Friday, July 17, 2015

"whoever despises the discipline of the church, so as to abstain from warning, correcting, censuring, and yes also separating from participation in the sacraments the evil persons in whose sins he does not participate and whom he does not applaud, sins not with the evil of another, but with his own."

"For this reason, too, whoever despises the discipline of the church, so as to abstain from warning, correcting, censuring, and yes also [(etiam)] separating from participation in the sacraments the evil persons in whose sins he does not participate and whom he does not applaud (although [(etsi)] he tolerates them and the peace of the Church allows for this), sins not with the evil of another, but with his own."

"Quapropter quisquis etiam contempserit ecclesiae disciplinam, ut malos cum quibus non peccat et quibus non fauet desistat monere corripere arguer, etsi talem personam gerit et pax ecclesiae patitur etiam a sacramentorum participation separare, non alieno malo peccat sed suo."

     St. Augustine, Contra epistulam Parmeniani libri tres III.i.2, translation mine.  The Latin as reproduced in Œuvres de Saint Augustine 28 =4th ser. (Traités anti-Donatistes), vol. 1, translated into French by G. Finaert, introduction & notes by Yves M.-J. Congar (Paris:  Desclée de Brouwer, 1963), pp. 386-389 =CSEL 51, ed. M. Petschenig (1908), p. 100, ll. 2 ff.
     What is fascinating about this is that it occurs in a specifically anti-Donatist context in which a concern for "the peace of the Church" (pax ecclesiae) predominates and 1 Cor 5:13 is interpreted in an anti-Donatist fashion as "Drive the evil out of yourselves"!  That this is the case is rendered even more obvious by the paragraph that follows (translated from the French rather than the Latin for the most part, that final sentence only excepted):
Negligence in such a matter is a grave fault in and of itself.  And this is why, if he follows the counsel of the Apostle and removes the evil from his own heart, he will drive out not only the audacity of evil-doing and the weakness of complicity, but also the slowness to correct and the reluctance to punish, while also observing prudence and th[at] obedience to the Master that prevents one from rooting up the good wheat.  If it is with this thought [in mind] that one tolerates the tare in the midst of the wheat, and if he removes from himself the evil of which the tare is guilty [(en ôte de soi-même le mal)], he is not rendered an accomplice of the tare.  [Rather,] he is cognizant of it and judges it by waiting for a while, for he does not know what will happen on the morrow. In this way is punished also whatever a necessary severity is obliged to punish, but by a love severe[, albeit] not hopeless of correction [(et ideo dilectione seruata non sine spe correctionis uindicandum est quidquid etiam cogit necessaria seueritas uindicari)].     
     Congar on p. 741:  "A part of the argumentation [here] bears on the sense given to malum:  with Parmenianus [himself], probably, Augustine understands, then, by this word, not the perverse man [(le mauvais)], but the perversity [(le mal)]. . . . In reality, St. Paul wrote 'le mauvais', τὸν πονηρὸν.  This is true for Deuteronomy as well, which [Augustine] cites:  13:6, 17:7, 22:21.  In Retract[ationes] II.17, . . . Augustine reestablished the true sense according to the Greek, which speaks of the evil man, and not of the evil.  He adds that even in taking the first sense the response to Parmenianus retains its value.  He was in fact dependent on the discipline of the Church, and it is th[e discipline of the Church] that aims to realize the warning of St. Paul."


Wednesday, July 15, 2015

"the deserving and the undeserving poor"

1520 December:  Erasmus, In epistolam Iacobi canonicam paraphrasis at James 2:  "Therefore, the man who has by his flattery shown a preference for the undeserving rich man [(diuitem immerentem)] over the deserving poor man [(pauperi promere[n]ti)] is accountable for all the sins which are usually perpetrated against the love of neighbor, since he has broken this part of the law of love" (Collected works of Erasmus, ed. Robert D. Sider, vol. 44, Paraphrases on the epistles to Timothy, Titus, and Philemon; the epistles of Peter and Jude; the epistle of James; the epistles of John; the epistle to the Hebrews, trans. John J. Bateman (Toronto:  University of Toronto Press, 1993), 149; Tomus secundus continens Paraphrasim D. Erasmi Roterodami in omneis apostolicas epistolas (Basil, 1532), p. 336; cf. Opera omnia Desiderii Erasmi Roterodami VI.10 (Leiden:  Brill, 2014), p. ).  With thanks to Dr. Owen Ewald for his help with the abbreviation "promereti".

