Sunday, May 27, 2012

The Early Church Fathers, Sunday, May 27, 2012

child Jesus with the virgin Mary, with the Hol...
child Jesus with the virgin Mary, with the Holy Spirit (represented as a dove) and God the Father, with child john the Baptist and saint Elizabeth on the right (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

What, then, is our doctrine? The Lord, in delivering the saving Faith to those who become disciples of the word, joins with the Father and the Son the Holy Spirit also; and we affirm that the union of that which has once been joined is continual; for it is not joined in one thing, and separated in others. But the power of the Spirit, being included with the Father and the Son in the life-giving power, by which our nature is transferred from the corruptible life to immortality, and in many other cases also, as in the conception of “Good,” and “Holy,” and “Eternal,” “Wise,” “Righteous,” “Chief,” “Mighty,” and in fact everywhere, has an inseparable association with them in all the attributes ascribed in a sense of special excellence. And so we consider that it is right to think that that which is joined to the Father and the Son in such sublime and exalted conceptions is not separated from them in any.[1]

[1] Gregory of Nyssa. (1893). On the Holy Trinity, and of the Godhead of the Holy Spirit H. A. Wilson, Trans.). In P. Schaff & H. Wace (Eds.), A Select Library of the Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers of the Christian Church, Second Series, Volume V: Gregory of Nyssa: Dogmatic Treatises, etc. (P. Schaff & H. Wace, Ed.) (327). New York: Christian Literature Company.
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Friday, May 25, 2012

Friday Florilegia, Friday, May 25, 2012, The Holy Trinity

This weeks passage for lectio, is again the second reading from next Sunday's Mass, this time for the Feast of The Holy Trinity.  May we all be glorified with Him!

Reading 2 Rom 8:14-17

Brothers and sisters:
For those who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God.
For you did not receive a spirit of slavery to fall back into fear,
but you received a Spirit of adoption,
through whom we cry, "Abba, Father!"
The Spirit himself bears witness with our spirit
that we are children of God,
and if children, then heirs,
heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ,
if only we suffer with him
so that we may also be glorified with him.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

The Desert Fathers, Sunday, May 20, 2012, St John Chrysostom

Christ is Risen, and you (Hades) are annihilated! Christ is Risen, and the evil ones are cast down! Christ is Risen and the angels rejoice! Christ is Risen, and life is liberated! Christ is Risen, and the tomb is emptied of its dead; for Christ having risen from the dead is become the first-fruits of those who have fallen asleep… Let no one fear death, for the Death of our Saviour has set us free.

Friday Florilegia, Friday, May 18, 2012, Pentecost

Friday Florilegia, on Sunday I'm sorry to say, I've selected the second reading from next Sunday's Mass for the Feast of Pentecost.  I hope, over this next week, to spend a good deal of time myself with this reading.

Reading 2 1 Cor 12:3b-7, 12-13

Brothers and sisters:
No one can say, "Jesus is Lord," except by the Holy Spirit.
There are different kinds of spiritual gifts but the same Spirit;
there are different forms of service but the same Lord;
there are different workings but the same God
who produces all of them in everyone.
To each individual the manifestation of the Spirit
is given for some benefit.

As a body is one though it has many parts,
and all the parts of the body, though many, are one body,
so also Christ.
For in one Spirit we were all baptized into one body,
whether Jews or Greeks, slaves or free persons,
and we were all given to drink of one Spirit.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Early Church Fathers, Sunday, May 13, 2012, St Cyprian of Carthage

St CyprianSt Cyprian (Photo credit: Lawrence OP)
It seemed fitting, dearest brother, after examining each case separately, to admit after a time those who had received certificates; and those who sacrificed should be received at death, because among the dead there is no confession of sin, nor is it possible to force anyone to repentance if the fruit of repentance be taken away. If the battle come suddenly, he will be found ready for it, having been strengthened by us. And indeed, if illness press hard upon him before the battle, he will depart with the comfort of peace and of being in communion. St Cyprian of Carthage, Letter of Cyprian to Antonianus
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Friday, May 11, 2012

Friday Florilegia, Friday, May 11, 2012

Folio 27r from the Lindisfarne Gospels contain...
Folio 27r from the Lindisfarne Gospels contains the incipit Liber generationis of the Gospel of Matthew. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I’ve selected the Gospel reading from next week, the Feast of the Ascension in most US dioceses for this week's lectio.

Gospel Mk 16:15-20

Jesus said to his disciples:
"Go into the whole world
and proclaim the gospel to every creature.
Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved;
whoever does not believe will be condemned.
These signs will accompany those who believe:
in my name they will drive out demons,
they will speak new languages.
They will pick up serpents with their hands,
and if they drink any deadly thing, it will not harm them.
They will lay hands on the sick, and they will recover."

So then the Lord Jesus, after he spoke to them,
was taken up into heaven
and took his seat at the right hand of God.
But they went forth and preached everywhere,
while the Lord worked with them
and confirmed the word through accompanying signs.

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Thursday, May 10, 2012

Miscellaneous Musings, Thursday, May 10, 2012

Attended daily Mass Monday and found a sign taped to the front door of the Cathedral; there has been vandalism there and they are locking the doors immediately after the daily Masses henceforth.  I know of one incident from last week, apparently one of the many homeless men that hang around the Catholic Charities place across the street urinated in the baptismal font.  There may have been others.

