Monday, June 1, 2020

Mark Anthony Pearce writes


‘I haven’t met you before young man’ 
Says Frances
‘Pray, tell me your name?’
‘Hello Frances my name is Mark’
‘And are you proud?’
Asks Frances 
‘Have you read the Holy Bible?’
‘Yes Frances’ 
I reply 
‘Then you know the Gospel of St. Luke
Take pride in thyself’ 
I do not know quite what to say
‘Are you mentally ill?’
Asks Frances 
I do not know what to say 
‘Are you lonely my boy?’
I tell her yes 
I’ve felt lonely 
She turns away from me 
Holding her walking stick 
And talking to herself 
About her long, lost husband 
Keeping clean 
The troubles in Ireland 
And trips to India 

Ardleigh Ward, 
The Lakes Mental Health Centre, 
Colchester, February 2011

1 comment:

  1. "To some who were confident of their own righteousness and looked down on everyone else, Jesus told this parable: 'Two men went up to the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. The Pharisee stood by himself and prayed: "God, I thank you that I am not like other people —- robbers, evildoers, adulterers -- or even like this tax collector. I fast twice a week and give a tenth of all I get." But the tax collector stood at a distance. He would not even look up to heaven, but beat his breast and said, "God, have mercy on me, a sinner." I tell you that this man, rather than the other, went home justified before God. For all those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.” -- Luke 18: 9-14

    The Pharisees (Pharisaios; derived from the Aramaic word for "set apart, separated") were Jews who based their religious liturgy and rituals on traditional Mosaic practices, in opposition to the Hellenizing, upper-class Sudducees, who favored the authority of the priestly privileges and prerogatives established since the time of Solomon. The Pharisees' form of Judaism applied Jewish law to mundane activities in order to sanctify the every-day world; they maintained that rituals were not monopolized by an inherited priesthood but could be performed by all adult Jews individually or collectively, and they chose their leaders on the basis of scholarly achievement rather than heredity. The Pharisees opposed the Hasmonean monarchy as well and plotted with Gnaeus Pompeius Magnus in his capture of Jerusalem's Second Temple in 63 BCE; Pompeius deposed Aristobulus II, the last king, and installed Hyrcanus II as high priest and ethnarch (essentially, ethnic governor). In 40 BCE, Antigonus Mattathias deposed his uncle Hyrcanus (who by then had adopted the Sadducee orientation) and bit off his ears (since no physical deformity was permitted for high priests). But Herodes, whose wife was Antigonus' niece and Hyrcanus' granddaughter, deposed Antigonus in 37 BCE; he executed Hyrcanus in 30 BCE. Though Herodes expanded the Second Temple, he persecuted the Sadducees. But Herod was an unpopular ruler, perceived as a Roman puppet; his notorious treatment of his own family and of the last Hasmonaeans further eroded his popularity, leading ultimately to Pharisaic opposition and purging (4 BCE). At his death the Romans divided Herodes' realm among his sons; Herodes Antipatros thus became tetrarch ("ruler of a quarter") of Galilee and Perea, and under his authority the Pharisees opposed the religiosity of John the Baptist and Jesus. Titus (the future emperor Titus Caesar Vespasianus Augustus) destroyed Jerusalem and the Second Temple in 70. The Pharisees, who believed that sacredness could exist without the Temple, were able to adapt to existence without it, as well as to life in exile, and eventually to conflict with Christianity; these shifts marked the transformation of Pharisaic to Rabbinic Judaism.


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