Friday, March 31, 2006

What is Lacking in the Sufferings of Christ?

My sufferings can be a joy, and a witness, and joined with Jesus’ sufferings.

Paul wrote:

I now rejoice in my sufferings for you, and fill up that which is behind of the afflictions of Christ in my flesh for his body’s sake, which is the church.
—Colossians 1:24

There must be many explanations of Paul’s phrase about what is “lacking” in the afflictions of Christ. Or perhaps it’s the same explanation. It must be the right one, since the explainers are satisfied with it. What I have to say leaves me dissatisfied, because I suffer little, and avoid suffering.

Jesus tells Julian of Norwich, “If I could suffer more, I would suffer more.” Christ cannot suffer more than he is suffering. What is lacking in the sufferings of Christ is what is lacking in the sufferings of Job: people who suffer with the sufferer. Job’s friends explain to him why he suffers; Jesus’ friends run away, all except a few, among them his mother, and his mother’s sister, Mary the wife of Cleophas, and Mary Magdalene, and a lone male disciple. No doubt, Job’s friends and Jesus’ suffer. The apostles are scared, and fear is a kind of suffering. But they don’t suffer with Jesus, and they don’t rejoice in their suffering. I could suffer more with Jesus for his body the church, and I could rejoice more in my sufferings.

An artist’s work is not complete until appreciators respond to it. Often it does not exist in its proper mode until others participate in it. Beethoven “finished” the Ninth Symphony; he could not be the orchestra, the soloists, and the chorus.* Jesus’s sufferings for many are not complete until many respond to his sufferings and participate in them.

All suffer. Many suffer terribly and long. Few rejoice in their sufferings, knowing that they are doing as Christ and completing his work. Through God’s grace, the few have lately been many: the many martyrs for Christ in the last hundred years, and the many who suffer for Christ today. How much they fill up that which is behind in the afflictions of Christ for the sake of the church! But the many could be many more—not more sufferers, but more rejoicers.

Should I then rejoice in others’s sufferings? In Paul’s words, God forbid! What is also lacking in Job’s and Jesus’ sufferings are efforts to relieve them. Relieving and preventing suffering, including one’s own, also complete Christ’s work. So heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out devils. But when sufferings come to others, have compassion, and when to oneself, rejoice!

*Even if he had wanted to: At the premiere, Beethoven “moved as if he wanted to play all the instruments himself and sing for the whole chorus”. Wikipedia, Symphony No. 9 (Beethoven).

See also Dom Armand Veilleux, “Le sens de la souffrance et de la douleur” and “Le don de la Conversion”,

and (Not) Wasting Pain in the blog A Song Not Scored for Breathing

Thursday, March 30, 2006

From Wannsee

KLEIST: Can you guess what my very last thought was? My final state of mind?

CHERUB: Complete despair.

KLEIST: It would be logical, would it not? . . .

—Eric Bentley, Wannsee: A Tragi-Comedy, based on Kleist’s Cathy of Heilbron


From The Fall of the Amazons

ULYSSES: I am at a loss.


ULYSSES: Have you thought this through?


ULYSSES: You are impossible.


—Eric Bentley, The Fall of the Amazons: A Tragedy, based on Kleist’s Penthesilea




Wednesday, March 29, 2006


Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Faith is Life—Spengler

Death everywhere and always is the penalty for apostasy, in Islam and every other faith. It cannot be otherwise, for faith is life and its abandonment is death. . . .

“Where are the moderate Muslims?” sigh the self-appointed Sybils of the Western media. Faith is life. What does it mean to be moderately alive? Find the “moderate Christians” and the “moderate Jews”, and you will have the answer. “Moderate Christians” such as Episcopalian priests or Anglican vicars are becoming redundant as their congregations migrate to red-blooded evangelical denominations or give up religion altogether. “Moderate Jews” are mainly secular and tend to intermarry. There really is no such thing as a “moderate” Christian; there simply are Christians, and soon-to-be-ex-Christians. The secular establishment has awoken with sheer panic to this fact at last. In response we have such diatribes such as Kevin Phillips’ new book American Theocracy, an amalgam of misunderstandings, myths and calumnies about the so-called religious right. . . .

