Saturday, December 30, 2006
A not-to-be-missed movie. Husband rated it great. It's a love story, so you can guess what rating I give it. Go see it!
CHARLES MERCEICA CLAIMS CAPITALISM OPPOSES CHRISTIANITY
and I can't really disagree with him as he explains his theories in this essay.
However, I also can't help but note that he has used the benefits of capitalism which have enabled him to fly all over the world since 1967 (the year he began the organization that is now the International Association of Educators for World Peace) to create the mega-association of which he is the president.
Without capitalism, he would still be on the farm using horses to do the plowing. Without capitalism there would be no Ford Motor Company to begin the use of automobiles as transportation that gets him from his home to the airport to his hotel. Without capitalism the computer on which Mercieca spreads his message would not exist, nor would the telephone he uses to keep in touch with his constituency around the world. It is capitalism that has made his existence as he structurs it possible. So does he really oppose capitalism? His words sound good. His actions deny them. Perhaps he only opposes capitalism as it applies to us and not as it applies to him.
Can someone use what he condemns and remain credible?
NEWLY ORDAINED MARRIED MAN
Fr. Dwight Longenecker was ordained in Greenville, South Carolina on December 14. His sons participated in the ordination ceremony. Fr. Longenecker converted from the Anglican faith and priesthood to Roman Catholicism, and now to Roman Catholic priesthood.
He has written a very balanced reflection on the married priesthood which appeared in the National Catholic Register's December issue and is now online. One of the things that stands out most clearly in the article is his humility.
It's such an interesting change to find humility in a priest. I don't see it very often, but when I do, it's an immediate draw. It is one of Fr. Altier's greatest attractions. It is also one of the greatest attractions of an African priest whose Masses I've attended in recent weeks. It draws me in like the Magi to a new star. Humility speaks of mystery.
Perhaps it is so powerful because it hints that there is something greater to which the priest is also drawn. He is seeking as I am, and doesn't have all the answers. Which means, I suppose, that he and I can look together for what is to be found. On further reflection, that must be why it is so much better to have the priest and the people face the same direction during Mass. That orientation joins all of us together and places God as our sought after mysterious and transcendent Other.
Friday, December 29, 2006
RIPSTEIN'S HUEMANISM MOVEMENT
She spells the name of the movement two ways--"Huemanism" and "HuManIsm."
Using typical buzzwords of the New Age Movement, Ripstein describes Huemanism as:
"A unique proposal for all human beings to manifest world peace and to inspire us as we raise our consciousness."
She invites us to "Discover the secret so guarded by Masters as Leonardo Da Vinci". Has Dan Brown already discovered it, one wonders?
According to Ripstein we are all empowered to "create the world we want to create".
Huemanism intends to "unite humanity" through collective "creative forces".
The Huemanism Movement was launched by Ripstein on September 21, 2005. It is an off-shoot of Ripstein's God's Light endeavors.
The God's Light store is interesting. Under "Supplements for the Spirit" you can purchase alternative medicine supplements to tune in to the universe's energy and focus on body creating energy. You can take a supplement--Etherium Gold--to improve brain balance and learning ability. You can order Aulterra, a DNA Activator.
I believe they used to call substances like these "snake oil."
In the store, the Essences & Perfumes: Passion, Pleasure & Attraction webpage provides "A unique blend of exotic essences made up to help your sensuality...attract the one you love...raise vibrations...and consciousness. Create Prosperity in your life...be connected to the universe's abundance...it is your right to receive it."
God's Light is getting darker by the moment. Call the neighborhood pimp!
Think this stuff is fringe capitalism? Ripstein is a World Peace Envoy--a United Nations Representative International Association of Educators for World Peace, and Chair of the Sacred Transcendental Arts Subcommittees of the NGO Committee on Spirituality, Values and Global Concerns ECOSOC NGO in Consultative Status with the United Nations. You can read it and see the logo here.
You can see the same logo on Charles Mercieca's website, because he is the founder of the International Association of Educators for World Peace.
