Sunday, June 13, 2021

in purpose and performance

"O God, strength of those who hope in you, graciously hear our pleas, and, since without you mortal frailty can do nothing, grant us always the help of your grace, that in following your commands we may please you by our resolve and our deeds.  Through."

"Deus, in te sperantium fortitudo, invocationibus nostris adesto propitius, et, quia sine te nihil potest mortalis infirmitas, gratiae tuae praesta semper auxilium, ut, in exsequendis mandatis tuis, et voluntate tibi et actione placeamus.  Per."

     Collect, Eleventh Sunday in Ordinary Time, Missale Romanum.  =Corpus orationum no. 1245:

"Deus, in te sperantium fortitudo, adesto propitius invocationibus nostris et, quia sine te nihil potest mortalis infirmitas, praesta auxilium gratiae tuae, ut, in exsequendis mandatis tuis et voluntate tibi et actione placeamus.  Per."

This (which lacks the semper added to it after Vatican II) is present in the mid 8th century Old Gelasian (Rome, Vatic. Reg. Lat. 316, 88r; Mohlberg, Eizenhöfer, & Sifrin, eds. Liber sacramentorum Romanae Ecclesiae ordinis anni circuli (Rome, 1965) no. 566; Wilson, ed. (Oxford, 1894) no. 587), as well as a couple of other 8th-century sacramentaries (Gellon., Rhen.); and, although Corpus orationum doesn't mention this, in the Gregorian (Hadrianum), which was copied from an earlier Roman original in 811-812 (Deshusses, Le sacramentaire Grégorien (Fribourg, 1992) no. 1129 (vol. 1, 3rd. ed., p. 390; also nos. 595, 1964, etc.).

1979:  Book of common prayer, Sixth Sunday after the Epiphany, Contemporary:  "O God, the strength of all those who put their trust in you:  Mercifully accept our prayers; and because in our weakness we can do nothing good without you, give us the help of your grace, that in keeping your commandments we may please you both in will and deed; through."

1979:  Book of common prayer, Sixth Sunday after the Epiphany, Traditional:  "O God, the strength of all those who put their trust in thee:  Mercifully accept our prayers; and because, through the weakness of our mortal nature, we can do no good thing without thee, grant us the help of thy grace, that in keeping thy commandments we may please thee both in will and deed; through."

1928:  The book of common prayer, First Sunday after Trinity:  "O God, the strength of all those who put their trust in thee; Mercifully accept our prayers; and because, through the weakness of our mortal nature, we can do no good thing without thee, grant us the help of thy grace, that in keeping thy commandments we may please thee, both in will and deed; through."

1892:

1662:  The book of common-prayer, First Sunday after Trinity (as ed. Brian Cummings (Oxford, 2011)):  "O God, the strength of all them that put their trust in thee, mercifully accept our prayers; and because through the weakness of our mortal nature we can do no good thing without thee, grant us the help of thy grace, that in keeping of thy commandments we may please thee, both in will and deed, through."

1549:  The booke of the common prayer, First Sunday after Trinity (Everyman First and second Prayer books of 1910):  "God, the strength of all theym that trust in thee, mercifully accept our prayers; and because the weakenes of oure mortall nature can do no good thyng without thee, graunt us the helpe of thy grace, that in kepyng of thy commaundementes we may please thee, both in will and dede; through."

"the modern view combining relativism and progress . . . is incoherent."

IVP
"the modern view combining relativism and progress as widely understood is incoherent.  A true relativism would assume that no worldview is better than another; a true progressivism would assume that worldviews are moving closer and closer to a predetermined and preferred goal.  The two beliefs are mutually exclusive.  The assumption of the superiority of 'our' views to that of older cultures is the most stubborn remaining variety of ethnocentrism."

     Jeffrey Burton Russell, Inventing the flat earth:  Columbus and modern historians (New York:  Praeger, 1991), 76.

Friday, June 11, 2021

Not even Zacharia Lilio

      Contra James J. Allegro, "What was in doubt at the end of the fifteenth century was not the spherical composition of the cosmos, as expounded by Sacrobosco and many others, but the way the two lowermost spheres, of earth and water, were positioned in relation to each other.  In the context of this debate, Zacharia Lilio was a traditionalist who upheld the two-sphere conception against recent attempts to reinstate Ptolemy’s notion of a combined sphere of earth and water, also known as the terraqueous globe.  His stance was still tenable in the year 1496 in so far as the exploratory voyages organized by European maritime powers had not yet brought back news of a large landmass in the 'opposite' part of the world.  The incipient exploration of the coastline of South America in the years 1498-1504, which is associated with names such as Christopher Columbus, Amerigo Vespucci, Pedro Alvarez Cabral, and Gonçalo Coelho, was about to change this.  Allegro is hence right that Lilio adhered to a conception of the earth’s physical configuration that was eventually proven wrong as a result of new empirical data. . . .  The nature of Lilio’s error, however is very different from what Allegro’s essay would have us believe.  [For 'Lilio here, as elsewhere, uses the term terra to denote the habitable landmass'.  He is discussing 'pars nostra terrarium' and not its 'universum circuitum', and for that reason cannot be enlisted in support of the claim that, as Allegro says, 'Europeans were not always united in their spherical earth beliefs'.]
     "James Allegro declined an invitation to respond."


