Saturday, July 29, 2006

Some Very Good News!!!!!!

Well, it has been a long wait, but my letter from Bishop John Pritchard of Jarrow arrived in this morning's post with the very good news of a successful National Selection Panel that I attended two weeks ago in Ely. I will be given the year to finish my PhD and then I will be ordained next Petertide and start back to work in parish ministry here in Durham. This is very good news and brings a lot of relief and allows us to really settle into our new home in Durham, England. For all of you who have been praying for me, I sincerely thank you. I also thank all of my friends who are presently priests who wrote to tell me that numerous masses were said for my intention throughout the week in Ely as well as leading up to this morning's letter. This is a great relief and now I can get back to the hard work of my PhD.

Friday, July 28, 2006

The One Book

I've been tagged by my good friend Al Kimel to speak of that one book.

1. One book that changed your life:
Alexander Schmemann 'For the Life of the World'

2. One book that you’ve read more than once:
G.K. Chesterton, Heretics

3. One book you’d want on a desert island:
The Bible

4. One book that made you laugh:
G.K. Chesterton, Heretics and Orthodoxy

5. One book that made you cry:
C.S. Lewis, Surprised by Joy

6. One book that you wish had been written:
Translation of Bellarmines Eucharistic Theology

7. One book that you wish had never been written:
Left Behind

8. One book you’re currently reading:
Evelyn Waugh, Edmund Campion-A Life

9. One book you’ve been meaning to read:
Jungmann, The Mass of the Roman Rite

Tagging: Prof. Bill Tighe, Joel Garver, Canterbury Tales, Worker in the Vineyard

Thursday, July 27, 2006

Andrewes: A Catalyst For Ecumenism?

Image and video hosting by TinyPic

I am arguing in my thesis that Andrewes's theology of the Eucharist ought to be more closely considered as one who could be a further catalyst in ecumenical discussions with Anglicans and Roman Catholics. Is this actually true? Well, I have numerous examples that I have found that would lend one to believe that this very well may be true. Here is one example:

No one is unaware that the sacraments are the actions of Christ, who administers them through men. Therefore, the sacraments are holy in themselves, and by the power of Christ they pour grace into the soul when they touch the body. The mind boggles at these different ways in which Christ is present; they confront the Church with a mystery ever to be pondered.
Pope Paul VI (1965) Encyclical MYSTERIUM FIDEI

It pleased God to take away the Prophets sinnes by touching his lips. And albeit he can take away our sins, without touching of bread or wine, if he will; yet in the councell of his will, he commandeth unto us the sacramental partaking of his body and blood. It is his will, that our sins shall be taken away by the outward act of the sacrament: The reason is, not only in regard of ourselves, which consists of body and soul, and therefore have need both of bodily and Ghostly meanes, to assure us of our Salvation; but in regard of Christ himself, who is the burning Cole.
Lancelot Andrewes 1598 (Aposposmatia Sacra: Isaiah 6 Sermon)

Note the two statements in bold from both authors. Interesting?

Saturday, July 22, 2006

Anglican Bishops respond to Cardinal Casper

Bishops Tom Wright, and David Stancliffe respond to Cardinal Casper's address to the recent House of Bishops gathering where Cardinal Casper warned against going forward with the consecration of women bishops as doing so would further impair the ecumenical desires we are all to seek. I place the below two paragraphs as essential issues to my own research for ecumenism. There is a sense in which using the Eucharist to further our understanding of one another and love for the visible Body of the Church needs more biblical exploration. The Galatians 2 passage is very important with regards to who we should and should not eat with as Christians. But also, the sacramental question of orders is essential to Eucharistic sharing that needs addressing. Can the orders of the three-fold office be tampered with in such a way that nullifies their validity? Rome says yes and hence that makes it impossible to have shared fellowship due to a lack of assurance of a proper Eucharistic offering. The Anglican Church also shares a lack of assurance about orders and hence would re-ordain someone who had not been ordained episcopally. I believe most Anglicans would have a problem accepting the Eucharist from a non-episcopally ordained minister such as a Methodist or Presbyterian. So, can Rome really be faulted for their lack of assurances that they maintain? What do the readers think about this? This should be a great discussion!

Biretta tip to Thinking Anglicans. Read it all here.
The question of Cardinal Kasper bringing a distinctively Roman perspective to Anglican affairs is also revealed in his remarks about unity, and about the role of the ordained ministry, and particularly of bishops, in engendering communion within that. The Anglican tradition takes its role as a 'bridge' seriously, and we too believe that we must work for, discern and enhance that unity for which Jesus prayed. But we do not believe that eucharistic unity ('communion' in that sense) is only attainable when there is full recognition of ministries, and all are in communion with the see of Rome. In Anglican theology, unity is achieved by our saying yes to God's gracious invitation to his table. It is because we are one with God through being caught up in Christ's one perfect self-offering to the Father that we have unity with one another, rather than communion with God being a consequence of our union with one another. We, in other words, are inclined to see eucharistic sharing not as the goal at the end of the ecumenical pilgrimage where God is waiting for us, but as the path of that pilgrimage itself, along which he accompanies us on the way. We would base our theology of union within the Godhead on a dynamic incorporation into the divine life of the Holy Trinity, rather more than on a sacramental theology based on the validity of the sacrament confected by one who has the authority to do so; and we would prefer to see debates about orders within the frame of mutual eucharistic hospitality, rather than the other way around. In this regard, we would look to Galatians 2, with its clear teaching that all who believe in Jesus Christ belong at the same table, no matter what their cultural background.

There also needs to be further discussion on the nature of Catholicity. What was distinctive of the Church of the New Testament and the early centuries was that, unlike many other religious movements of the time, it was not based on race or profession. It broke through social but also natural divisions such as age and gender. It did this above all in its foundational, Eucharistic life, as we learn from I Corinthians 11, and from that basis its total life was formed. The Church today in its local existence must continue to embrace people of a wide variety of different types and kinds, including people with diverse opinions. This is, indeed, what is constitutive of the Church's Catholicity, as has amply been demonstrated by the Greek Orthodox theologian, John Zizioulas[1], who writes "the eucharistic community was in its composition a catholic community in the sense that it transcended not only social but also natural divisions, just as it will happen in the Kingdom of God of which this community was a revelation and a real sign". The Augustinian understanding of Catholicity as universal overtook the more ancient Pauline and Ignatian understanding of Catholicity as inclusive. Wholeness is of the very essence of Church and without it the Church is not what she is called to be.

Friday, July 21, 2006

Fr. Barolucci speaks his mind, and how!

Over at the New Liturgical Movement there is an interview of Fr. Barolucci and the state of the present liturgy in the Roman Church. Here is a sample question. I loved this sentence: It is as if Michelangelo had been asked to paint the general judgment on a postage stamp!

Q: What are the initiatives that Benedict XVI should take to realize this plan in a world of discotheques and iPods?

A: The great repertoire of sacred music that has been handed down to us from the past is made up of Masses, offertories, responsories: formerly there was no such thing as a liturgy without music. Today there is no place for this repertoire in the new liturgy, which is a discordant commotion – and it’s useless to pretend that it’s not. It is as if Michelangelo had been asked to paint the general judgment on a postage stamp! You tell me, please, how it is possible today to perform a Credo, or even a Gloria. First we would need to return, at least for the solemn or feast day Masses, to a liturgy that gives music its proper place and expresses itself in the universal language of the Church, Latin. In the Sistine, after the liturgical reform, I was able to keep alive the traditional repertoire of the Chapel only in the concerts. Just think – the Missa Papae Marcelli by Palestrina has not been sung in St. Peter’s since the time of Pope John XXIII! We were graciously granted the permission to perform it during a commemoration of Palestrina, and they wanted it without the Credo, but that time I would not budge, and the entire work was performed.

