Sunday, April 7, 2013

Anna Karenina: Part V, Chaper 27

Anna's son Seryozha ponders death while his father drills him in a Bible lesson on the Old Testament patriarchs:
In death, of which they talked to him so often, Seryozha disbelieved entirely. He did not believe that those he loved could die -- above all, that he himself would die. That was to him something utterly inconceivable and impossible. But he had been told that all men die; he had asked people, those whom he trusted, and they too had confirmed it; his old nurse, too, said the same, though reluctantly. But Enoch had not died, and so it followed that not everyone did die. "And why cannot anyone else so serve God and be taken alive to heaven? thought Seryozha. Bad people, that is, those Seryozha did not like, they might die, but the good might all be like Enoch.
And Enoch walked with God: and he was not; for God took him.
Genesis 5:24 

*All Scripture quotes are from the King James Version unless otherwise stated.

(Source: BibleGateway. Image Source: WikiPaintings)

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Sunday, March 24, 2013

Anna Karenina: Part V, Chapter 25

Several weeks have passed since Anna Karenina left her husband for Count Vronsky. She has begun to deeply miss her son, Seroyzha. She hopes her husband, Aleksey Aleksandrovich Karenin, will permit her to have access to him. She has sent a letter of appeal to the Countess Lydia Ivanovna, who is now managing all of Karenin's household affairs.

After some words of preparation, Countess Lydia Ivanovna, breathing hard and flushing crimson, put into Aleksey Aleksandrovich's hands the letter she had received.
After reading the letter, he sat a long while in silence.
"I don't think I have the right to refuse her," he said, timidly raising his eyes.
"Dear friend, you never see evil in anyone!"
"On the contrary, I see that all is evil. But whether it is fair --"
His face showed irresolution, was seeking counsel, support, and guidance in a matter he did not understand.
"No," Countess Lydia Ivanovna interrupted him, "there are limits to everything. I can understand immorality," she said, not quite truthfully, since she never could understand that which leads women to immorality, "but I can't understand cruelty, and to whom? To you! How can she stay in the town where you are? No, the longer one lives, the more one learns. And I'm learning to understand your loftiness and her baseness."
"Who is to throw a stone?" said Aleksey Aleksandrovich, unmistakably pleased with the part he had to play. "I have forgiven all, and so I cannot deprive her of what is exacted by love in her -- by her love for her son . . ."
"But what is love, my friend? Is it sincere? Admitting that you have forgiven -- that you forgive -- have we the right to work on the feelings of that angel? He looks on her as dead. He prays for her, and beseeches God to have mercy on her sins. And it is better so. But now what will he think?
"I had not thought of that," said Aleksey Aleksandrovich, evidently agreeing.

 "Who is to throw a stone?" 

And the scribes and Pharisees brought unto him a woman taken in adultery; and when they had set her in the midst,
They say unto him, Master, this woman was taken in adultery, in the very act.
Now Moses in the law commanded us, that such should be stoned: but what sayest thou?
This they said, tempting him, that they might have to accuse him. But Jesus stooped down, and with his finger wrote on the ground, as though he heard them not.
So when they continued asking him, he lifted up himself, and said unto them, He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her.
And again he stooped down, and wrote on the ground.
And they which heard it, being convicted by their own conscience, went out one by one, beginning at the eldest, even unto the last: and Jesus was left alone, and the woman standing in the midst.
10 When Jesus had lifted up himself, and saw none but the woman, he said unto her, Woman, where are those thine accusers? hath no man condemned thee?
11 She said, No man, Lord. And Jesus said unto her, Neither do I condemn thee: go, and sin no more.
John 8:3-11

*All Scripture quotes are from the King James Version unless otherwise stated.

