Monday, December 30, 2013

"The preaching of grace can only be protected by the preaching of repentance."

"The promise of grace is not to be squandered; it needs to be protected from the godless.  There are those who are not worthy of the sanctuary.  The proclamation of grace has its limits.  Grace may not be proclaimed to anyone who does not recognize or distinguish or desire it. . . .  The world upon whom grace is thrust as a bargain will grow tired of it, and it will not only trample upon the Holy, but also will tear apart those who force it upon them.  For its own sake, for the sake of the sinner, and for the sake of the community, the Holy is to be protected from cheap surrender.  The Gospel is protected by the preaching of repentance which calls sin sin and declares the sinner guilty.  The key to loose is protected by the key to bind.  The preaching of grace can only be protected by the preaching of repentance."

     Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Collected works of Dietrich Bonhoeffer, ed. Edwin H. Robertson, trans. Edwin H. Robinson and John Bowden, vol. 2, The way to freedom:  letters, lectures and notes 1935-1939 (New York:  Harper and Row, 1966), 151, citing Mt 7:6.  I was put onto this by Eric Metaxas, Bonhoeffer:  pastor, martyr, prophet, spy (Nashville, TN:  Thomas Nelson, 2010), 292-293.
     Statements like this were of course coupled with the practice of confession (to, for example, Bethge).
     This appears in vol. 14 of Dietrich Bonhoeffer Works (Theological education at Finkenwalde:  1935-1937 (Minneapolis:  Fortress Press, 2013)), as "Lecture and discussion on the power of the keys and church discipline"/"Bonhoeffer's lecture on the power of the keys and church discipline in the New Testament," on pp. 830-838:
'Do not give what is holy to the dogs; and do not throw your pearls before swine, or they will trample them under foot and turn and maul you' (Matt. 7:6).  You are not permitted to squander the assurance of grace; it must be protected from the wicked.  There are those who are not worthy of the sanctuary.  The proclamation of grace has its limits.  To those who neither recognize nor distinguish nor desire grace, grace may not be proclaimed.  Not only does doing so defile the sanctuary itself, not only must those who commit this sin also transgress against the most sacred, such abuse of the sacred inevitably also turns against the church-community itself.  The world to which grace is thrown as so much fodder inevitably tires of grace and tramples not only the sacred itself but also those who force it upon the world.  For the sake of the sacred, for the sake of sinners, and for the sake of the church-community, the sacred should be protected against being given away cheaply.  Such protection of the gospel is found in the sermon calling for repentance, which calls sin sin and pronounces the sinner guilty.  Protection of the key to loose is found in the key to bind.  Only within the protection of the penitential sermon can there be a sermon of grace [(827-828, where there are variants)].

Sunday, December 29, 2013

"'With your splendid theological armor and your upright German figure, should you not perhaps be almost a little ashamed at a man like Heinrich Vogel? . . .'"

"Dear Colleague!

"You can deduce from the very way in which I address you that I do not regard your departure for England as anything but a necessary personal interlude.  Once you had this thing on your mind, you were quite right not to ask for my wise counsel first.  I would have advised you against it absolutely, and probably by bringing up my heaviest artillery.  And now, as you are mentioning the matter to me after the fact, I can honestly not tell you anything but 'Hurry back to your post in Berlin!' . . . With your splendid theological armor and your upright German figure, should you not perhaps be almost a little ashamed at a man like Heinrich Vogel, who, wizened and worked up as he is, is just always there, waving his arms like a windmill and shouting 'Confession!  Confession!' in his own wayin power or in weakness, that doesn't matter so muchactually giving his testimony? . . . Be glad that I do not have you here in person, for I would let go at you urgently in quite a different way, with the demand that you must now let go of all these intellectual flourishes and special considerations, however interesting they may be, and think of only one thingthat you are a German, that the house of your church is on fire, that you know enough and can say what you know well enough to be able to help, and that you must return to your post by the next ship. . . ."

     Karl Barth to Dietrich Bonhoeffer, 20 November 1933, as quoted (but with the substitution of "now" (jetzt) for "not") by Eric Metaxas, in Bonhoeffer:  pastor, martyr, prophet, spy (Nashville, TN:  Thomas Nelson, 2010), 197-198, where DBWorks 13 (London:  1933-1935), trans. Isabel Best (2007), 39-41, is cited.
     Until I can check DBWerke 13, here is the German as quoted on p. 158n275 of Wie Schafe mitten unter die Wölfe:  Die Bekennende Kirche in Ostpreußen und Dietrich Bonhoeffers Visitationsreisen 1940 (2012), by Ulrich Schoenborn:

Monday, December 23, 2013

"The confessor . . . is always in danger of being either too much of a rigorist or too lax. Neither is merciful. . . ."

"the ministers of the church must be ministers of mercy above all. The confessor, for example, is always in danger of being either too much of a rigorist or too lax. Neither is merciful, because neither of them really takes responsibility for the person. The rigorist washes his hands so that he leaves it to the commandment. The loose minister washes his hands by simply saying, ‘This is not a sin’ or something like that. In pastoral ministry we must accompany people, and we must heal their wounds."

Monday, December 16, 2013

Joseph "yields, rather than rejects. He releases (apolūsai) Mary, rather than casts her out (apolūsai)."

