Tuesday, May 31, 2005

Too Busy and an Update

I can hardly believe that it is already June! Time is going too fast and I need it to be January. I have not been able to blog in a few days as I have had some former church members of mine here in Durham for a visit. Volney and Betty are celebrating their 50th wedding anniversary and it has been really nice to see them. Today I put them on a train and sent them to Inverness Scotland and then over to Aberdeen and they will return to Durham on Saturday. I will be working around the clock until then plus another 16 people are coming over from the States and 4 of them will be staying in our home for 3 days while traveling around the northeast of the UK. They arrive on Wednesday afternoon. I need to start charging for our hotel to cover tuition costs! No, not really, it's been nice to provide others with a part in the many blessings that God has given to us.

All is continuing to move along slowly with my research and I met with my supervisor last Friday for lunch and we discussed my topic and a bit of my outline for my project and he seems fine with where I am though I feel I need to be further along. I have a big paper due 1 July that I am working on in Andrewes and I am about to read some more sermons in preparation for that this evening.

Since we will be staying in the UK when I am finished and serving in the Church of England, I will probably be flying home next month for a few short days to send the remainder of our household items over so that we can stop paying for storage. I have recently met with +Wright's collegue +John of Jarrow and he thought it would be fine for me to go ahead and go home and get my things. So, we are excited about being in our new home and are settling into England quite nicely. We love the people here and it is a lovely place to live. I will hopefully be starting some blogging on my topic for some dialogue and interaction without revealing too much of my research as I want to use it for my own writing. So, consider everything copywrite from here on out!

This has become longer than I anticipated and I need to get busy.

Thursday, May 26, 2005

St. Augustine of Canterbury 605

Collect for St. Augustine:
Almighty God, whose servant Augustine was sent as the apostle of the English people: grant that as he laboured in the Spirit to preach Christ's gospel in this land, so all who hear the good news may strive to make your truth known in all the world; through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord, who is alive and reings with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. +Amen.

St. Augustine was born in Rome and died in Canterbury, England, in 604. When Pope Gregory I heard that the pagans of Britain were disposed to accept the Catholic Faith, he sent the prior of St. Andrew, Augustine, and forty of his Benedictine brethren to England. Despite the great difficulties involved in the task assigned to him, Augustine and his monks obeyed. The success of their preaching was immediate. King Ethelbert was baptized on Pentecost Sunday, 596, and the greater part of the nobles and people soon followed his example. St. Augustine died as the first Archbishop of Canterbury.

Before the reform of the General Roman Calendar today was the feast of St. Bede which is now celebrated on May 25 and St. John I which is now celebrated on May 18. St. Augustine of Canterbury's feast was on May 28.

Feast of Corpus Christi

FreeFileHosting.NetCollect: Lord Jesus Christ, we thank you that in this wonderful sacrament you have given us the memorial of your passion: grant us so to reverence the sacred mysteries of your body and blood that we may know within oursleves and show forth in our lives the fruits of your redemption; for you are alive and reign with the Father in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. +Amen.

The Solemnity of Corpus Christi (Body of Christ), now celebrated in the Latin Church on the Sunday following Trinity Sunday , commemorates the institution of the Holy Eucharist. Formerly celebrated on the Thursday after Trinity Sunday, it paralleled Maundy Thursday (Holy Thursday), which also commemorates Our Lord's institution of the Eucharist. Because Holy Thursday is in Holy Week, a season of sadness the celebration Corpus Christi was introduced so that the faithful would not lose sight of the institution of the Holy Eucharist.

Corpus Christi became a mandatory feast in the Roman Church in 1312. But nearly a century earlier, Saint Juliana of Mont Cornillon, promoted a feast to honor the Blessed Sacrament. From early age Juliana, who became an Augustinian nun in Liége, France, in 1206, had a great veneration for the Blessed Sacrament, and longed for a special feast in its honor. She had a vision of the Church under the appearance of the full moon having one dark spot, which signified the absence of such a solemnity. She made known her ideas to the Bishop of Liége, Robert de Thorete, to the Dominican Hugh who later became cardinal legate in the Netherlands, and to Jacques Panaléon, at the time Archdeacon of Liége and who later became Pope Urban IV. Bishop Robert de Thorete ordered that the feast be celebrated in his diocese.

