Miracle of Our Lady: Czech Opera by Martinu

How amazing to find a contemporary opera about the miracles of Mary. See below for the youtube of the music.

(Sadly, I cannot yet find the English translation of the songs.)

The opera, from the twentieth century (1930’s) by the Czech composer Martinu, consists of  a cycle of plays about Mary. (If I find the English translation for the libretto, I will update this post accordingly.)

About the Martinu, see Link:

Life of Martinu

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Delores Cannon: Jesus and the Essenes

Delores Cannon offers information about the historical Jesus Christ based on material that she obtained from subjects under hypnosis.

Cannon claimed that certain subjects could enter into a very deep trance state, equivalent to somnambulism. In this state, they would remember their past lives. Cannon said that for these subjects,  under hypnosis they are not engaged in normal past-life regression but rather in a kind of time travel. Subjects under deep hypnosis could forget entirely their current life roles and lose consciousness of their contemporary identities. Instead, they would assume the identity of an earlier incarnation of their souls.

Through one such subject, Cannon gained information about the life of Jesus from a subject who had been a member of the Essenes, a Jewish sect that is probably responsible for the Dead Sea Scrolls.

In this post I will not attempt to assess the legitimacy of Cannon’s claims. Can channeled material under trance genuinely serve as a valid historical source? The claim is rather incredible and contravenes normal standards of historical proof.  Nevertheless, the claim may prove to be valid, either completely or in a limited sense.

Apart from the validity of channeled information as an historical source, Cannon’s work on Jesus serves another beneficial function.  Her presentation of Jesus and the Essenes offers us a renewed imagination for the life of Jesus.

Certainly, the New Testament record provides only a partial look at Jesus Christ and his times. Cannon’s material proposes to fill in some of the gaps in the record. The world of Jesus and the New Testament comes alive with a new vividness.  We get a picture of Jesus’s times, culture, and possible spiritual influences. Our imagination for history and for the life of Jesus is thus enriched.

For more on the Essenes, see: The Essenes

Here is an interview withe Delores Cannon on the topic. There are several more talks by her that are available on youtube, too.

Bishop Christopher Senyonjo: Advocate for Gay rights in Uganda

Sadly, anti-gay persecution is quite often legitimated by Christian churches. The penalties can be harsh for advocates of human rights for LGBT people. The film God Loves Uganda chronicles this human rights struggle in Uganda and among Christian missionaries there.

Bishop Christopher Senyonjo has courageously stood up to the majority in offering reconciliation and a message of inclusive love toward all LGBT people — in the name of the Gospel.

The Gospel ought not to be twisted so as to entail judgment, condemnation, and exclusion on the grounds of one’s love-orientation (the struggle is about the right to love not narrowly about sexual behavior). Quite the contrary, the Gospel proclaims that love is sacred and free. Human rights require that we respect those who may be different from us while securing their freedoms as our own.

See links below.

Here’s God Loves Uganda (English with Italian subtitles)

 

Here are clips from interviews with Bishop Christopher Senyonjo

Miracle of the Sun (1917)

A hundred and one years ago at Fatima in Portugal, there occurred an apparition of Mary, called the Miracle of the Sun, which is said to be the largest attested miracle in modernity, witnessed by 75,000 people.

Whether or not one is Catholic — or sympathetic to Marian devotions — it is striking that this apparition seems to mark the end of one era and the beginning of the new. The old world has died; modernity is born.

The Fatima seers, who speak from the perspective of the old world,  prophesied wars (World War I and II), apostasy, and scandals in the Church. Presumably, the fate of Russia was at stake since it was prophesied that Russia would fall into atheism and the Church would lose its honor.

Some Catholics argue that the old religious world that has been lost ought to be restored. The traditional rites and sacraments, together with ecclesiastical teachings and the preaching of the Gospel, offered people disciplines and instructions for leading holy and good lives. Others welcome the so-called secular movements (e.g., socialism and feminism) that are perceived to have displaced the old hierarchies and to have ignited crisis and critique.

