For everything there is a season, and time for every matter under heaven.
—Ecclesiastes 3:1, from the Readings for Friday of the 25th Week of the Year
|St Francis is espoused to Lady Poverty|
|"The Calling of St. Mathew" Caravaggio|
|Edward Burne-Jones, "Tree of Life"|
Darling you gotta let me know Should I stay or should I go? If you say that you are mine I'll be here til the end of time So you got to let know Should I stay or should I go?—The Clash, "Should I Stay or Should I Go?"
"Then the eyes of the blind be opened, the ears of the deaf be cleared; then will the lame leap like a stag, then the tongue of the mute will sing. Streams will burst forth in the desert, and rivers in the steppe. The burning sands will become pools, and the thirsty ground, springs of water."At first reading, this concerns the renewal of Israel after the Babylonian exile, but at other levels, it speaks to the Cross, the Resurrection, and the Promise of Salvation. Levels we can see when we learn to read with spiritual eyes using the four senses of Scripture.
"Perhaps we should see everything in perspective." [said Max.]And in many ways, the art student is right. To the Church Fathers and mediaeval theologians, the Cross was the axis mundi, not only of space, but time. The life, passion, death and resurrection of Jesus of Nazareth were not events long past in a backwater province of Rome; they were fully present in the sacraments, with greatest perfection in the Eucharist, and in a special, personal way at Baptism:
This time she seemed to understand him even better than he had intended. She turned onto her stomach and said didactically:
"Eternity and perspective are incompatible. Shall I tell you something, Dutch Max? Perspective was discovered int he fifteenth century. Up till then God had always fitted very naturally into the space of the painting, a Madonna and child for example, but that space itself was unnatural. He simply sat on a throne in the blue sky, above the Madonna, with some circles and stars around him; or on the left you had St. Dionysius wearing an elegant mitre in a dungeon and on the right later after his head had been chopped off, and in the center Christ, naked on the cross hundreds of years earlier, surrounded by the twelve apostles in bishop's robes: all of that quite naturally in one impossible space at one impossible moment. But with the discovery of central perspective, natural space and natural time were defined. Someone on a chair in the sky would fall down, and things that followed each other could not happen simultaneously. So that was the beginning of the end of eternity."
The prophet Gad said to David, "Do not stay in the stronghold; depart, and go into the land of Judah." So David departed and went into the forest of Hereth.Sunday after Vespers, I changed out of my white novice's robes and into street clothes removing that which identified me as monk. Until that point, I had been a monk for nine months. The pilgrimage must start, so I don't take time to dwell, that will come later. I throw my habit into the community laundry bin and peeled the labels marked "Ædan" from the last places I could reach without being obvious. I grabbed my duffle bag and was out the door and on the road in about fifteen minutes. No one chased me or tried to stop me, whether anyone saw me or not or realized what I was up to, I do not know. Fr Stephen did act a little reserved after Vespers when I told him I liked how much smoke the incense put out at benediction, so maybe. There was also no puff of sulfurous smoke, nor beams of heavenly light and chorusing angels. The decision to leave would be unremarked upon by nothing but my own pondering.
--1 Samuel 22:5
I was glad when they said to me,So let us go to the City of Ashes. So close is she in mind that it feels as though I'm standing within her gates already, though I know she is far off in mountains unseen. I lift up my eyes to those mountains, for from there shall come my peace. At least that is my prayer. This morning when I left the church after Mass, the clouds piled on the horizon took the tantalizing shape of the Blue Ridge Mountains. What song the Syrens sang is not at all beyond conjecture to me, it is the song of home, and the mountains have been singing to me their syren song from far across the Mississippi. It is to her that I go up, I make my pilgrimage. I have gone There; now I go Back again.
"Let us go to the house of the LORD."
Our feet are standing
Within your gates, O Jerusalem,
Jerusalem, that is built
As a city that is compact together;
To which the tribes go up, even the tribes of the LORD-
An ordinance for Israel-
To give thanks to the name of the LORD.
For there thrones were set for judgment,
The thrones of the house of David.
Pray for the peace of Jerusalem:
"May they prosper who love you.
"May peace be within your walls,
And prosperity within your palaces."
For the sake of my brothers and my friends,
I will now say, "May peace be within you."
For the sake of the house of the LORD our God,
I will seek your good.
Therefore, son of man, prepare for yourself baggage for exile and go into exile by day in their sight; even go into exile from your place to another place in their sight. Perhaps they will understand though they are a rebellious house.Bring your baggage out by day in their sight, as baggage for exile. Then you will go out at evening in their sight, as those going into exile. Dig a hole through the wall in their sight and go out through it. Load the baggage on your shoulder in their sight and carry it out in the dark. -- Ezekiel 12:3-6
And He said to them, “Take nothing for your journey, neither a staff, nor a bag, nor bread, nor money; and do not even have two tunics apiece. --Lk 9:3