The Free Will of Christ in Maximus the Confessor

Image and video hosting by TinyPic

Read it all.
The Reciprocal Nature of Salvation in the Incarnation.

One may begin with a rather lengthy, but extremely important, quote from Lars Thunberg's shorter work on the Confessor, Man and the Cosmos:
As in the Eastern tradition in general, Maximus puts strong stress on the Incarnation as an effective instrument of salvation, of which--at least from one point of view--the reconciling death is only a logical consequence. Thus the different aspects are complementary; the sacrificial aspect occupies no exclusive place. The incarnation itself is the supreme act of divine grace, which manifests and carries into effect the salvific relationship between God and man. But stating this, we must always remember that incarnation has to be understood in terms of the doctrine of Chalcedon. This means that incarnation does not only imply God's becoming flesh, generally speaking, but God's becoming flesh in uniting himself hypostatically with man in Christ, true God and true man, fully united but without change or fusion. In other words, incarnation is always understood by Maximus as an aspect of reciprocity. The act of salvation understood in this way is not a one-sided act so that God, as it were, "forces" His salvation on man. Nor is it a divided act so that Christ as man reconciles God the wrathful Father, as in the predominant Western tradition, but a cooperative act, an act of reciprocity, a concerted act, and it has to be understood in this way. [1]
One finds in this remarkable paragraph the heart of Maximos' understanding of the relational aspect of salvation. He is unwilling to look at it as a one-sided act on the part of God, somehow forced upon man from above. Promulgation of such a notion of 'forced salvation' would be to lose sight of the fact that man freely fell, a concept of which Maximos often spoke. The Fall was the work of humanity, stemming from the free choice with which it had been endowed as an aspect of its creation in the image of God. The first sin was, as all wilful choices are, the free choice of a free creature. To Maximos, such a reality intimately tied the will and the Fall together: the latter was bound up in the former, was indeed caused by it. Thus a salvation could not simply be a redemption of body or even of mind as a purely intellectual agent. It must needs be a salvation of will, for this is the element of most severe corruption in fallen humanity.

Thus the question logically becomes, 'what is Maximos' conception of human will?', and it is to this question that one must turn before an examination into the Confessor's conception of the human will in the person of Christ can be attempted.

A. Human Will: lo/goj and tro/poj.

Andrew Louth has perceptively written, 'For Maximus, what is distinctive about being human is self-determination' [2]. It is humanity's ability to make self-determined choices that sets it apart from other beings in the created order and makes it unique. It is at the very heart of the image of God which man bears. Yet, as we have noted above, this free, self-determining will is also at the heart of humanity's fallen state. Somehow, as experience and Scripture reveal, the human will, created good and whole, is now found corrupted in the life of man. The question which faced Maximos' generation was how such a corruption of that which God had created was possible.

To address this issue, Maximos came to distinguish between two aspects of the human will: the natural and the personal. The first, the natural will, is that which is the creation of God and resides in each creature as an aspect of its very essence. It is the Creator's own handiwork, an essential part of creation itself, and resides as part of the very nature of a created being. As F-M Léthel writes:
Chaque nature diffère essentiellement de toute autre nature par son logos propre qui lui assure une consistance inaltérable ; l'immutabilité des logoi est fondée en Dieu. [3]
Léthel's use of lo/goj to describe the natural will is borrowed from Maximos himself. This is the 'essential element' of human will: that which, by essence, makes the will human and not the will of some other created being.

Yet the natural aspect of the will cannot be considered apart from its human realisation, the personal aspect, or, in Maximos' terminology, the tro/poj. While the lo/goj will is essential to human nature, and thus the same throughout the whole of humanity, the possession of individuality brings it to bear in differing ways. Indeed, personal choices are as individual as human beings are as people. Thus, reflected Maximos, while all share a common human natural will, each person appropriates it individually. The way (or 'mode', tro/poj) in which one wills is specific to each person uniquely; or, otherwise phrased, it is a unique mode of his personal hypostasis [4]. It is the very self-determination of which Louth speaks as a foundational element of human character.

This distinction between a lo/goj and a tro/poj aspect within the will is, as Léthel terms it, 'une des clefs de la Christologie de Maxime' [5]. Indeed, it offers one of his most profound insights into human nature. There is a will that is the creation of God, and thus is beyond the power of humanity to alter or corrupt. The lo/goj is beyond human influence, not because that influence is false or unreal, but because the creation of God cannot be corrupted or thwarted by humanity. Yet the tro/poj, or the way in which one makes use of his lo/goj will, either by approximating or abandoning it, is wholly within each person's individual power as a unique, subsisting hypostasis.

The elaboration of this notion of tro/poj led Maximos to a term with which he is now often associated: gnw/mh, or inclination. Each personal hypostasis, in freely choosing from the apparent goods before it as an expression of its own tro/poj, suffers from certain inclinations as to which choice it might make. Ideally, the personal tro/poj would always freely choose that which was in actuality the proper good, that which is in alignment with the lo/goj and thus with the will of God. But the result of the Fall has been an effective corruption of the perception of this good: humanity is not always able to truly see its own lo/goj, and thus the true good which it ought to choose. The result is the gnw/mh, or the personal approximation to the good that an individual makes via his or her inclinations. Thunberg writes:
Gnw/mh--a favourite term of Maximus--does not denote an act of the will, but a disposition or habitus of will, such as man as individual and as fallen creature may establish for himself. [6]
This concept of gnw/mh linked to tro/poj offers an insightful picture of Maximos' conception of humanity as fallen creature: the fundamental nature of the human will, he thought, was not effected by this cosmic event. Rather it was the misuse of the tro/poj and its eventual influence into the development of a deficient gnw/mh. Again, Léthel:
{Ainsi, entre l'humain dans le Christ et l'humain en nous, il ne peut pas y avoir une différence de nature.} La différence, qui consiste en la contrariété de volonté qui est en nous et qui n'est pas en lui n'est pas de l'ordre de la nature; bien plus, cette contrariété est « contre nature », véritable déprivation de la nature. [7]
It is this 'deprivation of nature' that is the great sin of the human will: that it no longer sees or identifies with its own essence, its lo/goj, and thus no longer knows its true good. The 'gnomic compensation' is a far cry from perfection, yet it is, for Maximos, the true lot of fallen humanity.

G.K. Chesterton: Obeying laws?

I realise the blog has not been too exciting lately and I will get to posting some things here really soon. Yesterday I was recovering and coming down from my three days in Ely and actually slept a lot in the afternoon and actually didn't wake up until 7 pm. I must now jump back into my Latin translations of Bellarmine and Andrewes. I will be kicking that off by working on it most of the day. I leave a little Chesterton who is always a delight to read.
Image and video hosting by TinyPic
IT is a sufficient proof that we are not an essentially democratic state that we are always wondering what we shall do with the poor. If we were democrats, we should be wondering what the poor will do with us. With us the governing class is always saying to itself, 'What laws shall we make?' In a purely democratic state it would be always saying, 'What laws can we obey?'