With regard to the miracle of the Sun — and Marian apparitions, generally — skeptics point to the ideologically slanted messages that come to seers and visionaries through Mary. If the mother of God does appear to people, what accounts for the sometimes sectarian and partisan quality of her inspired ideas? Or, shall we concede that Marian messages are filtered through the beliefs of her visionaries and seers rather than being transmitted verbatim or reproduced with a documentary accuracy?

The faithful who take seriously Marian apparitions, by contrast, claim that the messages are sound and creditworthy. Like the prophets of old, Mary issues warnings while advising repentance. To her seers, she offers hopeful remedies (e.g. praying the rosary) and promises for the renewal of faith and the wellbeing of the world.

Whatever one’s position in regard to Fatima and Marian visions, the Miracle of the Sun is a phenomenon to contend with. Can this miracle witnessed by so many be justified by naturalistic causality or explained away as the consequence of  collective hysteria? Or did the veil open between heaven and earth on that day, Oct 13, 1917, one hundred and one years ago?

I am linking to a couple of videos about the Miracle of the Sun and to some discussions and critiques of the Catholic Church with regard to the Fatima prophecies and the three secrets involved. It is debated whether the third secret given at Fatima has actually been revealed. There is also a possible fourth secret.  I link also to an article about another Marian apparition, given to Agnes in Japan, which occurred on Oct 13, 1973,  on the anniversary of Fatima.

 

General Book on Fatima: Our Lady of Fatima Paperback – October 1, 1954
by William T. Walsh

Article about Vatican Deception, documentary on Fatima: Vatican Deception Documentary : Fatima

Fourth Secret Book

Our Lady of Akita: Agnes

 

 

Symbolism/Literalism of the Bible (Link)

Here’s a very intelligent discussion of symbolic and literal methods of interpretation of the Bible. In telling a story about an event, we often use symbols to draw out the meaning of that event. Symbolism is not opposed to literal facts. Quite the contrary, symbolism brings out the universal and relevant significance of those facts. This talk is theoretically astute and provides an excellent summary of the Jesus Lightworker point of view about biblical interpretation.

Before the Law (Parable by Kafka)

Dear Lightworkers,

In this post I offer two interpretations of the parable by Kafka (below). The first interpretation has to do with the authority of one’s own being; the second concerns self-sabotage.

Authority of One’s Own Being

Consider what your inner being is saying to you. Is there some decision that you must make? Maybe you need to break off a relationship — or again, restore and renew one. You are afraid to take action, in one direction or another. There are no guarantees of success. Yet, you know in your heart that now is the time.

Or perhaps you wish to begin a new project. It is time to decide and act. Or it may be that some new fascination, or responsibility, calls to you. Or you must develop a talent. The law of your inner being pesters you: Go, Do it, Now.

This parable (below) by Kafka communicates that the authority of the law is given to all of us. We must act upon this law and upon our own inner knowing of its freedom.

Yet, when faced by the law of ourselves, often we take flight. We enslave ourselves by handing over our power to self-appointed gatekeepers, from whom we seek permission to act upon our truth.

We keep asking counselors and friends. We talk ourselves out of what we know. Or we seek permission from somebody we admire, who has walked the road we must walk. All of these strategies may have their place. But, at a certain point, it is time to let them go. We delay and worry; we plot and calculate. True freedom is available once we depose the gatekeepers, both external ones and the internalized voices of fear.

These gatekeepers are impotent for the gate is already open to us. We need only to walk through it.

Now, I do not mean to say that all institutions and guides are misleading or illegitimate. However, ultimately, the decision is ours. We must seize our freedom, the freedom of the law, and move with it.

What is the law? The law is the Gospel. We know the Gospel, the law of love, the voice of God, which comes to each of us within the unique circumstances of our lives.  Instead of acting upon what we know, and heeding this voice, quite often we give our power over to gatekeepers from whom we ask permission. This seeking permission becomes an endless diversion and even an excuse for our own cowardice and procrastination.

Forgive yourself. Let us take back our power. We shall then walk through the gate of freedom, joy, and light.

Self- Sabotage

The person in Kafka’s parable sits at the gate of the law. Presumably, if he were to walk through the gate, he would find freedom. Instead, he sits and waits.

