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Visio divina or sacred seeing is an ancient form of Christian prayer that uses images as mediators of the presence of God. The term parallels the Benedictine tradition of lectio divina but is primarily based on sight and not on words. In visio divina art transcends its forms, allowing the seer to discover the trace of God in the circumstances of his or her life.

Having clarified the three foundational terms of my proposal, I will now attempt to develop the relationship between love of neighbor and visual art, proposing concrete and simple practices in which caregivers can engage. In the proposed praxis of this paper, the fundamental image to be considered by caregivers is, of course, the person receiving their care Gen Other images that can be used for visio divina are ancillary to the image of the neighbor in need.

Some of the art I have recently considered comes from the rich and primitive drawings in the catacombs: Jesus healing the blind man, Jesus raising Lazarus, the hemorrhagic woman touching the tassel of His garment. I have also been moved by the Icon of Friendship, depicting Jesus with his arm around the shoulder of a somewhat wearied Abbot Menas. The embrace of Jesus seems to enable Menas to raise his hand in blessing, reminding the perhaps also weary caregiver contemplating this icon that the Christian is called to be a blessing to others CCC But the caregiver need not be limited to sacred images.

Rahner asserts that even when an image is not representational of a religious subject, it is rendered religious if it brings about, through the sense of seeing, the experience of transcendence. Unbeknownst to her, I needed to see that picture on that particular day. I keep it in my range of vision so as to memorialize a graced and unmerited instant of compassion.

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In the book, the reader learns that Earth has been under observation, for many thousands of years, by orbiting spaceships of the rival planets Dirna and Kranaz. In the futuristic world of, uh, , each side maintains some 1, ships in high orbit; an ancient treaty prohibits either party of this galactic Cold War from actually setting foot on the planet or making their presence known in any way.

Major problems arise, however, for one of the Dirnan ships, when its fusion generator goes haywire and its three-person crew is forced to bail out before the novalike explosion ensues. Disguised in the outward semblance of Earthlings, the three crash-land, many miles apart, in the state of New Mexico; all have suffered major injuries to their human shells.

Mirtin, the oldest of the Dirnans, a male, is found by Charley Estancia, a keen-minded, year-old Indian boy who lives in a nearby pueblo, and is cared for by the youth in a cave. Vorneen, the Adonis-like, sexually rapacious crewman, is cared for by Kathryn Mason, a year-old, widowed single mother living in Bernalillo. And Glair, a Dirnan female inhabiting a voluptuous blonde body, is found and tended to by Col. Meanwhile, as the three pairs interact and ultimately find that all their lives are enriched and bettered because of it, a Kranazoi agent lands on Earth, determined to bring the three Dirnans to justice for breaking the ages-old treaty.

A hoary plot, perhaps, but the author here manages to make it seem fresh.

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To my surprise, the Dirnans here are said to be only 3' tall; that is the only description of their actual bodies that Silverberg ever gives us. I can only infer that the author forgot he'd previously used the name "Dirna" in one of his novels 10 years earlier; they are clearly two very different planets and races.


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One can of course argue that it is a big universe, and two different planets named Dirna must statistically exist, but still, I can't help feel that Silverberg might have used another name, to less confusing effect. Other than this problem, "Those Who Watch" is a beautifully written book, with exceptionally fine dialogue, and the reader really does get to know and care for its six main characters. Silverberg makes us feel the New Mexico milieu a map of the state might come in handy for a better appreciation , and he does seem to have done his homework in regard to the Indian reservations and life thereon.

He would go on to write the nonfiction work "The Pueblo Revolt" in And if Mirtin's farewell note to Charley doesn't make you mist up a little The book is a compact affair, clocking in at under pages I refer here to the original cent Signet paperback, which I was fortunate enough to acquire , and one can justly say that the story might have been expanded a bit more; fleshed out just a tad.

Another author might have easily turned this book into the introduction to an entire series, but Silverberg, at least at this point in his career, was not content to indulge in sequels. The book may be a concise one, but what's here is just wonderful. Score another one for today's birthday boy!


