Monday, June 01, 2015

Our New Web Home...

Dear Friends of the Cornerstone Forum and visitors to this weblog,

We have completed the move of our weblog activity to a new website that incorporates the functions of our old webstore and blog. All new blog posts will on the new site. We encourage those who find our work of interest to follow the link below to the Cornerstone Forum web site and store:

Gil Bailie has been working on a book length manuscript between 2010 and 2015 and we look forward to its publication in the near future. If you would like to be informed of this and other news from the Cornerstone Forum please sign up for our occasional newsletter by clicking on the button below.

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We hope to keep this weblog available as long as the hosting company allows it.

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Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Reflections on Dante's Divine Comedy - Pt 10-14 The Inferno

Canto 25 - Thievery and Aristotle's notion of the entelechy. I suspect one could only find such a juxtapositon here.

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

On St. Patrick's Day

Because of the work being done updating our website there has been precious little attention given to our weblog recently. And just to prepare those who may visit here on this Google Blogger site we will be moving our blogging to our new web site once it is up and running sometime around the end of March. This site will remain available as long a Google allows but new postings will appear on our new website.

Having been raised in a fundamentalist Baptist tradition we were taught that Catholicism was the Devil's haunt and was filled with myths and lies all meant to deceive and mislead. So, I always believed that St. Patrick was a mythical character until I read the historical accounts of his life when I was an adult. Since that time, and having subsequently been received into the Catholic Church, I have found the spirituality evidenced by St. Patrick and those who followed him to be an inspiration. The lyricism of the Breastplate of St. Patrick has often stirred me to greater devotion and conviction to follow Christ and his Church.

Today at breakfast with friends one of the assembled had brought a book of poems by Seamus Heaney and graced us with a reading of his "St. Kevin and the Blackbird". It was my first encounter with this poem. While Heaney would likely have had some sympathy with my Baptist mentors in his opinion of the Catholic Church, he surely seems to have captured something of the spirit of St. Patrick, as well as St. Francis in this poem. But most of all for me it is grounded from first line to last in an act of Christian prayer and, as all good poetry (and prayer) must, leads the reader into life. I encourage any who may read this to follow the link to the poem where it can be read (with the copyright holder's approval) and where you may listen to Heaney read it as well.


Monday, March 09, 2015

Friday, March 06, 2015

Reflections on Dante's Divine Comedy - Pt 10-12 The Inferno

Canto 24 continued: fame leaves a vestige of oneself on earth. The instinct to leave evidence.

Saturday, February 28, 2015

Reflections on Dante's Divine Comedy - Pt 10-11 The Inferno

Canto 24 - Nearing the pit of Hell Dante is exhausted but Vergil urges him on to achieve fame.

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Saturday, February 14, 2015

Valentine's Day - Thoughts on love

I do not claim to know what love is, nor would I know how to love. But, like pornography, I know it when I see it. In my attempts at love all I see are hypocritical ineptitude and clumsiness, often swathed in a cloying and selfish romantic sentimentality. This has been my lot since adolescence.

In college I was introduced to the works of the Danish philosopher Soren Kierkegaard. In the preface to his book Works of Love I read this:

These are Christian reflections; therefore they are not about love but about the works of love.
These are reflections on the works of love - not as if hereby all love's works were mentioned and described - far from it, nor even as if a single one described were described once and for all - God be praised, far from it! That which in its vast abundance is essentially inexhaustible is also essentially indescribable in its smallest act, simply because essentially it is everywhere wholly present and essentially cannot be described.
In this book Kierkegaard reflects on the strangeness, yet appropriateness, of being commanded to love - on the Christian duty to love - to love God, to love our neighbor, and to love ourselves. While this is certainly not romantic, he believes it is what saves the Christian from despair. It saved me. (Aspects of this despair can be seen in the current movie 'Birdman' which involves the Raymond Carver short story "What we talk about when we talk about love".)

Then, last year I came across the following quote from St. Augustine:
Don't you go drawing back from your God; love your God. You're always saying to him, "Give me this and give me that"; say to him sometimes, "Give me yourself." If you love him, love him for nothing, don't be a shameless soul. You wouldn't be pleased with your wife, if she loved your gold, if the reason she loved you was that you had given her gold, given her a fine dress, given her a splendid villa, given her a special slave, given her a handsome eunuch; because if these were the things she loved about you, she wouldn't be loving you. Don't rejoice in such love as that; an adulterer, very often, can give more. You want your wife to love you for nothing, and you in tum want to sell your faith to God? "Because I believe in you"; you say to your God, "give me gold." Aren't you ashamed?
You've put your faith up for auction; notice its price. That's not what it’s worth, it isn't to be valued in gold or silver, that's not what your faith is worth. It has a huge price tag; God himself is its price. Love him, and love him freely, for nothing. You see, if you love him on account of something else, you aren't loving him at all. You mustn't want him for the sake of anything else, but whatever else you want you must love for his sake, so that everything else may be referred to love of him, not so that he may be referred to other loves, but that he may be preferred to other loves. Love him, love him freely, for nothing.
Happy Valentine's Day!

Friday, February 13, 2015

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Reflections on Dante's Divine Comedy - Pt 10-7 The Inferno

the grafters try to game the system - 'how much can I get away with?'

Sunday, February 08, 2015

Friday, February 06, 2015

Reflections on Dante's Divine Comedy - Pt 10-5 The Inferno

End of Canto 20 - final thoughts on the Annunciation. Cantos 21 & 22 - called the gargoyle cantos - bring a change of mood.