Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Domini est salus, domini est salus, Christi est salus;
Salus tua, domine, sit semper nobiscus.

Of the Lord is salvation, of the Lord is salvation,
          of Christ is salvation;
May your salvation, O Lord, be always with us.

     Lines in Latin at the end of the Old Irish Lorica "of St. Patrick" (which wasn't by St. Patrick). "Domini est salus" appears at the head of Ps 3:8 (3:9 in the Vulgate).

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

"Where the conflict really lies"?

"according to the Philosopher, it is what is harmful to other men [(qui est aliis hominibus nocivus)] that is properly [(proprie)] evil, and on that basis he says that the prodigal is not evil, because he harms no one but himself [(nulli alteri nocet nisi sibi ipsi)].  And so too with all the other acts that are not harmful to the neighbor [(de omnibus aliis qui non sunt proximis nocivi)].  But we are saying here that evil is generally [(communiter)] whatever is repugnant to [right] reason [(omne quod est rationi rectae repugnans)], and on that basis every individual [human] act is good or bad, as has been said."

     Thomas Aquinas, Summa theologiae 2, trans. Ralph McInerny (Thomas Aquinas:  selected writings, ed. & trans. Ralph MacInerny (London:  Penguin Books, 1998), 580), boldface mine.  Latin from the Leonine edition of 1891, as reproduced in Corpus Thomisticum.
     I leave aside the further (and probably irrelevant) question of whether such a harm must be capable of being felt.

Monday, March 2, 2015

Transfigurative harmonics

Bless your faithful, we pray, O Lord,
with a blessing that endures for ever,
and keep them faithful
to the Gospel of your Only Begotten Son,
so that they may always desire and at last attain
that glory whose beauty he showed in his own Body,
to the amazement of his Apostles.

Benedic, Domine, fideles tuos benedictione perpetua,
et fac eos Unigeniti tui Evangelio sic adhaerere,
ut ad illam gloriam, cuius in se speciem Apostolis ostendit,
et suspirare iugiter et feliciter valeant pervenire.

Bless, O Lord, your faithful with a perpetual benediction,
and cause them so to adhere to the Gospel of your Only Begotten,
that to that glory, the beauty [(species, appearance)] of which,
          [inherent] in himself, he to the apostles revealed,
they may have the strength both continually to sigh after
          and happily to attain.