Annunciation to Joseph
"Joseph [was] ‘just’ [not in the spirit of Caiaphas, but] in the prophetic spirit of [John] the Baptist, and thus awed by the mystery he faced and respectful of its remove from the ordinary. . . . [H]aving been told by Mary of the Annunciation as soon as it took place, and thus well before any outward sign of Mary’s pregnancy became evident, [and] being at the same time a man imbued with a profound sense of surrender to God’s plans and . . . an equally profound sense of that fear of God that precludes divulging the depth of a mystery, [Joseph] decide[s] to remove himself from the scene as unworthy to be publicly associated with the unfathomable” (92-93).
"Joseph accepts Mary’s report as to how she had conceived, and thus, far from being scandalized by assuming adultery, he is profoundly respectful of a divine intervention that seems to preempt his role as husband.  He yields, rather than rejects.  He releases (apolūsai) Mary, rather than casts her out (apolūsai)” (70).
"Joseph, having accepted at face value and with deep trust the young girl’s revelation that she had become pregnant through divine intervention, is so awed by her and the mystery she (literally) embodies, that he feels he is confronting God himself, in front of whom he should retreat and hide in his nothingness” (69).
But "The vision of the angel in a dream points him in a different direction:  he is indeed a part of the mystery, and his role is to convey Mary, without delay, into his household" (63).

     Giorgio Buccellati, "The prophetic dimension of Joseph," Communio:  international Catholic review 33, no. 1 (Spring 2006):  43-99.  Cf. John Saward, Cradle of redeeming love:  the theology of the Christmas mystery (San Francisco:  Ignatius Press, 1992), 205-206, where St. Thomas Aquinas, St. Bridget, and Dionysius the Carthusian are all quoted respectively, as follows:
Joseph had no suspicion of adultery, for he was well aware of Mary's chastity.  He had read in Scripture that a virgin would conceive. . . . [H]e also knew that Mary was descended from David.  It was easier, therefore, for him to believe that this had been fulfilled in her than that she had committed fornication.  And so, regarding himself as unworthy to live under the same roof with someone of such sanctity, he wanted to put her away privately, as Peter said, 'Leave me, Lord, for I am a sinful man' (Lk 5:8) [(Lectura super Matthaeum cap. 1, lect. 4)]. 
Secundum autem Hieronymum et Origenem non habuit suspicionem adulterii. Noverat enim Ioseph pudicitiam Mariae; legerat in Scriptura quod virgo concipiet, Is. VII, 14 et cap. XI, 1: egredietur virga de radice Iesse, et flos de radice eius ascendet etc.; noverat etiam Mariam de David generatione descendisse. Unde facilius credebat hoc in ea impletum esse, quam ipsam fornicatam fuisse. Et ideo indignum reputans se tantae cohabitare sanctitati, voluit occulte dimittere eam, sicut Petrus dixit: exi a me, domine, quia homo peccator sum, Luc. V, 8. 
[A]fter I gave my consent to God's messenger, Joseph, seeing my womb enlarged by the power of the Holy Spirit, was exceedingly afraid.  It is not that he suspected me of anything untoward, but simply that he remembered the words of the prophets when they foretold the birth of the Son of God from a virgin, and reckoned himself unworthy of serving such a mother, until the angel in a dream commanded him not to be afraid but to serve me with charity [(Revelations lib. 7, cap. 25, new ed. vol. 2 [Rome, 1628], p. 239 f.)]. 
There is no doubt that the interior grace, sanctity, and chastity of Mary shone forth wonderfully and powerfully, not only in her face, but in the bearing and deportment of her body, so much so that anyone diligently considering her manner of life could not suspect her of fornication or any other sin [(Enarratio in evangelium secundum Matthaeum cap. 1, a. 3; DCOO 11:17AB)].
Cf. Cavadini

"you first loved us so that we might love you—not because you needed our love, but because we could not be what you created us to be, except by loving you."

     William of Saint Thierry, On the contemplation of God 9-11, as quoted in Liturgy of the hours, vol. 1, p. 271 (Office of readings for the Third Monday of Advent).  Latin as reproduced at (but cf. against SC 61, 90-96):
Et sic plane, sic est: amásti nos prior, ut amarémus te; non quod egéres amári a nobis, sed quia id, ad quod nos fecísti, esse non poterámus, nisi amándo te.

"I shall make all your sons learned in the Lord"

R/. Misericordia mea non recedet a te, et fœdus pacis meæ non movebitur; * Universi filii tui erunt discipuli Domini, et magna erit pax filiis tuis. 
V/. Ego Dominus Deus tuus, docens te utilia, gubernans te in via qua ambulas. * Universi.
     Versicle and response to the reading from William of Saint Thierry, Office of readings for the Third Monday of Advent.  From Is 54:10, 13 and Is 48:17.  Vulgate:

     misericordia autem mea non recedet
     et foedus pacis meae non movebitur. . . .
     universos filios tuos doctos a Domino
     et multitudinem pacis filiis tuis

     ego Dominus Deus tuus docens te utilia
     gubernans te in via qua ambulas


     my steadfast love shall not depart from you,
     and my covenant of peace shall not be removed. . . .
     All your sons shall be taught be the Lord,
     and great shall be the prosperity of your sons.

     I am the Lord your God,who teaches you to profit,
     who leads you in the way you should go.

Liturgy of the hours:

     My mercy will not leave you,
     and the covenant of my peace will not be changed;
     I shall make all your sons learned in the Lord,
     and they shall enjoy a lasting peace.
     I am the Lord your God who teaches you what is good
     and guides you in the path you should walk.
     I shall make . . .

Saturday, December 14, 2013

"love is a union between two alone."

     St. John of the Cross, The spiritual canticle, Stanza 36.1.  The collected works of St. John of the Cross, trans. Kieran Kavanaugh, O.C.D., and Otilio Rodriguez, O.C.D. (Washington, DC:  ICS Publications, Institute of Carmelite Studies, 1973), 545.

