Friday, May 27, 2016

God "can be so much in earnest against sinful man that He is for him."

"God would not be God if there could be any altering the universality and logic and completeness of what is necessarily done here, if there could be any escaping this sequence of sin and destruction.  It means eternal perdition to have God against us.  But if we will what God does not will, we do have God against us, and therefore we hurry and run and stumble and fall [(läuft, rennt, stürzt und fällt)] into eternal perdition.
     "But again God would not be God if His reaction to wrong-doers could be compared to a mechanism which functions, as it were, independently of His free ruling and disposing. . . .  How God will fulfil the sentence to which man has fallen inescapably victim is a matter for Him to decide.  He can fulfil it—in all its strictness—in such a way that in fulfilling it there is attained that which man in his perversity tried and never could secure for himself—his pardon.  Without relaxing or mitigating the sentence, let alone as a judge who is unjust by reason of his laxity, He can exercise grace even with His judgment and in execution of it.  He can be so much in earnest against sinful man that He is for him [(Er kann allen Ernstes so gegen den sündigen Menschen sein, daß er eben damit für ihn ist)].  He can bring on him all that must come on him as a wrong-doer at the left hand of God and under his No, in order to set him at His right hand, in order finally to say Yes to him, in order to address and treat him as one who does right and not wrong."

     Karl Barth, CD IV/1 (1956), 221 =KD IV/1 (1953), 242-243 (§59.2, "The Judge Judged in Our Place").




Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Prayer of St. Chrysostom

"Almighty God, who hast given us grace at this time with one accord to make our common supplication unto thee, and hast promised through thy well-beloved Son that when two or three are gathered together in his Name thou wilt be in the midst of them:  Fulfill now, O Lord, the desires and petitions of thy servants as may be best for us; granting us in this world knowledge of thy truth, and in the world to come life everlasting.  Amen."

"Almighty God, you have given us grace at this time with one accord to make our common supplication to you; and you have promised through your well-beloved Son that when two or three are gathered together in his Name you will be in the midst of them:  Fulfill now, O Lord, our desires and petitions as may be best for us; granting us in this world knowledge of your truth, and in the age to come life everlasting.  Amen."

     A prayer of St. Chrysostom, Morning and Evening Prayer, Book of common prayer (1979).  According to Hatchett (pp. 130-131, which see), Cranmer derived this from "the entrance rite of the late medieval manuscripts of the liturgies of Saint John Chrysostom and Saint Basil" (it being absent from "the earliest manuscripts").  Hence (for the Liturgy of St. Chrysostom):

Ὁ τὰς κοινὰς ταύτας καὶ συμφώνους ἡμῖν χαρισάμενος  προσευχάς, ὁ καὶ δυσὶ καὶ τρισὶ συμφωνοῦσιν ἐπὶ τῷ ὀνόματί σου τὰς αἰτήσεις παρέχειν ἐπαγγειλάμενος·  αὐτὸς καὶ νῦν τῶν δούλων σου τὰ αἰτήματα πρὸς τὸ συμφέρον πλήρωσον χορηγῶν ἡμῖν ἐν τῷ παρόντι αἰῶνι τὴν ἐπίγνωσιν τῆς σῆς ἀληθείας καὶ ἐν τῷ μέλλοντι ζωὴν αἰώνιον χαριζόμενος.

     Enarxis (Commencement), modern Liturgy of St. Chrysostom, as reproduced in F. E. Brightman, Liturgies, eastern and western (1896), 367, ll. 18-23.  Cf. H. A. Daniel, Codex liturgicus ecclesiae universae in epitomen redactus, vol. 4 (1893), 343, and elsewhere.  According to Hatchett, this was followed by the doxology on the previous page of Brightman:

Ὅτι ἀγαθὸς καὶ φιλάνθρωπος Θεὸς ὑπάρχεις καὶ σοὶ τὴν δόξαν ἀναπέμπομεν τῷ Πατρὶ καὶ τῷ Υἱῷ καὶ τῷ ἁγίῳ Πνεύματι νῦν καὶ ἀεὶ καὶ εἰς τοὺς αἰῶνας τῶν αἰώνων

