The Interview

by Andrea Elizabeth

is an Australian movie with Hugo Weaving. It’s not warm and fuzzy at all. Very stark and unlikable actually. I wouldn’t even say it’s interesting. The redeeming feature, besides HW’s acting is the honest revelation that neither naïveté nor intimidation are virtues. Law enforcement officers do often talk about gut feelings though, and that’s what I’m interested in: the kind of intuition St. Phanourios gives to help people find lost things.


Unicorn Symbolism

by Andrea Elizabeth

Last Sunday was the Feast of the Transfiguration of our Lord, and during Liturgy we chanted and sang this Antiphon, which has a surprising reference to a unicorn! (see The Lady and the Unicorn, A Mon Seul Desir tapestry in the header above)

Second Festal Antiphon

The mountains of Sion on the sides of the north / the city of the great King

Refrain: O Son of God Who wast transfigured on the mount, / save us who sing to Thee: Alleluia!

And He brought them unto the mountain of His sanctuary, / this mountain which His right hand had gained

Refrain: O Son of God Who wast transfigured on the mount, / save us who sing to Thee: Alleluia!

Mount Sion He loved / He built His sanctuary as that of a unicorn

Refrain: O Son of God Who wast transfigured on the mount, / save us who sing to Thee: Alleluia!

Fr. John A. Peck includes these quotes from the Fathers in his explanation:

Blessed Theodoret: “”He built His sanctuary like a unicorn” (v. 69). They say the unicorn is equipped with one horn, and the Law gave instruction for the adoring of one God; and so it was right for him to liken the one Temple, dedicated to the one God, to a unicorn”(Theodoret of Cyrus: Commentary on the Psalms, 73-150), trans. Robet C. Hill (Washington, D.C.: Catholic University of America Press, 2001), p. 39).

St. Augustine: “Lastly there followeth, “and He builded like as of unicorns His sanctification” (ver. 70): or, as some interpreters have made thereof a new word, “His sanctifying.” The unicorns are rightly understood to be those, whose firm hope is uplifted unto that one thing, concerning which another Psalm saith, “One thing I have sought of the Lord, this I will require”” (NPNF1, p. 379).

Cassiodorus: “”Unicorns”” signifies those who posses a single hope in the most holy Trinity, towards which the consecrated hearts of the faithful are humbly raised, and they rely on the constancy of faith as the strongest of horns” (Cassiodorus: Explanation of the Psalms, Vol. 2, trans. P. G. Walsh, (New York: Paulist Press,1991), p. 273).

Wikipedia says this: “In the Middle Ages and Renaissance, it was commonly described as an extremely wild woodland creature, a symbol of purity and grace, which could only be captured by a virgin.”

 says this:

“The unicorn signifies Christ, who was made incarnate in Mary’s womb, was captured by the Jews, and was put to death. The unicorn’s fierce wildness shows the inability of hell to hold Christ. The single horn represents the unity of God and Christ. The small size of the unicorn is a symbol of Christ’s humility in becoming human.” link

You can only get to heaven when you’re dead

by Andrea Elizabeth

sort of to the tune of “She’ll be comin round the mountain when she comes”.

You can only get to heaven when you’re dead,
Beau-ty lasts only once you’ve died,
“Heaven on earth”, they said,
After your blood is shed
‘Cause you only get to heaven when they’ve cried.

“What do, you, me-ean when you’re dead?
Are you ad-vo-cating suicide?”
‘Course not, silly son,
a-fter you’re work is done,
and done, not, just to save your life.

“Well stoicism fi-ils me with dread,
you can’t keep a-workin all the time,”
Slow and steady work is right
while keepin Jesus in your sight,
And no work for your heart means that you’re dead.

“Then, work, and, heaven can’t be friends,
if you say keep on a workin so to live,”
Heaven’s at the end
with Him to always spend
when glimpses be-come fleshed out in life.

not to mention the chariot of fire

by Andrea Elizabeth

Ambiguum 10, Sect 13 alone is worth the price of this book. He beautifully gives the meaning of the fire, earthquake, great and mighty wind that rent the mountains, and the still small voice at the end in Elijah’s cave.

Wisdom, let us attend

by Andrea Elizabeth

From Sirach

“Shame and Sin

20Watch for a proper opportunity and keep yourself from evil;

And do not bring shame upon your soul.

21For there is a shame that brings sin,

And there is a shame which is glory and grace.

22Do not show partiality to someone to your own harm,

And do not let your respect for another cause you to fall.

23Do not withhold a word in time of need;

24For wisdom is made known by a word,

And instruction by a word of the tongue.

25Do not speak against the “truth,

And do not be put to shame by your ignorance.

26Do not be ashamed to confess your sins,

And do not exercise force against the current of a river.

27Do not subject yourself to a foolish man,

And do not show partiality to a ruler.

28Fight to the death for the truth,

And the Lord God will fight for you.

29Do not be rash with your tongue

And sluggish and neglectful in your works.

30Do not be like a lion in your home

And act in pretense with your servants.