Sunday, July 16, 2006

Away in Ely

For the next few days, I will be away from my computer and blogging. I will be in Ely attending my Bishops' Advisory Panel. I leave tomorrow mid morning for my three hour journey south. In many ways I am looking forward to the trip as it will be a bit of a pilgrimage for me and I have yet to visit Ely. On another note, it will be an intense few days as I am placed under the microscope for the Church to examine my vocation to parish life in the Church of England. I do ask for your prayers and I have received many encouraging e-mails from priests within our diocese as well as cards wishing me all the very best. I will be back on line Thursday. Thanks!

Saturday, July 15, 2006

St. Bonaventure

Image and video hosting by TinyPic

All-powerful Father,
may we who celebrate the feast of Saint Bonaventure
always benefit from his wisdom
and follow the example of his love.
Grant this through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,
one God, forever and ever.

6. Second, grace descends into us through the Crucified Word. We were not only inept to take up grace on account of (our) ignorance of the divine precepts, yes indeed, also on account of our infirmity and impotence and concupiscence for earthly things [terrenorum]: for that reason the Lord wanted to prop (us up) [ponere fulcimenta]. To heal our languors 16 , He descended into us through the Crucified Word. Whence the Apostle to the Ephesians: God, who is rich in mercy, on account of His exceeding charity, with which He has loved [dilexit] us; when we had died with sins, vivified us together [convivificavit] with Christ, by whose grace we have been saved 17. We have been vivified by Christ through Christ, because Christ has triumphed from death; whence death could not absorb Him, rather the Fount of life absorbed death, according to that which is written: I will be thy death, O Death! 18 . Otherwise we could not be healed and saved. Whence the Apostle to the Galatians: I do not throw away the grace of God; for if justice (is) through the Law, therefore Christ died without recompense [gratis]19; However Christ has died, to resuscitate the dead for the taking up [ad susceptionem] of life and grace; therefore grace is flowed into [influitur] us through the Incarnate Word and through the Crucified Word. -- And the Blessed Virgin took up that Word (that is) full of grace 20; and the stream [fluvius] of graces has come forth [egressus est] from the side of Him, who has the efficacy to heal us.

Thursday, July 13, 2006

A Very Proud Father

Well, I do not want to seem boastful but I sure do want to acknowlege an accomplishment of my oldest son (14) Matthew. He attends St. Leonard's Roman Catholic secondary school here in Durham. Yesterday we attended his year 9 assembly where about 300 or so students assembled. Awards were given and there was some entertainment provided by the students. It was a great time and Matthew has done really well in adjusting to the UK system. At the end of the presentations of academic awards and other accomplishments in sports, etc, there was a presentation for the 'Head Year Award' that is given to the student who excelled in work, attitude, character, politeness and the all-around good student who gives a 100% all the time. This award was presented to our son Matthew. Tears immediately filled my eyes. I wanted so badly to hug him there and kiss him but I dare not humiliate him in front of his mates but when he got home we sure celebrated and will continue to do so. I am so proud of him. His faith shines for so many to see. What an accomplishment! Well done, Matthew--I love you and am so proud of you.

Rhea has a picture of the certificate on our Family Blog.

The Sacrifice Not Whole?

Image and video hosting by TinyPic

One of the issues of debate in the C16 and C17 on the Sacrifice of the Mass was concerning the partaking of only ONE species and how it still can remain a whole Sacrifice. I have been spending my summer translating Andrewes's Responsio ad Bellarmini on the Eucharistic controversy. I have found some jewels for my thesis on Andrewes's ability to understand Sacrifice within the Patristic framework to be both peaceable and eucharistic. The problem that Andrewes maintains within his understanding of Eucharistic Sacrifice is not the concept of Sacrifice itself, as he readily admits and agrees with the peacableness and the eucharistic nature of Sacrifice as the Church's true 'unbloody' offering. Where he differs with the Cardinal is in regards to the question of whether the Sacrifice can be WHOLE if only one part is received. Why is it necessary to have both parts in order to properly offer the Eucharistic Sacrifice and yet only one part is received by the laity? Andrewes's argument comes from 1 Cor. 10.18 ff. as well as the direct command from Jesus to eat and drink. Hence he sees Bellarmine adding two more Sacraments to the six thus having 8. Bellarmine admits that the Sacrifice is a mutilation if you only offer bread and not wine, but why is it whole if you only receive ONE SPECIES? Why is it necessary for the priest to take and not the people?

The Cardinal goes on to speak of it in terms of baptism and thrice immersions. But Andrewes rightly responds that we have no commands or explicit requirements for three or one in baptism but in the Eucharist we have explicit commands from Jesus, accipte 'take' and eat, take and drink. Here there is the command; with baptism there is none. Andrewes shows that Jesus's command included the words 'all of you' that Bellarmine makes a big deal about in regards to baptism but not the Eucharist. Interestingly, when Christ said take, eat, he did not add all of you, but all take of the bread. When Christ commanded take, drink, he did add the words 'all of you' but all do not partake. Hmmm. Therefore, in what sense can there be a whole Sacrifice without a whole participation since when we take of the altar we commune with the whole offering? Paul is concerned in 1 Cor. 10 about the partaking of the Chalice of demons and the Chalice of Christ. The point is, he's concerned about our drinking. Happily, the Chalice was regularly restored to the people after Vat. II but there seems to be some hints of 'traditionalists' who want to return to the reception of ONE SPECIES. I note that this is what happens on EWTN Masses.

Can a Sacrifice be WHOLE if it is not taken in WHOLE? If so, why and how?

A Pastoral View of the Trinity

Image and video hosting by TinyPic

I came across the below article on the Trinity from a pastoral perspective as I was searching on the nature of Trinity and personalism in order to think about the Sacraments within this Trinitarian framework rather than the way they are often set forth in abstract ways. I believe this Trinitarian emphasis has alot to say to us about the way we think about sacramental efficacy as coming from God who says and does what he says he will do via his personalism found within his own being. I leave it for your reading.

A Pastoral View at the Holy Trinity

by Angelo Xuereb

Christian Faith teaches us that everything proceeds from the Trinity of God. We also learn that whatever exists in this world has also the Trinity as its end. Therefore in Catechises and Pastoral work it is of utmost importance that relevant teaching with an appeal to modern man be given on the subject.

Maybe in people's mind the teaching about the Trinity is still a taboo. It is so difficult, and one may get disturbed thereby, that the best thing seems to be not to speak about it at all. In practice, although Christians declare their faith in Holy Trinity, they do not really believe very much in it in their practical daily life. It is also an undeniable fact that "though many declare their faith in the Trinity, they are actually 'monotheists' in their religious life....... perhaps out of fear that in the Catechism of the mind and the heart (as opposed to the printed Catechism) the fact that one believes in the Incarnation changes nothing, as if the Trinity does not exist" (Karl Rahner, "Il Dio Trino come fondamento originario e transcendente della storia della salvezza", in Mysterium Salutis 3, Brescia 1969, 404).

It is the conviction of the masses that "the mystery of the Trinity is a theological theorem without any implications whatsoever." (Bruno Forte, Trinita' come storia, Napoli 1933, 13).

These ideas led the philosopher Kant to declare, "From the doctrine of the Trinity we cannot take anything for our practical life, even if we believe we can understand it, because it goes beyond every idea of ours." (Immanuel Kant, Il Conflitto della facolta', tr..A Poggi, Genova 1953, 47). These comments from people of profound thinking should inspire us to give a more pastoral touch to our teaching about the Trinity with a moral, spiritual and even social implication.

