Monday, March 30, 2020

Dominican Catechesis

A Meditation by Dom Pius de Hemptinne

He was a Benedictine (1879–1907), a disciple of Dom Columba Marmion.


A Latin view, with an emphasis almost solely on our Lord's death and no mention of the Resurrection, and of course the key word is sacrifice, but there is no definition of that word to be found here at least:

THE DEATH OF A GOD, dying for the salvation of men, is the central point in the history of mankind. All ages bear witness to and converge towards it: the preceding centuries point to its coming, the others are destined to harvest its fruits.

The death of Christ is the centre of history, and also the centre of the life of each man in particular. In the eyes of God every man will be great in proportion as he takes part in that deed; for the only true and eternal dignity is that belonging to the divine Priest. The degree of each one’s holiness will be in exact proportion as he participates in that bloody immolation. For the Lamb of God alone is holy.

But although Jesus Christ the divine High Priest appeared only once on earth, to offer up His great sacrifice on Calvary; yet, every day He appears in the person of each one of His ministers, to renew His sacrifice on the altar. In every altar, then, Calvary is seen: every altar becomes an august place, the Holy of holies, the source of all holiness. Thither all must go to seek Life, and thither all must continually return, as to the source of God’s mercies.

A True Believer?

Following upon this post; some videos which reveal Charles Taylor's attitudes towards multiculturalism, diversity, and immigration.

Fr. Hunwicke on the Commemoration of New Saints in the EF


Latin "Integralism"

Tied to a notion of the Papal [ordinary] Magisterium which can make sense only from a maximalist view of the papacy.

The Josias: Coronavirus and Public Masses: An Integralist Perspective by Felix de St. Vincent
In the integralist understanding, the civil authority is subject to the law of the ecclesiastical authority. In Immortale dei, Leo XIII reminds us that nature and reason confirm, “we are bound absolutely to worship God in that way which He has shown to be His will” (Par. 6).

Speculation on Prelapsarian Human Nature

How far can one take it? And why should one take St. Maximos the Confessor as THE expression of Tradition on these points?

Orthodox Christian Theology: How Does Grief Demonstrate Our Original Sin?

If passions, like sadness (or "grief") is a consequence of the Fall, then it is because death is a consequence of the Fall and so we suffer loss and are sad as a result. But what does it mean that sadness is "blameworthy"? Are there no legitimate reasons for being sad, because we have suffered a loss? Is it only legitimate to feel sad out of compassion for the suffering for others? This seems too strict or rigorist to me. 
Saint Maximus taught that sadness is in fact a blameworthy passion that is the result of the fall—a stain of original sin. In the Questions to Thalassius he writes that after the Fall:
[T[he great and innumerable mob of passions was introduced into human life and corrupted it. Thus our life became filled with much groaning…If, on the other hand, our condition of self-love is distressed by pain, then we give birth to anger, envy, hate, enmity, remembrance of past injuries, reproach, slander, oppression, sorrow, hopelessness, despair, the denial of providence, torpor, negligence, despondency, discouragement, faint-heartedness, grief out of season, weeping and wailing, dejection, lamentation, envy, jealousy, spite, and whatever else is produced by our inner disposition when it is deprived of occasions for pleasure. (1.2.15)
Now, many may contend with Maximus’ teaching by saying Jesus “groaned” (John 11:34) and “wept” (John 11:35). We must be careful to read these passages in a Christologically orthodox way.
We know that Jesus “was tempted in every way,” but we also know that “God cannot be tempted by evil” (James 1:13). So, we must understand He was “tempted in every way, WITHOUT SIN” (the Greek does not necessarily include the word “but.”)

