23 October 2009

The Pomegranate - The Queen of Fruits

I recently had the opportunity to try a pomegranate which were on sale at a local grocer. We don't get a lot of them in Minnesota and it was definitely a treat. Then tonight I picked up a book off my shelf titled Nature In The Works of Luis De Granada and there in the section on fruits he gives his most detailed description to the pomegranate.

The covering of this fruit is like a garment which surrounds it on all sides to protect it from the severity of the weather. This coating is hard on the outside, but softer on its inner surface, so that it may not injure the delicate texture of the fruit. The grains, the formation of which the author carefully notes together with the provision for their nourishment, are arranged so as to avoid waste of space. They are enclosed in sections separated from one another by a membrane finer than gauze. This division, which he compares to that of the parts of the brain, contributes to the conservation of the grains, whereas the separating tissue prevents the decomposition which starts in one section from passing to an adjoining one. That this fruit may be lacking in no grace, it is surmounted by a royal crown, from the shape of which Fray Luis thinks kings must have taken the form of their diadems.

The pomegranate is thus marked as the queen of fruits. It is not surpassed by any other, either in the color of its grains, lively like that of coral, or in its flavor and healthfulness. Pleasing to the eye and sweet to the taste, it is palatable to the well and wholesome to the sick. Moreover it is of such a quality that it may be kept during the whole year.

Fray Luis wonders that men who are ready to philosophize on human affairs are to so little impressed by the wisdom and power which is able to produce from water and a little humor of the earth a piece of workmanship like the pomegranate. He [Fray Luis] remarks that the Spouse in the Canticle shows better understanding when she invites the beloved to go forth to see if the pomegranates are flourishing, and also to drink of wine make from this fruit.

It is a very interesting book as much for his scientific observation, which undoubtedly would be criticized by our modern "scientists" and their methods, but also by the relation of the natural to the supernatural or spiritual. Here is a part from his description of a bear.
A bear which carries away a honeycomb does not heed the stinging of the bees; so a Christian who enjoys the happiness of receiving Christ in the Eucharist should disregard the pricking of criticizing tongues.

No comments:


This blog and the opinions are all my own and in no way imply the endorsement from any organization. Nor does a recommendation of another blog or web site imply my agreement or endorsement of everything found on their site.