Scholastic theology treats the subject of Trinity from the metaphysical aspect. So it is full of subtle distinctions of reason, while there is no link with everyday life. Principally, this theology is based on the interrelations between individual persons. Therefore, today we can glean out the essential from such a theology, avoid making emphasis on details, while adapting it to modern man.

Phenomenology and personalism could be of great help to present a more pastoral view of the Trinity with an appeal to out daily life. However, it is worth mentioning that a more pastoral view of the Trinity, will in no way disentangle this mystery. It will remain there. "In fact, the Trinity dogma is an absolute mystery that, even after its revelation, cannot be understood in its essence. This thesis is an unequivocal conclusion of the Teachings of Vatican Council I" (Karl Rahner, Linee Fondamentali della Dottrina del Magistero Ecclesiastico sulla Trinita', Brescia 1980, 440).

Therefore, while we speak with great humility on this subject, we should never pretend to solve this mystery. On the other hand we should not be overcome by exaggerated fear of heresy if we speak about this mystery. It should be said that 'a mystery' is not something we should decline to say anything about it. The unwarranted pretension of man is found only in trying to explain this mystery as if it were a mathematical theorem. In his writings St. Augustine declares, "Who can understand the omnipotent Trinity? But not speak about it, when in fact he speaks about it? Only very rarely we find a person who speaks about it and really knows about what he is talking" (St. Augustine, L- Confessions, Bk. 13, 11).

Therefore, while not denying metaphysics, which is the queen of all sciences, we know that the study of phenomenology and personalism may help us to speak about the Trinity. Phenomenology is the philosophical study which originates from phenomenona. Therefore, when we come to look for a phenomenon which is similar to Trinity, we conclude that the society of men has a semblance to it. Society is made up of persons having an intimate connection with each other. In fact, according to an English proverb, "No man is an island.". We all have interrelations and intercommunications. Today we are living in a phase of human history wherein the world is becoming a "global village". Communications by means of radio, television, video, as well as by means of internet, are bringing humans to a more intimate connection with each other. And by this, we may aptly explain what the scholars meant by "relations" by means of communications which man is experiencing today.

So much so that if we examine the Scholastic Theology we can see what St. Thomas says in order to explain that the Son is the Word. After explaining that the common word is a means to express an idea, he concludes that "the term Word, when used for God, should not be considered in its strict meaning, but in a personal way"( St. Thomas Aquinas, Summa Teologica, I, Q 34 2).

Therefore, as very well defined by St. Thomas Aquinas, that the Son is the communicative word, by this he revealed to us the mystery of the Trinity. This is also a community who love each other in a perfect manner. "These words, being the fruit of faith of the early Church, show how for Christians to believe in God does not simply mean to think that God exists, but means much more than that. It means that you declare with your own lips and in your heart that God is Love. And this means that you recognize that God is not solitude: because in order to love there should be at least two persons, in a so magnificent relation that one is open to the other. Love God is a communion of Three: The one who Loves, the one who is Loved, and Love received and given: The Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. Believing in Love God means believing in a God who is One in three person, a communion so perfect, that the Three are really One in their love. It is a communion interwoven in so very real relations, that they are verily Three in giving and receiving love, in getting together and are mutually accessible to love"( Bruno Forte, Introduzzjoni Qasira góall-Fidi, Malta 1997, 11).

So, the mystery of the Trinity throws light on our interrelations, which should be based on the real love when one person becomes accessible to another person. This orientation may throw light on how the relationship between married couples in their families should be. Apart from this, Trinitarian Love is an example of how human relations in a parish community should be. It should be united for the common good to reflect the one God in three Persons.

Hence, in both catechises and pastoral work emphasis should be made on how beneficial communication is, that even in God himself there is a bond of love. We are living in a period of time when the world is passing from a strong communication phase. Although such means of communication may serve for some people to approach evil, nonetheless in themselves they are beneficial. Consequently, the emphasis should be on their use for a good purpose, that is for learning and relaxation, as well as for the service to the Gospel to disseminate the message of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Then, in order to learn knowledge about the mystery of the Trinity, we can make use of the Bible which speaks in simple terms. The Bible speaks mainly on Our Lord Jesus Christ. He is the centre of the story of humanity. He was involved in our story in order to redeem us, give us the example and teach us. And was precisely Christ who thought us about the Trinity. So much so that in catechises and pastoral work we can employ the same words and expressions of Christ when he spoke about the Father and the Holy Spirit.

In this way the Trinity will not remain a mystery far away from the ordinary lives of Christians. Rather, on the contrary, Christians will start beholding in the Trinity as an example and an ideal of how people should love one another, keep unity in the family and the parish, while at the same time not comprehending such a mystery with his limited mind. Although beholding it as something hazy, and they believe in it, nonetheless it will remain for them a mystery which they adore with all due reverence and faith.

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

St. Benedict

Image and video hosting by TinyPic
God, our Father,
you made Saint Benedict an outstanding guide
to teach men how to live in your service.
Grant that by preferring your love to everything else,
we may walk in the way of your commandments.
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.


In one of the monasteries which he had built in those parts, there was a monk who could not continue at prayers; for when the other monks knelt down to serve God, his manner was to go forth, and there with wandering mind to busy himself about some earthly and transitory things. When he had often been admonished by his Abbot for this fault without any amendment, at length he was sent to the man of God, who likewise very much rebuked him for his folly. Notwithstanding, returning to his monastery, he followed the holy man's admonition; but, on the third day, he fell again to his old custom, and would not stay within at the time of prayer. Word was once more sent to the man of God, by the father of the Abbey he had appointed there.

Benedict returned the answer that he would come himself, and reform what was amiss, which he did accordingly. It so fell out, that when the singing of psalms was ended, and the hour come in which the monks took themselves to prayer, the holy man perceived that the monk, who used at that time to go forth, was drawn out by the skirt of his garment by a little black boy. On seeing this, he spoke secretly to Pompeianus, father of the Abbey, and also to Maurus saying, "Do you not see who it is, that draws this monk from his prayers?" and they answered him, that they did not. "Then let us pray to God," he said, "that you also may behold whom this monk follows." After two days Maurus saw him, but Pompeianus could not.

On another day, when the man of God had ended his devotions, he went out of the oratory, where he found the foresaid monk standing idle. For the blindness of his heart he struck with a little wand, and from that day forward he was so freed from all allurement of the little black boy, that he remained quietly at his prayers, as the other monks did. The old enemy was so terrified, that he dare not suggest any such thoughts again. As though by that blow, not the monk, but the devil himself had been struck.

Monday, July 10, 2006

Durham Cathedral on Radio 3--12 July

Choral Evensong on Wednesdays on BBC Radio 3 is a great resource for listening. Tune in this Wednesday as it will be live from Durham Cathedral. It is a real blessing to be able to attend live.

A Personal Prayer Request

Ely Cathedral
Image and video hosting by TinyPicTo all of my faithful readers, I am writing to ask for your prayers for me on 17-19 July. Next Monday I will journey south to Ely to attend the Bishops' Advisory Panel as a candidate for the priesthood in the Church of England in the Diocese of Durham. This journey will be somewhat of a pilgrimage for me as it was the second bishopric of the saint Lancelot Andrewes (1609-1619). I have spent my two-canonically required years learning about the Church of England and its distinct form of ministry as an Established Church, and I go with the strong support of my Diocesan Ordinary +Tom Wright and sponsoring Bishop of Jarrow +John Prichard. I will also be looked at as a 'Potential Theological Educator'. I have greatly missed the parish ministry while pursuing my Postgraduate Studies in the Eucharistic Theology of Lancelot Andrewes but the time away from it has, with greater clarity, confirmed for me within my own heart that I am called to parish life as a priest. I hope to do so with one foot in the academy as well. It is now for the Church, who has the authority to send to agree or disagree with my call to serve in the Church in the English context. I offer myself to her.

