Thursday, June 29, 2017

"as before death Christ's flesh was united personally and hypostatically with the Word of God, it remained so after His death, so that the hypostasis of the Word of God was not different from that of Christ's flesh after death".

"sicut ante mortem caro Christi unita fuit secundum personam et hypostasim verbo Dei, ita et remansit unita post mortem, ut scilicet non esset alia hypostasis verbi Dei et carnis Christi post mortem".

     St. Thomas Aquinas, ST III.50.2.Resp., trans. FEDP.  Latin from Corpus Thomisticum.  I was put on to this by Aaron Riches, Ecce homo:  on the divine unity of Christ, Interventions (Grand Rapids, MI:  Eerdmans, 2016):  204-208 ("The body of Christ in the tomb"), a wonderful discussion:
"'what belongs to the body of Christ after death is predicated of the Son of God [(ST III.50.2.sed contra)].'  The entombed cadaver—maximally different from God's apatheia—is nevertheless predicable only by virtue of the hypostatic union" (205). 
"There is no autonomous particularity, no 'thingness' or 'thisness' that can be granted to any aspect of the incarnate Christ, not even to the corpse in the tomb, apart from the Son.  The whole incarnate reality of Christ exists and is real only insofar as it subsists in union with the divine hypostasis of the Son" (207) 
"'The divinity was so indissoluably united to the humanity of Christ that, although body and soul were separated from each other, nonetheless the very divinity was always perfectly present both to the soul and the body.  Therefore, the Son of God was both in the tomb with the body and descended into hell with the soul [(et ideo in sepulcro cum corpore fuit filius Dei, et ad Inferos cum anima descendit)]'" (207; St. Thomas Aquinas, Sermon conferences on the Apostles' Creed, trans. Ayo (Notre Dame, IN:  University of Notre Dame Press, 1998), 79 =Expositio in Symbolum Apostolorum 5).
And from the concluding paragraph of the book by Riches (249):
     The indissoluble union of the Incarnate Logos is 'stretched out' from the height of the Son's eternal being with the Father to the cold stone on which his cadaver is laid, from the human breast of the Mother to the region of hell in which the crucified soul of Jesus is abandoned.  This mystery at the core of all being is not a tidy fact about divinity or humanity; it is the scandal of the Incarnate Son of God.  And 'none of the rulers of this age understood this; for if they had, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory' (1 Cor 2:8). 

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

"a war fought without a good stock of money is only a wispy shadow of what a war should be."

     The fearsome monk, in chap. 46 of Fran├žois Rabelais' Gargantua and Pantagruel, as trans. Burton Raffel.  The original French doesn't seem as interesting to me:
guerre faicte sans bonne provision d’argent, n’a q’un souspirail de vigueur.
souspirail = souffle (ed. Huchon & Moreau) or maybe soupirail (air-hole, vent, ventilator).  "a dissipation of vigor"?  "Trans." Urquhart & Motteaux:
war, begun without a good provision of money before-hand for going through with it, is but as a breathing of strength, and blasts that will quickly pass away.

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

"we have beheld his glory"

"Because the reality of the relation is only maintained on the created side, the Incarnation cannot be reduced to an episode in the longer (eternal) life of the Logos.  Rather, the episode of this life must express fully the whole immutable reality on which it depends:  the person of the eternal Son.  What the Logos thus receives ex Maria, he receives in a mode that, rather than changing him, recapitulates [(read as something like transfigures, divinizes)] the reality into which he is incarnated" (166), such that (to quote Gregory of Nyssa) "'the mortal [element] that came to be in the immortal became immortality, and the corruptible [was] likewise changed into incorruptibility, and all the other [properties] similarly were transformed into impassible and divine [properties]. . . .'"

     Aaron Riches on St. Thomas Aquinas on the Incarnation, quoting also Gregory of Nyssa, Ad Theophilum (GNO 3.1, pp. 124-125), as trans. Behr, in Ecce homo:  on the divine unity of Christ, Interventions (Grand Rapids, MI:  Eerdmans, 2016), 166, 167, underscoring mine.  This in the context of Aquinas' famous insistence (a highly technical one) that God is not "really" related to the universe:
'the union of which we are speaking is not really in God, except only in our way of thinking; but in the human nature, which is a creature, it is really' [(165, quoting ST III.2.7)]. 
The relation between God and created being, the unity of this human nature with the Logos, allows God himself to be the foundation of reality on the creaturely side, while on the side of God—precisely because his is this foundation of reality—the relation cannot alter him in any way [(168)].


Monday, June 26, 2017

"Whenever the Church renounces . . . her native tongues"

"progressive Catholicism (a category that for [Del Noce] would include both the Catholic left and elements of the Catholic right) has aided and abetted the new totalitarianism and made its home comfortably within it. We see this whenever the Church renounces her own inherent 'Platonism' by speaking in the language of psychology, sociology, economics, and politics rather than in her native tongues of metaphysics and theology."

     Michael Hanby, "What Del Noce saw," First things no. 274 (June/July 2017):  51 (49-51).  The crisis we find ourselves in "will continue apace until we somehow rediscover an ethics distinct from politics, a truth distinct from function, an authority distinct from power."

Sunday, June 25, 2017

Dennis Duncan in a wonderful article on "the weaponized index"

William King, Times literary supplement
"The fashion for satirical indexes had begun in 1698, when the poet and lawyer William King contributed a four-page table to the second edition of Charles Boyle's attack on the King's Librarian, Richard Bentley.  King's index, inserted at the back of the book, was entitled 'A Short Account of Dr. Bentley by Way of Index', and sure enough, each of the headwords relates to some aspect of Bentley's low character:  his 'egregious dullness, p. 74, 106, 119, 135, 136, 137, 241', for example, his 'familiar acquaintance with Books that he never saw, p. 76, 98, 115, 232', or his 'Pedantry, from p. 93 to 99, 144, 216'.
     "King's index is a rather wonderful twofold attack on Bentley—as Isaac Disraeli once put it, it is 'at once a satirical character of the great critic, and what it professes to be'.  Thus, part of the fun is that those page references are real ones. . . .  At the same time, the 'Short Account' is also a covert attack on Bentley for being an 'index-scholar', a pedant whose scholarship is based on 'alphabetical learning'—looking things up in tables—rather than a real affinity with the works of the ancients."

     Dennis Duncan, "Hoggs that Sh—te Soap, p. 66," Times literary supplement no. (January 15, 2016):  14 (14-15).  Duncan goes on to talk about indexes prepared for the books of the targets themselves, "a new method for satirically attacking the publications of one's political enemies", as, for example, in the case of this index, directed against a work of the young Addison:
Uncultivated Plants rise naturally about Cassis (Where do they not?), p. 1 
The Author has not yet seen any Gardens in Italy worth taking notice of.  No matter, p. 59
And, in the Preface to its second edition,
[This Table] is not indeed of the same bulk with some Dutch Lexicons and Glossaries, but I do not however despair of its finding a place, (as it is an Index) in the most Letter'd, Renowned and Humane Dr. Bentley's Library.
     Now, see, here I, too, a "reference librarian" and therefore an eminent practitioner of the shady art and superficial collecting practices of Dr. Bentley, have turned yet again to "'Common-placing and Indexing'" (15), in this case of an article on "Common-placing and Indexing" as a satirical practice directed against commonplacers, indexers, and all those who rely unduly on works of reference as a way of pretending to more learning than they actually have.