Sunday, 20 December

23:00

The Fourth Sunday of Advent: Preparation and thanksgiving. [The City and the World]



Though I rarely post the text of homilies I've given, since I haven't posted anything this month I decided to share the homily I delivered this morning at my home parish in Massachusetts during a brief visit to my family. The readings are those appointed for the fourth Sunday of Advent: Micah 5:1-4a, Hebrews 10:5-10, and Luke 1:39-45. I make no claims to particular eloquence or originality here; what I offer are a few simple and straightforward reflections rooted in my experience and that of other people I know.

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Today we celebrate the Fourth Sunday of Advent. We're now reaching the end of our annual season of spiritual preparation for Christmas, a time when we are invited to reflect on who we are before God, and to ask ourselves what we need to do to welcome Christ into our lives and into our hearts on the feast of his Nativity. As the German Jesuit Alfred Delp once put it, the Season of Advent is "a time for rousing," a time when we are meant to be "shaken to the very depths" so as to once again "kindle the inner light which confirms the blessing and the promise of the Lord." The Church gives us this time as a way to prepare for Christmas, through prayer and penance and acts of charity. Christmas is now barely five days away, so this Sunday seems like a good time to ask ourselves: are we really ready for Christmas?

If we are honest with ourselves, we may have to admit that we are not ready for Christmas. Practically speaking, Christmas can catch us by surprise. In the last few weeks, I've heard a number of people express their amazement at how quickly the year has gone by – they can't believe that Christmas is almost here, because it’s a reminder that the year is almost over. Some have even said that it doesn't feel like Christmas to them – perhaps it's because the weather has been unseasonably mild, or maybe it's because the distraction of events around the world makes it more difficult to focus on what this season is really about. With the threat of terrorism and renewed conflict in the Middle East, economic insecurity at home, and a looming presidential election year, we may find our preparation for Christmas tinged with unease and uncertainty about the future.

The task of preparing our hearts for Christmas can easily get lost in the shuffle, not just because of events in the world but also because of the busyness we face at this time of year. For many of us, the weeks leading up to Christmas are a time when we find ourselves hurrying to get things done, or perhaps getting anxious about the things we have yet to do. Have I sent out my Christmas cards? Have I done my Christmas shopping? Have I decorated the house and put up the tree? How many people am I expecting for Christmas dinner, and what am I going to feed them? What sorts of things do I need to get done before Christmas arrives – projects at work or at school, perhaps, or other deadlines that I just have to meet before the holiday? The day is getting closer and closer, so what do I need to do next to prepare?

In the midst of all of the noise and the distractions that surround us at this time of year, I think we can take heart from the readings and prayers appointed for today's Mass. The first reading from the Prophet Micah reminds us of the wonders accomplished by God. Bethlehem was a small place – as Micah tells us, it was "too small to be among the clans of Judah," and yet "from [there] shall come forth . . . one who is to be ruler in Israel" (Mi 5:2). In spite of his humble origins, the one born in Bethlehem "shall stand firm and shepherd his flock by the strength of the Lord . . . [and] his greatness shall reach to the ends of the earth" (Mi 5:4). The second reading from the Letter to the Hebrews reminds us that the same child whose birth we are to celebrate this week was the Christ who came to do the will of the Father – and who also opened to us the way to salvation, for, as the author of Hebrews tells us, "we have been consecrated through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all" (Heb 10:10).

The first and second readings remind us of the joy that we are preparing to celebrate: at Christmas, we celebrate the great mystery of the Incarnation; we celebrate the fact that God chose to become one of us by becoming a human being and being born in humble circumstances, taking on the joys and the sufferings of the human condition, and then sacrificing himself for us as only God could do, lifting us up so that we can share in the divine life of him who came to share in our human life.

Today's Gospel points in a particular way to the joy of the Incarnation which we celebrate at Christmas. Luke tells us the story of Mary’s arrival at the home of her cousin Elizabeth, and we hear how the child in Elizabeth's womb leapt for joy at the sound of Mary’s voice, knowing that the Christ, the Savior soon to be born, was also drawing near. Elizabeth says to Mary, "Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb... For at the moment the sound of your greeting reached my ears, the child in my womb leaped for joy. Blessed are you who believed that what was spoken to you by the Lord would be fulfilled" (Lk 1:42, 44-45).

