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Thursday, November 30, 2006

More Important News: Pope Benedict XVI and Patriarch Bartholomew I

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“This is the day that the Lord has made, let us rejoice and be glad in it!”
(Ps 117:24)

This fraternal encounter which brings us together, Pope Benedict XVI of Rome and Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew I, is God’s work, and in a certain sense his gift. We give thanks to the Author of all that is good, who allows us once again, in prayer and in dialogue, to express the joy we feel as brothers and to renew our commitment to move towards full communion. This commitment comes from the Lord’s will and from our responsibility as Pastors in the Church of Christ. May our meeting be a sign and an encouragement for all of us to share the same sentiments and the same attitudes of fraternity, cooperation and communion in charity and truth. The Holy Spirit will help us to prepare the great day of the re-establishment of full unity, whenever and however God wills it. Then we shall truly be able to rejoice and be glad.
1. We have recalled with thankfulness the meetings of our venerable predecessors, blessed by the Lord, who showed the world the urgent need for unity and traced sure paths for attaining it, through dialogue, prayer and the daily life of the Church. Pope Paul VI and Patriarch Athenagoras I went as pilgrims to Jerusalem, to the very place where Jesus Christ died and rose again for the salvation of the world, and they also met again, here in the Phanar and in Rome. They left us a common declaration which retains all its value; it emphasizes that true dialogue in charity must sustain and inspire all relations between individuals and between Churches, that it “must be rooted in a total fidelity to the one Lord Jesus Christ and in mutual respect for their own traditions” (Tomos Agapis, 195). Nor have we forgotten the reciprocal visits of His Holiness Pope John Paul II and His Holiness Dimitrios I. It was during the visit of Pope John Paul II, his first ecumenical visit, that the creation of the Mixed Commission between the Roman Catholic Church and the Orthodox Church was announced. This Commission met with the aim of declaring and re-establishing full communion.
As far as relations between the Church of Rome and the Church of Constantinople are concerned, we cannot fail to recall the solemn ecclesial act effacing the memory of the ancient anathemas which for centuries has had and still has a negative effect on relations between our Churches. We have not yet drawn from this act all the positive consequences which can flow from it in our progress towards full unity, to which the mixed Commission is called to make an important contribution. We exhort our faithful to take an active part in this process, through prayer and through significant gestures.
2. At the time of the plenary session of the mixed Commission for theological dialogue, which was recently held in Belgrade through the generous hospitality of the Serbian Orthodox Church, we expressed our profound joy at the resumption of the theological dialogue. This had been interrupted for several years because of various difficulties, but now the Commission has been able to work afresh in a spirit of friendship and cooperation. In treating the topic “Conciliarity and Authority in the Church” at local, regional and universal levels, the Commission undertook a phase of study on the ecclesiological and canonical consequence of the sacramental nature of the Church. This will permit us to address some of the principal questions that are still unresolved. We are committed to offer unceasing support, as in the past, to the work entrusted to this Commission and we accompany its members with our prayers.
3. As Pastors, we have first of all reflected on the mission to proclaim the Gospel in today’s world. This mission, “Go, make disciples of all nations” (Mt 28:19), is today more timely and necessary than ever, even in traditionally Christian countries. Moreover, we cannot ignore the increase of secularization, relativism, even nihilism, especially in the Western world. All this calls for a renewed and powerful proclamation of the Gospel, adapted to the cultures of our time. Our traditions represent for us a patrimony which must be continually shared, proposed, and interpreted anew. This is why we must strengthen our cooperation and our common witness before the world.
4. We have viewed positively the process that has led to the formation of the European Union. Those engaged in this great project should not fail to take into consideration all aspects affecting the inalienable rights of the human person, especially religious freedom, a witness and guarantor of respect for all other freedoms. In every step towards unification, minorities must be protected, with their cultural traditions and the distinguishing features of their religion. In Europe, while remaining open to other religions and to their cultural contributions, we must unite our efforts to preserve Christian roots, traditions and values, to ensure respect for history, and thus to contribute to the European culture of the future and to the quality of human relations at every level. In this context, how could we not evoke the very ancient witnesses and the illustrious Christian heritage of the land in which our meeting is taking place, beginning with what the Acts of the Apostles tells us in evoking the figure of Saint Paul, Apostle of the Gentiles? In this land, the Gospel message and the cultural tradition of the ancient world met. This link, which has contributed so much to the Christian heritage that we share, remains timely and will bear more fruit in the future for evangelization and for our unity.
5. Our concern extends to those parts of today’s world where Christians live and to the difficulties they have to face, particularly poverty, wars and terrorism, but equally to various forms of exploitation of the poor, of migrants, women and children. We are called to work together to promote respect for the rights of every human being, created in the image and likeness of God, and to foster economic, social and cultural development. Our theological and ethical traditions can offer a solid basis for a united approach in preaching and action. Above all, we wish to affirm that killing innocent people in God’s name is an offence against him and against human dignity. We must all commit ourselves to the renewed service of humanity and the defence of human life, every human life.
We take profoundly to heart the cause of peace in the Middle East, where our Lord lived, suffered, died and rose again, and where a great multitude of our Christian brethren have lived for centuries. We fervently hope that peace will be re-established in that region, that respectful coexistence will be strengthened between the different peoples that live there, between the Churches and between the different religions found there. To this end, we encourage the establishment of closer relationships between Christians, and of an authentic and honest interreligious dialogue, with a view to combating every form of violence and discrimination.
6. At present, in the face of the great threats to the natural environment, we want to express our concern at the negative consequences for humanity and for the whole of creation which can result from economic and technological progress that does not know its limits. As religious leaders, we consider it one of our duties to encourage and to support all efforts made to protect God’s creation, and to bequeath to future generations a world in which they will be able to live.
7. Finally, our thoughts turn towards all of you, the faithful of our Churches throughout the world, Bishops, priests, deacons, men and women religious, lay men and women engaged in ecclesial service, and all the baptized. In Christ we greet other Christians, assuring them of our prayers and our openness to dialogue and cooperation. In the words of the Apostle of the Gentiles, we greet all of you: “Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ” (2 Cor 1:2).

