Saturday, September 23, 2017

"You do not pay any attention to what you are praying, yet you want God to?"

Σὺ οὐκ ἀκούεις τῆς εὐχῆς σου, καὶ τὸν θεὸν θέλεις εἰσακοῦσαι τῆς εὐχῆς σου;

     Pseudo John Chrysostom, De Chananaea (On the Canaanites) =PG 52, col. 458.  Literally, "You do not hear your prayer, yet you want God to hearken to your prayer?"  The subject is those who "'recite innumerable verses of prayer, yet are withdrawn; but they know not what they have said.  Their lips move but their ears hear not'" (DS, sv Attention (tom. 1, col. 1063), by R. Vernay).

Thursday, September 21, 2017

Cardinal Bellarmine warns Pope Clement VIII in 1602 that he is no theologian

From the autobiography of 1613:

"Nevertheless [Bellarmine] himself often warned [(admonuit)] the Pope that he should beware of self-delusions [(fraudes)]; and that he should not think himself capable, by personal study (since he was not a theologian), of arriving at an understanding of the most obscure matters; and openly predicted to him that that question was not to be defined by His Holiness; and when [His Holiness] reiterated [that it] would be self-defined [(replicaret se definiturum)], [Bellarmine] responded:  ‘Your Holiness will not define it,’ and he predicted this same thing to Cardinal del Monte, who later reminded [Bellarmine] himself [of this]."

"Ipse tamen N. saepe admonuit Pontificem, ut caveret fraudes, et ut non putaret, se studio proprio, cum theologus non esset, posse ad intelligentiam rei obscurissimae pervenire, et aperte illi praedixit, a Sanctitate sua quaestionem illam non esse definiendam, et cum ille replicaret se definiturum, respondit N.:  Sanctitas vestra non eam definiet, et hoc idem praedixit Cardinali de Monte, qui postea ipsi N. in memoriam revocavit."

From the letter of 1602, as translated into German, with the original Italian (which I do not really read) inserted:

"the way [of self-study that] you have taken [will] turn out to be too long and too hard for Your Holiness."

"la via che ha preso riesce molto lunga e molto laboriosa a V. Beatitudine."


"such a great effort on the part of Your Holiness is not necessary, and you have already seen and read enough."

"tanta fatica della Sta Vra non è necessaria, e già ha visto e letto assai."


"many popes have, without struggling away at studying, happily condemned many errors with the help of councils and universities, and others have by much studying brought themselves and the Church into great suffering."

"molti Pontefici senza faticarsi in studiare hanno felicemente dannati molti errori con ajuto di concilii ed accademie, ed altri con molto studiare hanno messo in gran travaglio se stessi e l chiesa."


"Most Holy Father!  I do not mention these things to prevent you from studying, but to encourage you to consider that the way is too long, and that on this way the Church suffers the greatest harm."

"Bmo. Padre non dico queste cose per divertirla dallo studio ma per metterle in considerazione che questa via è troppo lunga, et in questo mezzo la Chiesa riceve grandissimo danno."


"commend the matter to God and then . . . decide to put this fire out quickly."
"raccommandi il negozio a Dio, e poi si risolva di estinguere presto fuoco."

     For the sources, go here.  Bellarmine was profoundly opposed to Pope Clement VIII's determination to master the intricacies of the de auxiliis controversy because he didn't think him capable of grasping and then deciding correctly on his own a matter that the Jesuit Bellarmine himself had been studying professionally (in opposition to the Dominicans) for thirty years.

Saturday, September 16, 2017

The primary sources on Cardinal Bellarmine's slap-down of Pope Gregory VIII in 1602

Letter to Pope Clement VIII (1602):

* Italian original:




Autobiographical account (1613):

* Vita ven[erabilis] Roberti cardinalis Bellarmini (Louvain, 1753 (Rome, 1676, but composed in 1613)), p. 43 

* Sammlung der neusten Schriften, welche die Jesuiten in Portugal betreffen 4 (1762):  Latin/German, p. 84/85 ff.
 
* Selbstbiographie des Cardinals Bellarmin (Bonn, 1887)

     For some excerpts, go here.

Friday, September 15, 2017

Semper ambigua

"The concept of the semper reformanda has been popular with persons of very different views.  And this popularity lies undoubtedly in the vagueness in which the semper reformanda is wrapped."

"de semper reformanda-gedachte bij personen van zeer uiteenlopende opvattingen populair is geweest.  En deze populariteit ligt ongetwijfeld in de vaagheid waarmee het semper reformanda omhuld is."

     J. N. Mouthaan, "Besprekingsartikel:  Ecclesia semper reformanda:  modern of premodern?," Documentatieblad Nadere Reformatie 38, no. 1 (2014):  89 (86-89), translation mine.  One of Mouthaan's contributions to the history is Anna Maria van Schurman's reference to "een 'ware particuliere gereformeerde, ofte sig reformerende kerke'" in 1670.  But unlike Johannes Hoornbeeck, who wielded the reformanda against schism, Schurman used it as an expression of schism.