Something interesting turns up when you go to this Ripstein website, click the "Enter" button, then print page 2 of the webpage that comes up next. The fine print at the bottom of the website doesn't show up on the screen, but when you print page 2, this appears beneath the copyright notice:
Healing Art,Mary Magdalene,Dan Brown,Jesus, Peace,Love, children, creativity, God, frequencies, consciousness,seminars,Godslight,Huemanism, music,art for investment,inspiration,Our Lady,spiritual,visionary art,prophetic art,Leonard da Vinci, see the invisible,divine messages,art and healing, huemanism,what the bleep,ilonka harezi,valerie hunt,jj hurtak, virgin Mary,Leonardo da Vinci,Invisible Art, Invisible technique, blue ray,Saint Germain,Michaelangelo,biblical,oneness,body,mind and spirit, healing,soul,color that heals,images that heal,fears,pain,messages,secret codes,hidden messages,Our Lady of the Universe,Father Jozo Zovko,faith,Love,consciousness,fine art,museums,collectors fine art,prophetic art, divine art,inspiration. Jesus,Moises,Budha,sacred heart,united nations,,harmony.chakras,rainbow,quantum.Salud, Arte, maria magdalena, paz, amor, hijos, ninos, creatividad, dios, conciencia, seminarios, luz de dios, divina, divino, musica, inversion, inspiracion, nuestra senors, senora, segrado, velas, naciones unidas, buda, alma, technica invisible, luz negra, museo.
Incidentally, Father Jozo Zovko is the priest--a disobedient Franciscan--who has taken charge of the Medjugorje visionaries. He has worked with Ripstein. You can read it here:
- 1995 Ms. Ripstein was commissioned "Our Lady of the Universe: God's Gift to the World" and "Thy Will is Done". The Nov. 1997 U.S. tour in 15 cities for the presentation of the painting in the United States was done with Father Jozo Zovko of Medjugorje, Croatia. Proceeds from the painting of "Our Lady" were donated to the renewal center for the children and widows of Bosnia and other war areas.
Scroll down a little more and discover that Marla and Donald Trump and Wayne Dyer have been part of her audiences.
Before you leave the Fast Facts webpage, notice that the item under "- 2005" indicates that the painting of two naked lovers kissing has been associated with the United Nations 60th Anniversary. In the blacklight the man is an angel. Also notice that at "- September 11/2001" posters of Our Lady of the Universe were hung in New York's disaster areas. And notice that Ripstein has once again done an image makeover. From nice Jewish lady to purveyor of evil, to angelic femme fatale. Maybe she has been sampling her Pleasure & Attraction Essenses.
(In checking the links prior to publishing this post, I was unable to get back to some of the Ripstein websites. If you also have problems with it, leave a note in the comments box.)
Go to the main God's Light website and highlight the page. Highlighting will bring into view the paragraph I've reproduced above that includes Mary Magdalene, Dan Brown, Jozo Zovko, etc.
CHARLES MERCIECA AND JACQUELINE RIPSTEIN
Professor Charles Mercieca was co-chair of the third World Peace Congress which included "a particular dedication to the indelible memory of H.H. Pope John Paul II" in the Opening Ceremony.
Jacqueline Ripstein is listed on the program as a Keynote & Special Guest Speaker, as is Merceica. She also presented a workshop or exhibit.
An anonymous poster in a comments box below indicated that Merceica is on Ripstein's advisory board. Nevertheless, Mercieca is an interesting person. I reported extensively on him in October, 2005. Here are the links:
Oct. 24, 2005
Fr. Rossner's Order of the Transfiguration
Oct. 25, 2005
Additional Updates to the Blog "Fr. Rossner's Order of the Transfiguration" Immediately Below This One
Oct. 25, 2005
Another Update on the Order of the Transfiguration, Charles Mercieca, and Archbishop John
Oct. 28, 2005
The Orthodox Church of the Mother of God Transfigured
Oct. 28, 2005
The New Theocracy of Mary
Oct. 31, 2005
More On Archbishop John
Thursday, December 28, 2006
These black images of the Blessed Virgin are being used by esoteric Freemasons and progressive Christians to suggest that Mary Magdalene was the hidden bride of Jesus Christ. Since there is no single explanation for the blackness, into this vacuum flow unique interpretations. A few that are currently being proposed can be found in the writings of China Galland, Margaret Starbird, and Ean Begg.
China Galland - LONGING FOR DARKNESS: TARA AND THE BLACK MADONNA
Galland recounts a pilgrimage to rediscover her lost faith that begins with the goddess Kali and ends up on a pilgrimage in Poland. She writes:
I had turned away from my own spiritual and cultural tradition, assigning it little value. Now I no longer believe that to be true.
