Monday, April 09, 2012

Rising like the Son...

Between reading Ricciotti on the life of Christ and (for Paschaltide) a text on the famous exploration of the Vatican necropolis - oh GOLLY what a treasure-mine of plots for stories... ahem - and GKC on the Everlasting Man, which is of course his own special title of our Lord - well. And there's work to be done, so just something very short for today - which is the next line after what I posted two days ago, and gives the whole triumphant theme of this GRAND octave:

According to other accounts God was not exactly dead after all; there trailed through the bewildered imagination some sort of fantastic procession of the
funeral of God, at which the sun turned black, but which ended with the dead omnipotence breaking out of the tomb and rising again like the sun.
[GKC The Everlasting Man CW2:296]
But there's one other, perhaps even more mysterious, and one which deserves some very careful pondering, since it links our festival to Creation, which (speaking as a Scientist) is a VERY good idea, and one which we ought to do regularly:
On the third day the friends of Christ coming at daybreak to the place found the grave empty and the stone rolled away. In varying ways they realised the new wonder; but even they hardly realised that the world had died in the night. What they were looking at was the first day of a new creation, with a new heaven and a new earth; and in a semblance of the gardener God walked again in the garden, in the cool not of the evening but the dawn.
[ibid 345]

Friday, April 06, 2012

The CRUX of the question

I am re-reading the amazing book called The Life of Christ by the priest-archaeologist Giuseppe Ricciotti, and was struck by this sequence:
... was the rite [of the Eucharist] of Jewish or of foreign origin? The critics rummaged through late Judaism but with no satisfactory results. They used the comparative religion method and turned first to totemism and theophagy; then they more carefully studied the rites of Isis and Osiris, and the blood ritual in the cults of Sabatius and Dionysius, while the Eleusinian mysteries and the banquets of Mithra were investigated with still greater attention. Certainly a great deal of rare information was uncovered and many important observations made concerning pagan rites; but when it came to the real crux of the question, namely, their relationship to the Eucharistic rite of early Christianity, the critics mistook fireflies for lanterns and were ready to declare a mosquito the same as an eagle because both have wings and fly and feed on blood.
[Ricciotti, The Life of Christ § 547 p. 578, emphasis added]
If I had the time I might give you some interesting coordinations between this and GKC's writing - or in the good priest's wonderful "verbal fireworks" of analogy... (not to mention speculating as to whether he ever read any GKC) but it is far more appropriate for me to quote the companion text from GKC's work on our Lord - a fragment which comes in the earlier half of the book, and is perhaps the most stunning and deep - dare I say Johannine? - texts of all his writing. I admit I have broken it in the middle, but you will hear the remainder in three days... Enough; read and contemplate, and be silent:
One incident occurred once or twice again and began to arouse irritation out of proportion to its insignificance. It was not exactly what these provincials said; though of course it sounded queer enough. They seemed to be saying that God was dead and that they themselves had seen him die. This might be one of the many manias produced by the despair of the age; only they did not seem particularly despairing. They seemed quite unnaturally joyful about it, and gave the reason that the death of God had allowed them to eat him and drink his blood.
[GKC The Everlasting Man CW2:295-6]

Tuesday, April 03, 2012

Now available: The Wreck of the PHOSPLOION

See here for more.