"And let us go forth to behold ourselves in Your beauty [(hermosura)],"

     "This means:  Let us so act that by means of this loving activity we may attain to the vision of ourselves in Your beauty in eternal life.  That is:  That I be so transformed in Your beauty that we may be alike in beauty, and both behold ourselves in Your beauty, possessing now Your very beauty; this, in such a way that each looking at the other may see in the other his own beauty, since both are Your beauty alone, I being absorbed in Your beauty; hence, I shall see You in Your beauty, and You shall see me in Your beauty, and I shall see myself in You in Your beauty, and You will see Yourself in me in Your beauty; that I may resemble You in Your beauty, and You resemble me in Your beauty, and my beauty be Your beauty and Your beauty my beauty; wherefore I shall be You in Your beauty, and You will be me in Your beauty, because Your very beauty will be my beauty; and therefore we shall behold each other in Your beauty."

     St. John of the Cross, The spiritual canticle, Stanza 36.5.  The collected works of St. John of the Cross, trans. Kieran Kavanaugh, O.C.D., and Otilio Rodriguez, O.C.D. (Washington, DC:  ICS Publications, Institute of Carmelite Studies, 1973), 547.  Cf. Obras de San Juan de la Cruz, ed. Silverio de Santa Teresa, O.C.D., vol. 3, Cantico Espiritual, Biblioteca Mistica Carmelitana 12 (Burgos:  Tipografia de «El Monte Carmelo», 1930),  pp. 399-400.
     I have not yet read The spiritual canticle; rather, I stumbled onto this passage while in pursuit of the selection in the Office of Readings for the Feast of St. John of the Cross.  Astonishing material.  I must make The spiritual canticle a priority, and indeed re-read the other works, too.

theologia crucis

     "Oh!  If we could but now fully understand how a soul cannot reach the thicket and wisdom of the riches of God, which are of many kinds, without entering the thicket of many kinds of suffering, finding in this her delight and consolation; and how a soul with an authentic desire for divine wisdom, wants suffering first in order to enter this wisdom by the thicket of the cross!  Accordingly, St. Paul admonished the Ephesians not to grow weak in their tribulations and to be strong and rooted in charity in order to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and height and depth, and to know also the supereminent charity of the knowledge of Christ, in order to be filled with all the fullness of God.  The gate entering into these riches of His wisdom is the cross, which is narrow, and few desire to enter by it, but many desire the delights obtained from entering there."

     St. John of the Cross, The spiritual canticle, Stanza 36.13.  The collected works of St. John of the Cross, trans. Kieran Kavanaugh, O.C.D., and Otilio Rodriguez, O.C.D. (Washington, DC:  ICS Publications, Institute of Carmelite Studies, 1973), 549;  Cf. Obras de San Juan de la Cruz, ed. Silverio de Santa Teresa, O.C.D., vol. 3, Cantico Espiritual, Biblioteca Mistica Carmelitana 12 (Burgos:  Tipografia de «El Monte Carmelo», 1930),  p. 403.
     I have not yet read The spiritual canticle; I was put onto this by the Office of Readings for the Feast of St. John of the Cross.  Astonishing material.  I must make this a priority, and indeed re-read the other works, too.

Friday, December 13, 2013

spectacula carnis

"How many are there who return from the amphitheaterbeaten because they have been beaten for whom they shout like madmen!  And they would be beaten still more, if their favorites were to win.  For they would then enslave themselves to vain joy, enslave themselves to the triumph of a perverted desirethey who are already beaten by the impulse which makes them run to that place.  Indeed, Brethren, how many do you think were undecided to-day as to whether they should come here or go there?  And they who in this moment of hesitation reflected upon Christ and hastened to church, have overcome, not some mere human person, but the devil himself, the most vicious hounder of souls in all the world.  Those, on the other hand, who in that hesitation chose rather to run to the amphitheater, have obviously been conquered by him whom the others have conqueredbut conquered in Him who says, Rejoice, because I have overcome the world." 

     St. Augustine, Sermon 51.2 on the "Agreement of the Evangelists Matthew and Luke in the Lord's genealogy" (c. 400) = no. 1 in St. Augustine:  Sermons for Christmas and Epiphany, trans. Thomas Comerford Lawler, ACW 15 (Westminster, MD:  The Newman Press, 1952), 24 (21-70).  Cf. PL 38, col. 334 (cols. 332-354), as reproduced here; and at Revue Bénédictine 91 (1981):  23-45.
     "May God therefore be with you and make attractive the account you will give of these your spectacles to your friends whom you grieved to see running to the amphitheater to-day and unwilling to come to church" (22), where, "as we said by way of introduction, we are producing a spectacle for your minds" (37).

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Straining after Cranmer, or "Why should the Anglicans have all the good English?"

Collect for the Fourth Sunday of Advent,
Bo(o)ke of the common prayer (1549), as re-keyed at (cf. this one reprint here):

Lorde rayse up (we pray the) thy power, and come among us, and with great might succour us; that whereas, through our synnes and wickednes, we be soore lette and hindred, thy bountifull grace and mercye, through the satisfaccion of thy sonne our Lord, may spedily deliver us; to whom with thee and the holy gost be honor and glory, worlde without ende.

Collect for the Third Sunday of Advent,
Book of common prayer (1979), Traditional:

Stir up thy power, O Lord, and with great might come among us; and, because we are sorely hindered by our sins, let thy bountiful grace and mercy speedily help and deliver us; through Jesus Christ our Lord, to whom, with thee and the Holy Ghost, be honor and glory, world without end. Amen.

Collect for the First Thursday of Advent,

Roman missal (1973) and Liturgy of the hours:


we need your help.
Free us from sin and bring us to life.
Support us by your power.
Grant this through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever.

Roman missal (2010):

Stir up your power, O Lord,

and come to our help with mighty strength,
that what our sins impede
the grace of your mercy may hasten.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever.

Excita, Domine, potentiam tuam,

et magna nobis virtute succurre,
ut, quod nostra peccata præpediunt,
gratia tuæ propitiationis acceleret.
Per Dominum nostrum Iesum Christum Filium tuum,
qui tecum vivit et regnat in unitate Spiritus Sancti,
Deus, per omnia sæcula sæculorum.

