30 December 2009
29 December 2009
Let us rejoice in the Lord, celebrating a festal day in honor of blessed Thomas the Martyr: at whose martyrdom the Angels rejoice, and praise the Son of God.
How Christmas flies bye! The fifth day of the Octave is already upon us. Aunt Barb and the boys are off to Salzburg, and Katie is on her way to Norcia, and thence to Roma. On St. Stephen's day, we heard the Cardinal offer Mass at the Stephansdom; for the feast of St. John we gathered in the Moses Room at the Schloss for cookies, caroling, and the drinking of St. John's Wine, duly blest by Fr. Yurko; Childermass was a quiet day - everybody slept in, we did some grocery shopping, and walked around the pleasant streets of Baden.
Today's menu features minced meat pie. What better way to honor the great St. Thomas a Becket, who died for the liberties of the Church at the hands of the English crown, than to eat something outlawed by Oliver Cromwell for being too popish.
The high-shoe lord's of Cromwell's making
Were not for dainties - roasting, baking.
The chiefest food they found most good in,
Was rusty bacon and bag-pudding.
Plum-broth was popish, and minced pie
Oh, that was flat idolatry!
27 December 2009
Blessing of Wine
On the Feast of St. John, Apostle and Evangelist
From the Rituale Romanum (1962)
If the blessing is given privately outside of Mass, the priest is vested in surplice and stole.
V. Adjutorium nostrum in nomine Domini.
R. Qui fecit caelum et terram.
V. Dominus vobiscum.
R. Et cum spiritu tuo.
V. Let us pray. If it please you, Lord God, bless + and consecrate + this vessel of wine by the power of your right hand; and grant that, through the merits of St. John, apostle and evangelist, all your faithful who drink of it may find it a help and a protection. As the blessed John drank the poisoned potion without any ill effects, so may all who today drink the blessed wine in his honor be delivered from poisoning and similar harmful things. And as they offer themselves body and soul to you, may they obtain pardon of all their sins; through Christ our Lord.
V. Lord, bless + this creature drink, so that it may be a health-giving medicine to all who use it; and grant by your grace that all who taste of it may enjoy bodily and spiritual health in calling on your holy name; through Christ our Lord.
V. May the blessing of almighty God, Father, Son, + and Holy Spirit, come on this wine and remain always.
The priest then sprinkles the wine with holy water.
The painting of St. John the Evangelist with the Poisoned Cup is by Alonso Cano, 1636. Musee de Louvre, Paris.
26 December 2009
Aunt Barb and the boys arrived safely and on schedule this evening. Katie picked them up at the airport and brought them to Trumau in time for leftover Lasagna dinner. Tomorrow Vienna again, the next day who knows, and then they're off to Salzburg and the Tirol for some skiing.
25 December 2009
Although it made for quite a late night, we were delighted to be able to attend midnight Mass at the Kapuzinerkirche in Vienna - the church where the royal Habsburgs are entombed. 'Twas a Solemn High Mass of the Tridentine Rite, offered by the Priestly Fraternity of St. Peter, and accompanied by choral gregorian chant. The reading of the Last Gospel was followed by Stille Nacht, Heilige Nacht.
To bed at 2:30, and awakened by Maria at 8:00. A reading of Luke's account of the birth of our Lord. And then presents, coffee, and cinnamon rolls.
24 December 2009
22 December 2009
20 December 2009
Well it seems that Sunday is the only day that I manage to post anything here lately. The thesis writing is progressing, though. I've written about 18 pages of what will eventually be a 60+ page thesis. The working title is,
Distinguishing St. Thomas Aquinas's Doctrine
of Vicarious Satisfaction from Penal Substitution
Rather a long subtitle, I know, by I wanted to be specific. I'm almost finished with the first section, in which I first review the New Testament's statements about the Cross of Christ (it is clearly presented as a vicarious redemptive sacrifice). Then, I offer a summary of St. Anselm's influential satisfaction-theory of the atonement, focusing on his understanding of satisfaction as precisely in contrast to punishment (i.e., for Anselm, justice is served either by punishment or by satisfaction). The final part of this first section is then to set out the contrasting position of the Protestant Revolutionaries (especially Calvin), for whom satisfaction is punishment. This is the theory known as penal substitution, wherein justice is said to be satisfied precisely when punishment is inflicted. I do not dwell on Luther and Calvin here, but rather take up the more interesting case of Hans Urs von Balthasar, one of the most influential Catholic theologians of the 20th century, whose idea that Christ's descent into hell was an experience of damnation as such amounts to a restatement of penal substitution (a horrific and most impious idea).
That's my progress so far, minus the part on von Balthasar. If I can get that finished in the next few days I can send it off to grad. schools by the Jan. 2 deadline and then the pressure will be off for a little while.
The second section of the thesis is on St. Thomas's systematic doctrine of the Cross of Christ as a work of vicarious satisfaction. Interestingly enough, Thomas walks a bit of a via media between Anselm on the one hand, and the penal substitution folks on the other. For him, the cross is not a punishment (poena) simply speaking, but it is poena satisfactoria.
Section three turns from Thomas's systematic texts to his biblical commentaries to see how he understands the Scriptural passages often used as proof of penal substitution by its proponents, specifically the Old Testament images of the Passover Lamb, the Scapegoat of the Day of Atonement ritual, the Suffering Servant of Isaiah 53, and the Cup of God's wrath. In the new Testament, especially difficult verses are from 2 Cor. "God made him who knew no sin to be sin," Gal. 3 "Christ was made a curse," 1 Pet. "He bore our sins in his body on the tree," and especially Christ's cry of abandonment upon the Cross.
