Middle English: Crist is arisen! Arisen He sothe!
As a pupil at school, I was obliged to study Shakespeare for English Literature; it was part of the curriculum and therefore I had no choice. I have to say that I found it rather dry, boring and difficult to understand. Many years later, however, a colleague asked me if I would like to go to Stratford on Avon to see the Royal Shakespeare Company in a Shakespeare play. I was rather disinclined based on my childhood antagonism but reluctantly agreed to go. What a revelation the play proved to be, causing a 180-degree reversal in my disposition! It was transformative, like for the first time seeing something in the light which had formerly only been in shadows. Within a short time of the play commencing I was wrapped, enthralled and fully engaged in the plot, transfixed by the sheer depth and cadence of language and in total empathy with the characters.
The words took form in action and came to life!
The Word became flesh and lived amongst us!
The Celtic saints were very active, they did not just preach the word of God, they acted upon it and lived the Gospel out in their lives.
Nature and Nurture
14 But Jesus said, “Let the little children come to Me, and do not forbid them; for of such is the kingdom of heaven.”
What is this treasure which I hold so near?
Closer than my breath which her name repeats;
Reserve her character till time stands clear
To shape her mind as her own voice entreats.
I do not cradle now by spoken will,
But by parental care as love dictates;
Her fragile frame from birth is caused to fill
Gentle arms, whose enfolding indicates.
Echoes aforesaid when grown, she will be
A woman, wife and mother to her child;
Transferring grace and form for all to see
The pattern’s gift, though by encounters styled.
Sweet Nature, thy bounds are kindly, free and fair
If Nurture’s bonds from beauty seeks to share.
As a parent, every action you take is important when you raise children. It is not necessarily what you say but how you act that teaches them the Orthodox way of life.
St Paisios of the Holy Mountain
Early in my education I too was not very interested in Shakespeare, but in second semester English in college, I observed the English professor reading passages from Antony and Cleopatra with tears running down his cheeks. At that point, I made a very wise decision as I thought to myself, “obviously there is more to Shakespeare than I am getting if the Professor is so effected.” I made my mind up that in my future studies, I would try to find out what there was about a specific subject that could bring about a person spending his whole life engaged in the study of that subject. That decision has served me well.
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