1549, "Coverdale", translation of Erasmus' Paraphrasis of James 2:1-7:  "He yt hath..preferred the vndeseruing rich man before the deseruing pore man" (Oxford English dictionary).

1891, Henry Sidgwick:  "the distinctive principle of the English system is that Government is not to discriminate between the deserving and the undeserving poor, but to secure to all who are destitute a minimum of subsistence under conditions deterrent but not painful:  and this principle would be rejected as too harsh by many who now accept it, were it not for the assumption that private almsgivers will be ready to undertake the task of discrimination which Government declines, and to accord more generous and tender treatment to those who have fallen into distress through undeserved calamities" (Henry Sidgwick, The elements of politics (London:  Macmillan & Co., 1891), 202).  A debate over the justice of the distinction seems to have raged during the Victorian period, so there is much more where this comes from.  Indeed, according to the OED, the roots of it might be traced back, in English at least, to 

c. 2001, supposedly "Dorothy Day" (pseudo-Dorothy Day):  "The gospel takes away our right forever, to discriminate between the deserving and the undeserving poor."  Though Dorothy Day (1897-1980) does indeed seem to have been of this opinion, and invokes the distinction more than once, I have yet to track this very sentence to any of her known works or sayings, not even in the Catholic Worker-sponsored Dorothy Day Library on the Web.  Nor was I able (in mid-July of 2015) to get Google to turn it up in a search limited to the years before 2001. What is more, Day specialists and authors James Allaire (Webmaster, Dorothy Day Library on the Web), Robert Ellsberg (Publisher, Orbis Books), Jim Forest (like some of the others a Day biographer), and Phillip M. Runkel (Archivist, Dorothy Day-Catholic Worker Collection, Special Collections and University Libraries, Raynor Memorial Libraries, Marquette University) all concur in suspecting it (which is to say the very sentence) of inauthenticity (correspondence with Steve Perisho, week of 13 July 2015).  My guess is that it derives from (at best) some second party's encapsulating summary or reformulation of her position (itself somewhat unoriginal (Sidgwick and others, above)).

"ask grace, not doctrine; desire, not intellect; the groaning of prayer and not studious reading"

"seek the answer in God’s grace, not in doctrine; in the longing of the will, not in the understanding; in the sighs of prayer, not in research; seek the bridegroom not the teacher; God and not man; darkness not daylight; and look not to the light but rather to the raging fire that carries the soul to God with intense fervor and glowing love [(interroga gratiam, non doctrinam; desiderium, non intellectum; gemitum orationis, non studium lectionis; sponsum, non magistrum; Deum, non hominem, caliginem, non claritatem; non lucem, sed ignem totaliter inflammantem et in Deum excessivis unctionibus et ardentissimis affectionibus transferentem)]. The fire is God, and the furnace is in Jerusalem, fired by Christ in the ardor of his loving passion. Only he understood this who said: My soul chose hanging and my bones death. Anyone who cherishes this kind of death can see God, for it is certainly true that: No man can look upon me and live."

     St. Bonaventure, Itinerarium mentis in Deum 7.6, as translated in the Liturgy of the hours, Office of readings for the Feast of St. Bonaventure.  Latin from p. 313 of vol. 5 of the Quaracchi edition as reproduced in Itinerarium mentis in Deum, trans. Zachary Hayes, Works of St. Bonaventure (Saint Bonaventure, NY:  Franciscan Institute Publications, 2002), 138.  (The translation in the heading, however, is taken from the one by Hayes.)
     Yet this comes, of course, at the end of a long and rigorous itinerarium.  "For Saint Bonaventure is an intellectual, although not an intellectualist; his vocation is that of a theologian who craves for understanding.  Intellectual activity is as necessary for him [(as distinguished from his master, Saint Francis of Assisi)] as his daily bread" (Philotheus Boehner, OFM, in the "Notes and commentary" (p. 220 of the Franciscan Institute edition given above)).