Perhaps I'll upload the first section when I finish it this week, as I'd be glad of any comments / critiques / suggestions.
13 December 2009
12 December 2009
Patroness of the Americas
Who is she that cometh forth as the morning rising, fair as the moon, bright as the sun? As the rainbow giving light in the bright clouds, and as the flower of roses in the days of spring. Alleluia, alleluia. The flowers have appeared in our land, the time of pruning is come. Alleluia.
O Holy Mary, Virgin Mother of God, who as Our Lady of Guadalupe didst aid in the conversion of Mexico from paganism in a most miraculous way, we now beseech thee to bring about in these our times the early conversion of our modern world from its present neo-paganism to the One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church of thy divine Son, Jesus Christ, starting in the Americas and extending throughout the entire world, so that soon there may be truly "one fold and one shepherd," with all governments recognizing the reign of thy Son, Jesus Christ the King. This we ask of the Eternal Father, through Jesus Christ His Son Our Lord and by thy powerful intercession - all for the salvation of souls, the triumph of the Church, and peace in the world. Amen.
11 December 2009
Well, Thomas was released from the hospital this afternoon. He did spike one more fever last night, but the labs from this morning show the infection is clearing, so that should take care of the fevers. Thanks for all the prayers. The hospital we were in was quite wonderful, they gave us a private room because I'm nursing him, and made me a sort of pseudo-patient so I could sleep in a regular bed next to him, but it's very good to be home. At first all Thomas wanted to do was sleep, which is fine in a hospital, but for about half of yesterday, and all of today, he wanted to get out and crawl around and make trouble. It's good to see him acting himself again, and good that we're home where he can play all he wants.
10 December 2009
09 December 2009
Lisa took Thomas into the hospital in Eisenstadt this morning, because of a fever that reached 40.1 (that's just a bit over 104 Fahrenheit). They'll be there for the next couple of days so that the medical folks can keep an eye on him. Maria and I were there this afternoon, and he seemed okay - just a little bit frustrated with the I.V. running out of his hand. They got rid of the fever, but hopefully they can also get rid of whatever caused it.
08 December 2009
Of the Blessed Virgin Mary
I will rejoice greatly in the Lord, and my soul shall be joyful in my God: for He hath clothed me with the garments of salvation, and with the robe of justice He hath covered me, as a bride adorned with her jewels.
First of all, let me wish a blessed patronal feast day to the U.S.A. My idea a few weeks ago was to have a big American celebration: hamburgers, spicy chicken wings, watery beer, etc. But I forgot, and today the stores are all closed, so we'll eat whatever we have in the fridge. Maybe next year.
Katie and I took Maria to Eisenstadt for Mass this morning (Lisa stayed closer to home with Thomas, who has a fever). Eisenstadt is the city where Joseph Haydn lived and worked for most of his life. Mass heard his Harmoniemesse at the Haydnkirche, pictured below.
It was a bit rainy out, but that didn't stop us from having lunch under some umbrellas at the local Adventmarkt after Mass. Below is Schloss Esterhazy, (former?) residence of the noble Hungarian family of that name, whose court musician Haydn was.
Upon returning home in the early afternoon, Maria helped Katie and I pick out a good Advent Tree for our living room, and we decorated it with purple ornaments.
06 December 2009
Maria and Thomas were both pretty excited about what they found in their shoes this morning.
A couple of car loads of us went to Vienna this morning for Mass at the Stephansdom. We were lured by the promise of Haydn's Rorate Coeli Mass to be followed by visits to a couple of the city's many Adventmarkts. Beautiful as the Mass was in many ways, I must say that the alternation between spoken German and sung Latin (to the music of Joseph Haydn no less) is a little bit strange. Afterwards, when we finally made it to the Christkindlemarkt am Rathausplatz we were pretty hungry:
Huge baked potatoes piled high with chili con carne, bacon and onions, and ham and garlic sauce, respectively.
Das Wiener Rathaus
We stopped by another Adventmarkt in front of Schloss Schoenbrunn
Maria was a little bit afraid of St. Nicholas
Back at home, finally, we had a drink in honor of the good saint
05 December 2009
04 December 2009
As well as being the feast day of St. Peter Chrysologus, Bishop, Confessor, and Doctor of the Church, today is also the feast of the very popular St. Barbara. At least, that is, on the traditional calendar of the Roman Church. She, alas, with many other popular favorites (e.g. St. Christopher, St. Valentine), fell under the axe of the liturgical deformers. I've mentioned before, I think, that the overhaul of the calendar of saints is, in my opinion, one of the most grievous aspects of the post-VII liturgical deform. I say this because it reached not only into the public liturgy of the Church, but also into the private "liturgy" of the domestic church. The various customs which prevailed throughout much of the Church, by which the people marked the days and seasons, were suddenly felt to be on only a thin foundation. How does one still cut branches from an apple tree, to put in a vase and to water until Christmas, waiting for them to blossom with the coming of the Messiah, if St. Barbara has no more feast day?
Ostensibly acting in the name of the people, for the sake of the people, the liturgical "experts" proceeded to alter almost everything within their reach (it was only an intervention of the pope which prevented the liturgical commission from obliterating even the Roman Canon, the beating heart of the Church's spiritual life) according to their intellectualist notions of how things should be, and in doing so, ripped the rug right out from under the feet of the people whom they claimed to represent.