(Source: BibleGateway. Image Source: WikiPaintings)

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Anna Karenina: Part V, Chapter 24

After his wife left him, Aleksey Aleksandrovich Karenin went through a deep emotional valley. He felt scorned and ostracized by society. Now that he has found faith, his perspective has changed.
Aleksey Aleksandrovich did not merely fail to observe his hopeless position in the official world, he was not merely free from anxiety, he was positively more satisfied than ever with his own activity.
"He that is unmarried careth for the things that belong to the Lord, how he may please the Lord: but he that is married careth for the things of the world, how he may please his wife," says the Apostle Paul, and Aleksey Aleksandrovich, who was now guided in every action by Scripture, often recalled this text. It seemed to him that ever since he had been left without a wife he had in these very projects of reform been serving the Lord more zealously than before.

"He that is unmarried careth for the things that belong to the Lord, how he may please the Lord: but he that is married careth for the things of the world, how he may please his wife
32 But I would have you without carefulness. He that is unmarried careth for the things that belong to the Lord, how he may please the Lord:
33 But he that is married careth for the things that are of the world, how he may please his wife.
34 There is difference also between a wife and a virgin. The unmarried woman careth for the things of the Lord, that she may be holy both in body and in spirit: but she that is married careth for the things of the world, how she may please her husband.
 I Corinthians 7:32-34

*All Scripture quotes are from the King James Version unless otherwise stated.

(Source: BibleGateway. Image Source: WikiPaintings)

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Anna Karenina: Part V, Chapter 23

Seated woman (Olga) - Pablo Picasso
Seated Woman (Olga), Pablo Picasso

The news that Anna Karenina has left her husband, Aleksey Aleksandrovich Karenin, and is now living with Count Vronsky is now commonly known. The pair have spent a "honeymoon" in Italy and are passing through Petersburg. Anna has begun to deeply miss her son, Seroyzha. In hopes of being granted permission to visit him, see sends a letter of appeal to Karenin's close friend, The Countess Lydia Ivanovna, who is now managing all of Karenin's household affairs.

"Madame La Comtesse --
The Christian feelings with which your heart is filled give me the, I feel, unpardonable boldness to write to you. I am miserable at being separated from my son. I entreat permission to see him once before my departure. Forgive me for recalling myself to your memory. I apply to you and not to Aleksey Aleksandrovich simply because I do not wish to cause that generous man to suffer in remembering me. Knowing your friendship for him, I know you will understand me. Could you send Seryozha to me, or should I come to the house at some fixed hour, or will you let me know when and where I could see him away from home? I do not anticipate a refusal, knowing the magnanimity of him with whom it rests. You cannot conceive the craving I have to see my son, and so cannot conceive the gratitude your help will arouse in me.
                                                                                                                               Anna "                                                                                                                            
Everything in this letter exasperated Countess Lydia Ivanovna; its contents and the allusion to magnanimity, and especially what seemed to her its free and easy tone.
"Say that there is no answer," said Countess Lydia Ivanovna, and immediately opening her blotting pad, she wrote to Aleksey Alexandrovich that she hoped to see him at one o'clock at the levee.
"I must talk with you of a grave and painful subject. There we will arrange where to meet. Best of all at my house, where I will have your tea ready. Urgent. He sends a cross, but He sends the strength to bear it. " she added, so as to prepare him somewhat.


He sends a cross, but He sends the strength to bear it.

The Countess Lydia Ivanovna misuses Scripture here. She hopes to ease Karenin's conscience and conform his thoughts to her own agenda. She desires that Seryozha should never see his mother again.

The idea of "bearing one's cross" come from the Gospel of Luke.
23 And [Jesus] said to them all, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me.
Luke 9:23-24
The promise that God will not put on us more than we can bear is from 1 Corinthians.

13 There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.

1 Corinthians 10:13

*All Scripture quotes are from the King James Version unless otherwise stated.

(Source: BibleGateway. Image Source: WikiPaintings)

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Anna Karenina: Part V, Chapter 19

Levin has received word from his brother's former mistress, Marya Nikolaevna, that his brother Nikolai is dying. Nikolai is in a filthy hotel far away in a provincial town. Levin decides immediately to go to him alone. Kitty wants to go too. A heated discussion ensues.