From the Phanar, 30 November 2006

ECUSA's Proposal for Oversight: Primatial Vicar

I am really interested to hear opinions on this. Will this meet the needs of Diocese like Fort Worth and other like diocese?
A Response to "An Appeal to the Archbishop of Canterbury"

Some bishops and dioceses of the Episcopal Church have requested that the Archbishop of Canterbury provide what they have variously called "alternative primatial oversight" or an "alternative primatial relationship." In consultation with the Presiding Bishop, the Archbishop of Canterbury proposed that a number of bishops from the Episcopal Church meet to explore a way forward. A first meeting took place in September, and a second meeting in November developed the following proposal that seeks to address the concerns of those parishes and dioceses which for serious theological reasons feel a need for space, and to encourage them to remain within the Episcopal Church and the Anglican Communion.

1. Taking seriously the concerns of the petitioning bishops and dioceses, the Presiding Bishop, in consultation with the Archbishop of Canterbury, will appoint a Primatial Vicar in episcopal orders to serve as the Presiding Bishop's designated pastor in such dioceses. The Primatial Vicar could preside at consecrations of bishops in these dioceses. The Primatial Vicar could also serve the dioceses involved on any other appropriate matters either at the initiative of the Presiding Bishop or at the request of the petitioning dioceses.

2. The Primatial Vicar would be accountable to the Presiding Bishop and would report to an Advisory Panel that would consist of the designee of the Archbishop of Canterbury, the Presiding Bishop's designee, a bishop of The Episcopal Church selected by the petitioning dioceses, and the President of the House of Deputies (or designee).

3. This arrangement for a Primatial Vicar does not affect the administrative or other canonical duties of the Presiding Bishop except to the degree that the Presiding Bishop may wish to delegate, when appropriate, some of those duties to the Primatial Vicar. The Primatial Vicar and the Advisory Panel shall function in accordance with the Constitution and Canons of The Episcopal Church.

4. Individual congregations who dissent from the decisions of their diocesan leadership are reminded of the availability of Delegated Episcopal Pastoral Oversight and its process of appeal.

5. This arrangement is provisional in nature, in effect for three years, beginning January 1, 2007. During that time, the Presiding Bishop is asked to monitor its efficacy and to consult with the House of Bishops and the Executive Council regarding this arrangement and possible future developments.

Statement

A group of bishops, including the Most Rev. Katharine Jefferts Schori, gathered at the initiative of the Archbishop of Canterbury, has developed a proposal for the appointment of a Primatial Vicar in response to those bishops and dioceses that have requested what they termed "alternative primatial oversight" or an "alternative primatial relationship."

Those present at the September meeting, in addition to Bishops Griswold and Jefferts Schori, included Bishops Peter James Lee of Virginia, and Bishop John Lipscomb of Southwest Florida, as co-conveners, and Bishops James Stanton of Dallas, Edward Salmon of South Carolina, Robert Duncan of Pittsburgh, Jack Iker of Fort Worth, Dorsey Henderson of Upper South Carolina, Robert O'Neill of Colorado, and Mark Sisk of New York. Bishop Don Wimberly of Texas was invited but did not attend. The Rev. Canon Kenneth Kearon, Secretary-General of the Anglican Communion was also present at the September meeting.

The same bishops and Canon Kearon were invited to the November meeting with the exception of Bishop Griswold who had completed his tenure as Presiding Bishop. Bishop Don Johnson of West Tennessee joined the group in November. Bishops Salmon, Stanton, Iker, Duncan and Wimberly did not attend the November meeting. Bishop Lipscomb, who had been involved in the planning of the meeting, was unexpectedly hospitalized at the time of the November meeting, sent his sincere regrets, and was briefed on the meeting at its conclusion.

The proposal provides for the appointment by the Presiding Bishop, in consultation with the Archbishop of Canterbury of a Primatial Vicar as the Presiding Bishop's designated pastor to bishops and dioceses that have requested such oversight. The
Primatial Vicar, in episcopal orders, could preside at consecrations of bishops in those dioceses. ThePrimatial Vicar, accountable to the Presiding Bishop, would report to an advisory panel that would include the designees of the Archbishop of Canterbury, the Presiding Bishop, the President of the House of Deputies, and a bishop of the Episcopal Church selected by the dioceses petitioning for pastoral care by the Primatial Vicar.

The response makes clear that the arrangement does not affect the administrative or other canonical duties of the Presiding Bishop except to the degree that the Presiding Bishop may wish to delegate some of those duties to the Primatial Vicar. The response also specifies that the Primatial Vicar and the Advisory Panel shall function in accordance with the Constitution and Canons of the Episcopal Church.

The response drafted at the New York November 27th meeting is provisional in nature, beginning January 1, 2007 and continuing for three years. The New York group asked the Presiding Bishop to monitor its efficacy, and to consult with the House of Bishops and the Executive Council regarding the arrangement and possible future developments.

The response has been submitted to the Archbishop of Canterbury and to the bishops of the petitioning dioceses.

Bishop Lee of Virginia, co-convenor of the meetings that drafted the response said: "The group was conscious of the need to respond quickly to the needs of parishes and dioceses which felt themselves to be under pressure and sought a proposal which could be put into place without delay. Accordingly, this is a provisional measure that is entirely within the discretion of the Presiding Bishop and requires no canonical change nor any action by the General Convention. It is intended to provide some space for dioceses and congregations that feel they need it while the Anglican Communion sorts out more lasting measures to deal with differences. Those of us who drafted it hope it will be received and used in good faith."

Dwight Longenecker to be made Priest [Al Kimel] This Saturday

Anglican priests who are married and converting to Rome and being ordained is something that is happening more often these days. I don't think I see it as much here in the UK as they have it happening in the States. Longenecker is to be ordained in two weeks and Al Kimel at Pontifications will be ordained priest this weekend. Our prayers are offered for both as these men begin a whole new way of life in ministry. Below is Longenecker's discussion on married Roman Catholic priests.
Is the Church ready to deal with the question of clergy marital breakdown and divorce? Who will support the widows of clergy? Is the Church ready to provide Catholic education for the large families of married men? While these are real practical concerns, they are red herrings in the larger debate. Non-Catholic denominations accept all of these practical challenges of clergy families and have done so for years. Furthermore, there are many practical problems to clerical celibacy, but this does not mean that we abandon the discipline.

The practical problems of having married priests are not the primary concern. What interests me more are the theological concerns.

When we have married priests, what are we saying about the sacrament of holy orders and the sacrament of matrimony?

The traditional theological understanding is that the celibate priest is “married to the Church.” In an exclusive union, the celibate has given all in loving service to Christ and his Church. This view of the celibate calling does not negate or denigrate Christian marriage. Instead, it reinforces and supports the sacrament of marriage because it reveals to the married the self-sacrificial love and the ultimate union with Christ that is to be at the heart of their nuptial union.

