Christmas Greetings

Christmas Greetings It’s Christmas, and in a strange time. I am reminded of the world of Narnia that Sophie loved so much as a small child, in particular of the story of The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, in which a cruel witch holds the land of Narnia in thrall. Under her terrible dominion, Narnia has become a place in which it is “always winter, and never Christmas.” Our own world has, for two

Don’t Be Afraid

Don't Be Afraid “Don’t be afraid,” the angel says to the shepherds in the Nativity story. Perhaps in today’s fearful times, the angel would also say: “Be steadfast.” It is a good word: steadfast. An old word for a very necessary virtue. It means to stand firm, to be resolute, to be faithful. Sophia lived out the true meaning of it in her illness. I watched her do it. She was a wise old soul, our

December 25th, 2020|Tags: , , , |1 Comment

Of Love and Light. . .

Of Love and Light. . . Sophie, age 4, with her beloved Auntie Kaye, stepping into the light, Assisi, Italy This Christmas, Sophie’s article about Christian mission has really been resonating in my mind. The article concludes with the following paragraph: “Jesus didn’t lay out a grand plan for a Christian social system. He came to speak to individual men and women to lead them to faith. By busily searching for the mote

December 25th, 2019|Tags: , , , |Comments Off on Of Love and Light. . .

The Scrovegni Chapel

  Scrovegni Chapel—The Nativity The image of the Nativity scene, and the detail of the angel from it which accompanies one of the Christmas posts  (The Gift), are from Giotto’s fresco cycle in the Scrovegni Chapel (or Arena Chapel) in Padua. These images were chosen not just for their appropriateness to the time of year, but also because the Scrovegni had a particular significance for Sophia. The Scrovegni is an artistic gem. It is one of the

January 1st, 2018|Tags: , , , , |Comments Off on The Scrovegni Chapel

The Annunciation and the Nativity

The Annunciation and the Nativity The following poem is by a 16 year-old Sophia. It is taken from Loose Leaves, the sequence of poems she wrote after seeing The Medieval Imagination, an exhibition of illuminated manuscripts at the State Library in Melbourne. Ours is a broken world. The battle against disorder, which (as is symbolised in Sophie’s poem) includes suffering and death, is fought line by line, poem by poem, thought by beautiful thought. Sophie

December 25th, 2017|Tags: , , , |Comments Off on The Annunciation and the Nativity

The Gift

The Gift. It is that time of year. Joy lies at the heart of it. Christmas signifies the astonishing concept at the centre of Christianity, that of the Incarnation (in which the Absolute Being sustaining all things but eternally existing—perfect and unchanging—outside them, entered our world, doing so in the most vulnerable and mutable of human forms, that of a tiny baby). Libraries have been written to unpack this notion. A lazy familiarity with the

December 25th, 2017|Tags: , , , , |Comments Off on The Gift
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