Scattered throughout the European continent there are hundreds of dark or black Madonnas: in Spain, France, Italy, Austria, Switzerland, as well as other countries. But the Madonna of Einsiedeln intrigued me for two reasons: first, the sense that she is related, however remotely, to the peaceful Kali that I had seen in Varanasi; and secondly, the fact that she is painted coal black. This is not a Madonna that blackened because of smoke or was carved out of a wood that darkened over the centuries. She strikes me as one of the clearest examples of an unequivocally black deity venerated by a white population, and this fascinated me. Clearly this is not a matter of ethnicity; Switzerland is unremittingly caucasian. (pp. 134-135)
Margaret Starbird - THE WOMAN WITH THE ALABASTER JAR
This entire book is an attempt to substantiate a claim that Mary Magdalene was the wife of Jesus Christ. She refers to the bride who is black and beautiful in the Song of Songs, associating her with the Black Madonnas, and seeing there the hidden (and thus black) wife of Jesus.
The motif of the "blackness" of the lost princess mentioned in earlier chapters--and her identity as the dark Sister-Bride and the Daughter of Sion--is too important to pass over without pausing. It is reflected in the shrines of the Black Madonnas in Europe, some of which contain statues of great antiquity. Our Lady of Rocamadour, a statue near Toulouse in the heart of the Albigensian region, is believed to have been visited by Charlemagne in the ninth century...
A second popular statue of the Black Madonna is located at Chartres. Recalling our discussion of Boaz, the broken left pillar of the Temple of Solomon in Jerusalem, it seems more than coincidental this other Black Madonna at Chartres is called Our Lady of the Pillar. Of course, the obvious reason is that she stands upon a pillar. But someone must have chosen this particular pose for her. Can it be another cryptic reference to the other Mary, the widow of Jesus?
One of the most famous of the Black Madonnas is the icon of Our Lady of Czestochowa, the patroness of Poland to whom Pope John Paul II has a special devotion. ...Legend says that this icon of Our Lady was brought to Poland from Byzantium in the tenth century. Curiously, the right cheek of this Madonna bears an ugly gash. She is not only dark; she is wounded.
Two pertinent Scripture passages help to explain the wounded cheek of the Black Madonna. One is from the fourth chapter of Micah, only a few verses after the reference to the Magdal-eder, the "stronghold of the daughter of Sion," through whom dominion (of the House of David) will one day be restored (Mic. 4:8-10). It says, "With a rod they strike on the cheek the ruler of Israel" (Mic. 4:14b). This scripture is often applied to Jesus, who was avowedly tortured by Roman soldiers--struck and scourged and crowned with thorns. The suffering servant of Isaiah 53, understood by Christians to be the prototype of Jesus, and the Black Madonna of Czestochowa are a matching pair. (pp. 148-149)
Starbird does not cite the smoke argument for blackness, but you can see the need to explain this blackness in order to refute her argument that Mary Magdalene was the wife of Jesus. Incidentally, this book is pubblished by Bear & Company (ala Matthew Fox).
Ean Begg - THE CULT OF THE BLACK VIRGIN
From the introduction:
Theologians evince, if anything, even less enthusiasm for the subject than art historians. The still popular cult of wonder-working images is not only reactionary and non-scriptural, it also evokes memories of awkward subjects best left in obscurity like the pre-Christian origins of much in Christianity, the history of the Templars, Catharism and other heresies, and secrets concerning the Merovingian dynasty. So, blackness in statues of the Virgin tends to be ignored and, where admitted, is attributed to the effects of candle smoke, burial, immersion, or fashion's passing whim. The contention, then, of the Catholic Church is that most such statues were not originally intended to be black, and only became so by accident later. The fact remains that they are black and to discuss the phenomenon in visual terms only is to disguise their deepest significance. ...
From whatever viewpoint one examines the subject, however, and whatever the causes of the phenomenon may be, it is indisputable that some of the most famous statues of the Madonna in Western Europe have faces and hands that are black, by intention, and are known to have been so for many centuries. (pp.2-3)
Spokesmen for the Church, when asked to explain the origin of Black Virgins, tend to invoke candle smoke or general exposure to the elements. After a time, they would say, as at Einsiedeln, the faithful become accustomed to a sooty image, and the clergy pander to their prejudice by the use of paint where necessary. Apart from the considerable contrary evidence of clerical antipathy to Black Virgins and disregard for parishioners' wishes, this rationalistic hypothesis raises two important questions. If the presumed polychrome faces and hands of the Virgin and Child have been blackened by the elements, why has their polychrome clothing not been similarly discoloured? Secondly, why has a similar process not occurred in the case of other venerated images?