For the 8th/9th-century Liturgy of St. Basil, see Brightman 311 l. 22-312, l. 2, and Cod. Vat. Barb. gr. 336, fol. 2v-3r.  This (called "The Prayer of the Third Antiphon") is rendered by the Greek Orthodox Archdioese in America as follows:
Priest (in a low voice):Lord, You have granted us to offer these common prayers in unison and have promised that when two or three agree in Your name, You will grant their requests. Fulfill now, O Lord, the petitions of Your servants as may be of benefit to them, granting us in the present age the knowledge of Your truth, and in the age to come eternal life. 
And he exclaims:For You, O God, are good and love mankind, and to You we offer glory, to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit, now and forever and to the ages of ages.
Latin translation (which, according to Hatchett, misled Cranmer):

1544 English Litany:

1549:  "Letany and Suffrages", The book of the common prayer, as reproduced in Cummings (2011), 45:  "Almightie God, whiche hast geven us grace at this tyme | with one accorde to make our commune supplicacions | unto thee, and doest promise, that whan two or three | bee gathered in thy name, thou wylt graunt theyr | requestes:  fulfill now, O lorde, the desires | and peticions of thy servauntes, as | maye bee moste expediente for them, | grauntyng us in this worlde know- | lege of thy trueth, and in | the worlde to come | lyfe everlasting. | Amen."

1662:  Morning and Evening Prayer, Litany, Book of common prayer, as reproduced in Cummings (2011), 249, 257, 264:  "Almighty God, who hast given us grace at this time with one accord to make our common supplications unto thee, and dost promise, that when two or three are gathered together in the Name, though wilt grant their requests; Fulfill now, O Lord, the desires and petitions of thy servants, as may be most expedient for them; granting us in this world knowledge of thy truth, and in the world to come life everlasting.  Amen."

Sunday, May 22, 2016

Reception (susceptio) and confession (confessio)

"May receiving this sacrament, O Lord our God,
bring us health of body and soul,
as we confess your eternal holy Trinity and undivided Unity.
Through. . . ."

Proficiat nobis ad salutem corporis et animae,
Domine Deus noster, huius sacramenti susceptio,
et sempiternae sanctae Trinitatis
eiusdem(que) individuae Unitatis confessio.
Per. . . .

May the reception of this sacrament, O Lord our God, as well as [(et)] the confession of the everlasting Holy Trinity and its undivided Unity, advance [(proficiat, a singular)] with/help us unto the salvation of body and soul.

     Post Communion, Solemnity of the Most Holy Trinity, Roman Missal.  =Bruylants no. 897 (9th century).  I am especially interested in the way in which the current official translation obscures the fact that "Proficiat" (a singular) has two feminine (not neuter) subjects, "suceptio" and "confessio".  "-que" seems to have been a 10th-century addition.  1973 "translation", according to Fr. Z:

"Lord, God,
we worship you, a Trinity of Persons, one eternal God.
May our faith and the sacrament we receive
bring us health of mind and body."

"it would then become meet, and right, and my bounden duty to separate from it without delay."

"I am now, and have been from my youth, a member and a minister of the Church of England. And I have no desire nor design to separate from it till my soul separates from my body. Yet if I was not permitted to remain therein without omitting what God requires me to do, it would then become meet, and right, and my bounden duty to separate from it without delay. To be more particular, I know God has committed to me a dispensation of the gospel. Yea, and my own salvation depends upon preaching it: 'Woe is me if I preach not the gospel.' If then I could not remain in the church without omitting this, without desisting from the gospel, I should be under a necessity of separating from it, or losing my own soul. In like manner, if I could not continue to unite with any smaller society, church, or body of Christians, without committing sin, without lying and hypocrisy, without preaching to other doctrines which I did not myself believe, I should be under an absolute necessity of separating from that society. And in all these cases the sin of separation, with all the evils consequent upon it, would not lie upon me, but upon those who constrained me to make that separation by requiring of me such terms of communion as I could not in conscience comply with."

     John Wesley, Sermon 75 On schism, as quoted by William J. Abraham, in "United Methodists at the end of the mainline," First things no. 84 (June-July 1998): 32 (23-33).

Saturday, May 21, 2016

"In rendering obedience as He does, He does something which . . . only God can do."

