Sunday, June 24, 2007

Retreat and Ordination

The time has now come for the final preparation for ordination. I leave on Tuesday for my retreat with the Bishop of Durham, The Rt. Rev'd Dr. N.T. Wright which will be held at Minsteracres. We will be there from Tuesday evening through Saturday afternoon and ordination in Durham Cathedral Sunday morning. The retreat will be in silence except for the offices of the day and the addresses given. The ordination takes place at Durham Cathedral on Sunday morning at 10:00 am.

Following the ordination we will be having quite the celebration here at our home. There will be a lot of friends, fellow clergy, and some family from the States. After the party at the house, there is an evening service of prayer and benediction at my parish church in Meadowfield at 6:00 pm followed by a reception service. This should be a well-attended service that night and should undoubtedly be a lot of fun with good food, drink and a lot of rejoicing! On Monday 2 July, I begin work again after three years of full-time PhD research!

I am looking forward to my time in parish life again and I pray for a faithful and fruitful ministry in the Catholic Tradition in the Church of England.

I will sign off until after the ordination since I will be away but I will provide pictures next week. Please pray for me as I prepare for the Sacrament of Holy Orders.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Benedict XVI on Presence

The Lord Is Near Us in Our Conscience, in His Word,in His Personal Presence in the Eucharist

In today's reading there is a marvelous saying, in which we can sense all the joy of Israel at its redemption: "What great nation is there that has a god so near to it as the LORD our God is to us, whenever we call upon him?" (Deut 4:7).Saint Thomas Aquinas took up this saying in his reflections for the Feast of Corpus Christi.[1] In doing so, he showed how we Christians in the Church of the New Covenant can pronounce these words with yet more reason and more joy and with thankfulness than Israel could; in doing so, he showed how this saying, in the Church of Jesus Christ, has acquired a depth of meaning hitherto unsuspected: God has truly come to dwell among us in the Eucharist, He became flesh so that he might become bread. He gave himself to enter into the "fruit of the earth and the work of human hands"; thus he puts himself in our hands and into our hearts. God is not the great unknown, whom we can but dimly conceive. We need not fear, as heathen do, that he might be capricious and bloodthirsty or too far away and too great to hear men. He is there, and we always know where we can find him, where he allows himself to be found and is waiting for us.

Today this should once more sink into our hearts: God is near. God knows us. God is waiting for us in Jesus Christ in the Blessed Sacrament. Let us not leave him waiting in vain! Let us not, through distraction and lethargy, pass by the greatest and most important thing life offers us. We should let ourselves be reminded, by today's reading, of the wonderful mystery kept close within the walls of our churches. Let us not pass it heedlessly by. Let us take time, in the course of the week, in passing, to go in and spend a moment with the Lord who is so near. During the day our churches should not be allowed to be dead houses, standing empty and seemingly useless. Jesus Christ's invitation is always being proffered from them. This sacred proximity to us is always alive in them. It is always calling us and inviting us in. This is what is lovely about Catholic churches, that within them there is, as it were, always worship, because the eucharistic presence of the Lord dwells always within them.And a second thing: let us never forget that Sunday is the Lord's day. It is not an arbitrary decision of the Church, requiring us to attend Mass on Sunday. This is never a duty laid upon us from without; it is the royal privilege of the Christian to share in paschal fellowship with the Lord, in the Paschal Mystery.

The Lord has made the first day of the week his own day, on which he comes to us, on which he spreads the table for us and invites us to share with him. We can see, in the Old Testament passage at which we are looking, that the Israelites saw in the presence of God, not a burden, but the basis of their pride and their joy. And indeed the Sunday fellowship with the Lord is not a burden, but a grace, a gift, which lights up the whole week, and we would be cheating ourselves if we withdrew from it."What great nation is there that has a god so near to it as the LORD our God is to us, whenever we call upon him?" This passage from the Old Testament has found its ultimate depth of meaning in the eucharistic presence of the Lord. But its earlier meaning is not thereby abolished, but merely purified and exalted. We must now investigate that, in order to understand what the Lord is saying to us here.