Pope Urban IV later published the Bull Transiturus (September 8, 1264), in which, after having extolled the love of Our Savior as expressed in the Holy Eucharist, ordered the annual celebration of Corpus Christi on the Thursday after Trinity Sunday. More than four decades later, Pope Clement V published a new decree which embodied Urban IV's decree and ordered the adoption of the feast at the General Council of Vienna (1311). Pope John XXII, successor of Clement V, urged this observance.

The processions on Corpus Christi to honor the Holy Eucharist were not mentioned in the decrees, but had become a principal feature of the feast's celebration by the faithfl, and became a tradition throughout Europe. These processions were endowed with indulgences by Popes Martin V and Eugene IV.

(Principal source - Catholic Encyclopedia - 1913 edition, )

Tuesday, May 24, 2005

Through the Eyes of the Saints

I have once blogged on the book Through the Eyes of the Saints by Canon David Brown, Van Mildert Professor of Theology at the University of Durham and Canon to the Durham Cathedral. Canon Brown is my PhD supervisor and has written a book on journeying with the Saints that is more imaginitive than what most of us are normally confronted with when we think about the lives of the saints or read a tract on their lives. In the section of the book on "Reformation and Counter-Reformation," Canon Brown lays out the life of Cranmer with Henry VIII. In an imaginitive way, he shows how much our contemporary news headlines and stories lack the imaginitive gifts that can help us to see the fullness of someone's life, even when that life is less than perfect! This is shown in the life of Cranmer. This is a book that forces you to get honest with yourself as you see imaginitively into the lives of the saints. Below is a portion from the chapter.

Yet that more complex picture of Henry and Cranmer that I have tried to convey was not just true of them. It is the story of each and every one of us. As individuals each one of us is a mixture of good and bad, capable of great goodness and of great wickedness. We need efforts of imagination to understand one another, just as we need efforts of imagination to understand Henry and Cranmer - Cranmer's prevarications, caused by what seems now to us an absured over-confidence in God's ordering of the state, Henry's apparent lusts, caused by his obsession with securing a male heir. That complexity, that imagination, is something our modern press and its readers too commonly fail to grasp. With them there is only the desire to pull down, to reassure that others also share in their readers' mediocrity.

But Christianity calls us to a very different vision. The hands that unite Catholic Henry and Protestant Cranmer tell of the need for us to be at once generous in our assessment of others and harsh in our judgement of ourselves. Like Cranmer, now is the time to face the fire that can both increase our charity towards those with whom we disagree and reveal to each one of us who we really are. In that light, as we shall see more clearly in subsequent chapters, neither Reformation nor Counter-Reformation can be deemed to hold the ultimate truth. Both alike had their faults, in theology and individual leaders alike. Conspicuous saint and sinner are to be found on both sides, and we shall learn by going beyond the limitations of both sides, as well by addressing similar limitations in ourselves.
(pp. 102, 103)

Sunday, May 22, 2005

Trinity Sunday

Augustine's Preface _On the Trinity_ Book II.