Rhea and I have moved our family (six children) here to England because we felt a strong call to join this Body to serve Christ and his Church in this land. England has become home to us and we are grateful for the hopeful opportunity to serve this beautiful country. We therefore ask you to join us in prayer this week as I prepare my heart and mind for this Panel conference and look forward to a positive response. Thank you for your prayers!

Thursday, July 06, 2006

The Failures of Protestantism

Image and video hosting by TinyPic

In attempting to think deeply about the Eucharist and to get a real sense of what is going on, I cannot help but see how Nominalism--often the heart of Protestantism--shapes and continues to shape the present crisis and unraveling of Protestantism that we see around the world today. I particularly think about the philosophy of ideas without consequences or actions that lack any moral value in and of themselves--issues directly facing the Church today. Looking at some articles on the Internet on Nominalism and Realism, I came across the article below that really has me seeing some of the underlying failing of Protestant philosophy that shapes so much of Reformed theology. What really stuck out to me was the lack of the theology of divinisation that we find in the early Fathers that is absent from much of Reformed thinking. Internal transformation and infusion of the divine life of God is often treated as a 'legal fiction' and something that completely transcends us but has little value for us. Something to think about as we ponder what impact this has for how we think about such things as the Sacrifice of the Mass and the Sacrifice of Calvary being one and the same sacrifice. What does this say about the value of the Mass and the value of Calvary being one and the same? I leave it for you to ponder as well. The complete article can be found here.
Mystery destroyed
Heiko A. Oberman, a leading Luther scholar (and admirer), admitted in Luther: Man between God and the Devil that "Martin Luther was a nominalist; there is no doubt about that." Rev. Louis Bouyer, a former Lutheran pastor and theologian, stated in The Spirit and Forms of Protestantism that this connection to Ockham’s nominalism is the key to the "negative elements" of the Reformation:
No phrase reveals so clearly the hidden evil that was to spoil the fruit of the Reformation than Luther’s saying that Ockham was the only scholastic who was any good. The truth is that Luther, brought up on his system, was never able to think outside the framework it imposed, while this, it is only too evident, makes the mystery that lies at the root of Christian teaching either inconceivable or absurd.
That "mystery" is divinization: the Catholic doctrine that God’s grace—his supernatural life—can infuse man and heal his wounded nature, especially through the sacraments. This belief was abhorrent to Luther, who believed such communion between God and man impossible, even blasphemous. Justification, Luther taught, was not an inner change but a juridical or forensic reality, outward only and imputed by Christ. The justified man is still as sinful as before, but he is "cloaked" in Christ’s righteousness.

Total depravity

Neither Luther nor John Calvin could conceive of man as somehow sharing in God’s divine nature, because man, in their estimation, was totally depraved and incapable of any good. The nominalism of Ockham and his disciples congealed in the teachings of these Protestant fathers, resulting in a skewed understanding of God and his relationship with man.

"What, in fact, is the essential characteristic of Ockham’s thought, and of nominalism in general," Bouyer asked, "but a radical empiricism, reducing all being to what is perceived, which empties out, with the idea of substance, all possibility of real relations between beings, as well as the stable subsistence of any of them, and ends by denying to the real any intelligibility, conceiving God himself only as a Protean figure impossible to apprehend?"

The nominalist fragmentation between substance and nature became the cornerstone for two principles of classical Protestant theology: total depravity and sola fide.

Man, being totally depraved, lacks any free will and the ability to know what is right. For Luther, looking through nominalist-colored lenses, grace was a quality external to man and therefore unknowable in any objective way. Grace is God’s divine favor and belongs to God alone. Luther believed that if God did infuse man with his divine life, then God would be joined to man and obligated to him in a manner incompatible with his sovereignty and omnipotence. Man can have no part in grace except in an outward manner—imputed righteousness—in which no real communication of the divine life occurs.

So sola fide—faith alone—became the means of salvation because faith, for the Protestant fathers, is an inner quality, knowable through experience and intuition; it is not a sharing in God’s divine life.

"Similarly, and as radically," wrote Bouyer, "it follows that grace, to remain such, that is the pure gift of God—must always be absolutely extrinsic to us; also, faith, to remain ours, so as not to fall into that externalism that would deprive man of all that is real in religion, must remain shut up within us."

Radical individualism

This prepared the way for the radical individualism—what French Catholic philosopher Jacques Maritain called "the advent of the self"—that became a distinguishing feature of Protestantism. In the moral realm this radical separation of faith and grace meant a severing of the moral act from its actual value. If God can impose any value he desires upon a moral act arbitrarily, then it follows that man’s actions cannot possess any objective value relating to grace or the meriting of eternal life. Protestant theologian Alister McGrath summarized the Reformers’ view in his volume on justification, Iustitia Dei (Cambridge University Press, 1998):
There is a fundamental discontinuity between the moral value of an act—i.e., the act, considered in itself—and the meritorious value of an act—i.e., the value that God chooses to impose upon the act. Moral virtue imposes no obligation upon God, and where such obligation may be conceded, it exists as the purely contingent outcome of a prior uncoerced divine decision.
Calvin systematized this discontinuity by basing his Institutes of the Christian Religion around the central theological theme of predestination. Calvin made it clear that God can be sovereign only if man is nothing, that is, totally depraved and lacking any free will.

It has been said that for the Protestant fathers justification was the article of faith upon which the Church either "stand or falls." But their denial of free will is actually the key article of faith, as it informed their position on justification as well as that of Scripture, Church authority, and the sacraments. Without free will, man’s moral actions mean nothing, so justification becomes a legal fiction, not a lifetime of growth in God’s divine life.

The Reformer from Geneva also took up Ockham’s view of the Incarnation, as McGrath noted in A Life of John Calvin (Cambridge: Basil Blackwell, 1990). Calvin "makes it clear that the basis of Christ’s merit is not located in Christ’s offering of himself," McGrath wrote, "but in the divine decision to accept such an offering as of sufficient merit for the redemption of mankind (which corresponds to the voluntarist [nominalist] approach). For Calvin, ‘apart from God’s good pleasure, Christ could not merit anything’ [Institutes, II.xvii.i-iv]." McGrath also noted that "Calvin’s continuity appears to be with the late medieval voluntarist tradition, deriving from Ockham of Ockham and Gregory of Rimini."

The crucial break between each moral act (known by revelation) and its meritorious value (unknown and reliant on God’s arbitrary will) is evident. So Calvin taught a distinct break between justification and sanctification. The former is external, imputed, and eternal; the latter is internal and pertains to salvation as an evidence only shown by good works, a sign of perseverance, which the truly predestined saint will possess. Believers can know they are saved by the signs of their works, all the while knowing that those works possess little, if any, actual value in the eyes of God.

Seeds of skepticism

Like a stream growing as it flows from a mountain into a valley, nominalism has helped shape modernity’s view of God, man, and reality. Ockham’s focus on empirical knowledge played a vital role in Luther and Calvin looking inwardly in search of faith. But it was not long before Enlightenment thinkers would cast aside the tenuous reality of self-enclosed faith and begin searching for data and evidence in a new way.

