John Wesley’s Sermons

by Andrea Elizabeth

I am doing my second test recording for Librivox. The first I picked from the option of John Wesley’s Sermon, On the Omnipresence of God, which I found inspiring and Orthodox. The second is on The Rich Man and Lazarus. Here his Protestantism, and possible dig at Calvinism is apparent.

He does not believe in the efficacy of a Purgatory experience,

“See the near resemblance between the ancient and the modern purgatory! Only in the ancient, the heathen purgatory, both fire, water, and air, were employed in expiating sin, and purifying the soul; whereas in the mystic purgatory, fire alone is supposed sufficient both to purge and expiate. Vain hope! No suffering, but that of Christ, has any power to expiate sin; and no fire, but that of love, can purify the soul, either in time or in eternity.”

Firstly he assumes the ancients (he quoted Virgil’s Aeneid), must be wrong about everything. I think they had some things right, but did not have complete revelation. Secondly, who says the fire isn’t love? The Orthodox say it is. Later he says his concern for his relatives is sort of a leftover effect of human suffering that will be gone at the final judgment.

Here’s the possible dig at Calvinism in his use of “irresistible force”:

“11. “Abraham saith unto him, They have Moses and the Prophets: let them hear them.” (Luke 16:29.) “And he said, Nay, father Abraham; but if one went to them from the dead, they will repent.” Who would not be of the same opinion? Might not any one reasonably suppose that a message solemnly delivered by one that came from the dead must have an irresistible force? Who would not think, “I myself could not possibly withstand such a preacher of repentance?””

But maybe not because he also criticizes the rich man for seeking the intercession of Saints,

““And he cried, and said, Father Abraham, have mercy on me.” — Thou fool! what can Abraham do? What can any creature, yea, all the creation do, to break the bars of the bottomless pit? Whoever would escape from the place of torment, let him cry to God, the Father of mercy! Nay, but the time is past! Justice now takes place, and rejoices over mercy! — “And send Lazarus, that he may dip the tip of his finger in water, and cool my tongue; for I am tormented in this flame!” How exceeding modest a request is this! He does not say, “That he may take me out of this flame.” He does not ask, “That he may bring me a cup of water, or as much as he might hold in the palm of his hand;” but barely, “That he may dip” were it but “the tip of his finger in water, and cool my tongue.” No! It cannot be! No mercy can enter within the shades of hell!”

Like I say, I don’t think the ancients were as wrong as the increasingly stripped down religion that is promoted nowadays.

By the way, it takes a while for readings to be published on their website, so I can’t share it yet.

I am not a hypocrit

by Andrea Elizabeth

Online people don’t know what you look like. I have had the experience of feeling kindred to someone, and then I see their picture and they are young, skinny mountain-bikers or hikers. They have well fitting khaki shorts, dark hair, and nice tans. I get the feeling they are surprised when they see me. I’ve met them in real life too. Many times. They pass me on mountain trails with their backpacks. Usually they are going down as I laboriously go up because they got up much earlier in the morning. Or at least they had the advantage of camping on site, so they didn’t have to travel hundreds of miles that day to get there like I did. The problem is that I don’t sleep well on hard surfaces like they do. The thought of carrying all my supplies on my back and sleeping on the ground is very daunting. It could be my stage of life with its wear and tear, but the two times I tried it when I was younger and smaller weren’t nice. But they were on concrete park cabin floors. I think the tent, air-mattress time was better. I’m pretty afraid of bugs, too. So if there is a hotel option nearby, I will go for it. You don’t have to plan so carefully.

I think I also have an objection to air mattresses and gear you have to get at a sporting goods store. There’s something contradictory about having to go to a specialty store to go natural. Hotels take barely any shopping at all, so I don’t have to network with an elite group to go to a more natural setting, as heavily regulated as that setting is. Border patrol keeps the Mexicans from crossing the Rio Grande. There are signs that say it is illegal to purchase things from aliens. We saw a few trinkets with money jars next to them right along the river. You aren’t allowed to take your dogs on the trails. They export, import, and kill animals according to their current studies of the original environment. Nature is apparently high maintenance. But that is because our habits have become so unnatural.

barely here

by Andrea Elizabeth

I cannot tell you how close I am to hightailing it back to Big Bend. Commitments barely keep me here. I was not ready to return a week and a half ago. I can dismiss my yearnings as typical mountain top experience such as they tell you happens to you at summer camp when you’re a kid. Going back to the real world is hard. But what if it’s not the real world? What if the mountain top is the real world? Then why are there valleys? Valleys are nice too if they aren’t tainted with western civilization. You can have your cities and your daylight savings time and your electricity. And don’t call me a hypocrite for utilizing any of these even in Big Bend. That’s a civilized, western juridical accusation, and I wont bother to answer it, not that I haven’t already in posts past.

