Saturday, May 11, 2019

Game of her to admit it

National Geographic
     "Gene sequencing studies have shown that people of European and Asian descent today carry a small amount of Neanderthal DNA, less than 2 percent of their total genome on average.  That may seem like an insignificant amount, but it's not the same 2 percent from one person to the next:  taken together, up to 40 percent of the Neanderthal genome lives on. . . .  Intriguingly, the modern Y chromosome, which determines maleness, appears to be completely free of Neanderthal DNA."

     Natalie Angier, "Serengeti on the Seine," a review of Europe:  a natural history, by Tim Flannery, with Luigi Boitani (Atlantic Monthly, 2019), The New York review of books 66, no. 8 (May 9, 2019):  28 (27-28).

[providence] ordered and sure, wisdom unerring [and true], love unbounded [and eternal]

"Teach us, O God, to trust your providence, ordered and sure; to accept your wisdom, unerring and true; and to rejoice in your love, unbounded and eternal; through Christ our Lord. Amen."

     Charles Simeon, supposedly (hat tip Kendall Harmon).  But though I have not yet completed an exhaustive search, I suspect that this prayer was rather constructed by someone else on the basis of these words, pronounced from his sick bed on 22 October 1836 (Simeon lived until 13 November):
What is before me I know not; whether I shall live or die.  But this I know, that all things are ordered and sure.  Everything is ordered with unerring wisdom and unbounded love.  He shall perfect everything; though at present I know not what He is about to do with me.  But about this I am not in the least degree anxious.
Memoirs of the life of the Rev. Charles Simeon, M.A., . . . with a selection from his writings and correspondence, ed. William Carus (London:  Hatchard and Son; Cambridge:  Deightons, and Macmillan & Co., 1847), 808, underscoring mine.  Please let me know if I've overlooked the prayer in Simeon himself, as I think it lovely.  But I see that Lesser feasts and fasts 2000 (and probably also, therefore, Holy women, holy men: celebrating the saints (2010)), hews more closely to the text I've discovered (more evidence of its fame, unknown to me before undertaking this research):
O loving God, we know that all things are ordered by your unerring wisdom and unbounded love:  Grant us in all things to see your hand, that, following the example of your servant Charles Simeon, we may walk with Christ in all simplicity, and serve you with a quiet and contented mind; through. . . .
By contrast, the Church of England's Common worship (under Lesser festivals) makes no use of it:
Eternal God, who raised up Charles Simeon to preach the good news of Jesus Christ and inspire your people in service and mission:  grant that we with all your Church may worship the Saviour, turn in sorrow from our sins and walk in the way of holiness; through. . . .
     Here, by the way, is an unrelated mid-19th-century occurrence of "wisdom unerring and true" (apparently missing in Simeon himself):  "Mysteries," The Ladies' magazine and album 11 (November 1848):  113 (112-113).

Friday, May 10, 2019

"How can it be said without impiety that the truth of those things which are the work of an excellent God Is sad?"

     THE KING.  Lord-Chancellor, whose hair is white while mine is but beginning to grizzle,
     Is it not said that youth is the season of illusion,
     Whereas old age, little by little,
     Enters into the reality of things as they are?
     A very sad reality, a little faded world that goes on shrinking [(Une réalité fort triste, un petit monde décoloré qui va se rétrécissant)].
     THE CHANCELLOR.  That is what the ancients have always taught me to repeat.
     THE KING.  They say the world is sad for him who sees clear?
     THE CHANCELLOR.  I cannot deny it against everyone.
     THE KING.  It is old age that has the clear [(clair)] eye?
     THE CHANCELLOR.  It has the practiced [(exercé)] eye. . . .
     THE KING. . . .
     Sad, is it?  How can it be said without impiety that the truth of those things which are the work of a transcendent God
     Is sad [(Comment dire sans impiété que la vérité de ces choses qui sont l'œuvre d'un Dieu excellent Est triste)]?  And how without absurdity say that the world, which is His likeness [(resemblance)] and His rival [(emulation)],
     Is littler than ourselves and leaves the greater part of our imagination in the void [(sans support)]?
     Now I maintain that youth is the season of illusion, but that is because it pictures things as infinitely less beautiful and manifold and desirable than they are, and of this delusion we are healed by age.

     Paul Claudel, The satin slipper, or The worst is not the surest, trans., with the collaboration of the author, by John O’Connor (New York:  Sheed and Ward, 1945), First day, Scene 6, pp. 24-25.  I have not yet read The satin slipper, but was put onto this passage by Rémi Brague.  French from Paul Claudel, Théâtre II, ed. Didier Alexandre and Michel Autrand, Bibliothèque de la Pléiade (Paris:  Gallimard, 2011), 279-280.

Thursday, May 9, 2019

La Soujeole on church discipline

"God alone probes minds [(les reins, the kidneys)] and hearts, so [(et)] no one should [ever] permit himself to pronounce upon the salvation of a person whom church discipline has excluded from sacramental communion.  But this sacramental discipline is justified by the mystery of the Church.  Those who are in outwardly observable, obvious, and persistent contradiction with the morals preached by its pastors [(John Paul II, Ecclesia de Eucharistia 37)] are objectively distant from the visible communion of the Church.  This visible communion is not separable from the invisible communion of the Church, the Church being profoundly one in the unity of these two aspects.  The security of this given of the faith is no longer assured if one comprehends spiritual communion in isolation from sacramental communion."