Wednesday, September 14, 2005

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

Holy Cross Church has an evening Mass and reception on the Feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross. Only a few of us were present at noon.

Pick up the cross daily, and raise it, that our brothers will behold it, and believe, and have life.


Now that her quest [finding the cross] was at last accomplished all sentiment was dead and she was as practial about arrangements as though some new furniture had been delivered at her house. . . . No one who watched that day, while the Empress calmly divided her treasure, could have discerned her joy.
—Evelyn Waugh, Helena

Liturgy should be such that it need only be done correctly for it to be done joyfully. With a proper liturgy, going outside the parish in search of a Mass to like would be seen as a sign of incompetence in the priest or misplaced values in the wanderers. A gifted celebrant should be given a larger church, or even brought to the Cathedral (not necessarily as an administrator), where he may bring in a greater number of souls.

Liturgy should be neither vulgar nor “exciting”. The Jews in the first reading loathed the light bread made from manna, preferring the food of Egypt; the taste for liturgy must be developed, but it must be true manna (what is it?). The motions and their meanings must be taught to all.

Louisa tied a green apron round her waist, and got out a flat straw hat with a green ribbon. then she went into the garden with a little blue crockery bowl, to pick some currents for her tea. After the currants were picked she sat on the back doorstep and stemmed them, collecting the stems carefully in her apron, and afterwards throwing them into the hen-coop. She looked sharply at the grass beside the step to see if any had fallen there.
—Mary E. Wilkins (Freeman), “A New England Nun”

See also A Letter from Romano Guardini on the Essence of the Liturgical Act—1964

We don’t hear much about the Old Testament passages in which God kills people. Has God changed or our perception of him? Was complaining about monotonous meals ever punishable by death? God must have noticed that killing gets people’s attention immediately but not for long. It is not the educational value of killing that comes through, but the God’s hatred of sin. We should not grasp equality with God and pronounce death to evildoers; but, first, righteousness and rationality require that evil be answered by either judgment or mercy; and secondly, mercy implies judgment.

Paul perhaps could not bring himself write to the Philippians: “Christ Jesus, God, became a slave.” One wants to say, Be it far from thee, Lord: this shall not be unto thee.

“Being in the form of God”—does this later become homoousios?

It must be regarded as certain that the council which condemned Paul [of Samosata, fl. 260-72] rejected the term homoousios; but naturally only in a false sense used by Paul; not, it seems because he meant by it an unity of Hypostasis in the Trinity (so St. Hilary), but because he intended by it a common substance out of which both Father and Son proceeded, or which it divided between them,—so St. Basil and St. Athanasius; but the question is not clear. The objectors to the Nicene doctrine in the fourth century made copious use of this disapproval of the Nicene word by a famous council.
—Catholic Encyclopedia, “Paul of Samosata”

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In what sense do politicians use the term responsible?

re·spon·si·ble adj. [MFr. < L. responsus: see RESPONSE] 1. expected or obliged to account (for something, to someone); answerable; accountable 2. involving accountability, obligation or duties [a responsible position] 3. that can be charge with being the cause, agent, or source of something [the moisture that is responsible for the rust] 4. able to distinguish between right and wrong and to think and act rationally, and hence accountable for one’s behavior 5. a) readily assuming obligations, duties, etc.; dependable; reliable b) able to pay debts or meet business obligations
SYN.—responsible applies to one who has been delegated some duty or responsibility by one in authority and who is subject to penalty in case of default [he is responsible for making out the reports]; answerable implies a legal or moral obligation for which one must answer to someone sitting in judgment [he is not answerable for the crimes of his parents]; accountable implies liability for which one may be called to account [ he will be held accountable for anything he may say]
Webster’s New World Dictionary of the American Language, Second College Edition

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At the Cathedral picnic on Sunday, a discussion arose about differences between the Cathedral and St. Mary’s. During it I was challenged to say what I meant by “conservative Catholic”. Or was it “traditional Catholic”—I don’t remember. In either case, I meant no harm. I mentioned several signs, perhaps more than were hoped for; today I wonder if only one diagnostic would suffice: taking the host on one’s tongue instead of in one’s hand. Must observe the Cathedral congregation. At St. Mary’s, the cup is not offered to the congregation, though I believe the priest still says in Jesus’ name:

Take this, all of you, and drink from it: this is the cup of my blood, the blood of the new and everlasting covenant. It will be shed for you and for all so that sins may be forgiven. Do this in memory of me.

One rule of liturgy should be: the people do what they are told to do.

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I suppose it is good to be reminded that bishops are like other clerics.

[Mr. Hersey, the minister] could expound on the intricacies of every character study in the Scriptures, he was competent to grasp the Pilgrim Fathers and all historical innovators, but Sarah Penn was beyond him. He could deal with primal cases, but parallel ones worsted him.
—Mary E. Wilkins (Freeman), “The Revolt of ‘Mother’”, in The New England Nun and Other Stories

But why are they also so much like politicians and bureaucrats?

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Oh, how I would thank the Muses if I heard a new voice in a blog!

The sound is forced, the notes are few.

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People are still coming to Crosses and Lonely Catholics.


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