American Christians are migrating en masse to denominations that preach Christ crucified and the saving power of his blood, eschewing the blancmange Christianity of the old mainline sects (“It’s the culture, stupid”, Nov 5, 2004). But the United States is unique among the nations, an assembly of individuals called out from among the nations, where Christian identity is compatible with a secular definition of peoplehood. Even in the US Christians find that one cannot be half-pregnant: either one is saved, or one is not.

Islam does not know moderation or extremism: it only knows success or failure. Unlike Christianity, which prevailed only through the improbable project of abandoning its old center to create a new land altogether, Islam cannot exist outside of traditional society, which by definition knows no doubt. Nowhere else but in the United States has personal conscience rather than religious establishment succeeded as the guiding principle of Christianity. “Moderate Islam” is an empty construct; the Islam of the Afghan courts is the religion with which the West must contend.

—Spengler, “The West in an Afghan mirror,” Mar 28, 2006.


Tuesday, March 28, 2006

If the shepherds need shepherding, who will shepherd the sheep?

Monday, March 27, 2006

Being and Doing, Doing and Not Doing

The Gospels report no words spoken by St. Joseph, the husband of Mary. He only does or does not.

De nos jours on entend assez souvent dire que l’être est plus important que le faire, ou encore que ce que nous sommes est plus important que ce que nous faisons. Ces expressions comportent sans doute une part de vérité ; mais elles sont aussi dans une grande mesure des sophismes. Nous n’existons pas dans l’abstrait ; nous existons à travers notre activité vitale ; et ce que nous sommes se réalise et se manifeste à travers ce que nous faisons. Parfois c’est aussi à travers ce que nous décidons consciemment, par conscience, de ne pas faire.
—Dom Armand Veilleux, Homélie pour la Solennité de saint Joseph (20 mars 2006)

The world is moving massively. One sometimes feels that anything one could do weighs nothing in the balance, or even that one’s mere existence tips in the wrong direction. Yet God counts by ones (Luke 15:7,10). Joy shall be in heaven and in the presence of the angels of God whenever we do or not-do because we love Christ. For to not-do is also to do:

Joseph a pensé de répudier en secret sa fiancée ; mais il ne l’a pas fait.
—Veilleux, Ibid.

At the end of a day when I appear to have accomplished nothing, when I ask, with Pope John Paul II, Might evil be invincible? Is it the ultimate power of history?, let me be able to recall with gratitude: At least once today I was tempted, and remained faithful.

Darker than Dark

In the face of the technological society, the culture forming mission of Christianity will have to begin from scratch—but begin at a much lower level than did the missionaries of the dark ages, who brought the vestiges of high Roman culture to the barbarian peoples of northern Europe. The Venerable Bede and St. Boniface, however, did not have to teach those Celtic and Gothic peoples the rudiments of culture itself. It was a dark age, but it was dark, Dawson said, “with the honest night of barbarism.” The terrifying thing about modern barbarism is that it is not only more culturally primitive than barbarians of old, but it is immeasurably more powerful, prosperous, and ruthless.
—Russell Hittinger, “ Christopher Dawson on Technology and the Demise of Liberalism”

If your light is dark, how dark must your darkness be!
Gospel Scene 31


Saturday, March 25, 2006

Comedy or Tragedy?

(Courtroom. A large baldheaded man sitting on the floor, half-dressed, fingering cuts and bruises on his body.)

A SMALLER MAN (entering): Heaven and hell, what has become of you, Judge Adam? You’ve stumbled over something?

ADAM: Must there always be a something one stumbles over, Mr. Light?


ADAM: Is not homo sapiens a stumbler? Who has his stumbling block within? That’s philosphy, Mr. Light.

LIGHT: Theology, Judge Adam: we all go back to the first Adam who fell in Act One, Scene One, of the comedy.

ADAM: Tragedy.

—Eric Bentley, Concord: A Comedy, based on Kleist’s The Broken Jug


Friday, March 24, 2006

Where Have They Put Him?

