Saturday, January 28, 2012

Bernini and ecstasy...

Shut up Simon Schama.

I mean that in the nicest way possible, BTW.  Ever since Freud, it appears that art historians (and sensualists) have been attributing an underlying eroticism to the works of Bernini - most famously the Transverberation of St. Teresa of Avila, the sculpture 'floating' above the altar in the Cornaro Chapel situated within the Discalced Carmelite church of Santa Maria Vittoria, Rome.  Other scholars have suggested - and taught - similar theories, going so far as to claim St. Teresa of Jesus is literally depicted as experiencing an orgasm.  Error.  I'm afraid these notions readily take hold in the collective imagination of our highly sexualized culture where even Bl. John Paul's Theology of the Body is misinterpreted for popular consumption and profit.  How unfortunate.

Giovanni Lorenzo Bernini was perhaps something of a mystic himself.  It was the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius which formed and informed his spirituality, subsequently helping him grasp the works of the great mystics such as Teresa of Avila.  He was therefore able to translate and depict spiritual ecstasy in stone.  Just as successfully he demonstrated the holy death of Blessed Ludovica, as well as the martyrdom of St. Sebastian - neither of which can be confused as erotic experiences, yet both clearly depict the physical characteristics of mystical rapture.

Spiritual ecstasy is above and beyond physical orgasm - although as John of the Cross notes in his discussion of spiritual lust in beginners, impure movements can be experienced in the sensory part of the soul - but that is definitely not what St. Teresa experienced in the Transverberation.  (It is not my intention to discuss the doctrine of John of the Cross here, I simply want to acknowledge that our lower nature, our senses can  be affected by spiritual experience.  If the reader is interested, they can read what the Saint has to say in this regard in The Dark Night, Bk I, Chapter 4.) 

I'm convinced that to promote theories on Roman Catholic mystical experience, including referencing mysteries of the faith such as the Consumatum est of Christ Crucified, (not to mention the significance of the Paschal candle at Easter) in sexual terms is inappropriate and misguided - no matter how well intentioned the source.

"They neither marry or are given in marriage."  That is how Christ told us it will be in heaven.  The mystics - those who arrive at transforming union, experience the closest thing possible to the Beatific Vision on this earth: Mystical marriage can neither be imagined, much less comprehended, by the carnal mind.  "But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned."  - 1 Corinthians 2:14

Art: The Death of Bl. Ludovica Albertoni, Bernini, Altieri Chapel
St. Sebastian, Bernini

Friday, January 27, 2012

I'm back: A post about nothing.

It's amazing.

What is?

Internet addiction.

By the time I got my new laptop - today - I was just beginning to get used to being offline.  In fact - I actually found stuff to do - like reading - lots of it.  This evening I have been busy setting up programs and stuff - I don't like doing it - it's like work.  I also answered a couple of emails - others I had to let go for now.  Too many emails and not enough time - or something like that.

The posts I had been working on no longer seem important. 

I began a couple of paintings during the break.  That's better.

I didn't miss anything, did I.  That is not a question. 

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

BREAKING: Important information....

At first I thought I was being abducted.  There I was, all busy preparing to write a really interesting blog post on Catholic Orgasmic Mysticism - then my computer froze and I suddenly lost Internet connection.  I tried to reboot and did all of the stuff a tech savy guy could do, but then the computer just crashed - it went black.  It soon dawned on me that the sun spot activity most likely affected my access and blew up my lap top.  Although, just the night before I had two dreams in succession dealing with putting a cork back in a wine bottle - the cork wouldn't fit so I had to 'cut it off'.  I know!  The same thought occurred to me:  'Put a cork in it!' and 'cut it off!' - Someone does not want me to post on orgasmic mystical experience.  Just yet.

I'm on the lamb now, however.  I'm hiding out at a Kinko's at an undisclosed location, which means I don't know where I am, and that also explains why I think I may have been abducted.  I may not be making any sense, because I'm going through net withdrawal at the same time.  I'm serious.  I don't know what to do with myself.  I keep wondering what is going on in the blogosphere and I can't find out.  What if access was denied to everyone?  How would we let other people who don't know how smart we are, know our opinions on stuff?  How would we get our doctrines and dogmas out there?  Seeing how I was totally cut off from discussing orgasmic mystical experience, you know what I'm talking about.  The world is not a beetr place.  If you doubt me, then consider it this way:  What if I accepted - nay - lived on donations from devout fools - and the net was down?  I was cut off - no Paypal no nothing?  I would starve.

Yes dear readers, I'm shaken and somewhat stirred, but I'm okay!  I should be back online soon - I actually know when that will happen, but I don't want to tell you so you will check back multiple times and drive my stats through the roof.

