Can’t talk… drawing!
OK guys, I’ve got a hard deadline for some paintings, little miniatures, I have a commission for. First in a long, long while… Since before the earthquake, I think. So I’ve got to spend the next week doing pretty much nothing but drawing and gooping plaster and gesso over things, and painting. It’s hard to do when you’re in a panic – your hand shakes a bit and you have to remember that caffeine is no solution to that – and impossible to do when you’re thinking of things to blog about. I’ve got six preliminary drawings finished, ready for transfer and the supports are set and ready. We’re in the home stretch but the next bits are the hardest bits.
So, we’re on hold here for a few days.
But I’ve got a little reading assignment for y’all though. Years ago, when I was living in Vancouver and was broke (everyone who lives in Vancouver on less than 6 digits is broke) my friend and I used to do this fun thing; we’d each take copy of the same book out of the library and read it at the same time. It was like going to the movies together only for a week at a time. It was fun.
So a while ago I asked Fr. Cassian about Lectio Divina, and he suggested I use a guide that was given to him when he was a novice. “Daily Bible Reading With the Church” by Benedict Avery, OSB (St. John’s Liturgical Press, Collegeville.) It’s a three-year cycle – two for the Old Testament and one for the New – in which you read just a little bit at a time to get through the whole Bible. Each day it takes no more than about seven or eight minutes. It’s meant for Benedictines to do their Lectio thing.
Right now, because it’s Advent, we’re in Isaiah. December 1-14 is Is. 1-23.
And because some of it is obscure and hard to understand, here’s a useful guide. A compendium of Patristic commentary put together by a Coptic priest, Fr. Tadros Malaty. What I’ve been doing is just reading it and letting it sink in a bit. If I get to a part that I just straight-up don’t understand, I just look up the Chapter and verse in this guide. Fr. Malaty gives some background on the “story” – who, what and when – and then for each part gives us what the great spiritual writers said about it. These are beyond dispute the authoritative sources – St. John Chrysostom, St. Augustine, St. Clement of Alexandria… etc.
Fr. Oblate Master also suggested the commentary on Isaiah by St. Jerome, but I haven’t been able to find it so far online.
As I’ve said, I find the Carmelite thing so complicated that it just puts me off.
But when I asked Fr. about it, he said, “Well, what I do is I read a little bit, and then I think about it.”
I said, “And that counts? That’s mental prayer?”
He said, “Yeah.”
So, here’s a fun thing we can all do together.