And they say unto her, Woman, why weepest thou? She saith unto them, Because they have taken away my LORD, and I know not where they have laid him.
—John 20:13

From Father W. Roy Floch, “Where Have We Put Him? And what if we acted as if we believed what we believe?”, in Adoremus Bulletin Online Edition

Of all the changes in the celebration of Mass that took place after Vatican II, I believe placing the celebrant and the congregation face to face was the most wide-ranging in its effect. No longer focussed in one direction—toward God—clergy and laity have turned inward toward themselves, and experience a crisis in both lay and religious identity and vocation, not to mention the poverty of self-centered music. Seeing each other has not always been a pretty sight, and this has contributed to the lobbing of tomatoes in both directions as power struggles now seem to take up much of our ecclesial energy. We are looking at one another, at the many ministers and musicians, but we are not seeing Him. (I no longer look communicants in the eye but keep my eyes on Him, hoping they will too.) Regarding the priest as “entertainer” may account for the “vocation crisis.”

Changes meant to foster “active participation” are not working. The participation that counts must be internal and spiritual. External action cannot achieve it. “You can lead a horse to water.” I remember the Latin liturgy as highly involving. In order to follow it, you had to pay attention.

The usual explanation given for the increase in Eucharistic devotional practices from the 9th century on is that the Mass became remote from people, causing them to generate these extra-liturgical means for more satisfying religious experience. But what if the “remote” liturgy actually created internal spiritual growth that obtained expression in those devotions, and their sharp decline after the liturgical renewal following Vatican II is the consequence of a desiccated internal spiritual life?

I sense that congregations are now completely attentive to external actions and are personally passive, as if they are in a theater or watching TV hoping the program will be entertaining. When it isn”t entertaining, they walk. In the words of a Lutheran bishop called in to mediate where a pastor’s liturgical practices aggravated some of her congregation, we have forgotten that, “The Liturgy is not for us, it’s for God.”

From Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger, The Altar and the Direction of Liturgical Prayer:

. . . the Eucharist that Christians celebrate really cannot adequately be described by the term “meal.” True, Our Lord established the new reality of Christian worship within the framework of a Jewish (Passover) meal, but it was precisely this new reality, not the meal as such, which He commanded us to repeat. Very soon the new reality was separated from its ancient context and found its proper and suitable form, a form already predetermined by the fact that the Eucharist refers back to the Cross and thus to the transformation of Temple sacrifice into the reasonable worship of God.

Not from the meal alone

Thus it came to pass that the synagogue Liturgy of the Word, renewed and deepened in a Christian way, merged with the remembrance of Christ's Death and Resurrection to become the “Eucharist,” and precisely thus was fidelity to the command “Do this” fulfilled. This new complete form of worship could not be derived simply from the meal, but had to be defined through the interconnection of temple and synagogue, Word and Sacrament, cosmos and history. It expresses itself in the very form that we discovered in the liturgical structure of the early Churches in the world of Semitic Christianity. It also, of course, remained fundamental for Rome.

Once again let me quote Bouyer:

Never and nowhere before (that is, before the sixteenth century) is there any indication of the slightest importance being attached, or even attention given, to the question of whether the priest should celebrate with the people behind him or in front of him. Professor Cyril Vogel has proved that, “if anything was stressed, it was that the priest should recite the Eucharistic Prayer, like all other prayers, turned towards the East Even when the orientation of the church allowed the priest to pray facing the people, we must not forget that it was not just the priest who turned to the East, but the whole congregation with him” (p. 56).

“Unprecedented clericalism”

Admittedly, these connections were obscured or fell into total oblivion in the church buildings and liturgical practice of the modern age. This is the only explanation for the fact that the common direction of prayer of priest and people got labeled as “celebrating towards the wall” or “turning your back on the people” and came to seem absurd and totally unacceptable. And this alone explains why the meal—even in modern pictures—became the normative idea of liturgical celebration for Christians.

In reality what happened was that an unprecedented clericalization came on the scene. Now the priest—the “presider,” as they now prefer to call him—becomes the real point of reference for the whole Liturgy. Everything depends on him. We have to see him, to respond to him, to be involved in what he is doing. His creativity sustains the whole thing.