In the chapter of the book of Deuteronomy from which this passage is taken, the marvelous closeness of God is seen above all in the law he has given to Israel through Moses. Through the law he makes himself permanently available, as it were, for the questions of his people. Through the law he can always be spoken with by Israel; she can call on him, and he answers. Through the law he offers Israel the opportunity to build a social and political order that breaks new ground. Through the law he makes Israel wise and shows her the way a man should live, so as to live aright. In the law Israel experiences the close presence of God; he has, as it were, drawn back the veil from the riddles of human life and replied to the obscure questionings of men of all ages: Where do we come from? Where are we going? What must we do?This joy in the law astounds us. We have become used to regarding it as a burden that oppresses man. At its best periods, Israel saw in the law in fact something that set them free for the truth, free from the burden of uncertainty, the gracious gift of the way. And, indeed, we do know today that man collapses if he has constantly to reinvent himself, if he has to create anew human existence. For man, the will of God is not a foreign force of exterior origin, but the actual orientation of his own being.

Thus the revelation of God's will is the revelation of what our own being truly wishes-it is a gift. So we should learn anew to be grateful that in the word of God the will of God and the meaning of our own existence have been communicated to us. God's presence in the word and his presence in the Eucharist belong together, inseparably. The eucharistic Lord is himself the living Word. Only if we are living in the sphere of God's Word can we properly comprehend and properly receive the gift of the Eucharist.Today's Gospel reading [2] makes us aware, besides this, of a third aspect. The law became a burden the moment it was no longer being lived out from within but was broken down into a series of obligations external in their origin and their nature. Thus the Lord tells us emphatically: The true law of God is not an external matter. It dwells within us. It is the inner direction of our lives, which is brought into being and established by the will of God. It speaks to us in our conscience. The conscience is the inner aspect of the Lord's presence, which alone can render us capable of receiving the eucharistic presence. That is why that same book of Deuteronomy, from which our reading today was taken, says elsewhere: "The word is very near you; it is in your mouth and in your heart, so that you can do it" (Deut 30:14; cf. Rom io:8). Faith in Christ simply renders the inmost part of our being, our conscience, once more articulate.

The Holy Father, John Paul II, says on this point: "In a person's obedience to his conscience hes both the key to his moral stature and the basis of his 'royal dignity'. . . . Obedience to one's conscience is ... the Christian's participation in the 'royal priesthood' of Christ. Obedience to the conscience ... makes 'to serve ... Christ' actually mean 'to reign'." [3]The Lord is near us in our conscience, in his word, in his personal presence in the Eucharist: this constitutes the dignity of the Christian and is the reason for his joy. We rejoice therefore, and this joy is expressed in praising God. Today we can see how the closeness of the Lord also brings people together and brings them close to each other: it is because we have the same Lord Jesus Christ in Munich and in Rome that we form one single people of God, across all frontiers, united in the call of conscience, united by the word of God, united through communion with Jesus Christ, united in the praise of God, who is our joy and our redemption.

Newest Member of the Family

We have a new member of the family and her name is Mandy. She is just 7-8 weeks old and is a bundle of laughs and joy. We are very happy to have our new vicarage cat!

Durham Diocese announces new Suffragan

Mark Bryant (aged 57) studied for the ordained ministry at Cuddesdon College. He served curacies at Addlestone, Guildford from 1975 to 1979, and from 1979 to 1983 at Studley, Salisbury. He was then Vicar of Studley from 1983 to 1988. From 1979 to 1983 he was also Chaplain to Trowbridge College. From 1988 to 1996 he was Vocational Development Adviser, Coventry diocese, and Diocesan Director of Ordinands. From 1993 to 2001 he was an Honorary Canon of Coventry Cathedral. From 1996 to 2001 he was Team Rector at Caludon, Coventry, and from 1999 to 2001 he was also Area Dean of East Coventry. Since 2001 he has been Archdeacon of Coventry and, since 2006, also a Canon Residentiary of Coventry Cathedral.
Mark Bryant is married to Elisabeth, a nurse lecturer practitioner, and they have three grown up children. His interests include classical music, walking and the arts.

From the Bishop of Durham, the Right Reverend Dr N T Wright,

Bishop Tom writes,
It gives me very great pleasure to welcome the announcement from Downing Street of the appointment of the Venerable Canon Mark Watts Bryant, presently Archdeacon of Coventry in the Diocese of Coventry, to be Suffragan Bishop of Jarrow in the Diocese of Durham. (The Suffragan Bishop of Jarrow is an assistant bishop for the whole of the Diocese of Durham.)
Mark will join a happy and hard-working senior leadership team in the Diocese, and I very much look forward to sharing ministry with him. Bishops are called particularly to give leadership, to teach and care for clergy and people, to get the gospel message across and to build up God’s kingdom in deaneries, localities, parishes and communities. Mark has had a great deal of experience in working towards the regeneration of communities in the midlands. His father was a vicar and Mark has his roots deep in the tradition and life of the church and in the love of God which can be found there.

