Monday, November 25, 2013

Housekeeping

Let me take a moment from the cares of my day to update readers on a bit of housekeeping.  I have added a Google+ Updates widget in the sidebar.  There you will find brief excerpts from recent posts on my Google+ page, which you can also access by a couple of other links in the sidebar as well.  Like my use of Twitter (which has been available to you on the right for several months), I use Google+ to post links to interesting or edifying pages as well as some of my own thoughts.  Unlike Twitter I am not therein constrained to 140 characters, so I reserve Google+ for those comments that take a bit more space, and my hyperlinked recommendations there are likewise more sparse than their kin on Twitter.  Even if you do not have a Google+ account (or a Twitter account, for that matter), you can look at the page and follow the links and whatnot.

Since I have a much more narrow design for the essays in this journal—a design, mind you, that I have stretched a bit in this post or that—I am now devoting to Google+ all things outside that design, even any lengthier commentaries I may have that are nonetheless a bit less disciplined or in any case outside the scope of Lasseter's Lost Reef.  This morning, for instance, I left a comment of a somewhat personal nature, flowing a bit from a comment on a previous post here, and it was in fact a rather lengthy comment: a month ago I might have made that an essay here, but now there is a better place for such as that.  I also posted an adorable photograph of a kitten with a duck.  The photo has thus far garnered sixty-four Google Plus Ones.  No other work of mine has been "liked" or "favorited" so generously, and this in but a few hours.  I'm so very proud.

Today is the feast day of St. Catherine the Great Martyr of Alexandria.  St. Catherine was an educated woman and possessed of considerable intellectual rigor.  She argued for Christ against pagan philosophers to either their embarrassment or their conversion.  She died a witness to the faith a short number of years before Emperor Constantine won a decisive victory and made the Empire no longer violently intolerant to Christians (by the way, he did not, contrary to popular misunderstanding, make Christianity the religion of the state: that happened after Constantine).  You have perhaps heard of the ancient Monastery of St. Catherine in Sinai, home of some of the most ancient texts and icons of the Christian faith?  It is appropriately dedicated to her.

In what I took to be at least a bit of a coincidence this morning, over on the fascinating web log The Second Achilles the author, who goes by the handle Alexander's Other Secretary, posted an insightful little commentary comparing the Biblical Judith to Alexander the Great.  Just a short number of days ago The Second Achilles also featured a piece on I Maccabees and its characterization of Alexander.  Those of you raised on the Western and Protestant canon may nonetheless have heard of these books, Judith and I Maccabees: your forebears rejected them some years ago, ostensibly because no ancient copies in Hebrew were known.  Greek, even the Greek of the Hellenistic Jews and the Septuagint and indeed the Greek of the Old Testament that was frequently quoted in the New, wasn't good enough for the Reverend Luther, it seems.  You have to interpret prophecy to get a touch of Alexander out of Daniel, but you can find him by name and in no small detail in I Maccabees.  Alexander the Great is a character of some personal significance to me in ways that I intend to discuss in a future essay.  The story of Judith struck a chord with me in a number of ways, and, as I said, it was a bit of a coincidence this morning too.  St. Catherine was a woman of intellectual strength and great faith.  Judith was a woman of strength of will, godly faith also, and of devotion to her people.  She prayed fervently to the Lord to strengthen her in her task for Jerusalem and to guide her hand, and then she decapitated a bad man.

I am given in a moment of tangential reflection also to think of another book of the αναγιγνωσκόμενα.  I once recommended Tobit to someone whom I had given a copy of the Authorized Version (King James's boys, you see, translated and published most of what they and many others quite unkindly call the Apocrypha in their translation of the Bible, although it is omitted in a good many, probably the overwhelming majority, of King James Bibles these days).  A story of a young man sent on an errand by his father and guided by the angel Raphael, protected from peril, and brought to the young woman whom he was to marry.  The young woman herself benefited from the heavenly messenger's assistance, as she and seven short-lived husbands had a bit of trouble with a demon.

