Quote 29 Jul
How, then, do we deal with suffering? How do we resolve the contradiction between cruel world and loving God? The short answer is that we don’t. We don’t even try, mostly. Most Christian believers don’t spend their time and their emotional energy stuck at this point of contradiction. For most of us, worrying about it turns out to have been a phase in the early history of our belief. The question of suffering proves to be one of those questions which is replaced by other questions, rather than being answered. We move on from it, without abolishing the mystery, or seeing clear conceptual ground under our feet. Cataclysmic experiences can pitch us back into it of course, but mostly they don’t. Even in bad times we usually don’t go back there. We take the cruelties of the world as a given, as the known and familiar data of experience, and instead of anguishing about why the world is as it is, we look for comfort in coping with it as it is. We don’t ask for a creator who can explain Himself. We ask for a friend in time of grief, a true judge in time of perplexity, a wider hope than we can manage in time of despair. If your child is dying, there is no reason that can ease your sorrow. Even if, impossibly, some true and sufficient explanation could be given you, it wouldn’t help, any more than the inadequate and defective explanations help you, whether they are picture-book simple or inscrutably contorted. The only comfort that can do anything—and probably the most it can do is help you to endure, or if you cannot endure to fail and fold without wholly hating yourself—is the comfort of feeling yourself loved. Given the cruel world, it’s the love song we need, to help us bear what we must; and, if we can, to go on loving.
— Francis Spufford, Unapologetic: Why, Despite Everything, Christianity Can Still Make Surprising Emotional Sense, p. 104-105.
Quote 29 Jul
Why this is hell, nor am I out of it:
Think’st thou that I, that saw the face of God.
And tasted the eternal joys of heaven,
Am not tormented with ten thousand hells,
In being depriv’d of everlasting bliss?
— Mephistophilis, in Marlowe’s Doctor Faustus, Act 1, scene 3, 78-82.
Quote 28 Jul
So much he profits in divinity,
The fruitful plot of scholarism grac’d,
That shortly he was grac’d with Doctor’s name,
Excelling all and sweetly can dispute
In th’ heavenly matters of theology;
Till swoln with cunning, of a self-conceit,
His waxen wings did mount above his reach,
And, melting, heavens conspir’d his over-throw;
For, falling to a devilish exercise,
And glutted now with learning’s golden gifts,
He surfeits upon cursed necromancy;
Nothing so sweet as magic is to him,
Which he prefers before his chiefest bliss:
And this the man that in his study sits.
— Christopher Marlowe, The Tragical History of Doctor Faustus, Act 1, prologue, 15-28
Quote 14 Jul
yatnena likhitaṃ granthaṃ
yaś corayati mūḍha-dhīḥ
mātā ca śūkarī tasya
pitā tasya ca gardabhaḥ

The obtuse person who steals this book
which I have copied with great care
—his mother is a sow
and his father is an ass!
— Verse by a scribe, found at the end of a manuscript of Rūpa Kavirāja’s Sāra-saṅgraha. Cited on page 224 of Krishnagopal Goswami’s 1949 edition.
Quote 14 Jul
It was said of one of the elders that he persevered in a fast of seventy weeks, eating only once a week. The elder ask God to reveal to him the meaning of a certain Scripture text, and God would not reveal it to him. So he said to himself: Look at all the work I have done without getting anywhere! I will go to one of the brothers and ask him. When he had gone out and closed the door and was starting on his way an angel of the Lord was sent to him, saying: The seventy weeks you fasted did not bring you any closer to God, but now that you have humbled yourself and set out to ask your brother, I am sent to reveal the meaning of that text. And opening to him the meaning which he sought, he went away.
— Quoted in Thomas Merton, The Wisdom of the Desert (via ayjay)
Photo 24 Jun Federico Barocci, St Dominic receiving the Rosary (oil sketch, Ashmolean)

Federico Barocci, St Dominic receiving the Rosary (oil sketch, Ashmolean)

Photo 16 Jun Source
Photo 14 May ayjay:


Léonard Misonne, Trees, 1923

ayjay:

Léonard Misonne, Trees, 1923

Photo 13 May source
Photo 7 May The Temptation of Saint Anthony by Michelangelo.
Link 6 May Nairn Across Britain»

Join the unimitable architectural critic Ian Nairn on his journey across Britain (originally aired in 1972).

Part 2 & Part 3.

Photo 29 Apr
Quote 14 Apr
nityānanda-gadādhara-narahari-śrīvāsa-vakreśvarāḥ
śrī-dāmodara-śrī-svarūpa-haridāsādvaita-rāmādayaḥ
yeṣāṃ saṃsmaraṇād bhavec ca vimalā śrī-gauracandre ratir
gaurānanyā-gatīn jagaj-jana-gatīn tān gaura-dāsān numaḥ

Nityānanda, Gadādhara, Narahari, Śrīvāsa, and Vakreśvara, Dāmodara, Svarūpa, Haridāsa, Advaita, Rāma, and the others— may my love for Śrī Gauracandra become pure by remembering these. I bow down to these servants of Gaura. They have no refuge other than Gaura. They are the refuge of the people of the world.
— From the Kṛpā-kaṇikā commentary on the Ārya-śataka (which is attributed to Kavikarṇapūra)
Photo 8 Apr A rukh carrying off elephants is attacked by a phoenix.  (Source)

A rukh carrying off elephants is attacked by a phoenix. (Source)

Photo 28 Mar Caitanya Vaisnava Philosophy, edited by Ravi M. Gupta (and including a chapter I wrote) is released today. Get your copies here! 

Caitanya Vaisnava Philosophy, edited by Ravi M. Gupta (and including a chapter I wrote) is released today. Get your copies here


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