"Remember, I am with you always to the end of the age" (Mt 28:20)

[Third Week 2/2] Finding Frederick The 'Peaceful Ruler'



I AM THE LORD, THERE IS NO OTHER; I FORM THE LIGHT, AND CREATE THE DARKNESS, I MAKE WELL-BEING AND CREATE WOE; I, THE LORD, DO ALL THESE THINGS. LET JUSTICE DESCEND, O HEAVENS, LIKE DEW FROM ABOVE, LIKE GENTLE RAIN LET THE SKIES DROP IT DOWN. LET THE EARTH OPEN AND SALVATION BUD FORTH; LET JUSTICE ALSO SPRING UP! I, THE LORD, HAVE CREATED THIS. ISAIAH 45:6C-8 

Point Of Departure: Leo Lionni's "Frederick," published by Pantheon Books 1967. All the images are taken from the paintings of Vincent Van Gogh.

A

ll along the meadow where the cows grazed and the horses ran, there was an old stone wall. In that wall, not far from the barn and the granary, a chatty family of field mice had their home.

Landscape With Path And Pollard Trees by Vincent Van Gogh
But the farmers had moved away, the barn was abandoned, and the granary stood empty. And since winter was not far off, the little mice began to gather corn and nuts and wheat and straw. They all worked day and night. Allexcept Frederick.

"Frederick, why don't you work?" they asked. "I do work," said Frederick. "I gather sun rays for the cold dark winter days."


A Symphony in Yellow by Vincent Van Gogh
And when they saw Frederick sitting there, staring at the meadow, they said, "And now, Frederick?" "I gather colors," answered Frederick simply. "For winter is gray."


Trees In The Landscape
by Vincent Van Gogh

And once Frederick seemed half asleep. "Are you dreaming, Frederick?" they asked reproachfully. But Frederick said, "Oh no, I am gathering words. For winter days are long and many, and we'll run out of things to say."

The winter days came, and when the first snow fell the five little field mice took to their hideout in the stones.

Wheatfield With Crows by Vincent Van Gogh
In the beginning there was lots to eat, and the mice told stories of foolish foxes and silly cats. They were a happy family.

But little by little they had nibbled up most of the nuts and berries, the straw was gone, and the corn was only a memory. It was cold in the wall and no one felt like chatting.


Starry Night In Winter Reworked/Credits: Freakingnews.com
Then they remembered what Frederick had said about sun rays and colors and words. "What about your supplies, Frederick?" they asked.

The Sower by Vincent Van Gogh
"Close your eyes," said Frederick, as he climbed on a big stone. "Now I send you the rays of the sun. Do you feel how their golden glow..." And as Frederick spoke of the sun the four little mice began to feel warmer. Was it Frederick's voice? Was it magic?





_
Starry Night by Vincent Van Gogh
"And how about the colors, Frederick?" they asked anxiously. "Close your eyes again," Frederick said. And when he told them of the blue periwinkles, the red poppies in the yellow wheat, and the green leaves of the berry bush, they saw the colors as clearly as if they had been painted in their minds.

"And words, Frederick?" Frederick cleared his throat, waited a moment, and then, as if from the stage, he said:


_
Starry Night Over The Rhone by Vincent Van Gogh
"Who scatters snowflakes? Who melts the ice? Who spoils the weather? Who makes it nice? Who grows the four-leaf clovers in June? Who dims the daylight? Who lights the moon? Four little field mice who live in the sky. Four little field mice... like you and I. One is Springmouse who turns on the showers. Then comes the summer who paints in the flowers. The Fallmouse is next with walnuts and wheat. And winter is last... with little cold feet. Aren't we lucky the seasons are four? Think of a year with one less... or one more!"

When Frederick had finished, they all applauded. "But Frederick," they said, "you are a poet!"

Frederick blushed, took a bow, and said shyly, "I know it."


"All I Need To Learn I Learn From Children's Books"

Leo Lionni (May 5, 1910 – October 11, 1999) was an author and illustrator of children's books. Born in the Netherlands, he moved to Italy and lived there before moving to the United States in 1939.