Instead of looking to the detached and unknowable God of nominalism, intellectuals and theologians began looking to the immediate, concrete world around them. After all, if God does not want to have communion with man but only desires to show his sovereignty, what keeps man from turning his back on God and demonstrating his own power and autonomy? While God, for the Protestant fathers, is free from any obligation to man, in the Enlightenment era man became equally autonomous, free from any obligation to God and his natural law.

What the Protestant revolt and later modernity had in common was that a subjective, individualistic view of reality turned into the essential basis of knowledge. The difference was in the object of focus. The Reformers looked to God, relying on intuitive, subjective experience. Later thinkers, relying on their own intuitive experiences, concluded that man is autonomous and God is unnecessary. The former resulted in Lutheranism, Calvinism and a host of splintering groups. The latter resulted in all sorts of nasty "isms": empiricism, positivism, moral relativism, and deconstructionism.

Summarized, the move toward subjective and intuitive knowledge, opposed to abstract and universal knowledge, led to increasingly radical philosophical propositions. G. W. F. Hegel, Immanuel Kant, and Karl Marx pushed the envelope of nominalist-indebted thought. German philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche (1844–1900) wrote, "There are no facts, only interpretations"—a sentiment echoed in the common contemporary refrain: "There is no truth, only opinions."

In the twentieth century, Jacques Derrida’s work in deconstruction—which asserts that truth cannot be known and words lack real meaning—was a type of hyper-nominalism. Derrida’s famous statement that "there is nothing outside the text" was a denial that words refer to a reality beyond them.

Like a constantly mutating virus, nominalism lives on. Yes, ideas do have consequences. And bad ideas, no matter how well-intentioned, have bad consequences.

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

The Mass: No Way Back

I am sitting now in the library reading John Jay Hughes' book Stewards of the Lord which is a response to Francis Clark's work Eucharistic Sacrifice and the Reformation. Hughes converted to Rome and his story is below that is taken from the June edition of the Tablet. His book against Clark's interpretation of the Mass as Sacrifice and Anglican Order in particular was published in 1970. Does anyone know how he defended what he did in this work concerning Anglican Orders and yet was a Roman Catholic priest?

As an undergraduate, seminarian, and Anglican priest I often attended Mass in Roman Catholic churches on both sides of the Atlantic. It was not remotely like the “Rolls-Royce Mass” described last week by Elena Curti in her excellent article. Mostly silent, the few Latin parts which could be heard were so gabbled and garbled that they might have as well have been in Mandarin Chinese. The vernacular prayers at the end, “For the conversion of Russia”, were so rushed that the priest was often well into them before one realised he had switched to English.

The Mass itself was often taken at breakneck speed. A local lawyer with six years of Latin in the St Louis secondary school founded by Ampleforth Benedictines recalls being scolded by priests for not saying the Latin responses fast enough. His experience was not unusual. The man at the “Rolls-Royce Mass” who professed himself scandalised (as he should have been) at 10-minute new-rite Masses is too young to recall members of his grandfather’s generation boasting about priests who could get through the considerably longer Tridentine rite in a quarter of an hour or less. And as for the woman interviewed by your reporter who found a new-rite Mass “a shambles”, that is exactly what I witnessed many times over in Catholic parish churches five decades ago. “Such little reverence”, she said, “I was scandalised and distressed.” My sentiments exactly. Only at the conventual Mass in Benedictine and Trappist monasteries did I find the dignity, reverence, and beauty I craved. And such liturgies were available, of course, to few.

As a newly ordained curate in an inner-city Anglo-Catholic parish I had an experience which I recognise, in retrospect, as a milestone in my spiritual journey. Most of my afternoons were spent visiting members of the parish in suburbs so distant that few of them still attended the church I served. Calling one day on an elderly lady, I heard, for the umpteenth time, “I don’t go to Grace Church any more, Father. It’s too far away.” Then came the shocker: “I go to Sacred Heart across the street. It’s just about the same.” I gasped. I knew only too well what went on in Sacred Heart Church. To call the hurried, slapdash, mostly silent Masses there “just about the same” as the stately liturgy we celebrated – with beautiful music (three-manual organ, a choir of boys and men), gorgeous vestments, flowers and incense – took my breath away.

It also set me thinking. I realised that the liturgy I loved required for its appreciation a level of culture and education which was available to few. For every one like me, there were easily a thousand like that good soul who found the silent Latin Masses at Sacred Heart “just about the same” as the reverent and beautiful liturgies at Grace Church. Anglican worship of my sort, I had to acknowledge, was for the few, not for the many.

I entered the Catholic Church in 1960. After a year-long period of agonising reappraisal, I had come to believe that my Anglican faith was not so much false as incomplete; and that the claims and teaching of the Catholic Church were true. My decision to enter that Church, like that of Cardinal Dulles, was an affair of the head, not the heart. It was, for me, an enormous step backward liturgically. Within months I fled to the German-speaking world, where I remained for a decade. There, in part because of the decades-old liturgical movement, in part because Germans have sung hymns at Mass ever since the Reformation – but also because Germans take everything, especially their religion, in deadly earnest – I found a spiritual home where I could worship as I had been trained to do since childhood. When I returned to my own country in 1970 it was as a priest of a German diocese. I became a St Louis priest only in 1983.

The “Rolls-Royce Mass” witnessed by your correspondent is beautiful. But it is a show piece. It also fosters an elitist mentality which undermines the unity of those who, “though many, are one body, for we all partake of the one loaf” (1 Cor. 10:17). I encountered this elitism myself when I preached some years ago in the local Catholic parish which celebrates the Tridentine Mass once every Sunday. In the sacristy I found an army of men and boys making snide remarks about their fellow Catholics (easily 99 per cent) who used the new rite; a kind of gnosticism (possession of special knowledge available only to the initiated) which I thought I had abandoned for ever when I left the Anglican Church. The triumphalistic tone in some reports of the recent internationally publicised Tridentine Mass in Rome suggests that Pope Paul VI was prescient to foresee the damage to Catholic unity which could arise from the simultaneous use of two different rites in the Church, and right to forbid this.

Tuesday, July 04, 2006


Hmmm. What does this all mean for the future? As America celebrates its Independence Day today, does this mean that there is a possible chance of an Anglican Independence?


The Episcopal Synod of the Church of Nigeria met under God at All Saints' church Abuja from 27th - 28th June 2006 with His Grace, The Most Rev. Peter J. Akinola, CON, DD, Archbishop, Primate and Metropolitan of All Nigeria presiding. After sessions of deliberations on issues affecting both the Church and Society, the Synod under the guidance of the Holy Spirit issued this Communiqué.


Synod notes with satisfaction the efforts of the Primate of the Church of Nigeria (Anglican Communion), His Grace, The Most Rev. Peter J. Akinola, in giving the Church of Nigeria, (CAPA and Global South a purposeful and effective leadership. It further expresses its approval of his actions and pronouncements against errors of revisionist ideologies. With much delight and enthusiasm, Synod received his citing by TIME Magazine as one of the 100 persons that shaped the World in 2005, and encouraged him not to relent in his efforts in exercising his ministry.


