Sunday, November 11, 2012

Darkness Fell Upon the Earth

Tenebrae factae sunt, dum crucifixissent Jesum Judaei:
et circa horam nonam exclamavit Jesus voce magna:
Deus meus, ut quid me dereliquisti?

~ § ~

Darkness fell upon the earth when the Jews crucified Jesus:
and about the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice:
My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?


  1. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.


    Comments unrelated to the material presented in each daily post will be summarily deleted, UNLESS I, myself, find them of potential value to others and particular interest to me, personally.

    ~ FreeThinke

  3. Such an "old sound" from a modern composer.

    His connection to Stravinsky is interesting because, at first, Stravinsky was so reviled for music that was evil (or some such).

  4. Poulenc, whose sacred music is always deeply touching and profoundly spiritual, discovered harmonies uniquely his own without cutting himself off from the great tradition of Western Liturgical Music of which he is an outgrowth root and branch.

    Stravinsky, best known for his ballets Petrouchka, The Firebird and The Rite of Spring was more openly radical than Poulenc. Stravinsky's Symphony of Psalms, however, plumbs great spiritual depths and seems less iconoclastic than the ballets.

    Of the great flowering of "revolutionary" music from the late-nineteenth and early twentieth century, I find Fauré, Debussy, Ravel, Poulenc, Duruflé and Messiaen to be more authentic as genuine outgrowths of the Western Tradition than others who simply broke with it altogether and imposed fabrications strictly of their own devising on the stuff they wrote.

    The beauty in Tenebrae factae sunt is stark, contemplative, mournful, even despairing, but, even though officially a Lenten motet, it is exactly suitable for this period of bitterness and deep regret we must endure right now. I find it tremendously empathetic and, therefore, soothing.

  5. Nothing like the sizzle and flash of a progressive pipsqueak getting caught in the zapper!

    We've come to expect such behavior from those on the left. Even in victory, they can't contain their venom and nastiness.

  6. It's an intriguing moment in the story of the life of Jesus. Jesus knows and expresses that he is destined to die, yet when he is crucified he still asks why God has forsaken him.


    Perhaps Jesus knew he was to die, but not how he was going to die. Perhaps Jesus was questioning why his death had to be so brutal and agonizing. It's an incredibly human moment when you think of it that way, because it's a question that even the most faithful find themselves asking: why must this life be so cruel and painful?

    A good piece, FT.

  7. To piggyback on Jack's comments...

    Why did Jesus weep when told of his friend Lazarus's death?

    Being God, he knew the man's fate was in heaven, a far better place, but also, Jesus knew that he would bring him back to life.

    So why would he weep?

    Because death was not God's plan for us when he formed the earth and made man.

    Before the fall, we were to live forever, therefore, every death is a reminder of man's fallen state.

  8. Your link provided entrance to a delicately beautiful word of enchantment, FJ. I don't recall those lovely words as being part of The Wasteland, but that takes nothing away from their bucolic freshness -- a reminder that Nature provides much balm to aching souls. 'Tis an affirmation of Life, and as such qualifies as "holy."

    Thanks for the brief "trip," to a salubrious brand of neo-paganism. Jesus would love it, I'm certain.

    ~ FreeThinke

  9. Good to see you, Jack! You've been missed.

    Does this mean you are up and running once again?

    I believe we are supposed to believe the point of Christ Jesus' presence on earth as one of us -- a man of flesh and blood subject to all the troubles -- and the joys -- that flesh is heir to -- was to teach mankind that God's Love is so unfathomably generous that He offered His only begotten Son as a Living Sacrifice for our sake, and that we will be welcome in Heaven -- a state of perpetual bliss -- if we believe that Jesus suffered all that agony, because He and His Father (actually one-and-the-same) cared so much for us.

    I have a different -- certainly "heretical" view -- that says Jesus came to show us that WE are ONE with HIM and with GOD, the Father, and that what He did, we can do, ourselves. In other words He come to awaken us to capacities we've always had, but are painfully slow to recognize.

    His Crucifixion, Death and Resurrection were to show us that even if subjected to the worst our fellow men and women have to offer, we may still triumph, if we don't lose faith in Life, Love, Truth, Intelligence, Principle, Soul, Spirit and Beauty.

    These intangibles may be invisible, uncountable, unweighable, immeasurable, but they are also limitless, and they happen to be the only things that make life worth living.

    Most people don't understand all that. The example of Jesus' earthly life -- His selfless devotion to helping and healing others -- His great courage in speaking Truth to Power -- His willingness to subject Himself to torture and death rather than renounce Truth in order save His vulnerable earthly form -- I see all that as a Symbol of how WE ought to behave in the face of adversity and unfairness.

    Acting rebellious and seeking vengeance just perpetuates, prolongs, expands and compounds the misery we experience.

    "Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and evil speaking be put away from you with all malice ..." He said, and then added, "and be Ye kind one to another, tender-hearted, forgiving one another even as God, who for my sake hath forgiven you."

    Such thinking raises us from an angry, self-destructive, pathetic victim, vengeance-prone status to transformative heights.

    It's the most beautiful thing one could ever hope to experience, and it's available to us at all times and in all circumstances.

    ~ FT

  10. Only the post titles and endings were from Eliot's masterpiece...

    the middle,which you sp richly emjoyed a paean to the victors in November's trial.

    ...the very end Eliot took from Dante's paean in "Purgatorio"...

    Now back to the tower with you! ;)

  11. I jump back into the "refining fire"...

    I do not believe that Jesus ever said, "My God, my God, why have You forsaken me?"

    The following two paragraphs are excerpted from a review I wrote years ago for the George M. Lamsa translation of The Holy Bible from the ancient Aramaic into English. This, I believe, explains the misunderstanding of the lament wrongly attributed to Jesus while He was on the cross:

    All Bibles, other than Lamsa's version, tell us that from the Cross, Jesus (quoting Psalm 22:1) cried out, “My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?” (See Matthew 27:46) This verse has undoubtedly disturbed people for centuries, and no wonder - it is extremely unlikely that Jesus ever felt utterly abandoned by God while He was hanging on the Cross. The Messiah had been promised His Father's abiding Presence! Nothing happened to Jesus that He was not mentally prepared for. He told His disciples in advance what to expect: He would be mocked, spat upon, beaten, and killed, but that three days later He would rise again. (Mark 10:34) He also said to them, “You will be scattered...and will leave Me alone. And yet I am not alone, because The Father is with Me.” (John 16:32) Was Jesus mistaken? Or is the translation inaccurate?

    “Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani?” (“My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?”) correctly appears in the Aramaic manuscripts as, “Eli, Eli, lemana shabakthani” (“My God, My God, for this I was spared [this was my destiny.]”) Indeed! At different times mobs had attempted to kill Jesus, but He was always SPARED because it was His Will and His DESTINY to take mankind's sins to the Cross to be washed clean in His Blood. The Aramaic phrases are so similar that it is easy to understand how the mistake was made, but the meanings are worlds apart, and Lamsa's version is much more consistent with the Mission of The Christ. Trying to correlate the mistranslation, Christian theologians have been forced to create a flimsy dogma (Jesus being separated from God while descending into hell) in order to cover for this improbable utterance from our Lord while He was suffering on the Cross. Lamsa resolves this dilemma in a far more satisfactory manner. Furthermore, according to the Aramaic Scriptures, Psalm 22:1 doesn't read, “Why have You forsaken Me?” in the first place, but rather, “Why has thou let Me to live?”

    ~ D-FensDog
    'Loyal American Underground'

  13. From Poulenc to Men Without Hats...




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