     Roughly no. 1121 in modern critical editions of the mid-8th-century Gelasian sacramentary.  Cf. The Gelasian sacramentary:  Liber sacramentorum Romanae ecclesiae, ed. H. A. Wilson (Oxford:  1894), p. 214.  Unless I am mistaken, this one is missing from Corpus orationum.  But cf. Corpus orationum no. 2550 =Bruylants no. 545, which is very close.  Indeed, Corpus orationum notes that the Sarum missal is one of five that omits (the phrase beginning with?) "per", and one of three that substitutes "gratiae" for "gloriae":

Exita, domine, potentiam tuam et magna nobis virtute succurre, ut per auxilium gloriae tuae, quod nostra peccata praepediunt, indulgentia tuae propitiationis acceleret.

"Who says the book is dead?"

     Poster in the reference area, Speer Library, Princeton Theological Seminary, Princeton, NJ, June 2006.

Saturday, December 7, 2013

"I would like to propose a solution . . . very sporadically attended to. What if we were to say that human beings are created in the image of God?"

"An article appeared recently in the Science section of The New York Times that described the discovery of stone tools on the island of Crete.  According to the article, the tools are 'at least 130,000 years old, which is considered strong evidence for the earliest known seafaring in the Mediterranean and cause for rethinking the maritime capabilities of prehuman cultures.' . . . I would consider this discovery cause for rethinking the definition of the word 'prehuman'". . . .

     Marilynne Robinson, "The human spirit and the good society," in When I was a child I read books (New York:  Picador; Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2012), 155 (143-164).  "I would like to propose a solution of sorts, ancient and authoritative but for all that very sporadically attended to.  What if we were to say that human beings are created in the image of God?" (158).

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

"I bow before the cross made precious by Christ, my Master. I embrace it as his disciple."

Salve, crux pretiosa, suscipe discipulum eius, qui pependit in te, magister meus Christus.
Hail, precious cross:  take upon yourself the disciple of him who hung upon you, Christ my Master.
     Antiphon to the Benedictus, Morning Prayer, Feast of St. Andrew, 30 November, Liturgy of the hours.  This was lifted from sec. 10 of the 6th-century Latin > Greek Epistle/Letter of the presbyters and deacons of Achaia (a form of the Martyrdom/Passion of Andrew, a truncated orthodox variant on the late 2nd- or early 3rd-century Greek Acts of Andrew), which reads as follows:
Salve crux. . . . suscipias me, discipulum eius, qui pependit in te. . . . 
Hail, cross. . . . you may take upon yourself the disciple of him who hung upon you. . . .
Later in the next sentence there is a reference to "my Master":
. . . magistro meo. . . . 
. . . my Master. . . .
     The Latin > Greek Epistle/Letter of the presbyters and deacons of Achaia, though discussed at pp. 13-14 of vol. 1 and pp. 427-428 of vol. 2 of Acta Andreae, ed. Jean-Marc Prieur, CCSA 5-6 (Turnhout:  Brepols, 1989), is represented in those volumes only in the apparatus to chaps. 54-64 of the Greek Acts of Andrew (vol. 2, pp. 515-547), where it appears throughout in the form of the siglum Ep, and even then only in conjunction with "les leçons qui intéressent notre propos, à savoir reconstituer le texte des [Greek] AA [proper]" (vol. 2, p. 428).  For the text of the Epistle/Letter itself the reader referred to the edition by Bonnet, in which fragments taken from the Greek Acts and inserted into the Greek < Latin Epistle/Letter appear between parentheses in heavy boldface.  Just such a set of parentheses occurs on p. 25 ll. 24-28 of Bonnet (=vol. 2, p. 515 l. 5-p. 517 l. 12 in Prieur), but if the French on pp. 514 and 516 of Prieur is any indication, our antiphon is not reproduced in the second of the two back-formed Greek versions, but only the first.  See e.g. Bonnet, p. 25 l. 16:  ἐμὲ τὸν μαθητὴν τοῦ ἐν σοὶ κρευασθέντος.
     See also The apocryphal New Testament, ed. J. K. Elliott (Oxford:  Clarendon Press, 1993), pp. 231 ff., and New Testament Apocrypha, ed. Edgar Hennecke & Wilhelm Schneemelcher, trans. R. McL. Wilson, rev. ed., vol. 2:  Writings relating to the Apostles; Apocalypses and related subjects (Louisville, KY:  Westminster John Knox Press, 1992), pp. 101 ff.  Neither these nor the older edition of The apocryphal New Testament ed. James contain an English translation of the Latin Epistle/Letter of the presbyters and deacons of Achaia specifically.
     The antiphon is found at the very top of fol. 85r in "The oldest existing Latin Office book", which was "perhaps copied around 870," the Antiphoner of Compiègne (Paris, BNF lat. 17436), but is undoubtedly older than that, considered as an antiphon (Ritva Jacobsson, “The Antiphoner of Compiègne:  Paris, BNF lat. 17436,” in The Divine Office in the Latin Middle Ages:  methodology and source studies, regional developments, hagiography: written in honor of Professor Ruth Steiner, ed. Margot A. Fassler & Rebecca A. Baltzer (Oxford:  Oxford University Press, 2000), 147 (147-178)).
     The image at the head of this entry is taken from fol. 85 of the digitized copy of the Antiphoner of Compiège available via Gallica (gallica.bnf.france, Bibliothèque nationale de France).

Friday, November 29, 2013

"how is it consistent with the belief that the church is the body of Christ, a belief I share, to think it has no intrinsic life to be relied on, and must, for the sake of its survival, be fastened to a more vigorous body, that of the nation?"