Not surprisingly, people try to reduce this newly created role by assigning all kinds of liturgical functions to different individuals and entrusting the “creative” planning of the Liturgy to groups of people who like to, and are supposed to, “make a contribution of their own.” Less and less is God in the picture. More and more important is what is done by the human beings who meet here and do not like to subject themselves to a “pre-determined pattern.”

The self-enclosed circle

The turning of the priest toward the people has turned the community into a self-enclosed circle. In its outward form, it no longer opens out on what lies ahead and above, but is locked into itself. The common turning toward the East was not a “celebration toward the wall”; it did not mean that the priest “had his back to the people”: the priest himself was not regarded as so important. For just as the congregation in the synagogue looked together toward Jerusalem, so in the Christian Liturgy the congregation looked together “toward the Lord.” As one of the fathers of Vatican II’s Constitution on the Liturgy, J.A. Jungmann, put it, it was much more a question of priest and people facing in the same direction, knowing that together they were in a procession toward the Lord. They did not lock themselves into a circle, they did not gaze at one another, but as the pilgrim People of God they set off for the Oriens, for the Christ who comes to meet us....


Was Guardini “Looking” in the Palermo or the Monreale Cathedral?

Palermo Cathedral

Monreale Cathedral

I quoted Romano Guardini:

The liturgical act can be realized by looking. This does not merely mean that the sense of vision takes note of what is going on in front, but it is in itself a living participation in the act. I once experience this in Palermo Cathedral when I could sense the attention with which the people were following the blessings on Holy Saturday for hours on end without books or any words of “explanation.” Much of this was, of course, an external “gazing,” but basically it was far more. The looking by the people was an act in itself; by looking they participated in the various actions.
A Letter from Romano Guardini on the Essence of the Liturgical Act—1964

This is experience of Guardini’s is recalled in an essay by Pietro De Marco comparing the Cathedral of Monreale, Sicily, with the new church designed by Richard Meiers for Tor Tre Teste near Rome. How wonderful to learn that Guardini’s letter of 1964 itself recalls an experience from 1929. Did I have a similarly memorable experience in 1971, and will I have a memorable experience in 2006?

A question, though. Guardini writes “Palermo Cathedral.” Pietro De Marco cites a pastoral letter by the archbishop of Monreale, Cataldo Naro, according to which the “looking” took place in the Monreale Cathedral. No doubt, Guardini visited both cathedrals. In which of them was he on Holy Saturday 1929?

The answer is Monreale, and the proof is in Archbishop Cataldo Naro’s pastoral letter, which quotes Guardini [English translation]:

Monreale, sabato santo. Al nostro arrivo la cerimonia sacra era già arrivata alla benedizione del cero pasquale. Subito dopo il diacono avanzò solennemente lungo la navata principale e portò il lumen Christi. L’exsultet fu cantato davanti all’altare maggiore. Il vescovo stava seduto sul suo trono di pietra elevato alla destra dell’altare e ascoltava. Seguirono le letture tratte dai profeti, ed io vi ritrovai il significato sublime di quelle immagini musive. Poi la benedizione dell’acqua battesimale in mezzo alla chiesa. Intorno al fonte stavano seduti tutti gli assistenti, al centro il vescovo, la gente stava attorno. Portarono dei bambini, si notava la fierezza commossa dei loro genitori, ed il vescovo li battezzò. Tutto era così familiare. La condotta del popolo era allo stesso tempo disinvolta e devota, e quando uno parlava al vicino, non disturbava. In questo modo la sacra cerimonia continuò il suo corso; si dislocava un po’ in tutta la grande chiesa, ora si svolgeva nel coro, ora nelle navate, ora sotto l’arco trionfale. L’ampiezza e la maestosità del luogo abbracciarono ogni movimento e ogni figura, li fecero reciprocamente compenetrare sino ad unirsi. Di tanto in tanto un raggio di sole penetrava nella volta, e allora un sorriso aureo pervadeva lo spazio in alto. E ovunque su un vestito o un velo ci fosse un colore in attesa, esso era richiamato dall’oro che riempiva ogni angolo, veniva condotto alla sua vera forza e assunto in una trama armoniosa che colmava il cuore di felicità.