We love you family!

Bob and Penny Lord

Monday, January 23, 2012

Facebook makes people sad...

Actually, I found it really annoying.

Which is why I dropped it.  I got tired of all the friend requests and the writing on the wall crap.  As it is, I have a hard time replying to comments on my blog - in addition to monitoring them, as well as answering emails promptly.  I spend far too much time online as it is, and for what?  Trivial pursuit.  Today I spent about 15 minutes apologizing to people because I forgot to add emoticons or "LOL's" to my jokey emails, until I decided I was wasting my time.  There comes a point when one simply can't take the blame because someone I hardly know got their feelings hurt.  Oops!  I did it again.  Was it something I said Ms. Spears?

So anyway - Facebook makes people sad.  Too bad.  The so-called study claims it is due - in part - to the fact people feel bad that their lives aren't as happy and fun as those Facebook BFF's who post happy photos and good times:
Facebook photos generally depict smiling, cheerful people having good times, conveying a sense of happiness. Of course everyone likes to smile for the camera, so that good cheer may be inflated or false. As others view the photos, they may believe this conveyed sense of intense happiness is real, making them think that their friends are much happier than they are.
These same people were probably raised in front of a TV set and bombarded with television shows full of deliriously happy people, not to mention all of those ads full of people peeing their pants over some product that is supposed to make them happy and fulfilled if they buy it/use it.  We are numskulls, aren't we.

Yep.  But do you know what is really going on here?  At least what I think is going on in most cases?  I'm thinking it is related to the Commandment, "You shall love your neighbor as yourself" as well as the Tenth Commandment which narrows it down - You shall not covet . . .
2540 Envy represents a form of sadness and therefore a refusal of charity; the baptized person should struggle against it by exercising good will. Envy often comes from pride; the baptized person should train himself to live in humility:

Would you like to see God glorified by you? Then rejoice in your brother's progress and you will immediately give glory to God. Because his servant could conquer envy by rejoicing in the merits of others, God will be praised.329 - CCC

DISCLAIMER:  I may be wrong of course.  I'm often wrong.  I make mistakes in judgment.  I'm an envious, jealous person, and you all make me really sad.  Kidding!  LOL! ;)  That's not true.  What?  Well I did mean it when I said I might be wrong - but the rest is just a joke.

Art:  The deliriously happy housewife.

The 39 Steps... Marking the March for Life...

This year, legalized abortion is 39 years long...

.- An 80 percent abortion rate of those with disabilities shows the need to restore a fundamental respect for human dignity in America, said Archbishop Charles J. Chaput of Philadelphia.

He underscored that the plight of disabled babies highlights “a struggle within the American soul” that will shape the future of the nation.

“These children with disabilities are not a burden; they’re a priceless gift to all of us,” the archbishop said. “They’re a doorway to the real meaning of our humanity.”

“Abortion kills a child, it wounds a precious part of a woman’s own dignity and identity, and it steals hope,” the archbishop said. “That’s why it’s wrong. That’s why it needs to end. That’s why we march.” - Finish reading CNA

Art:  Our Most Holy Mother of Light.  Read more here.
Most Holy Mother of Light, change the hearts of sinners and crush the evil of abortion.  Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us now and at the hour of our death.  Amen

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Lead us not into temptation.

Why are we tempted?

One answer, as Pope Benedict points out in his first volume of Jesus of Nazareth: "In order to mature, in order to make real progress on the path leading from a superficial piety into profound oneness with God's will, man needs to be tried.  Just as the juice of the grape needs to ferment in order to produce a fine wine, so too man needs purifications and transformations; they are dangerous for him, because they present an opportunity for him to fall, and yet they are indispensable as paths on which he comes to himself and to God."

Blessed Laura Vicuna

Patroness of the abused.

Laura died due to complications of illness and physical abuse at the hands of her mother's lover, Manuel Mora.  He beat her unconscious as she tried to run from him.  Laura died a few days later at the age of thirteen.  Numerous times before her death, Laura heroically resisted Mora's efforts to seduce her, fleeing the house whenever the situation worsened.  She offered her life in sacrifice for her mother's conversion.  After her death, Laura's mother found out about her offering and left Mora.  Laura's feast day is January 22.

I ask Laura's intercession for myself.  Just like her, I too had prayed to be spared from a life of sin, her prayer was answered and God accepted her sacrifice.  It didn't work out as well for me.

Blessed Laura Vicuna pray for us.  Pray for those most abandoned and alone.  Pray especially for those children who are victims of sexual abuse, violence, and neglect.  Pray for those survivors who continue to suffer and mourn.


Brief biography, Bl. Laura Vicuna