Wednesday, October 15, 2014

"a long obedience in the same direction"

"Das Wesentliche, „im Himmel und auf Erden“, wie es scheint, ist, nochmals gesagt, dass lange und in Einer Richtung gehorcht werde".

     Friedrich Nietzsche, Jenseits von Gut und Böse, no. 188.  "The Digitale Kritische Gesamtausgabe Werke und Briefe (eKGWB) is the digital version of the German reference edition of Nietzsche’s works, posthumous fragments, and correspondence edited by Giorgio Colli and Mazzino Montinari (Friedrich Nietzsche, Werke. Kritische Gesamtausgabe, Berlin/New York, de Gruyter, 1967– and Nietzsche Briefwechsel. Kritische Gesamtausgabe, Berlin/New York, de Gruyter, 1975–)."

So even the Institute nods?

With Democratic Enlightenment and now Revolutionary ideas, Jonathan "Israel has taken himself out of contention as a trustworthy historian of origins and character of the French Revolution, perhaps of the Enlightenment as well.  Worse, the cavalier and partial handling of evidence in this and the previous volume inevitably raise retrospective questions about the reliability of the first [(Radical Enlightenment)], from which most historians including this one thought they had profited. . . . Israel is entitled to his materialistic, monistic, and atheist Spinozan worldview, including his schismatic conviction that none of us who arrive at political positions similar to his ever legitimately do so without his Spinozan starting points.  But ontology is not history, and no historians have so far succeeded in getting this elemental verity across to Israel, among them historians as 'secular' as he is."

     Dale van Kley, "The French Revolution and the Radical Enlightenment:  a cautionary tale for Christian historians," Books and culture (September/October 2014):  17 (14-17).

Sunday, October 12, 2014

"collective emotions" are "irremediably the domain of the devil"

"the social is irremediably the domain of the devil.  The flesh impels us to say me and the devil impels us to say us; or else to say like the dictators I with a collective signification.  And, in conformity with his particular mission, the devil manufactures a false imitation of what is divine, an ersatz divinity.
     "By social I do not mean everything connected with citizenship, but only collective emotions.
     "I am well aware that the Church must inevitably be a social structure; otherwise it would not exist.  But in so far as it is a social structure, it belongs to the Prince of this World.  It is because it is an organ for the preservation and transmission of truth that there is an extreme danger for those who, like me, are excessively open to social influences.  For in this way what is purest and what is most defiling look very much the same, and, confused under the same words, make an almost undecomposable mixture.
     "There is a Catholic circle ready to give an eager welcome to whoever enters it.  Well, I do not want to be adopted into a circle, to live among people who say 'we' and to be part of an 'us,' to find I am 'at home' in any human milieu whatever it may be.  In saying I do not want this, I am expressing myself badly, for I should like it very much; I should find it all delightful.  But I feel that it is not permissible for me.  I feel that it is necessary and ordained that I should be alone, a stranger and an exile in relation to every human circle without exception."

     Simone Weil, Letter no. 2 on "Hesitations concerning baptism" (Spring of 1942), in Waiting on God, trans. Emma Craufurd (London:  Routledge and Kegan Paul Ltd, 1951), 9-10 (8-12).
     Weil is quite right about the "extreme danger".  But (1) "irremediably the domain of the devil" and "in so far as it is a social structure, it belongs to the Prince of this World" are incompatible with (2) "a false imitation of what is divine", "extreme danger", "for those who like me", "what is purest", "for me", and so forth.
     Once again, Weil goes beyond the evidence to make an unacceptably sweeping statement in contradiction of the maxim that what is not assumed is not healed.  Or so it seems to me.

Friday, October 10, 2014

"one can never wrestle enough with God if one does so out of pure regard for the truth. Christ likes us to prefer truth to him because, before being Christ, he is truth. If one turns aside from him to go towards the truth, one will not go far before falling into his arms."

