Monday, February 22, 2010
I. The Vine

Amongst the barren crags and by a sterile sea,
Rachel stopped to rest by a broad stone’s lee.
She blessed it for its shade and sighed,
“But for cool water, this were solace for the tried.”
Her Lover hearing, could not ignore her smallest prayer,
He sent forthwith a clear shower there.
After His sweet thunder softly boomed,
Under the sun’s first fresh beam, a vine of jasmine bloomed.

Rachel gasped with her loving delight,
Moving to the white pink blossoms, they filled all her sight.
She praised those argent stars on skies of emerald green,
And drank deep its scent, so sweet and clean.
Leah, seeing her sister’s pleasure,
Drew near, and her eyes alighting on the plant, took measure.
Not the shapely form of purple iris or rich matter of crimson rose…
Did this plant earn her sister’s repose?

“Lovely Rachel, this beauty is so mute,
For thy gaze I would think it surely would not suit!
There is not loveliness enough in it for the eye,
Though its supple vines are fit to tie
A graceful crown for thy temples white
Or to illuminate our dark tresses like stars of light.
Leave such simple things for me,
Only art can render it an ornament, not thee.”

Rachel smiled and turned her bright eyes on Leah’s dim orbs.
“What thou doth see, it never thee absorbs.
Thy hands must be busy, but He will whet
Hunger in that gentle light within thy eyes—they shall brighten yet!
Thou shalt see thy long journey has yet to be begun.
When all thy crafts and good works are done,
And all thy stillness floods thee like a storm,
Seeing the Lover’s holy face keeps the Beloved warm.”

II. The Visitors

Rachel plucked a flower betwixt her rose fingertips,
Laid it on her palm, pressed to her lips.
The purest fragrance wafted up,
Spilt across the air and space, spreading broad out of the cup.
Through Rachel’s hair and mind it bled, in her thoughts was etched
A plan for sons’ and daughters’ sakes. She stretched
Her hand, grasped her sister’s to say,
“Here is a thing to contemplate, for children passing this way.

“Sweet elder, if thou canst not have the better part,
At least assist me with thine own art.
Make the tendrils twist and twine,
Here about the rocks, yea stretch the vine!
‘Til none going by can but pause and stand
And pluck these blossoms by the hand.
And form sweet patterns as best thou can,
So in the proudest, reveal the bride within the man.”

So Leah pruned the vine, and they withdrew,
At a small distance, their children’s acts there to view.
Two maidens came soon wandering, laughing in their play,
When they saw the flowers amidst the drying clay.
One stooped gently—just one flower to pick;
The other wound a wanton garland on her head, so thick,
She soon grew sick of the heavy scent and scornfully cast it aside,
The first tenderly let hers near her heart abide.

A duo of monarchs from tents of treaty left,
Their escort to converse alone, and so of guards bereft.
The king in velvet and hide saw the vine, and knelt thereon the ground;
The silk clad king but bent his head to look down.
The first tucked a sprig into his crown of dust,
And the other drew his sword, into the ground he thrust
Drawing out tendrils, bleeding of the moist earth, and sneered.
The first said, “Laugh not, this all your kind has feared.”

A pair of their wise men then passed there, and they did spy
The thatch of flowers and crouched to pry.
One’s eyes were lost in contemplative gaze,
The second man tore his flower without pause to praise.
Soon frustrated, he up and went back to the golden tents,
While the first man stayed there like one who late repents.
When at last he was summoned by name,
He took his leave, with a blossom he had claimed.

Two stately matrons strolled also by the jasmine’s grove.
One stooped, savouring it from above,
And its scent and colour called to her mind
Memories of passion and love, not ever left behind.
The other shrunk from its petals white, blushed at the heady scent.
Gath’ring her black skirts, on her way she went.
The other matron took a bud and bloom,
Tucked it in her hair maidenly, strolled on, as if to meet the groom.

