Friday, 14 April 2017

Prayers Before Battle II

See Prayers Before Battle.

Let us also compare SM Stirling's Abbot with Poul Anderson's Phillipe Rochefort. For the latter's invocation of St Joan, see here. The Abbot invokes:

"Mary, pierced with sorrows..."
-A Meeting At Corvallis, Chapter Seventeen, p. 466.

Polytheists invoke gods; monotheists invoke God. However, Catholics can invoke:

the Mother of God;
three divine persons -

- thus four kinds of supernatural persons, with Mary the only such person in a class by herself.

Mary is asked to intercede. Joan is asked to help, which can only be by interceding. I accept that Rochefort and the Abbot are reminding themselves of meaningful stories but not that the persons addressed literally exist and are able to intercede. An invocation of a warrior god or saint expresses an aspiration to emulate the god or saint.

1 comment:

Sean M. Brooks said...

Kaor, Paul!

I'm sorry to be nit picky, but you frequently make a mistake with the title of Stirling's book, A MEETING AT CORVALLIS. Quite often you use "IN" instead of "AT" in the title.

While I agree with you in how Catholics often invoke the angels, saints, and the BVM in their prayers, Trinitarian Protestants also invoke the three Persons of the Triune God.

And I do believe that not only do angels and the saints exist, but that they can, given God's permission, sometimes assist those who ask for their help. Here I have mind how miraculous cures are sometimes granted at shrines like Lourdes.