There is no rose of such virtue 

As is the rose that bare Jesu. 

For in this rose contained was  

Heaven and earth in little space; 

Res miranda. [a wonderful thing] 

The angels sungen the shepherds to:
Gloria in excelsis Deo:
Gaudeamus. [Let us rejoice.]

Leave we all this worldly mirth,
And follow we this joyful birth;
Transeamus. [Let us go across.]


The iconography of the Nativity story is rich with meaning, and this medieval carol touches upon some of that meaning in its opening verse: "There is no rose of such virtue / As is the rose that bare Jesu."

Virtue is the quality that identifies the mother of Jesus; virtue carries and nurtures the seed, and to it gives birth. The incarnate God, Christ Within, is brought into being through spiritual gestation in virtue.

Our tradition doesn't rely on a single story to communicate the reality of our condition and the transformation that is our fulfillment, our new birth. The richness of its figuration offers many opportunities to imaginatively grasp and thereby learn what we're called to.

"The Mediate Role of Virtue" is a new post on a different story in Scripture (found in Luke 16) that harbors the same theme of the necessity of virtue for the coming of the Lord. This essay can be found at Abiding Quaker.

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Comment by Cris Fugate on 1st mo. 21, 2017 at 12:03am

Years ago I was drawn to Mary, the mother of Jesus. I can now also think of two others. Kuanyin who is like a combined Mary and Jesus in Buddhism. And Sophia who has an intimate connection with Christ in early Christianity. Some how I feel they are the same. They are all manifestations of the Light and full of grace. 

Comment by Patricia Dallmann on 1st mo. 22, 2017 at 2:59pm

Thanks for your comment, Cris. Although I love the beauty of the art, the Scriptural narratives and the language itself, they all gain their value for me in that they reflect the thing itself, which is Christ. I can appreciate the formal elements of beauty but also feel that ultimately they're unsatisfying without the thing itself, the power of God; that alone sustains their significance in my heart. So, all the characters of the Bible, all the parables, terms, images, accounts, arguments, and stories gain their value for me because they accompany my being in its longing quest for wholeness in unity with God, Christ in us the hope of glory. That we may be given this gift is the one, true miracle of eternal Life. 

Comment by Cris Fugate on 1st mo. 23, 2017 at 9:16pm
I can appreciate your sentiment. While I do not have an admiration of Jesus (as found in the Bible), I do love the idea of Christ in its many manifestations. Unfortunately, my experiences have pulled me into another spiritual tradition all together. Nevertheless, I have learned that the truth of the light within is beyond all dogma.

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