Elizabeth’s words can be instructive for us: Blessed are you who believed that what was spoken to you by the Lord would be fulfilled. How often do we give thanks to God for the fulfillment of his word to us? In other words, how often do we give thanks for the gifts that we have been given? In the midst of the busyness of these last days leading up to Christmas, can we take the time to thank God for all that we have been given, and for all that God continues to give us?

In the collect, the opening prayer of today's Mass, we asked that "we, to whom the Incarnation of the Lord was made known by the message of an Angel, may by his Passion and Cross be brought to the glory of the Resurrection." Can we give thanks for the gift of faith, for the gift of believing that God would come to us in the humblest way possible, as a little child, and that the same God would save us and open to us the way to eternal life?

In the closing prayer at the end of this Mass, we will ask God that, "as the feast day of our salvation draws ever nearer . . . we may press forward all the more eagerly to the worthy celebration of the mystery of your Son’s Nativity." What would it take for each of us to press forward more eagerly to celebrate Christmas? I think the first thing that each of us can do is to take some time, no matter how busy we are, to simply give thanks to God for the gifts that he has given us, and for the gift that we shall receive again this Christmas. An Orthodox theologian of the last century named Alexander Schmemann once said that "anyone who is capable of thanksgiving is capable of salvation and eternal joy." May our thanksgiving help us to move closer to the goal we seek, the goal of eternal life with the one whom we await with joyful hope in these last days of Advent.

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Peace and good wishes to all who read these lines. AMDG.

21:52

Book Review: "Creation, Evolution, and Catholicism" by Thomas McFadden [Unam Sanctam Catholicam]

Some time ago I was graciously provided with a review copy of Creation, Evolution, and Catholicism: A Discussion for Those Who Believe by Thomas McFadden.

There are many resources out there addressing the question of evolution and its fundamental incompatibility with the Catholic Faith; Mr. McFadden's book, while broad in its scope and addressing many issues, centers in on the question of theistic evolution and Catholic teaching.

At the heart of Creation, Evolution, and Catholicism is the idea that, while theistic creation "works" for some Catholics, it certainly does not "work" for everybody. Because many mainstream Catholics have adopted the position that there's "no contradiction" between evolution and Catholic theology, it has become accepted to assume there are no real problems with theistic evolution. Consequently, there is little real discussion about the question, and Catholics who do not find an easy harmony between Scripture and evolution are left with little to go on.

It is into this breach that Mr. McFadden steps with his book. Creation, Evolution, and Catholicism is dedicated to examining the concept of evolution - especially theistic but also atheistic - addressing the issue from a point of view of science but also theology. The 149 page book is easy to read, broken up into seventeen chapters with many small subheadings addressing various points of science and theology. The Big Bang, DNA, vestigial structures, fossil remains, and much more are all covered, as are the theories of major evolutionary proponents, both Catholic and secularist. This alone would make this book very helpful, although it should be pointed out that none of these topics are covered in an extremely exhaustive manner; the author addresses them by summarizing the main arguments and then pointing to additional resources for further study.

Thus the book is a kind of helpful "go to" guide to find resources on each particular issue. It demonstrates that the fundamental problem is that most Catholics have adopted the premises of naturalism; even when engaging the Faith with an intent to defend it, they often begin with assumptions taken from naturalism (for example, Cardinal Pell's embarrassing exchange with Richard Dawkins). Naturalism has become a kind of monkey on the Church's back, related directly to a continued loss of faith. McFadden presents some convincing statistics demonstrating the relationship between acceptance of evolution and loss of faith. Again, it is clear that just because theistic evolution "works" for some does not mean it "works" for everyone; in fact, based on the statistics McFadden presents, it does not "work" for the majority of Catholics.

But I think the greatest asset of this book was in its chapter on Humani Generis. It is widely known that Humani Generis, Pius XII's 1950 encyclical, remains the last authoritative statement of the Magisterium on evolution. It is often repeated that this encyclical "allowed" Catholics to believe in theistic evolution of a preexisting human body so long as they maintained some other points (reality of original sin, special creation of the soul). This encyclical allegedly "opened the door" for the acceptance of theistic evolution within Catholicism.

Mr. McFadden strongly disputes this point. Through a rigorous analysis of the text and the meanings of different terms employed by Pius, he demonstrates that Pius XII never intended the broad acceptance of theistic evolution among Catholics, nor did he "permit" it to be held as a viable theory of human origins. I will not recapitulate Mr. McFadden's arguments here, but it suffices to say that it was refreshing to read something that actually dug into the text of Pius XII rather than just repeating what others have said.

