quod pro nobis traditum est

Friday, January 30, 2009

Paul, Polycarp and the Philippians

“And when absent from you [blessed Paul] wrote you a letter, which, if you carefully study, you will find to be the means of building you up in that faith which has been given you, and which, being followed by hope, and preceded by love towards God, and Christ, and our neighbor, ‘is the mother of us all.’”

- St. Polycarp, Letter to the Philippians

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Catching up on the Cinema

Normally, I may see one movie a year. There are many reasons for this but primarily this has to do with having a family with young children, being a pastor and being a part-time theology/religion instructor. So mainly this is a time thing but it helps financially also to be out of the loop. Usually, if I watch a movie it is while I am on vacation.

This is what makes this year's post-Christmas vacation so unique. Granted we are in Epiphany now and with the Super Bowl around the corner Christmas is all but forgotten so this post is somewhat belated. For a few days following Christmas and into the new year I was with family in Missouri. During this brief break I actually had time for three movies.

First, was a matinee with the men. Valkyrie is about one of the many plots on Hitler's life. This attempted plot took place within Hitler's inner circle and was led by a young officer. The failed attempt took place during the summer before Hitler's fall and the end of World War II. This movie was a good look at a period of history I know little about. The symbolism is found in the movie's title and is spun into the plot.

Then there was a DVD called Expelled. This was a somewhat disturbing and somewhat humorous look at academic freedom, or the lack of it, in certain circles regarding questions about beginnings (earth, life, etc.) It is fast-paced and requires some thinking.

Finally, I saw a DVD called Bella. This is a heart-warming story about people in real life situations that affect how they view life and the value of children. You will get drawn into the story through the characters.
(Note: In Spanish, "Bella" is the feminine form of the word meaning "beautiful.")

Normally, this is a list devoted to the topics of "church" and "liturgy." As unusual as this post might seem here it is probably just as unusual that within a period of 4 or 5 days I would sit and watch three movies . . .

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Feast of the Baptism of Our Lord

"That Firstborn Who was begotten according to His nature, was born in another birth that was external to His nature; that we might know that after our natural birth we must have another birth which is outside our nature. For He, since He was spiritual, until He came to the corporeal birth, could not be corporeal; in like manner also the corporeal, unless they are born in another birth, cannot be spiritual. But the Son Whose generation is unsearchable, was born in another generation that may be searched out; that by the one we might learn that His Majesty is without limit, and by the other might be taught that His grace is without measure . . .

"This is He Who was begotten from the Godhead according to His nature, and from manhood not after His nature, and from baptism not after His custom; that we might be begotten from manhood according to our nature, and from Godhead not after our nature, and by the Spirit not after our custom . . .

"The Father begat Him, and through Him created the creatures. Flesh bare Him and through Him slew lusts. Baptism brought Him forth, that through Him it might wash away stains . . .

"To you be praise, the medicine of life, Who hast converted all that are baptised, to Him Who is life of all, and Lord of all!"

(St. Ephraim, Homily on Our Lord, 1,2,7 source:

Tuesday, January 06, 2009

Feast of the Epiphany

- French (anonymous), ca. 1380 - 1390

"Our home country is the paradise from which we have fallen. We are forbidden to return to it. When we come to know Jesus, we can return along the way by which he returned . . . So let us, like the magi, return to our home country by another way than the way we left it." - Gregory the Great (ACCS, Matthew 1a, 1-13, p. 30)