LevinIt's out of the question.

KittyI tell you that if you go, I shall come with you; I shall certainly come . . . Why out of the question?

LevinBecause it'll be going God knows where, by all sorts of roads and to all sorts of hotels. You would be a hindrance to me.

KittyNot at all. I don't want anything. Where you can go, I can --

LevinWell for one thing, then, because this woman's there whom you can't associate with.

KittyI don't know and I don't care to know who's there and what. I know that my husband's brother is dying and my husband is going to him, and I go with my husband too . . .

Levin: Kitty! . . . If you'll be bored alone, go to Moscow.

KittyThere, you always ascribe base, vile motives to me . . . I feel that it's my duty to be with my husband when he's in trouble, but you try on purpose to hurt me, you try on purpose not to understand . . .

The argument escalates.

Levin:  This is awful! To be such a slave!

KittyThen why did you marry? You could have been free. Why did you if you regret it?

Now Kitty is sobbing. Levin kisses her hand, her hair, her hand again.
Levin takes her face in both his hands --"Kitty!"
She recovers herself.
They are reconciled.

So she goes with him on his journey to the dingy provincial town.

And she shines.

Upon arrival at the his brother's sickroom, Levin begins to unravel.
He smelled the awful odor, saw the dirt, disorder, and miserable condition, he heard the groans, and thought that nothing could be done to help.
His blood runs cold. He is in agony. He paces in and out of the room. He cannot be natural and calm in his brother's presence.

But Kitty thought and felt and acted quite differently.
On seeing the sick man, she pitied him. And pity in her womanly heart did not arouse at all the feeling of horror and loathing that it aroused in her husband, but a desire to act, to find out the details of his condition, and to remedy them. And since she had not the slightest doubt that it was her duty to help him, she had no doubt either that it was possible, and immediately set to work. The very details, the mere thought of which reduced her husband to terror, immediately engaged her attention . . .
Kitty sends for the doctor and the chemist. She orders her maid and Marya Nikolaevna to sweep and dust and scrub. She begins washing things. By her direction, items are carried into the sickroom and out. She fetches sheets, pillow cases, towels, and shirts from her room. And then, when she sees that Marya Nikolaevna and a servant are struggling to get Nikolai's long limp arm into the sleeve of his shirt, she swiftly closes the door (to prevent Levin from interfering) and comes to his aid.

She realizes that Nikolai is ashamed at being naked before her.

"I'm not looking. I'm not looking!" she said, putting the arm in.

And what does the dying Nicholai think of Kitty?
When the doctor had gone away, the sick man said something to his brother, of which Levin could distinguish only the last words -- "your Katya." By the expression with which he gazed at her, Levin saw that he was praising her. He asked Katya, as he called [Kitty], to come closer.
"I'm much better already," he said. "Why with you I should have got well long ago. How nice it feels!" He took her hand and drew it toward his lips, but as though afraid she would dislike it, he changed his mind, let it go, and only stroked it. Kitty took his hand in both hers and pressed it.
In his last moments he mutters something. Kitty understands what he needs although no one else in the room can make out what he is saying. He wants to be turned over. As Levin lifts his heavy, powerless form,  Kitty turns his pillow and fluffs it. She sits by his side and smooths his hair as he dies.

After Nicholai's death, Levin ponders what he was witnessed. He is amazed by Kitty's confidence -- how she dealt with death without fright or delay. He believes Kitty understands the nature of death.  He knows he is more intelligent than his wife. But he knows too "that the brains of many great men, whose thoughts he had read, had brooded over death, and yet knew not a hundredth part of what his wife and [his housekeeper] knew about it."

"Thou hast hid these things from the wise and prudent, and hast revealed them unto babes." So Levin thought about his wife as he talked to her that night.


"Thou hast hid these things from the wise and prudent, and hast revealed them unto babes."