“Frederick" (a story about the five field mice) is indeed a masterpiece not only for children but for adults too especially during a crisis like the Covid-19 pandemic. It calls for a contemplative approach towards all of creation not only us human beings. Pope Francis talked about the additional 8th work of mercy which is both spiritual and corporal. He is my inspiration for putting up this 8thWorker blog. Frederick is an 8thworker too. He contemplated nature's elements and was able to contribute to his own pack.
"[T]hose who cannot contemplate nature and creation, cannot contemplate people in their true wealth. And those who live to exploit nature end up exploiting people and treating them like slaves. This is a universal law. If you cannot contemplate nature, it will be very difficult for you to contemplate people, the beauty of people, your brother, your sister. All of us." Pope Francis
Grace To Beg For: To ponder with deep affection how much God our Lord has done for me, how much he has given me of what he possesses, and further, how according to his divine plan, it is the Lord's wish, as far as he is able, to give me Himself (Spiritual Exercises 234).

Points To Consider:

1. "What's in a name?" Frederick is the anglicized form of the German name Friedreich. Its meaning is derived from the two Germanic words frid—"peace" and ric—"ruler" or "power." Frederick means "peaceful ruler."

Let us find Frederick, the "Peaceful Ruler," amongst our neighbors or loved-ones. During a pandemic we need someone like Frederick. Could we follow his lead of spreading some golden sunshine to our dark or gloomy surroundings? If you were to have another name to reflect what you are becoming, what would it be? Isaiah, the great prophet of the Messiah, gives a name to the child which bears four exalted titles: Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Eternal Father, Prince of Peace.
For a child will be born to us, a son will be given to us; And the government will rest on His shoulders; And His name will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Eternal Father, Prince of Peace (Isaiah 9:6).
2. Finding God In All Things: Reflect how God dwells in creatures: in the elements giving them existence, in the plants giving them life, in the animals conferring upon them sensation, in man bestowing understanding.  So He dwells in me and gives me being, life, sensation, intelligence; and makes a temple of me, since I am created in the likeness and image of the Divine Majesty. (SE 235)

3. Proceed to the †Lectio Divina link at the bottom for the option to pray over the gospel reading for the day.

Fr. JM Manzano, SJ


CHRISTMAS GIFT-GIVING SEASON IN HONOR OF GIRLIE: The Little Flower of Bukidnon


We help send to school some of the IP (Indigenous Peoples) youth in Bukidnon, or Lumad brothers and sisters of Girlie Daw-it. This is how to make a donation: Kindly read a few instructions before clicking on the links below that will bring you to secure donation portals to send your Christmas gift.



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Contributions are tax-deductible to the extent allowed by law.

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Option 2: Or you can address a Philippine Peso check to
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Your gift will be much appreciated and put to good use. Be assured, too, that you will be with us in our prayers, Masses and apostolic works, even as we also ask you to continue to pray for us.

Sincerely yours in the Lord,


FR. PRIMITIVO E. VIRAY JR., S.J.
Provincial Superior

Comments

  1. I just felt how the pandemic disturb my inner peace. Reading this reflection helped me to bounce back, to be grateful and look for the essentials in life. I am hoping that like Frederick, I can share what is hope all about...
    Thank you Fr. Jom..

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    Replies
    1. Through this pandemic you came to appreciate how much we need a Frederick. He is real and we await him each day that he comes... Thanks and God bless us!

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  2. For these past days, I have been pondering on your sharing especially in contemplating the face of God in nature, in events, in persons I encounter… in this time of pandemic. I thank God that I can continuously experience His presence, His love, His goodness and see His beauty in everything that He created amidst of what is happening now. With this experiences, I am moved to continuously read and listen to what the Lord is revealing to me each day and do His inspiration. I sincerely thank you, Fr. Jom , my Frederick in this Advent season : ) ... You are an inspiration. :) ¡Gracias a Dios! Halung pirmi. : )

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    1. You remind me of the passage "I tell you, many prophets and kings longed to see what you see, but they didn’t see it. And they longed to hear what you hear, but they didn’t hear it.” (Luke 10:24) We are blessed indeed! Frederick is our eyes and ears! Thanks and God bless us!

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