WHEN men seek to know God, and bend their minds according to the capacity of human weakness to the understanding of the Trinity; learning, as they must, by experience, the wearisome difficulties of the task, whether from the sight itself of the mind striving to gaze upon light unapproachable, or, indeed, from the manifold and various modes of--speech employed in the sacred writings (wherein, as it seems to me, the mind is nothing else but roughly exercised, in order that it may find sweetness when glorified by the grace of Christ);--such men, I say, when they have dispelled every ambiguity, and arrived at something certain, ought of all others most easily to make allowance for those who err in the investigation of so deep a secret. But there are two things most hard to bear with, in the case of those who are in error: hasty assumption before the truth is made plain; and, when it has been made--plain, defence of the falsehood thus hastily assumed. From which two faults, inimical as they are to the finding out of the truth, and to the handling of the divine and sacred books, should God, as I pray and hope, defend and protect me with the shield of His good will, and with the grace of His mercy, I will not be slow to search out the substance of God, whether through His Scripture or through the creature. For both of these are set forth for our contemplation to this end, that He may Himself be sought, and Himself be loved, who inspired the one, and created the other. Nor shall I be afraid of giving my opinion, in which I shall more desire to be examined by the upright, than fear to be carped at by the perverse. For charity, most excellent and unassuming, gratefully accepts the dovelike eye; but for the dog's tooth nothing remains, save either to shun it by the most cautious humility, or to blunt it by the most solid truth; and far rather would I be censured by any one whatsoever, than be praised by either the erring or the flatterer. For the lover of truth need fear no one's censure. For he that censures, must needs be either enemy or friend. And if an enemy reviles, he must be borne with: but a friend, if he errs, must be taught; if he teaches, listened to. But if one who errs praises you, he confirms your error; if one who flatters, he seduces you into error. "Let the righteous," therefore, "smite me, it shall be a kindness; and let him reprove me; but the oil of the sinner shall not anoint my head."

Father, you sent your Word to bring us truth and your Spirit to make us holy. Through them we come to know the mystery of your life. Help us to worship you, one God in three Persons, by proclaiming and living our faith in you. We ask you this, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, one God, true and living, for ever and ever. +Amen.

Saturday, May 21, 2005

Bishop Lightfoot: Life and the Church

Here, Bishop Lightfoot gives some reflective words that give us much to think about.

"Men may come and men may go, individual lives float down like straws on the surface of the waters till they are lost in the ocean of eternity; but the broad, mighty, rolling stream of the Church itself - the River of God - flows on for ever and ever."

Friday, May 20, 2005

Grace multiplied in the Church

2 Peter 1:3 His divine power has granted to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of him who called us to his own glory and excellence, 4 by which he has granted to us his precious and very great promises, that through these you may escape from the corruption that is in the world because of passion, and become partakers of the divine nature. 5 For this very reason make every effort to supplement your faith with virtue, and virtue with knowledge, 6 and knowledge with self-control, and self-control with steadfastness, and steadfastness with godliness, 7 and godliness with brotherly affection, and brotherly affection with love. 8 For if these things are yours and abound, they keep you from being ineffective or unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.

I thought this passage was an appropriate one to meditate on on this day when the Church gives thanks for Alcuin of York, Deacon, Abbot of Tours, 804. It was not one of the lectionary readings for the day but one I read in my own devotions as I offered prayer for the whole Church Catholic.

Collect: God of wisdom, eternal light, who shone in the heart of your servant Alcuin, revealing to him your power and pity: scatter the darkness of our ignorance that, with all our heart and mind and strength, we may seek your face and be brought with all your saints to your holy presence; through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord, who is alive and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. +Amen.

Thursday, May 19, 2005

St. Dunstan, Archbishop of Canterbury

FreeFileHosting.NetCollect: Almighty God, who raised up Dunstan to be a true shepherd of the flock, a restorer of monastic life and a faithful counsellor to those in authority: give to all pastors the same gifts of your Holy Spirit that they may be true servants of Christ and of all his people; through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord, who is alive and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.
St. Dunstan, Archbishop of Canterbury
(AD 909-988)
St. Dunstan was the son of a West Saxon noble, named Heorstan, and his wife, Cunethrith. He was born in AD 909 at Baltonborough, Somerset and received his early education from the Irish monks who had settled at Glastonbury. After living for a time at the Court of King Aethelstan, he became a monk at Glastonbury and devoted himself to the study of the Scriptures and to prayer. At the same time, he became skilled in the arts of painting and music and metalworking, particularly the making church bells and organs.

Having been summoned to the Court of King Edmund the Magnificent, he became one of his chief councillors. The King, however, lent too ready an ear to malicious accusations which were brought against Dunstan and dismissed him; but afterwards regretted his injustice and made him Abbot of Glastonbury.