Here Levin is referring to Luke 10:21-24 in which Christ commissions seventy disciples to preach the Gospel:
21 In that hour Jesus rejoiced in spirit, and said, I thank thee, O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that thou hast hid these things from the wise and prudent, and hast revealed them unto babes: even so, Father; for so it seemed good in thy sight. 
22 All things are delivered to me of my Father: and no man knoweth who the Son is, but the Father; and who the Father is, but the Son, and he to whom the Son will reveal him.
23 And he turned him unto his disciples, and said privately, Blessed are the eyes which see the things that ye see:
24 For I tell you, that many prophets and kings have desired to see those things which ye see, and have not seen them; and to hear those things which ye hear, and have not heard them.

*All Scripture quotes are from the King James Version unless otherwise stated.

(Source: BibleGateway. Image Source: WikiPaintings)

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Anna Karenina: Part V, Chapter 22

In Part V, Chapter 22 of Anna Karenina, Alesky Aleksandrovich Karenin is alone and in despair. His wife Anna has left him for Count Vronsky, a military officer. He feels he can not endure the "weight of universal contempt and exasperation" which he sees in the faces of all he meets. At his most bitter moment, his friend the Countess Lydia Ivanovna comes to him. The warmth of her affection causes Karenin to break down.

"Dear friend!" she said in a voice breaking with emotion. "You must not give way to grief. Your sorrow is great, but you must find consolation."
"I am crushed, I am annihilated, I am no longer a man!" said Aleksey Aleksandrovich, . . . gazing into her brimming eyes. "My position is so awful because I can nowhere find support, not even in myself."
"You will find support; seek it -- not in me, though I beseech you to believe in my friendship," she said, with a sigh. "Our support is love, that He has vouchsafed us. His burden is light," she said, with the look of ecstasy Aleksey Aleksandrovich knew so well.
"He will be you support and your succor."
 Though it seemed evident that she was moved by her own lofty sentiments, and by that new mystical fervor which had lately gained ground in Petersburg, and which seemed to Alekesey Aleksandrovich excessive, still it was gratifying to hear this now. 


Our support is love, that He has vouchsafed us.

35 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?
36 As it is written, For thy sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter.
37 Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us.
38 For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come,
39 Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Romans 8:35-39
His burden is light

28 Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.
29 Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls.
30 For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.
Matthew 11:28-30 

*All Scripture quotes are from the King James Version unless otherwise stated.

(Source: BibleGateway. Image Source: WikiPaintings)

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Anna Karenina: Part V, Chapter 11

Pilate washes his hands - Duccio
Pilate Washes His Hands, Duccio di Buoninsegna

In Part V, Chapter 11 of Anna Karenina, Anna is admiring a painting of Christ standing before Pilate by a painter named Mikhailov. (Mikhailov later paints Anna's portrait.)
"How marvelous Christ's expression is!" said Anna. Of all she saw she liked that expression most of all, and felt that it was the center of the picture, and so praise of it would be pleasant to the artist. "One can see that He is pitying Pilate."
This again was one of the million true reflections that could be found in his picture and in the figure of Christ. She said that He was pitying Pilate. In Christ's expression of love, of heavenly peace, of readiness for death, and a sense of the vanity of words. Of course there is the expression of an official in Pilate and of pity in Christ, seeing that one is the incarnation of the fleshly and the other of the spiritual life. All this and much more flashed into Mikhailov's thoughts.

...Pilate entered into the judgment hall again, and called Jesus, and said unto him, Art thou the King of the Jews?34 Jesus answered him, Sayest thou this thing of thyself, or did others tell it thee of me?35 Pilate answered, Am I a Jew? Thine own nation and the chief priests have delivered thee unto me: what hast thou done?36 Jesus answered, My kingdom is not of this world: if my kingdom were of this world, then would my servants fight, that I should not be delivered to the Jews: but now is my kingdom not from hence.37 Pilate therefore said unto him, Art thou a king then? Jesus answered, Thou sayest that I am a king. To this end was I born, and for this cause came I into the world, that I should bear witness unto the truth. Every one that is of the truth heareth my voice.38 Pilate saith unto him, What is truth? And when he had said this, he went out again unto the Jews, and saith unto them, I find in him no fault at all.
John 18:33-38 
...what glory is it, if, when ye be buffeted for your faults, ye shall take it patiently? but if, when ye do well, and suffer for it, ye take it patiently, this is acceptable with God.21 For even hereunto were ye called: because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow his steps:22 Who did no sin, neither was guile found in his mouth:23 Who, when he was reviled, reviled not again; when he suffered, he threatened not; but committed himself to him that judgeth righteously:24 Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by whose stripes ye were healed.
1 Peter 2:20-24 

