Thursday, November 27, 2014

  "The time will come soon enough when your child's confidence in you will diminish. The growth of his own reason and the development of his powers will lead him with a sudden impulse to examine every thing. If he finds, as he certainly will find, the results of his reasoning different in some respects from those you have given him, far from being now inclined to receive your assertions as proofs, he will rather feel disinclined to any opinion you profess, and struggle to free himself from the net you have woven about him.

  The calm repose of his mind is broken, the placid lake, is become clouded, and reflects distorted and broken images of things: but don't be alarmed at the new workings of his thoughts, -- it is the angel of reason which descends and troubles the waters. To strive to influence by your authority would be useless now as it was favorable before. Lie by in silence, and wait for the result. Do not expect the mind of your son to resemble yours, as your figure is reflected by the image in the glass; he was formed, like you, to use his own judgment, and he claims the high privilege of his nature. His reason is mature; his mind must now form itself. Happy must you esteem yourself, if amidst all lesser differences of opinion, and the wreck of many of your favorite ideas, he still preserves those radical and primary truths which are essential to his happiness, and which different trains of thought and opposite modes of investigation will very often equally lead to."  Anna Laetitia Barbauld.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

  "When thou hearest of Christ, do not think him God only, or man only, but both together. For I know Christ was hungry, and I know that with five loves he fed five thousand men, besides women and children. I know Christ was thirsty, and I know Christ turned water into wine. I know Christ was carried in a ship, and I know Christ walked on waters. I know Christ died, and I know Christ raised the dead. I know Christ was set before Pilate, and I know Christ sits with the Father.
 I know Christ was worshiped by angels, and I know Christ was stoned by the Jews. And truly, some of these I ascribe to the human, others to the divine nature; for by reason of this he is said to be both together." St. Chrysostom.

Dying with honor

"When Pelopidas, as the result of his valor in marching against the enemy of his city, was slain, when the battle was over and the victory won, those who fought beside Pelopidas would not take off their armor, nor unbridle their horses, or bind up their wounds until they had piled around his body the spoils of their enemy, and in token of the genuineness of their grief, cut off the manes of their horses and the hair of their own heads. Throughout the camp there prevailed a melancholy silence, as though they had been defeated instead of being victorious. This was indeed to die with honor." Author unknown

Here is a little detail about his last battle - In 367 BC Pelopidas went on an embassy to the Persian king and induced him to prescribe a settlement of Greece according to the wishes of the Thebans. In 364 BC he received another appeal from the Thessalian towns against Alexander of Pherae. Though an eclipse of the sun prevented his bringing with him more than a handful of troops, he overthrew the tyrant's far superior force on the ridge of Cynoscephalae. However, wishing to slay Alexander with his own hand, he rushed forward too eagerly and was cut down by the tyrant’s guards.

When I read stories like this, of valor, courage and zeal to protect, I'm inspired to be more, do more and when the grave calls, hopefully die with some degree of honor.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

   "Another species of ridicule to be avoided is that kind of sneer often thrown upon those whose hearts are giving way to honest emotion. There is an extreme delicacy in all the finer affections, which makes them shy of observation, and easily checked. Love, wonder, pity, the enthusiasm of poetry, shrink from the notice of even an indifferent eye, and never indulge themselves freely but in solitude, or when heightened by the powerful force of sympathy. Observe an ingenuous youth at a well-wrought tragedy. If all around him are moved, he allows his tears to flow freely; but if a single eye meets him with a glance of contemptuous indifference, he can no longer enjoy his sorrow; he blushes at having wept, and in a moment his heart is shut up to every impression of tenderness." Anna Laetitia Barbauld.

Saturday, November 15, 2014

  "How often do you fall in with one who feels himself above the superstition of real prayer; who is conscious of no personal relations beyond this world; to whom the whole expression and organism of religion is but a discipline for social duty, ---- a discipline necessary for the feeble, becoming for the good, but empty for the wise; who is rather its patron than its disciple, and maintains churches for the world as he keeps a nursery for his children, with as little idea of spending his own adult and earnest life there; and who looks on times and places of devotion, on the voice of contrition and aspiration, on the swelling hymn, on the impassioned words of psalmist and prophet, and the memorials of a Savior's sacrifice, as an overwrought provision for sustaining the daily moralities of life.

Serving God's will in the constant course of a faithful, manly, kindly career, is out of his element; he has no burden to lay down, no height to seize: always equal to himself, he wants no reminder, appropriates no confession, and receives every ideal demand upon him as flowing water receives falling sparks. And, so, he looks down on all special worship as a weakness to which he cannot descend; and, if ever social connection or hereditary ties commit him to the interests of a Christian church, he upholds it for others rather than himself instead of humbly offering in it the best that he has, and all that he is, to the real and living God." James Martineau.