Soon after, he became the treasurer and chief adviser of King Edred and the Queen-mother; but powerful enemies drove him from the Court of King Edwig All-Fair and he was obliged to take refuge in Flanders until the accession of Edgar the Peacemaker, who recalled him and made him his chief minister. He was also appointed Bishop of Worcester and of London and, in AD 960, became Archbishop of Canterbury.

Amongst all those who have directed the government of the State whilst holding the highest office in the Church, Dunstan is entitled to a place of honour. He laboured with no small success to establish peace amongst the different peoples settled in England. He sought to raise the standard of monastic life. He built and endowed churches. He delighted in teaching and encouraged the clergy to acquire knowledge that they might be the teachers of the nation.

After the brief reign of King Edward the Martyr had been closed by his tragic death, Dunstan took part in the Coronation of Aethelred the Unready. His death occurred at Canterbury on 19th May AD 988 and his body was claimed by both Canterbury and Glastonbury.

Edited from G.M. Bevan's "Portraits of the Archbishops of Canterbury" (1908).

Wednesday, May 18, 2005

Bishop Tom Wright in Pepperdine

Bishop Tom Wright's Lecture

Flannery O'Connor on Symbol

"I was once, five or six years ago, taken by some friends to have dinner with Mary McCarthy and her husband, Mr. Broadwater. (She just wrote that book, "A Charmed Life.") She departed the Church at the age of 15 and is a Big Intellectual. We went at eight and at one, I hadn't opened my mouth once, there being nothing for me in such company to say. . . . Having me there was like having a dog present who had been trained to say a few words but overcome with inadequacy had forgotten them.

"Well, toward morning the conversation turned on the Eucharist, which I, being the Catholic, was obviously supposed to defend. Mrs. Broadwater said when she was a child and received the host, she thought of it as the Holy Ghost, He being the most portable person of the Trinity; now she thought of it as a symbol and implied that it was a pretty good one. I then said, in a very shaky voice, Well, if it's a symbol, to hell with it.

"That was all the defense I was capable of but I realize now that this is all I will ever be able to say about it, outside of a story, except that it is the center of existence for me; all the rest of life is expendable." (The Habit of Being, pp. 124-125)

Sacramental Grace

Andrewes offers the essence of his sacramental theology and view to sacramental efficacy when he says,

And by and with these, there is grace imparted to us; which grace is the very breath of this Holy Spirit, the true and express character of His seal, to the renewing in us the image of God whereunto we are created. And with grace, which serveth properly pro totâ substantiâ, to and for the whole substance of the soul, the two streams of it, one into the understanding part, the other into the seat of the affections. Into the understanding part, the assurance of faith and hope; into the part affective, the renewing of charity, the ostensive part of this seal, in quo cognoscent omnes, “by which all men may know,” and sine quo cognoscet nemo, without it no man [will know], that we are sealed aright and are truly His. This grace we are thus to receive there; only, that we “receive it not in vain;” “be not wanting to it” after’ “neglect it not;” “quench it not;” “fall not from it;” but “stand fast,” and “continue in” it; be careful to “stir it up;” yea, “to grow” and increase in it, more and more, even to the consummation of it, which is glory—glory being nothing else but grace consummate, the figure of this stamp in His full perfection.

Sunday, May 15, 2005

Pentecost and Andrewes on the Sacraments

For had we been spirit, and nothing else, God could and would immediately have inspired us that way; but consisting of bodies also as we do, it hath seemed to His wisdom most agreeable, to make bodily signs the means of conveying the graces of His Spirit into us. And that, now the rather, ever since the Holy One Himself and Fountain of all holiness, Christ, the Son of God, partaketh of both body and Spirit, is both Word and flesh. Thus it is; that “by the word we are sanctified,” et per linguam verbi patrem, saith Chrysostem, even by those tongues here; but no less, by His flesh and body. And indeed, this best answereth the term filling, which is proper to food; et Spiritus est ultimum alimenti, ‘the uttermost perfection of nourishment.’ In which respect He instituted escam spiritualem, “spiritual food,” to that end; [1 Cor. 10.3 and Joh. 6.63] so called spiritual; not so much that it is received spiritually, as for that being so received it maketh us, together with it, to receive the Spirit, even potare Spiritum—it is the Apostle’s own word.