To his credit, Father said he hated to lock the doors like that but he couldn't sit by while "sacred things" were vandalized.  It's a shame that one quiet spot left in downtown Colorado Springs has now been lost due to the probably irresponsible act of one poor confused individual.
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Another good column in the Wall Street Journal on Tuesday, this one from Bret Stephens.  It does a pretty good job of describing the state of higher education, which appears to be getting worse all the time.  It takes the form of a commencement address and starts out as follows:

"Allow me to be the first one not to congratulate you. Through exertions that—let's be honest—were probably less than heroic, most of you have spent the last few years getting inflated grades in useless subjects in order to obtain a debased degree. Now you're entering a lousy economy, courtesy of the very president whom you, as freshmen, voted for with such enthusiasm. Please spare us the self-pity about how tough it is to look for a job while living with your parents. They're the ones who spent a fortune on your education only to get you back— return-to-sender, forwarding address unknown. 

No doubt some of you have overcome real hardships or taken real degrees. A couple of years ago I hired a summer intern from West Point. She came to the office directly from weeks of field exercises in which she kept a bulletproof vest on at all times, even while sleeping. She writes brilliantly and is as self-effacing as she is accomplished. Now she's in Afghanistan fighting the Taliban."

He describes an interview with an Ivy League graduate as follows:
"A few months ago, I interviewed a young man with an astonishingly high GPA from an Ivy League university and aspirations to write about Middle East politics. We got on the subject of the Suez Crisis of 1956. He was vaguely familiar with it. But he didn't know who was president of the United States in 1956. And he didn't know who succeeded that president."

 This is nearly unbelievable, yet it isn't, and it's sad.  One can't help but wonder what happens when these very highly educated illiterates begin to assume important positions in business and government.  How will the country survive? 

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On a brighter note, a major project at work has been completed and life is returning slowly to normal.  The hours are shorter and there's at least a bit of time to think. 

I just completed an excellent book by Etienne Gilson, Reason and Revelation in the Middle Ages.  His is the first book I've read that offers some reasonable explanation of the relationship between faith and reason.  I hope to provide a full review in a future post.
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You may have noticed a bit of redesign of the blog.  I'm hoping to broaden my focus to the Catholic faith in general and the design changes are an attempt to put that broader focus into symbolic form.  Hope you enjoy it.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Unrest in Wisconsin

An interesting article today in the Wall Street Journal.  It seems some parishioners in a Wisconsin parish don't like the assignment of some rather strictly orthodox priests to their parishes.  They go so far as to claim that the priests aren't "teaching according to the precepts of the Church."  The articles states that the bishop didn't take kindly to their rather vociferous protests.

"Last month, soon after the parish announced it planned to close its school, Bishop Robert Morlino issued a public letter. He wrote that after investigating allegations from parishioners that the priests aren't teaching according to the precepts of the church, he found that the faith is being taught in the proper manner, but "what remains are personal likes and dislikes, along with inflated rumors and gossip, some which may even rise to the level of calumnious inciting of hatred of your priests, the faith and myself." The bishop had earlier objected to the some church members' efforts to oust the priests, including seminars on protest-letter writing, leafleting of vehicles and gathering signatures on a petition door-to-door."
What set this off is that, apprarently, the priests have imposed a dress code on Mass attendance and won't allow girls as altar servers.  They won't allow scantily clad ladies and men in shorts to particpate in the Mass.  I've often wondered about the way people dress at the parish I normally attend; I wonder if they realize they are, indeed, in the presence of God.  If they did, would that change their choice in attire?   Would they attend a formal or, say, even a business dinner dressed as they are at Mass?  I wonder.

It makes me want to be more mindful of the way I sometimes dress and that I should be more respectful myself.

One other side point.  I think what the Spanish priests are doing in Wisconsin is entirely within their rights as the bishop's representatives.  I also think it's instructive that those members of the parish who are protesting don't seem to be very well acquainted with what the teachings of the Church are.  That's the Church's fault, by the way.

Sunday, May 6, 2012

The Desert Fathers, Sunday, May 6, 2013, Kontakia of St. Romanos

The wicked one, on the watch, carried me off as booty as I lazily slept. He led my mind into error; he plundered my spirit and snatched away The wealth of Thy grace, this arch robber. So raise me up, as I am fallen, and summon me, Saviour, Thou who dost will that all men be saved.

Kontakia of St. Romanos, A Prayer.

Friday, May 4, 2012

Friday Florilegia, Friday, May 4, 2012

This week’s reading, from the 15th chapter ofJohn’s Gospel, is one of my favorite passages in Scripture.  In fact, the entire discourse of Jesus foundin chapters 13-17 is one of the most beautiful sections of the entire Bible.

Gospel Jn 15:9-17

Jesus said to his disciples:
"As the Father loves me, so I also love you.
Remain in my love.
If you keep my commandments, you will remain in my love,
just as I have kept my Father"s commandments
and remain in his love."

"I have told you this so that my joy may be in you
and your joy might be complete.
This is my commandment: love one another as I love you.
No one has greater love than this,
to lay down one's life for one's friends.
You are my friends if you do what I command you.
I no longer call you slaves,
because a slave does not know what his master is doing.
I have called you friends,
because I have told you everything I have heard from my Father.
It was not you who chose me, but I who chose you
and appointed you to go and bear fruit that will remain,
so that whatever you ask the Father in my name he may give you.
This I command you: love one another."

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

A Word on Wednesday, Wednesday, May 2, 2012

'Wishing to show that to fulfill every commandment is a duty, whereas sonship is a gift given to men through His own Blood, the Lord said: "When you have done all that is commanded you, say: 'We are useless servants: we have only done what was our duty'" (Luke 17:10). Thus the kingdom of heaven is not a reward for works, but a gift of grace prepared by the Master for his faithful servants.'

St. Mark the Ascetic