Monday, February 8, 2016

potius . . . etiam

O Lord our God,
who once established these created things
to sustain our frailty,
grant, we pray,
that they may become for us now
the Sacrament of eternal life.

Domine Deus noster, qui has potius creaturas
ad fragilitatis nostrae subsidium condidisti,
tribue, quaesumus,
ut etiam aeternitatis nobis fiant sacramentum.

     Prayer over the Offerings, Fifth Sunday in Ordinary Time, Missale Romanum.  This one (O952so in the online missal, which should appear on p. 455 of the third typical editiondoes not occur in either Bruylants or the historical volumes of Corpus orationum, but only in Corpus orationum vols. 13 (first and second typical editions) and 14 (third typical edition), pp. 174 and 175 respectively, at no. 430, where Corpus orationum no. 2281 (no. 901 in the 6th/7th-century "Leonine" or Veronese sacramentary, among many other early such collections) is named as its source:
Domine deus noster, qui in his potius creaturis, quas ad fragilitatis nostrae praesidium condidisti, tuo quoque nomini munera iussisti dicanda constitui, tribue, quaesumus, ut et vitae nobis praesentis auxilium et aeternitatis efficiant sacramentum.

Sunday, February 7, 2016

"only a thoroughly craven theology"

"only a thoroughly craven theology would imagine that its task is therefore to translate the Gospel message into 'political' terms. . . .  A 'political' theology, in this sense, could only underwrite the modern understanding of politics, and declare to the credulous that the process of politicization is, after all, identical with what the Church has always meant by 'salvation'."

     John Milbank, Theology and social theory:  beyond secular reason, 2nd ed. (Malden, MA:  Blackwell Publishing, 2006), 246-247 (in the chapter entitled "Founding the supernatural:  political and liberation theology in the context of modern Catholic thought").
     The fourth thing wrong with this account is the correlation of truth with negative freedom.  Why should truth just 'show' itself to the person without assumptions [(e.g. those of the concrete historical tradition of Christian practice founded upon the revelation of God in the concrete person and worklife, teachings, example, and cross-bearing wayof the God-man Jesus Christ)]?  All our 'truths' are only 'assumptions', or takings up from previous linguistic arrangements.  The naked truth apprehensible by freedom can only be the formal truth of the universal conditions for the extension of freedom (as 'choice') itself.  The mere freedom to do and think as one pleases is fixed in a pre-established harmony with a merely instrumental reason.  Thus, already in Spinoza we discovered that the 'free' investigation of the Bible had to issue in the recognition that the Bible's rational meaning was a political one, relating to the formal logic of the exercise of absolute sovereign power.
     And political and liberation theology continue to write a Tractatus Theologico-Politicus, which is precisely the hermeneutic 'capturing' of the text of the Bible by the State from the hands of a universal Church, that [(i.e. which Church)] intrinsically threatened the modern concept of sovereignty.  (Is this one aspect of the pedagogy of the oppressed?)  For Gutierrez, secularization results in the total politicization of everything, meaning by this that a Weberian formality of powerbureaucratic, positive, instrumental rationalitydominates all human transactions in the modern age [(underscoring mine)].

A modern invention

"the rise of modern 'scientific' explanation with regard to both nature and society [can] not be regarded as the displacement of divine, transcendent causes by immanent ones.  Instead, what happened was that the old medieval hierarchy of primary (divine) and secondary (immanent) causes collapsed, and explanation was parcelled out between 'natural' causes operating in a manner 'testable' by human beings, because they could be experimentally manipulated, and 'transcendent' causes where a direct divine intervention, without intermediaries, was postulatedas in the case of Leibniz's pre-established harmony, Malebranche's occasional causality, Newton's 'active principles', Smith's 'hidden hand' and even (one should add, against Funkenstein)  Kant's transcendental objects and supersensible free subjectivity.  So it was not that the Middle Ages overlooked finite, secondary causes, but rather that the modern age invented an incompatibility between finite and divine causes, and instead of initially proscribing the latter, made them operate on the same level with finite causes, though with a limited range of effect."

     John Milbank, Theology and social theory:  beyond secular reason, 2nd ed. (Malden, MA:  Blackwell Publishing, 2006), 245.

"the only hope of heavenly grace"

Ars Pacis Augustae, South Frieze (Family of Augustus)

Keep your family safe, O Lord, with unfailing care,
that, relying solely on the hope of heavenly grace,
they may be defended always by your protection.

Familiam tuam, quaesumus, Domine,
continua pietate custodi,
ut, quae in sola spe gratiae caelestis innititur,
tua semper protectione muniatur.

