Sunday, March 05, 2017

First Sunday of Lent

  • Mass: Invocabit me. In my parish, a plainchant Sung Mass sandwiched between Anglican hymns (recessional: "Lord, Who Throughout These Forty Days"); Communion. Deus, qui Ecclesiam tuam annua Quadragesimali observatione purificas: praesta familiae tuae; ut quod a te obtinere abstinendo nititur, hoc bonis operibus exsequatur. Per Dominum ... The propers of course echo the gospel, namely, ironically, the psalm the devil quotes: 90/91, Qui habitat, "Whoso dwelleth under the defence of the most High," also a Byzantine Rite favorite (in the Sixth Hour, and I understand Russian soldiers traditionally carry it on their persons into battle).
  • Classic Book of Common Prayer collect, epistle, and gospel, almost the same as ours but Protestant Cranmer changed the collect, although his work here isn't heretical and very good in its own right, as his collects are. Unusual: it's to the Son, not the Father. O Lord, who for our sake didst fast forty days and forty nights; Give us grace to use such abstinence, that, our flesh being subdued to the Spirit we may ever obey thy godly motions in righteousness, and true holiness, to thy honour and glory, who livest and reignest with the Father and the Holy Ghost, one God, world without end. Amen. The epistle: about καιρός, opportune time, vs. χρόνος, time.
  • Ending the epistle: "... as deceivers, and yet true; as unknown, and yet well known; as dying, and, behold, we live; as chastened, and not killed; as sorrowful, yet alway rejoicing; as poor, yet making many rich; as having nothing, and yet possessing all things." A Russian Catholic parish used to quote this on its website; more on that Particular Church here. Putin's Russia is great; it may well be a sword of Christendom. (Witness how the American left hates it.) But nobody can own the Catholic Church. The Russian Catholic Church is a good thing but endangered. Tiny, mostly outside Russia; non-Russians who love things Russian and Orthodox but stay in the church.
  • Orthodoxy Sunday. Catholic teaching on venerating images: thanks to the Incarnation, all can, some should, none must. And Byzantine Catholics shouldn't be afraid of the word Orthodox; the Ukrainian Catholic Church has always used it when using English. Just keep the teachings of the church.
  • Schmemann: The mission of Orthodoxy. Of interest because it transcends Orthodoxy; that is, it's not really about Orthodoxy but all churches' approaches to the world. As many of you know, Schmemann and John Meyendorff were the Russian intellectuals in the otherwise Ruthenian second-generation ex-Catholic Russian metropolia in America/OCA. We Catholics can relate to this article: the Modernists sell out to secular America while the rad trads are an escapist cult like the Orthodox temptation to worship the motherland. Schmemann appeals to me here more than conservative Novus Ordo because his church group had the sense not to rewrite its services (but it's still declining: Eastern-rite churches don't do well in America in the long run).
  • The Pope visits a Church of England parish in Rome, blessing an icon. Well and good. But ecumenism can't be based on wishful thinking about the past. Classic Anglicanism saw itself as both Catholic (creed, liturgy, and bishops, not the rest of our doctrine or our ceremonial) and Reformed (why they cut out most Catholic stuff; Renaissance Europe's fanciful idea of the early Christians) but "Catholic" Anglicanism as we know it, venerating and invoking saints (which violates the Thirty-Nine Articles), is only about 150 years old. (The Tractarians weren't Romanizers.) There's being eirenical and then there's ignorance or worse, rewriting history, which insults the English Catholic martyrs. It's good to try to make peace but these gestures haven't brought these people back to the church. The Catholic Anglicans who wanted in are now in.
  • "Powerhouse of prayer": Millennials are drawn to monastic life in Prairie du Sac. America's only Cistercian nuns. Yes, the cognitive dissonance of traditional habits and Novus Ordo liturgics (I hate it when layfolk grab the chalice) is jarring but not heretical; as I love to say, the church includes many cultures, and as long as we have Benedict XVI's English Mass as the baseline, it's all good. This is another story of how small conservative orders are thriving. What my late rector called proper nuns.
  • After 47 years, a Catholic mall chapel is evicted. That's a shame. A good apostolate, even though it's not traditionalist, that I hope continues elsewhere.

1 comment:

  1. Ps 90 (LXX)--the Soldiers Psalm of Gulf War I or so I have read. Also my son's favorite psalm. My 2nd favorite. 50 (LXX) is my favorite--the Miserere of the TLM requiem that I had served as a youth during many funerals.


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