Tuesday, September 03, 2002

What ties your guts in a knot?
One thing reading about the patristic period is how seriously they took Trinitarian theology. All that business about processions and homoousion was not just an academic exercise, but seemed to be a matter of life and death, something which occupied their whole hearts, not just their minds.

Also noteworthy is the prominence that bishops played in the development of doctrine. They didn't just hang out in the wings and wait for professional theologians to duke it out, then "approve" of the winner after the fact.

In our day what seems to exercise people the most are liturgical questions, esp. those having to do with "inclusive" language. Grrrr. See? My stomach is in a knot already? There is a connect, however: the language used in the liturgy has to do not only with theological anthropology (What is man?) but, as Hans Urs Von Balthasar has pointed out, with the doctrine of God. What does it mean to call God Father? Mother? Parent?

Will future generations look at the liturgical battles of our era and thank God for the doctrinal developments that come from them? Will they see bishops taking the lead and actually courageously teaching the true faith in the name of Christ? Inquiring minds want to know.

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