Friday, August 23, 2013

Scripture proper to (Readings read at) the Canonization Mass of St. Thérèse of Lisieux on 17 May 1925

According to the Archives du Carmel de Lisieux:

     Archives du Carmel de Lisieux, in a note to Connie Song, Director of the Eugene H. Maly Library, The Athenaeum of Ohio, 22/23 August 2013.  Reproduced with the collaboration of Ms. Song.

Thursday, August 22, 2013

"He for eighteen hundred years has lived in the world. . . ."

     "In the first centuries of the Church all this practical sagacity of Holy Church was mere matter of faith, but every age, as it has come, has confirmed faith by actual sight; and shame on us, if, with the accumulated testimony of eighteen centuries, our eyes are too gross to see those victories which the Saints have ever seen by anticipation."

     John Henry Newman, The idea of a university defined and illustrated, Discourse I.5 (ed. I. T. Ker (Oxford:  Clarendon Press, 1976), 29).
     "St. Peter has spoken, it is he who has enjoined that which seems to us so unpromising.  He has spoken, and has a claim on us to trust him.  He is no recluse, no solitary student, no dreamer about the past, no doter upon the dead and gone, no projector of the visionary.  He for eighteen hundred years has lived in the world; he has seen all fortunes, he has encountered all adversaries, he has shaped himself for all emergencies.  If ever there was a power on earth who had an eye for the times, who has confined himself to the practicable, and has been happy in his anticipations, whose words have been facts, and whose commands prophecies, such is he in the history of ages, who sits from generation to generation in the Chair of the Apostles, as the Vicar of Christ, and the Doctor of His Church" (28).
     Fascinating in this connection is the retraction (of sorts) Newman composed in 1870/1873 (587n28), in which he admits that he went too far in 1852, and was at that time "a poor innocent":
"I had been accustomed to believe that, over and above [1] that attribute of infallibility which attached to the doctrinal decisions of the Holy See, [2] a gift of sagacity had in every age characterized its occupants, so that . . . what the Pope determined was the very measure, or the very policy, expedient for the Church at the time when he determined.  This view I have brought out at some length in my 'Rise of the Universities' first published in the 'University Gazette', and in the first lecture, as delivered, on the 'Nature and Scope of Universities'.  I am obliged to say that a sentiment which history has impressed upon me, and impresses still, has been very considerably weakened as far as the present Pope is concerned . . . I cannot help thinking, in particular, that if he had known more of the state of things in Ireland, he would not have taken up the quarrel about the higher education which his predecessor left him, and, if he could not religiously have found a way of recognizing the Queen's Colleges, then at least he would have abstained from decreeing [?] a Catholic University.  I was a poor innocent as regards the actual state of things in Ireland when I went there, and did not care to think about it, for I relied on the word of the Pope, but from the event I am led to think it not rash to say that I knew as much about Ireland as he did" (587n28, citing the "Memorandum about my connection with the Catholic University" of 1870-1873, as reproduced in John Henry Newman:  autobiographical writings, ed. Henry Tristram (London & New York, 1956), 320).

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

An admirable response to the odium theologicum

Nevertheless, it would have been easier for me to respond if it had pleased you to communicate [(scribere)] the reasons why the said articles are either asserted or impugned.  For I would then have been able better to respond to the charge [(intentionem)] of those questioning [them].  Nonetheless [(Nihilominus tamen)], to the extent that I have been able to grasp [what is at issue], to what produces uncertainty I have taken care to respond point by point [(in singularis)], though from the start here [(hoc tamen in principio)] protesting that many of these articles pertain not to the doctrine of the faith, but [(sed magis)] to the dogmas [(dogmata, opinions)] of the philosophers.  Indeed [(autem)], it does great harm to either assert or deny as if pertinent to sacred doctrine such things as [(talia quae)] pertain not to [(non spectant ad)] the doctrine of piety.

Fuisset tamen mihi facilius respondere, si vobis scribere placuisset rationes, quibus dicti articuli vel asseruntur vel impugnantur. Sic enim potuissem magis ad intentionem dubitantium respondere. Nihilominus tamen, quantum percipere potui, in singulis ad id quod dubitationem facit, respondere curavi; hoc tamen in principio protestans, quod plures horum articulorum ad fidei doctrinam non pertinent, sed magis ad philosophorum dogmata. Multum autem nocet talia quae ad pietatis doctrinam non spectant, vel asserere vel negare quasi pertinentia ad sacram doctrinam.

       Thomas Aquinas, Responsio de 43 articulis, prol., my translation.
     Thomas had been asked to respond in a closely prescribed form [(responsionis forma taxata)], i.e. to say
whether . . . the saints be of that judgment or opinion which the article contains.  And if the saints be not of that judgment or opinion which the article contains, whether I [be] of that opinion or judgment.  And if I be not, whether it can tolerably be affirmed.
     I was put on to this by Jean-Pierre Torrell, "Saint Thomas et l'histoire:  état de la question et pistes de recherches," Nouvelles recherches thomasiennes, Bibliotheque thomiste 61, ed. L.-J. Bataillon, O.P, and A. Oliva, O.P. (Paris:  Librairie philosophique J. Vrin, 2008), 172 (131-175) =Revue thomiste 105 (2005):  355-409.     Cf. the French of abbé Bandel.
     Thomas then procedes to quote Augustine, first from Confessions V.v (taken here from the Chadwick translation):
     "When I hear this or that brother Christian, who is ignorant of these matters and thinks one thing the case when another is correct, with patience I contemplate the man expressing his opinion.  I do not see it is any obstacle to him if perhaps he is ignorant of the position and nature of a physical creature, provided that he does not believe something unworthy of you, Lord, the Creator of all things (1 Macc. 1:24).  But it becomes an obstacle if he thinks his view of nature belongs to the very form of orthodox doctrine, and dares obstinately to affirm something he does not understand."
and then from the famous passage at De Genesi ad litteram libri duodecim 1.19.39.

Sunday, August 18, 2013

commercia gloriosa

Our Sunday Visitor
Receive our oblation, O Lord, by which is brought about a glorious exchange, that, by offering what you have given, we may merit to receive your very self. Through Christ our Lord.

Suscipe, Dominemunera nostra, quibus exercentur commercia gloriosaut, offerentes quæ dedistiteipsum mereamur accipere.  Per Christum Dominum nostrum.

Receive, O Lord, our gifts, by which are effected glorious exchanges [(commutations, transactions)], that, offering what [gifts] you have given, we may merit to receive your very self.  Through Christ our Lord.

     Prayer over the offerings, Twentieth Sunday in Ordinary Time.  According to Corpus orationum 14 (CCSL 160M), p. 177 (168/3, 475), this derives from Corpus orationum no. 2559, which was no. 89 in the early 7th-century "Leonine" or Veronese sacramentary (some of the contents of which have been traced back to 6th- or even 5th-century Rome).  Indeed, if I understand Mohlberg p. LXXVI at no. 46 correctly, nos. 1-168 have been dated to the late 5th- or early 6th-century.
Corpus orationum:  Excercemus, domine, gloriosa commercia:  offerimus, quae dedisti, ut te ipsum mereamur accipere.
ed. Mohlberg (1956) no. 89 on p. 12:  Excercemus, dominegloriosa conmercia:  offerimus, quae dedistiut te ipsum mereamur accipere.