Mission is close to Mark’s heart. He has a special gift for teaching God’s word, and preaching the gospel, in “unchurchy” language. He is an expert on soap operas and is skilled at making connections between the great biblical stories and the stories of popular culture such as Coronation Street or Eastenders, and relating them to key issues facing people today. He loves being alongside people in the important moments of their lives. All this fits exactly with what we in the Diocese of Durham have committed ourselves to in our “Growing the Kingdom” programme. This is an exciting and demanding time to be Church in Durham. I shall enjoy ministering with Mark and perhaps finding out something of what happens in Albert Square.
My wife Maggie joins me in extending our welcome to Mark’s wife Elisabeth. Mark and Elisabeth met in Durham in their student days and it is a delight to think of them returning to those roots. Mark and Elisabeth will live in the Bishop’s House in Harlow Green, close to the Angel of the North.

It is likely that Mark will be consecrated as bishop by Archbishop Sentamu in York Minster on September 13 th at 11am and welcomed to Durham in a special service in the Cathedral on Sunday September 16 th at 3.30.pm. Those promise to be glad and rich events and we hope as many as possible will come to both of them so that we can give Bishop Mark a real north-eastern welcome.


Forming the Priesthood

Having attended formational institutions on both sides of the Atlantic, I find that there is a lot to be said for Mr. Skublics contribution here. Though there are some differences with what it means to be 'in residence' in regards to married ordinands and their responsibilities first and foremost to their families, these comments and actions are much needed. I have recently finished a place of 'preparation' where more of these same comments will be made by me as I reflect theologically on the particular place of formation I attended. My place at Cranmer was out of necessity due to my PhD studies at Durham University, not a mark of my ecclesiology! I found many things difficult during this time that were a result, not only due to my ecclesiology, but in the "foundational principles" of what it means to be in formation with assessment to Holy Orders. It is about process and a theology of the priesthood that needs to be worked out no matter where one lands in their liturgical traditions. I will say much more on this in due course but for now, I leave the below thoughts with the reader as I continue to prepare for my ordination. The above piece of art describes best what is needed at the heart of formation; something that has been lived out by those who train others and where it is seen as a model in the community. This latter is often missing and not able to be obtained if those training priests have never been more than curates themselves.

Ernest Skublics offers a contribution to the working party discussions urging on us the importance of residential training for the ministry. New Directions

Even if there are only truly sacramental structures in the Church, nevertheless for the incarnational machinery to work, much equipment is required. Part of that equipment is an institution of theological education and priestly formation of the highest possible calibre. It needs to provide academic, personal, spiritual and ministerial/pastoral formation for future priests. So it behoves us to consider what this entails. What do we wish to see as the end product of the programme?

While over the centuries the profile of the Catholic priest, the understanding of the nature of his vocation, identity, functions and desirable qualities has seen changes of emphasis, and even within the same time-period and culture it is normal to see a variety of priestly types and personalities, we need to agree on some basic features and qualities we want to see in every Catholic priest.

Collegial participation
The priesthood (or the presbyterate) is not a free-standing office, but a collegial participation in the bishops office. This qualifies the priests self-understanding, both in relationship to his bishop and his local church, and to his brother priests in the presbyterium. This means that the full understanding of priesthood is inseparable from the understanding of the episcopate, which of course is rooted in our (communion) ecclesiology.

The priest therefore is not a self-sufficient, autonomous individual, a lone-ranger. His self-understanding, his spirituality, his ability to be a healthily relational human being, with maturity, humility and an ability to love and care for others must correspond to his 'ecclesiaF personhood. Priesthood is rooted in koinonia.

There are traditionally two emphases in portraying the priesthood that need to be held in balance. One is more iconic and sacramental, emphasizing the sacramental, moral and spiritual transformation, uniqueness and being of the priest, the other focusing on the function of the priest. The first emphasis tends to set the priest apart, stresses his call to perfection and holiness; the second prefers to see the priest as an ordinary man who has a job within and for the faith community.

