Dec 072011
 

Integration: matter assumed a spiritualised human body. It must consequently abandon its autonomy and hence its most sublime manifestations: storm, fire, sea….

Once in a human body, matter becomes wholly “invisible”. And yet, its beauty is here unsurpassable, by the grace of the descending form.

It was God’s boldest plan to predestine individual spirits as matter for the highest kind of molding. Here too, by becoming a member of the Mystical Body, the spirit in a true sense gives up its highest natural manifestations:

It must in some sense decline in order to enter into unity. But at the same time, through grace, it gains an unsuspected supernatural beauty.

Hans Urs von Balthasar, The Grain of Wheat

 

 

Nov 212010
 

King Ceyx thinks only of Halcyone, no other name is on his lips but hers: and though he longs for her, yet he is glad that she is safe at home. Ah, how he tried to look back to the shore of his loved land, to turn his last gaze towards his wife and home.

But he has lost direction. The tossed sea is raging in a hurricane so vast, and all the sky is hidden by the gloom of thickened storm-clouds, doubled in pitch-black. The mast is shattered by the violence of drenching tempests, and the useless helm is broken.

One undaunted giant wave stands over wreck and spoil, and looks down like a conqueror upon the other waves: then falls as heavily as if some god should hurl Mount Athos or Mount Pindus, torn from rock foundations, into that wide sea: so, with down-rushing weight and violence it struck and plunged the ship to the lowest deeps.

And as the ship sank, many of the crew sank overwhelmed in deep surrounding waves, never to rise from suffocating death: but some in desperation, clung for life to broken timbers and escaped that fate. King Ceyx clung to a fragment of the wreck with that majestic hand which often before had proudly swayed the sceptre.

And in vain, alas, he called upon his father’s name, alas, he begged his father-in-law’s support. But, while he swam, his lips most frequently pronounced that dearest name, “Halcyone!” He longs to have his body carried by waves to her dear gaze and have at last, entombment by the hands of his loved friends.

Swimming, he called Halcyone—far off, as often as the billows would allow his lips to open, and among the waves his darling’s name was murmured, till at last a night-black arch of water swept above the highest waves and buried him beneath engulfing billows. Lucifer was dim past recognition when the dawn appeared and, since he never could depart from heaven, soon hid his grieving countenance in clouds.

Ovid, Metamorphoses, Book XI, Ceyx and Halcyone