Synod is satisfied with the move by the Global South to continue with its veritable project of defending the faith committed to us against present onslaught from ECUSA, Canada, England and their allies. The need therefore, to redefine and/or re-determine those who are truly Anglicans becomes urgent, imperative and compelling. Synod therefore empowers the leadership of the Church of Nigeria (Anglican Communion) to give assent to the Anglican Covenant.


The Lambeth Conference which is one of the accepted organs of unity in the Anglican Communion is due for another meeting in 2008. the Synod, after reviewing some recent major events in the Communion, especially the effects of the ‘revisionists’ theology’, which is now making wave in America, Canada and England, observed with dismay the inability of the Church in the afore­mentioned areas to see reason for repentance from the harm and stress they have caused this communion since 1988 culminating in the consecration of Gene Robinson, a practicing homosexual in 2003 as a bishop in ECUSA. Synod also regrets the inability of the See of Canterbury to prevent further impairment of the unity of the Church. It therefore, believes strongly that the moral justification for the proposed Lambeth Conference of 2008 is questionable in view of the fact that by promoting teachings and practices that are alien and inimical to the historic formularies of the Church, the Bishops of ECUSA, Canada and parts of Britain have abandoned the Biblical faith of our fathers.


Synod underlines the need for maintaining the age-long tradition of a ten-yearly Conference of Bishops in the Anglican Communion for discussing issues affecting the Church. It therefore calls on the leadership of the Global South and Council of Anglican Provinces in Africa (CAPA) to do everything necessary to put in place a Conference of all Anglican Bishops to hold in 2008 should all efforts to get the apostles of ‘revisionist agenda’ to repent and retrace their steps fail.

It continues on:

The Most Revd. Peter J. Akinola, CON, D.D.

Archbishop, Metropolitan and Primate of All Nigeria

Monday, July 03, 2006

David Powers: The Sacrifice We Offer

Image and video hosting by TinyPic

Here is a conclusion from Powers' first chapter from the book mentioned in the title. It was a fascinating read and full of ideas and thoughts for ecumenical dialogue on the topic of Eucharistic Sacrafice. Here is one of Powers' conclusions:
By effectively placing this tradition in a new doctrinal and ecclesial context, the dialogues make it necessary to reconsider Trent's emphasis on the act of the ordained priest and on the power of the priest to offer the mass for the living and the dead. At the same time, there is no uniform position in the documents examined as to how the efficacious representation of Christ's sacrifice comes about, or as to how the thanksgiving and self-offering of the church are to be related to this sacramental sacrifice. Still less is there a clear position on the role of the ordained minister. One is left with the impression that, however much agreement emerges on the relation of the eucharist to the cross, it is difficult for catholics in these dialogues to incorporate Trent's emphasis on the sacramental role of the priest in offering the mass, or the traditional catholic practice of having the mass offered for the living and the dead. 20

There is a connection between the offering of the mass for the living and the dead and what Trent understood of the power of he priest, and this issue does have to be squarely faced, granted that this can be done in a new context, where some of the implications of making memorial are better understood than they were in the sixteenth century because of a revival in biblical studies. In any case, it is the role of the priest in the eucharist which emerges as one of the primary concerns in the Roman catholic magisterium.

Saturday, July 01, 2006

The Anglican Church is in Interesting Times

Due to my busy schedule recently, as mentioned below, I have not been able to follow the present situation in the Anglican Church as closely as I would like. I have read ++Rowan Williams' response to TEC's General Convention but I have not been able to reflect on it as much as I would like. There is not going to be an easy fix to this problem due to the local divisions that the ABC mentions in his address. I must leave this to others to worry about and focus on my work this next 18 months. But there is an interesting reflection over at RatherNotBlog that you can read if interested. I am curious as to what impact the American Church's convention will have on our, (The Church of England's) Synod this month. Prayers for all have been offered and will continue to be. RatherNot's reflection does not see a two-tiered church in the ABC's address. He says,
I can find no call for any second “tier” in this. Rather, it seems clear (at least to me) that Williams is suggesting that any church that does not sign such a “covenant” is out, period. Such a church (e.g. TEC?) will maintain perhaps a friendly relationship with the Anglican Communion, but that relationship will be like that of the Methodist Church to the Church of England (at least at present), a tie of history and common origins, but no more. Not communion, not interchangeable orders, etc. Another example might be the relationship between the Roman Catholic Church and the Anglican Communion. Joint ecumenical ventures, perhaps, but not the same church, and certainly not a church on any “second tier.”
Any further reflections are welcome! I'll read them this weekend. Feel free to leave comments.

I've Been Buried in Work

I realize that I have not posted much of any great substance of late and that is due to my being buried in the Latin text of Andrewes' Responsio ad Bellarmini. I intend to have about 90 pages of it translated by the end of August and it is those 90 pages that are most crucial to my own research topic. I do plan on helping the academic community once I finish my PhD by setting out to finally get volume 8 from Andrewes' works translated into English. I must say that this project will be arduous as his Latin is some of the most difficult stuff I've ever run across and that goes for my tutor who agrees and looks over my translation. Therefore, I could use your prayers this summer so that I can get it all finished and hopefully by the end of summer I'll have another chapter completed as well. The chapter that I am presently working on is on Eucharistic Sacrifice in Andrewes' theology.

If you have ever read any of Andrewes' sermons, you know that even in English they are sometimes difficult to get the sense of what he is saying due to how he spins multiple phrases and ideas at the same time. Now put that into Latin and understand that he does the same thing. I do not wish to put a lot of my translation out here until I've submitted my thesis but I will put a paragraph here to show that Andrewes did not have a problem with Sacrifice of the Mass, but with two things that are a part of it that he understood were novel: 1) the Private Mass, and 2) transubstantiation.
Because the King knew that the sacrifice of the Mass was very ancient….therefore he had not dared to place it [the sacrifice of the Mass] amongst new things…but only the private Mass.

And, indeed from these things, which are now said to me (with regard to there being a commemoration of the sacrifice, or a Sacrifice of Commemoration), all this is said to be redundant which the Cardinal gorges himself on afterwards (but there is no need), about the antiquity of this expression. For there is nothing about this expression, O king! But he scarcely has goods for sale in taverns, (for now they are almost mouldy) which although no one may demand them, yet repeatedly he [the Cardinal] considers it necessary to seize an occasion to explain;

[251] if by chance the Cardinal may fall upon someone so idiotic, on whom he may be able to force it. And you do remove your Transubstantiation from the Mass; and it won’t be long before and there will not be an argument with us about the sacrifice. We affirm not reluctantly that there is a memorial of the sacrifice. We will never allow that your Christ made from bread is to be sacrificed. He knows that the expression sacrifice was appropriated by the Fathers, he does not place it among new things: but in the Mass of your Sacrifice, and he both dares and place, place I say, when he drives away Transubstantiation from its place, to which he places them where they belong, too hastily (I will say, irregularly) these things are pressed by him. It is not necessary for him to prophecy in this matter, he will assert that the private Mass was unknown by the Fathers, and he will assert it is not private, by which, of course, you worship bread there transubstantiated.
The real question for me is how Andrewes understood or did not understand transubstantiation. The charged rhetoric of the day makes it so difficult to get to the issues not least of which is also a result of our own further studies into Aquinas' explanation of transubstantiation. At the heart of the issue was a strong desire to make sure that the Church maintain that what we receive in the Eucharist is the Body and Blood of Christ in whole, humanity and divinity, and that is a worthy desire. What I have found so interesting is how Andrewes speaks of this presence in an objective way but denies so strongly the doctrine of transubstantiation--though I must say that he does not have a problem with the word trans. He goes on after the above quotation to speak of mutilation and the Sacrament of one kind and we get a fuller sense of what his issues were with the Mass. But what cannot be taken away from Andrewes was an objective presence within the elements (however that takes place is consigned to the Mystery of the Sacrament) and that the Eucharist is the Church's offering to God with the faithful expectation of having sins forgiven when received.

