Wednesday, June 20, 2012

The Black Monk - human interaction

"While they were walking round, the sun rose and shed its brilliant rays over the garden. It became warm. Foreseeing a bright, joyous, and long day, Korvin remembered it was only the beginning of May, and that the whole summer lay before them, also bright, joyous, and long, and suddenly a gladsome, youthful feeling was aroused in his breast, like he used to have when running about the garden in his childhood. He embraced the old man and kissed him tenderly. They were both much affected as they went into the house, where they drank tea with cream out of old china cups, and ate rich satisfying cracknels- these trifles again reminded Korvin of his childhood and youth. The beautiful present and the memories that were aroused in him of the past were blended together; his soul was full and rejoiced." - Chekhov, Anton. The Black Monk. 1894.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Fear and Trembling 2

"By virtue of resignation, that rich young man should have given away everything, but if he had done so, then the knight of faith would have said to him: By virtue of the absurd , you will get every penny back again- believe it! And the formerly rich man* should by no means treat these words lightly, for if he were to give away his possessions because he is bored with them, then his resignation would not amount to much." -Kierkegaard, Soren. Fear and Trembling. 1843.

*Luke 18:18-30 And a ruler asked him, “Good Teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?” 19 And Jesus said to him, “Why do you call me good? No one is good except God alone. 20 You know the commandments: ‘Do not commit adultery, Do not murder, Do not steal, Do not bear false witness, Honor your father and mother.’” 21 And he said, “All these I have kept from my youth.” 22 When Jesus heard this, he said to him, “One thing you still lack. Sell all that you have and distribute to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow me.” 23  But when he heard these things, he became very sad, for he was extremely rich. 24 Jesus, seeing that he had become sad, said, “How difficult it is for those who have wealth to enter the kingdom of God! 25 For it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich person to enter the kingdom of God.” 26 Those who heard it said, “Then who can be saved?” 27 But he said, “What is impossible with man is possible with God.” 28 And Peter said, “See, we have left our homes and followed you.” 29 And he said to them, “Truly, I say to you, there is no one who has left house or wife or brothers or parents or children, for the sake of the kingdom of God, 30 who will not receive many times more in this time, and in the age to come eternal life.”  (ESV)

Dear Lord, please give us pure hearts. Let us sacrifice to you in faith like Abraham did: because it is our pleasure to love you. Help us to understand your love in every blessing that we receive. Bring us closer to you. Amen.

The Figure of Prometheus 1

Friday, June 15, 2012

Fear and Trembling 1

"Faith was then (in Ancient Greece) a task for a whole lifetime, because it was assumed that proficiency in believing is not acquired either in days or in weeks. When the tried and tested oldster approached his end, had fought the good fight and kept the faith*, his heart was still young enough not to have forgotten the anxiety and trembling that disciplined the youth, that the adult learned to control, but that no man outgrows- except to the extent that he succeeds in going further as early as possible." - Kierkegaard, Soren. Fear and Trembling. 1843.

 * 2 Timothy 4:6-8 (6) For I am already being poured out as a drink offering, and the time of my departure has come. (7) I have fought the good fight, I have finished the course, I have kept the faith; (8) in the future there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day; and not only to me, but also to all who have loved His appearing. (American Standard Version)

Dear Lord, please grant us strength of faith so that we will continually move toward Your love. Let us remember You in times of happiness with thanks, and let us have understanding in times of difficulty with equal thanks. Amen.