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Archive for December, 2009

Andrey Tarkovsky on Modern Art

Posted by Remy on December 25, 2009

“Modern art has taken a wrong turn in abandoning the search for the meaning of existence in order to affirm the value of the individual for its own sake. What purports to be art begins to look like an eccentric occupation for suspect characters who maintain that any personalized action is of intrinsic value simple as a display of self-will. But in artistic creation the personality does not assert itself, it serves another, higher and communal idea. The artist is always a servant, and is perpetually trying to pay for the gift that has been given to him as if by a miracle. Modern man, however, does not want to make any sacrifice, even though true affirmation of self can only be expressed in sacrifice.”

-Andrey Tarkovsky, Sculpting in Time

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Jumping from Protestantism

Posted by Remy on December 21, 2009

“I am sorry to think that there are people out there whose Protestantism has been so barren that they never found out about sacraments, transformation, community or eschatology. Clearly this person needed a change. But to jump to Rome for that reason is very odd.”

-NT Wright

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ERH on Schism

Posted by Remy on December 20, 2009

“The schism, at this moment, unites the Christians more than it separates them. It becomes a part of every Christian’s real existence in the world. That he is a member of one denomination is one thing, that he is a member of Christendom at large is of at least the same momentum. And the schism between East and West by its depth restores the full size of the decision between the Cross and the non-crucial mentalities; compared to the schism, the childishness and small stature of denominational quarrels is too obvious. And a Christian may become a full-grown adult again instead of a Sunday school boy by identifying himself with his schismatic brothers. Unless he can do this, he has not grown up.”

-Eugen Rosenstock-Huessy, The Christian Future

(italics original)

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I’m Catholic

Posted by Remy on December 18, 2009

in the Protestant Rite.

Or as Dr. Peter Leithart puts it:

Liturgical Protestantism is fundamentally catholic.  It is catholic not because it reduces Confessional requirements or advocates a pietist non-Confessionalism.  It is catholic because it recognizes that the center of the church’s life and identity is not humanly constructed Confessions but the God-Man Jesus, communicated to His people through word and sacrament.

Posted in Ecclesia | 1 Comment »

St. Augustine & A.R. Ammons

Posted by Remy on December 17, 2009

But what is this? I asked the earth and she replied: “It is not I,” and all that is in her made the same response. I asked the sea and the deeps and the creeping spirits and they answered: “We are not thy God; look above us.” I asked the fleet winds, and the whole air with its inhabitants said: “Anaximenes is mistaken. I am not God.” I asked the sky, the sun, the moon and the stars. “Neither are we,” said they, “the God whom thou seekest.” And I cried to everything that stands about the doors of my flesh: “Tell me of my God, since you art not He. Tell me something of Him!” And they shouted aloud: “He made us.”
-St. Augustine

The pieces of my voice have been thrown
away I said turning to the hedgerows
and hidden ditches
Where do the pieces of
my voice lie scattered
The cedarcone said you have been ground
down into and whirled

Tomorrow I must go look under the clumps of
marshgrass in wet deserts
and in dry deserts
when the wind falls from the mountain
inquire of the chuckwalla what he saw go by
and what the sidewinder found
risen in the changing sand
I must run down all the pieces
and build the whole silence back

As I look across the fields the sun
big in my eyes I see the hills
the great black unwasting silence and
know I must go out beyond the hills and seek
for I am broken over the earth-
so little remains
for the silent offering of my death

-A.R. Ammons

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How the Unity We Have in Christ Spreads To All Areas

Posted by Remy on December 16, 2009

“Feed my sheep” does not mean “Be fed by my shepherd”.

Roman, Orthodox, and sectarian protestants hinge doctrinal unity on intellectual assent. Biblically, table fellowship is first not last.

ERH writes about the three epochs of Christianity, the first epoch is the Unity of God is spread, God defeating the plurality of gods, the second epoch is the Unity of the World, where the world is connected together, and the third stage is the Unity of Man, in which race and class are no longer divisive.  We are in the last stages of the second epoch, entering the third.

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ERH on the Creed and a Footnote

Posted by Remy on December 15, 2009

In short, the story of man since Christ has been the application of the Athanasian Creed to everyday life. The story makes it clear that the Creed is not a statement of bare facts but a command given at baptism. The Creed describes essentially three things- God’s trust in man, God’s liberty, God’s creativity (5) -and enjoins us to accept the conditions under which we may make Man by sharing these Divine attributes.

5. These are the powers of faith, love, hope, which bridge the abysses inside of “Man” whom we little men have to represent through the ages. It is essential to realize that they come from God rather than the human will. The Greek and Hebrew words for faith mean God’s faithfulness and trust. Our believe is but the poor reflex of God’s faithfulness to all of us together. William James’ unfortunate phrase of “the Will to Believe,” ushered in the revolt of the masses because it deprive our faith of its prop. The masses are plunged into night when faith is made dependent of human will, instead of meaning that God holds us in the palm of his hand. Similarly love and its liberty are too often confused with will, even by theologians. Love and will have as little to do with each other as a wedding ring with a cannon. Will is not free, for it must struggle for life; but love is free, because it can chose death.

-Eugen Rosenstock-Huessy

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An Advent Prayer

Posted by Remy on December 11, 2009

Drop down, ye heavens, from above: and let the skies pour down righteousness. Let the earth open: and let them bring forth salvation.

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Hymns sung in Purgatorio

Posted by Remy on December 10, 2009

Purgatorio Canto II:46-79. ‘In exitu Israel de Aegypto’. Dante indicated the meaning of this Psalm 114, when ‘the mountains skipped like rams’ as being ‘the exit of the sanctified soul, from the slavery of this corruption, to the liberty of eternal glory.’

