[Note. I began this post on 22 November 2007.
“fond of stars” or “star-lover”—
from two Greek words:astron
, meaning “star,”
, meaning “fond” or “loving.”
In my monastery’s family tree there is an ancient monk, Herman the Cripple, who is thought to have been the composer of a famous invocation of the Blessed Virgin Mary as “STAR
of the Sea.”
ALMA REDEMPTORIS MATER
QUAE PERVIA CAELI PORTA MANES
ET STELLA MARIS
SUCCURRE CADENTI SURGERE QUI CURAT POPULO
TU QUAE GENUISTI NATURA MIRANTE TUUM SANCTUM GENITOREM
VIRGO PRIUS AC POSTERIUS
GABRIELIS AB ORE SUMENS ILLUD AVE
LOVING MOTHER OF THE REDEEMER
YOU REMAIN THE OPEN GATE OF HEAVEN
AND THE STAR OF THE SEA
ASSIST THE PEOPLE WHO HAVE FALLEN AND STRIVE TO RISE
YOU WHO BORE YOUR HOLY MAKER WHILE NATURE WONDERED
YOU WERE A VIRGIN BEFORE AND AFTER
YOU RECEIVED THE GREETING FROM THE MOUTH OF GABRIEL
HAVE PITY ON SINNERS
Herman lived in the Years of Our Lord 1013-1054 at the monastery of Reichenau Island, Lake Constance. An earlier monk of that monastery, Saint Meinrad, went to be a hermit in what is now Einsiedeln, Switzerland, dying there in 861, and inspiring the foundation of a monastery in the same place in 934. Einsiedeln sent monks in 1854 to Indiana, to start the monastery that is now Saint Meinrad Archabbey. Monks came from the Indiana monastery in 1958 to found my monastery, Prince of Peace Abbey, in the city of Oceanside, California, overlooking the Pacific Ocean.
Our Lady of Einsiedeln statue at my monastery (click image to see bigger)
The monastery of Einsiedeln enshrines a blackened, statue of the Madonna and Child that is nearly six centuries old. My monastery in Oceanside has a copy of that statue enshrined in our abbey church, “Our Lady of Einsiedeln Church.”
Star of the Sea! Star of Ocean
The topper is that my monastery is within the same part of Oceanside as Saint Mary Star of the Sea Catholic Church.
Again: Star of the Sea, Star of Ocean
I believe she played— and prayed
— a role in the fact that you, “Starlover,” Astrophel, came to my blog.
At this point you have now received a brief story of my monastic family tree. Elsewhere on my blog, you may find a link to a story of my life and personal monastic calling.
By the way, stephanos
(accent on the first syllable) is the Greek word for “crown,” and is the original name of Saint Stephen
the First Martyr of Jesus Christ.
Well ... that’s enough of introducing myself.
Yes, “Starlover,” Astrophel, I am willing to correspond with you as I have been doing with “Demensira.”
I want to know if you want me to address you as “Astrophel.” Historically, that is a man’s name; but I suppose a woman might use it. Are you a man or a woman?
What is your personal religious background?
I wonder that you cringed
, as you say, to read that Demensira’s Satanist beliefs differ from yours. Why cringe? Are there beliefs that Satanists expect other Satanists to hold? Among Satanists, is there also an accepted Satanist orthodoxy and are there rejected Satanist heresies? Did you cringe because Demensira is evidence of disunity among Satanists?
I ask those questions while saying to myself, “Odd to see a Satanist mindset parallel to Christian religiosity!” However, it is paradoxical to me, because I am ignorant about Satanism. Christianity holds and preaches the “universals” of Truth, Goodness, Beauty, and Unity as attributes of God, while I think of Satanism as opposed to Unity (which in Christ is a gift of the Holy Spirit
), Satanism as opposed to Truth (Christ is The Truth, and Satan is the primordial distorter of the Truth
), Satanism as opposed to Beauty (created beauty is a reflection of the Glory of God
), and Satanism as opposed to Goodness (Demensira even excludes the application of that category in decisions about spiritual well-being
). All of that goes on inside my head as I read that you “cringed” over the diversity between your Satanism and Demensira’s. I acknowledge that what is inside my head might not be the same as what’s inside your use of the word “cringed.”
I will impose one restriction on the topics of our dialogue. If I wanted to learn about Satanism in depth and from a Satanist perspective, I would go to a Satanist website or source (or to Catholic sources to learn about Satanism from a Christian perspective). I am here to receive your questions, to give my explanations, to respect your right to disagree, and to receive your explanations as they may be pertinent to our discussion. I am not here— my blog is not here— to enable the wholesale preaching of Satanism, which you are free to do on a blog of your own.[My other readers! If you'd like to comment, please do so under the blogpost entitled, "My correspondence with a 'theistic Satanist.'" I'm going to restrict my dialogue with Astrophel here to Astrophel and myself.]