The book is written in the form of a handbook. It is not what one would call publisher grade printing; it is a very hardy spiral bound, good for duplication, study, and note taking. Mr. McFadden has told me that he hopes this book will find its way into the hands of pastors and catechists - that is, that it will become a tool to be used at the parish level to equip those tasked with passing on the Faith with the answers they need to teach the Church's doctrine uncontaminated by naturalist assumptions. To this end, Mr. McFadden is making his book available at cost ($10 for a hard copy, $4 for a digital copy via CD); I do not know if he is making PDF versions available. There is no website for the book; it must be requested and ordered by contacting the author at: scienceandcatholicism@gmail.com. Mr. McFadden has also organized the book printing and distribution through a 501(c)(3) group called the Institute for Science and Catholicism, so donations for the book can be written off.

There's also a really nice appendix on John Paul II and the Galileo case, which McFadden believes (rightly, in my opinion) is one of the historical episodes that cripples Catholics and makes them too tentative to engage naturalism.

If there is one issue I took with the book - and I say this tentatively because there is so much other good stuff in here - it is that the author will often cite Cardinal Ratzinger/Benedict XVI as a support for traditional Creationism against evolution. It is my opinion that McFadden misunderstood what Benedict is saying (which is easy to do, as Benedict is extremely nuanced in his verbiage). Benedict does oppose the kind of evolutionary compromise represented by Humani Generis; but this is not because Benedict supported Creationism, rather because he affirmed something more Teilhardian and more evolutionary than the Humani Generis compromise. Theistic evolution was not too evolutionary or Benedict; rather it was not evolutionary enough. We have documented this in our article Pius XII, Teilhard, and Ratzinger.

But, as the author pointed out to me when I discussed this with him, even if this is the case, the statements of Benedict against evolution still hold value on their own, even if Benedict's own position is problematic. Benedict is a potent adversary against a simplistic theistic evolution, despite his own theological baggage. I would certainly still recommend the book. Mr. McFadden has done the Church an excellent service. Anyone interested in the debate about evolution should get a copy of this work, especially those involved in catechesis at the parish level. I plan on hanging on to this book and have already pulled it out for reference in my private reading several times.

I also recommend our article Solemn Enthronement of Evolution, as well as James Larson's article The Quintessential Evolutionist.

19:35

Year C Fourth Sunday of Advent [Καθολικός διάκονος]

Readings: Micah 5:1-4a; Ps 80:2-3.15-16.18-19; Heb 10:5-10; Luke 1:39-45

The prophecy contained in our first reading from the book of the prophet Micah is startling for its specificity. Micah not only foretold God installing a leader over Israel from the tribe of Judah, but he accurately prophesied where that leader would be born: in the historical territory of the tribe of Judah, in “the city of David that is called Bethlehem” (Luke 2:4).

Living in the late eighth and early seventh centuries before Christ, Micah likely experienced the Assyrian invasion of the Northern kingdom in BC 721 and the renewed threat Assyria posed to Judah, the Southern kingdom, twenty years later. In other words, Micah lived and prophesied in what were very dark times for the people of Israel. Nonetheless, even though it took nearly 700 years for the Ruler to be appear, Micah’s prophecy is one of hope, a prophesy about light overcoming the darkness, good conquering evil. Even now, we still await God’s ultimate triumph, when Christ the King will return to establish God’s everlasting reign.

From our Christian standpoint, it’s fair to say that the vast majority of history takes the form of an Advent. In other words, most of history is spent waiting for God to put the world to rights, to restore the order of grace, which restoration is communion. But as followers of Christ we are not called to simply wait for it – though there is an element of that too – the Lord calls on us to be actively engaged in establishing God’s kingdom.

God’s plan unfolds in and through history. The divine plan happens in space and time. The circumstances of our lives provide us opportunities each day to establish God’s kingdom. We often describe this tension between working and waiting as “living between the already and the not-yet.” Living between the already and the not-yet means recognizing that the reign of God has begun but is not yet complete. It’s a work in progress.