Your household, we pray, O Lord,
with unfailing tenderness protect,
that it (which on the only hope of heavenly grace relies)
by your protection may always be fortified.

     Collect, Fifth Sunday in Ordinary Time, Missale Romanum.  8th-century Prague (27.1) and Rheinau (155) sacramentaries, the 8th-century Palimpsest of Arnstein (11r), and the 8th/9th-century Angoulême (no. 213) and early 9th-century Gregorian (47* and 228) sacramentaries, among many later ones.  Corpus orationum no. 2638a-b (vol. 4, pp. 122-132); Bruylants no. 558 (vol. 2, p. 151).

1979 BCP:  dropped.

1973 Roman missal according to Fr. Z:
watch over your family
and keep us safe in your care,
for all our hope is in you.

1949 Sheed & Ward:
Lord. keep thy household with constant lovingkindness, so that they who rely solely upon the hope of thy heavenly grace may be defended evermore by thy protection.

1928 BCP (Fifth Sunday after the Epiphany):
O Lord, we beseech thee to keep thy Church and household continually in thy true religion; that they who do lean only upon the hope of thy heavenly grace may evermore be defended by thy mighty power; through.

1662 BCP (Fifth Sunday after the Epiphany):
O Lord, we beseech thee to keep thy Church and houshold continually in thy true religion, that they who do lean only upon the hope of thy heavenly grace, may evermore be defended by thy mighty power.

1549 BCP (Fifth Sunday after the Epiphany):
Lord, we beseche thee to kepe thy Churche and housholde continually in thy true religion; that they whiche do leane onlye upon hope of thy heauenly grace may euermore bee defended by thy mightie power; through.

Saturday, February 6, 2016

There is no conception of the "modern specification of secular autonomy" in either St. Augustine or St. Thomas

"for Gelasius there was a distinction between the auctoritas of the Church, and the mere executive potestas of the imperiumso that while Church members were subordinate to the secular arm in worldly affairs, nonetheless the potestas remained subject to the ultimate judgement of the auctoritas, as the body of Christ himself."

     John Milbank, citing Yves Congar's L’ecclésiologie du haut moyen-age (Paris:  Editions du Cerf, 1968), 249-259, the historical work with which the systematic work of Lay people in the Church was not ultimately consistent.  Theology and social theory:  beyond secular reason, 2nd ed. (Malden, MA:  Blackwell Publishing, 2006), 229.  "For Gelasius, and for St. Augustine, the imperial order remained outside the Church because it was only partially redeemed.  For Thomas Aquinas one can recognize the naturalness of the spheres of the family and of political life, yet both must now be pervaded by the law of charity.  For modern thought, however, there is a closed circle of secular norms and practices.  Compared to modernity, Augustine and Aquinas are in essential agreement:  there can be no true fulfillment of natural justice and natural peace without reference to the Church and the workings of grace" (229-230, italics mine).

Bainton on the role of pacifism

"Peace will not come through pacifiststhere have never been enough of them—but rather through peace-minded nonpacifists.  The role of pacifism is to bestir others to make every effort to resolve conflict without violence and also to bring reconciliation between all the contending groups within and without their own societies."

     Roland H. Bainton, "an affiliated member of the Society of Friends", in Roly:  chronicle of a stubborn non-conformist (New Haven, CT:  Yale University Divinity School, 1988), 117-118, 157.  Cf. "'In international relations you have to be realistic in recognizing that peace will not come through pacifism, which, however much it pricks the public conscience, is never likely to be more than a minority opinion.  Peace can be achieved only through international government'" (citation to Senator Wayne Morse, delivered as President of Enduring Peace, p. 133).

Friday, February 5, 2016

"Providence is not repugnant to the freedom of the will."

"Providentia voluntatis libertati non repugnat."

     St. Thomas Aquinas, In I Sent., d.39, q.2, a.2.  In IV Sent., d.38, q.2, a.2, ad 1.  De malo, q.6, ad 3.  De malo, q.16, a.7, ad 15.  S. th. I, q.23, a.8, c.  According to Christoph J. Amor, "'Asking makes a difference . . .':  Das Bittgebet bei Thomas Aquinas in der neueren Diskussion," Neue Zeitschrift für Systematische Theologie 50 (2008): 39 (37-61), on file.  Cf. the snippets shared in nn. 97-101 on p. 58:

"Deus operatur in ipso, ut sit ei naturale." 
"Deus in omnibus operatur secundum modum eorum." 
"ad providentiam divinam non pertinet naturam rerum corrumpere, sed servare." 
"providentiae non est naturam corrumpere, sed salvare." 
"Deus operatur in omnibus rebus sicut causa prima operatur in causa secunda."