Thursday, July 21, 2011

Nathan Schmiedicke on Studying Scripture

Here is a nice video from EWTN feature our good friend Nathan Schmiedicke. He talks about how to study scripture at home in the tradition of the Fathers.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Me and Jesus

I've sometimes heard it said that prior to the Council there was a "me and Jesus" mentality when one went to Mass. I have no doubt that that is true since catechists back then were as likely to teach just some of the riches of the Catholic faith as we are now.

On the other hand, most people had an English translation of the Mass in their hands when they "assisted" (not "watched") at Mass. What would they see if they followed the text of the Roman Canon? The Communion of Saints in spades. Not "me and Jesus" at all, and also not "I'm the priest doing this for you."

Here is an old translation of the Roman canon. I've highlighted the parts the emphasize the communion of saints.

Most merciful Father, we humbly pray and beseech Thee, through Jesus Christ Thy Son, Our Lord, to accept and to bless these + gifts, these + presents, these + holy unspotted Sacrifices, which we offer up to Thee, in the first place, for Thy Holy Catholic Church, that it may please Thee to grant her peace, to preserve, unite, and govern her throughout the world; as also for Thy servant N . . . our Pope, and N . . . our Bishop, and for all orthodox believers and all who profess the Catholic and Apostolic faith.

Be mindful, O Lord, of Thy servants and handmaids N . . . and N . . . and of all here present, whose faith and devotion are known to Thee, for whom we offer, or who offer up to Thee this Sacrifice of praise for themselves and all those dear to them, for the redemption of their souls and the hope of their safety and salvation: who now pay their vows to Thee, the everlasting, living and true God.

In communion with, and honoring the memory in the first place of the glorious ever Virgin Mary Mother of our God and Lord Jesus Christ; also of blessed Joseph, her Spouse; and likewise of Thy blessed Apostles and Martyrs, Peter and Paul, Andrew, James, John, Thomas, James, Philip, Bartholomew, Matthew, Simon and Thaddeus, Linus, Cletus, Clement, Sixtus, Cornelius, Cyprian, Lawrence, Chrysogonus, John and Paul, Cosmas and Damian, and of all Thy Saints. Grant for the sake of their merits and prayers that in all things we may be guarded and helped by Thy protection. Through the same Christ our Lord. Amen.

O Lord, we beseech Thee, graciously to accept this oblation of our service and that of Thy whole household. Order our days in Thy peace, and command that we be rescued from eternal damnation and numbered in the flock of Thine elect. Through Christ our Lord. Amen.

Humbly we pray The, O God, be pleased to make this same offering wholly blessed +, to consecrate + it and approve + it, making it reasonable and acceptable, so that it may become for us the Body + and Blood + of Thy dearly beloved Son, our Lord Jesus Christ.

Who, the day before He suffered , took bread into His Holy and venerable hands, and having lifted up His eyes to heaven, to Thee, God, His Almighty Father, giving thanks to Thee, blessed it +, broke it, and gave it to His disciples, saying: Take and eat ye all of this:

For this is My Body.

taking also into His holy and venerable hands this goodly chalice, again giving thanks to Thee, He blessed it +, and gave it to His disciples, saying: Take and drink ye all of this:

For this is the Chalice of My Blood, of the new and eternal testament: the Mystery of Faith: which shall be shed for you [pl.] and for many unto the remission of sins.

As often as ye shall do these things, ye shall do them in remembrance of me.

And now, O Lord, we, Thy servants, and with us all Thy holy people, calling to mind the blessed Passion of this same Christ, Thy Son, our Lord, likewise His Resurrection from the grave, and also His glorious Ascension into heaven, do offer unto Thy most sovereign Majesty out of the gifts Thou hast bestowed upon us,

a Victim + which is pure, a Victim +which is holy, a Victim + which is spotless, the holy Bread + of life eternal, and the Chalice + of everlasting Salvation.

Deign to look upon them with a favorable and gracious countenance, and to accept them as Thou didst accept the offerings of Thy just servant Abel, and the sacrifice of our Patriarch Abraham, and that which Thy high priest Melchisedech offered up to Thee, a holy Sacrifice, an immaculate Victim.

Humbly we beseech Thee, almighty God, to command that these our offerings be carried by the hands of Thy holy Angel to Thine Altar on high, in the sight of Thy divine Majesty, so that those of us who shall receive the most sacred Body +and Blood + of Thy Son by partaking thereof from this Altar may be filled with every grace and heavenly blessing: Through the same Christ our Lord. Amen.

Be mindful, also, O Lord, of Thy servants and handmaids N . . . and N . . . who are gone before us with the sign of faith and who sleep the sleep of peace. To these, O Lord, and to all who rest in Christ, grant, we beseech Thee, a place of refreshment, light and peace. Through the same Christ our Lord. Amen.

To us also Thy sinful servants, who put our trust in the multitude of Thy mercies, vouchsafe to grant some part and fellowship with Thy holy Apostles and Martyrs: with John, Stephen, Matthias, Barnabas, Ignatius, Alexander, Marcellinus, Peter, Felicitas, Perpetua, Agatha, Lucy, Agnes, Cecilia, Anastasia, and all Thy Saints. Into their company we beseech Thee admit us, not considering our merits, but freely pardoning our offenses. Through Christ our Lord.

By whom, O Lord, Thou dost always create, sanctify +, quicken +, bless +, and bestow upon us all these good things.

Through Him +, and with Him +, and in Him +, is unto Thee, God the Father + Almighty, in the unity of the Holy + Ghost, all honor and glory.

Okay, so, after having helped offer the sacrifice of Calvary for the whole Church, we then approach the communion rail with a bit of an "I-thou" perspective? I see not the problem. Unless we are taught, like we are so often nowadays, that the Eucharist is a primarily a meal and so if you aren't acting and thinking fully communally when receiving, you aren't acting or thinking communally at all. Because that whole middle bit about the sacrifice of the communion of saints isn't the focus.

Monday, July 18, 2011

People are reading my dissertation

Like Dominican Matthew Bernard Mulcahy in his dissertation, "Not Everything is Grace: Aquinas's Notion of "Pure Nature" and the Christian Integralism of Henri de Lubac and of Radical Orthodoxy."

Hot dog!

I just found out that the Catholic Servant, the independent Catholic newspaper from the Archdiocese of St. Paul/Minneapolis, is available online. It is a great source of adult catechesis and apologetics, no matter where you live. I used to contribute to it on occasion. Dale Ahlquist, the Chesterton guy, writes for it regularly. As does Mary Ann Kuraski.