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  • More than highly recommended! This review, by the way, originally appeared on the FanLit website, an excellent destination for all fans of Robert Silverberg View all 5 comments. I knew before I got into this that it would be a light read.

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    I grabbed this out of my paperback drawer just as I was leaving for a one week holiday. The story revolves around three alien beings that have been observing Earth for centuries. Each have a scenario of their own as they recover from an emergency bail-out onto the Earth's surface. Two of the three of these scenarios quickly bordered onto what I imagined Silverberg's soft erotic pulp must be like - he published an astounding amount of t I knew before I got into this that it would be a light read.

    Two of the three of these scenarios quickly bordered onto what I imagined Silverberg's soft erotic pulp must be like - he published an astounding amount of this sort of thing under various pseudonyms between the late fifties and early sixties- quick easy money I suppose - but, fortunately steered clear of over self indulgence. The New Mexico setting was well chosen, being less typical.

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    Think of a rather amusing drive-in B-Movie of the day. View 2 comments. Robert Silverberg is one of my favorite science fiction authors. I've read several of his books dating back to the 70s and always enjoy them. Those Who Watch is a short novel published in The novel is about three aliens who are part of a larger group of aliens who watch over the earth to see how humankind has been progressing. These aliens, the Dirnans, have been monitoring the Earth for thousands of years along with a competing alien group called the Kranazoi.

    The Dirnans are surgically a Robert Silverberg is one of my favorite science fiction authors. The Dirnans are surgically altered to appear human.

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    When their space craft malfunctions and explodes, the trio of aliens bale to Earth but are separated and injured. Luckily, they each are taken in and nursed back to health by kind human beings. The first is rescued by an year old Indian boy who learns a lot from the Dirnan. The other two, one female and one male, are rescued by two lonely people of the opposite sex who end up falling in love with the aliens!

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    This short novel draws to a close rather quickly but ends with a feeling of hope for those affected. I did rather enjoy this novel from the 60s, written during the heyday of science fiction. I think this is the earliest novel I have read by Silverberg but I know he was writing science fiction as early as the s. Those Who Watch is the story of three alien watchers, whose Earth-orbiting ship malfunctions and crashes them into various locations in New Mexico. In those locations, they each encounter a lonely human being with whom they become emotionally involved while recovering from their injuries.

    The alien technology and Earth future histories are fairly typical of the era in which the novel was written. This was the time of the original Star Trek series.

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    The characters are also fairly stock at first, but do develop as the relationships grow. However, this is a short novel, and closure is soon needed. The ending itself is quite hopeful, with some heart. It is a competent and entertaining work, but I did not find it more than that. There are no stakes either, no danger or menace. It feels rather like a first draft rushed out the door to meet a contract. Cool premise One of the watching ships crashes, and it's 3 crew who are also a 'sexual group , bail out just in time.

    All three are seriously wounded, however, and are nursed back to health. One by a lonely widowed single mom, one by a down and out member of the AOS the Air Force department that in Cool premise People come in three classes: the few who make things happen, the many who watch things happen and the overwhelming majority who have no idea what happened. News, Woonsocket, S. In the popular syndicated columnist Earl Wilson presented an anonymous instance; 5. People can be divided into three groups — those who make things happen, those who watch things happen, and those who wonder what happened.

    In Tommy Lasorda who was the successful manager of the Los Angeles Dodgers baseball team wrote a newspaper piece containing a version of the expression tailored to his sport: 6. There are three types of baseball players — those who make it happen, those who watch it happen and those who wonder what happens. People can be divided into three groups: those who make things happen, those who watch things happen, and those who wonder what happened. Peter presented a version without attribution: 8. People who make things happen.

    People who watch things happen. There are the few who make things happen; the many more who watch things happen and the overwhelming majority who have no notion of what happens. In conclusion, Nicholas Murray Butler should receive credit for the words he spoke in The phrasing has evolved over time, and others have repeated versions of the saying; however, current evidence points to Butler as the originator.

    Murphy www.