The priest as an icon or sacrament of Christ to his people, and the priest who serves his community in persona Christi, must for both reasons be formed and assisted in his human development and maturing, in a wholesome way of relating to others (personal formation); he must be trained in the dynamics of his relationship with God, through Christ, in the Holy Spirit, in other words, the spiritual life (spiritual formation); he must acquire a sound theological education (academic formation); and gain the understanding and skills required for pastoral work with people (pastoral formation).

The functions of the priest, which he has under and in communion with his bishop, are proclaiming the Gospel, i.e. preaching and teaching competently, from small children to university graduates, celebrating the Liturgy and administering the Sacraments, and providing pastoral leadership.

Importance of seminaries
For all these complex competencies, and even more for the personal and spiritual formation required for a sound, civilized, competent and even holy priesthood, it seems indispensable that a candidate spend some considerable time in residential formation, i.e. in a seminary. The seminary residence is meant to form habits of living, praying, studying and wholesomely relating to others. Provision for such residence is sometimes a difficult challenge, especially when candidates for Orders are married. Yet, compromising on this score severely jeopardizes the desired outcome. Sadly, too many priests we know are ignorant, tactless, self-obsessed, opinionated and pastorally hopeless, not to speak of the many who have abused children and adults.

As we look into our needs for sound theological education and formation, and seek the systems and institutions to provide it, we should consult widely with those of authority and experience.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Junia, A Woman Apostle?

The argument has been frequently used in Anglican circles to argue for the ordination of women to the office of bishop with the below passage as the basis for it. It seems to me that one must invoke Tradition in light of these discussions, which is often absent. St. Chrysostom does speak highly of Junia among the Apostles but he does not give her Apostolic Succession with the Apostles as it seems neither does the Apostle Paul.

Please leave your thoughts and comments below! Biretta tip Prof. Tighe.

Junia, A Woman Apostle?

AT ROMANS 16: 7, Paul refers to a woman Apostle, Junia. And she is 'prominent among the Apostles'. (NRSV)

Or does he? And is she? In fact the gender is uncertain. I don't mean that she is deliciously androgynous, but that the actual Greek word Junian could be the accusative case of the man's name Junias or of the woman's name Junia (RSV translates '...Andronicus and Junias...they are men of note among the Apostles') By the majority of the commentators, both patristic and modern, believe that Junia, feminine, is right.

Naturally, this has been brought into the ordination of women debates. It is a useful piece of ammunition for the 'feminists'. Of course, their case does no depend on this detail, any more than the opposing case deepens on proving, by hook or by crook, that Junia both an -s on the end of her name and a membrum virile. On each side, the theological arguments are considerably broader. Nevertheless 'Woman Apostle' is a piece of evidence.

But not according to the latest number of NewTestament Studies (Vol 47 Number 1 January 2001 pp 76-91) M.H.Brurer and O.B. Wallace, who hail from the Lone Star State, argue the Junia was probably a female, but not an Apostle. This is how it goes. Romans 16.7 calls Andronicus and Junia 'episemoi en tios apostolois - notable in/among the apostles.
Does this mean:(a) notable members of the group of the apostles; or(b) not apostles themselves but well known among (i.e. to) the apostles? (a) is much the more fashionable translation at the moment. Of course , is has its problems. If Andronicus and Junia were 'prominent' members of the apostolic band it is odd that we hear nothing else about them; and odd that Paul, who is probably listing for the Roman Christians people who could put in a good word for him, didn't give them a more prominent billing on the list. So 'Apostles' would have to mean a different, lesser category then the Twelve.

But this is not what Burer and Wallace discuss. They examine what in extant Greek literature (60,000,000 words) the usage episemos en... means And their conclusion is that (b) is right: in other words, Andronicus and Junia were not apostles but were a couple whom the Apostles (i.e. the leaders of the Jerusalem community) knew and - Paul implies - approved of. If Paul had wanted to say 'notable members of the group of the Apostles' he would have used a different construction: episemos with the genitive case: 'episemoi ton apostolon' - well-know of the apostles.

So, oops-a-daisy, there wasn't a woman apostle after all! And - oops-a-daisy - the NRSV is an iffy translation. Stick with the RSV. And I bet you're wondering why you haven't read all this exciting stuff in the papers. If some new bit of evidence, however dodgy, has just emerged for women apostles, headlines like NEW EVIDENCE FOR WOMAN APOSTLE would have screamed at you from the media. Now that a woman apostles has just smiled the demurest of smiles and gracefully tiptoed out of history, we hear not a word.
Funny isn't it?