Conversely, those who are married remind the priest of the daily, nitty-gritty demands of the total commitment of love. When a marriage is fulfilled with the gift of children, that gift reminds the celibate priest of all the spiritual children who are born again through his ministry.

In the whole life of the Church, the total consecration of celibate priesthood and the total consecration of marriage complement one another neatly, but can the two ways be held together by one man? How can he give himself totally to both priesthood and marriage? It is impossible — and that is why the Church expects clerical celibacy as the norm. The only way forward is to see that the married priest’s self giving still has to be total; the difference is that his total self giving is expressed through the demands of two complementary commitments.

This will make for real tensions.

When I am ordained, the pressures and demands of the priestly calling will impinge on my family life, and vice versa. There will be times when I will have to say No to a request for priestly ministry, but there will also be times when I will have to say No to some duty at home.

My family and I will need the support and understanding of the community in which we minister. The tensions will be real but I believe that, within the tensions, there will be real growth in grace for all of us. If the theological theory is true, then the self-giving that exists within our marriage should enlighten, inform and strengthen the self-giving that is demanded within the priesthood — and the self-giving of the priesthood should be a constant reminder of the self-sacrifice that is demanded every day within marriage.

Finally, there is a spiritual dimension to a married man serving as priest. In Ephesians 5, St. Paul speaks of marriage. He says, “This is a mystery … but I am speaking of Christ and his Church.”

Each person who is married enters, by that sacrament, a mystery that takes him or her into the heart of the life of the Church. Every priest, through his identification with Christ in holy orders, also enters into a mysterious union with Christ at the very heart of the Church. I hope that, in my own spiritual experience, being both married and being a priest will not be simply a canonical exception to an ecclesiastical rule — but that both sacraments may spiritually work together in my life and the life of my family to draw us ever deeper into the eternal mystery of Christ.

I felt truly humbled and unworthy the day I got married. I feel even more humbled and unworthy as I face priestly ordination. The adventure our family is about to embark on is unusual. The road ahead is full of pitfalls and problems. It is our prayer that this unusual way forward will be blessed with an unusually strong gift of grace.

Only through that gift will we be able to ensure that marriage and holy orders strengthen one another in our lives rather than being a tension that destroys both. As this grace is given, it is our prayer that my priestly ministry will be an unusual gift to both the sacred priesthood and the family life of our Catholic community.

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Aquinas and Dimensive Quantity

This afternoon I have been reading Thomas Aquinas after having read William Perkins'on presence who erroneously says that Rome teaches a 'local' presence of Christ in the sacrament in the manner in which we would understand local in modern terms. In ST 3a. 77, 7, it is perfectly clear what Thomas means about what is broken in the fraction at communion. The dimensive quantity is where accidents find their subject so Aquinas Rome, or Trent never believed in a local presence on the altar as we think of local. Aquinas says, 'Whatever is eaten as under its natural form, is broken and chewed as under its natural form. But the body of Christ is not eaten as under is natural form, but as under the sacramental species.' ST 3a.77, 7. Let's at least get this right. That means according to Thomas,
'The body of Christ in itself is not broken, but only in its sacramental appearance. And this is the sense in which we should understand Berengarius's profession of faith; the fraction and the chewing with the teeth refer to the sacramental species, underneath which the body of Christ is really present.'

Saturday, November 25, 2006

Christianity and Culture: Jesus as LORD

Image and video hosting by TinyPicI read the below comment on Times online this morning with great interest. I have just returned from mass, had my breakfast and sat down to read some news. I began to think deeply about what Cardinal O'Connor is saying in this piece. Does it say more about the faith [or lack thereof] of Christians in England in particular and Europe in general than it does about the state of a 'shallow multicultural society?' I believe that was what Pope Benedict XVI was getting at in his address. Christians are losing their faith and because of that, culture is beginning to lose its ability to reason. This begs a question: 'Is the Church a transformer of cultures [which are not amoral things] or is culture to transform the Church?' and 'Which engine is driving either culture or the Church?

Christians have so privitised their faith in the name of piety it seems that saints like John the Baptist, Peter, or Jesus himself could be reduced to fundamentalist quacks. What do I mean? Well, I sometimes wonder if John the Baptist had been as wise and politically correct in his own day as we piously claim we are today that maybe he could have saved his own head. Or, possibly Saint Peter, had he obeyed men rather than God, he could have been saved from being hung upside down on a cross (as tradition claims he was). Or, Jesus, he would have been sent to sensitivity training for the things he said to the scribes, pharisees and rulers of his day. When we pray, we pray in the Name of the LORD Jesus. What does it mean for the world that Jesus is LORD? What does it mean for the Church? What does it mean for the voice of the Church in society? What does it mean for holiness in our own lives? These are important questions for us to reflect on as we come to terms with facing the reality of what our society has become. The voice of the Holy Spirit is speaking [to the Church], are we listening?
Pope Benedict XVI, in his well-publicised address in Regensburg, spoke of the crucial link between faith, reason and culture. He was stating that the only honest basis for dialogue is reason rooted in goodness and love. This applies not only to dialogue with religious believers whose understanding and spiritual traditions are different from Christians, but also to secular Europe.

Shallow multiculturalism that fails to appreciate the basis of culture in faith, leads us away from social cohesion. In its deeper meaning, multiculturalism is about mutual respect and understanding for those of different beliefs. It is not about fulfilling the secularist dream of banishing faith from the public square, but about admitting new varieties of faith and inviting them to join the public conversation and valuing what they have to say.

I am becoming tired of the mockery of those who seem to regard faith communities, especially Christian ones, as intrusive and contrary to the common good. I label them Christophobic. They wish to close off every voice and contribution other than their own. Their inability to see the Christian seed in what is noble and good in Western culture chills the possibility of a true pluralism. Sometimes it spills over into the kind of anti-Christian bigotry that has appeared on some university campuses.

The great majority of people in our country do not want the erosion of a culture that is ultimately rooted in Christianity and its values. The presence in Britain of Muslims and other faith communities is leading to a renewed interest in Christian identity, boiled down if you like to the simple proposition that if a Muslim woman may wear a headscarf, a Christian woman should be able to wear a cross.

What is lacking in the new secular aggressiveness is the very Christian virtue of doubt. Only secularists such as Professor Dawkins seem to have no doubt when it comes to faith. We cannot build a truly human society on such narrow and rigid foundations.

