Sunday, April 26, 2015

"I will spew you out of my mouth."

"God, who by the light of thy truth guidest wanderers back into the path of righteousness, grant that all who are accounted Christians may embrace those things which befit their faith and reject what is hostile to it".

     Collect for the Third Sunday after Easter, as translated in The missal in Latin and English, being the text of the Missale Romanum with English rubrics and a new translation (New York:  Sheed & Ward, 1949), 471.

"Deus, qui errantibus, ut in viam possint redire iustitiae, veritatis tuae lumen ostendis:  da cunctis qui christiana professione censentur, et illa respuere, quae huic inimica sunt nomini; et ea quae sunt apta, sectari."

     Collect for the Third Sunday after Easter, Missale Romanum.

"Almighty God, who shewest to them that be in errour the light of thy truth, to the intent that they may return into the way of righteousness; Grant unto all them that are admitted into the fellowship of Christs religion; that they may eschew those things that are contrary to their profession, and follow all such things as are agreeable to the same, through our Lord Jesus Christ.  Amen."

     1662 Book of common prayer, as reproduced in The book of common prayer:  the texts of 1549, 1559, and 1662, ed. Brian Cummings (Oxford:  Oxford University Press, 2011), 329.  The prayer was also present in that position in the first prayer book of 1549.

     See Fr. Hunwicke on respuere here.  At Rev 3:16 the word is rather evomere.

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

"For the whole body of those rightly handling the word of truth, the manifold wisdom of the word of God, we especially beseech [thee. Lord have mercy]."

"Pro universis recte tractantibus verbum veritatis, multiformem Verbi Dei sapientiam peculiariter obsecramus.  [Kyrie eleison.]"

     Third petition of the late 5th-century "Deprecatio Gelasii" (PL 101, cols. 560-562; Capelle, below, p. 136), "le fleuron des litanies anciennes".  The "Deprecatio Gelasii" was a Western adaptation of an Eastern litany more ancient still.  For a critical edition, see B. Capelle, "Le Kyrie de la messe et le pape Gélase," Révue Bénédictine 46 (1934): 136-138 (126–144), which indicates that this petition is present in 9th-century Paris 1153 ("le seul connu"), f. 48v-49r, but absent from the abridged version at Angelica B. 3.18, f. 213r.  Cf. 2 Tim 2:15 ("recte tractantem verbum veritatis") and Eph 3:10 ("multiformis sapientia Dei").
     I was put onto this by Paul de Clerck ("Improvisation et livres liturgiques:  leçons d'une histoire," Communautés et liturgies 60 (1978):  117 (109-126)), who overlooks (at least here) the allusion to Eph 3:10, but notes that there was a falling away or impoverishment after this point (petition no. 3 of the Franco-Gallican litany or prayer of the faithful reads merely
"For our pastor and all his clergy, we implore you"
(Paul de Clerck, La «prière universelle» dans les liturgies latines anciennes:  témoinages patristiques et textes liturgiques, Liturgiewissenschaftliche Quellen und Forschungen 62 (Münster Westfalen:  Aschendorff, 1977), 187-205), a falling away that necessitated the rise of liturgical books (the libelli, then sacramentaries, that were the outcome of "the great 6th- [and post 6th-]century movement of compilation" (118)), i.e. a recognition that liturgical improvisation needed guidance (rich models; "books for the [support of] liturgy" rather than rigidly prescriptive "liturgical books" (118)); that early improvisation (characteristic of "the whole of Christian antiquity" up through the end of the 4th century (112)) had been "informed, not informal" (111); "directed" (119), rather than spontaneous; guided "by [1] general structures", [2] outlines (even, sometimes, written outlines) of prayers, and [3] the prodigious retentive capacities of an oral culture (113).  For these reasons it did not result in "The monotony of a malnourished liberty [(La monotonie d'une liberté mal nourrie)]" (Louis Bouyer, L'improvisation dans l'Eglise ancienne, 15, as quoted on p. 120) or any marked declination from orthodoxy (115 ff.).

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

"As for schoolteaching, it is so strenuous that no one ought to be bound to it for more than ten years."

