectly well how to treat this illness?
After declining for nearly two decades, the suicide rate among Americans ages 10 to 24 jumped 56 percent between 2007 and 2017.
— Nicholas A. Christakis (@NAChristakis) January 7, 2020
Whether you take that literally or metaphorically, the point seems to be that coming to Jesus can be hazardous to your health.
This was certainly true for the Magi. Knowing the horror Herod wrought upon baby boys in Bethlehem, it’s not hard to shudder at what he had planned for the Magi had they met up with him again. God warned them in a dream to take the back roads home, and fortunately they were the sort who paid serious attention to dreams. Their lives had been changed. They returned to their own country, but they went back as different people.
As a baby, Jesus already shattered human categories of religion and race and class and privilege. Outsiders are welcome inside. Before the story is over, the homeless and destitute, prostitutes, lepers, Roman centurions, condemned criminals, and the IRS will all be welcomed inside too. But the welcome wasn’t merely an opening of doors and putting out a welcome mat hoping outsiders might drop by. The disturbing beauty of the gospel is how Jesus became an outsider himself: marginalized and outcast, scandalized and condemned, he descended as low as humanity goes in order to raise us up.
New birth feels like death sometimes, because being born again means death to the sinful life you’ve been living, and that can hurt. Yet as painful as new birth can be, the new life it brings gets described, and experienced, as both abundant and eternal, full of grace and joy. We read that the Magi were “overwhelmed by joy” upon coming to Jesus—and he was still just a toddler. They bow before him and pay homage though he’d yet to speak a word or do a miracle. “They shall bring gold and frankincense, and shall proclaim the praises of the Lord,” just like the prophet said they would.
From CTmagazine: RT ChrisOsmore: “The disturbing beauty of the gospel is how Jesus became an outsider himself: marginalized and outcast, scandalized and condemned, he descended as low as humanity goes in order to raise us up.”
Great article DanlHarrell… https://t.co/sOgaMFXzF5
— Carol Flohr Giles (@giles_carol) January 7, 2020
O Blessed Jesus, who by the shining of a star didst manifest thyself to them that sought thee: Show thy heavenly light to us, and give us grace to follow until we find thee; finding, to rejoice in thee; and rejoicing, to present to thee ourselves, our souls and bodies, for thy service for evermore: for thine honour and glory.
The Adoration of the Magi
Hieronymus Bosch (1468-1560) pic.twitter.com/sWCivxbcrH
— History of Art (@AHistoryofArt) December 23, 2016
Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God, and Timothy our brother, To the saints and faithful brethren in Christ at Colossae: Grace to you and peace from God our Father.
We always thank God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, when we pray for you, because we have heard of your faith in Christ Jesus and of the love which you have for all the saints, because of the hope laid up for you in heaven. Of this you have heard before in the word of the truth, the gospel which has come to you, as indeed in the whole world it is bearing fruit and growing so among yourselves, from the day you heard and understood the grace of God in truth, as you learned it from Epaphras our beloved fellow servant. He is a faithful minister of Christ on our behalf and has made known to us your love in the Spirit.
And so, from the day we heard of it, we have not ceased to pray for you, asking that you may be filled with the knowledge of his will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding, to lead a life worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing to him, bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God. May you be strengthened with all power, according to his glorious might, for all endurance and patience with joy, giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified us to share in the inheritance of the saints in light. He has delivered us from the dominion of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of his beloved Son, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.