     Marilynne Robinson, "Wondrous love," Christianity and literature 59, no. 2 (Winter 2010):  212 (202-215), and When I was a child I read books:  essays (New York:  Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2012), 136 (125-141).
     This oversimplifies, but Robinson is one of those Christian "liberals" with the spirit of whom one would have to be exceptionally churlish to take issue.

Thursday, November 28, 2013

"Always you are there to help me."

In the early hours of the morning, I think of you, O Lord.
     In the early hours of the morning, I think of you, O Lord.
Always you are there to help me.
     I think of you, O Lord.

In matutínis, Dómine, meditábor de te.
     In matutínis, Dómine, meditábor de te.
Quia factus es adiútor meus.
     Meditábor de te.

     Ancient versicle-and-response based on Ps 63:6-7 (62:7-8 in the Vulgate according to the Greek (Septuagint)), as translated by the ICEL for the Liturgy of the hours:

     . . . in matutinis meditabar in te quia fuisti adiutor meus. . . .
     . . . ἐν τοῖς ὄρθροις ἐμελέτων εἰς σέ· ὅτι ἐγενήθης βοηθός μου. . . .

Note how different the wording is in the Vulgate according to the Hebrew as edited by Weber & Gryson:

     . . . per singulas vigilias meditabor tibi quia fuisti auxilium
     meum. . . .
     . . . .בְּ֝אַשְׁמֻרֹ֗ות אֶהְגֶּה־בָּֽךְ׃כִּֽי־הָיִ֣יתָ עֶזְרָ֣תָה לִּ֑י . . .

     The image is a close-up of fol. 60r of the Salzinnes Antiphonal (CDN-Hsmu M2149.L4) of 1554/5, but in CANTUS (at least) manuscripts from as early as the 10th century are listed.

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Grelot on Jesus in the face of death

"The death of Jesus is not that of Socrates, drinking the hemlock in a calm and impavid fashion:  Jesus suffers fear and anguish in full view of his closest disciples.  This is not the Stoic death of Senecaopening up his veinsor of Ciceroextending his neck to the executionerin acceptation of their Destiny.  It is not the death of a disciple of the Buddha, in whom the death of all desire would have prepared [the way for a] tranquil entrance into Nirvana.  It is not the death of a mystic in ecstasy or burning to encounter the God whom he desires (one thinks here of the execution of Hallâj).
     "It is above all the death of a Jew shaped in his comportment by the substance of the Scriptures, expressing in the perspective that they have opened up his faith and his questions ('Why have you abandoned me?'), his anguish and his hope.  The Scriptures are thus accomplished because Jesus assumes them.  But every man can also recognize in him the most intimate depths of his [own] experience, for this is the ineluctable destiny of the sinful humanity that he bore [right through] to the end [(bout)]."

     Pierre Grelot, Dictionnaire de spiritualité, s.v. Mort I. dans l'écriture sainte (t. 10 (1980), cols. 1753-1754).  Cf. St. Leo the Great on the Slave mentality.

"if the whole precedes in the type, then [it] is not in a type, but must be considered a truth of history": Jerome on Julian the Apostate on Hos 11:1/Mat 2:15

"This passage—which, in [his] seventh book, Julian Augustus has vomited forth against us, that is, [us] Christians—he calumniates, and says:  ‘What is written of Israel, the Evangelist Matthew has transferred to Christ, in order that he might make a laughing stock of the simplicity of those who, from among the gentiles [(de gentibus)], had believed.’  To him we shall respond briefly [as follows]:  First, that the Gospel [of] Matthew was brought forth in Hebrew [(Hebræis litteris)], for which reason [(quod) none] were able to read [it] except those who were from among the Hebrews [(ex Hebraeis)].  Therefore he [(i.e. Matthew?)] has not done [this] in order that [(propterea . . . ut)] he might make a laughing stock of gentile [converts (ethnicis)].  But if he [(i.e. Julian?)] did not wish to make a laughing stock of the Hebrews, he was either foolish or ignorant:  foolish, if he has concocted a patent falsehood; ignorant, if he has not understood about whom these things were being said.  That book absolves of [(excusat)] folly which is composed circumspectly and in order; we are not able to call [him (i.e. Matthew?)] ignorant whom from other testimonies of the Scriptures we know to have possessed a knowledge of the Law.  It remains that we say this, that [(illud . . . , quod)] those things that precede in others τυπικῶς [(typologically)] are according to truth and fulfillment referred to Christ:  which [referral] we know [(cognovimus, have learned)] the Apostle effected in the two mountains Sinai and Zion, and in Sarah and Hagar.  For not only is [Mount Sinai] not Mount Sinai, but [Zion] is also not Zion:  [Sarah] was [(PAi3S)] not Sarah, and [Hagar] was [(PAi3S)] not Hagar; because these the Apostle Paul has referred to the two Covenants [(Gal 4:22-26)].  So therefore this [is] what is written:  ‘A child [was] Israel, and I have loved him, and out of Egypt I have called my son’ is assuredly said of the people of Israel, which is called out of Egypt, which is loved, which, after the wandering of idolatry, was, at that time, as if an infant and a child, called [(PAi3S)]:  but is referred in full [(perfecte)] to Christ.  Thus [(Nam)] Isaac was in type of Christ because the latter was himself [(ipse)] to have carried [(portaverit, FpAi3S, will have carried; or PAS3S)] for himself [(sibi)] the wood of future death [(Gen 22:6)], and also Jacob, because [the latter, namely Christ] was to have had [(habuerit, FpAi3S, will have had; or PAS3S) both] Leah afflicted in [(dolentem, grieving)] the eyes, and Rachel the beautiful wife [(Gen 29:17, 23-28)].  In Leah, who was older, we understand the blindness of the Synagogue:  in Rachel, the beauty of the Church; and yet[, with respect to those] who are [(PAi3S)] in part types of [our] Lord [and] Savior, not all things that are said to have happened [to them] must be believed to have happened in type of him [(et tamen qui ex parte typi fuerunt Domini Salvatoris, non Omnia quæ fecisse narrantur, in typo ejus fecisse credenda sunt)].  For the type indicates a part:  because if the whole precedes in the type, then [it] is not in a type, but must be considered a truth of history."

