quod pro nobis traditum est

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Liturgical Quote of the Day

"What seems to be a coincidence at first glance turns out to be, after looking at the hierarchy of themes and tasks of the Church, intrinsically the most just thing as well. By beginning with the theme of "liturgy," the primacy of God, the priority of the "God" theme, was unequivocally brought to light. The first word of the first chapter in the constitution is "God." When the focus is not on God, everything else loses its orientation. The words of the Benedictine rule "Ergo nihil Operi Dei praeponatur" (43,3; "So let nothing be put before the Work of God") apply specifically to monasticism, but as a statement of priority they are also true for the life of the Church, and of each of its members, each in his own way. It is perhaps useful to recall that in the term "orthodoxy," the second half of the word, "doxa,"does not mean "opinion," but "splendor," "glorification": this is not a matter of a correct "opinion" about God, but of a proper way of glorifying him, of responding to him. Because this is the fundamental question of the man who begins to understand himself in the correct way: how should I encounter God? So learning the right way of adoration – of orthodoxy – is what is given to us above all by the faith."

- Joseph Ratzinger, excerpt from the Preface to the initial volume of "Opera Omnia" (HT: Chiesa)

Friday, October 17, 2008

Ignatius of Antioch, Bishop and Martyr

"The Epistles of Ignatius which were sent to us by him, and others which we had by us, we send you as requested. They are enclosed herewith. You will be able to benefit greatly from them. For they are conducive to faith and patience and to every kind of edification pertaining to our Lord."

- Polycarp, Bishop of Smyrna (Epistle to the Philippians 13, 2; cited in Quasten, Vol. 1, p. 73)

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Lutheran Liturgical Quote of the Day

"Our common understanding of our Lord's incarnation by the Holy Ghost out of the Blessed Virgin Mary is such that we see the world in which we live as sacramental, a world in which God operates through material means and physical persons -- the human proclamation of the word of God; a washing with water in the laver of rebirth; the eating and drinking of bread and wine that in the sacrament of the altar are the veritable body and blood of Christ; a human mouth speaking a word of binding or loosing that binds or looses in the presence of God; a ministry of men through which God communicates aid and help in our warfare against our native sinfulness and against the seductions of his foes and ours; a union of one man and one woman in marriage by which God discloses the secret of Christ and his bride the Church."

- A.C. Piepkorn, Why Lutherans Should Engage in Conversation with Roman Catholics, "The Church: Selected Writings of Arthur Carl Piepkorn," p. 102

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Liturgy in the Pericope

The Old Testament and Epistle readings for Trinity 20 offer the following:

See then that you [plural] walk circumspectly, not as fools but as wise, redeeming the time, because the days are evil . . . be filled with the Spirit, speaking to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord, giving thanks always for all things to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ (Ephesians 5)

Seek the Lord while He may be found, call upon Him while He is near. Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts; let him return to the Lord, and He will have mercy on him; and to our God, for He will abundantly pardon.
(Isaiah 55)

Why do you spend money for what is not bread, and your wages for what does not satisfy? Listen carefully to Me, and eat what is good, and let your soul delight itself in abundance. Incline your ear, and come to Me. Hear, and your soul shall live (Isaiah 55)

Saturday, October 04, 2008

all that now runs past us in time

". . . See how the world now withers in itself; yet still flowers in our heart. Everywhere is death, everywhere sorrow, everywhere desolation and sadness; we are struck from every side, from every side we are filled with bitterness. And yet, with minds blinded by carnal desires, we love this very bitterness; as the world leaves us, we pursue it; as it collapses, we cling to it. And since we cannot uphold it, as it falls we fall with it; we fall with that to which as it falls we cling.

"Once the world held us fast in its delight. Now it is filled with so many afflictions, that now it is the world itself that sends us to God. Reflect therefore on how all that now runs past us in time is as nothing. The end of earthly things shows us the nothingness of that which can fade and pass away. The ruin of things declares to us, that this fleeting thing was then close to nothingness while it yet seemed to stand firm.

"Reflect therefore on these things with earnest consideration, Dearest Brethren, and make fast your heart to the love of eternal things, so that refusing to strive after earthly dignities, you may attain to that glory to which we come by faith, through Jesus Christ our Lord, Who liveth and reigneth God with the Father, in the Unity of the Holy Ghost, throughout all ages and ages. Amen."

- St. Gregory the Great (on John 4:46-53; Toal, IV, 262)

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

offenses of this world

From the Homily for St. Michael:

. . . Woe to the world because of offenses! For offenses must come, but woe to that man by whom the offense comes! . . . - Matthew 18:1-10

"The offenses of the world are many. Life is rejected by the killing of children during the nine months before they are born. Life is polluted by the taking away of the innocence of children. This is sin as is all forms of relationships and marriage that do not conform to God's creation and blessing. Sin takes that which is holy and precious and re-creates it in its own image. People who are not offended by the world are converted to the life the world demonstrates. This is not new. The problem of sin is as old as Adam and Eve. One church father witnessed the degradation and immorality of his day and wrote, "He grows into praise by virtue of his crime; and the more he is degraded, the more skilful he is considered to be. Such a one is looked upon - oh shame! and looked upon with pleasure . . . Men imitate the gods whom they adore, and to such miserable beings their crimes become their religion." (Cyprian, to Donatus, ANF 277:8)

"It is enough to know about these things for the world reminds us of them every day. Those who live in this way with no thought of repentance and the life that comes from above are in danger of being cast into hell fire. Usually, that is the farthest thing from their minds. Such is the measure of the offenses of this world. And we too are no better if we avoid repentance, Christ and seeking the face of our Father in heaven. This is why Jesus came and this is why He was sent, that we may have life in His name and see the face of our Father in heaven. He leads us away from all ungodliness and gives us grace to overcome all sin. Jesus bore all sin, as ugly as it is, on the cross and by His stripes we are healed. On the cross the head of the serpent is crushed and the prince of this world has lost the war for all eternity. Jesus' blood washes us clean and in His name we are forgiven. The powers of the devil, the world and death are shattered and the gates of hell will not prevail against the holy Church. This is holy Baptism, the ever-flowing fountain of God's mercy and forgiveness for His children."

From the St. Michael Prayer:
". . . O Prince of the Heavenly Host -
by the Divine Power of God -
cast into hell Satan and all the evil spirits
who roam throughout the world seeking the ruin of souls. Amen."

From the Collect:
"Everlasting God, You have ordained and constituted the service of angels and men in a wonderful order. Mercifully grant that, as Your holy angels always serve and worship You in heaven, so by Your appointment they may also help and defend us here on earth . . . Amen."