"on ne peut jamais trop résister à Dieu si on le fait par pur souci de la vérité.  Le Christ aime qu'on lui préfère la vérité, car avant d'être le Christ il est la vérité.  Si on se détourne de lui pour aller vers la vérité, on ne fera pas un long chemin sans tomber dans ses bras."

     Simone Weil, Letters of farewell no. 4 (the Spiritual autobiography), in Waiting on God, trans. Emma Craufurd (London:  Routledge and Kegan Paul Ltd, 1951), 22 (15-33); Œuvres, ed. Florence de Lussy ([Paris]:  le Grand livre du mois (following the Gallimard Œuvres complètes), 1999), 772.

Sunday, September 28, 2014

"you declare your mighty power chiefly in showing mercy and pity"; grant, therefore, in your mercy, that we might run to obtain your promises!

2010 ICEL: (26th Sunday in Ordinary Time):
O God, who manifest your almighty power
above all by pardoning and showing mercy,
bestow, we pray, your grace abundantly upon us
and make those hastening to attain your promises
heirs to the treasures of heaven.
Through [etc.].

Corpus orationum no. 1952 A-B (7th-beginning of the 8th century (Casin:  Monte Cassino 271; Gothicum:  Vatic. Reg. Lat. 317; etc.), with a few variants); Bruylants no. 418 (first half of the 8th century, with several variants) (10th Sunday after Pentecost):
Deus, qui omnipotentiam tuam
parcendo maxime et miserando manifestas,
multiplica super nos gratiam tuam,
ut, ad tua promissa currentes,
cælestium bonorum facias esse consortes.
Per [etc.].

Sources:  Ps 36 (35):8a:  "multiplicasti misericordiam tuam, Deus".

1973 ICEL (26th Sunday in Ordinary Time), via Fr. Z:
Father, you show your almighty power, in your mercy and forgiveness. Continue to fill us with your gifts of love. Help us to hurry toward the eternal life you promise and come to share in the joys of your kingdom.

1549 BCP:
God, which declarest thy almighty power, most chiefly in shewyng mercy and pitie; Geue unto us abundauntly thy grace, that we, running to thy promises, may be made partakers of thy heauenly treasure; through [etc.].

1662 BCP (11th Sunday after Trinity):
O God, who declarest thy Almighty power, most chiefly in shewing mercy and pity; Mercifully grant unto us such a measure of thy grace, that we running in the way of thy commandments, may obtain thy gracious promises, and be made partakers of thy heavenly treasure, through [etc.].

1979 BCP Traditional (Proper 21):
O God, who declarest thy almighty power chiefly in showing mercy and pity:  Mercifully grant unto us such a measure of thy grace, that we, running to obtain thy promises, may be made partakers of thy heavenly treasure; through [etc.].

1979 BCP Contemporary (Proper 21):
O God, you declare your mighty power chiefly in showing mercy and pity:  Grant us the fullness of your grace, that we, running to obtain your promises, may become partakers of your heavenly treasure; through [etc.].

Saturday, September 27, 2014

"'No good work is undertaken with wise reflection.'"

"'. . . but God led me up like a[n old] nag whose eyes have been put out so that it won't see those who come to deliver the fatal blow.'
     "Then said the Doctor on this [subject], 'that rarely is a good work undertaken[rarely does a good work] come—out of wisdom or prudence, but it must all happen in [the context of] a misunderstanding or lack of information. . . ."

". . . aber Gott hat mich hinan geführt wie einen Gaul, dem die Augen geblendet sind, daß er die nicht sehe, so zu ihm zurennen.
     "Und sagte der Doctor darauf, 'daß selten ein gut Werk aus Weisheit oder Fürsichtigkeit fürgenommen werde oder geschehe, sondern es musse alles in einem Irrsal oder Unwissenheit geschehen."

