Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Back from Portland

I'm back after a brief trip to La Grande and Portland. Its always such a pleasure to encounter the Blues before reaching Baker City:

or, to see Mt Hood from the Dalles:

The beauty of the mountains catches the attention, and turns the mind to the Creator who made them; and when I got back here is a lovely scripture sitting in my email to remind me of not only the beauty of Creation, but the purpose:

Chronicles 7:14

"If my people who are called by my name humble themselves, and pray and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land."

Jeremiah 29: 11-13

"For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me, when you seek me with all your heart."

thank you June for sending this reminder.

At Our Lady of the Valley (La Grande, Oregon) there is an inset carving of a pelican feeding its young, as in this picture (credit: Rome of the West, I didn't bring a camera)

Pelican? what is this?

Ps 101:4. For my days are vanished like smoke, and my bones
are grown dry like fuel for the fire.

101:5. I am smitten as grass, and my heart is withered:
because I forgot to eat my bread.

101:6. Through the voice of my groaning, my bone hath
cleaved to my flesh.

101:7. I am become like to a pelican of the wilderness:
OK, so there are pelicans in the Old Testament. St. Francis DeSales, in the Introduction to the Devout Life, comments on this verse:

...seek solitude after the Saviour's Example, Who is
symbolised as He hung upon Mount Calvary by the pelican of the
wilderness, feeding her young ones with her blood.
Look closely at the picture, and you will see the blood of the flesh which the pelican is feeding its young. This Christological symbol took on a new meaning for me yesterday, however; by where it was: not on the main altar, but on the side altar; Mary's side. Our mother, from whom the Son took flesh, gives us His flesh to nurture our lives. How fitting, that our Lady who participates in the dispensation of all grace, should have this tender symbol associated with her as well.

thank you, Fr. Augustine, for the brief time in which we shared the path of Christ; I hope I can walk this path in your company another day.

1 comment:

  1. Beautiful. Thank you for explaining the symbolism.