Peace on Earth (please?)

 

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The Philharmonia Orchestra (London, UK) plays In the Bleak Midwinter.

Recall the homily of Pope Francis on November 19:

We are close to Christmas: there will be lights, there will be parties, bright trees, even Nativity scenes – all decked out – while the world continues to wage war. The world has not understood the way of peace.

What shall remain in the wake of this war, in the midst of which we are living now?

What shall remain? Ruins, thousands of children without education, so many innocent victims: and lots of money in the pockets of arms dealers. Jesus once said: ‘You can not serve two masters:  either God or riches.’ War is the right choice for him, who would serve wealth: ‘Let us build weapons, so that the economy will right itself somewhat, and let us go forward in pursuit of our interests. There is an ugly word the Lord spoke: ‘Cursed!’ Because He said: ‘Blessed are the peacemakers!’ The men who work war, who make war, are cursed, they are criminals. A war can be justified – so to speak – with many, many reasons, but when all the world as it is today, at war – piecemeal though that war may be – a little here, a little there, and everywhere – there is no justification – and God weeps. Jesus weeps.

Peace, please?

 


 

In the Bleak Midwinter
Text: Christina G. Rossetti, 1830-1894
Music: Gustav Holst, 1874-1934

Last verse:

What can I give Him,
Poor as I am?
If I were a shepherd
I would bring a lamb;
If I were a wise man
I would do my part;
Yet what I can, I give Him –
Give my heart.

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To the Mid-Autumn Moon

Chang-E in her moon palace; Mid-autumn festival 2003

Chang-E in her moon palace; mid-autumn festival 2003

 

Mid-autumn festival, sipping osmanthus tea and nibbling on lotus mooncake.

The Song poet Li Qingzhao 李清照 (c.1083-aft.1149) posed a riddle:

Naturally, it ranks first among flowers.
The plum surely is jealous,
The chrysanthemum should be ashamed;
It opens by the painted railing, capping the mid-autumn.




(from “Partridge Sky” 鷓鴣天, 暗淡)

Another Song poet Su Shi 蘇軾 (1037-1101) raised his wine cup, and, thinking of his brother far away, sang to the full moon:

We can only hope to live long,
And across a thousand li, together cling to its beauty.


嬋娟

(from “Prelude to the Water Melody” 調頭, 有, written in 1076 )

Translations by Lena Tan