John Hunwicke is Head of Theology at Lancing College. Trushare

Monday, June 11, 2007

Unpacking and Pilgrimage to Walsingham

I have finished unpacking and setting up my study today! I was up until 2:30 am this morning! It is good to have it all in order now. I had about 110 feet of shelf put up yesterday and now all of my books are out and I literally do not have room for one more book! It was a chore to get it finished but I persevered this morning and have filed all but my articles from my University study that I cleaned out yesterday. Pictures for family and friends forthcoming.

I am also preparing to go to Walsingham on retreat for the forthcoming weekend where we will celebrate the Sacred Heart and the Immaculate Heart of Mary. This will be a retreat with my parish where I will be serving in Durham in just a few short weeks. Following this retreat, I am going to Minster Acres with the Bishop of Durham for our ordination retreat. That begins 26-30 June. It is hard to believe that I will be back to parish work in two and a half short weeks! It has been a long three year break and I am looking forward to my new ministry in the Durham Diocese. When I return from Walsingham I will post my pictures of the retreat.

Friday, June 08, 2007

Hooker, Andrewes, Aquinas and Transubstantiation

This text is taken from a portion of my thoughts in my ongoing dissertation. This is original material belonging to the Rev'd Jeffrey Steel, Durham University UK.

Richard Hooker in his Laws of Ecclesiastical Polity maintains the Reformed position of instrumentality of the elements which communicate the Body and Blood of Christ to the faithful.[1] He writes that the ‘bread and cup are his body and blood because they are causes instrumental upon the receipt whereof the participation of his body and blood ensueth.’[2] Remaining close to the Thomist view of cause and effect by way of sacramental instrumentality, he states that every cause is in the effect from which it comes. For Hooker, this is a mystical kind of union, which makes us one with Christ as he is one with the Father. Where Hooker differs from Andrewes on presence is when he says, ‘The real presence of Christ’s most blessed body and blood is not therefore to be sought for in the sacrament, but in the worthy receiver of the sacrament.’[3] His argument is from the manner in which Christ gave the words of institution at the Last Supper. Jesus first gave the elements and then recited the words, ‘This is my Body,’ and ‘This is my Blood’. But this is contradictory of how instrumentalism works in and through the sacramental presence objectively found within the elements. The true body and blood of Jesus is communicated to the faithful as an effect from that which they are. The cause of the communication is the presence of Christ in the elements (Christ in the cratch; Christ in the Sacrament[4]) which is communicated by means of what transformation took place at consecration. The following sentence is the clearest example of where Hooker and Andrewes differed. Hooker writes, ‘As for the sacraments, they really exhibit, but for aught we can gather out of that which is written of them, they are not really nor do really contain in themselves that grace which with them or by them it pleaseth God to bestow.’[5] Hooker maintains the argument against objective presence using baptism as the example where that sacrament is not changed into the grace it gives. The promise is given and therefore the res sacramenti in not necessary in order for the grace to be in us who receive it.

Hooker does not see any necessity of arguing for any change in the elements themselves since they can be the instruments without any change of either consubstantiation or transubstantiation. This is because the presence is communicated by Christ’s omnipotent promise. Though Hooker readily admits what all wish to maintain about the effects from the sacrament—even maintaining that the bread and cup which he gives us is truly the thing promised—he does not say it is communicated by what the sacrament is as a result of consecration but rather by way of promise. Like Andrewes, Hooker is not seeking to enquire too deeply within the mystery that would explain the how the presence is communicated instrumentally by the bread and wine. Yet where he differs from Andrewes is seen in that Andrewes did say that there was a transformation, transmutation, transelementation of the elements that allowed them to become for us the body and blood of Jesus. The same power of promise that Hooker maintains, Andrewes says is found within the power of the words of Jesus rehearsed at the consecration of the bread and wine transforming them into the objective presence of Christ to be communicated to the faithful. The same power is embraced but for a different purpose. Andrewes embraces what John of Damascus described as a transelementation of the bread and wine. As does Hooker, Andrewes maintains the mysteriousness of the how this transelementation takes place and does not pry any further than scripture or the Fathers of the first five centuries allow. But he does not hold, as does Hooker, that it is merely by the promise and the power of Christ’s words that his body and blood are communicated to us absent of the objectivity of presence in the elements. The body and blood are communicated to us because the body and blood are in the transelemented bread and wine and thus so united to them—like the hypostatic union of Christ—that the divine and creaturely elements in the sacrament cannot be separated. For Hooker, the elements are transformed into mystical instruments and really work our communion or fellowship with the person of Jesus Christ.[6] Hooker will use the term transubstantiation provided it is understood that it is something that happens to us and not the elements.[7] He denies both transubstantiation and consubstantiation and describes the presence of Christ in the sacrament as a mystical union going no further with definitions or language that would communicate an objective presence of Christ in the elements themselves.