Having thus been reminded by a cognitive path I shall not take the time to map for you at this moment, I am given to wonder, who are such female saints or their equivalents—venerated or revered women, we need not quibble over the word saint—in some of the more noxious perversions of Christianity I have seen in recent times, to say nothing of women revered in the milder and more reasonable spheres of heterodox Christianity?  Are the heroines of toxic faith perhaps "Biblical" mothers who discipline their children to death by hypothermia (perhaps you have heard the news)?  Are the saints of Bible-believing Christians those who conceal the sexual abuse of their daughters or disbelieve it altogether?  Perhaps the most highly venerated are the ones who, despite knowing otherwise, simply permit their troubled children to die by the children's own hands, hands guided not by the Lord, as Judith's were, but guided only by sheer Satanic despair, inculcated from youth by … well, I said this was just going to be a bit of housekeeping.  Pardon my digression.

I have to attend to a trial transcript anyway.  I would very much like to get a certain client of mine released from prison as soon as possible.  A tough row to hoe, this one, but—and I say this in complete personal belief as well as professional advocacy—he doesn't belong there.  He may indeed die there, if his sentence is carried out to its current end.  Obviously I end on this note, not so much to impress some explicit gravity to my nebulous post, as I do it just to make myself sound important, which of course I am not.  But nonetheless, I must be off.

Here is a picture of a kitten and a duck for you.  Oh, would you look at that!  It has just now gone to sixty-five Plus Ones.  With such accolades, perhaps I should not be too quick to dismiss my pride as mere self-importance.


"Meow!"  "Quack!"



7 comments:

  1. I couldn't decide for a while. Whether to click the G+ button or not. I liked it very much, but I enjoyed the complexity in your mind, more. Waiting for Alexander Great's article from your point of view which I'm interested. I may be living in a land(or near) that once he conquered.
    Thank you.

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    1. Thank you for your kind words and generous recommendations, fourcatpaw. If I'm not mistaken, you may also be living near the land many of my ancestors came from. They were in Pontos (Πόντος)—or Pontus, as many spell it—prior to the early 20th century.

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  2. Yes, the early borders of the kingdom is a little far from where I live, but within the recent limits of my country. I remember Pontus from history classes. It is said that originally around the 700 BCs the Greek colonization had first started there.
    It is interesting that many of your ancestors were from here.
    It is not surprising that I often feel the world can be relatively so small according to the remarkable distances. :-)

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  3. Dear Mr. Virgil T. Morant,
    I have nominated your blog at the Sisterhood of the World Bloggers Award. You may not have heard about it :-)
    If you would like to receive more information I may have mentioned about you in my last two posts.
    They are :
    http://fourcatpaw.wordpress.com/2013/11/29/breaking-news-nominees-of-the-sisterhood-of-the-world-bloggers-award/
    and
    http://fourcatpaw.wordpress.com/2013/11/28/thursday-theme-talents-the-inspirings/
    I’m proud and happy to follow you.
    Thank you.

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    1. Why, thank you, fourcatpaw! Let me tell you, Mr. Virgil T. Morant could not be prouder to join the sisterhood.

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  4. Dear LostReef - Mr. Virgil
    Congratulations!!!
    I’ve nominated you for the “Blog of the Year 2013 Award”. You deserve a lot and this !!!
    Please find the information via this link : http://fourcatpaw.wordpress.com/2013/12/06/good-news-blog-of-the-year-2013-award/
    Wish You a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year
    Thank you.
    Yelloz (fourcatpaw)

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    1. Oh my! First the Sisterhood, and now I can claim the year entire! Thank you, Yelloz (and Servant Z) for the continuing honors!

      I have fallen a bit behind on my online reading, but your blog is in my reader waiting for me. Once I get through my Friday, I shall stop by an have a look at the nomination. And never fear, when I fall behind in my online reading (as is my perpetual state lately), your pages remain at the top of the list to read. :-)

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