Religion is not safe or easy. The new presence in Britain of an angry expression of Islam is a challenge; but the right response is not an angry dismissal of faith. We will not bring about a society at greater ease with itself by attempting to declare faith-free zones. British society is not a secular fortress needing to repel boarders, but a society permeated by belief as well as non-belief. The public space must be broad and permeable if it is to be truly public.

On my entry into seminary 56 years ago, my parish priest advised me to “Pray for perseverance”. I thought it rather unimaginative counsel at the time; now it seems to me quite inspired. For believers, the real task is to witness to God’s presence by lives of love and service, patiently persisting with those we disagree with.

Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O’Connor is the Archbishop of Westminster

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Pope's Address to ABC ++Rowan Williams

I find the bold portion of the statement below very important. Both ABC ++Williams and the Pope addressed these concerns. The question remains HOW can we do this in an environment that is so polarized in its ecclesial and moral views? It is going to take a lot of work and a lot of years to see visible unity. Yet we are all called to not only pray for it but also to labour for it.

In the present context, however, and especially in the secularized Western world, there are many negative influences and pressures which affect Christians and Christian communities. Over the last three years you have spoken openly about the strains and difficulties besetting the Anglican Communion and consequently about the uncertainty of the future of the Communion itself. Recent developments, especially concerning the ordained ministry and certain moral teachings, have affected not only internal relations within the Anglican Communion but also relations between the Anglican Communion and the Catholic Church. We believe that these matters, which are presently under discussion within the Anglican Communion, are of vital importance to the preaching of the Gospel in its integrity, and that your current discussions will shape the future of our relations. It is to be hoped that the work of the theological dialogue, which had registered no small degree of agreement on these and other important theological matters, will continue be taken seriously in your discernment. In these deliberations we accompany you with heartfelt prayer. It is our fervent hope that the Anglican Communion will remain grounded in the Gospels and the Apostolic Tradition which form our common patrimony and are the basis of our common aspiration to work for full visible unity.

The world needs our witness and the strength which comes from an undivided proclamation of the Gospel. The immense sufferings of the human family and the forms of injustice that adversely affect the lives of so many people constitute an urgent call for our shared witness and service. Precisely for this reason, and even amidst present difficulties, it is important that we continue our theological dialogue. I hope that your visit will assist in finding constructive ways forward in the current circumstances.

++Rowan to Pope is here as well.

Congrats to The Rev'd Dr. Brian Douglas

To all who read this blog will know that we have recently had the wonderful privilege of making contact with Fr. Brian Douglas who has just successfully completed his Ph.D in Anglican Eucharistic Theology. Congratulations to Dr. Douglas and I am definitely looking forward to more of his work.

Despite some blog commenters who have strongly disagreed with Dr. Douglas with little to no substance beyond opinion, he has been awarded this degree with very honourable remarks from such scholars as my own Ph.D supervisor, Professor David Brown, Van Mildert Professor of Divinity at Durham University who was an external examiner. I share in Fr. Brian's joy and hope and pray for the same success.

Thoughts from the Thesis: A Catholic Critique

Image and video hosting by TinyPicI had a discussion with my friend Dr. Joel Garver through Instant Message (as we often do) and I shared with him some of my thoughts on what I was presently working on in my chapter, Eucharistic sacrifce. He had some good insights to my thoughts as Joel often does with most things theological. This text is taken from the middle of a longer discussion so some of it may not make sense right away. Hence, the comment portion of blogging!

The Bible does not distinguish ‘faith’ and baptism in the radical way that the Reformers tended to divide the two. Baptism is implied to do the same thing that faith does. The reason for this is that baptism is a sacrament, which in the Roman world meant a vow of loyalty upon entering the army. The sacrament commits a soldier to be loyal to the empire or emperor. Viewed this way, baptism is our vow or pledge of loyalty to Christ. Thus, it is not something ultimately distinct from faith. We are justified by faith and by baptism, because the two are the same thing. This has implications for the way the sacrifice of the Eucharist is to be viewed. The real problem has much more to do with a suspicion about material means as an over-reaction against [an alleged] Catholic tendency to idolize the material elements themselves and thus turn them into mere objects manipulable of divine presence; then couple that kind of suspicion with a reformed theology that tends to want to peer into divine decrees, then grace becomes something that operates in a different plane from that of embodied history. On another level in reformed theology, the sacraments only affect the intellect, which one finds in Perkins who talks about Christ being present in the sacraments as an intellectual object to be grasped as true since sacraments for him are primarily visible words, a teaching tool.
William Perkins, Reformed Catholic, (Cambridge, 1598) 186. ‘[When] the elements of bread and wine are present to the hand and to the mouth of the receiver; at the verie same time the body and bloud of Christ are presented to the minde: thus and no otherwise is Christ truly present with the signes.’
As a result of the above theology found in some English reformers such as Perkins is where I have found the uniqueness of Andrewes most balanced. He allows us to go beyond the impasse of the last 450 years to get to the heart of the liturgical rite of the Church. The quotation below gives another example of Andrewes’ critique of the voices against the notion of the Eucharist as sacrifice in the Church of England. Here we find Andrewes in direct opposition to Perkins.
Remember Him? That we will and stay at home, think of Him there? Nay, shew Him forth ye must. That we will by a sermon of Him. Nay, it must be hoc facite [this do]. [It is not mental thinking, or verbal speaking, there must be actually somewhat done to celebrate this memory. That done to the holy symbols that was done to Him, to His body and His blood in the Passover; break the one, pour out the other, to represent klw,menon, how His sacred body was ‘broken,’ and evkcuno,menon how His precious blood was ‘shed.’ And in Corpus fractum, and Sanguis fusus there is immolatus.]
Andrewes is not reducing the sacraments to something that merely affects the mind with God's presence because that is not the purpose of the Eucharist at all. For Andrewes, the Word affects the mind and transforms the will (by the Holy Spirit) and the Eucharist is the instrumental means for forgiving sins actually committed. Something had to be done; not to the mind but for the offering. Something must be presented as the Christian offering. That offering [immolatus] is Christ's one offering in memorial to God the Father. Baptism washes away original sin and the Eucharist is the means where sins actually committed are forgiven and washed away. He commented in one place where he spoke of the Eucharist as the renewal of the baptismal rite. This is the point where I have found Andrewes most helpful in getting the Catholic Church as a whole beyond the imapasse of the 450 year debate on the sacrificial nature of the Eucharist.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Presentation of Mary in the Temple

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Collect:
Eternal Father,
we honor the holiness and glory of the Virgin Mary.
May her prayers bring us
the fullness of your life and love.
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.

