Just as the sun is not defiled by the contact of its rays with earthly objects, but rather enlightens and purifies them, so He Who made the sun is not defiled by being made known in a body, but rather the body is cleansed and quickened by His indwelling, “Who did no sin, neither was guile found in His mouth.”
Athanasius, On the Incarnation
ayjay

erikkwakkel:

Funny medieval doodles

With their wild hair and frantic gaze, these doodled men look like fools. They are waving as if to seek contact with the reader. The thing is, the reader is busy singing and listening to a sermon. That is because these 800-year-old images are found in a Missal, a book used during Holy Mass. What a shock it must have been for the serious user of the book, to flip the page and suddenly find yourself face to face with these funny creatures. And what a great contrast: a serious book with silly drawings.

Pic: Paris, Bibliothèque Sainte-Geneviève, MS 95 (Missal, 12th century). More about the manuscript here.

You know how it is when some great king enters a large city and dwells in one of its houses; because of his dwelling in that single house, the whole city is honored, and enemies and robbers cease to molest it. Even so is it with the King of all; He has come into our country and dwelt in one body amidst the many, and in consequence the designs of the enemy against mankind have been foiled and the corruption of death, which formerly held them in its power, has simply ceased to be.
There is a strange idea abroad that in every subject the ancient books should be read only by the professionals, and that the amateur should content himself with the modern books. Thus I have found as a tutor in English Literature that if the average student wants to find out something about Platonism, the very last thing he thinks of doing is to take a translation of Plato off the library shelf and read the Symposium. He would rather read some dreary modern book ten times as long, all about; and influences and only once in twelve pages telling him what Plato actually said. The error is rather an amiable one, for it springs from humility. The student is half afraid to meet one of the great philosophers face to face. He feels himself inadequate and thinks he will not understand him. But if he only knew, the great man, just because of his greatness, is much more intelligible than his modern commentator. The simplest student will be able to understand, if not all, yet a very great deal of what Plato said; but hardly anyone can understand some modern books on Platonism. It has always therefore been one of my main endeavours as a teacher to persuade the young that firsthand knowledge is not only more worth acquiring than secondhand knowledge, but is usually much easier and more delightful to acquire.
C. S. Lewis, Introduction to On the Incarnation
ayjay

erikkwakkel:

Up close and personal

I made these images today and they are quite special. The expressive medieval faces - and a pair of hands - are part of the stained-glass “Great East Windows” at York Minster and they date from 1408. Not many people have seen these details from this close, for the simple reason that they are normally positioned twenty meters or so above ground level. Except for now. They are presently being restored and thus taken down, one segment at the time, to be treated by experts. Visiting the cathedral gets you face to face - literally if you want - with these 700-year-old individuals. It is sensational to see them the way the artisans did when they made them, especially knowing they will soon be out of reach again, perhaps for centuries to come.

Pics (my own): York Cathedral, restoration exhibition.