In other words, He was tempted in every blameless, without sin. sort of way—hunger, thirst, pain, privation—but not by sinful temptations such as sex, avarice, and the like. I have covered in detail elsewhere that Jesus Christ voluntarily assumed blameless passions, which were in fact not inherent to His sinless human nature as by nature flesh that is sinless, like Adam’s in paradise, experiences none of these things. However, Jesus did voluntarily experience these things as it was naturally possible for Him to. Adamite (prelapsarian) flesh is not glorified flesh—it can contain fallen aspects naturally because the fall did really occur in the prelapsarian flesh, turning it into postlapsarian flesh. Prelapsarian flesh tends towards immortality, but it is not truly immortal until it is glorified. Glorified flesh cannot experience the fall. So, Enoch, Elijah, Moses, Mary, and others (if they exist) with resurrected bodies cannot fall into sin like Adam and Eve, because they have glorified bodies. This, for them, would be an impossibility.

This being said, we must be careful not to assume Jesus weeps for the same reason we grieve. We often grieve because we feel an intense, sorrow due to personal loss or some sort of self-love. Jesus did not experience this sort of sorrow, which Maximus states is from the passions.

Weeping that arises from the blameless passions is much different. For example, weeping from laughter is not the same as grief. Weeping from hitting one’s thumb with a hammer also is not the same as grief. Weeping out of compassion and empathy is also not the same as grief.
When Jesus wept, this does not mean he was weeping from grief—which clearly the
Theotokos did during her son’s crucifixion.

As a brief aside, while grief and weeping from such are blameworthy passions, only the consent of the will to despondency is sin. So, our Orthodox icons of the Theotokos and Saint John weeping at the crucifixion is not a terrible example of sin—this would be absurd. It is a demonstration of God’s people, with postlapsarian flesh, experiencing grief as we all do. They were not despondent and so did not sin. Saint Basil (Letter 260, Par 9) and Saint Maximus (Life of the Virgin, Par 53) both speak of the Theotokos having instant healing from precisely this predicament.

The preceding being said, how did Jesus weep? First, let’s plainly look at what the Scriptures indicate. In John 11:31 there are “Jews” consoling Mary and Martha. It is not clear whether they were professional mourners (Jer 9:17), but they wept with Mary and Martha (John 11:33) akin to those wailing for a ruler’s dead daughter in Matt 9:23. Clearly, community-mourning was some sort of social custom in Judea. Contextually, we must understand that Jesus was joining in this social custom, which He was obviously accustomed to. What he was not doing was grieving the death of Lazarus, as He was calm four days beforehand being fully cognizant of its occurrence. Clearly, Jesus was showing pity for Mary and those there, joining in the community mourning.

Tradivox, Again

Tradivox: Where Latin tradition of the second millenium is identified with the Tradition of the Church Universal.

1P5: Tradivox: Bringing Solid Catechisms to the Hungry Faithful

Which catechism is the best?
We get asked this constantly, and the answer really depends on how you measure. A few certainly stand out. The Roman Catechism remains the most authoritative. There are the priceless historical works of Saints Canisius and Bellarmine. The excellent little catechism of Pope St. Pius X must be mentioned, and the extensively reprinted Baltimore Catechism comes to mind for many Americans. These would be a few of the more significant texts in the genre.
Are these your own personal favorites?
Actually, no. My personal favorites are some of the more obscure texts, mostly for devotional reasons. I’ve grown to deeply love the Catholic martyrs and confessors from the early years of the Anglican schism, so there are several catechisms “baptized in blood” from that period that are dear to me — Vaux, Turberville, Doulye, and White, to name a few. The later, more compendious works of Bp. George Hay and Fr. Michael Müller are some other favorites.
The catechisms must all have fascinating histories.
Yes, there are so many stories. We try to give some of that backdrop in the preface of each volume, hoping to assist readers in experiencing a greater spiritual kinship with our Catholic forebears. I recall one man sharing with us that after reading Volume 1 of our Index, he not only learned things about the Faith that he had never heard (after years of Catholic schooling), but was also deeply moved by reading with awareness that these texts were very much written “by martyrs, for martyrs.”