Friday, January 29, 2010
I remember being at a Fellowship of Catholic Scholars convention with him a few years ago. I had just come from my hotel room. Notre Dame was ahead, I believe. He was sauntering down the hall. I stopped him and told him what was going on. His eyes lit up, and he suddenly got very animated and rushed off to watch it himself. He loved Notre Dame.
A case in point is the pious practice of not chewing the Host at communion. Some theologians would argue that this is a sign that the communicant does not understand that the presence of the Son of God is sacramental, rather than biological. The communicant must be skittish because he considers it crude to "chomp" on the very flesh of the Son of God. They must not understand that chewing does not affect the "flesh" of the Son of God, which is the resurrected, spiritual flesh of Jesus made present sacramentally in the Consecrated host.
The theology of the critiques is all fine and good, but what is missing is a sensitivity to the other possible motives for this practice. Might not a communicant be skittish about "chomping" on the Host because he has a heightened sense of reality of the Incarnation, the real presence of the humanity of Christ in the Eucharist, and a real veneration for the God presence in the Eucharist? Might not these strongly felt sentiments be commendable, rather than condemnable, even if not strictly necessary for the theological reasons stated above?
I don't practice this particular pious reception of communion. I try not to crunch noticeably, however, which I find a distraction in others.
Tuesday, January 26, 2010
This reminds me of the seemingly ubiquitous replacement of the word "custom" with "tradition," as in, "Let's start a tradition this year!"
In fact, I started to see the catastrophic mistake our society had made when we started believing that the life-giving potential of the sexual act could be safely forgotten about as long as people use contraception. It would be like saying that guns could be used as toys as long as long as there are blanks in the chamber.
Monday, January 25, 2010
The music they use at St. Anthony's was written at and for Nashotah House, the nearby Anglican seminary. Cool Seminary! The architecture is beautiful, especially the chapel(, Nate). I spent a weekend there in the fall writing an article about a wonderful Anglican/Orthodox ecumenical event that was happening there. This is their seminary hymn.
The words, I just found out, are from the Dream of Gerontius, by Ven. John Henry Cardinal Newman! I was ever happy to find that out. Makes me want to read it.
Here it is sung at Nashotah House.
Here are the words. They are as good read as sung, but wow! are they impressive when sung! Especially by the choir and entire congregation at St. Anthony's.
I want this sung and printed in the program at my funeral.
1. Firmly I believe and truly
God is three, and God is One;
And I next acknowledge duly
Manhood taken by the Son.
Refrain:Sanctus fortis, Sanctus Deus,
de profundis oro te,
Miserere, judex meus,
parce mihi Domine.
2. And I trust and hope most fully
In that Manhood crucified;
And each thought and deed unruly
Do to death, as He has died.
3. Simply to His grace and wholly
Light and life and strength belong,
And I love, supremely, solely,
Him the holy, Him the strong.
4. And I hold in veneration,
For the love of Him alone,
Holy Church, as His creation,
And her teachings as His own.
5. Adoration ay be given,
With and through the angelic host,
To the God of earth and heaven,
Father, Son, and Holy Ghost.