Thursday, August 17, 2006

Tres Leches of religious dessert o quatro o dos o uno

Was interested, consequent the DaVinci code, in the feast day or Memorial Day of Mary Magdalene which occurred in the Catholic calendar 22 July. One might focus on the experience of Mary Magdalene, which is the fulcrum of Christian faith. In the Gospel, John 20:1-2, 11-18, Mary goes to the tomb and finds Jesus not there. She enquires of a man she finds in the vicinity, ? the gardener, where he might have been moved to. He speaks. She sees that it is Jesus, and she says 'Rabuni, which means teacher in Hebrew.' The priest who discussed the Gospel passage in the course of a Mass did not talk with disdain of caring for those lesser than us but rather that 'we all have had the experience of finding our Lord in others I think, a family member or someone we know in business ... and hopefully others have found Him in us,' one might say a Gnostic perspective. This is a message in the book reviewed by Oswald Sobrino on this feast day. This book and review give a Spanish noble attitude, which is distinctive and attractive in its chivalry, which finds the Lord in the other.

'It is not unusual for a pack of animals to function in a group but what makes the species man successful is its ability to trust its understanding of the intentions of another, an outsider.' After the delirium of the creation of the earth and sky and our first parents, what strikes me as the coming into a consciousness of the real in the Bible is the competition of Cain and Abel, which has perhaps the most dramatic denouement in literature when the murderer finds in himself the voice of G-d saying 'Am I my brother's keeper?' Thus of course the discovery of the perspective of G-d coming from man appears early in the Bible. Returning to Mary Magdalene, she respectfully calls Jesus 'Rabuni.' In this we do not find the fierce hostility to other Jews heard in other parts of the Gospel. Less emphatically do we not not hear a differentiation between a G-d and man. Being the dearest part of the Christian faith, this experience would seem least likely to be corrupted in the retelling. In the day's Gospel, perhaps we find the Gnostic hope, the transfer of the life of God in another. It is said that the early and main part of the Koran is of Syriac origin in Aramaic and was Christian prayers to be carried to the Arabs. Being from about the fourth century it may have been before the suppression of the Gnostic heresy. The Gnostic view would seem to be on a delicate balance in terms of helping I Thou ethics. If we should find the Lord in ourselves and others, then, given sufficient rank as the monarchs Ferdinand and Isabella had in Spain, to make that easier, others should be like us. My friend Dr. Perez, whose father was the foreign minister of Ecuador, said to have helped Jews escape from Europe, once, in speaking of his origins, pointed out that his name was really the same as the prime minister of Israel. There is an amusing story that the Spanish language changed when a crown prince could not pronounce a consonant and the 'dj' sound that he gave it became proper Spanish. Perhaps such a transformation in needing to find the Lord in others has occurred in Islam.

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