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 justus.anglican.org (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:

Father,

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.

"Who says the book is dead?"



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