     Jerome, In Osee III.xi.1-2 (CCSL 76, 121 l. 57-122 l. 90), translation mine.  Marc Adriaen, in CCSL 76, glosses the reference to Julian's "seventh book" rather straightforwardly as follows:  Julian the Apostate, Contra Galilaeos VII.  Karl Johannes Neumann, in his reconstruction of the Contra Christianos on the basis of the many fragments quoted by (mostly) Cyril of Alexandria (Ivliani Imperatoris librorvm contra Christianos qvae svpersvnt, Scriptorum Graecorum qui Christianam impugnaverunt religionem quae supersunt 3 (Leipzig:  Teubner, 1880)), treats the question of the position of this fragment in the original on pp. 100, 237, and 240.  Hos 11:1 in the Septuagint:  ἐξ Αἰγύπτου μετεκάλεσα τὰ τέκνα αὐτοῦHos 11:1 at Mt 2:15:  ἐξ Αἰγύπτου ἐκάλεσα τὸν υἱόν μου.

"Hunc locum in septimo uolumine Iulianus Augustus quod aduersum nos, id est Christianos, euomuit, calumniatur, et dicit quod de Israel scriptum est, Matthaeus euangelista ad Christum transtulit, ut simplicitati eorum, qui de gentibus crediderant, illuderet.  Cui nos breuiter respondebimus:  Primum Matthaeum euangelium Hebraeis litteris edidisse, quod non poterant legere nisi hi qui ex Hebraeis errant.  Ergo non propterea fecit, ut illuderet ethnicis.  Sin autem Hebraeis illudere uoluit, aut stultus, aut imperitus fuit; stultus, si apertum finxit mendacium; imperitus, si non intellexit de quo haec dicerentur.  Stultitiam ipsum uolumen excusat, quod prudenter ordinatimque compositum est; imperitum non possumus dicere, quem ex aliis testimoniis scripturarum scientiam  legis habuisse cognoscimus.  Superest ut illud dicamus quod ea quae τυπικῶς praecedunt in aliis, iuxta ueritatem et adimpletionem referantur ad Christum; quod apostolum in duobus montibus Sina et Sion, et in Sara et Agar fecisse cognouimus.  Neque enim non est Sina mons et non est Sion; non fuit Sara et non fuit Agar; quia haec apostolus Paulus ad duo rettulit testamenta.  Sic igitur hoc quod scriptum est:  Paruulus Israel et dilexi eum, et ex Aegypto uocaui filium meum; dicitur quidem de populo Israel, qui uocatur ex Aegypto, qui diligitur, qui eo tempore post errorem idololatriae quasi infans et paruulus est uocatus; sed perfecte refertur ad Christum.  Nam et Isaac in typo Christi fuit quod future mortis ligna sibi ipse portauerit; et Iacob quia Liam dolentem oculos, et Rachel pulchram habuerit uxorem.  In Lia quae maior erat, caecitatem intellegimus Synagogae, in Rachel pulchritudinem Ecclesiae; et tamen qui ex parte typi fuerunt Domini Saluatoris, non omnia quae fecisse narrantur, in typo eius fecisse credendi sunt.  Typus enim partem indicat, quod si totum praecedat in typo, iam non est typus, sed historiae ueritas appellanda est."

Saturday, November 16, 2013

"he moves on a line, on which did he progress for centuries, he would but be carried further from them, instead of catching them up."

     "Now this, I fear, will seem a hard doctrine to some of us.  There are those, whom it is impossible not to respect and love, of amiable minds and charitable feelings, who do not like to think unfavorably of any one.  And, when they find another differ from them in religious matters, they cannot bear the thought that he differs from them in principle, or that he moves on a line, on which did he progress for centuries, he would but be carried further from them, instead of catching them up.  Their delight is to think that he holds what they hold, only not enough; and that he is right as far as he goes.  Such persons are very slow to believe that a scheme of general education, which puts Religion more or less aside, does ipso facto part company with Religion; but they try to think, as far as they can, that its only fault is the accident that it is not so religious as it might be.  In short they are of that school of thought, which will not admit that half a truth is an error, and nine-tenths of a truth no better; that the most frightful discord is close upon harmony; and that intellectual principles combine, not by a process of physical accumulation, but in unity of idea.
"It is true . . . that youths can be educated at Mixed Colleges of the kind I am supposing, nay at Protestant Colleges, and yet may come out of them as good Catholics as they went in.  Also it is true, that Protestants are to be found, who, as far as they profess Catholic doctrine, do truly hold it, in the same sense as that in which a Catholic holds it.  I grant all this, but I maintain at the same time, that such cases are exceptional; the case of individuals is one thing, of bodies or institutions another; it is not safe to argue from individuals to institutions. . . .
     "I allow all this as regards individuals; but I have not to do with individual teachers in this Discourse, but with systems, institutions, bodies of men.  There are doubtless individual Protestants, who, so far from making their Catholic pupils Protestant, lead  on their Protestant pupils to Catholicism; but we cannot legislate for exceptions, nor can we tell for certain before the event where those exceptional cases are to be found.  As to bodies of men, political or religious, we may safely say that they are what they profess to be, perhaps worse, certainly not better; and, if we would be safe, we must look to their principles, not to this or that individual, whom they can put forward for an occasion.  Half the evil that happens in public affairs arises from the mistake of measuring parties, not by their history and by their position, but by their accidental manifestations of the moment, the place, or the person. . . .  And the case is the same as regards the so-called approaches of heterodox bodies or institutions towards Catholicism.  Men may have glowing imaginations, warm feelings, or benevolent tempers; they may be very little aware themselves how far they are removed from Catholicism; they may even style themselves its friends, and be disappointed it does not recognize them; they may admire its doctrines, they may think it uncharitable in us not to meet them half way.  All the while, they may have nothing whatever of that form, idea, type of Catholicism, even in its inchoate condition, which I have allowed to some individuals among them. . . .  This is why some persons have been so taken by surprise at the late outburst against us in England, because they fancied men would be better than their systems.  This is why we have to lament, in times past and present, the resolute holding off from us of learned men in the Establishment, who seemed or seem to come nearest to us.  Pearson, or Bull, or Beveridge, almost touches the gates of the Divine City, yet he gropes for them in vain; for such men are formed on a different type from the Catholic, and the most Catholic of their doctrines are not Catholic in them.  In vain are the most ecclesiastical thoughts, the most ample concessions, the most promising aspirations, nay, the most fraternal sentiments, if they are not an integral part of that intellectual and moral form, which is ultimately from divine grace, and of which faith, not carnal wisdom, is the characteristic.  The event shows this, as in the case of those many, who, as time goes on, after appearing to approach the Church, recede from her.  In other cases the event is not necessary for their detection, to Catholics who happen to be near them.  These are conscious in them of something or other, different from Catholicism, a bearing, or an aspect, or a tone, which they cannot indeed analyze or account for, but which they cannot mistake.  They may not be able to put their finger on a single definite error; but, in proportion to the clearness of their spiritual discernment or the exactness of their theology, do they recognize, either the incipient heresiarch within the Church's pale, or the unhopeful inquirer outside of it.  Whichever he be, he has made a wrong start; and however long the road has been, he has to go back and begin again.  So it is with the bodies, institutions, and systems of which he is the specimen; they may die, they cannot be reformed."