31Do not let your hand be extended to receive

And shut when you should repay.”

wrongful death

by Andrea Elizabeth

Everyone cares about Sister Cathy. She is why The Keepers documentary was made. She is the name that gets the investigators of her unsolved murder in the door. She was a beloved, respectable, heroic nun.

But when I say, “wrongful death”, I’m not talking about her. I’m talking about the keepers of the secrets. The keepers of the wounds they still walk with. The ones whose dreams of life on earth were shattered. The ones who were treated like trash but can’t prove it because their bodies are intact and they still breathe. They themselves don’t realize that they were killed. They walk in denial just like those in The Sixth Sense. The main thing on their mind is, what in the world is forgiveness? They feel guilty, not only for not knowing, but for letting something bad happen to them, something that they still don’t know is fatal, but also for not getting over it. For being dysfunctional. For still feeling under the perp’s power. For not forgiving the perp like the religious people keep yelling for them to do. But forgiveness for them means healing. However, some wounds are fatal and can’t be healed from, so forgiveness is unattainable. When they think of people like Corrie Ten Boom who later forgave the Nazi who was involved in her sister’s death, they see that somehow Corrie was other. The impression Corrie Ten Boom’s biography gives is that she was above it all from the beginning, and I say that with respect. She was not vulnerable in the same way I’m talking about. They say perverts can pick out the vulnerable ones.

But some of the vulnerable ones who “survived” had a special skill. It could be beauty, brains, marksmanship, athleticism. These are the ones who had big dreams. They are the ones who are the most confused, who look at successful people as other. Successful ones, who, most confusingly of all, may not even be as talented. They look at what they thought their lives could have been as other. Yet they don’t know how else to be. Their label is survivor. They knew how to survive. Survive means don’t die. This is something. But again, it didn’t actually happen. They died and are now in limbo. They wonder why things are over for them, but they’re not in heaven yet. Many commit suicide to make things seem more real. But we’re told suicides don’t make it to heaven either, so most just keep faking it. Their actions become imitations of life. They are so good at it that other people don’t know they died either.

It’s sort of like getting divorced against your will. You lost your life but you aren’t given widowed status. You must have done something wrong to be in that situation. Or like if your kid runs away. You aren’t seen as a victim of a wrongful death. You must have caused it and must now suffer the consequences. Or like being in jail. You look at living people though metal bars. Life in prison – oh we’re such good people for not making them die! No, we did. Make no mistake.


But something new has recently happened. The talented dead have been given a voice. But they aren’t resurrected, they are ghosts. Ghosts haunting the living. This voice is the internet. It’s where people whose livelihood, families, friends, sense of self, sense of the world, sense of others was taken away, and can now get some measure of payback. It doesn’t bring their lives back, and the support does something comforting at the beginning, but it doesn’t really change anything. Except that it gives the ghosts a purpose. A sense that their life wasn’t wasted. That they can still do something to help others. One being, to expose the murderers.

Resurrection is something that will happen later. In the meantime, perhaps when the murder has been exposed for what it was, and this does need to happen, when their dead bodies, and the evidence they left behind, is removed from the crime scene the murderer created, along with his preceding accomplices who create the vulnerable in the first place, they can rest in a better place while they await the restoration, and probably redirection, of all that was lost.

By the way, this is not the Calvinist perspective.

by hand

by Andrea Elizabeth

The header for this blog is a cross-stitched representation of one of the Lady and the Unicorn tapestries.

The Lady and the Unicorn (French: La Dame à la licorne) is the modern title given to a series of six tapestries woven in Flanders from wool and silk, from designs (“cartoons”) drawn in Paris around 1500.[1]The set, on display in the Musée national du Moyen Âge (former Musée de Cluny) in Paris, is often considered one of the greatest works of art of the Middle Ages in Europe. (Wikipedia)”

I will have devoted the last half of my life to re-representing this tapestry if I finish the cross-stitched work that I ordered from Scarlet Quince Cross Stitch Patterns from Fine Art. I am a goal oriented person, and lots of details frustrate me. However, this tapestry is so engaging and beautiful, and has so many little figures in it, that it keeps me motivated and satisfied.

Hand-stitching it is also an act of protest. It’s not an Amish, Luddite, or Pharisaical protest against modernism, however. Like the cross-stitch pattern itself, this work is a tribute (Cue Tenatious D) to the life and times and work and greatness of the Middle Ages. It is not a great work in itself. If it were rule-based protest (hence the harsh word, Pharisaical), I would use bone needles and wouldn’t stoop to use a digitally imaged computer edited and translated and machine-printed pattern. My canvas wouldn’t have been made by an automated loom. I wouldn’t have a high tech craft light and machine made resin hoop. My reason for not employing authentic tools and methods is #1, I don’t think I need to reproduce their work. The original still exists, and probably will continue to do so because of modern high-tech methods of preservation and display. What I am making is an icon to the past, not a resurrection.

