Woman and the Miracle of Creation

Thank you for this outstanding article. Reblogging it on CP&S

Byzantine icon - "Our Lady of the Sign"

Byzantine icon – “Our Lady of the Sign”

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14 Responses to Woman and the Miracle of Creation

  1. mkenny114 says:

    Thanks for the re-blog Kathleen! 🙂


  2. GEOFF KIERNAN says:

    Well done Kathleen. Great insight into the ‘equality’ of Man and Woman…


  3. kathleen says:

    Thank you very much Geoff, but I only did the ‘reblog’ after looking for a suitable illustration – the lovely Byzantine icon. 😉 The article was written by Michael Kenny and first posted on his great blog, “Journey Towards Easter”.


  4. GC says:

    Dear kathleen, you might recognise the design of this new monstrance in the historically Polish Church of St Stanislaus Kostka in Chicago.

    Wonder who thought of that?


  5. kathleen says:

    Well dear GC – you have really got me there! It is an amazing design, very striking, surely based on the many superb icons of the Blessed Virgin Mary pregnant with the Son of God, like the one above… But are you thinking of something else? You have me fascinated! 😉

    Anyway, the angels on either side of Our Blessed Lady remind me very much of the angels shrouding the relic of her veil in Chartres Cathedral.


  6. GC says:

    Well done, kathleen. It does indeed borrow greatly from the icon you mentioned, but also from scripture (the Ark of the Covenant, the woman arrayed with the sun crowned with 12 stars etc.). And it’s intended as a monstrance for 24 hour adoration.

    It’s in the Divine Percy Sanctuary in the Chicago church. See here for more!



  7. GC says:

    “Divine Mercy”, of course. (“Divine Percy” probably better refers to Blessed Thomas Percy, Earl of Northumberland, martyr.)


  8. kathleen says:

    GC @ 3:43 😆

    GC @ 3:13
    Yes, of course! That is exactly what “the Sign” (and thus this beautiful sculpture) is referring to – the passage from “The Apocalypse” in the Bible. Thanks for clearing out some of the cobwebs from my brain. 🙂

    That’s a great link. I have earmarked it for a closer more thoughtful read later on, when I have more time.

    I also encourage anyone who hasn’t done so yet to read the marvellous article by Alice von Hildebrand that Michael links to at the bottom of his article.


  9. toadspittle says:

    “It is a miracle, indeed the first and greatest of all miracles, that any of us are alive, or that anything exists at all.”
    If everything is a miracle, as clearly implied above, then nothing is a miracle, because the word – used in that rather imprecise sense – means nothing.
    It “cancels” itself out.
    And the fact of a cockroach’s existence, or a shower of rain, means no more (or less) than the feeding of the 5,000, or the resurrection of Christ.
    Unless, of course, miracles are relative.
    …Yes, that must be it..


  10. mkenny114 says:

    As that old amphibian adage has it, ‘that’s logic that is.’

    To say that the very fact that anything exists at all is miraculous does not mean therefore that nothing is miraculous. As you are well aware (and have used, I think, to suggest that words can therefore mean anything we like) words can have more than one meaning. The word ‘miracle’ can refer to something that is an act of God that goes beyond our normal experience, or something that is highly remarkable in the sense of being hugely unexpected. Creation fits both these meanings, as it is indeed an act of God, and is highly remarkable; the only reason we don’t see it as such is because we are so used to it – but the fact that there should be anything at all is really quite extraordinary (whilst, paradoxically, being our ordinary experience).

    The Resurrection and the Feeding of the 5,000 are miraculous events that take place within the context of the grand miracle of Creation, which is itself only seen not to be miraculous because we live in that context ourselves everyday. But to suggest that this therefore makes the miracles that take place within it non-miraculous doesn’t really work I’m afraid.


  11. toadspittle says:

    “But to suggest that this therefore makes the miracles that take place within it non-miraculous doesn’t really work I’m afraid.”
    Nothing to be afraid of, Michael – but I suggest you’ve been reading too much Gilbert* – because I am suggesting no such thing. (He was fond of that sort of straw man gambit.)
    Walking on water is miraculous. A baby’s toenail is not.
    (Not as I see it, anyway.)
    But I have no trouble agreeing it’s a miracle that miracles happen at all.
    …Even on earth.

    *Chesterton, that is, not W.S.


  12. mkenny114 says:

    Well, as far as I’m concerned, one can never read too much GKC, but, just as accusations of strawmanism towards him are, I believe, unjustified, so are they in this case.

    What else by the following:

    ‘If everything is a miracle, as clearly implied above, then nothing is a miracle, because the word – used in that rather imprecise sense – means nothing.
    It “cancels” itself out.’

    did you mean, other than what I have written (and which you have quoted)? You certainly seem to be suggesting that Creation in its entirety and miracles in particular cannot both be miraculous, which is what I wrote against.

    That you don’t find existence to be utterly remarkable, and that all of us take it for granted most of the time is almost a given. The question here is whether saying that this is so is compatible with particular instances of miracle within that context – i.e.; whether the two cancel each other out or not – which is, it seems to me, a false conclusion to make.


  13. toadspittle says:

    How about this, Michael – Miracles are “impossible” (without the intervention of a deity) events which happen during “normal,” life, where events follow prescribed “laws.”
    No, won’t do – I’m afraid.
    In fact, I do find existence utterly remarkable. Call life miraculous, if you like.
    “Half the population dead in Black Death. Miracle!” Sumption, in The Age of Pilgrimage,” tells of a man who found a horse he’d lost, and declared it a miracle. Well, why not?
    So, I’ll give up on this one. Miraculously.


  14. mkenny114 says:

    Haha – remarkable! And paradoxically, as Toadian responses go, quite normal. I think I’ll join you in giving up 🙂


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