9.22.2010

Rosa's Quote Archive: James Martineau & Jesus, or She Ra vs the Vine

"Nothing less than the majesty of God, and the powers of the world to come, can maintain the peace and sanctity of our homes, the order and serenity of our minds, the spirit of patience and tender mercy in our hearts. Then will even the merest drudgery of duty cease to humble us, when we transfigure it by the glory of our own spirit." -James Martineau

I first read this quote this morning, in a lovely illuminated edition of Daily Strength for Daily Needs. Initially,  I was encouraged by it, reminding myself that it is solely by God's good grace that I am able to think a right thought about him, and to produce the fruit of love, joy peace, patience, etc that in turn creates the 'peace and sanctity of our homes'. "Interesting, that last line," I thought, ruminating on it throughout the day. "What does Martineau mean about drudgery of duty being transfigured by the glory of our own spirits? Sounds like a reference to the Transfiguration of Jesus-in this analogy, is the drudgery of duty like Christ's own physical body that he transfigured so gloriously? What glory of our own spirit is he talking about? What the heck?"" All these mild speculations as I've been chasing Hecho around, our newly bipedal son, wiping sticky paw prints (aforementioned biped) and waiting for the bus from kindergarten to drop off our eldest.
She-Ra, Princess of Power
It wasn't until I Wiki'ed James Martineau that I discovered the Rosetta Stone that lays all my questions to rest. He was a Unitarian.  Of course! (smacks head) All that bit about the glory of our own spirits. I don't know about James, but I wouldn't even know how to begin transfiguring the things I find drudgery by sheer force of my spirit's glory. Of course, this immediately makes me picture my spirit like She Ra in a spangly bathing suit, comb back and winged headdress, wielding my sword of Spirit Glory (TM) over my head. "Take that, breakfast dishes! And that, dirty diapers!"
Hey-my spirit's looking pretty good-who needs Jesus, anyway?
(ahem........where was I?) So yes, I'd say there are some definite fault lines running through this quote. Probably the biggest is that the last line doesn't line up with the first-"Nothing less than the majesty of God....", yet in the end it is the glory of our own spirits that transfigure the drudgery of duty.

 The Vine
Instead let me turn it over to Jesus.
"Yes, I am the vine; you are the branches. Those who remain in me, and I in them, will produce much fruit. For apart from me you can do nothing."  John 15:5
I'll take the organic life-giving sap of the Vine over the spiritforce of She Ra and Martineau. I need the rest and the life that abiding in Jesus gives me, since I am seriously lacking in the She Ra Spirit Glory department. I think I'd make a bad Unitarian, lacking the belief in my own spiritual cojones, if you will-that, and the inability to keep a straight face.
((And then there's St. Paul, sticking his oar in:))
  "Whatever you do, whether in word or deed, 
do it all in the name of your Lord, Jesus Christ, 
giving thanks to God the Father through  Him."

1 comment:

Blessed said...

Your spirit = She-Ra -> me laughing

so nice to hear your "voice" again! I miss you, so let's make a playdate sometime. In case you are feeling lonely, some vintage moms are meeting at hidden beach again tomorrow around noon. : ) i don't know when gracie gets out of school, but if naps are not in order, bring a picnic lunch, grab your girlie when she's done and come on down!

or we can come up your way sometime. : )

hope this has been a good week for you!

Read Your Way Through the Garden: Choice Tomes From Garden Literature

  • A Book of Salvias by Betsy Clebsch
  • Botany for Gardeners by Brian Capon
  • Making Bentwood Trellises by Jim Long
  • RHS Encyclopedia of Plants & Flowers
  • Rose Primer: An Organic Approach to Rose Selection & Care by Orin Martin
  • Start With the Soil by Grace Gershuny
  • Sunset Western Garden Book
  • Sunset Western Landscaping Book
  • The Book of Garden Secrets by Patent & Bilderback
  • The Concise Oxford Dictionary of Botany
  • the Gardener's Table: A Guide to Natural Vegetable Growing and Cooking by Richard Merrill & Joe Ortiz
  • The Gardener's Year by Karel Capek
  • The Hutchinson Dictionary of Plant Names: Common & Botanical
  • We Made A Garden by Margaret Fish

lotsa latin: rosa's botanical & etymological ruminations

  • vespertinus: flowers in the evening
  • vernalis:spring
  • veni vidi nates calcalvi: we came, we saw, we kicked butt. This was printed on a T shirt I bought at Abbot's Thrift many years ago. It encircled the NEA symbol. I wish I knew why.
  • superciliaris: shaped like an eyebrow ex: sturnella superciliaris, the White-browed Blackbird
  • rosa-sinensis: species of Hibiscus: Hibiscus rosa-sinensis. Lit. Rosa of China, so named by British plant hunters.
  • placentiformis: shaped like a cake ex: discocactus placentiformis
  • nudiflorus: flowers before leaves show ex: flowering quince, magnolia
  • nivalis: growing in or near snow ex: galanthus nivalis (common snowdrop)
  • muralis: growing on walls
  • mirabilis: marvellous, wonderful
  • formosa: beautiful ex: dicentra formosa, a.k.a.western bleeding heart/dutchman's breeches/lady in a bath
  • carpe vitam: get a life
  • Carolus Linnaeus: Latinized name of Carl von Linne (1707-1778), Swedish naturalist considered the father of plant taxonomy. Whatta guy.