Saturday, January 17, 2009

From "Aurora Leigh"

“I sat on in my chamber green,
And lived my life, and thought my thoughts and prayed
My prayers without the vicar; read my books
Without considering whether they were fit
To do me good. Mark, there. We get no good
By being ungenerous even to a book,
And calculating profits – so much help
By so much reading. It is rather when
We gloriously forget ourselves, and plunge
Soul-forward, headlong, into a book’s profound,
Impassioned for its beauty and salt of truth –
‘Tis then we get the right good from a book.”
Elizabeth Barrette Browning.

I nearly went past this little excerpt from Aurora Leigh but then I re-read it and it brought these thoughts to mind –
I felt as though she were making a statement of her independence in the first lines – she lived her life, not the life another imposed on her; her prayers – not with Pastor or Priest applying theirs to her; her books, ones she chose, not the catechism, or the approved list of the church, but in freedom choosing for herself.
I liked her approach to whatever she read – an attitude of generosity, maybe a simple respect for the labor someone has put into their work; and I take her to mean she chooses a peaceful time carved out to soul-fully plunge in and greedily gather all the sweetness offered, seeking bits of truth and beauty, leaving the work of a critic to another. Surely the author would appreciate this respectful approach to their work, be it man or God.
Photo from the Internet


Joseph Pulikotil said...

Hi Fred :)

We have to read books to widen our knowledge whether with the approval of the Pastor or not. If we are going to read only the books approved by the Church then we are giving up our freedon to select according to our conscience. Besides, we will also miss some great ideas and thoughts. Whatever the pastor says or the church instructs may not be always correct.

This reminds me that the church imposed a ban on Wright brothers to fly because it is against the will of God and only birds had the right to fly. But Wright brothers went ahead with their discovery and see the benefits we enjoy because of that discovery.

Best wishes :)

FCB said...

Hi Joseph,
Great example for this post. Now I am not condoning a rebellious spirit, but God has given us His Spirit, his conscience, and a brain to reason with. Some churches are so conservative that they are uncomfortable watching any movie unless it has an altar call in it. I exaggerate of course, but not by much.
God bless,