One concern when looking closely at Hooker’s position is his description of transubstantiation as an ‘abolishing the substance of bread and substituting in the place there of the Body and Blood of Christ.’[8] It is debatable whether or not this is what the Tridentine conclusion (1551) defined as transubstantiation or what Aquinas meant when he described it. The question here is whether or not in the doctrine of transubstantiation there is an abolishment of the substance of bread. Trent did not use the language of abolishment when describing what takes place in transubstantiation. They used the language that was meant to communicate a conversion. William McGarvey points out that the Council of Trent falls quite short of a ‘natural’ or ‘corporal’ presence of Christ in the Eucharist.[9] After a close examination of the Council’s session XIII, c. I., IIII., and IV., it is evident that no where in these chapters is there any hint that the substance of bread is annihilated or that there is any sort of a material change. As pointed out by McGarvey, the Council made it clear that Christ was present in heaven after a natural mode of existence, and that his presence in the Eucharist is sacramental, illuminated by faith, which is the language of Thomas Aquinas.[10] He uses the term conversio.[11] For Thomas, mystery is used, ‘not in order to rule out factual reality, but to show that it is hidden.’[12] What happens is not an annihilation of the substance of bread but rather a conversion where bread and wine no longer remain within their own identities. The Body and Blood is there in a spiritual way but not only as a mystical symbol; it is there spiritually, i.e. really though invisibly by the power of the Spirit.[13]

What we should learn from this is that the crass realism of the Middle Ages that often found its way into the devotional life of the Church was not employed in the Tridentine formula of transubstantiation. Though the Council was emphatic about its realism and its use of the term transubstantiation with regards to a real objective conversion of the bread and wine into the Body and Blood of Christ, it was not language that implied any sort of materialistic view of the presence of Christ in the Eucharist. They seem to be content on maintaining the use of the language of Aquinas and leaving further speculations of the conversion to mystery and faith. With regards to the substance of bread and wine not being annihilated Aquinas writes,
After the consecration the substance of bread and wine is neither under the sacramental appearances nor anywhere else. But it does not follow that it is annihilated; for it is changed [convertitur] into the body of Christ. Likewise, if the air from which fire has been made is no longer here or there, it does not follow that it has been annihilated.[14]
Andrewes uses language that describes his realistic view of presence in its relationship to the fractioning of the elements by stating that what happens to the elements happened to Christ at Calvary.[15] Here again, we find a similar use of language in Aquinas who said ‘And just as the sacramental species is the sign of the real body of Christ, so the fraction of these species is the sign of our Lord’s passion which he endured in his actual body.’[16] What we see from this language of Aquinas is that there is not a change in the outward signs so neither is there an annihilation in the substances but rather a conversion of them into the Body and Blood. This means that Christ is locally in heaven and he is not local on the altar in Thomas’ view. ‘So it does not follow that the body of Christ is in this sacrament as localized.’[17] Thomas will go so far as to use language that our eating of Christ’s Body and Blood is a spiritual eating without any sort of a materialistic manducation of Christ’s Body. ‘But wherever this sacrament is celebrated he is present in an invisible way under sacramental appearances.’[18] Christ is there in a real way as is proper to the sacrament. Aquinas follows this view with a quotation from Augustine saying, ‘if you have understood in a spiritual way the worlds of Christ about this flesh, they are spirit and life for you; if you have understood them in a carnal manner, they are still spirit and life, but not for you.’[19]

What we find after a very close look at Andrewes and Aquinas is that when they speak of the eating of Christ in the sacrament by faith, neither of them imply that Christ becomes present in the sacrament by faith. He is present objectively in the sacrament and by faith he is received effectually. To receive Christ objectively is to receive him in the sacrament. McGarvey has very helpfully pointed out a clear distinction in Thomas’ writings concerning his use of the terms (suscipit) receive and (percipit) partake.[20] There is such a thing as receiving of Christ objectively and not receiving the effects. Aquinas writes,