There are remains there of early pioneers’ dwellings. The hand piled stone ones are fine, but the trucked in ones that are possibly related to exploitation aren’t so nice. I much prefer the primitive cave drawings and arrow heads. They bear witness to a belief in the sacredness of the earth. Did indigenous people never over-kill? Maybe they did. But left-behind bones are much better than concrete. Bones and rocks are skeletons of God-created life that Ezekial will call forth one day. Concrete will be cremated to return to the bones and rocks it once was.

Give the jewels to God. I’m satisfied with the dust, and if water trickles and seeds blow in, thank you, Lord.

The Seventh Seal

by Andrea Elizabeth

Finally caught The Seventh Seal yesterday. *spoiler* So the absurdist jester representing idyllic family life wins, and the analytical, skeptical, materialist knight with his noble but bawdy squire, along with the lecherous actor and their women all die.

The Submerged Reality: Sophia

by Andrea Elizabeth

the Introduction

“On the one hand, Sophia seems to bring out the best in those who have claimed immediate experience of this divine reality. This was the case with … and Sergius Bulgakov, for example, who were all noted for their kindness, maganimity, and even, saintliness. On the other hand, their respective sophilogies have often brought out the worst in their critics and continue to do so. I expect no less from this book.

This book is not a cultural history of Sophia. Even though, as a poet, I find the Gnostic mythos of Sophia and her metaphysical kidnapping a fascinating story, to be honest, the theologians and critics who tend to view anything remotely sophiological as flirting with “Gnostic heresy’ bore me. Nor am I at all interested in the conspiratorial projections of the vast number of unstable individuals and groups who hold out Sophia as “the goddess who was erased” from Judeo-Christian consciousness, a neurotic sensibility that internalizes the Gnostic mythos to an almost surreal degree. There is something inherently ugly about the hermeneutics of suspicion and the scholarship of heresy hunting. Likewise, myth-making steeped in paranoia proves an especially sterile enterprise… Other ways, I think, are more useful. So I say again: Let us start a war.” (P. 2)

I will defer the defense and distinguishing characteristics of his position to the rest of the Introduction, as I am not interested in engaging the detractors.



The Submerged Reality: Sophiology and the Turn to a Poetic Metaphysics

by Andrea Elizabeth

by Michael Martin

To me it sounds like a personalization of the Divine Energies, perichoresis, or even the Holy Spirit, whom I think is often neglected, so I’m giving this a shot.

“What emerges from [Martin’s] synthetic reading of this tradition is the sense that divine wisdom is the supreme cosmic power – a personal agent that mediates grace and helps each creature fulfill its being. Instead of lapsing into pantheism or panentheism, Romantic sophiology articulates the analogical co-inherence of Creator and creation whereby the invisible, mysteriously appearing through the visible, discloses God’s presence in the world.” (Forward by Adrian Pabst, p.v)

“Most importantly of all, wisdom is neither a tertium quid nor a fourth divine person, but rather the very middle between divine transcendence and created immanence – as the Russian tradition of sophiology teaches. For nothing can subsist outside God, whether between humanity and God, or between God who was made man and mankind that is destined to be deified. Likewise, Sophia is no third term between the three divine persons or between the essence of the Godhead and the persons of the Trinity – for otherwise persons, relations, and essences would be specific instances of something more general and fundamental than God.