To me, man-made resurrections are like Frankenstein’s bride. Or it’s like Christopher Reeve’s attempt in Somewhere in Time to remove anything that would break the suspension of his disbelief in traveling back in time. It is full of anger and discontentment with the present, and idealization of the past. This is why people commit suicide. They demand to have heaven right now. But the present is a cross we have to bear. Hence another attraction of this craft – it’s 347,100 stitches of crosses. Icons help us remember the past and bring the people and their times into our present. Whatever bit of humanity we might have lost can be brought back.

The second reason for not employing their methods is because I do want heaven at the time of my natural death. I do not have the time or skill to do their heavenly work before I die. Some of the works of old, like the Cathedrals of the Middle Ages took more than one lifetime to complete. I can’t imagine being an architect or the imaginer of such a work and know that I’d never see it realized. I am willing to put myself in their shoes enough to understand long-term commitment and slow and steady progress though.

A third reason for not employing their methods is resources. To research and try to remanufacture their old tools would mean that I couldn’t just do this in my spare time. I’d have to prioritize it above the few other measly things I do. I do not feel I need to inconvenience others for this project. Hopefully my small, but time consuming efforts will benefit others in some way.

Now for the skill part. I am thankful that I was born and raised where letters were hand-written, phones had rotary dials, and maps, though printed, were on paper. You had to touch more than buttons to communicate and know where you were in relation to where you were going. These are human ways. How human the printing press is I’ll not explore right now. I bet there’s a good debate to be had though. To me, it is only through mastery of the hands-on ways (check out the Woodwright’s Shop. Roy Underhill wasn’t raised that way, btw, he reproduced the knowledge he has), that one is in the right frame of mind to use power equipment. It should always be with a sense of sadness that one uses them, however. And with a sense of prioritizing why one uses them. There’s a constant struggle for time vs. deprivation. Once a convenience is introduced, like medicine, it can seem like idolatry to the past to not use it. Should your family suffer because of such stubborness? But do they suffer for prioritizing ease? Lord help us.

All this ado to say that I’m glad I mastered counting and place keeping with the paper, eventually laminated, pattern I ordered. It was challenging to try to guess the symbols that went in the whited out areas that are illustrated below. And the print is kind of small.

You can see where I am after the last blue X.

Now that I’ve mastered the paper pattern, I’m sadly able to now switch to their newly available digitally interactive pattern available for smart phones and other screens. I’d gotten where I didn’t have to mark the individual stitches I’d completed, just the 10×10 squares. But with the new app, if I touch the stitch square it shows me where the next ones are in the 6 displayed squares. You can’t see the context as well, but that’s why I’ll also mark the 10×10 squares on my sheet. They say you can lose your place if your computer backs up anyway, so using both will keep me knowing where I am. This is already saving me time since I don’t have to keep counting as much. Below is shown the next square that I’m working on for comparison to the above pattern. I can make it as big as I want so it’s much easier on my eyes and saves time by not having to pick up my pattern to scrutinize it closer.

This project has about 50 rows of 10 stitch rows. I was averaging 1 of these rows a year, but have sped up some. I am willing to work on this till I’m 95, but either I, my eyes, or my hands may not make it. If I were a Middle Ages person I’d pass it on to the next generation, but nowadays things don’t seem to be continued on as linearly, I am too lazy to do it like them, and, I am too compulsive about wanting to see it before I die. May they pray for me and be with me while I pay tribute their better work.

Grantchester end of season 1

by Andrea Elizabeth

Sydney is becoming a deeper character who acts in a closed off manner largely because he has unresolved guilt and trauma from action in WWII. His faith is separate from his escape measures right now, which shows why he acts dualistically.

Leonard is a purer soul, but since he’s young he hasn’t been tried. Detective Inspector Geordie Keating calls him a pansy, and Geordie’s kids dress him up as a princess. Leonard says, shouldn’t that be prince? And they insist, no, princess. Others are defining him in this vulnerable time before he acts out, I assume. The show is establishing homosexuality as an identity and not as a temptation or attraction. How many have succumbed to the lifestyle because they are told that that’s just who they are? Lord have mercy on them.

you know you’ve gotten over your issues when…

by Andrea Elizabeth

“11. Contemplation of the words: My father and my mother abandoned Me, but the Lord took me to Himself.

I think he was speaking obscurely about the abandonment and flight from the natural law of the flesh, which governs the process of birth and corruption, and into which, on account of the transgression, we are born and exist. This includes abandonment and flight from sensation, which feeds us like a mother, a parting that is necessary for those who desire incorruptible things. In this way, the visible world is abandoned by us and abandons us, but the Lord takes us to Himself, and according to the spiritual law adopts those who are worthy, becoming their adopted father through virtue and knowledge, and in His goodness He gives the whole of Himself to the whole of them, according to the likeness.” Ambiguum 10

such as

by Andrea Elizabeth

“[David] heard the heavens declare the glory of God and the firmament proclaim the work of His hands, and this is wondrous indeed, since the creator did not endow these things with a soul. Yet with the ears of his intellect he heard inanimate beings proclaim the principles of theology, from which he learned about the modes of providence and judgment from their effects, to the extent that this is humanly possible, even if he did not attain to an understanding of those principles according to which the administration of the universe is variously worked out and embellished in its specific parts.” pt 10 from Ambiguum 10