Piano Solo: “The Jerusalem Concerto,” performed by Kara Carlston.
Some say that ever ‘gainst that season comes
Wherein our Saviour’s birth is celebrated,
This bird of dawning singeth all night long;
And then, they say, no spirit dare stir abroad,
The nights are wholesome, then no planets strike,
No fairy takes, nor witch hath power to charm,
So hallow’d and so gracious is the time.
Shakespeare, Hamlet, Act 1, Scene 1.
“Civilization…rests upon reverence. Where there is no reverence there is neither morality nor stability. There is not even true humanity, for a man without reverence is a man without a soul.” Interpreters Bible, Vol. II, 95.
“It is said that the Christian mystic Theresa of Avila found difficulty at first in reconciling the vastness of the life of the spirit with the mundane tasks of her Carmelite convent: the washing of pots, the sweeping of floors, the folding of laundry. At some point of grace, the mundane became for her a sort of prayer,” a way she could connect to the divine.
Rachel Naomi Remen, Kitchen Table Wisdom, 282.
David Denby, after reading the Four Gospels for the first time, describes Jesus this way: “[Reading others writings of Christianity] I had missed most of what was so extraordinarily powerful about Jesus. How could I not have seen it? He possessed an intellectual vigor that was without parallel in literature…This man heading for death was invincible – not only moving and eloquent, but supremely witty. The word ‘witty’ may seem blasphemous, but not if you expand the definition of wit to mean quickness and aggressiveness of intellect. What strikes me most strongly is Jesus’ extraordinary presence of mind, his strength and shrewdness as well as sweetness, and his toughness, which at times is stunning…He [taught that] to reach God, you had to reject an intolerable patch of your own soul.” David Denby, Great Books: My Adventures with Homer, Rousseau, Woolf, and Other Indestructible Writers of the Western World.