Saturday, March 3, 2018

A cautionary tale

32 They angered him at the waters of Mer′ibah [(מְרִיבָ֑ה)],
    and it went ill with Moses on their account;
33 for they made his spirit bitter [(כִּֽי־הִמְר֥וּ אֶת־רוּחֹ֑ו)],
    and he spoke words that were rash.

     Ps 106:32-33, RSV.

Friday, March 2, 2018

"Allowances are made for sociologists."

Department of Economics,
Johns Hopkins University
     "Things wouldn't be so bad if the sacred project of American sociology were just the sacred project of American sociology.  Allowances are made for sociologists."

     Richard Spady, research professor of economics at Johns Hopkins, "Sacred sociology," a review of The sacred project of American sociology, by Christian Smith (Oxford University Press, 2014).  First things no. 281 (March 2018):  61 (61-62).  Shady continues as follows:  "The problem is that all the human sciences as practiced in our elite universities are in thrall to the sacred project that Christian Smith so clearly articulates in this slim and masterful volume".

"the gift of Christian faith"

"all of us enter upon philosophical argument bringing with us our pre-philosophical convictions and biases.  What faith enables us to recognize is the nature and influence of those convictions and biases as sources of error, something to which we are otherwise apt to be blind.  As a result we do not realize how difficult it is to become genuinely rational enquirers, to find the right starting point for philosophical enquiry, for we carry with us into our philosophical enquiries unrecognized prejudices and assumptions.  Part of the gift of Christian faith is to enable us to identify accurately where the line between faith and reason is to be drawn, something that cannot be done from the standpoint of reason, but only from that of faith.  Reason therefore needs Christian faith, if it is to do its own work well.  Reason without Christian faith is always reason formed by some other faith, characteristically an unacknowledged faith, one that renders its adherents liable to error."

     Alisdair MacIntyre, channeling Newman, in God, philosophy, universities: a selective history of the Catholic philosophical tradition (Lanham, MD:  Sheed & Ward, Rowman & Littlefield, 2009), 152-153.

Thursday, March 1, 2018

Restorer of innocence

O God, restorer and lover of innocence, direct to yourself the hearts of your servants, that, seized by the fervor of your Spirit, they may be found both steadfast in faith and effective in work.  Through.

"O God, who delight in innocence and restore it, direct the hearts of your servants to yourself, that, caught up in the fire of your Spirit, we may be found steadfast in faith and effective in works.  Through."

"Deus, innocentiae restitutor et amator, dirige ad te tuorum corda servorum, ut, spíritus tui fervore concepto, et in fide inveniantur stabiles et in opere efficaces. Per."

     Concluding prayer, Thursday of the Second Week of Lent, Liturgy of the hours.  =Gregorian sacramentary nos. 216 and 883°, i.e. Cambrai, Bibl. mun. 164, copied in 811-812 from an earlier Roman original.  =Corpus orationum no. 1261 =Bruylants no. 235.  Quite popular.  In the late 9th-century Ambrosian sacramentary, amator becomes auctor.  Here's what passed for a "translation" before 2010:
God of love, bring us back to you. Send your spirit to make us strong in faith and active in good works.  Grant this through.

Monday, February 26, 2018

"'What's wrong with the workers of the world uniting?'"

Václav Havel Library
     "The greengrocer had to put the slogan in his window, therefore, not in the hope that someone might read it or be persuaded by it, but to contribute, along with thousands of other slogans, to the panorama that everyone is very much aware of.  This panorama, of course, has a subliminal meaning as well:  it reminds people where they are living and what is expected  of them.  It tells them what everyone else is doing, and indicates to them what they must do as well, if they don't want to be excluded, to fall into isolation, alienate themselves from society, break the rules of the game, and risk the loss of their peace and tranquility and security."

     Václav Havel, "The power of the powerless" (October 1978) VI, trans. P. Wilson, in Living in truth:  twenty-two essays published on the occasion of the award of the Erasmus Prize to Václav Havel, ed. Jan Vladislav (London:  Faber and Faber, 1987), 51 (36-122).  The headline comes from p. 42 in sec. III.
The primary excusatory function of ideology . . . is to provide people, both as victims and pillars of the post-totalitarian system, with the illusion that the system is in harmony with the human order and the order of the universe [(sec. III, p. 43)].

"your loving commands"

"O God, who have taught us to chasten our bodies for the healing of our souls, enable us, we pray, to abstain from all sins, and strengthen our hearts to carry out your loving commands."

"Deus, qui ob animarum medelam castigare corpora praecepisti, concede, ut ab omnibus possimus abstinere peccatis, et corda nostra pietatis tuae valeant exercere mandata.  Per."

O God, who, for the sake of the cure of [our] souls, have advised [us] to restrain [our] bodies, grant that we may be able to abstain from all sins, and [that] our hearts may have the strength to carry out the mandates of your kindness.  Through.

     Concluding prayer for Monday in the Second Week of Lent, Liturgy of the hours.  This derives from a prayer in the early 8th-century Gelasian sacramentary (no. 173; Corpus orationum no. 1940; Bruylants, vol. 1, p. 25):
Deus, qui ob animarum medelam ieiunii devotione castigari corpora praecepisti, concede, ut corda nostra ita pietatis tuae valeant exercere mandata, quatenus ab omnibus possimus semper abstinere peccatis.