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

interior intimo meo

Communio

"Although being is not irrational, it is nonetheless always more than what a mind can comprehend just by looking at it.  As created being, it is not infinite; yet even as finite being it can never be so exhaustively captured that there is nothing further to grasp.  The infinite Creator has equipped it with the grace of participation in the inexhaustibility of its origin.  You are never finished with any being, be it the tiniest gnat or the most inconspicuous stone.  It has a secret opening, through which the never-failing replenishments of sense and significance ceaselessly flow to it from eternity [(Es hat eine geheime Öffnung, durch die ihm immer neue Vorrätte an Sinn und Bedeutung vom Ewigen her zufließen)]."

     Hans Urs von Balthasar, Theo-logic:  theological logical theory, vol. 1, The truth of the world (San Francisco:  Ignatius Press, 2000):  107, underscoring mine.  I was put onto this by Michael Hanby, "Homo faber and/or homo adorans:  on the place of human making in a sacramental cosmos," Communio:  international Catholic review 38, no. (Summer 2011):  216 (198-236).  The quote appears on p. 113 of the German edition of 1987.

Sunday, September 10, 2017

redemptio-libertas, adoptio-hereditas

"O God, by whom we are redeemed and receive adoption, look graciously upon your beloved sons and daughters, that those who believe in Christ may receive true freedom and an everlasting inheritance.  Through."

"Deus, per quem nobis et redemptio venit et praestatur adoptio, filios dilectionis tuae benignus intende, ut in Christo credentibus et vera tribuatur libertas, et hereditas aeterna.  Per."

O God, by whom to us both redemption comes and adoption is offered/accomplished, turn, [being] benificent, your attention to the sons/children of your love, to the end that, upon those who believe in Christ, both true liberty is bestowed, and an eternal inheritance.

     Collect for the Twenty-Third Sunday in Ordinary Time, Roman Missal.  This is present in the Wilson edition of the mid-8th-century Gelasian sacramentary.  Bruylants, nos. 96 and 98 (vol. 1, pp. 45-46), fingers the post-790 sacramentary of Gellone, a sacramentary in the Gelasian tradition.  It also occurs as no. 427 in the post-790 Hadrianum, a sacramentary in the Gregorian tradition.  Father Z gives the pre-2010 "translation" as
God our Father, you redeem us, and make us your children in Christ. Look upon us, give us true freedom and bring us to the inheritance you promised.

Monday, September 4, 2017

Mahlmann, quoting Dittmer, on the phrase ecclesia semper reformanda

The traditional dichotomous division . . . of [the] church into [a] spiritual community (inward, eccl[esia] abscondita, proprie, community of believers) on the one hand, and [a] bodily community (outward, eccl[esia] visibilis, improprie, community of the baptized) on the other, must . . . be extended out into a trichotomously articulated concept of the church (I-III).  According to this [conception] it is (I) its pneumatic foundation ([the] opus Dei [(work of God)] that establishes the church as [a] spiritual community.  Within the sphere of the church as traditional so-called bodily community one must distinguish further between the dimension of [the] bodily community as (II) concept or typically ideal way of speaking or regulative idea, and th[at] dimension of the] bodily community as (III) [that] historical reality to which ecclesia semper reformanda est applies.   While the four classical notae internae or essential properties of the church (one, holy, catholic, and apostolic) are applicable to level I, the two reformed characteristics or notae externae (Word and Sacrament as means of grace; cf. CA 7) are to be applied to level II.
     "According to [the systematic theologian Johannes M.] Dittmer, ecclesia semper reformanda can therefore be applied exclusively to aspect of the 'church' no. III, and has therefore a narrow significance.  The call [for perpetual reform issued by] the formula can never [1] touch upon aspect of the 'church' no. II—that is its mission [(Auftrag)], the 'administration of the means of grace instituted by God' (CA 5, 7, and 8), to put it in the ancient phraseology [quite] deliberately—[2] dispense with it, or even [3] want only to alter ([i.e.] improve upon) it.  And certainly not aspect no. I of the 'church', for this is, as worked [(gewirkt)] by the means of grace (aspect II of the ‘church’ no. II), the opus Dei solius [(work of God alone).  But] in order that this might be grasped even more precisely, I propose to tease out of aspect of the 'church' no. III, in the sense of the optimal, an aspect no. IV in the sense of the deficient historical accomplishment of its task, and to relate ecclesia semper reformanda only to this aspect of the 'church' no. IV.  Every understanding of the formula that goes beyond this narrow significance is illegitimate, since this—to put it with Balthasar Mentzer (1565-1627)—[would be to] destroy 'die gantze Ordnung vnsers Heyls | und alle die Mittel | welche Gott zu vnser Seligkeit verordnet hat [(the entire order of our salvation | and all the means | that God has established for our beatitude)]'."

     Theodor Mahlmann, "'Ecclesia semper reformanda': eine historische Aufklärung: neue Bearbeitung," in Hermeneutica sacra: Studien zur Auslegung der Heiligen Schrift im 16. und 17. Jahrhundert:  Bengt Hägglund zum 90. Geburtstag, ed. Torbjörn Johansson, Robert Kolb, and Johann Anselm Steiger, Historia hermeneutica:  Series studia 9 (Berlin:  Walter de Gruyter, 2010), 383 (381-442).