"the kingdom of God is among you"

Later in St Luke’s Gospel, when asked by the Pharisees when the kingdom of God would come, Jesus “said in reply, The coming of the kingdom of God cannot be observed, and no one will announce, “Look, here it is,” or, “There it is.” For behold, the kingdom of God is among you’” (Luke 17:20-21). What does this mean? Is it some esoteric teaching? By no means! Just a few days ago the Holy See announced that during this Jubilee of Mercy Mother Teresa will be canonized, that is, the Church will proclaim her a saint. It is the saints who show us the kingdom of God. This is why, in the words of Léon Bloy, “There is only one sorrow: not to be a saint.”

In addition to being the ruler foretold by Micah, Jesus, as we hear in our second reading from the Letter to the Hebrews, is not only a priest, but the great High Priest, who offered the one acceptable sacrifice to the Father: Himself on the Cross. Martin Luther observed, “There is not a word in the Bible which is extra cruem.” In other words, every word in the Bible points to the Cross. Applying this interpretive strategy to our Lord’s nativity, we can see that the wood of the manger would one day give way to the wood of the cross.

That the temple sacrifices were, indeed, a pale imitation of Christ’s sacrifice is noted by the author of Hebrews when he cited Psalm 40 to the effect, “Sacrifice and offering you did not desire, but a body you prepared for me; holocausts and sin offering you took no delight in” (Heb 10:8; Ps 40:7-9). In order to have a body to sacrifice, our Lord had to become incarnate, which He did in the womb of the Blessed Virgin Mary. Because of this we can rejoice because “we have been consecrated through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all” (Heb 10:10). We are consecrated anew each time we participate in the Eucharist, which is what makes our participation not only important, but vital.

Our Gospel for today tells of the Blessed Virgin’s visit to her kinswoman Elizabeth, the mother of John the Baptist. As Our Lady approached Elizabeth bearing her divine Son, in utero, the Baptist, himself not yet born, leapt in Elizabeth’s womb at His approach. Then, filled with the Holy Spirit, Elizabeth proclaimed words very familiar words: “Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb” (Luke 1:42). The fruit of the Virgin’s womb is Jesus.

Le Christ dans la nuit, Marc Chagall, 1948

In the last phrase of our first reading, the prophet Micah proclaimed that the ruler from Judah “shall be peace” (Micah 5:4). Christ is our peace. Through His Cross Christ reconciled us to God, to each other, and to the rest of creation, thus restoring us to communion. As those who have been consecrated through the Lord’s offering of Himself to the Father, we must be agents of reconciliation, that is, agents of mercy. This is what the Jubilee of Mercy is all about.

To extend mercy to others, we must first receive it. To give us His mercy, Christ established the Sacrament of Mercy. We don’t go to confession to find out whether or not God will forgive us. We’re always already forgiven in Christ. We go to confession to experience mercy for ourselves, firsthand. Extending mercy to others means forgiving; even forgiving those things we might think unforgiveable.

Only through mercy, the concrete manifestation of which is forgiveness, is peace made real, as opposed to remaining an abstract ideal. It is only through peace that God’s reign will be established. Peace is not achieved without a struggle. When I am wronged, it is difficult for me not react with hatred and condemnation. It is hard not to vindicate or justify myself by giving the person who wronged me what I deem s/he deserves. It is not only a challenge, but a provocation, to grasp the deep love Christ has for even the person who has harmed me most egregiously. As St Paul noted, “God proves his love for us in that while we were still sinners Christ died for us” (Rom 5:8).

Above all, what we need to grasp, my friends, especially this time of year, when our faith tends to become very sentimental, that what enables us move beyond our condemnatory and self-absorbed attitudes is not our own righteousness, but that helpless Baby who was born to save us.

18:59

The Anglo-Saxon O Antiphons: O Rex Pacifice, O thou true and thou peaceful one [A Clerk of Oxford]

Christ in glory (BL Cotton Vespasian A VIII, f. 2v, 10th century, Winchester) The antiphon for 20 December is 'O clavis David', and you can read the beautiful Old English poetic version of that antiphon here; it speaks of Christ as se þe locan healdeð, lif ontyneð, 'he who guards the locks, who opens life', who will 'become for us a source of strength in spirit, and enfold our feeble

16:22

Kleine Vertheidigung der Sakristeiwisschenschaft (wo der Leib sagt, was die Seele meint) [Denzinger-Katholik]