There are, indeed, a few figures in addition to Mary and a handful of black Christs...who are occasionally represented as black. ...Apart from Mary, however, black images are too rare to arouse much comment or controversy. (pp. 6-7)
Begg is considered an expert on Black Madonnas, and is cited by the Dayton Marian Center:
Based on historical correlations, Ean Begg speculates that the genre developed from an esoteric popular religion common among the Templars and Cathars, perhaps as a complement to the impetus from Bernard.
Begg is also the author of IN SEARCH OF THE HOLY GRAIL AND THE PRECIOUS BLOOD, with a Foreword by Michael Baigent, author of HOLY BLOOD, HOLY GRAIL, from whom Dan Brown took the plot of TDVC. This book, too, mentions the Black Virgins, one of which is said to reside in the crypt of Rosslyn Chapel. They are mixed into a stew of alchemy, Rosicrucianism, Baphomet, Hermes, Holy Grail, and Lucifer. (pp. 19-25) In fact Rosicrucian Freemasonry is woven throughout this book, as is to be expected in a book with a Foreword by Masonic author Baigent.
Wednesday, December 27, 2006
PRAYER IN A MOSQUE/CATHEDRAL
Recently Benedict in Turkey prayed in a mosque, and debate followed over who exactly he prayed to.
Now comes the Jerusalem Post AP report which indicates that Spanish Muslims have requested permission to pray in the Cordoba Cathedral, once a mosque until it was converted to a church in the 13th century. The request has been denied because Church officials believe the Muslims "want the mosque to turn into an ecumenical temple, where Christians, Muslims and believers from other faiths might all be worshipping the same God."
But how does this decision jibe with Benedict's prayer in the Blue Mosque?
The International Harald Tribune reports that Muslims are noting the same precedent:
"We (Spanish Muslims) would like to share it with you (the Catholic community) a prayer, that could serve to awake the conscience of Christians and Muslims and prove that it is possible to bury past confrontations," the letter added. It also highlighted the fact that Pope Benedict had prayed in Istanbul's famed Blue Mosque, facing Mecca, in his recent visit to Turkey.
It is hardly an unreasonable position to take given Benedict's prayer.
JACQUELINE RIPSTEIN'S NEW BOOK
For some reason I have received in email an announcement of Jacqueline Ripstein's new book, HERMES FROM THE INVISIBLE WORLD...THE SECRET. Odd they sent this to me, since I haven't exactly been a supporter of Ripstein's artistic work. According to the email her new book is "a multi-dimensional adventure" which will manifest the Invisible World. You will "discover the secret codes" that "will reveal your hidden powers."
Ripstein, is a Mexican artist and creator of her own technique, imbedding images in her canvasses that are only revealed under blacklight, which she implies is God's light. She is founder of the HueManism Movement, and she is also a peace activist working with Neo-Cathar James Twyman, former Catholic and Findhorn Press author, a man with his image closely associated with Medjugorje, a man who claims to have seen Our Lady of the Universe on apparitions hill, as you can read at the Earth Rainbow Network website.
Ripstein quotes John Paul II at her HueManism movement website.
An overview of Ripstein's artistic work can most quickly be gotten by entering her name in Google Image Search. There you will see the Masonic mosaic floor, the Masonic double pillars, and the Rosicrucian roses, angels, and heart doctrine all represented pictorially. You will see her representation of Our Lady of the Universe, commissioned in Bosnia by a Catholic organization established to help refugee children. The overlaps with Roman Catholicism are undeniable, but this is not Catholicism as any Roman Catholic knows it.
As the Twyman paper at the Rainbow Network website demonstrates, Twyman and Ripstein concentrate on creating "the world of our dreams." They believe that "we are One, walking together toward One God", and that we should "focus on the ways we are the same rather than the ways we are different...but only if we are willing to lay aside the separating beliefs that have kept us in darkness." You will learn that Twyman has written a song to accompany Ripstein's painting. Syncretistic Monism is their creed.
Twyman speaks of "a bridge that connects this world with your true home." Given that we are looking at this on the Rainbow Network website, would that bridge be the Rainbow Bridge to Antakharana channeled by Alice Bailey? Ripstein's new website would seem to indicate that it could be. There you can see her rainbow background for her seminar on the 7 Hidden Codes. There you can read about the "Seven Chakras or Energy Centers Within", about "Leonardo Da Vinci...Mirror of Yourself", about "The Healing Power of Magic Mandalas", about "Vibrations" and about "The Golden Mean as a bridge between Heaven and Earth." There you can discover that Ripstein teaches connecting with celestial beings and "The Art of Channeling As You Make Art."
Has Ripstein's new book been channeled? All she says on her webpage describing the book is that she is a "visionary."