     C. Philipp E. Nothaft, "Zaccaria Lilio and the shape of the earth: a brief response to Allegro’s 'Flat earth science,'" History of science 55, no. 4 (December 2017):  496-497, 496 (490–98), underscoring mine, and James J. Allegro, "The bottom of the universe:  flat earth science in the Age of Encounter," History of science 55, no. 1 (March 2017):  62 (61-85).  Cf. this earlier post, and this one, too.

Sunday, May 30, 2021

Sloth as "the ultimate cause of 'work for work's sake'"

"At the zenith of the Middle Ages . . . it was held that sloth and restlessness, 'leisurelessness', the incapacity to enjoy leisure, were all closely connected; sloth was held to be the source of restlessness, and the ultimate cause of 'work for work's sake'. . . .  the restlessness at the bottom of a fanatical and suicidal activity . . . [was thought to] come from the lack of will to action".

     Josef Pieper, Leisure:  the basis of culture III, par. 1, trans. Alexander Dru ((San Francisco:  Ignatius Press, 2009 [1952]), 43).

Friday, May 28, 2021

"even His infirmity was the consequence of His power."

"cuius et infirmitas fuit ex potestate."

     St. Augustine, City of God xiv.9, trans. Dods.  Latin from CAG (428/83).

Scheeben on metaphysics

"without metaphysics and speculation one cannot treat at all, worthily and exhaustively, things that by their nature belong to the highest metaphysics and at the same time contain the richest, noblest, and most fruitful material for spiritual meditation.  Moreover these same truths are also eminently practical—if not in the colloquial sense that they are immediately related to the usual practices of moral life, then nonetheless in the sense that they contribute mightily to the elevation and edification of the mind and reveal the inmost essence of Christian truth in its beauty and glory."

"ohne Metaphysik und Spekulation kann man nun einmal Dinge, die ihrem Wesen nach der höchsten Metaphysik angehören und die zugleich den reichsten, edelsten und fruchtbarsten Stoff geistiger Betrachtung enthalten, gar nicht in würdiger und erschöpfender Weise behandeln.  Zudem sind eben diese Wahrheiten auch in eminenter Weise praktisch — wenn schon nicht in dem vulgären Sinne, daß sie in unmittelbarer Beziehung zu den gewöhnlichen Uebungen des sittlichen Lebens stehen, so doch in dem Sinne, daß sie zur Erhebung und Erbauung des Geistes mächtig beitragen und das innerste Wesen der christlichen Wahrheit in seiner Schönheit und Herrlichkeit aufschließen."

     Matthias Joseph Scheeben, "Author’s Preface" (1874), Handbook of Catholic dogmatics I.1, trans. Michael J. Miller (Steubenville, OH:  Emmaus Press, 2019).  =vol 1, p. ix in the original 4-vol. German edition (Handbuch der katholischen Dogmatik (Freiburg im Breisgau:  Herder’sche Verlagshandlung, 1873)) on my shelf.

"For an animal such as man, what is natural is affirmed by culture." Or, perversely, not affirmed by culture.

"money and the resurrection are opposed as two systems of possibility:  the system of the virtual and the system of the living.  I am using the word 'virtual' in a very specific [negative] sense that does not encompass all sorts of virtuality or fiction:  there is a good virtuality and even an excellent kind of dreaming that turns us away from reality only to lead us back more deeply into it.  The idea that we would relate immediately and perfectly to existence from the start is the fantasy of people who are sickened by their excessive consumption of artificial things.  For an animal such as man, what is natural is affirmed by culture.  We need myths in order to enter into the logic of the living.  We need fairy tales in order to become realists.  And, in order to reach the soul of reality, we need what at first glance may seem to be a fairy tale but is really the Fact that surpasses all accounting—what may seem to be a myth but is the adventure of the Logos himself:  the News about the Nazarene who died and rose again in Judea during the governorship of Pontius Pilate.
     "What I am calling 'virtual' here refers instead to 'virtual reality,' in other words, to the opposite of myth, poetry, and novels:  a virtuality that tends to substitute itself for reality and to exert its influence over it.  Digital technology is in fact the ultimate stage of cash.  The digitalization of the world through the Internet is the final step in the monetization of the world through money."


     Fabrice Hadjadj, The resurrection:  experience life in the risen Christ, trans. Michael J. Miller (Paris:  Magnificat, 2016;  Résurrection:  mode d'emploi, Paris:  Magnificat, 2016), 41-42.  I'm interested in the claim in the headline (which strikes me as eminently Thomistic), but have set it in context.