*All Scripture quotes are from the King James Version unless otherwise stated.

(Source: BibleGateway. Image Source: WikiPaintings)

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Anna Karenina: Part V, Chapter 9

Quod Est Veritas?, Nikolai Ge, Russian realist
In Part V, Chapter 9 of Anna Karenina Anna and Vronsky are living together in an "old neglected palazzo" in Italy. It is morning and they have received a visitor. It is Vronsky's friend, Golenishchev.
"Here we live and know nothing of what's going on," Vronsky said to Golenishchev as he came to see him one morning. 
"Have you seen Mikhailov's picture?" he said, handing him a Russian paper he had received that morning . . .
"I've seen it," answered Golenishchev. "Of course, he's not without talent, but it's all in a wrong direction. It's all the Ivanov-Strauss-Renan attitude of Christ and to religious painting."
"What is the subject of the picture?" asked Anna.
"Christ before Pilate. Christ is represented as a Jew with all the realism of the new school."
And the question of the subject of the picture having brought him to one of his favorite theories, Golenishchev launched forth into a disquisition on it.
"I can't understand how they can fall into such a gross mistake. Christ always has his definite embodiment in the art of the great masters. And therefore, if they want to depict not God but a  revolutionist or a sage, let them take from history a Socrates, a Franklin, a Charlotte Corday, but not Christ. They take the very figure which cannot be taken for their art . . ."

Christ before Pilate
This refers to when Christ stood before Pontius Pilate the Roman Prefect who sentenced Him to execution by crucifixion.

When the morning was come, all the chief priests and elders of the people took counsel against Jesus to put him to death:
And when they had bound him, they led him away, and delivered him to Pontius Pilate the governor.
Matthew 27:1-2 
The story of the crucifixion of Jesus is found in all four Gospels:
Matthew 27
Mark 15
Luke 23 
John 18-19 
Head of a man. Study of the figure of paralytic for the painting
Head of a Man, Aleksandr, Ivanov, realist painter mentioned in Anna Karenina

They take the very figure which cannot be taken for their art.
Wherefore, my dearly beloved, flee from idolatry.
I Corinthians 10:14 

This part of the passage was confusing to me. I did not understand what was behind Golenishchev's argument. Orthodox Christians use icons, so why would one be offended by a realistic painting of Jesus? I tried to search this online from multiple angles. Sometimes, friends, the search engines fail me and there is no book on my shelf to meet the need.

Last night I thought of my friend Will, who is an Orthodox Christian. He lives several states away. I sent him a private message via Facebook. He replied within minutes. I asked him if he understood what this quote implied. He very kindly took the time to type out the following message from his phone:
I think this is the difference between the "iconic" view and the "artistic" view, in which icons intentionally try to allow the viewer to see the reflective and unreal nature of art...
Icons show the reality of the persons themselves, "circumscribing" and commemorating the incarnation, but, by their "unrealism", they point away from themselves and try to maintain the role given to them by the Church - a language for communicating the Gospel, and not as a "real representation", which might lead the viewer to idolatry.
If someone looks at an icon and thinks, "That is Christ", then it is very easy to think that "The Icon is Christ." Icons are nothing on their own, only significant because of the reality they point toward.
In this quote [from Anna Karenina], I think you see the strong Eastern dislike for the "Idolization" of Western art, which necessarily leads to a reaction, iconoclasm, which is the realization that the art is not what it represents.
After the representation has been taken to be "the thing in itself", it leads to a hatred of that deceitful "thing". This is the opposite of what icons are supposed to do!