Collect: Father of light, from whom every good gift comes,send Your Spirit into our lives with the power of a mighty wind,and by the flame of Your wisdom open the horizons of our minds. Loosen our tongues to sing Your praise in words beyond the power of speech,for without Your Spirit man could never raise his voice in words of peace or announce the truth that Jesus is Lord, who lives with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen

Saturday, May 14, 2005

Who is going to York?

What is written below is taken from the Church of England Newspaper in the Friday 13 May edition. The Bishop of Durham, Dr. N.T. Wright is among the most probable of names to be sent to the PM for selection and then to the Queen for final approval. What are your thoughts about the possibility of Bishop Tom going to York as Archbishop? I would imagine that this post would cut +Tom’s travel considerably for speaking engagements. I am not sure how it would impact his time for writing but I cannot help but think that it would have some effect on it. This is only speculation of course. Bishop Tom has been in Durham two years but do not forget that former ABC ++Michael Ramsay was in Durham about as long before he went to York and then on to Canterbury. I believe ++Ramsay was in Durham from 1952-56 when he went on to York. He was the 100th Archbishop of Canterbury (1961-1974). So, time in Durham is not the issue it would seem. You can find the entire story here at the C of E News web site.

The Bishop of Durham, the Rt Rev Tom Wright, and the Bishop of London, the Rt Rev Richard Chartres, have emerged as the most likely successors to Dr Hope. Bishop Wright has only been in his post at Durham for the last two years, but his supporters argue that he is the outstanding candidate and one of the world’s pre-eminent theologians.

The appointment of Bishop Chartres could prove more controversial because of his refusal to ordain women as priests at a time when the Church is preparing to allow them to become bishops. However, a number of members of the Commission are strong advocates of the bishop and his position on women priests would follow that of the previous Archbishop of York.

The 14-strong Commission will recommend two names, normally in order of preference, to the Prime Minister, who then sends his decision to the Queen for final approval before the candidate is asked to accept the post.

Should Bishop Tom go to York if selected? Why or why not? What are the pros and cons?

Offering to Him His own

5. Then, again, how can they say that the flesh, which is nourished with the body of the Lord and with His blood, goes to corruption, and does not partake of life? Let them, therefore, either alter their opinion, or cease from offering the things just mentioned.254 But our opinion is in accordance with the Eucharist, and the Eucharist in turn establishes our opinion. For we offer to Him His own, announcing consistently the fellowship and union of the flesh and Spirit.255 For as the bread, which is produced from the earth, when it receives the invocation of God, is no longer common bread,256 but the Eucharist, consisting of two realities, earthly and heavenly; so also our bodies, when they receive the Eucharist, are no longer corruptible, having the hope of the resurrection to eternity.

The Ante-Nicene Fathers Vol.I : Translations of the writings of the Fathers down to A.D. 325. The apostolic fathers with Justin Martyr and Irenaeus. Irenaeus Against Heresies Chapter XVIII.—Concerning Sacrifices and Oblations, and Those Who Truly Offer Them. p. 486.

Sacrifice and Ascension

Most of the readers here know that I am working on a Ph.D on the Eucharistic theology of Lancelot Andrewes 1555-1626. One of the important issues that I will spend most of my thesis discussing and covering is an understanding of the Eucharist as sacrifice in Andrewes's theology and what implications that has for the ascension of Christ. I ran across the following article in some Internet searching I was doing this morning. I put it out here to read your thoughts. A portion of it is offered below. I look forward to all comments. Pontificator?