Then came by two poets, singing to the brilliant Sun,
When they shortly happ’ned upon
The jasmine vine, and one stopped to sing
Of its precious beauty. The second his meaning could not wring,
From its simple petals and white tone.
For his poetry was worship, great splendour alone
Could slightly moisten his parchéd soul.
The first ate fruits of a greater Vine, thus he could love the flowers’ knoll.

The Sun’s light waned, in misty purple and dusky rose,
The twilight came. The sisters arose.
Rachel bent o’er the flowers and wept
An eye for joy and an eye for sorrow, while Leah kept
Channelling those tears to water the vine; she said,
“Dear Rachel, dry thy eyes, the flower bed
Is well watered. Let us now leave.”
Onward went their quest for Israel, the jasmine vine—bequeathed.

Creative Commons License
Jasminum Efflorescit by Rachel Rudd is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Non-Commercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License.
Based on a work at
Sunday, February 21, 2010
Liberal: a. Not limited to or by established, traditional, orthodox, or authoritarian attitudes, views, or dogmas; free from bigotry. b. Favouring proposals for reform, open to new ideas for progress, and tolerant of the ideas and behaviour of others; broad-minded.

Note that the first definition implies that while a truly liberal-minded man isn't restricted by old institutions, nor is he obliged to disagree with them. St. Thomas Aquinas said, 'Argument by authority is the weakest, according to Boethius.' (forgive my lame Scholastic humour in thinking that quotation is hysterically funny), yet in spite of his odd way of stating that truth, he followed the principle to the hilt. Every stand St. Thomas took, he fought for. He neither rested on the laurels of other Church Doctors, nor trusted that others would accept his personal interpretation of Scripture as infallible. Hence, the greatness of the Summa is in the angelic Doctor's rational Respondeo, not in the authoritative Sed Contra. So goes the Roman Catholic tradition of a truly liberal education.

In the second definition, one sees that the liberal is he who will vote for reform, not for change of just any kind. Wilberforce was liberal in promoting the end of slavery; it would not be liberal of anyone to now promote its return, just because it would be a change.

Yet, there is a certain party sitting on the Left hand of power which audaciously believes itself entitled to the honour of the term 'liberal'. Why does this adjective suit them? Is it because of their tolerance of others, their freedom from bigotry?

Glancing at 'liberalism' in Christian churches:

An Anglican bishop for Labrador and eastern Newfoundland called on his priests to disclose any involvement with a breakaway organization led by his predecessor, and do the right thing by resigning, giving up their licences to serve as ministers.

In a letter to parish priests in the diocese last month, Bishop Cyrus Pitman wrote that all ordination licences would be reissued with a mandatory renewing of vows in St. John’s Jan. 21.

The letter leads off by referencing the former diocesan bishop, Donald Harvey of St. John’s , and that his recent actions have “implications for this diocese ..., for the Anglican Church of Canada, and possibly for the wider Anglican community.”

Harvey retired three years ago, and became known for his frustration with what he feels is a liberal agenda in the church, particularly not taking a stand against same-sex blessings. [(]

Forcing a minister to give up his ability to serve as a pastor for agreeing with the former bishop and his church’s immemorial interpretation of Scripture isn’t exactly tolerant, but then this is the same party that believes it is more important to protect a woman’s—and a man’s—right to sexual licence, over a child’s right to life. This repression of religious faith is just one brick in the ‘liberal’ monopolization of one’s freedom. The only resemblance leftists bear to true liberality is that they tend to beat their skulls against the foundations of the eternal, then call it innovation.

The principles of all schools and revolutions age, and it is time for the leftists to see that now they are old. The next reforms will be the overturn of Roe v. Wade, liberty of expression restored for Christians, and the understanding that freedom is the ability to do and say what is true and good, not what is false and licentious. At the turn of the next tide, the new revolutionaries will be authentically liberal.

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Domine, spero quia mundum vicisti. Lord, I trust that Thou hast overcome the world. Panie, ufam, żeś pokonał świat.
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