Sunday, November 19, 2006

Louis Bouyer on the Caroline Divines

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Not only Hooker, but Andrewes, Laud, and later Cosin and many others of that school saw clearly wherein lay the great failures of Protestantism:—that its pretense of going back to the Church of antiquity was unsound, and that it was in itself as much of a novelty with no precedent as was that state of affairs against which it was rebelling. And these same men saw clearly that in order to answer the Protestant rebellion it was hopeless to treasure, along with practices that were truly traditional, the merely medieval corruptions out of which the errors of Protestantism had previously developed. In these ways, and to this extent, the Caroline Divines rediscovered something of what Christian humanism might have become in the midst of Catholicism itself, had men like Cardinal Quignonez in Spain or Cardinal Pole in England and Italy been in the forefront rather than Luther and Calvin.

From Liturgical Piety

Saturday, November 18, 2006

Canon Arthur Middleton Responds to Escalante at Reformed Catholicism

Canon Arthur Middleton has responded to Peter Escalant's recent comments against his book Fathers and Anglicans.Escalante gave a warning to stay away from Fr. Middleton's book due to its hagiography and revisionism. Escalante writes,
Books to avoid: Arthur Middleton: “Fathers and Anglicans”, which engages in no close reading of the texts of the men he celebrates, and offers only very general, and to my mind very mistaken, assertions about what they taught; it’s an exercise in revisionist hagiography. Also, I would recommend avoiding Kenneth Hylson-Smith’s “High Churchmanship in the Church of England,” for similar reasons: general assertions, not only unproved but indeed hardly argued, and relying on historical narrative to provide an overarching unity between various schools which in fact isn’t really there.
I challenged Escalante on his lack of substantial support in a number of his critiques against myself and even his specific comments against Middleton. One of the problems in the Internet world is that people often say things and it becomes fact with no challenge or demand to back up claims with substantive arguments. I hope that readers at that blog will give their own fair reading of the Middleton book and decide for themeselves. One important note about a book like that is the limited amount of space to be able to say everything. That is why it is so important to carefully read the introductory material to see what questions an author is addressing and her/his methodology for supporting the answers to those questions. It is when we approach issues with this sort of academic honesty that will give us the integrity to critique a work from within rather than making statements that simply become nothing more than rants. What now follows is Canon Arthur Middleton's response to Mr. Escalante on his book Fathers and Anglicans.
When I submitted my thesis for the degree of MLitt in the University of Durham, during the ninety minute viva with two eminent scholars, there were no wild accusations of hagiography, revisionism or not having read the texts. The Bibliography and references of primary and secondary sources proved otherwise. Furthermore, I am surrounded by all these texts in my study. As for Daillé’s Right Use of the Fathers I spent numerous days studying his text in the university library in addition to a week in the Bodleian Library studying the text of John Barbeyrac’s Preface in Pufendorf’s Of the Law of Nature and Nations (1672), alongside my own copy of the text of J.J.Blunt’s Right Use of the Fathers. Furthermore, for many years I have prayed daily the Private Devotions of Lancelot Andrewes and used Laud’s and Cosin’s Devotions, which the late Professor Herbert Swete says is the best way into any man’s theology. In no way after such prayerful pondering of Andrewes can it be claimed that he was ever a Calvinist.

Mr. Escalante may have read many books but if he does not read with scholarly intelligence and discernment he will not read with understanding and thereby gain nothing; and especially if he reacts with such unsubstantiated negative attitudes every time it conflicts with his Calvinistic mind-set. This was the reaction of the Calvinists to the Anglican Reformation the 16th and 17th centuries that it had not gone far enough and is at the heart of the attacks on the Fathers by Daillé and Barbeyrac and others discussed in my book. These people and the variety of non-conformists who rose from them were antipathetic to the Catholic Faith and Order on which the Church of England stood. Queen Elizabeth I, herself, told Parliament in 1589 ‘that the state and government of this Church of England, as now it standeth in this reformation ... both in form and doctrine it is agreeable with the Scriptures, with the most ancient general Councils, with the practice of the primitive Church, and with the judgements of all the old and learned fathers.’ These were the Anglican principles of the Reformers such as Cranmer and Jewe, Formularies, the Carolines, Hooker, Andrewes and Laud, the Non-Jurors and Tractarians and so into our own age. For them the Church of England was the national embodiment of historic Catholic faith and order. This is Classical Anglicanism not revisionism and the last great exponent of it was Michael Ramsey. The aim of my book was not to give definitive expositions of the texts of Anglican theologians but to trace how in this classical Anglicanism the Anglican divines in each era had used the theology of the Fathers. This entailed selecting the relevant material from their texts for this purpose. In no way is this hagiography or revisionism but is theologically and historically grounded

Similarly, a book that my external examiner, a Church historian gave to me subsequent to my graduation, is Hylson-Smith’s High Churchmanship in the Church of England which is similarly demolished. Escalante has failed to see the point of this book. It is not about definitive expositions of the theologians he mentions but tracing the presence and development of high churchmanship as evidenced in the writings and events in the history of the Church of England. These are facts of history and theology, the rubbishing of which cannot make way for a Calvinistic interpretation of the English Reformation.
Arthur Middleton

Eucharistic Offering in Chrysostom

Chrysostom comments on the sacrifice offered at Calvary and the unity of it with the daily sacrifice of the Church, i.e., the Eucharist. It is not a ‘new sacrifice’ of Christ since he is now impassible, but it is the same sacrifice as when Christ was offered then passible; yet it is a memorial offering. Chrysostom observes,
What then? do not we offer every day? We offer indeed, but making a remembrance of His death, and this remembrance is one and not many. How is it one, and not many? Inasmuch as that Sacrifice was once for all offered, and carried into the Holy of Holies. This is a figure of that sacrifice and this remembrance of that. For we always offer the same, not one sheep now and to-morrow another, but always the same thing: so that the sacrifice is one. And yet by this reasoning, since the offering is made in many places, are there many Christs? but Christ is one everywhere, being complete here and complete there also, one Body. As then while offered in many places, He is one body and not many bodies; so also [He is] one sacrifice. He is our High Priest, who offered the sacrifice that cleanses us. That we offer now also, which was then offered, which cannot be exhausted. This is done in remembrance of what was then done. For (saith He) ‘do this in remembrance of Me.’ (Luke xxii. 19.) It is not another sacrifice, as the High Priest, but we offer always the same, or rather we perform a remembrance of a Sacrifice.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