The same considerations which help us to appreciate the relation of the Altar to the Cross, will help us also to give due weight to the connexion that Catholic theology finds between the Eucharist and Christ's heavenly work. For no one, I suppose, would dispute that our Lord's obedience to the will of God and love for sinful man is as perfect in Heaven as it was upon the Cross. Our Lord's heavenly work is therefore a fulfilment of that foreshadowing of perfect self-dedication which makes the sacrifices of the Old Covenant typical of him and of his work. If those sacrifices are interpreted in the detail of their ceremonial as well as in their fundamental significance, then Our Lord's Ascension into Heaven corresponds with the High Priest's entry into the Holy of Holies there to make the oblation of the Victim's blood. As a modern representative of an important school of French theologians has said:-"The ascension of Jesus Christ to heaven fulfils the sacrificial rite of the oblation of the blood . . . The Sacrifice of Jesus Christ continues eternally in heaven . . . In spite of the change in the outward conditions of the Victim it is ever the same homage of perfect religion rendered by the Incarnate Word of his Father. It is ever the same and one Sacrifice of our Lord Jesus Christ infinitely acceptable to the divine majesty."

Friday, May 13, 2005

The Waters of Apostasy

Over at Pontifications he has an interesting article on what was happening with the discussion of baptism in the 19th Century. This old debate that also saw the light of day earlier in the Reformation was rising again. What role does Englightenment philosophy play here?

Thursday, May 12, 2005

St. John's Boathouse Appeal

Visit this link about the St. John's Boathouse and think about supporting the college in this way. Rowing has a strong tradition at St. John's College and I invite you to help us in any way that you can. For all the information you may need, Mrs. Lois Stuckenbruck will be able to help you with any details.

St. John's College Durham and Amazon.UK

This post is to let all of my readers know that my college here at the University of Durham, which is St. John's College, is an associate of Amazon.UK. What that means is that if you use our college link to Amazon to purchase books, 5% of the sales will be given to St. John's as a donation. This will really help out the students and faculty in our college. Rather than searching Amazon.UK store the below link to your favourite and search there.

For those of you who buy books from Amazon.UK, please make this page your favourite when searching for books to purchase. This will really help out our college. Thank you and God bless!

Wednesday, May 11, 2005

Not Married to the Monarchy

Here is an interesting article that I would like to see comments from my fellow Anglican members of the Church of England. What are your thoughts on what Dr. Wells has said? "Not married to the monarchy," by Sam Wells. This was originally run in the Church Times.

Andrewes: Offices of the Holy Spirit

In speaking of the offices of the Holy Spirit, Lancelot Andrewes says,

By Him we are regenerate at the first in our baptism. By Him after, confirmed in the imposition of hands. By Him taught all our life long that we know not, put in mind of what we forget, stirred up in what we are dull, helped in our prayers, relieved in “our infirmities,” comforted in our heaviness; in a word, “sealed to the day of our redemption,” and “raised up again in the last day.” Go all along, even from our baptism to our very resurrection, and we cannot miss Him, but receive Him we must. (Works, Vol. III, 191)

Andrewes: The Spirit and Holy Mysteries

The benefit of the coming of the Spirit is for Him to be our comfortor and counsellor in all of our life. The great benefit of Him is to be sent and received in the Holy Mysteries. There is a spiritual meat and a spiritual drink and it is communicated by the Eucharist.

…in which kind there is none so apt to procreate the Spirit in us as that flesh and blood which was itself conceived and procreate by the Spirit, and therefore full of spirit and life to them that partake it. It is sure to invite and allure the Spirit to come, there is no more effectual way; none, whether Christ will send Him, or whether He will come more willingly, that to the presence of the most holy mysteries. And mainly at this feast, concerning which our Saviour Christ’s voice is to sound in our ears, Si quis sitiat, veniat ad Me; “if any thirst, let him come to me and drink, which He meant and spake,” saith St. John, “of the Spirit,” which was to begin at that time especially, when He was newly glorified.

It is through the receiving of the holy Mystery of the Eucharist that we receive the Holy Spirit and by receiving Him, we receive Christ. It is as guests at the altar that the Spirit of comfort and counsel is communicated to them that partake of Christ by the Eucharist.

