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Thursday, May 26, 2016

Incredibly Keen foresight

"Would a diocesan Bishop have dared in the middle of the nineteenth century, to express in a newspaper article his disbelief in eternal punishment? Would the rector of a much-frequented London church have preached, and afterwards published, a sermon in which he recommended the remarriage of divorced persons?" -- Msgr. R. Knox, "The Belief of Catholics", 1927

Some names might be recalled today or in the last decade, both non-Catholic and, sadly, Catholic.. Not to focus too much on the clerics in the hierarchy, but it's sort of their job to be the teachers. As it is true for parents to their children. But how can one teach if Truth became a game of splitting nuances. While lawyers might say, "is not about the facts, but about what you can prove," or perhaps, what they can sell. And that's presuming good will. But we are not free to change the product line. We are offering Christ, pure, in unadulterated form. Pun not intended.

Corpus Christi, the Mass and Faded Glory

Has the Eucharist lost its shine? Ironic that. If one thinks that the Eucharist today of but an echo of the Cross and Resurrection 2000 years ago, then one should really think again. This anamnesis makes it present, and that is the point. So, no, the Eucharist can never lose it's shine, but as the article in the link points out, perhaps it is we who are weakening our reception of it, our perception having been shaped perhaps by poor formation or lack of practice.

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

The Church, the assembly of God's people

The Catholic, or universal, Church gets her name from the fact that she is scattered through the whole world from the one end of the earth to the other, and also because she teaches universally and without omission all the doctrines which are to be made known to mankind, whether concerned with visible or invisible things, with heavenly or earthly things. Then again because she teaches one way of worship to all men, nobles or commoners, learned or simple; finally because she universally cures and heals every sort of sin which is committed by soul and body. Moreover there is in her every kind of virtue in words and deeds and spiritual gifts of every sort. The Church, that is, the assembly, is designated by this apt term, because it assembles all and brings them together, as the Lord says in Leviticus: Assemble all the congregation at the door of the tent of meeting. Moreover it is worth noting that this word ‘assemble’ is first used in scripture in the place where the Lord appointed Aaron to the high priesthood. And in Deuteronomy God says to Moses: Assemble the people that they may hear my words, that they may learn to fear me. He mentions the Church or assembly again when he speaks of the tables of the law. In them were written all the words which the Lord spoke with you on the mountain, out of the midst of the fire, on the day of the Church or assembly – or to put it more clearly, On the day on which you were called by the Lord and assembled together. The psalmist also says: I will give you thanks, O Lord, in the great Church, in the gathering of the throng I will praise you. Earlier the psalmist had sung: Bless the Lord in the Church, bless God, you who are Israel’s sons. The second Church the Saviour built from the Gentiles, our holy Church of the Christians, of which he said to Peter:  On this rock I will build my Church, and the powers of death shall not prevail against it.

After the particular Church of Judea was repudiated, many Churches of Christ are now multiplied throughout the whole world, of which it is written in the psalms: Sing to the Lord a new song, let his praise be in the Church of the saints. Echoing this the prophet said to the Jews: I have no pleasure in you, says the Lord of Hosts and immediately adds, For from the rising of the sun to its setting my name is great among the nations. About the same holy Catholic Church Paul writes to Timothy: That you may know how one ought to live in the household of God, which is the Church of the living God, the pillar and bulwark of the truth.

-- From the Instructions to Catechumens by St Cyril of Jerusalem

(Taken from today's Office of Readings, via Universalis)

Thursday, May 12, 2016

The Decline of the Faithful Observed a Long Time Ago

"The main causes of this decline, so far as causes need to be adduced for the defection of human wills, are manifest enough. Undoubtedly popular education and the spread of newspaper culture must be credited, in part, with the result: some of us would say that the mass of the people is now growing out of its old superstitions in the light of new knowledge; some of us would see, rather, the effect of reiterated catchwords upon minds trained to read but not trained to think. The industrial development of the country has added its influence, partly by focusing men's thoughts upon their material interests, partly by setting up, in England as elsewhere, a reaction against old faiths and old loyalties, crudely conceived as old- fashioned. Further, the modern facilities for pleasurable enjoyment have killed, in great part, the relish for eternity. I do not know that this influence has been given its proper importance hitherto. Mass production has made luxury cheap; steam travel, motor-cars, and the penny post have brought it to our doors; anesthetics and the other triumphs of medicine have mitigated the penalties which attach to it. And the same causes which have multiplied pleasure have multiplied preoccupation. A rush age cannot be a reflective age." -- Msgr. Ronald Knox, 1927.

1500-Year-Old Underground Byzantine Church Is Found in Turkey

Ancient and beautiful.

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Anti-Catholic Catholic journalism: Today's false prophets

Yeah, Truth matters:

So you, son of man, I have made a watchman for the house of Israel; whenever you hear a word from my mouth, you shall give them warning from me. If I say to the wicked, O wicked man, you shall surely die, and you do not speak to warn the wicked to turn from his way, that wicked man shall die in his iniquity, but his blood I will require at your hand. [Ez 33:7-8]

Love and Truth

"protect them from the evil one. They do not belong to the world. any more than I belong to the world. Consecrate them in the truth; your word is truth." -- Jesus praying for his disciples in John 17

Respect. Justice. Equality. I see these signs on billboards from this and that campaign but they seem to fall short. What's wrong with simply saying "Love" instead? We've tainted what that means and consider it a romantic or sentimental emotion. It's a verb. It's an act of the will. It covers all those campaigns and more -- but for the obfuscation of Truth as a real concept. How doors one define love, or anything, if one fires not believe in truth as an objective reality apart from subjective perception or consideration?