Purgatorio Canto V:1-63. The Miserere is a setting of Psalm 51, a psalm of repentance (‘wash me and I shall be whiter than snow’) beginning: ‘Have mercy upon me, O God,’

Purgatorio Canto VII:64-136. The Salve Regina (Salva Regina, mater misericordiae) is the antiphon sung after Vespers, invoking the aid of the Virgin.

Purgatorio Canto VIII:1-45. Te lucis ante terminum is the Ambrosian hymn sung at Compline, the last office of the day.

Purgatorio Canto IX:106-145. Te Deum Laudamus is the Ambrosian hymn sung at Matins and on solemn occasions. Saint Ambrose (c340-397AD) Bishop of Milan, opposed the Arian heresy, and chose simple metres to create hymns to help the uneducated understand the orthodox faith.

Purgatorio Canto XII:100-136. ‘Beati pauperes spiritu, Blessed are the poor in spirit for theirs is the kingdom of Heaven’, the First Beatitude from the Sermon on the Mount.

Purgatorio Canto XV:37-81. ‘Beati misericordes, Blessed are the merciful for they shall obtain mercy’, the Fifth Beatitude from the Sermon on the Mount Matthew v 7. For the words ‘Rejoice you who conquer’ refer to Matthew v 12, Romans xii 21 and Revelation ii 7.

Purgatorio Canto XVI:1-24. The prayer from the Latin Mass, ‘Agnus Dei qui tollis peccata mundi, miserere nobis, dona nobis pacem: Lamb of God, who taketh away the sins of the world, have mercy on us, give us peace.’ See John i 29.

Purgatorio Canto XVII:40-69. The Third Beatitude from the Sermon on the Mount Matthew v 5, is spoken, not sung. ‘Beati pacifici: blessed are the meek’ (for they shall inherit the earth.)

Purgatorio Canto XIX:37-69. The Second Beatitude from the Sermon on the Mount Matthew v 4, is affirmed by the Angel of Zeal. ‘Beati qui lugent: blessed are they that mourn’ (for they shall be comforted.)

Purgatorio Canto XIX:70-114. Psalm 119 v25. ‘Adhaesit pavimento anima mea, my soul cleaveth unto the dust, quicken thou me according to thy word.’

Purgatorio Canto XX:97-151. ‘Gloria in excelsis Deo, pax hominibus bonae voluntatis: Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, goodwill to all men.’ See Luke ii 8-14.

Purgatorio Canto XXII:1-24. ‘Sitiunt’: in the Fourth Beatitude from the Sermon on the Mount, Matthew v 6,‘Beati qui esuriunt et sitiunt justitiam: Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness.’

Purgatorio Canto XXIII:1-36. ‘Labia mea Domine: O Lord open thou my lips (and my mouth shall shew forth thy praise).’ Psalm 51 verse 15. A verse of the Miserere, see above.

Purgatorio Canto XXIV:100-154. A second reference, see above, to the Fourth Beatitude from the Sermon on the Mount, Matthew v 6, ‘Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled.’

Purgatorio Canto XXV:109-139. The Matin hymn, with its opening words, as given prior to the revision of the Breviary by Pope Urban VIII in 1631:  ‘Summae Deus Clementae: God of supreme mercy,’ which contains a prayer for protection against lustfulness.

Purgatorio Canto XXVII:1-45. ‘Beati mundo corde: Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.’ The Sixth Beatitude from the Sermon on the Mount, Matthew v 8.

Purgatorio Canto XXVII:46-93. The division of the sheep and goats at the last day, when the King shall say to the sheep on the right: ‘Venite benedicti patris mei: Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world.’ Matthew xxv 34.

Purgatorio Canto XXVIII:52-138. ‘Delectasti me, Domine in factura tua: For, thou, Lord, hast made me glad through thy work.’ Psalm 92 v4 is spoken by Matilda.

Purgatorio Canto XXIX:1-36. ‘Beati, quorum tecta sunt peccata: Blessed is he whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered.’ Psalm 32 verse 1.

Purgatorio CantoXXIX:82-105. ‘Blessed art thou among women’ are the words of the Angel Gabriel, and of Elizabeth, to Mary. See Luke i 28 and 42.

Purgatorio Canto XXX:1-48. The Elder representing the books of Solomon sings ‘Veni sponsa de Libano: Come with me from Lebanon, my spouse, with me from Lebanon.’ from the Song of Solomon iv 8. Dante mentions that the Saints will sing Alleluia, on the Day of Judgement, an un-translated Hebrew word used as a chant of praise, taken over from synagogue usage (the Hebrew halleluyah meaning ‘praise ye Jehovah’)

Those in the chariot, sing the Benedictus, prescribed for Lauds, the first day-hour, by St Benedict: ‘Benedictus qui venit: Blessed is he that comest in the name of the Lord.’ See Matthew xxi 9, Mark xi 9, Luke xix 38, John xii 13.

Purgatorio Canto XXX:82-145. Psalm 31 lines 1-8. ‘In te, Domine, speravi: In thee, O Lord, do I put my trust, let me never be ashamed…thou hast set my feet in a large room.’

Purgatorio Canto XXXI:91-145. ‘Asperges me: Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean: wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.’ Psalm 51 verse 7.

Purgatorio Canto XXXIII:1-57. Psalm 79. ‘Deus, venerunt gentes: O God, the heathen are come into thine inheritance; thy holy temple have they defiled..’

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