Ripstein has remade her image from nice Jewish lady to purveyor of evil. Take it as a warning.
Tuesday, December 26, 2006
For anyone interested, the techniques of an iconographer are explained here.
In the same website you can read the story of iconographer Tatiana Vartanova, a Russian who defected and then returned to Russia, finally defecting to Canada. She has restored the icons at the Moscow Patriarchal Ephiphany Cathedral, said to be the "holiest shrine of the Russian Orthodox religion"--the "East bloc's version of the Vatican".
I received the Christmas present I really wanted--an icon. The catalog from which it was purchased described it this way:
OL of Czestochowa. Imported from Poland. Delicately hand-painted & assembled. Numbered and dated with a certificate of authenticity.
It was featured in the catalog under the heading "Icons".
Here is a picture of it.
It is very beautiful. The face and hands of the Blessed Virgin and the child Jesus are painted. Nothing else is, however. The icon is primarily silver and copper,and in the base relief style described this way in Webster's 1828 Dictionary:
BASS-RELIE'F, n. In English, base-relief. [See Lift and Relief.]
Sculpture, whose figures do not stand out far from the ground or plane on which they are formed. When figures do not protuberate so as to exhibit the entire body, they are said to be done in relief; and when they are low, flat or little raised from the plane,
the work is said to be in low relief. When the figures are so raised as to be well distinguished, they are said to be bold, strong, or high, alto relievo. [See Relief.]
A tag attached indicates this is icon #130807 made in November 2005. The primary medium is silver and copper, which stands above the painted face and hands. A web address on the tag took me to the company that describes this artwork here.
I have never seen anything like it. It is not an icon as I know icons. It would certainly appear not to have been "written" with all of the prayer and prescribed technique that word implies. So now I'm wondering is this a style of art that really is an "icon" technique used in Europe? But more importantly on the practical side, I need to know this week whether the silver and copper in this icon will tarnish, and whether I can hang it in the kitchen with the inevitable cooking orders and grease that go with a kitchen? Most importantly how would I go about cleaning it?
Does anyone know anything about this technique? If it is to be returned, we must do it this week.
BUT HE WASN'T...AHHH...CATHOLIC, FATHER !
What should a good old Catholic girl from Ohio make of a Christmas Eve homily in which the Congressman who took his oath on the Koran was mentioned? There's ecumenism, and then there's Christmas Eve Mass. Somehow I had expected a baby in a manger to figure prominently in the comments. Silly me.
Sunday, December 24, 2006
And thou shalt say in that day: I will give thanks to thee, O Lord, for thou wast angry with me: thy wrath is turned away, and thou hast comforted me.
Behold, God is my Saviour, I will deal confidently, and will not fear: because the Lord is my strength, and my praise, and he is become my salvation.
You shall draw waters with joy out of the Saviour's fountains:
And you shall say in that day: Praise ye the Lord, and call upon his name: make his works known among the people: remember that his name is high.
Sing ye to the Lord, for he hath done great things: shew this forth in all the earth.
Rejoice, and praise, O thou habitation of Sion: for great is he that is in the midst of thee, the holy one of Israel. (Isaias 12)
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ Merry Christmas! ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
THE "O" ANTIPHONS
December 17 - "O Sapientia" ("O Wisdom"): "The spirit of the Lord shall rest upon him, a spirit of wisdom and understanding, a spirit of counsel and of strength, a spirit of knowledge and of fear of the Lord." (Isaiah 11:2-3)
December 18 - "O Adonai" ("O Lord and Ruler"): "I, the Lord, am your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, that place of slavery." (Ex 20:2)
December 19 - "O Radix Iesse" ("O Root of Jesse"): "But a shoot shall sprout from the stump of Jesse, and from his roots a bud shall blossom." (Is 11:1)
December 20 - "O Clavis David" ("O Key of David"): "I will place the Key of the House of David on his shoulder; when he opens, no one will shut, when he shuts, no one will open." (Is 22:22)
December 21 - "O Oriens" ("O Dayspring"): "All this is the work of the kindness of our God; he, the Dayspring, shall visit us in his mercy to shine on those who sit in darkness and the shadow of death." (Lk 1:78)
December 22 - "O Rex Gentium" ("O King of the Nations"): "He shall judge between the nations, and impose terms on many peoples." (Is 2:4)
December 23 - "O Emmanuel" ("O Emmanuel"): "The Lord himself will give you this sign: the virgin shall be with child, and bear a son, and shall give him the name Immanuel." (Is 7:14).