Contemplata aliis Tradere

A meagre contribution to the mission and work of the Order of Preachers: my reflections, thoughts, ideas and the occasional rant on matters mainly theological, philosophical and ecclesiastical, drawn primarily from my reading and experience of life and the world. Striving to be always Catholic, firmly Christian and essentially Dominican, flavoured with dashes of Von Balthasar.

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Location: Oxford, United Kingdom

A son of the English Province of the Order of Friars Preachers (Dominicans); born in Malaysia but have lived in the USA, Singapore, the UK & the Philippines for varying durations. A pilgrim and way-farer, a searcher for Truth on the journey of Life... "Wherever the Catholic sun doth shine, There’s always laughter and good red wine. At least I’ve always found it so. Benedicamus Domino!" - Hilaire Belloc

Tuesday, July 26, 2005

The Grandparents of Christ!

Holy Mother Church exults so profoundly in her redemption in Christ that she is not satisfied with just extolling the Saviour; she honours the Mother of the Saviour, whose womb bore God-made-Man. But even this is not sufficient, for the Church goes back yet another generation to praise the parents of Our Blessed Mother Mary: St Joachim and St Anne.

By tradition dating back to the 2nd century, these are the names attributed to the earthly grandparents of Christ. This interest in the parents of Mary is very important for it reminds us that our family roots and our grandparents are important in our lives. The image shown here of St Anne teaching Our Lady clearly indicates the influence of grandparents on their own children and as such on their grandchildren.

I am blessed with a close relationship with both sets of grandparents. They have always and still do play an important role in my life. They have loved me and cared for me so much and I respect and love them very much in turn. As such, it is wonderful for me to see that the Church gives us this feast to recall the grandparents of Our Lord, and in so doing, to remember our own grandparents.

My paternal grandparents shall be celebrating their 80th birthdays and 60th wedding anniversary later next month in Kuala Lumpur and I look forward to that celebration of their lives.

I ask Our Lady and Ss Joachim and Anne to intercede for all my grandparents and to grant them good health and much joy in their golden years...

In reflection for today, I leave you these resounding words of St John Damascene, taken from the Office of Readings:

"O blessed couple Joachim and Anne! All creation is in your debt. For through you it presented the noblest of gifts to the Creator, namely a spotless mother, who alone was worthy for the Creator.

Be glad, Anne, O barren one who do not bear; break forth and shout, you who are not in travail. Rejoice, Joachim, because from your daughter, to us a child is born, to us a son is given... That child is God.

O blessed couple, certainly the most free from sin, Joachim and Anne! O couple most pure, Joachim and Anne!"

The photo above of St Anne and Our Lady is of a stained glass window in St Stephen's Church, Skipton. The iconography is rather quaint as the saints are depicted in medieval garb, perhaps to fit in with the early English style of the church. Such 'in-temporisation' in church art was not unusual; it was an incarnational flair, setting Christ and His contemporaries in our time-frame and culture. I rather think this mindset should be more widely adopted in modern Christian art!


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