Andrewes on Paracletus

This upcoming Sunday is the Feast of Pentecost and we celebrate the going of Christ and the sending of the Spirit. Christ must ascend so that the Spirit will come from on High with great power. Andrewes spoke in one particular sermon that I was reading this morning on the two-fold aspect of the Spirit's work as Counsellor and Comforter. I leave the below quotation for reflection as we go to Pentecost Sunday seeking a renewal of the Holy Spirit in the life of the Church and in each of us as members of her.

"Our manner is, we love to be left to ourselves, in our consultations to advise with flesh and blood, thence to take our direction, all our life; and when we must part, then send for Him for a little comfort, and there is all the use we have of Him [the Spirit]. But he that will have comfort from Him, must also take counsel of Him; have use of Him as well against error and sinful life, as against heaviness of mind. If not, here is your doom: where you have had your counsel, there seek your comfort; he that hath been your counsellor all the time of your life, let him be your comforter at the hour of your death. And good reason: He will not be Paracletus at halves, to stand by at all else, and only to be sent for in our infirmity." (Andrewes Works, Whitsun, vol. III, 177).

Tuesday, May 10, 2005


A good friend of mine, Dr. Joel Garver, wrote a thoughtful and what I believe to be an accurate view on how we ought to think about the proper application and use of the term ex opera operato. The term has a lot of history behind its use and Joel does a very nice job of showing this and placing the term in its proper context during the Reformational debates on the sacramental abuses that the Reformers saw. The term ex opera operato, of course, has to do with the sacraments working on the basis of the action performed; the objective fruitfulness and efficacy of the sacraments. Note Joel's early reference to the Donatists controversy when he shows that an early use of the term that defined the sacramental grace being given in spite of the worthiness of the priest performing the rite is how it came to be understood and used. There will be many in the Protestant faith who will have an objection to the term being used due to the baggage that it carried in the 15th century. That is understandable, but not altogether necessary. The article that Joel writes is quite brief (3 pages) but well worth pondering and discussing. Joel is a good writer and has done some other pieces on his site that any of the readers here may find useful. Oh, I should mention that Joel is a deacon in the Presbyterian Church in America (PCA) and a professor at LaSalle University. Give him a visit at his blog, sacra doctrina, and his web site.

Benedict XVI's first homily from papal chair in Rome

Homily. Do you have thoughts on this?

Saturday, May 07, 2005


This should make for some interesting reading and comments. You can comment here!


