Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Rik George writes

Sunday Morning

Old prayers hang from the chapel rafters, 

fallen short of the ears of God, 
dried bats of piety gone dusty. 
The choir intones a solemn hymn, 
a dirge for faith sucked dry of hope. 
The preacher thumbs his tattered Bible, 
seeking a text to prompt his sermon. 
In the market the people sell and buy. 
Two fall in love; two others part. 
One wins a game; one loses money. 
One gives birth; one kills his brother. 
The nodding congregation waits 
to hear the benediction amen 
before they brave the market again.

Devil-bat, Christ Church Priory, Dorset,UK

Image result for crivelli San Domenico in Ascoli Piceno Obrazek-6_9_46415_a_picto
San Michele Arcangelo, San Domenico in Ascoli Piceno -- Carlo Crivelli

                                                                         Casting out to Hell -- Jędrzej Wowro 


  1. Christchurch Priory

    Four centuries
    of monks, millers,
    farmers, fishers,
    watch masons
    and carpenters
    construct the Priory;
    observe them
    chisel ornamental detail
    into vaulted ceilings
    too high for congregations
    to notice from the nave,
    and tracery to be outshone
    by the jewel colours
    of bible stories in glass;
    carve misericords to hide
    under monks’ behinds.
    Nowadays, visitors
    focus zoom lenses
    into the most distant reaches
    of cornices and finials;
    discuss the dedication
    of ancient artisans;
    touch the Portland stone,
    make the church their own.

    --Lesley Burt

  2. Michael(Mikha'el, "who is like God?") was the only angel identified in the Bible as an archangel. St John gave him an important role Christainaity in Revelation 12, concerning a war between the angels and a dragon, generally assumed to be the fallen angel identified as Satan or Lucifer. Pictorially the devil has often been portrayed as a bat-like dragon. "A great sign appeared in heaven: a woman clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet and a crown of twelve stars on her head. She was pregnant and cried out in pain as she was about to give birth. Then another sign appeared in heaven: an enormous red dragon with seven heads and ten horns and seven crowns on its heads. Its tail swept a third of the stars out of the sky and flung them to the earth. The dragon stood in front of the woman who was about to give birth, so that it might devour her child the moment he was born. She gave birth to a son, a male child, who “will rule all the nations with an iron scepter”[a reference to Psalm 2: 9]. And her child was snatched up to God and to his throne. The woman fled into the wilderness to a place prepared for her by God, where she might be taken care of for 1,260 days. Then war broke out in heaven. Michael and his angels fought against the dragon, and the dragon and his angels fought back. But he was not strong enough, and they lost their place in heaven. The great dragon was hurled down—that ancient serpent called the devil, or Satan, who leads the whole world astray. He was hurled to the earth, and his angels with him. Then I heard a loud voice in heaven say:
    'Now have come the salvation and the power
    and the kingdom of our God,
    and the authority of his Messiah.
    For the accuser of our brothers and sisters,
    who accuses them before our God day and night,
    has been hurled down.

    They triumphed over him
    by the blood of the Lamb
    and by the word of their testimony;
    they did not love their lives so much
    as to shrink from death.

    Therefore rejoice, you heavens
    and you who dwell in them!
    But woe to the earth and the sea,
    because the devil has gone down to you!
    He is filled with fury,
    because he knows that his time is short.'

    When the dragon saw that he had been hurled to the earth, he pursued the woman who had given birth to the male child. The woman was given the two wings of a great eagle, so that she might fly to the place prepared for her in the wilderness, where she would be taken care of for a time, times and half a time, out of the serpent’s reach. Then from his mouth the serpent spewed water like a river, to overtake the woman and sweep her away with the torrent. But the earth helped the woman by opening its mouth and swallowing the river that the dragon had spewed out of his mouth. Then the dragon was enraged at the woman and went off to wage war against the rest of her offspring—those who keep God’s commands and hold fast their testimony about Jesus." [New International Version]


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