More Snow Falling

More on the author Peter Kane Dufault can be read at Worple Press.

The Golden Statue

by Gwen Adams (c. 2010)

(1st Sunday of Advent)
“The work of divine justice always presupposes the work of mercy; and is founded thereupon. . . . God out of abundance of His goodness bestows upon creatures what is due to them more bountifully than is proportionate to their deserts: since less would suffice for preserving the order of justice than what the divine goodness confers; because between creatures and God's goodness there can be no proportion.”
—Thomas Aquinas, Summa Theologica,1.21.4

King Midas loved gold too well and he wished that all he touched would turn to gold. When his wish came true, he was at first greatly pleased. But his joy soon became mourning. Midas had a daughter of surpassing beauty, with a vivacious and pleasing nature, but all her promise and splendor ended the day she came out to greet him and his hand touched hers. She was turned to a golden statue forever.

Midas spent many years seeking a cure, but finally gave up. He put the statue on a fine pedestal in the great hall, and was careful to touch nothing from then on, especially his infant daughter, sixteen years the junior to the eldest. His life was a continual misery and a reproach to him.

As the years passed, another grief plagued him: the inability of the youngest to find a suitable spouse. She was a plain woman, morose and sour, who found fault easily with people, especially her suitors. Her sour disposition was aggravated when people continually compared her to the once beloved eldest sister. The sight of the statue was bitter, so in the end the statue was put outside in an obscure courtyard in the garden. And people forgot about the eldest daughter.

The Process of Conversion

Reading Newman's Apologia, I was struck by how much Newman suffered between 1841-1843 as he tried to determine what to do--stay Anglican or become . . . Roman Catholic?

Here are his words.  They give food for thought about how we Roman Catholics ought to interact with those like Newman, maybe considering the Faith.

"After Tract 90 the Protestant world would not let me alone; they pursued me in the public journals to Littlemore. Reports of all kinds were circulated about me. "Imprimis, why did I go up to Littlemore at all? For no good purpose certainly; I dared not tell why." Why, to be sure, it was hard that I should be obliged to say to the Editors of newspapers that I went up there to say my prayers; it was hard to have to tell the world in confidence, that I had a certain doubt about the Anglican system, and could not at that moment resolve it, or say what would come of it; it was hard to have to confess that I had thought of giving up my Living a year or two before, and that this was a first step to it. It was hard to have to plead, that, for what I knew, my doubts would vanish, if the newspapers would be so good as to give me time and let me alone. Who would ever dream of making the world his confidant? yet I was considered insidious, sly, dishonest, if I would not open my heart to the tender mercies of the world.

Castles in Spain

by Jessica Hickey, (c. 2010)

Wednesday, 10 November 2010

"'My own garden is my own garden,' said the Giant; 'any one can understand that, and I will allow nobody to play in it but myself.'"
(Oscar Wilde, "The Selfish Giant")

"Beauty is one of mankind's greatest needs; it is the root from which the branches of our peace and the fruits of our hope come forth. Beauty also reveals God because, like him, a work of beauty is pure gratuity; it calls us to freedom and draws us away from selfishness."
(Pope Benedict XVI at the dedication of Sagrada Familia Cathedral, Nov 7, 2010)

"How, but in custom and in ceremony,
Are innocence and beauty born?"
(W.B. Yeats, "A Prayer for my Daughter")

This past Sunday, Pope Benedict presided at the dedication of the Cathedral of the Holy Family in Barcelona. Topped by towering spires a century in the making, this church was the creation by the architect Antoni Gaudi, who believed, "A church [is] the only thing worthy of representing the soul of a people, for religion is the most elevated reality in man". Not surprisingly, Gaudi is said to have been a very generous man, who lived in extreme austerity, but founded from his own savings a parish school for the poorest families whom he felt must always find welcome in the Church. This spirit comes through in the Cathedral he left for the church.

The Secret Garden

One of the strange things about living in the world is that it is only now and then one is quite sure one is going to live forever and ever and ever. One knows it sometimes when one gets up at the tender solemn dawn-time and goes out and stands alone and throws one's head far back and looks up and up and watches the pale sky slowly changing and flushing and marvelous unknown things happening until the East almost makes one cry out and one's heart stands still at the strange unchanging majesty of the rising of the sun—which has been happening every morning for thousands and thousands and thousands of years. One knows it then for a moment or so. And one knows it sometimes when one stands by oneself in a wood at sunset and the mysterious deep gold stillness slanting through and under the branches seems to be saying slowly again and again something one cannot quite hear, however much one tries. Then sometimes the immense quiet of the dark blue at night with millions of stars waiting and watching makes one sure; and sometimes a sound of far-off music makes it true; and sometimes a look in some one's eyes.
--Frances Hodgson Burnett, The Secret Garden

This beautiful line is one of many in this fascinating book.  Here is Karen Savage giving an amazing rendition at  The idea of The Secret Garden always fascinated me.  This little video gets it--the song from the 1993 film version and a few of the best scenes.