     Martin Luther, at Tischrede no. 406 (Veit Dietrich 157), December 1532 =WA Tischreden 1, 175-176 (Aurifaber parallel in small print on p. 176, which is not there dated, and derives from Dr. Martin Luthers Tischreden oder Colloquia.  Nach Aurifabers erster Ausgabe, . . . vols. 1-3 ed. Karl Eduard Förstemann (Leipzig, 1844-1846), vol. 4 ed. Heinrich Ernst Bindseil (Berlin, 1848), vol. 1, no. 23, p. 26).
     I was put onto this by André Dumas, who translates it as follows:
'Dieu m'a conduit sur les sommets comme une rosse dont les yeux sont aveugles, afin que'elle ne voie pas ceux qui viennent la heurter..., car rarement bonne œuvre, entreprise en sagesse et prévoyance, n'atteint son but.  Tout doit se faire comme dans un dédale d'inconscience.'
My translation of the French:  'God led me onto the heights like a sorry nag whose eyes are blind, so that it doesn't see those who come to strike it. . . . for rarely does a good work, undertaken in wisdom and foresight, attain its goal.  Everything must be done as in a labyrinth/maze of ignorance/unawareness.'
André Dumas, "300e anniversaire de la mort de Blaise Pascal:  L'apologétique du Dieu caché chez Pascal," Revue d'histoire et de philosophie religieuses 4 (1962):  298n2 (290-303).

     Cf. Luther's Works 54, p. 64, which translates Veit Dietrich 157, but not the Aurifaber in small print on p. 176:
     'No good work is undertaken or done with wise reflection. It must all happen in a half-sleep. This is how I was forced to take up the office of teaching. If I had known what I know now, ten horses wouldn’t have driven me to it. Moses and Jeremiah also complained that they were deceived. Nor would any man take a wife if he first gave real thought [to what might happen in marriage and the household].     Here Philip said that he had diligently observed that in history great deeds had never been done by old men.  'This was so,' said Luther, 'when Alexander and Augustus were young; afterward men become too wise. They didn’t do great things by deliberate choice but by a sort of impulse. If you young fellows were wise, the devil couldn’t do anything to you; but since you aren’t wise, you need us who are old. Our Lord God doesn’t do great things except by violence, as they say. If old men were strong and young men were wise it would be worth something. The sect leaders are all young men like Icarus and Phaeton. Such are Zwingli and Karlstadt.  They are novices in the sacred Scriptures.'
(Note that the two paragraphs appear to contradict one another.  In the first, "'No good work is undertaken with wise reflection.'"  Yet in the second, "'you need us who are old.'")
     There are a couple of images of Rocinante here that would be perfect for that first sentence.

Thursday, September 25, 2014

"As though a Christian could be without the Lord's [day assembly-cum-Eucharist]"!

"As though a Christian could be without the dominicum or the dominicum be celebrated without the Christian.  Do you not know, Satan, the Christian is constituted in the dominicum and the dominicum in the Christian, so that the one without the other does not stand[?]"

"Quasi christianus sine dominico esse possit, aut dominicum sine christiano celebrari.  An nescis, Satanas, in dominico christianum et in christiano dominicum constitutum, ut nec alterum sine altero valeat esse?"

     Narrator in response to the question put to Felix by the proconsul, "'I do not ask whether you are a Christian, but did you participate in assemblies (Non quæro utrum christianus sis, sed an cellectam feceris)], or have you any writings?'"  "Sometime after February 23, 303".  Acta martyrum Saturnini, Dativi et aliorum plurimorum martyrum in Africa 12, ed. Thierry Ruinart, PL 8, cols. 711-712, as translated in Edward J. Kilmartin, S.J., "The basis of the Sunday Mass obligation," Bread from heaven, ed. Paul Bernier, S.S.S. (New York:  Paulist Press, 1977), 157-158 (151-161).  "In the commentary on the proconsul's statement to Felix, assembly [(collecta)] is equated with dominicum" (161n21).