Since then the embryonic and the full-grown are contrasted, so the sacramental eating, in which the sacrament is received without its effect, is contrastedwith the spiritual eating in which is receive the sacramental effect whereby a person is spiritually joined to Christ in faith and charity.[21]
Aquinas is very careful to make the distinction between the wicked receiving and the faithful receiving the sacramental species. Both receive Christ objectively and those who do so with faith receive the spiritual blessings of Christ for life and the wicked to their judgment per Augustine as quoted above. This is the sense found within the writings of Andrewes and what is apparent of Aquinas’ thought.

[1] Hooker, Richard, Of the Laws of Ecclesiastical Polity, Book v. [4], (Dutton: Everyman’s Library, 1964), 322.
[2] Hooker, Laws, v. [5], 322.
[3] Hooker, Laws, v. [6], 322.
[4] Andrewes, Works, i.
[5] Hooker, Laws, v. [6], 323.
[6] Hooker, Laws, v. [11] 327, 328.
[7] Hooker, Laws, v. [11] 328.
[8] Hooker, Laws, v. [12] 329.
[9] McGarvey, William, ‘The Doctrine of the Church of England on the Real Presence Examined by the Writings of Thomas Aquinas’, (Milwaukee: The Young Churchman, 1900), 12.
[10] Aquinas ST, 3a., 76, 5. ‘Et ideo non oportet quod Christus sit in hoc sacramento sicut in loco.’ See also ST, 3a. 78.5. ‘…qua re manifestum est quod non materialiter, seb significative sumebantur.’
[11] Aquinas, ST, 3a. 75, 3. ‘Dicendum quod, quia substantia panis vel vini non manet in hoc sacramento, quidam, impossibile reputantes quod substantia panis vel vini in corpus vel sanguinem Chirsti convertatur, posuerunt quod per consecrationem substantia panis vel vini resolvitur in praejacentem materiam, vel quod annihiletur.’
[12] Aquinas ST, 3a. 78, 3.
[13] Aquinas, ST, 3a. 75, 1.
[14] Aquinas, ST. 3a. 75, 3. [trans by William Barden O.P. unless stated otherwise]
[15] Andrewes, Works,
[16] Aquinas, ST, 3a.77.7
[17] Aquinas, ST, 3a. 76.5
[18] Aquinas, ST. 3a. 75.1
[19] Aquinas, ST. 3a. 75.1
[20] McGarvey, 26.
[21] Aquinas, ST, 3a. 80, 1. ‘Sicut igitur perfectum contra imperfectum dividitur, ita sacramentalis manducatio, per quam sumitur solum sacramentum sine effectu ipsius, dividitur contra spiritualem manducationem, per quam qis percipit effectum hugus sacramenti, quo spiritualiter homo Christo conjungitur per fidem et caritatem.

Saturday, June 02, 2007

Computer Issues and a New Home

We have had a heck of a few days!! The day before I was to move house for my curacy here in Durham, my computer went out on me. Thankfully, all on my hard drive was able to be recovered!! But you could only imagine the stress that I had having not backed up the last two weeks worth of work!! But, God was good in the midst. I walked to the computer shop he assessed the damage, told me the cost so I bought a new laptop instead!

Then we spent 19 hour days getting prepared for our move and we are now in our new home that is pictured above. I assure you that the outside looks much better than the inside does now! I am sitting in my study completely surrounded by boxes of books from floor to ceiling. I am off in the corner of the study with my new lap top and trying to figure out where I am!!!! I am quite impressed that British Telecommunications had my Internet back up in less than 24 hours when they told me it would be five working days.

I hope to be back to some order in the near future. Blessings to all and more to come on my new parish life here in the Durham Diocese.
    O God, most glorious, most bountiful, accept, we humbly beseech thee, our praises and thanksgivings for thy holy Catholic Church, the mother of us all who bear the name of Christ; for the faith which it hath conveyed in safety to our time, and the mercies by which it hath enlarged and comforted the souls of men; for the virtues which it hath established upon earth, and the holy lives by which it glorifieth both the world and thee; to whom, O blessed Trinity (+), be ascribed all honour, might, majesty and dominion, now and for ever. Amen.
    --Bishop Lancelot Andrewes

Societas Sanctae Crucis

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