     John Henry Newman, The idea of a university defined and illustrated, Appendices I:  1852 Discourse V, "General knowledge viewed as one philosophy" (ed. I. T. Ker (Oxford:  Clarendon Press, 1976), 430-434 (419-434)).
     Newman here responds to the suggestion that university instruction in religion can safely treat of "'general religion'" only, i.e., only "just as much as . . . Catholics and Protestants . . . hold in common" (428); a kind of "mere Christianity", as it were.  Interesting, in that light, that C. S. Lewis was never more than one of those "who seemed . . . to come nearest to us".

Friday, November 8, 2013

Running with the buffaloes

     “There was an anchorite in the desert grazing with the buffaloes and he prayed to God, saying:  ‘Lord, let me know if I am falling behind in anything.’  A voice came to him, saying:  ‘Enter this coenobion and, if they tell you to do anything, do it.’  He went into the coenobion and stayed there, but he had no idea how to serve the brothers.  The junior monks began teaching him how to serve, saying:  ‘Do this, idiot; do that, crazy old man.’  Hurt, he began to say to God:  ‘I have no idea how to serve men; release me back to the buffaloes.’  Released by God again, he went to a village to graze with the buffaloes.  Men used to set traps [in which] they caught buffaloes and the elder was caught [in one].  The thought suggested itself:  ‘Put your hand out and release yourself’, to which thought he said:  ‘If you are a man, release yourself then go to the men.  If, on the other hand, you are a buffalo, you do not have hands’, and he stayed in the trap, safe and sound, until dawn.  The men were alarmed on seeing the elder caught when they came to take the buffaloes.  For his part, he said nothing.  They released him and let him go; out he went into the desert, running with the buffaloes.”

     Ἦν τις ἀναχωρητὴς ἐν τῇ ἐρήμῳ βοσκόμενος μετὰ τῶν Βουβάλων καὶ ηὔξατο τῷ Θεῷ λέγων·  Κύριε, ἔι τι ὑστερῶ, δίδαξόν με.  Καὶ ἦλθεν αὐτῷ φωνὴ λέγουσα·  Εἴσελθε εἰς τόδε τὸ κοινόβιον, καὶ εἴ τι ἐπιτάσσουσι σοι, ποίησον.  Εἰσελθὼν δὲ εἰς τὸ κοινόβιον ἔμεινε καὶ οὐκ ἤδει τὴν ὑπηρεσίαν τῶν ἀδελφῶν.  Καὶ ἤρξαντο οἱ μοναχοὶ οἱ μικροὶ διδάσκειν αὐτὸν τὴν ὑπαρεσίαν λέγοντες·  Τοῦτο ποίησον, ἰδιῶτα, καὶ τοῦτο ποίησον, σαλὲ γέρων.  Καὶ θλιβόμενος ἠρξατο λέγειν πρὸς τὸν θεόν*·  Οὐκ οἶδα τὴν ὑπερεσίαν τῶν ἀνθρώπων·  ἀπόλυσόν με πάλιν εἰς τοὺς βουβάλους.  Καὶ ἀπολυθεὶς πάλιν ἀπὸ τοῦ Θεοῦ ἀπῆλθεν εἰς χωρίον βοσκηθῆναι μετὰ τῶν βουβάλων καὶ ἔστησαν παγίδας οἱ ἄνθρωποι ἐκεῖ καὶ ἐπίασαν βουβάλια.  Ἐπιάσθη δὲ καὶ ὁ γέρων καὶ λέγει αὐτῶ ὁ λογισμός·  Βάλε τὴν κεῖρα σου καὶ λῦσον σεαυτόν.  Εἴπεν δὲ πρὸς τὸν λογισμόν·  Εἰ μὲν ἄνθρωπος εἶ, λῦσον σεαυτὸν καὶ ὕπαγε πρὸς τοὺς ἀνθρώπους, εἰ δὲ βούβαλος εἶ, οὐκ ἔχεις χεῖρας.  Καὶ ἔμεινεν εἰς τὴν παγίδα σῶος ἕως πρωΐ.  Ἐλθόντες δὲ οἱ ἄνθρωποι πιᾶσαι τοὺς βουβάλους καὶ ἰδόντες τὸν γέροτα πεπιασμένον ἐφοβήθησαν.  Καὶ αὐτὸς οὐκ ἐλάλησεν οὐδέν.  Καὶ λύσαντες αὐτὸν ἀφῆκαν, καὶ ἐξῆλθε τρέχων ὀπισω τῶν βουβάλων εἰς τὴν ἔρημον.