La cosa più bella però era il popolo. Le donne con i loro fazzoletti, gli uomini con le loro coperte [scialli] sulle spalle. Ovunque volti marcati e un comportamento sereno. Quasi nessuno che leggeva, quasi nessuno chino a pregare da solo. Tutti guardavano. La sacra cerimonia si protrasse per più di quattro ore, eppure sempre ci fu una viva partecipazione.

Ci sono modi diversi di partecipazione orante. L’uno si realizza ascoltando, parlando, gesticolando; l’altro invece si svolge guardando. Quello è buono, e noi del Nord non ne conosciamo altro. Ma abbiamo perso qualcosa che lì ancora c’era: la capacità di vivere-nello-sguardo, di stare nella "visione"; di accogliere il sacro dalla forma e dall’evento, contemplando…

Me ne stavo per andare, quando improvvisamente scorsi tutti quegli occhi rivolti a me, quasi spaventato distolsi lo sguardo, come se provassi pudore a scrutare in quegli occhi ch’erano già stati dischiusi sull’altare


Thursday, March 23, 2006


My church pictured in Archiseek.

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Dot in the hospital, this time with a real stroke—on her right side. We visited her in her room in St. Peter’s this afternoon. By that time she was able to move her limbs somewhat; no speach except for a soft “ok.” She seemed to understand what was being said. The catscan showed no hemorrhaging, so she was able to get tPA. She is currently considered stable. She will be in the hospital for the next day or two at least.

Heart—or Head? Veritas before Caritas

The Altar is the heart of the Church; it is a symbol of Christ. What does that mean for the Cathedral? The Altar should be at the crossing (where the arms of the transepts meet the nave).
— Rector’s Report, March 16, 2006

. . . liturgy is essentially the concern of the whole Body of Christ, Head and members. . . .
Cardinal Ratzinger on the Old and the New Mass

The church building is an icon of the Church herself and a witness to the kingdom.
—Fr. Timothy V. Vaverek, The Church Building and the Paschal Mystery

. . . the architecture of early houses was based on the architecture of the human body. In Christ the Father performs this marvelous adaptation in a way that is beyond all possible expectations: we become his dwelling place by taking on the form of his Son's body. This configuration is given visible symbolization in cruciform churches: when the people of God assemble there, they take on the form of the crucified Christ. . . .
—Jean Corbon, The Sacramental Space of the Celebration (from The Wellspring of Worship), in Sacred Architecture, Fall/Winter 2002.

If the altar is a symbol of Christ, then it should be at the head of the Church, since Christ is the head (not the heart) of the church:

And he is the head of the body, the church. . . .
—Colossians 1:18

. . .the head, even Christ. . . .
—Ephesians 4:15

. . . Christ is the head of the church: and he is the saviour of the body.
—Ephesians 5:23

Head and heart are not opposed:

Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind.
—Matthew 22:37

The East has a concept of heart-and-mind:

I pointed to my heart as we usually do in Japan to show where kokoro is. She pointed to her head and said, “Kokoro is here.” I was amazed to discover that she was already translating the Japanese word kokoro into the English word “mind.”

Kokoro is a common Japanese word that carries meanings conveyed by the English words “mind” and “heart.”

. . . both xin [Chinese] and kokoro [Japanese] carry the physical and spatial meaning of heart, center, or essence, and the psychological meaning of mind. It is very interesting to see that Sanskrit and English have completely different words to point to heart or mind and have no word that combines both meanings.

—Shohaku Okumura, “Kokoro”, in Buddahdharma: The Practioner’s Quarterly

Even the West, head and heart are connected:

“Appealing to the emotions instead of the reason” is a stupid cliché. All appeals are to ideas. No candidate says: “Let me awaken your angry feelings.” He must stir up the feeling by giving it something to attach it to. Electioneering ideas are familiar ideas ready-charged with strong emotion: Die rather than yield; For God and Country; no more immigrants, soak the rich, more well-paid jobs, my opponent is a crook—these are ideas as truly as the Ten Commandments.
Jacques Barzun, From Dawn to Decadence, p. 536.