At the same time, there is a middle or metaxu (the term used by Sergei Bulgakov), because without mediation the relations within the Trinitarian Godhead would dissolve either into independent univocal substances or into a self-founded monism. Moreover, mediation cannot be an endless dialectical oscillation, either between such substances or within a monistic ground of being, for dialectics would then be reducible to the opposing poles or an ontological extra that too remains unexplained. Therefore, sophianic mediation is best understood as something that is coextensive wit the divine essence, the persons and their substantive relations – an ineffable communication between them that exceeds the grasp of human cognition and is accessed experientially.” (p. vii)

Grandpa Odin!

by Andrea Elizabeth

It is taking me a very long time to get through my paternal grandmother’s ancestral lines. The last several post have been from one of her lines that now includes, and I hope this is true, Odin, the Scythian King of Asgard (215-306). His descendants include King Frodi the Valiant Friedleifsson; who married Hilda, Princess of the Vandals; Prince of Russia Danvers, King of the Danes; and Alfhild, Queen of Denmark and Norway Gandalfsdottir, who had Ragnar Hairy Britches Sigurdsson. Odin’s grandfather is Freothalaf of Troy. I haven’t even gotten to the end/beginning of this one yet.

My ancestor aided and abetted William the Conqueror’s hostile takeover

by Andrea Elizabeth

Robert Comine (also Robert de Comines, Robert de Comyn) was very briefly earl of Northumbria.

His name suggests that he originally came from Comines, then in the County of Flanders, and entered the following of William the Conqueror. He was sent to the north as earl from 1068 to 1069 after the deposition of Gospatric. He got as far as Durham with his 700 men, where the bishop, Ethelwin, warned him that an army was mobilised against him. He ignored the advice and, on 28 January 1069, the rebels converged on Durham and killed many of his men in the streets, eventually setting fire to the bishop’s house where Robert was staying. He was consumed in the blaze. [1]

After this attack, Ethelwin turned against the Normans and gathered an army in Durham before marching on York, leading to the Harrying of the North in retaliation by King William’s army. [wikipedia]

there’s more to the story:

“from Comines in Flanders. Rodbert or Robert de Comines was named Earl of Northumberland, or, according to Ordericus, Earl of Durham in January, 1069, and at once set forth, with a following of less than one thousand men, to take possession of his new domain:—a perilous errand, for Durham had not as yet submitted to the Conqueror. He marched as through an enemy’s country, slaying some of the tenants or bondmen of St. Cuthbert’s church on the way; and though the city, by the good offices of its friendly Bishop, AEthelwine, opened its gates to him without resistance, “he allowed his men to deal with the town as with a place taken by storm. The spirit of the people was now aroused. The news spread during the night, and towards morning the gates of Durham were burst open by the assembled forces of Northumberland. A general massacre followed. In the houses, in the streets, the Normans were everywhere slaughtered. No serious resistance seems to have been offered except in defence of the Bishop’s house, where the Earl and his immediate companions withstood their assailants so manfully that they were driven to have recourse to fire. The palace was burned; the Earl and his comrades all died, either by the flames or by the sword. One man alone contrived to escape with his life, and he was wounded.”—Freeman.


and the list goes on

by Andrea Elizabeth

and the previously mentioned knight’s 2nd GGF (on his grandmother’s side) was “Andrew Moray (Norman French: Andreu de Moray; Latin: Andreas de Moravia), also known as Andrew de Moray, Andrew of Moray, or Andrew Murray, an esquire,[1] was prominent in the Scottish Wars of Independence. He led the rising in north Scotland in the summer of 1297 against the occupation by King Edward I of England, successfully regaining control of the area for King John Balliol. He subsequently merged his forces with those led by William Wallace and jointly led the combined army to victory at the Battle of Stirling Bridge. Moray was mortally wounded in the fighting…

While King Edward marched through the subdued realm, the Scots nobles captured at Dunbar were taken south in chains. The most important prisoners, such as Sir Andrew Moray of Petty, were taken to the Tower of London.[25] Sir Andrew spent the remainder of his life in English imprisonment, dying in the Tower on 8 April 1298.[26] Andrew Moray the younger, a prisoner of less significance, was imprisoned in Chester Castle,[25] the northernmost stronghold to which the Dunbar captives were taken; he would not, however, long remain a captive..” (wikipedia)


by Andrea Elizabeth

One of my ancestors was a knight templar and his son either “died on pilgrimage to the Holy Land” or another source says “died in the Crusades”.


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