The Story of Elder Dobry
The Choir of Wells Cathedral, Somerset, under the direction of Matthew Owens, perform contemporary composer Morten Lauridsen’s stunning sacred motet ‘O Magnum Mysterium’. The text of the motet, which has been set to music by composers such as Palestrina, Byrd, and Victoria, speaks of the beautiful juxtaposition of the supernatural—the virgin birth of God—and natural—the onlooking animals—in the Christmas nativity scene.
[Latin Text: ]
O magnum mysterium
et admirabile sacramentum,
ut animalia viderent
Dominum natum jacentem in praesepio.
O beata Virgo,
cuius viscera meruerunt
portare Dominum Jesum Christum.
[ English Translation: ]
O great mystery
and wonderful sacrament,
that the animals should see
the new-born Lord lying in a manger.
Blessed is the Virgin
whose womb was worthy
to bear Christ the Lord.
[ Recording available on the disk 'Christmas from Wells' (Regent 2007). ]
Stunning time-lapse photography, accompanied by powerful words from Benedictine monk Brother David Steindl-Rast.
WHAT CHRISTMAS IS ALL ABOUT
By William Samuel
Asked directly “When will the New World come?” the Light of Christmas replied to his disciples, “What you expect has come but you know it not.” Our prosperous and fearless life is HERE, awaiting simple, childlike acknowledgment. This “Illumination” of our life is sure and certain. We cannot escape it. King David said, “If I say the darkness shall cover me, even the night shall be a light around me….if I make my bed in hell…even there shall thy hand lead and thy right hand shall hold me.” The Christmas Season ever marks the birth of–the personal recognition and acknowledgment of-God as all, God as only. The Christ is the Truth and the Truth is here, ALREADY bestowing its gifts. To the human sense of things it only awaits our recognition and acceptance. We DO it and the “new world” appears.
Only the Truth is true. Only the Real is real. Whatever the evidence of poverty, unemployment and fear, there is no reality to it. To the real of us, to the Truth of us, to the Child of us, Deific Allness-God-is still at the helm. In Truth our welfare does not lie in the hands of government and its people but lives securely, prosperously, harmoniously and fearlessly in the Truth of Being, in the Light of Life. The Lights of the world have told us this for generations and every student of Truth must admit it is true.
CHRISTMAS IS THE FEARLESS CHILD WE ARE
If the joy of this season has lessened over the years for us, it is the consequence of old-world weariness-the intellectual struggle to measure up to human demands and the weight of guilt we bury ourselves beneath: the guilt of age, the guilt of failing health and diminishing vigor, the guilt of fear, the guilt of GUILT.
If one wishes to joy in the holidays again as in those days of yore when the child-heart of us nearly exploded with anticipation-if we would enjoy those Christmas pleasures again with enthusiasm unabated by years-we can. We can! We need only uncover the HEART again. We need only put intellectualism aside for a time and let the child-heart sing.
We really ARE children at heart and remain so eternally. No matter how one’s world may seem this day, the Child of us still lives! Our years past are the adult lived in vain-that we might RECOGNIZE the Child we are again! The WHOLE Child, the Christ Child, right here, right now!
The tender heart, in moments of honesty and childlikeness, will at special moments allow one to become aware of a new heaven and earth; a new land of perfection and well-being, already present here and now, spread over the whole face of the land–and a perfect harmony that has always been here as our very own Life and Being. It is as though, in these moments of inner clarity, the resistless Child of us allows something to flow from the peripheral unconscious into the conscious; as if, for a moment, the ego-playing mask is put aside and in an instant we see, hear, feel and know some small aspect of Being unseen before. This knowing comes with its own grace and absolute certainty- —–for a moment.
For a moment? Why just a moment?
Listen gently: However unregenerate, scarlet and guilty we may think we are, these special moments are not uncommon to any of us. They happen often but are so quickly under attack. While they arrive like a cooling, healing rain on parched land, though they come like a breath of fresh air, like sunshine, like a smile, like a gentle touch, like laughter, like the song of a nigh bird in the midst of a dark and sleepless night, they come also like a swinging, sundering sword, like a sharp spike that shakes, shatters, slaps and sickens the old nature of us and sends the fearful of us back to the ego-defences again-that puts the old mask in place again.
For me-and I can speak of no other experience with authority-each new glimmer of Light has come from my anguish, helplessness and childlikeness. Yet, it was only a matter of days, hours, minutes until that very glimmer had so aroused and angered the intellect of me, the adult of me, the great “common sense” and smartness of me, that I would shove the New Light back into the darkness of intellectualism. “I was just carried away. It was the emotion of the moment.” I would say, attempting to limit the Illimitable to an explanation, as the intellect ever insists!
But, Reader, now I know-I KNOW without doubt or reservation, “without purpose of evasion”-that the immaculate Child is everpresent to disclose the utter simplicity of Being and its ALL-rightness! Yes.
Yes, this is so! The Child of us LIVES!
Who sees the sparkling stars? Who enjoys the brighted Christmas tree, hears the carol, smells the yule log and scented candle? Whose Life is there but God-Life-I?
Where is the bell tower that heralds the season? Where falls the soft snow? Where is the laughing face, the ribboned gift, the mistletoe and the vision of sugar- plums? Here! Here as Identity-I! Here as the Child-awareness that God-Life is! Here as the very one WE are.
Yes! The One WE are.
Joyful Season from Woodsong, William Samuel (1986)
43 of the most jovially insane family holiday cards ever sent.