Saturday, May 21, 2016

"In rendering obedience as He does, He does something which . . . only God can do."

The Son of God "shows Himself the One He is by the obedience which He renders as man. And His unconditional, self-evident, natural and wholly spontaneous being in obedience is just as little the affair of a man, or of a creature generally, as the unconditional lordship to which this being corresponds, and which He reflects in it, can ever be the affair of a man or of any creature. In rendering obedience as He does, He does something which, as in the case of that lordship, only God can do. The One who in this obedience is the perfect image of the ruling God is Himself-as distinct from every human and creaturely kind-God by nature, God in His relationship to Himself, i.e., God in His mode of being as the Son in relation to God in His mode of being as the Father, One with the Father and of one essence."

"Er erweist sich in seinem als Mensch geleisteten Gehorsam als der, der er ist. Und nun ist eben sein unbedingtes, selbstverständliches, natürliches, von innen heraus freies Sein im Gehorsam so wenig Sache eines Menschen, einer Kreatur überhaupt, wie die unbedingte Herrschaft, der dieses sein Sein entspricht, die er darin abbildet, die Sache irgend eines Menschen, irgend einer Kreatur sein kann. Er leistet, indem er Gehorsam leistet, wie er es tut, was genau so wie jenes Herrschen nur Gott selbst leisten kann. Wer in solchem Gehorsam des herrschenden Gottes vollkommenes Ebenbild ist, der ist – von aller menschlich kreatürlichen Art verschieden – selber Gott von Art, Gott in seiner Beziehung zu sich selbst, d. h. aber Gott in der Seinsweise des Sohnes im Verhältnis zu Gott in der Seinsweise des Vaters, mit diesem Einer, mit diesem gleichen Wesens."

     Karl Barth, CD IV/1, trans. Bromiley, 208-209 =KD IV/1, 228 (§59).

"without a capacity for personal prayer, are Christians capable of a true 'active participation' in the liturgy of the Church and above all the regular Sunday assembly?"

     André Haquin, "Sacrement et sacramentalité:  une evolution en cours," Revue théologique de Louvain 32, no. 4 (2001):  526 (513-528).

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

An ancient collect for Pentecost

"O God, Who by the mystery of this day’s festival dost sanctify Thy universal Church in every race and nation, shed abroad throughout the whole world the gift of the Holy Spirit; that the work wrought by Divine goodness at the first preaching of the Gospel may now also be extended among believing hearts; through. . . ."

"Deus, qui sacramento festivitatis hodiernae universam ecclesiam tuam in omni gente et natione sanctificas, in totam mundi latitudinem spiritus tui sancti dona defunde et, quod inter ipsa evangelicae praedicationis exordia operata est divina dignatio, nunc quoque per credentium corda diffunde."

     8th-century sacramentaries Gelasianum Vetus (no. 638), Gellonensis (no. 1035), Rhenaugiense (no. 629), and Sangallensis (no. 818), with, of course, slight variations.  All of the manuscripts listed at Corpus orationum no. 2057 associate this prayer with Pentecost in some way.  Translation from William Bright, Ancient collects and other prayers selected for devotional use from various rituals, 2nd ed. (Oxford:   J. H. and Jas. Parker, 1862), 62-63.

"O God, who by the mystery of today's great feast
sanctify your whole Church in every people and nation,
pour out, we pray, the gifts of the Holy Spirit
across the face of the earth
and, with the divine grace that was at work
when the Gospel was first proclaimed,
fill now once more the hearts of believers.
Through. . . ."

"Deus, qui sacramento festivitatis hodiernae
universam ecclesiam tuam
in omni gente et natione sanctificas,
in totam mundi latitudinem spiritus tui sancti dona defunde,
et, quod inter ipsa evangelicae praedicationis exordia
operata est divina dignatio,
nunc quoque per credentium corda perfunde."

     Collect, Mass during the Day, Pentecost Sunday, Roman Missal.  Note the substitution of "perfunde" for "diffunde"/"defunde", though "perfunde" is present in none of the many manuscripts listed at Corpus orationum no. 2057.  "Translation" of 1973 according to Fr. Z:

"God our Father, let the Spirit you sent on your Church to begin the teaching of the gospel continue to work in the world through the hearts of all who believe."

     Cf. the following, which is sometimes attributed to the Gelasian sacramentary, though I haven't found it yet in the edition ed. H. A. Wilson:

"O God, who in the exaltation of thy Son Jesus Christ dost sanctify thy universal Church: Shed abroad in every race and nation the gift of the Holy Spirit; that the work wrought by his power at the first preaching of the gospel may now be extended throughout the whole world; through. . . ."

Sunday, May 15, 2016

St. Leo on the "one good"

"suppose that there are some rich people who, though they are not in the habit of helping the poor in the Church [(pauperes Ecclesiae)] with their largess, keep at any rate the commandments of God and figure that from among the various meritorious activities of faith they are lacking but one virtue—and it is therefore a slight fault.  Yet this one virtue happens to be so important [(et inter diversa fidei et probitatis merita, veniabiliter sibi aestimant unam deesse virtutem.  Verum haec tanta est)] that without it the others cannot be of any avail.
     "Be any full of faith, chaste, sober, and adorned with other noteworthy habits, yet if they are not merciful, they do not deserve mercy.  For the Lord says, 'Blessed are the merciful, for God will have mercy on them.'  When the Son of Man will come in his majesty and sit on the throne of glory, when all nations have been gathered together, the good and the bad will be separated.  What will those who are destined to stand on the right be praised for if not the benevolent works and charitable services that Jesus Christ will consider as rendered unto himself? . . . What accusations will be made against those on the left if not neglect of love, inhuman hardness, and denying compassion to the poor?
     "As if those on the right would not have other virtues, those on the left other offenses!  But at that great and ultimate judgment, the kindness of generosity or the ungodliness of avarice receives an extremely high value.  Despite perpetuating all manner of the greatest crimes, some are accepted into heaven on account of that one good [(unum bonum)].  Despite possessing the fullness of all virtues, others are cast into eternal fire on account of that one evil [(unum malum)].
     "Let none then, dearly beloved, flatter themselves about any merits due to living a good life if they lack charitable works.  Nor should any be complacent about the purity of their bodies if they have not 'been cleansed' at all by the purification 'of alms.'  'Alms' wipe away 'sins,' do away with 'death,' and extinguish the punishment of eternal fire.  But those who will have been found empty of its fruit will be strangers to lenience from the one who gives recompense—as Solomon says:  'Whoever stop up their ears so as not to hear the enfeebled will themselves call upon the Lord and likewise find no one to hear them.'  So Tobias as well, instructing his son in the demands of religion, says:  'Give alms from your possessions and do not turn your face away from any of the poor.  That way, the face of God will not be turned away from you either.'
     "This virtue causes all other virtues to be worth something.  It gives life even to faith itself—'by which the just live' and which is called 'dead without works'—by mingling with it.  While faith provides the basis for works, the strength of faith comes out only in works."

     Pope Leo the Great, Sermon 10.2-3 (November 444).  St. Leo the Great:  Sermons, trans. Freeland & Conway, FC 93 (Washington, DC:  The Catholic University of America Press, 1996), 44-45 (42-46).  Latin:  CCEL 138, 41-43 (39-44); SC 49 bis, pp. 52-55 (48-57); PL 54, cols. 165 ff.