Ein bleibender Verdienst der Liturgiereform, so hört man es selbst von liturgisch bemühten Priestern alleweil, wäre die Überwindung der klassischen Rubrizistik gewesen.* Was alles so seit mehr als einem halben Jahrhundert mit geradezu rubrizistischer Wiederholungswut wieder und wieder wider die Rubrizistik vorgebracht wurde, muss hier nicht nochmal aufgeführt werden.
Dass es darauf nicht ankomme und man alles nicht so genau nehmen müsse, darauf läuft es jedenfalls am Ende hinaus. Kleinigkeiten sind es eben. Aber muss nicht das Herrenwort: Wer im Kleinen getreu ist, ist es auch im Großen, und wer im Kleinen ungetreu ist, ist es auch im Großen (Lk 16, 10) nicht gerade auch für das liturgische Tun gelten, vor allem für die bestellten Diener des Altares? Wie wichtig diese Normen sind, nicht allein, damit nicht Chaos, Subjektivismus und Willkür in die Kirche einzieht ... das ging mir so richtig wieder heute in einem Levitenamt auf. Kardinal Bona drückte es in De divina psalmodia einmal sehr schön aus und wurde von Pius XII. in der Enzyklika Mediator Dei zitiert:
Denn wenn auch die Zeremonien aus sich selbst keine Vollkommenheit und Heiligkeit beinhalten, so sind sie doch äußere religiöse Akte, durch die der Geist wie durch Zeichen zur Verehrung alles Heiligen angeeifert, der Sinn zum Himmlischen emporgehoben, die Frömmigkeit genährt und die Liebe entflammt wird; durch sie wächst der Glaube und wird die Andacht vertieft; durch sie werden die weniger Gebildeten unterrichtet, der Gottesdienst verschönert, die Religion erhalten und die wahren Gläubigen von den unechten Christen und Irrgläubigen unterschieden. (231)
In derselben Enzyklika mahnt der Heilige Vater, der heranwachende Klerus solle zu richtigem Verständnis der Zeremonien angeleitet werden und die Rubriken recht erlernen, nicht nur, damit der Jünger des Heiligtums später die gottesdienstlichen Funktionen ordnungsgemäß, schön und würdig zu vollziehen befähigt sei, sondern vor allem damit er in innigster Vereinigung mit dem Hohenpriester Christus erzogen werde und ein heiliger Diener des Heiligen sei. (369)

Es geht hier also nicht bloß um einen reibungslosen Ablauf, um höfisches Gebaren und Schnörkelei. Die Rubrizistik bietet gleichsam eine praktische Mystagogie und eine Schule der Heiligkeit. Was die heiligen Zeichen uns sagen und bedeuten sollen, da lasse ich Romano Guardini mit seinem bekannten Werk zu Worte kommen, und zwar anhand des Beispiels einer der allerersten liturgischen Gesten: der Händefaltung.
Steht jemand in demütiger, ehrerbietiger Haltung des Herzens vor Gott, dann legt sich die gestreckte Hand flach auf die andere. Das sagt von fester Zucht, von beherrschter Ehrerbietung. Ein demütiges, wohlgeordnetes Sprechen des eigenen Wortes ist das, und ein aufmerksam bereites Hören des göttlichen. Oder es drückt Ergebung aus, Hingabe, wenn wir die Hände, mit denen wir uns wehren, gleichsam gebunden in Gottes Hände geben ... Schön und groß ist die Sprache der Hand. Von ihr sagt die Kirche, Gott habe sie uns gegeben, daß wir 'die Seele darin tragen'. So nimm sie ernst, diese heilige Sprache. Gott hört auf sie. Sie spricht vom Innern der Seele. Sie kann auch von Herzensträgheit, Zerstreutheit und anderem Unguten reden. Halte die Hände recht und sorge, daß Dein Inneres mit dem Äußeren wahrhaft übereinstimme! (...) Kein eitles, geziertes Spiel daraus machen, sondern eine Sprache soll es uns sein, durch die in lauter Wahrhaftigkeit der Leib Gott sagt, was die Seele meint. 
Und so will ich, angefangen von den Gesten der Hand, keine einzige Rubrik missen.

Die Enzyklika wurde zitiert nach der auf stjosef.at angebotenen Übersetzung. Guardini aus seinem Buch: Von heiligen Zeichen. Würzburg: Werkbund-Verlag 1937, S. 18ff.

*Auf die Frage, wie es ohne gehen soll, müssen sie dann aber mit den Achseln zucken. Pfarrer Terlinden macht einen für den deutschsprachigen Raum (meines Wissens nach) einmaligen Versuch einer Rubrizistik für die neue Messordnung, hier als PDF herunterladbar. 