The ABC and an Impossible Media of Suspicion

In reading the recent report from the Catholic Herald on the interview with the ABC, Rowan Williams, I find the media responses so sad and only show that it is next to impossible to say anything in our culture of suspicion. What people are all up in arms about is a great mystery. He has made his position clear on the place of women in the Church and the freedom given to them as baptised Christians to receive a call to full-time vocation into the ministry of a priest. Personally I am not certain that 'most of the Anglican Communion' agrees with his level of commitment to this move but he no where questions his commitment to the 'rightness' of it. I do not always agree with ++Rowan Williams, but I sure do feel sorry for him in that he is rarely given the space to say what he means and mean what he says without it ruthlessly being attacked and mis-represented. Below is what he actually SAID:
In his address to the Church of England bishops in June Cardinal Walter Kasper identified women’s ordination as the key problem in relations between Rome and Canterbury. Has the introduction of women priests into the Church of England brought all the benefits that you hoped for and are you therefore satisfied that it was worth the deterioration in relations with Rome that it caused?
Two points. One, I think some Anglicans are quite surprised at just how high up the scale of theological priorities the women’s issue turned out to be. I have often referred to the fact that in the ARCIC document on ministry the whole foundation for theological agreement about what we mean by ordained ministry is sorted, and then there is a footnote saying: “Of course, there is an issue about the gender of people being ordained, but leave that for now.” Now, I think on the basis of that it is a bit surprising that it turned out to be quite so important. But of course in the late Pope’s pontificate a whole lot of new considerations about the theology of the role of women came in and were given quite strong priority in a way which made this much more complicated. So I could express the point crudely by saying it is not just the Anglican Church that has moved: there have been developments in the Roman Catholic Church as well.
The interesting question is: has it been worth it?
When the Church of England decided to ordain women as priests I think all sorts of things were going on. But it wasn’t just because we thought it would be useful, but because we thought it was right, that there was actually something about the ordained priesthood carrying and representing the whole body of the baptised that we felt would be lost or obscured if things remained solely male. My own theological view rests very strongly on that conviction: that a baptised woman and a baptised man relate to Jesus Christ in the same way. And if that is the case, I believe that either may be called. So we did it because we thought it was right, knowing something of the price it would exact but not, I think, knowing just how difficult it would be.
Had we known how difficult it would be, would it have stopped us? I suspect not. And that sounds a bit blunt, but I think there was sufficient depth of theological conviction in the Church of England to feel that it would somehow be wrong and no real compliment to the Roman Catholic Church if we held back and said: “Well, you know, we won’t hurt your feelings.”

Perhaps it is ridiculous to say that it happened too quickly…

Two thousand years! No, I understand what you mean – the way it happened and the fact that it began with irregular ordinations in the United States. I just wish that the Communion as a whole could have settled this together, even if that had taken a bit longer. But what we had was one province here, one province there, one saying “no”, the other saying “yes”. That wasn’t the best way of doing it, but given the diffuse way in which the Communion works I don’t quite see how it could have been otherwise.
I don’t think it was too hasty. After all, the discussion had been going for a good 20 years – more than that really – several votes, several synod discussions, innumerable papers. I don’t think it could have been put off much longer.

As for the issue of women bishops, would that thicken the wedge between you and Rome?

It’s certainly not going to make it any easier, and those of us who care about our relations with the Roman Catholic and Orthodox churches are going to find it very hard that this is undoubtedly going to be another cause of concern. But we are in the process at moment of discerning how and when, and I don’t think I want to foreclose on that. I can’t see a theological objection, but we know that the practical cost is high. We all know that and Cardinal Kasper reminded us of that very forcefully.

Do you anticipate the same sort of rebellion as occurred with women priests?

We are undoubtedly going to have internal division. The most time-consuming and energy-consuming thing at the moment in all this is working out how that is dealt with justly and creatively, not just reactively, in a way that honours the convictions of those who can’t go along with this.

But the level of division has not shaken your conviction that it was the right thing to do initially?

No, it hasn’t. It has tested it, it really has, and there have been moments when I have felt that. But I think perhaps what one doesn’t always realise is how very, very normal this has come to feel for the huge majority of Anglicans and it hasn’t undermined what people feel about the ministry of the sacraments. So that now that putting it back in the bottle is not an option.
I don’t think it has transformed or renewed the Church of England in spectacular ways. Equally, I don’t think it has corrupted or ruined the Church of England in spectacular ways. It has somehow got into the bloodstream and I don’t give it a second thought these days, in terms of regular worship.

There can be no going back then?

I don’t see how there can be. I could just about envisage a situation in which over a very long period the Anglican Church thought again about it, but I would need to see what the theological reason for that would be and I don’t see it at the moment.
I don’t think, practically, there’s going back. It is a matter of containing and managing the diversity.

Monday, November 13, 2006

The Archbishop of York Speaks Out!

No matter what one thinks about some of the theological positions held by our current Archbishop of the northern province, he does speak with authority and clarity. I pray that God blesses him and thank God for him.

Read his recent comments here about the state of Christianity in GB. May the Spirit of God be poured out on all here and may he bring life and health to the Church of England!

Sunday, November 12, 2006

Celebrating Theotokos

5- Eschatological Perspective

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As icon of creation and icon of the Church, Mary is also "the dawn of the mysterious day," the foretaste of the Kingdom of God, the presence of realized eschatology mentioned by theologians. The one who is "virgin after child bearing" is also "alive after death" states the Konlakion of the Feast of the Dormition. Faith tells us that even before the common resurrection and the consummation of all things in Christ, Mary is fully alive, beyond the destruction and separation of death. The Christian East has never rationalized this mystery.

In the East knowledge of God is not the result of logical arguments presented by theology. Only in worship can human beings obtain knowledge of God. Such knowledge is nonrational; it is contemplative and mystical. Mary's total unity with Christ destroyed her death. In her a part of this world is totally glorified and deified, making her the "dawn of the mysterious day" of the Kingdom.

Saturday, November 11, 2006

A Very Full and Exciting Week!

It seems like it has been forever since I have written on this blog or read many others. This past week has been busy and I have been running up and down England. On Monday, my discipleship group and myself loaded up in our van and headed north to Alnmouth Friary and spent the day together by eating at a local cafe, walking on the beach and visiting the monks. It was a very nice day together.