Will's insight has whetted my appetite to learn more about the difference between these two views. He wrapped up our conversation with this blessing:

God bless as you wrap your brain around the 7th Council and a very "Unwestern" way of looking at images!

Blessings to all!  Have a great Sunday!

*All Scripture quotes are from the King James Version unless otherwise stated.

(Source: BibleGateway. Image Source: WikiPaintings)

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Anna Karenina: Part I, Chapter 11

Christ Appearing to Mary Magdalene (Fragment)  - Duccio
Christ Appearing to Mary Magdalene, Duccio

In Part I, Chapter 11 of Anna Karenina, Konstantin Levin and his old friend Stephan Arkadyevich Oblonsky are enjoying a meal together at a restaurant. They are discussing two types of women -- the "pure" and the "fallen".
'You know, to me all women are divided into two classes,' [said Levin] '. . . at least no . . . truer to say: there are women and there are . . . I've never seen exquisite fallen beings, and I shall never see them, but such creatures as that painted French woman at the counter with the ringlets are vermin to my mind, and all fallen women are the same.
'But the Magdalen?' 
'Ah, drop that! Christ never would have said those words if He had known how they would be abused. Of all the Gospel those are the only ones remembered.'


'But the Magdalen?' 
This is referring to Mary Magdalene. Interesting to note is that nowhere in Scripture is she referred to as a "fallen" woman or prostitute. Tolstoy seems to have held this assumption. I was curious how this misconception began, so I did a little research and discovered this tid-bit from Wikipedia:
Few characters in the New Testament have been so sorely miscast as Mary Magdalene. From the sixth century until fairly late in the twentieth century, she has been portrayed as a prostitute. No where in the New Testament is she described in any but the most positive terms. Her reputation as a fallen woman originated not in the Bible but in a sixth-century sermon by Pope Gregory the Great.
 Mary Magdalene is a prominent character in the New Testament. In several Christian faith traditions she is considered to be a saint. She is introduced in Luke 8:1-2.
Luke 8
And it came to pass afterward, that [Jesus] went throughout every city and village, preaching and shewing the glad tidings of the kingdom of God: and the twelve were with him,And certain women, which had been healed of evil spirits and infirmities, Mary called Magdalene, out of whom went seven devils . . .

*All Scripture quotes are from the King James Version unless otherwise stated.

(Source: BibleGateway. Image Source: WikiPaintings)

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Sunday, January 27, 2013

Anna Karenina: Part I, Chapter 10

Recently I was skimming through the first part of Anna Karenina while researching another topic and I came upon a couple of great quotes for this series which I had underlined during my first read. Somehow I forgot to include them in my list of Bible references.

As Anna Karenina opens we find that Stephan Arkadyevich has committed adultery. His wife, Dolly, has just found out about it. As to be expected, Dolly is crushed. The future of Stephan and Dolly's marriage hangs in the balance as Dolly grieves.

While pondering his dilemma, Stephan has a discussion with his old friend Konstantin Levin:

". . . you've not many sins on your conscience." [said Stephan].
"Alas! all the same," said Levin, 'when with loathing I go over my life, I shudder and curse and bitterly complain . . .' Yes." 
"What can one do? The world's made like that," said Stephan Arkadyevich. 
"The one comfort is like that prayer which I have always liked'Forgive me not according to my unworthiness, but according to Thy loving kindness.That's the only way she can forgive me."

 'Forgive me not according to my unworthiness, but according to Thy loving kindness.' 

This is taken from Psalm 51, which is a penitential psalm. It is used frequently in various liturgical traditions. Lady Jane Grey recited it before she was beheaded in 1554 at the Tower of London.

The introductory text to it is as follows:
 A Psalm of David, when Nathan the prophet came to him, after he had gone in to Bathsheba.