14:37

Die Kollekten des Advent und ihre Übersetzungen - 4. und letzter Sonntag [Denzinger-Katholik]

Excita, quæsumus, Domine, potentiam tuam, et veni: et magna nobis virtute succurre; ut per auxilium gratiæ tuæ, quod nostra peccata præpediunt, indulgentia tuæ propitiationis acceleret: Qui vivis et regnas.
Schott:
Biete Deine Macht auf, o Herr, und komm, wir bitten Dich; eile uns zur Hilfe mit starker Macht, damit Dein verzeihendes Erbarmen durch den Beistand Deiner Gnade das Heil beschleunige, das unsre Sünden noch aufhalten: Der Du lebst und herrschest.
Bomm:
Wir bitten, Herr, erwecke Deine Macht und komme und eile uns zu Hilfe mit großer Kraft; stehe uns bei mit Deiner Gnade und beschleunige durch huldvolle Verzeihung, was unsere Sünden verzögern. Der Du lebst.
1965er Meßbuch:
Biete auf deine Macht, Herr Jesus Christus, und komm und eile uns zu Hilfe mit großer Kraft; unsere Sünden halten deine Ankunft noch auf, in deiner verzeihenden Huld führe alsbald ihre Stunde herbei: Der du lebst.
Schenk:
Wir bitten Dich, Herr: Biete auf Deine Macht und komme! Mit starker Macht eile uns zu Hilfe! Dein Erbarmen und Verzeihen möge mit Deiner Gnadenhilfe beschleunigen, was unsere Sünden verzögern. Der Du lebst.
Stephan:
Laß, wir bitten dich, Herr, wirksam werden deine Macht und komm; und werde uns mit deiner großen Kraft ein Helfer, auf daß unter dem Beistand deiner Huld das, was unsere Sünden aufhalten, die in deiner Milde erwiesene Nachsicht schneller gewähre. Der du lebst.
Ramm:
Biete auf, so bitten wir, Herr, Deine Macht und komm, und steh uns bei mit großer Kraft, damit, durch die Hilfe Deiner Gnade, die Vergebung Deiner Versöhnung das, was unsere Sünden hemmen, beschleunige, der Du lebst.
1975er Meßbuch:
Die Kollekte findet sich so nicht mehr im Missale.*

*Wieder finden wir eine ganz ähnliche Kollekte am Donnerstag in der 1. Adventswoche: Biete auf deine Macht, Herr, unser Gott, und komm. Eile uns zu Hilfe mit göttlicher Kraft, damit durch dein gnädiges Erbarmen bald das Heil kommt,
das unsere Sünden noch aufhalten. (1975er Meßbuch) Freilich konnte die Oration nicht eins zu eins übernommen werden, da nach dem Dogma der Liturgiereformer keine Gebete an Gott den Sohn gerichtet werden durften.
Meine recht wörtliche Übersetzung der neuen Kollekte: Biete Deine Macht auf, o Herr, und eile uns zu Hilfe mit großer Kraft, damit, was unsere Sünden aufhalten, durch die Versöhnung Deiner Gnade beschleunigt werde. 

08:17

De Mella [Oz Conservative]

This is an important part of the traditionalist response to liberal modernity (hat tip: Traditional Britain Group):



Liberals imagine that they are liberating individuals by making them self-defining. But this diminishes the individual by removing important parts of our identity, our belonging, and our sense of connection to people and place; to culture and heritage; and to a continuity between the generations.

The individual comes into his own when he is richly encultured, not when he is stripped down and abstracted to allow for self-definition

06:42

CONSIGLI PER GLI ACQUISTI: NOVITA' IN LIBRERIA [Il Blog di Raffaella. Riflessioni e commenti fra gli Amici di Benedetto XVI]

Joseph Ratzinger-Benedetto XVI, "Le omelie di Pentling", Libreria Editrice Vaticana 2015 Marco Vannini, "All'ultimo papa - Lettere sull'amore, la grazia e la libertà", Il Saggiatore 2015 Benedetto XVI, "Gesù di Nazaret - Scritti di cristologi (Opera Omnia di Joseph Ratzinger), Libreria Editrice Vaticana 2015 Gianfranco Ravasi, "Dalla Bibbia alla biblioteca. Benedetto XVI e la cultura della

06:16

College dissenters [Oz Conservative]

I've written a few pieces on the protests by left-wing students at various campuses in the U.S. The general pattern was that a group of these students claimed that they were so harmed by a "microaggression" that they could no longer function in life; they then demonstrated rowdily attacking anyone who did not actively join in; before successfully getting college administrators to resign and demanding that everyone on campus undertake various re-education courses.