How often do we sabotage ourselves by waiting for a particular door to be opened for us? For instance, we wait for a specific person to love us or we get caught up waiting for one specific result in our work or in other aspects of our lives.

Maybe that specific door is not opening right now. It could be that we must prepare ourselves and return later. We are not ready to walk through the gate. Later we will be ready. There is no reason to give hope about going through the gate. But, one must prepare oneself for life on the other side.

Or it could be that the gatekeeper of that particular gate will never allow us through. That gatekeeper could be somebody you love, whose forgiveness you are seeking, or it could be a specific opportunity that you are waiting for, which will be decided by a committee or by some other gatekeeper.

It takes wisdom to know whether to keep trying– in order to get through a particular door– or whether to leave the door behind and find a different door, which is more accessible. Self-sabotage happens when we wait in resignation and despair. Finally, life draws to an end. We realize that we could have found freedom if we had not handed our power over to another to decide our freedom instead.

See parable below:

Before the Law
by Franz Kafka

Translation by Ian Johnston

Before the law sits a gatekeeper. To this gatekeeper comes a man from the country who asks to gain entry into the law. But the gatekeeper says that he cannot grant him entry at the moment. The man thinks about it and then asks if he will be allowed to come in later on. “It is possible,” says the gatekeeper, “but not now.” At the moment the gate to the law stands open, as always, and the gatekeeper walks to the side, so the man bends over in order to see through the gate into the inside. When the gatekeeper notices that, he laughs and says: “If it tempts you so much, try it in spite of my prohibition. But take note: I am powerful. And I am only the most lowly gatekeeper. But from room to room stand gatekeepers, each more powerful than the other. I can’t endure even one glimpse of the third.” The man from the country has not expected such difficulties: the law should always be accessible for everyone, he thinks, but as he now looks more closely at the gatekeeper in his fur coat, at his large pointed nose and his long, thin, black Tartar’s beard, he decides that it would be better to wait until he gets permission to go inside. The gatekeeper gives him a stool and allows him to sit down at the side in front of the gate. There he sits for days and years. He makes many attempts to be let in, and he wears the gatekeeper out with his requests. The gatekeeper often interrogates him briefly, questioning him about his homeland and many other things, but they are indifferent questions, the kind great men put, and at the end he always tells him once more that he cannot let him inside yet. The man, who has equipped himself with many things for his journey, spends everything, no matter how valuable, to win over the gatekeeper. The latter takes it all but, as he does so, says, “I am taking this only so that you do not think you have failed to do anything.” During the many years the man observes the gatekeeper almost continuously. He forgets the other gatekeepers, and this one seems to him the only obstacle for entry into the law. He curses the unlucky circumstance, in the first years thoughtlessly and out loud, later, as he grows old, he still mumbles to himself. He becomes childish and, since in the long years studying the gatekeeper he has come to know the fleas in his fur collar, he even asks the fleas to help him persuade the gatekeeper. Finally his eyesight grows weak, and he does not know whether things are really darker around him or whether his eyes are merely deceiving him. But he recognizes now in the darkness an illumination which breaks inextinguishably out of the gateway to the law. Now he no longer has much time to live. Before his death he gathers in his head all his experiences of the entire time up into one question which he has not yet put to the gatekeeper. He waves to him, since he can no longer lift up his stiffening body.

The gatekeeper has to bend way down to him, for the great difference has changed things to the disadvantage of the man. “What do you still want to know, then?” asks the gatekeeper. “You are insatiable.” “Everyone strives after the law,” says the man, “so how is that in these many years no one except me has requested entry?” The gatekeeper sees that the man is already dying and, in order to reach his diminishing sense of hearing, he shouts at him, “Here no one else can gain entry, since this entrance was assigned only to you. I’m going now to close it.

(Thanks to this page for the text: Kafka Parable : Before the Law.)

The Lightworker’s Temptation: Who are my Sisters and Brothers? (The Gospel of John, chapter 7)

Note: I will be resuming our Bible Study of the Gospel of John. Here’s post #39. (You may read all the back-posts on file for the Bible study to catch up, if you like). We will move on to the next chapters of John, soon.

