Saturday, January 13, 2018
Friday, January 12, 2018
A review of To Light a Fire on the Earth: Proclaiming the Gospel in a Secular Age, by Bishop Robert Barron, with John L. Allen, Jr.
Are Latin bishops able to give a proper presentation of the kerygma? And do they realize their missionary field is not one country, but many within the borders of the United States?
Thursday, January 11, 2018
Wednesday, January 10, 2018
the exaltation of the monastic life led to the imposition of a quasi-monastic rule on lay people (for example, fasting regulations)? And the denigration of lay vocation? And it had an adverse psychological or emotional impact, with lay people believing that they were too "normal," not good enough to be holy? And thus they identified asceticism too much with certain external practices regarding goods of the body, and not enough with the mortification of the will with the divine agape?
Tuesday, January 09, 2018
From The End of Modernity by Thaddeus Kozinski:
According to St. Thomas, men cannot adequately understand in theory, let alone fulfill in practice, the detailed precepts of the natural law without the help of its author, God, and its divinely appointed interpreter, the Roman Catholic Church. With regard to a non-sacral foundation for political order, the Thomist Joseph May in the 1950s stated: “The only true doctrine is that civil society cannot prescind from the ultimate end [emphasis mine] both because the temporal welfare implies an ordering to the spiritual and supernatural, and because the individual citizens are directly and positively bound to tend to it.” And even Dignitatis Humanae insists that it “leaves untouched the traditional Catholic doctrine about the moral duty of men and societies toward the true religion and the one Church of Christ” (Sec. 1). As Pope John Paul II often reiterated, the face of Jesus Christ is the only true mirror in which man can fully and accurately contemplate and comprehend his own nature and destiny; thus, only therein can he discern the moral values and goods most perfective of himself and the political order.
In the wake of Magnum Principium’s changes to the process for approving liturgical translations, the U.S. bishops are charting a careful path forward.
Pray for the iconographer. Lunacy is not the word to describe this.
Dear friends: I'm so happy to share with you this new icon by Robert Lentz, OFM, the great iconographer (with his permission) of two of great prophets of our time: Philip Berrigan and Daniel Berrigan, SJ. https://t.co/UAf9xsyKuv pic.twitter.com/gzQ4znHTDU— James Martin, SJ (@JamesMartinSJ) January 7, 2018
Monday, January 08, 2018
TOJ: You mentioned that the state acts as if it does not have an overriding metanarrative of its own, yet it does. You’ve commented on how it does take itself as peace-loving and the greatest promoter of world peace, yet through the use of violence as well. Can you, however, comment more specifically about the myths at the very origin of the state—in the early stages of its formative history—that have especially led to these currently accepted ideas?
BC: Well, when I say “the state” I am thinking in particular of the Western liberal democratic state. What is at the origin of this form is the idea of liberalism—which is, to reiterate, the idea of openness and universality overcoming particularity. This is one of the most basic ideas at bottom of the nuts and bolts formation of the Western state. It is basically an overcoming of the local through a centralization of power in the allegedly universal. So the particular loyalties of the people in the medieval period—loyalties to church and clan and guild and town and lord and so on—all of those particular loyalties are fragmented and absorbed into one centralized, universalized loyalty to the state. This transferring of loyalties in the process of state building is then a basic project that we find at the beginning of the rise of the Western state.
TOJ: You have mentioned in your work Charles Tilley’s idea that this process of state building is a process of war-making, almost like organized crime, in trying to centralize this power and these loyalties. And the centralized ordering of social space now seems to be more de-ritualized and secularized without the older particular loyalties of the past. Yet you have claimed in your work that in order for the state to develop this seemingly open, secular order it nevertheless uses quasi-religious liturgical practices that are somewhat of a religious parody in order to discipline and instrumentalize the devotion and imagination of the people. Can you comment on this movement of de-ritualizing and yet using quasi-liturgies by the state in order to gain allegiance and order? And what are ways it is still apparent in the U.S.?
BC: This process of state building and secularization is a very ambivalent movement because it certainly is the case that the liturgical rhythms of previous societies have been truly washed away. This is evident in the ways that the rhythms of time have been changed. Sundays used to be days of rest and now everything is open all the time on Sunday and everything is available 24-7 on the internet and so on, which really does de-liturgize society in a way.
But there are exceptions to this. I think the primary exception is the way that rituals of national patriotism are highly symbolic and highly ritualized and liturgized, especially as they revolve around the flag as the central totem symbol.
“The Church’s mystical tradition is rarely, if ever, addressed from the pulpit,” says Susan Brinkmann, author of a new book on the practice of mindfulness, “which leaves many vulnerable to being drawn into eastern forms of prayer that are not compatible with Christian prayer.”