On Monday night, I picked up Dr. Marianne Dorman from the train station here in Durham and we have had a very nice week together. On Tuesday we hung around in Durham and talked a bit of my work on Andrewes. On Wednesday, we got up early in the morning and headed to Lindisfarne Holy Island. On our way off the island (we had to be off by two due to the tides that come and completely cover the causeway) we stopped on the side to watch the tide come in, which was to be high by 4:18 pm. It was the most amazing thing I have ever seen! The water comes in very fast and by 3:15, the road was under water by at least 5-8 feet. There was still an hour to go before full high tide but there was no more road for us to be on. I have been to Holy Island a number of times but I had not ever watched the tide come in like that. Nature is a very powerful and scary thing!

We then began our trip back home and again stopped at Alnmouth Friary (see pics here) so that I could show Marianne their beautiful home. They had just finished with Benediction and the Exposition of the Holy Sacrament and we were able to go into the chapel and pray which was still filled with lingering incense. It was their silent day and it was very peaceful. After a short time there, we headed back to Durham to sample our purchases of single malt from Holy Island. Marianne also bought me my ordination gift which was a beautiful paten and chalice from Lindisfarne with Cuthbert's Cross on both paten and chalice. It has been put away until this next June.

On Thursday we hung around Durham since I had to give a seminar for the Christology class which was on the Feeding of the 5,000 and the Transfiguration. On Thursday afternoon, we went to pay a visit to my spiritual director, Canon Arthur Middleton and had a wonderful time talking about the Church and the future she faces and the prayers needed on her behalf.

On Friday, I got up early and boarded a train to Cambridge. I had an interview at 2:00 pm with the former Dean of Pembroke College (Andrewes served as a Master of the College after Cartwright) who was questioning me about a chapter of my dissertation since I had been selected at the National Panel for ordination as a 'Potential Theological Educator.' The interview went well and I pray that the Church will be able to find some funds to help me in my final year of supervision. BUT the great thing is what I was able to experience afterwards. The dean told me when I entered his office that they had a display all week in the library on some archive materials from Andrewes' own library and he said that he asked the librarian to keep it out so that after my interview I could go and see it. Well, we did and it was great to look at some of his original materials. Then, the librarian came over with a key to open the display case so that I could open and look through one of Andrewes' bibles that he used!!! It was really a moving thing for me having poured through his works over the past two years. I was also able to handle a couple of his initial publication of sermons as well as Wren's list of books from Andrewes' library that he gave to Pembroke after he died. The librarian also gave me a copy of the list of Andrewes' library at Cambridge so that I could have a copy for myself. Undoubtedly, this was a great way to end my week.

This morning Marianne and I attended Mass together at the parish church where I will be serving beginning this next summer. I then took her to the train station and she departed for Oxford. It has been a great week and now I must get back to my work.

Sunday, November 05, 2006

Pope Benedict: Deus Caritas Est

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The Mass readings from Deuteronomy putting forth the command to love God and neighbour reminded me of Pope Benedict XVI's encyclical. The Eucharistic implications for the incarnate love of Christ are explained by the Pope as the mystery that lifts us into the love of God in Christ Jesus. Deus Caritas Est. God's condescending love in becoming present for us in the bread and wine and making them the body and blood of Christ moves us deeper and deeper into the mystery of God's love, which should in turn move us deeper into love for God and neighbour. Love for God and love for neighbour are not two isolated concepts of love but loving God is loving our neighbour and loving our neighbour is loving God. Here is Pope Benedict XVI on God's love.
13. Jesus gave this act of oblation an enduring presence through his institution of the Eucharist at the Last Supper. He anticipated his death and resurrection by giving his disciples, in the bread and wine, his very self, his body and blood as the new manna (cf. Jn 6:31-33). The ancient world had dimly perceived that man's real food—what truly nourishes him as man—is ultimately the Logos, eternal wisdom: this same Logos now truly becomes food for us—as love. The Eucharist draws us into Jesus' act of self-oblation. More than just statically receiving the incarnate Logos, we enter into the very dynamic of his self-giving. The imagery of marriage between God and Israel is now realized in a way previously inconceivable: it had meant standing in God's presence, but now it becomes union with God through sharing in Jesus' self-gift, sharing in his body and blood. The sacramental “mysticism”, grounded in God's condescension towards us, operates at a radically different level and lifts us to far greater heights than anything that any human mystical elevation could ever accomplish.

14. Here we need to consider yet another aspect: this sacramental “mysticism” is social in character, for in sacramental communion I become one with the Lord, like all the other communicants. As Saint Paul says, “Because there is one bread, we who are many are one body, for we all partake of the one bread” (1 Cor 10:17). Union with Christ is also union with all those to whom he gives himself. I cannot possess Christ just for myself; I can belong to him only in union with all those who have become, or who will become, his own. Communion draws me out of myself towards him, and thus also towards unity with all Christians. We become “one body”, completely joined in a single existence. Love of God and love of neighbour are now truly united: God incarnate draws us all to himself. We can thus understand how agape also became a term for the Eucharist: there God's own agape comes to us bodily, in order to continue his work in us and through us. Only by keeping in mind this Christological and sacramental basis can we correctly understand Jesus' teaching on love. The transition which he makes from the Law and the Prophets to the twofold commandment of love of God and of neighbour, and his grounding the whole life of faith on this central precept, is not simply a matter of morality—something that could exist apart from and alongside faith in Christ and its sacramental re-actualization. Faith, worship and ethos are interwoven as a single reality which takes shape in our encounter with God's agape. Here the usual contraposition between worship and ethics simply falls apart. “Worship” itself, Eucharistic communion, includes the reality both of being loved and of loving others in turn. A Eucharist which does not pass over into the concrete practice of love is intrinsically fragmented. Conversely, as we shall have to consider in greater detail below, the “commandment” of love is only possible because it is more than a requirement. Love can be “commanded” because it has first been given.

Saturday, November 04, 2006

Mascall, Thomas and Eucharistic Sacrifice

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It has been a very busy week and after the meeting with my supervisor yesterday, I have some more work to do to clean up my chapter on eucharistic sacrifice. I need to clean up the style a bit, and to expand on a couple of important points that I raised within the chapter as well as to sprinkle more quotations from the patristic Fathers earlier in the chapter itself. So, this morning I have had my face in Augustine and will be looking at a few more to add some more weight to the chapter. I have a lot to do this weekend as my godmother, Dr. Marianne Dorman will be coming to stay with me this next week. I am sure our time together looking at Andrewes will be fruitful!