     Prayer over the people, Second Sunday of Lent, Missale Romanum.
     I have translated species with "beauty" rather than "appearance" because it occurs in Is 53:2:  "there is no beauty in him [(non est species ei)], nor comeliness [(decor)]: and we have seen him, and there was no sightliness [(aspectus)], that we should be desirous of him" (Douay-Rheims 1899).  Among the Gospels, it occurs at this point only in Luke:  "the shape of his countenance [(species vultus eius, the appearance of his visage)] was altered" (Lk 9:29, Douay-Rheims 1899; RSV:  "his appearance was altered").  Though Matthew and Mark make Jesus allude to the cross on the way down from the mountain, Luke is the only Gospel in which Moses and Elijah (or the Law and the Prophets) speak "of his departure, which he was to accomplish at Jerusalem" (Lk 9:31 RSV).  It thus seems appropriate that it is only the Vulgate of Luke that makes this connection with the Vulgate of Isaiah, implying that the beauty that Isaiah denies Jesus on Mount Golgotha (but cf. Jn 12:28) he exhibits [(ostendit)] on the Mount of Transfiguration.
     I should note just quicklywithout, however, following this up in the scholarshipthat the Greek of Lk 9:29 (τὸ εἶδος τοῦ προσώπου αὐτοῦ ἕτερον) echoes the Greek of Is 53:2 (οὐκ ἔστιν εἶδος αὐτῷ οὐδὲ δόξα· καὶ εἴδομεν αὐτόν, καὶ οὐκ εἶχεν εἶδος οὐδὲ κάλλος) as well.
     I would also point out that "the Gospel of your Only Begotten [Son]" would of course be the voice from the cloud:  "This is my beloved Son/My Son, my Chosen."  (Yet in the prayer, the audite becomes an adhaerere.)
     According to Corpus orationum 14, pp. 161-162 ("60. Dominica II in Quadragesima"), this prayer was composed (for the new Missal) of Corpus orationum "I 875 + M[issale ]P[arisiense] 3141".
  • Gregory the Great (669-731), Moralia in Job 29.25 (Noailles).  If this is a reference to the Gregorian treatment of Job 29:25, then that would be Moralia in Job, lib. 20, sec. 11 (in cap. 4), CCSL 143A, pp. 1009-1014, or PL 76, cols. 141, ff.  If, on the other hand, it is a reference to lib. 29, sec. 25 (in cap. 13), then that would be CCSL 143B, pp. _____, or PL 76, cols. 490, ff.  If, finally, it is a reference to lib. 29, cap. 25 (sec. 50), then that would be CCSL 143B, pp. _____, or PL 76, cols. 504, ff.  (Needless to say, I have not yet located the passage to which Corpus orationum refers.)
  • Corpus orationum 1, no. 875 =Bruylants no. 154 (8th century Gelasian):  "Custodi, domine, quaesumus, ecclesiam tuam propitiatione perpetua et, quia sine te labitur humana mortalitas, tuis semper auxiliis et abstrahatur a noxiis et ad salutaria dirigatur" (I must confess that I don't see much of a parallel here).
  • Missale Parisiense no. 3141 (1738), which derives from Gregory the Great (669-731), Moralia in Job 29.25 (Noailles):  "Celebrantes hoc sacrificio Unigeniti tui transfigurati mysterium; da nos, Deus, ipsius Evangelio sic adhaerere, ut ad illam gloriam, cuius in se speciem Apostolis ostendit, et suspirare iugiter, et feliciter pervenire valeamus.

Sunday, March 1, 2015

Dawson in 1956

"Now this attitude of withdrawal is perfectly justifiable on Catholic principles. It is the spirit of the Fathers of the Desert and of the martyrs and confessors of the primitive church. But it means that Christianity must become an underground movement and that the only place for Christian life and for Christian culture is in the desert and the catacombs. Under modern conditions, however, it may be questioned if such a withdrawal is possible. Today the desert no longer exists and the modern state exerts no less authority underground in the subway and the air raid shelter than it does on the earth and in the air. The totalitarian state —and perhaps the modern state in general—is not satisfied with passive obedience; it demands full co-operation from the cradle to the grave. Consequently the challenge of secularism must be met on the cultural level, if it is to be met at all; and if Christians cannot assert their right to exist in the sphere of higher education, they will eventually be pushed not only out of modern culture, but out of physical existence. That is already the issue in Communist countries, and it will also become the issue in England and America if we do not use our opportunities while we still have them. We are still living internally on the capital of the past and externally on the existence of a vague atmosphere of religious tolerance which has already lost its justification in contemporary secular ideology. It is a precarious situation which cannot be expected to endure indefinitely, and we ought to make the most of it while it lasts.
     "And I believe that it is the field of higher education that offers the greatest opportunities; first on the ground of economy of effort, because a comparatively small expenditure of time and money is likely to produce more decisive results than a much greater expenditure at a lower level. And secondly because this is the sphere where there is most freedom of action and where the tradition of intellectual and spiritual freedom is likely to survive longest. Moreover the need for action is especially urgent in this field, because the social changes of the last half century have extinguished the old tradition of independent private scholarship to which these studies owed so much in the past. But today the disappearance of the leisure class makes this kind of unorganized individual scholarship impossible. Either the church or the universities must carry on the tradition and make themselves responsible for the maintenance of these studies or the work will not be done at all."

     Christopher Dawson, "Civilization in crisis" (1956), as reproduced in The historic reality of Christian culture:  a way to the renewal of life, Religious perspectives 1, ed. Ruth Nanda Anshen (New York:  Harper & Brothers Publishers, 1960), 96-98 (79-98).