Wednesday, March 26, 2014
Yarn Along: Finally Finished!
I finished Elijah's pencil case exactly on time for his birthday. Which is good because his other present isn't slated to arrive until Saturday. This was a pretty quick project, and even with my lamentable crochet skills, I think I managed it well enough. If you want to read a little bit of how I changed it, check it out here. I've also been working a bit on a variation on my submitted design, Saint Catherine, to use a different yarn and slightly different edgings. This one is sized to fit Nejat.
As for the books, I'm still reading the wonderful Christ in His Saints. I'm also reading an interesting mystery, Mozart's Last Aria: A Novel (P.S.). I like it, but I'm not sure I will continue to like it. The writing is good. The storyline is good. But, as with so much modern fiction, there is a little too much of a message in it, and it's not that subtle. Though, I guess I'd rather it was easy to discern. I wish fiction authors would be more interested in their story than in their message. That goes for books whose messages I agree with, too.
However, I am still loving Fr. Reardon's book. Just his introduction is enlightening, and the rest of the chapters are marvelous. I cannot recommend this book enough. I've owned it for several years, along with his Christ in the Psalms, which I have spent some time in, but this is my first time delving into the treasures inside of this book. From the introduction:
The Epistle to the Hebrews, which repeatedly speaks of Christian worship in terms of “approach” (4:16; 7:25; 10:1, 22; 11:6), “entrance” (10:19), and “drawing near” (7:19) to God, describes this worship as a complex liturgical gathering: “But you have come [literally ‘approached’] to Mount Zion and to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, to an innumerable company of angels, to the general assembly and church of the firstborn who are registered in heaven, to God the Judge of all, to the spirits of just men made perfect, to Jesus the Mediator of the new covenant, and to the blood of sprinkling that speaks better things than that of Abel” (12:22-24). That is to say, when the Christian comes to God, he doesn’t come “one on one,” so to speak; he approaches also the company of angels and saints.
This text is particularly striking because of its explicit reference to Christ our Lord as the Mediator of the covenant that gives us access to God. The unique mediation of Christ, an important theme in Hebrews (Cf. also 8:6; 9:15), has rather often been cited in recent centuries to negate the role of the saints in heaven with respect to the Christian worship on earth. Yet, here in this description of Christian worship, along with the mediation of Christ and His redemptive blood, the author of Hebrews speaks also of “the spirits of just men made perfect.” The author obviously saw nothing incompatible between the unique mediation of Christ and the communion of the glorified saints in the Church’s worship.
Although the bodies of the departed saints are elsewhere described as “sleeping” (1 Thessalonians 4:13; 1 Corinthians 15:6-20), their spirits are very much alive and alert; indeed, they are already “made perfect,” even though they still await the glorification of their bodies. The departed saints are certainly not “dead,” because those who believe in Christ will never die (John 11:26). The departed saints did not simply live a long time ago and now they are gone. Oh no, they are still very much alive, standing in worship with the angels before God’s throne, and that is why, in the mediation of Christ and through His blood, we may join them in worship.
His examples of the saints in Scripture and their stories for us to identify with and meditate on are quite inspiring.
I'm really enjoying reading about and seeing other people's projects and getting reading suggestions from them.