The most adult response to this I've read is an editorial from a student newspaper at Claremont McKenna College. Titled "We dissent" it criticises both the student activists and the craven campus administrators. It's worth reading in full, but here are some highlights:

...First, former Dean Mary Spellman...we are disappointed in you as well. We are disappointed that you allowed a group of angry students to bully you into resignation.

Second, President Chodosh. We were disappointed to see you idly stand by and watch students berate, curse at, and attack Dean Spellman for being a “racist.” For someone who preaches about “leadership” and “personal and social responsibility,” your actions are particularly disappointing. You let your colleague, someone who has been helping your administration for the past three years and the college for six years, be publicly mocked and humiliated. Why? Because you were afraid. You were afraid that students would also mock and humiliate you if you defended Dean Spellman, so you let her be thrown under the bus

To our fellow Claremont students, we are disappointed in you as well. We are ashamed of you for trying to end someone’s career over a poorly worded email. This is not a political statement—this is a person’s livelihood that you so carelessly sought to destroy. We are disappointed that you chose to scream and swear at your administrators. That is not how adults solve problems, and your behavior reflects poorly on all of us here in Claremont. This is not who we are and this is not how we conduct ourselves, but this is the image of us that has now reached the national stage.

We are disappointed in your demands. If you want to take a class in “ethnic, racial, and sexuality theory,” feel free to take one, but don’t force such an ideologically driven course on all CMC students. If the dearth of such courses at CMC bothers you, maybe you should have chosen a different school.

We are disappointed in the fact that your movement has successfully managed to convince its members that anyone who dissents does so not for intelligent reasons, but due to moral failure or maliciousness. We are disappointed that you’ve used phrases like “silence is violence” to not only demonize those who oppose you, but all who are not actively supporting you.

We are adults, and we need to be mature enough to take ownership of and responsibility for our feelings, rather than demanding that those around us cater to our individual needs. The hypocrisy of advocating for “safe spaces” while creating an incredibly unsafe space for President Chodosh, former Dean Spellman, the student who was “derailing,” and the news media representatives who were verbally abused unfortunately seemed to soar over many of your heads.

Lastly, we are disappointed in students like ourselves, who were scared into silence. We are not racist for having different opinions. We are not immoral because we don’t buy the flawed rhetoric of a spiteful movement. We are not evil because we don’t want this movement to tear across our campuses completely unchecked.

We are no longer afraid to be voices of dissent.

01:00

Matins readings for the fourth week of Advent [Lectio Divina Notes]

Matins readings in the Benedictine Office for the fourth week of Advent are as follows:

Sunday - see separate post for texts of the readings

Nocturn I: Isaiah 35:1-4, 5-7, 8-10; 41: 1-4
Nocturn II: Sermon of St Leo the Great (no 12)
Nocturn III: Homily of St Gregory (No 20 on the Evangelists, n7&8)
Gospel: St Luke 3:1-6

Monday

Isaiah 41:8-10, 11-13; 14-16]

Tuesday

Isaiah 42:1-4; 5-7; 10-13

Wednesday 

Isaiah 51:1-3, 4-6, 7-8

Thursday

Isaiah 64:1-4; 5-7; 8-11

Friday 

Isaiah 66:5-8; 9-12; 13-16


DOMINICA QUARTA ADVENTUS [BRUNONIS]

Normal 0 21 false false false DE X-NONE X-NONE MicrosoftInternetExplorer4 INTROITUS.

Is 45,8a
Roráte, cæli, désuper, et nubes pluant iustum:
aperiátur terra, et gérminet Salvatórem.
Ps 18,2: Cæli enárrant glóriam Dei: et ópera mánuum
eius annúntiat firmaméntum.
Glória Patri. Roráte, caeli, désuper.

Kýrie, eléison.
Non dicitur Glória in excélsis.

COLLECTA.           
Orémus.
Deus,  cuius  ineffábile Verbum,  ángelo nuntiánte, Virgo immaculáta suscépit /
et, domus divinitátis effécta, Sancti Spíritus luce replétur  : 
quaésumus, ut nos, eius exemplo /
voluntáti tuæ humíliter adhærére valeámus :
Per Dóminum.