This morning I revisited Mascall's Corpus Christi and after reading Aquinas this week, I thought I would post his comments on him in terms of Eucharistic sacrifice.
It has, in contrast, come to be more and more fully realised in recent times, that a balanced discussion of the Eucharist must start from the Sacrifice and must see the Presence in relation to this; such works as those of de la Taille, Dix and Masure provide outstanding examples of this approach. That is to say, we must not look upon the Mass as primarily a means of manufacturing the Body and Blood of Christ, which are then to be used for the three more or less parallel purposes of adoration, sacrifice and communion. Rather we must look upon the Mass as primarily the Christian Sacrifice, which, just because it is a sacrifice, requires the presence of the victim, who being present is rightly adored and who by being received in communion imparts to the faithful the benefits of redemption and unites them with himself in the Mystical Body which is the Church. 124 125

But what we are concerned with is a question of emphasis, and I think it must be admitted that St. Thomas places his emphasis upon the Presence rather than upon the Sacrifice, and that in consequence, while his discussion of the Presence is elaborated to the last degree, his discussion of the Sacrifice is brief and almost perfunctory. 125

The notion of sacrifice in general is treated by St. Thomas not in the Pars Tertia when dealing with the Eucharist, but in the Secunda Secundae under the virtue of justice. Sacrifice is included in the practice of religion, and religion is a duty arising out of the cardinal virtue of justice: justice, that is, towards God, giving God his due. And, as Masure has stressed in his book, The Christian Sacrifice, St. Thomas's definition is extremely general and does not include as a necessary element the death or the destruction of the object offered. 'There are sacrifices properly so called,' he writes, 'when something happens in connection with things offered to God, as when animals were slain or when bread is broken and eaten and blessed. And the very name shows this, for "sacrifice" is derived from a man making something holy.' 125 126

When, however, he goes on to discuss in what sense the Eucharist is a sacrifice and what is its relation to the Passion, his language becomes somewhat vague. The Eucharist is ' commemorative of the Lord's Passion'; it is 'something representative of the Lord's Passion'; it is 'a reminder (rememorativum) of the Passion which is past'; it is 'a memorial of the Lord's Passion'; and so on. St. Thomas is, of course, quite clear that the Eucharist is a sacrifice; he says explicitly that it 'is not only a sacrament, but also a sacrifice'. 126 127

But how is it a sacrifice? 'It is called a sacrifice inasmuch as it represents the very Passion of Christ.' What are we to understand by these ambiguous words, commemorative, reminder, memorial, representative? Not, it is frequently said, what Protestants would understand by them: these words do not imply a bare imitation or dramatic performance which merely imitates a past event. Does not the Angelic Doctor quote with approval Augustine's words that Christ is immolated every day in the sacrament? Yes, indeed. But does he not also add, again quoting Augustine, that this is because 'the images of things are called by the names of the things of which they are images, as when we look upon a picture or fresco and say "That is Cicero"? And does he not also say that, 'when Christ was going to leave his disciples in his proper species, he left himself with them in the sacramental species, as the Emperor's image is set up to be venerated in his absence'? I am not, of course, suggesting that St. Thomas did not believe in the Real Presence; 'this sacrament, . . .' he writes, 'is called a victim inasmuch as it contains Christ, who is the victim of sweetness'; and he devotes two questions to discussing transubstantiation. But, clear as he is that in the Mass the divine victim is really present, is he equally clear that the sacrifice of Christ is really present. 127 128

What I am in fact suggesting is that St. Thomas was rightly anxious to avoid any suggestion that there is in the Mass a literal slaying of Christ, a literal repetition of Calvary, and that in consequence he took refuge in the rather vague notion of the Mass as a commemoration, representation or memorial of the Passion. I do not suggest that for him these words had a merely psychological significance, as they have had for the majority of Protestants. St. Thomas was quite clear that Christ is really present in the Mass and that by the Mass the fruits of the Passion are communicated to the Church and to the faithful. But what in his anxiety to avoid a crude immolationism, he did not, so far as I can see, manage to achieve was an equally clear realisation that the Mass is really and not merely figuratively a sacrifice. To say this is not to blame him for anything that he could very well have avoided; it is merely to say that he could not do in the thirteenth century what de la Taille, Vonier and Masure in conjunction managed, at least in principle, to do in the twentieth. What I suggest was the fundamental cause of this deficiency was an inadequate understanding of the nature of a sacrament. 128 129

'There is in a sacrament', says St. Thomas, 'a certain instrumental power for producing the sacramental effect', but I do not find him giving anything like an adequate discussion of the way in which sacramental causality acts. I hasten to add that I am not concerned with that burning question of the schools, whether sacramental causality is physical or moral. Whatever the answer may be to that question, the fundamental question remains: how does sacramental causality differ from non-sacramental causality? If sacramental causality is physical, how does it differ from other physical causality? If it is moral, how does it differ from other moral causality? What precisely is involved in the fact that it is sacramental, that it operates in the manner of a sacrament, that is, in the manner of a sign? How does a sacramental sign differ from any other divine instrument?

Thursday, November 02, 2006

A Prayer for All Souls

Image and video hosting by TinyPicIn peace let us pray to the Lord. Almighty God, who hast knit together thine elect in one communion and fellowship, in the mystical body of thy Son Christ our Lord: Grant, we beseech thee, to thy whole Church in paradise and on earth, thy light and thy peace. Grant that all those who have been baptized into Christ's death and resurrection may die to sin and rise to newness of life, and that through the grave and gate of death we may pass with him to our joyful resurrection. Grant to us who are still in our pilgrimage, and who walk as yet by faith, that thy Holy Spirit may lead us in holiness and righteousness all our days. Grant to thy faithful people pardon and peace, that we may be cleansed from all our sins, and serve thee with a quiet mind. Grant to all who mourn a sure confidence in thy fatherly care, that, casting all their grief upon thee, they may know the consolation of thy love. Give courage and faith to those who are bereaved, that they may have strength to meet the days ahead in the comfort of a reasonable and holy hope, in the joyful expectation of eternal life with those they love. Help us, we pray, in the midst of things we cannot understand, to believe and trust in the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, and the resurrection to life everlasting. Grant us, with all who have died in the hope of the resurrection, to have our consummation and bliss in thine eternal and everlasting glory, and, with all thy saints, to receive the crown of life which thou dost promise to all who share in the victory of thy Son Jesus Christ; who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

What Would I Really Like to have?

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I would really like to add this set of books to my library! Thomas Aquinas' Summa Theologiae. That is what I would really like to have. I believe someone would like this young aspiring theologian to have this set in his own library. [I know, who wouldn't?]
    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

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