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SAINT MOTHER THEODORE GUERIN 2 Maccabees, Chapter 15, Verse 18 They were not so much concerned about wives and children, or family an...

Saturday, October 17, 2015

Sunday, October 18, 2015

Psalm 33, Verse 8

Let all the earth fear the LORD; let all who dwell in the world show him reverence.

Reverence is "a feeling or attitude of deep respect tinged with awe; veneration". The word "reverence" in the modern day is often used in relationship with religion. This is because religion often stimulates the emotion through recognition of God, the supernatural, and the ineffable. Reverence involves a humbling of the self in respectful recognition of something perceived to be greater than the self. Thus religion is commonly a place where reverence is felt. However, similar to awe, reverence is an emotion in its own right, and can be felt outside of the realm of religion.  Whereas awe may be characterized as an overwhelming "sensitivity to greatness," reverence is seen more as "acknowledging a subjective response to something excellent in a personal (moral or spiritual) way, but qualitatively above oneself"  Solomon describes awe as passive, but reverence as active, noting that the feeling of awe (i.e., becoming awestruck) implies paralysis, whereas feelings of reverence are associated more with active engagement and responsibility toward that which one reveres.  Nature, science, literature, philosophy, great philosophers, leaders, artists, art, music, wisdom, and beauty may each act as the stimulus and focus of reverence.[1]

Continuing our study of “Character is Destiny”[2] our aspiration is to develop within ourselves the human characteristics that lead to greatness or in today’s study tragedy:  Ferdinand Magellan. McCain states:

He left the service of one king and won the support of another so that he could pursue an ambition as big as the world he discovered. Ferdinand Magellan claimed the most daunting and marvelous prize. By the greatest feat of seamanship in history, he was the first European to go around the unknown world. At court, the young Magellan received an excellent education in the arts and sciences as well as the martial arts. In 1505, he joined the fleet of the first Portuguese governor of India, and over the course of several years’ service became a skilled navigator and a brave and capable soldier of fortune. Soldiers of fortune were constantly searching for a faster route to the prized Spice Islands. Whether Magellan had indeed reached them while he was in service to the Portuguese crown, there is little doubt that like all adventurers of the age, he held them as the richest prize on earth, and surely dreamed of sharing in the wealth and reputation they offered. Magellan believed that a passage between the Atlantic Ocean and that uncharted sea to the west, and through it a western route to the Spice Islands, existed at the unexplored end of the South American continent. He was determined to locate it. On September 10, 1519, five small ships, the San Antonio, the ConcepciĆ³n, the Victoria, the Santiago, and the Trinidad, carrying 265 men, a sizable arsenal of arms and munitions, and a less-than-adequate store of food and water, left the Spanish port of San Lucar de Barrameda for South America. The ships’ captains were Spaniards. The fleet’s ultimate destination was kept secret from the ships’ crews, who believed that they were sailing for South America, and not for the unknown world beyond its shores. It would not have been possible to find a crew willing to embark on such a perilous, if not impossible, journey. Their Portuguese commander, Ferdinand Magellan, sailed aboard the Trinidad, flying the imperial standard of Spain, the flag of Castile. Only one of the ships would ever return.



Magellan never finished the voyage and was killed in a struggle with the natives of the Philippines. We can marvel at his great desire to obtain an earthly crown and hope that in the fleeting last moments of his life he acknowledged the true King and Kingdom. My hope is that we aspire not for earthly kingdoms but for the eternal Kingdom of God and take action as great as Magellan did for earthly glory.



[1] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Reverence_%28emotion%29
[2] McCain, John and Salter, Mark. (2005) Character is destiny. Random House, New York

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