Yet one need need not be an anatomist or a Roman soldier to recognize the head “physically and spatially.” Our Gothic revival Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception is in the form of a cross. Everyone knows the head of the cross. It is where the altar should be. Looking from the pews or the choir loft, the whole structure of the church points to and frames where the altar should be. Christ is the head of the church: where Christ is the altar should be.

An important theological point distinguishes head and heart: the primacy of truth. The point will be emphasized by Pope Benedict XVI, and an unknown Catholic thinker will come to light: Romano Amerio.

Amerio says, in essence, that the most serious ills present within Western thought today, including Catholic thought, are primarily due to a general mental disorder that places “caritas” before “veritas,” without considering that this disorder also turns upside-down the proper understanding that we should have of the Most Holy Trinity.

Before Descartes’ thought asserted itself within its heart, Christianity had always devoutly placed “veritas” before “caritas”, just as we know that it was from the divine mouth of Christ that the breath of the Holy Spirit came, and not the other way around.

—Father Divo Barsotti, “Only after laying down the foundation of truth”.

That “an almost total silence on the part of Catholic public opinion punished Amerio both during his lifetime and after it” (Sandro Magister, ibid.) suggests how little Catholics love truth. Let Christ be the Head, and we the members, of His Body.


Tuesday, March 21, 2006


Monday, March 20, 2006

Monday, March 20, 2006

Feast of St. Joseph and the first day of spring.

Dot called this evening to say she had had a small stroke this morning. Her left hand felt heavy. She was taken to the hospital. No heart attack, but a stroke. That it was not bigger is apparently due to Plavix. She is back at the PH on the infirmary floor. M will try to see her on Thursday.

Sunday, March 19, 2006

Sunday, March 19, 2006

We are a nation that would prefer not to know.

Friday, March 17, 2006

Friday, March 17, 2006

With Rezsin and Irina and Jake and M, saw on DVD Dreyer’s Passion of Joan of Arc with Voices of Light. Ted ate dinner with us but did not feel well enough to see the film, which he and Rezsin had seen at the Brooklyn Academy of Music in 1995(?) when Voices of Light had its New York City premiere. I think we were all impressed by the film; feelings about the music were perhaps mixed, though everything said was favorable.

Streaming Bible

A scrolling marquee applet at the bottom of:

Thursday, March 16, 2006

Vital and Important Matters

He that is not with me is against me.
—Matthew 12:30, Luke 11:23

He that is not against us is for us.
—Luke 9:50

The war is vital, not important.
—James Agate in 1940

Many of the writers I read are excerised about the war in Iraq, the rumors of war with Iran, Peak Oil, the decline of civil liberties, if not of civilization. These are vital matters. Are they important?

How could Agate’s nine slim volumes of forgotten diaries be more important than the vast World War that along with its predecessor were the two great mountain ranges of the 20th century?

It may be better to ask the question then to answer it, especially if the answer comes too easily and bringeth not forth good fruit. At least, if one attempts to answer the question for oneself, it might be less as a blogger wanting to be heard than as a lover of God wanting to hear. We who await Christ might at least recall:

And ye shall hear of wars and rumours of wars: see that ye be not troubled
—Matthew 24:6, Mark 13:7


Martha, Martha, thou art careful and troubled about many things: But one thing is needful: and Mary hath chosen that good part, which shall not be taken away from her.
—Luke 10:41–42

Of making many blogs there is no end:

Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof.
—Matthew 6:34

What does God desire me to do now?

Thursday, March 16, 2006

Our committee met with three gentlemen, including Mr. Fernand Létourneau, from Orgues Létourneau Limitée.


Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Java Screensaver Previews

can now be seen at

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Bible Verse Counter

I've added to a PHP counter that displays the next Bible verse at each showing of the home page.

Sunday, March 12, 2006



Friday, March 10, 2006

The Big Toe

Thursday, March 09, 2006

Is a Church a Banquet Hall or a House of God?

The Eucharist was first celebrated at a Seder, in a “large upper room furnished and prepared.” For many, the Eucharist is primarily a meal. For others, the Eucharist is part of a series of events, including Calvary, Easter, and extending infinitely beyond both backwards and forwards. I say that the first Eucharist was celebrated, but a better word would be instituted (“this do in remembrance of me”), for the meal preceded Jesus’ arrest, trial, and crucifixion, and its description in the Gospels is more solemn than festive.

