Examining History from a Catholic Perspective

About eighty percent of my book is a study of history from the late-nineteenth century to the present. I began the project when I had a hunch about the second era, the era of the Yellow Lion. St. Hildegard’s explanation of the symbolism of that time almost perfectly describes the militaristic period of 1914-1945. The challenge then was to see if the historical era that preceded it and the one that followed it matched her explanation of the respective beast’s symbolism.

Since I did not want to force square pegs into round holes, I was hoping to find obvious matches between the animal symbols and the respective historical periods. After consulting numerous histories of the periods in question, I became somewhat discouraged and considered hanging it up; there were similarities but no obvious matches. The specific characteristics of each period must be present from its beginning to its end; and the sequence of eras must follow each other in the right order for Hildegard’s vision to have been realized.

Historians naturally will view history differently from each other. One might place a higher level of importance on social history, another on politics, and another on economics. I realized that the writing of history is unavoidably a very subjective effort, everyone has their personal agenda and biases. dawsonThen I recalled the work of the great British historian Christopher Dawson (1889-1970). Dawson, a Catholic, had a powerful bias, he viewed history from a distinctly Catholic perspective, not as a Church historian, but a Catholic historian. Dawson believed that:

“…the Catholic, and indeed every Christian, is bound to recognize the existence of a transcendent supra-temporal element at work in history.” Continue reading “Examining History from a Catholic Perspective”

The Beasts and the Symbolism of the Ropes

If you look at the image I used for the header at the top of the page you will notice that it comes from the cover to my book. The image was divided into three parts that change randomly as you go to different pages on the blog. If you click around you will see all five beasts. These are illuminations that adorned the Rupertsberg manuscript of Hildegard’s Scivias, the book which contains the vision of the beasts, and are assumed to have been either painted by Hildegard herself or artistically directed by her..

Each beast represents a brief historical period (see here for the background). You will notice that there is something coming out of each of the beast’s mouth. Hildegard describes these as ropes that are attached to the top of a mountain. The mountain, she tells us is meant to symbolize a specific social evil that is characteristic of the individual historical era.

Continue reading “The Beasts and the Symbolism of the Ropes”