Whitby Abbey Ruins Posted by Hello

Sunset at Whitby  Posted by Hello

High Altar at St Mary's Posted by Hello

The Turk Posted by Hello

Crew member of the Turk grabbing a turkey Posted by Hello

Under the whale bones Posted by Hello

Boys coming aboard the Turk Posted by Hello

Whitby Abbey Posted by Hello

North Sea Posted by Hello

St. Mary's/Abbey Ruins Posted by Hello

Joshua in a grave Posted by Hello

Whitby Harbour Posted by Hello

Whitby England

This was one of the most beautiful places I have visted since I have been living in England. Whitby is saturated with Church History and it is a lovely port city. The boys and I went for a night since Rhea had 13 girls for a night over for Hannah's 10th birthday and the boys wanted out. Whitby is not far from Durham and the pictures below will show you the beauty. Many of you will be familiar with the Synod of Whitby...The Christianizing of Britain begun by St. Augustine in A.D. 597 was carried on with varying success throughout the seventh century. One great hindrance to progress lay in the fact that in Northumbria the missionary impulse was largely Scottish (i.e. Irish) in origin, having come through St. Aidan from Iona. In certain matters of external discipline, notably the observance of Easter, the English and Celtic traditions did not agree. Thus when the Northumbrian King Oswy and his household were keeping Easter, his queen, who had been brought up in the south under the Roman system, was still fasting. The consequent inconvenience and discord must have been extreme. In 664 a fortunate opportunity occurred of debating the matter, and a conference took place at the monastery of St. Hilda at Whitby or Streanoeshalch. King Oswy with Bishops Colman and Chad represented the Celtic tradition; Alchfrid, son of Oswy, and Bishops Wilfrid and Agilbert that of Rome. A full account of the conference is given by Bede and a shorter one by Eddius. Both agree as to the facts that Colman appealed to the practice of St. John, Wilfrid to St. Peter and to the council of Nicaea, and that the matter was finally settled by Oswy's determination not to offend St. Peter. "I dare not longer", he said, "contradict the decrees of him who keeps the doors of the Kingdom of Heaven, lest he should refuse me admission". This decision involved more than a mere matter of discipline. The real question decided at Whitby was not so much whether the church in England should use a particular paschal cycle, (see EASTER CONTROVERSY) as "whether she should link her fortunes with those of the declining and loosely compacted Irish Church, or with the rising power and growing organization of Rome". The solution arrived at was one of great moment, and, though the Celtic Churches did not at once follow the example thus set, the paschal controversy in the West may be said to have ended with the Synod of Whitby. (Catholic Encylopedia)

Thursday, May 05, 2005

Ascension Day

FreeFileHosting.NetThe feast of the Ascension is celebrated on the fortieth day after Easter Sunday*, commemorating the Ascension of Christ into Heaven and His completion of the work of our redemption. The liturgy on this day celebrates the entry of Christ into heaven with our human nature glorified, and the pledge of our glorification with Him. In the past, processions outside the church were held on this day to imitate Christ's leading the Apostles out of the city to the Mount of Olives, and to commemorate the entry of Christ into heaven.

God our Father,
make joyful in the ascension of Your Son Jesus Christ.
May we follow Him into the new creation,
for His ascension is our glory and our hope.
We ask this through our Lord Jesus Christ, Your Son,
who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever. +Amen.

Gospel Reading: Matthew 28:16-20
Now the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain to which Jesus had directed them. And when they saw Him they worshipped Him; but some doubted. And Jesus came and said to them, "All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, to the close of the age."

Monday, May 02, 2005

Feast Day of St. Athanasius

FreeFileHosting.NetSt. Athanasius, the great champion of the Faith was born at Alexandria, about the year 296, of Christian parents. Educated under the eye of Alexander, later Bishop of his native city, he made great progress in learning and virtue. In 313, Alexander succeeded Achillas in the Patriarchal See, and two years later St. Athanasius went to the desert to spend some time in retreat with St. Anthony.

In 319, he became a deacon, and even in this capacity he was called upon to take an active part against the rising heresy of Arius, an ambitious priest of the Alexandrian Church who denied the Divinity of Christ. This was to be the life struggle of St. Athanasius.

In 325, he assisted his Bishop at the Council of Nicaea, where his influence began to be felt. Five months later Alexander died. On his death bed he recommended St. Athanasius as his successor. In consequence of this, Athanasius was unanimously elected Patriarch in 326.

His refusal to tolerate the Arian heresy was the cause of many trials and persecutions for St. Athanasius. He spent seventeen of the forty-six years of his episcopate in exile. After a life of virtue and suffering, this intrepid champion of the Catholic Faith, the greatest man of his time, died in peace on May 2, 373. St. Athanasius was a Bishop and Doctor of the Church.

Collect: Collect:
Father, you raised up St. Athanasius to be an outstanding defender of the truth of Christ's divinity. By his teaching and protection may we grow in your knowledge and love. Grant this through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. +Amen.
    O God, most glorious, most bountiful, accept, we humbly beseech thee, our praises and thanksgivings for thy holy Catholic Church, the mother of us all who bear the name of Christ; for the faith which it hath conveyed in safety to our time, and the mercies by which it hath enlarged and comforted the souls of men; for the virtues which it hath established upon earth, and the holy lives by which it glorifieth both the world and thee; to whom, O blessed Trinity (+), be ascribed all honour, might, majesty and dominion, now and for ever. Amen.
    --Bishop Lancelot Andrewes

Societas Sanctae Crucis

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