Let us not say glibly that Communion is both a banquet and a sacrifice, unless we are willing to say that a church is both a banquet hall and a temple (a special place reserved for God). Communion is a sacrificial meal in which the victim, who is the Son, is offered to the Father, and then shared among the Son’s brothers and sisters who are now reconciled to the Father. In this mystery, the Father is greater than the Son, who is greater than the “many” for whom the Son’s blood is shed. This being so, the meal shared by the congregation is secondary to the sacrifice to God. The apostles who share the first Eucharist run away and hide; the Lamb of God is nailed to a cross and cries the 22nd psalm.

When thinking of the upper room, one must not forget the Temple, the official place of sacrifice. The Temple was not a banquet hall, but God’s house, a house of prayer. In its most sacred place it was not a synagogue, where people assembled, but a Holy of Holies where the priest went inside while “the people prayed without.”

We Christians who assemble in churches might ask, Whose place is this? Is it ours, the “body of Christ”, or is it Christ’s, present in bread and wine, or is it what Christ said, His Father’s house? The response, “It is all of these” is true, but an unrepenter’s truth. Are we more like the younger son, who sinned and went to his Father and asked to be taken back as a hired servant, or like the elder son, for whom “all that I have is thine”? For whom did the Father kill the fatted calf, and make merry, and be glad?


Two etymologies from Webster’s New World Dictionary of American English (New York 1988):

church [[ ME chirche, kirke < OE cirice (&ON kirkja < OE) < Gmc *kirika < LGr(Ec) *kyrikē < Gr kyriakē (oikia), Lord’s (house) < kyriakos, belonging to the Lord < kyrios, ruler < kyros, supreme power < IE base *keu-, a swelling, to be strong, hero < CAVE]]|a [[L, assembly, in LL(Ec), assembly of Christians < Gr ekklēsia, assembly (in N.T. the church as a body of Christians) < ekklētos, summoned < ekkalaein, to summon < ek- out (see EX-2) + kalein, to call (see CLAMOR)]]


Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Wednesday, March 8, 2006

Today our organ committee had lunch in the Cathedral rectory with Mr. Wendelin Eberle of Rieger Orgelbau. We expect to go to the Presbyterian Church in Bryn Mawr, PA to hear their Rieger organ and perhaps other pipe organs in the vicinity as far away as Washington, D.C., where there is a Schoenstein organ at St. Paul’s “K” Street.

Monday, March 06, 2006

Monday, March 6, 2006

Attended an “educational session” on the “renewal” of our Cathedral’s interior. What a distance between Church bureaucrats and the Church faithful!

Jesus Test 2


Saturday, March 04, 2006

The Jesus Test


Saturday, March 4, 2006

Benvenuto Cellini

Hector Berlioz, Benvenuto Cellini, Gregory Kunde, Patrizia Ciofi, Laurent Naouri, Joyce Di Donato, Jean-François Lapointe, Renaud Delaigue, Eric Salha, Marc Mauillon, Eric Huchet, Ronan Nédélec, Chœur de Radio France, Orchestre National de France, John Nelson, Virgin Classics

Friday, March 03, 2006

The Old Miser

A horrible story told by Mary Murphy.

Thursday, March 02, 2006

Thursday, March 2, 2006

It being Wednesday yesterday, read as usual at noon Mass at Holy Cross. It being Ash Wednesday, there was a second reading to add to the first and the petitions. During the petitions my nose started itching and my throat was going dry. I didn’t know whether I would sneeze or choke first. At last, no sound came out of my mouth. I stopped, coughed, excused my self, and then was able to go on and finish.

We shall be vacationing in Hawaii this summer, as well as in Peak’s Island.

By tomorrow, O will have missed a whole week of school.

Decided to buy Dreyer’s Passion of Joan of Arc on DVD instead of attending the March 10 performance at the Cathedral. The DVD has Voices of Light. Will ask if the Adamses and the Holdens would like to watch with us.

Don’t know why people are still going to WRDS and Crosses.