Thursday, September 08, 2005

Thursday, September 8, 2005

O’s “orientation day” at AHN. The surprise was the small size of the freshman class: 55 students.

Today is the Feast of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary. The Mass readings say nothing about it, since nothing in the Bible tells of the birth of Mary to St. Anne (Hannah, grace, related to Joan, John) and St. Joachim (God prepares). No doubt Mary was born, but what details of the happy event does the Magisterium require us to believe? Perhaps none (the immaculate conception happened earlier).

It was interesting to see in the Catholic Encylopedia entry for St. Anne a reference to “the renowned Father John of Eck of Ingolstadt” (Johann Eck or Eckius, 1486–1543), “the most distinguished theologian of his time in Germany,” who defeated Luther in public debate and thus prevented the Reformation, and who apparently knew that St. Anne’s parents were Stollanus and Emerentia and knew of her second and third husbands, Cleophas and Salomas.

St. Anne seems to be in the Biblical tradition of women who cannot conceive for many years, and then become pregnant. This at least fits today’s Psalm 13:5–6:

But I have trusted in thy mercy; my heart shall rejoice in thy salvation.
I will sing unto the LORD, because he hath dealt bountifully with me.

whose previous verses are:

How long wilt thou forget me, O LORD? for ever? how long wilt thou hide thy face from me?
How long shall I take counsel in my soul, having sorrow in my heart daily? how long shall mine enemy be exalted over me?
Consider and hear me, O LORD my God: lighten mine eyes, lest I sleep the sleep of death;
Lest mine enemy say, I have prevailed against him; and those that trouble me rejoice when I am moved.

Smiling commentaries do not speak to the heart of this psalm, since according to it the prayer has not yet been not answered.

One sometimes or frequently has feelings that one feels that one should not feel, or at least encourage, but are magnificently present in the Psalms. Should one reject these feelings, or purge them by reading the Psalms, or accept them as (sometimes) right, or what? Next Sunday’s readings give the answer: the debt must be acknowledged, and then forgiven.

If I could be with you, I would be satisfied.


Post a Comment

<< Home