". . . wen einer hatt schul gehalten, ungeferlich ein 10 jar, so mag er mit guttem gewissen daruon lassen, den die arbeit ist groß, und man helt sie ein wenig gering."

     Martin Luther, WA TR 5, 27 (no. 5252), ll. 27-29 (September 2-17, 1540), as translated by Roland Bainton, on p. 235 of Here I stand: a life of Martin Luther (Abingdon, 1950).  No. 5252 is not present in LW 54.

Monday, April 20, 2015

Why I lack a "perfecta volunta"

"every inclination or movement is perfected when it achieves its end or attains its term.  Hence there is only a perfected will when, given the opportunity, it acts", and acts in such a way as to achieve its end or attain its term.

"omnis inclinatio vel motus perficitur in hoc quod consequitur finem, vel attingit terminum. Unde non est perfecta voluntas, nisi sit talis quae, opportunitate data, operetur."

     Thomas Aquinas, Summa theologiae I-II.20.4.Resp., trans. Ralph McInerny (Thomas Aquinas:  selected writings, 607).  Latin from Corpus Thomisticum.

A distinction lost on the contemporary mind

"when the exterior act  is good or bad [1] solely because of its order to the end, then the goodness or badness of the act of the will which looks to the end, and of the exterior act, which looks to the end through the mediation of the act of the will, are in every way the same.  But when the exterior act has a goodness or badness [2] in itself, because of matter or circumstances, then the goodness of the exterior act differs from the goodness of the will which is from the end. . . ."

"quando actus exterior est bonus vel malus [1] solum ex ordine ad finem, tunc est omnino eadem bonitas vel malitia actus voluntatis, qui per se respicit finem, et actus exterioris, qui respicit finem mediante actu voluntatis. Quando autem actus exterior habet bonitatem vel malitiam [2] secundum se, scilicet secundum materiam vel circumstantias, tunc bonitas exterioris actus est una, et bonitas voluntatis quae est ex fine, est alia. . . ."

     Thomas Aquinas, Summa theologiae I-II.20.3.Resp., trans. Ralph McInerny (Thomas Aquinas:  selected writings, 605).  Latin from Corpus Thomisticum.

Thursday, April 16, 2015

"If you cannot find Christ in the beggar at the church door, you will not find him in the chalice."

     Widely attributed to St. John Chrysostom, but sounds to me more like somebody's crisp paraphrase of Homily 50.4 on Matthew (ed. Field, 518A ff. (vol. 2, pp. 63 (last line) ff.); NPNF 10, trans. Prevost, rev. Riddle):
neither let us account it enough for our salvation, if after we have stripped widows and orphans, we offer for this table [(τραπέζῃ)] a gold and jewelled cup [(ποτήριον)]. Nay, if thou desire to honor the sacrifice, offer thy soul, for which also it was slain; cause that to become golden; but if that remain worse than lead or potter’s clay, while the vessel [(σκεῦος)] is of gold, what is the profit?     Let not this therefore be our aim, to offer golden vessels [(σκεύη)] only, but to do so from honest earnings likewise. For these are of the sort that is more precious even than gold, these that are without injuriousness. For the church [(ἐκκλεσία)] is not a gold foundry nor a workshop for silver, but an assembly [(πανήγυρις)] of angels. Wherefore it is souls which we require, since in fact God accepts these for the souls’ sake.
     That table [(τράπεζα)] at that time was not of silver nor that cup [(ποτήριον)] of gold, out of which Christ gave His disciples His own blood; but precious was everything there, and awful, for that they were full of the Spirit.
     Wouldest thou do honor to Christ’s body? Neglect Him not when naked; do not while here [(μὲν)] thou honorest Him with silken garments, neglect Him perishing without [(ἔξω δὲ)] of cold and nakedness. For He that said, 'This is my body,' and by His word confirmed the fact, This same said, 'Ye saw me an hungered, and fed me not;' and, 'Inasmuch as ye did it not to one of the least of these, ye did it not to me.'  For This indeed needs not coverings, but a pure soul; but that requires much attention.
     Having uncovered this on my own, I see now that I am not the first to have made the connection.