LECTIO.      
Mic 5,l-4a
Ex te egredietur qui sit dominator in Israel.
Léctio libri Michaeae prophétæ.
Haec dicit Dóminus: Sed tu, Béthlehem Ephrata,
párvulus in mílibus Iudae:
ex te mihi egrediétur qui sit dominátor in Israel; et egréssus eius a tempóribus antíquis,
a diébus æternitátis. Propter hoc dabit eos
usque ad tempus, in quo partúriens páriet; et relíquiæ fratrum eius converténtur ad fílios Israel. Et stabit et pascet in fortitúdine Dómini,
in sublimitáte nóminis Dómini Dei sui; et habitábunt secúre, quia nunc magnus erit
usque ad términos terræ, et erit iste pax.

RESPONSORIUM.           
Ps 144,18.21a
Prope est Dóminus ómnibus invocántibus eum: ómnibus qui ínvocant eum in veritáte.
Laudem Dómini loquétur os meum: et benedícat omnis caro nomen sanctum eius.

ALLELUIA. 
Ps 79,3b
Allelúia, y.
Excita, Dómine, poténtiam tuam, et veni: ut salvos fácias nos. Allelúia.

EVANGELIUM.     
Lc 1,26-38
Ecce concipies in utero et paries filium.
Léctio sancti Evangélii secúndum Lucam.
In  illo témpore: Missus est ángelus Gábriel a Deo in civitátem Galilaeae, cui nomen Názareth, ad vírginem desponsátam viro cui nomen erat Ioseph de domo David, et nomen vírginis María.
Et ingréssus ad eam dixit: “Ave, grátia plena, Dóminus tecum”. Ipsa autem turbáta est in sermóne eius et cogitábat qualis esset ista salutátio.
Et ait ángelus ei: “Ne tímeas, María, invenísti enim grátiam apud Deum: et ecce concípies in útero et páries fílium, et vocábis nomen eius Iesum. Hic erit magnus et Fílius Altíssimi vocábitur, et dabit illi Dóminus Deus sedem David patris eius, et regnábit super domum Iacob in ætérnum, et Regni eius non erit finis”.
Dixit autem María ad ángelum: “Quómodo fiet istud, quóniam virum non cognósco?”
Et respóndens ángelus dixit ei: “Spíritus Sanctus supervéniet in te, et virtus Altíssimi obumbrábit tibi: ideóque et quod nascétur Sanctum vocábitur, Fílius Dei. Et ecce Elísabeth cognáta tua et ipsa concépit fílium in senécta sua, et hic mensis est sextus illi quae vocátur stérilis: quia non erit impossíbile apud Deum omne verbum”.
Dixit autem María: “Ecce ancílla Dómini: fiat mihi secundum verbum tuum”.
Et discéssit ab illa ángelus.

Credo in unum Deum.
SUPER OBLATA.
Altári tuo, Dómine, superpósita múnera Spíritus ille  sanctificet /
qui beatae Mariae víscera sua virtúte replévit :
Per Christum.

COMMUNIO.        
Is 7,I4b
Ecce Virgo concípiet, et páriet Fílium:
et vocábitur nomen eius Emmánuel.

POST COMMUNIONEM.          
Orémus.
Sumpto pígnore redemptiónis ætérnæ, quaésumus, omnípotens Deus :
ut quanto magis dies salutíferæ festivitátis accedit /
tanto devótius proficiámus ad Fílii tui digne nativitátis mystérium celebrándum :
Per Dóminum.


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28010203040506
07080910111213
14151617181920
21222324252627
28293031010203
November 2010
MonTueWedThuFriSatSun
01020304050607
08091011121314
15161718192021
22232425262728
29300102030405
August 2010
MonTueWedThuFriSatSun
26272829303101
02030405060708
09101112131415
16171819202122
23242526272829
30310102030405
June 2010
MonTueWedThuFriSatSun
31010203040506
07080910111213
14151617181920
21222324252627
28293001020304
January 2010
MonTueWedThuFriSatSun
28293031010203
04050607080910
11121314151617
18192021222324
25262728293031
December 2009
MonTueWedThuFriSatSun
30010203040506
07080910111213
14151617181920
21222324252627
28293031010203
November 2009
MonTueWedThuFriSatSun
26272829303101
02030405060708
09101112131415
16171819202122
23242526272829
30010203040506