The Son of God "shows Himself the One He is by the obedience which He renders as man. And His unconditional, self-evident, natural and wholly spontaneous being in obedience is just as little the affair of a man, or of a creature generally, as the unconditional lordship to which this being corresponds, and which He reflects in it, can ever be the affair of a man or of any creature. In rendering obedience as He does, He does something which, as in the case of that lordship, only God can do. The One who in this obedience is the perfect image of the ruling God is Himself-as distinct from every human and creaturely kind-God by nature, God in His relationship to Himself, i.e., God in His mode of being as the Son in relation to God in His mode of being as the Father, One with the Father and of one essence."

"Er erweist sich in seinem als Mensch geleisteten Gehorsam als der, der er ist. Und nun ist eben sein unbedingtes, selbstverständliches, natürliches, von innen heraus freies Sein im Gehorsam so wenig Sache eines Menschen, einer Kreatur überhaupt, wie die unbedingte Herrschaft, der dieses sein Sein entspricht, die er darin abbildet, die Sache irgend eines Menschen, irgend einer Kreatur sein kann. Er leistet, indem er Gehorsam leistet, wie er es tut, was genau so wie jenes Herrschen nur Gott selbst leisten kann. Wer in solchem Gehorsam des herrschenden Gottes vollkommenes Ebenbild ist, der ist – von aller menschlich kreatürlichen Art verschieden – selber Gott von Art, Gott in seiner Beziehung zu sich selbst, d. h. aber Gott in der Seinsweise des Sohnes im Verhältnis zu Gott in der Seinsweise des Vaters, mit diesem Einer, mit diesem gleichen Wesens."

     Karl Barth, CD IV/1, trans. Bromiley, 208-209 =KD IV/1, 228 (§59).

"without a capacity for personal prayer, are Christians capable of a true 'active participation' in the liturgy of the Church and above all the regular Sunday assembly?"

     André Haquin, "Sacrement et sacramentalité:  une evolution en cours," Revue théologique de Louvain 32, no. 4 (2001):  526 (513-528).

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

An ancient collect for Pentecost

"O God, Who by the mystery of this day’s festival dost sanctify Thy universal Church in every race and nation, shed abroad throughout the whole world the gift of the Holy Spirit; that the work wrought by Divine goodness at the first preaching of the Gospel may now also be extended among believing hearts; through. . . ."

"Deus, qui sacramento festivitatis hodiernae universam ecclesiam tuam in omni gente et natione sanctificas, in totam mundi latitudinem spiritus tui sancti dona defunde et, quod inter ipsa evangelicae praedicationis exordia operata est divina dignatio, nunc quoque per credentium corda diffunde."

     8th-century sacramentaries Gelasianum Vetus (no. 638), Gellonensis (no. 1035), Rhenaugiense (no. 629), and Sangallensis (no. 818), with, of course, slight variations.  All of the manuscripts listed at Corpus orationum no. 2057 associate this prayer with Pentecost in some way.  Translation from William Bright, Ancient collects and other prayers selected for devotional use from various rituals, 2nd ed. (Oxford:   J. H. and Jas. Parker, 1862), 62-63.

"O God, who by the mystery of today's great feast
sanctify your whole Church in every people and nation,
pour out, we pray, the gifts of the Holy Spirit
across the face of the earth
and, with the divine grace that was at work
when the Gospel was first proclaimed,
fill now once more the hearts of believers.
Through. . . ."

"Deus, qui sacramento festivitatis hodiernae
universam ecclesiam tuam
in omni gente et natione sanctificas,
in totam mundi latitudinem spiritus tui sancti dona defunde,
et, quod inter ipsa evangelicae praedicationis exordia
operata est divina dignatio,
nunc quoque per credentium corda perfunde."

     Collect, Mass during the Day, Pentecost Sunday, Roman Missal.  Note the substitution of "perfunde" for "diffunde"/"defunde", though "perfunde" is present in none of the many manuscripts listed at Corpus orationum no. 2057.  "Translation" of 1973 according to Fr. Z:

"God our Father, let the Spirit you sent on your Church to begin the teaching of the gospel continue to work in the world through the hearts of all who believe."

     Cf. the following, which is sometimes attributed to the Gelasian sacramentary, though I haven't found it yet in the edition ed. H. A. Wilson:

"O God, who in the exaltation of thy Son Jesus Christ dost sanctify thy universal Church: Shed abroad in every race and nation the gift of the Holy Spirit; that the work wrought by his power at the first preaching of the gospel may now be extended throughout the whole world; through. . . ."