I have carefully read through Calvin's treatment of this in the Institutes this week and here lies a very significant difference. It is here and Andrewes' instrumentality of the Eucharist that has given me the resources to show my disagreements with Bryan Spinks' position of Andrewes falling in line with Calvin on these issues. This is found in Spinks' excellent work Sacraments, Ceremonies and the Stuart Divines. It has also given me the resource to deal with another contemporary scholar, Peter McCullough who concluded that Luther and Chemnitz are the theologians Andrewes is most indebted to. That I find puzzling given that Chemnitz' Examinis is only mentioned once in Andrewes' writings and that concerns an issue of intercessory prayers of the saints. My opening chapter, that has been reviewed by my historian friend, Dr. William Tighe, sets the stage for Andrewes as an ecumenist in his own day with regard to the Eucharist. Knowing the King James I was desiring to unite the European churches, especially not wanting to upset the Lutherans, one would think that Andrewes would be more keen to 'drop' names but there is nothing of it. (As a historical side, James I did want the union in order to help his trade explorations.) Therefore this gives me reason to question Andrewes' resources coming from the Continent at all. Rather Andrewes' entire point in his writings is to show that the English Church is Catholic with reference to the first five centuries and is happy to embrace and teach things such as the Sacrifice of the Mass, but not what he considers things as novel, such as: communion of one kind, private mass, transubstantiation, etc. That the Eucharistic offering is of value to the living, dead and those yet born, he affirms to Cardinal du Perron.

I did not intend this post to turn into what it has become but it did! These are some of the thoughts expressed in Andrewes' theology of the Eucharist. Much more will follow!
    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

About Me

My Profile


  • To the Theotokos
  • My Parish Church
  • Taking Jesus to the Streets
  • The Angelus
  • Steel Family News
  • Anglicans For Life
  • My PHD Supervisor
  • Diocese of Durham
  • N.T. Wright Bishop of Durham
  • Bishop of Beverley FiF PEV
  • Forward in Faith
  • Religious of orthodox Tradition
  • Our Lady of Walsingham
  • Church of England
  • Church Times
  • C of E News
  • New Directions
  • Anglican Comm News Service
  • CaNN Classical Anglican News
  • Anglican Mainstream
  • Catholic World News
  • Zenit News
  • First Things
  • University of Durham
  • St. John's College
  • Touchstone: Mere Comments
  • American Chesterton Society
  • G.K. Chesterton
  • The "Colossal Genius"
  • C.S. Lewis
  • Dr. Marianne Dorman
  • Bishop Lancelot Andrewes
  • Theologia
  • The Paul Page
  • Renaissance Music
  • Wodehouse
  • Project Canterbury
  • Rosemary Pugh Books
  • Pusey House Oxford
  • Comm of the Resurrection
  • Anglicanism
  • Alexander Schmemann
  • Traditional-Anglican
  • Trushare Great Links
  • Books and Books
  • Paedocommunion
  • Summa Theologica
  • Didache
  • N.A.Patristics Society
  • Visit Olde World Family Heritage
  • Cardinal Newman Writings
  • EWTN
  • Vatican Library
  • Tune in to Ancient Faith Radio
  • Anglo-Catholic Central
  • Women for Faith and Family
  • Catholic Culture
  • Being better Dads.org
  • Anglicana Ecclesia
  • Catholic Societies

  • Mary:Grace and Hope in Christ
  • SSC England and Scotland
  • King Charles the Martyr
  • Catholic League Unitas
  • Catholic Union
  • Conf of the Blessed Sacrament
  • Society of Mary
  • Priests for Life
  • Anglican Blogs

  • TitusOneNine
  • Anthropax
  • Sacristan
  • Curate Repose
  • Whitehall
  • Apostolicity
  • The Patristic Anglican
  • All Too Common
  • Prydain
  • Thinking Anglicans
  • Drell's Descants
  • A-C Ruminations
  • emergent like slime
  • Open Thou our Lips
  • Haligweorc
  • The Confessing Reader
  • Dr. Leander Harding
  • Tex Anglican
  • St. George the Martyr
  • The Oxford Movement
  • Continuing Anglican
  • Wyclif.net
  • Third Mill. Catholic
  • Anglican Eucharistic Theol
  • Fr. Brian Douglas
  • RatherNot Blog
  • Full Homely Divinity
  • St.Peters London Docks Blog
  • In Hoc Signo Vinces
  • Anglican Wanderings
  • Timotheos Prologizes
  • Global South Anglican
  • Deaconess
  • Liturgical Links

  • 1549 Book of Common Prayer
  • 1550 Merbecke
  • 1559 Book of Common Prayer
  • 1570 Roman Mass
  • 1637 Scottish Prayer Book
  • 1662 English Prayer Book
  • 1718 Nonjurors Communion
  • 1928 Book of Common Prayer
  • 1962 Roman Mass
  • 1962 Roman Propers
  • 1969 Roman Mass
  • 1987 Anglican Use Mass
  • Pearcy Dearmer Everyman's History of the Prayer Book
  • The Liturgy of St. James
  • The Liturgy of St. Chrysostom
  • The Liturgy of St. Basil
  • Lectionary Central
  • Catholic Calendar
  • Common Prayer Calendar
  • The Roman Breviary
  • Anglican Breviary
  • Cantica Nova
  • The Music Makers
  • Catholic Liturgy Site
  • Directorium Anglicanum
  • Catholic Blogs

  • Numerous British Catholic Blogs
  • Carpe canum
  • Ignatius Insights
  • Ancient and Future Catholics
  • Catholic Pontificator
  • Random Thoughts
  • Fr. Newman's Web page
  • fides et ardor
  • St Paul Centre for Theology
  • Canterbury Tales
  • The Shrine of Holy Whapping
  • Sacramentum Vitae
  • Cardinal Schonborn
  • Pertinacious Papist
  • Ratzinger Online
  • The New Liturgical Movement
  • Scripture and Tradition
  • Against the Grain
  • Mark Shea
  • ad limina apostolorum
  • Dappled Things
  • Amy Welborn Old Blog
  • Amy Welborn New Blog
  • Catholic Catechism
  • Benedict Blog
  • Mike Aquilina
  • Libertas et Memoria
  • Video melior
  • Orthodox Blogs

  • Energies of the Trinity
  • Orthodoxy Today
  • Monachos
  • Onion Dome
  • This Is Life
  • Orthodoxie
  • Chrysostom Web Page
  • Society of Chrysostom
  • Cathedra Unitatis
  • Our Life in Christ
  • Orthodox Way
  • Exploring Orthodoxy
  • Everything Orthodox
  • Parish Web Sites

  • Durham Cathedral
  • St. Peters London Docks
  • St. Silas London
  • St. Mary Mag Middlesex
  • St. Augustine London
  • St. John the Evanglelist Berks
  • St. Pancras London
  • St. James the Great Darlington
  • St. Mary Bletchingley
  • St. James Paddington London
  • St. George Hanworth
  • St. Helens Auckland
  • St. Mary Magdalene Sunderland
  • Archives