Saturday, December 3, 2016

Levin on the progressive alternative

"The alternative to working through the middle layers of society to address our problems is working through synthetic and artificial social structures created by brute exercises of technical expertise empowered with state authority."

     Yuval Levin, The fractured republic:  renewing America's social contract in the age of individualism (New York:  Basic Books, 2016), 209-210.

Thursday, December 1, 2016

I shall expect the Lord my Savior, and stand at the ready for him when he is near.

Exspectabo Dominum salvatorem meum, et praestolabor eum dum prope est.  Alleluia.

(Judges 6:18 ((the angel of) the Lord to Gideon):  . . . qui respondit ego praestolabor adventum tuum, And he answered:  I will await thy coming.)
Isaiah 8:17:  et expectabo Dominum qui abscondit faciem suam a domo Iacob et praestolabor eum, And I will wait for the Lord, who hath hid his face from the house of Jacob, and I will look for him.
Isaiah 55:6:  quaerite Dominum dum inveniri potest invocate eum dum prope est, Seek ye the Lord while he may be found:  call upon him, while he is near.
Micah 7:7:  ego autem ad Dominum aspiciam expectabo Deum salvatorem meum audiet me Deus meus, But I will look towards the Lord, I will wait for God my Saviour:  my God will hear me.

I shall wait (etymologically, look out) for the Lord my Savior, and stand ready for him when he is near.  Alleluia.

     Antiphon to the Benedictus, Morning Prayer, Thursday of the First Week of Advent, Liturgy of the hours:

I shall wait for my Lord and Saviour and point him out when he is near, alleluia.

Image from Sankt Gallen,Stiftsbibliothek, 390, p. 21 (c. 980 or later), the fourth oldest occurrence of this antiphon in the database CANTUS (the oldest being Albi, Bibliothèque municipale Rochegude, 44 (c. 890)).

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Gregory of Nazianzus: the Word has approached and assumed "his own [defaced] image"

"What is the wealth of his goodness?  What is this mystery concerning me?  I participated in the [divine] image, and I did not keep it; he participates in my flesh both to save the image and to make the flesh immortal.  He shares with us a second communion, much more paradoxical than the first; then he gave us a share in what is superior, now he shares in what is inferior.  This is more godlike than the first; this, to those who can understand, is more exalted."

Τίς ὁ πλοῦτος τῆς ἀγαθότητος;  τί τὸ περὶ ἐμὲ τοῦτο μυστήριον;  Μετέλαβον τῆς εἰκόνος, καὶ οὐκ ἐφύλαξα·  μεταλαμβάνει τῆς ἐμῆς σαρκὸς, ἵνα καὶ τὴν εἰκόνα σώσῃ, καὶ τὴν σάρκα ἀθανατίσῃ.  Δευτέραν κοινωνεῖ κοινωνίαν, πολὺ τῆς προτέρας παραδοξοτέραν·  ὅσῳ τότε μὲν τοῦ κρείττονος μετέδωκε, νῦν δὲ μεταλαμβάνει τοῦ χείρονος.  Τοῦτο τοῦ προτέρου θεοειδέστερον·  τοῦτο τοῖς νοῦν ἔχουσιν ὑψηλότερον.

     St. Gregory of Nazianzus, Oration 45.9, On Holy Pascha, trans. Nonna Verna Harrison (Festal orations:  Saint Gregory of Nazianzus, Popular patristics series 36 (Crestwood, NY:  St. Vladimir's Seminary Press, 2008), 169).  PG 36, col. 633.  Office of readings, Tuesday of the First Week of Advent, Liturgy of the hours:  "What is this wealth of goodness? What is this mystery that surrounds me? I received the likeness of God, but failed to keep it. He takes on my flesh, to bring salvation to the image, immortality to the flesh. He enters into a second union with us, a union far more wonderful than the first. . . ."

Monday, November 28, 2016

"Access to the knowledge that he is a sinner is lacking to man because he is a sinner."

"That man is evil, that he is at odds with God and his neighbour, and therefore with himself, is something which he cannot know of himself, by communing with himself, or by conversation with his fellow-men, any more than he can know in this way that he is justified and comforted by God. . . . Access to the knowledge that he is a sinner is lacking to man because he is a sinner. . . .
". . . He sees and thinks and knows crookedly even in relation to his crookedness."

"Daß der Mensch böse ist, d. h. daß er sich im Widerspruch zu Gott und zu seinem Nächsten und darum und von daher auch zu sich selbst befindet, das kann er nicht aus sich selbst wissen, das kann er also aus keinem Selbstgespräch, das kann er aber auch aus keinem Gespräch mit seinem Mitmenschen erfahren: das so wenig, wie daß er von Gott gerechtfertigt und getröstet ist. . . . Der Zugang zu der Erkenntnis, daß er ein Sünder ist, fehlt ihm gerade deshalb, weil er ein Sünder ist. . . .
". . . Er sieht und denkt und erkennt eben verkehrt auch in Sachen seiner Verkehrtheit."

     Karl Barth, CD IV/1, 359-361 =KD IV/1, 397-398.