Saturday, April 1, 2017

An honest liberal

"over the past 200 years we liberals have, ironically, played a major role in ushering in an age of immuration."

     Clive Stafford Smith, "Prisoners of conscience," Times literary supplement no. 5940 (February 3 2017):  5 (3-5).
     Smith gives two examples:  an early 18th-century one, and a late 20th-century one in which he himself "played a relatively significant role":  Thus, "The quantum of misery that we achieved, albeit inadvertently, was almost unfathomable."  "my plan, back in 1984, can reasonably be said to have helped 100,000 additional people to find themselves condemned, perhaps for thirty-four years in prison
a grand total of 1.24 billion days of misery."
     "So here we are:  conservatives and liberals alike view the mass incarceration experiment as an expensive failure, and the legal system is simply not up to the task of sorting out who did what.  The result is increasing levels of desolation for millions.  We have some work ahead of us."

The sovereignty of love

Most sacred fire,
      that burnest mightily
   In liuing brests,
      ykindled first aboue,
   Emongst th'eternall spheres
      and lamping sky,
   And thence pourd into men,
      which men call Loue;
   Not that same, which doth
      base affections moue
   In brutish minds,
      and filthy lust inflame,
   But that sweet fit, that doth true beautie loue,
   And choseth vertue for his dearest Dame,
Whence spring all noble deeds and neuer dying fame:

Well did Antiquitie a God thee deeme,
   That ouer mortal minds hast so great might,
   To order them, as best to thee doth seeme,
   And all their actions to direct aright;
   The fatall purpose of diuine foresight,
   Thou doest effect in destined descents,
   Through deep impression of thy secret might, . . .

     Edmund Spenser, The faerie queene III.iii.1-2.

"Communion with the flesh of the risen Christ, [a flesh] 'given life and giving life through the Holy Spirit'"

     CCC 1392.  "Communio carnis Christi resuscitati, «Spiritu Sancto vivificatae et vivificantis»".

Sunday, March 26, 2017

"'Get behind me, Satan!'"

"The first announcement of the Eucharist divided the disciples, just as the announcement of the Passion scandalized them:  'This is a hard saying; who can listen to it?'  The Eucharist and the Cross are stumbling blocks.  It is the same mystery and it never ceases to be an occasion of division."

     CCC 1336, on the Eucharist.

"But our opinion is in accordance with the Eucharist, and the Eucharist in turn establishes our opinion."

     St. Irenaeus, Adv. haer. IV.xviii.5, as trans. Roberts & Rambaut, ANF 1, 486.  CCC 1327:
Our way of thinking is attuned to the Eucharist, and the Eucharist in turn confirms our way of thinking.
This appears on p. 205 of vol. 2 of the 1857 edition ed. W. W. Harvey (where it is Adv. haer. IV.xxxi.4), as follows (I have not yet checked SC):
Ἡμῶν δὲ σύμφωνος ἡ γνώμη τῇ εὐχαριστίᾳ, καὶ ἡ εὐχαριστία βεβαιοῖ τὴν γνώμην. 
Nostra autem consonans est sententia Eucharistiae, et Eucharistia rursus confirmat sententiam.
The immediate context here is an insistence, against the gnostics, on "the hope of the resurrection [of the flesh] to eternity":  "our bodies, when they receive the Eucharist, are no longer corruptible", but "partake of life".