Solace for the heart

Something relevant to birds from the always interesting Laudator Temporis Acti:

E.M. Forster, A Passage to India, chapter 8:

"Do you know what the name of that green bird up above us is?" she asked, putting her shoulder rather nearer to his.
"Oh no, Ronny, it has red bars on its wings."
"Parrot," he hazarded.
"Good gracious no."
The bird in question dived into the dome of the tree. It was of no importance, yet they would have liked to identify it, it would somehow have solaced their hearts.

Forster himself in a note identified the bird as the Common Iora (Aegithina tiphia), but Prasanta Das, "’The Common Iora’ in A Passage to India," Notes and Queries 43.1 (March 1966) 54-55, observed that Forster was mistaken, as the Common Iora has white bars on its wings, not red bars.


Indeed… precise identification can be tricky at times.

That is the way life is.

Sometimes you want to know why things happen the way they do, or what really did happen. 

We analyze and we often err. 

Sometimes we are just taking stabs in the dark.

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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  1. Gloria says:

    and – Sometimes our perceptions are influenced by our state of mind or state of soul or by circumstance of the moment.

    and – Sometimes the distance of years allows us to see more clearly the Will of God.

  2. Supetradmom says:

    Thank you for these thoughts. As Catholics, we must try to become objective observers and objective critics, putting on the mind of Christ. I love that novel and have taught it. Also, many thanks for the bird photos.

  3. Sprinter says:

    Your word is a lamp for my feet, a light for my path.

    The Christian RUNS in the pitch dark while the Lord illumines his path before him. He knows little of the dangers that pass him by and little of the goods that the Lord pours upon him in sleep. He is comforted only in the sure knowledge that the Lord protects him, and guides his path because each step is revealed in due course, immediately before it must be taken, and no sooner. The faster the Christian runs not knowing what is coming the greater his faith for he more and more depends on the Lord.

  4. JillofTheAmazingWolverineTribe says:

    This fellow looks similar to ahooded oriole, but he isn’t – what is he?

  5. plisto says:

    Very beautiful pictures. Sometimes it hurts to see that life is quite unpredictable but going to confession and trusting in His mercy often helps.. ;-)

  6. Amy says:

    I second the call for belief in his mercy and confession with a priest you trust. The Kentucky Derby was fabulous this year! It seems to me Mine That Bird is a lot like the Christian. If he lets Christ direct his steps he will inevitably grow into greater and greater perfection. It may seem in the eyes of the world that the Christian is woefully behind, but in the Truth of heaven he is very much in the running.

    While we thought of him as stricken, as one smitten by God and afflicted,
    …he was pierced for our offenses, crushed for our sins, Upon him was the chastisement that makes us whole, by his stripes we were healed.

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