When King David committed adultery with Bathsheba she conceived a child. To cover his tracks, David arranged to have Bathsheba's husband, Uriah, sent to fight on the front lines, where he was soon killed in battle. Later, the prophet Nathan rebuked David for his actions and foretold the consequence of David's sins. David repented and said, "I have sinned against the Lord."

Psalm 51

51 Have mercy upon me, O God, according to thy lovingkindness: according unto the multitude of thy tender mercies blot out my transgressions.
Wash me throughly from mine iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin.
For I acknowledge my transgressions: and my sin is ever before me.
Against thee, thee only, have I sinned, and done this evil in thy sight: that thou mightest be justified when thou speakest, and be clear when thou judgest.
Behold, I was shapen in iniquity; and in sin did my mother conceive me.
Behold, thou desirest truth in the inward parts: and in the hidden part thou shalt make me to know wisdom.
Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean: wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.
Make me to hear joy and gladness; that the bones which thou hast broken may rejoice.
Hide thy face from my sins, and blot out all mine iniquities.
10 Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me.
11 Cast me not away from thy presence; and take not thy holy spirit from me.
12 Restore unto me the joy of thy salvation; and uphold me with thy free spirit.
13 Then will I teach transgressors thy ways; and sinners shall be converted unto thee.
14 Deliver me from bloodguiltiness, O God, thou God of my salvation: and my tongue shall sing aloud of thy righteousness.
15 O Lord, open thou my lips; and my mouth shall shew forth thy praise.
16 For thou desirest not sacrifice; else would I give it: thou delightest not in burnt offering.
17 The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit: a broken and a contrite heart, O God, thou wilt not despise.
18 Do good in thy good pleasure unto Zion: build thou the walls of Jerusalem.
19 Then shalt thou be pleased with the sacrifices of righteousness, with burnt offering and whole burnt offering: then shall they offer bullocks upon thine altar.

The story of Nathan's visit to King David in found in II Samuel 12.

*All Scripture quotes are from the King James Version unless otherwise stated.

(Source: BibleGateway. Image Source: WikiPaintings)

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Sunday, January 20, 2013

Anna Karenina: Part V, Chapter 6

The wedding of Kitty and Levin in  Part V, Chapters 4, 5, and 6  of  Tolstoy's Anna Karenina is a gold mine of Scriptural references.  This is the ninth post I've written about it.  Today I'm wrapping up the ceremony with the final part of their marriage prayer and blessing. The following quote is from Part V, Chapter 6. Let's take a look at the purple highlighted section.

They prayed:
'Endow them with continence and fruitfulness, and vouchsafe that their hearts may rejoice looking upon their sons and daughters.'
They alluded to God's creation of a wife from Adam's rib, 'and for this cause a man shall leave his father and mother, and cleave unto his wife, and they two shall be one flesh,' and that 'this is a great mystery'; they prayed that God would make them fruitful and bless them, like Isaac and RebeccaJosephMoses and Zipporah, and that they might look upon their children's children. 'It's all beautiful,' thought Kitty, catching her words, 'just as it should be,' and a smile of happiness, unconsciously reflected in everyone who looked at her, beamed on her radiant face.
 they might look upon their children's children.
Psalm 103:17 
But the mercy of the Lord is from everlasting to everlasting upon them that fear him, and his righteousness unto children's children . . .
 Psalm 128:6
Yea, thou shalt see thy children's children, and peace upon Israel.

Proverbs 17:6 
Children’s children are a crown to the aged, and parents are the pride of their children.
This post wraps up the wedding of Kitty and Levin, but it does not wrap up Anna Karenina!  There is  much more Biblical goodness to come.

Starting today you will be able to find old "Classics and the Bible Sundays" posts  at the Classics and the Bible blog! Each new post will debut here at Classical Quest on Sundays as usual, but I will no longer archive them here.  I hope the new site will be a helpful resource for both students of the classics and students of the Bible. 

*All Scripture quotes are from the King James Version unless otherwise stated.

(Source: BibleGateway. Image Source: WikiPaintings)

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