On the feast of St Benedict


The Rule of Saint Benedict is one of the most important written works in the shaping of Western society, embodying, as it does, the ideas of a written constitution, authority limited by law and under the law, the right of the ruled to review the legality of the actions of their rulers, a society without distinctions of birth, and one in which manual labor is regarded as a dignified occupation rather than one that demeans the laborer.

Some more info: influence on Anglicanism

Breughel the Elder – cinema before cinema

In this masterpiece we see Breughel the Elder’s gift for story and movement. It is said that he was influenced by Bosch; it is also conjectured that in Breughel we see some of Bosch’s hallucinatory surrealism diminishing in prominence: the medieval mind with all its supposed superstitions gives place to the less goblin-infested world of the coming Renaissance, which has already commenced in Italy. Perhaps in this painting also we see some elements of the tensions between flesh and spirit as disease and seemingly perpetual war become slightly less prevalent in northern Europe. Perhaps we should only speak of plague because around this time Europe was to be torn by wars of religion. Perhaps we can say that technology had improved enough for there to be greater social leisure. Anyway forget about my gaffling and take a tour with Breugel. (He decided to drop the ‘h’ fron his name.)


The Fight between Carnival and Lent

PS if you want the giant file of this painting, which you can get on wikipedia, this is the LINK

All Saints – Sanderstead


This is one of the oldest churches in England, predating Thomas Aquinas.

“The highest manifestation of life consists in this: that a being governs its own actions. A thing which is always subject to the direction of another is somewhat of a dead thing. ” – Thomas Aquinas

The genius of God is to create humans as close in likeness to him/her as  possible. However chained or bound a human, she is still capable of original thought and the capacity to love.

Love, often owing to pop music and romantic fictions, is a narrowly examined emotion. For all its/their faults, religion does attempt to make inroads into the nature and meaning of love.

Love without freedom would be meaningless; without responsibility, a toyish thing distant from rationality and meaning.

[Share favourite Thomas Aquinas quotes using the app at this link: http://bit.ly/z0jNNk]

A little wiki info on a neglected field of music and enquiry


Info from Wikipedia hymns

Ancient hymns include the Egyptian Great Hymn to the Aten, composed by Pharaoh Akhenaten; the Vedas, a collection of hymns in the tradition of Hinduism; and the Psalms, a collection of songs from Judaism. The Western tradition of hymnody begins with the Homeric Hymns, a collection of ancient Greek hymns, the oldest of which were written in the 7th century BC, praising deities of the ancient Greek religions. Surviving from the 3rd century BC is a collection of six literary hymns (yμνοι) by the Alexandrian poet Callimachus.

Patristic writers began applying the term yμνος, or hymnus in Latin, to Christian songs of praise, and frequently used the word as a synonym for “psalm”. [1]

Originally modeled on the Psalms and other poetic passages (commonly referred to as “canticles”) in the Scriptures, Christian hymns are generally directed as praise to the monotheistic God. Many refer to Jesus Christ either directly or indirectly.