Gospel of John #39: Text John 7: 1-9 is reproduced below

This passage in the Gospel of John, which emphasizes Jesus’s miracles or signs, shows that Jesus is a lightworker. Possessing the capacity for miracle and prophecy, he guards this capacity carefully. Just as lightworkers, in our own times, must be careful as to their purposes in making use of supernatural gifts, so Jesus here must be careful not to misuse his gifts. His own brothers tempt him to make use of his divinely bestowed powers, wrongly, for the sake of publicity and political gain.

Temptation

In this passage, the brothers of Jesus entice him to go to Jerusalem to “show yourself to the world” (7:4). Since the Jews wish to kill Jesus in Judea (whose capital is Jerusalem), Jesus’s brothers are positioned in this story as the bad guys, who do not believe in Jesus (v.5); instead, they wish to see him killed. Their suggestion that Jesus show himself to “the world” flies in the face of Jesus’s refusal, in the previous chapter, to become a King with a public following on a worldly stage.

Echoing Satan’s temptation, that Jesus should take command of the world as a ruler over many kingdoms, the brothers show their ignorance of Jesus’s true mission. Jesus’s mission is to work miracles, in generosity and by serving human freedom, on behalf of his friends and disciples. But, his kingdom is not of this world.

The Lightworker’s Choice

Like Jesus, lightworkers face temptations by false friends, who may betray them. Even the church itself may label lightworkers as magicians, witches, or subversive entities. Lightworkers must be discerning so as to ally themselves with friends who may assist them to channel their gifts in life-giving directions.

The brothers of the flesh, who are false friends of Jesus in duplicity, stand in contrast to Jesus’s true friends and family in spirit. When Jesus does finally go up to Judea, he stops in nearby Bethany (John 11), where he finds Lazarus, his “brother” in discipleship, and Mary and Martha, his sisters. These friends of Jesus are his true family, because they believe in Jesus’s divine stature and his capacity to do the works of God, even by raising the dead.

Historical Choice Point: Jesus and the Church

Who are the brothers of Jesus in the Gospel of John? According to Matthew, Jesus’s brothers are as follows: James, Joses, Simon, and Judas (Matt 13:55). It is possible that the term “brothers” means natural brothers or instead kin or cousin. The brothers are included among the believers in Acts 1:14.

James, the brother of Jesus, was the leader of the Jerusalem Church, who was martyred in 62 CE. (For the martyrdom as described by the Jewish historian Josephus, see this article: James Marytrdom Josephus.) The apostle Paul (Gal 1:18-2:10) names James among the pillars of the church in Jerusalem. This James may be the same as the James to whom the Lord appeared after his resurrection (1Cor 15:7).

If it is James who is featured among the brothers in John 7:1-9, then possibly the Gospel of John opposes the Jerusalem Church. (For Robert Eisenstein’s thesis on Jesus’s brother James, see this summary review:  Eisenstein on James brother of Jesus).There are three people named James among Jesus’s early followers, named in the New Testament. (See: Three James in NT).

Lightworkers

Like Jesus, lightworkers may stand in a tense relationship toward organized churches. Nevertheless, their true community may be found among their friends, who are doing works of light and love. This community of friends, like the community in Bethany around Lazarus, will sustain lightworkers to perform works of love and light.

John 7:1-9

7 After this Jesus went about in Galilee. He did not wish to go about in Judea because the Jews were looking for an opportunity to kill him. 2 Now the Jewish festival of Booths was near. 3 So his brothers said to him, “Leave here and go to Judea so that your disciples also may see the works you are doing; 4 for no one who wants to be widely known acts in secret. If you do these things, show yourself to the world.” 5 (For not even his brothers believed in him.) 6 Jesus said to them, “My time has not yet come, but your time is always here. 7 The world cannot hate you, but it hates me because I testify against it that its works are evil. 8 Go to the festival yourselves. I am not going to this festival, for my time has not yet fully come.” 9 After saying this, he remained in Galilee.