* S:  Κύριον
C omits Οὐκ οἶδα τὴν ὑπερεσίαν τῶν ἀνθρώπων·

     Anonymous saying of the Desert Fathers no. 516.  The anonymous sayings of the Desert Fathers:  a select edition and complete English translation, ed. & trans. John Wortley (Cambridge:  Cambridge University Press, 2013), 348-351.
     No. 62, on p. 55, is very similar:
     "There was an anchorite grazing with the antelopes [(Βουβάλων)] and he prayed to God saying:  'Lord, teach me in what I am lacking.'  A voice came to him saying:  'Go to such-and-such a coenobion and do whatever they order you.'  He entered the coenobion and stayed, but he did not know how to serve the brothers.  The junior monks started instructing him how to serve the brothers, saying to him:  'Do this, stupid' and:  'Do that, crazy old man.'  Distressed, he prayed to God saying:  'Lord, I do not know how to serve men; send me back to the antelopes again.'  Released by God, he went off again into the countryside to graze with the antelopes [(Βουβάλων)]."
     Why does Worley translate these so differently?  The French translation by Lucien Regnault (Les sentences des pères du désert:  série des anonymes, Spiritualité orientale 43 (Solesmes & Bellefontaine, 1985), pp. 188-189 and 34 respectively) seems more consistent.

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Bossuet on the priesthood of all believers

"When one speaks in the presence of the faithful either of the duties of the priesthood or of the powers of ecclesiastics, they think that these discourses touch upon them not at all, and refer the whole practice of these duties either to the sacerdotal order or to consecrated persons.  But it is a Christian truth that, a spiritual impression of the character of the pontificate of our Lord Jesus Christ [(Heb 7-8)] being made on us by Holy Baptism, all those who are honored to be his members are also participants of his priesthood; and that, by consequence, they must take part, according to the measure that is given to them, in the Spirit and in the functions of his priesthood.  This is what the learned Saint Chrysostom explains very excellently by the very order of sacrifice, in which the people are united with the priest in [the] company of the same Spirit; in which the priest, although appearing alone at the altar, nevertheless carries [to it] the desires of all and speaks in the name of the entire holy congregation, instructing the children of God by this holy ceremonial that they are truly united with him in a priestly and apostolic Spirit [(Hom. 18.3, on 2 Cor 8:16)].  This is why I am persuaded, Messieurs, that what I have to say today on the holy pontiff [Saint Charles Borromeo], whose memory we honor, although regarding the ecclesiastical state above all, will not, however, be irrelevant to the rest of my auditors.  And as I intend to help you see that the Spirit of the priesthood obliges all Christians to consecrate themselves to God as victims, I hope that the faithful, whom the blood of the Savior of the world has made both priests [of] and sacrificers to the living God, will understand by this doctrine that they are obliged to present themselves as holy, living, and acceptable oblations through Jesus Christ to the eternal Father [(Rom 12:1)].  But as Saint Paul assures [us] that this sacrifice must be consummated in the Spirit of the same Jesus, and because I learn from the same apostle that this Jesus offered himself to his Father by the Holy Spirit [(Heb 9:14)], let us ask this same Spirit to produce the abundance of grace in our hearts in order that they might be transformed into living victims; but let us request this grace via the intercession of Mary, by addressing her [as follows]:  Ave [Maria]."

     From the first installment in the Bibliothèque de la Pléiade I've ever had the good fortune to own (i.e. pick up used).  It came down to me from the library of John P. O'Connell.  Fr. Jacques-Bénigne Bossuet, "Panégyrique de Saint Charles Borromée" (Paris, 4 November [1656]), in Bossuet:  oraisons funèbres, panégyriques, Bibliothèque de la Pléiade 33, ed. the Abbé Bernard Velat (Paris:  Librairie Galllimard, 1951):  674-675.  1656 is the date suggested by the Abbé Velat, who nevertheless admits that "On peut hésiter entre 1656, 1659 et 1661."  Bossuet was not a bishop until 1669.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

"Then there are the fanatical atheists whose intolerance is the same as that of the religious fanatics, and it springs from the same source. . . . They are creatures who can't hear the music of the spheres."

     Albert Einstein to an unidentified person, 7 August 1941, as quoted in The ultimate quotable Einstein, ed. Alice Calaprice (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2011), 337.  Calaprice cites Einstein Archives 54-927 (Hebrew University, Jerusalem).
     Einstein was of course not a believer in any traditional or confessional sense.

Sunday, October 20, 2013

"Physical Science is the richer, Theology the more exact; . . ."

     John Henry Newman, The idea of a university defined and illustrated, Discourse VII.6, "Christianity and physical science:  a lecture in the School of Medicine" (ed. I. T. Ker (Oxford:  Clarendon Press, 1976), 356).
     "richer" in the sense of having "its own [(I hesitate to say more)] exuberant sylva of phenomena" "to handle, weigh, and measure"; "more exact" in the sense that Theology operates via deduction from "certain truths, communicated directly from above" ("The argumentative method of Theology is that of a strict science, such as Geometry, or deductive; the method of Physics, at least on starting, is that of an empirical pursuit, or inductive" (355-356)).
     Cf. this with, say, the more complicated account of "Physics" given by Ernan Mcmullin.