Friday, May 29, 2009

Video of Michele's graduation yesterday ... she is announced and walks across about 5:22.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Just a couple of things ...
  • "and in these latter days, for us and for our salvation, born of the Virgin Mary, the Mother of God, according to the Manhood;"74 - the Symbol of Chalcedon.

    74"The predicate θεοτόκος, the Bringer-forth of God, Dei genitrix (al. quæ Deum peperit , or even divini numinis creatrix), is directed against Nestorius, and was meant originally not so much to exalt the Virgin Mary, as to assert the true divinity of Christ and the realness of the Incarnation.

    Basil of Seleucia: Θεὸν σαρκωθέντα τεκοῦσα θεοτόκος ὀνομάζεται.

    It is immediately after qualified by the phrase κατὰ τὴν ἀνθρωπότητα (secundum humanitatem), in distinction from κατὰ τὴν θεότητα (secundum deitatem). This is a very important limitation, and necessary to guard against Mariolatry, and the heathenish, blasphemous, and contradictory notion that the uncreated, eternal God can be born in time.

    Mary was the mother not merely of the human nature of Jesus of Nazareth, but of the theanthropic person of Jesus Christ; yet not of his eternal Godhead (the λόγος ἄσαρκος), but of his incarnate person, or the Logos united to humanity (the λόγος ἔνσαρκος). In like manner, the subject of the Passion was the theanthropic person; yet not according to his divine nature, which in itself is incapable of suffering, but according to his human nature, which was the organ of suffering. There is no doubt, however, that the unscriptural terms θεοτόκος, Dei genitrix, Deipara, mater Dei, which remind one of the heathen mothers of gods, have greatly promoted Mariolatry, which aided in the defeat of Nestorius at the Council of Ephesus, 431.

    It is safer to adhere to the New Testament designation of Mary as μήτηρ Ἰησοῦ, or μήτηρ τοῦ Κυρίου (Luke i. 43). Creeds of Christendom, with a History and Critical notes. Volume II. The History of Creeds, Philip Schaff.

  • "Christians at Constantinople had been quarreling about what to call Jesus' mother. Alexandrians honored her as Theotokos, Mother of God. Antiochenes objected: Mary was mother of Jesus' humanity, and to call her Mother of God threatened the integrity of his humanity. ... [Nestorius] proposed a compromise: call Mary Christotokos, Mother of Christ. ... If Nestorius denied that Mary was Mother of God and recognized her only as Mother of Christ, then, Cyril [of Alexandria] reasoned, Nestorius must be dividing Jesus into two persons, the divine Son of God and a human Christ."

    The Council of Ephesus (AD 431) settled the dispute of what to call Mary: Nestorius was deposed as patriarch at Constantinople and the Council of Ephesus taught that Mary is rightly honored as Mother of God.
  • The College Student's Introduction to Christology, William P. Loewe.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Diocese welcomes 13 new permanent deacons, The Monitor, 514/09:
The new deacons are ... Robert Folinus, St. Joseph Parish, Perrineville ...
Our first permanent deacon ... ever.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Sunday, May 17, 2009

I was in the laundry room, folding clothes and I saw him at the neighbors'. Then he rode his bike down their driveway right up mine. Before he could get to the front door, I stepped out into the garage. The garage door was open so I greeted him directly and walked out.

He introduced himself as a candidate in an upcoming town primary, telling me that the primary is a contested one1 and the opposition has chosen how the town meets the state COAH requirements as their principle issue.

He gave me some party literature and told me that I am eligible to vote in the primary. And so is my husband.

He asked me whether I'd received any nasty mail or email from the opposition and I said that I had not. I said that we have received a couple of automated phone calls, Forbes had called in support of Christie. And somebody else I couldn't remember.

He went on to explain that the town's proposed plan to satisfy COAH isn't as bad as the opposition makes it out to be. He said that their alternative of binding a developer to designate one house in five as COAH is devastating to surrounding home values, property taxes ... "and the developers don't want to do this anyway because it cuts into their profits." I don't doubt it but doesn't the town usually request a parcel, along with granting the permits, to satisfy COAH?

He went on to say that homeowners who qualify for affordable housing won't keep up their properties. I was actually too stunned by that assumption to request clarification. Who does keep up their property? In this economy? Is a 6-figure income any guarantee that the house will be kept up?

Promises to protect property values might have persuaded voters in past elections but it's going to be some time before it's a chief concern again.

I guess he thought he was talking to a Republican. Funny, the things they'll say.

1 I had read this article but didn't have the names and/or positions on the tip of my tongue.

Thursday, May 07, 2009

There was a fresh face this morning; she greeted me in the parking lot and I recognized her as new. That is, I didn't recognize her, so I knew she was new.

And we sort of sat next to each other in the back row, my favorite spot, not to be aloof but to look straight on rather than turning sideways. I noticed she didn't have study materials so obviously she hadn't done her homework. Consequently she was very quiet as we discussing the first four, no rather, first seven chapters of Matthew. Whew, quite a chunk of text but this is just the beginning, just taking an overview. We'll look in detail in the coming weeks. I was, however, frustrated that we didn't get down to the nitty-gritty today. Learning to be patient.

Now, the video isn't anywhere near an hour in length. Filmed on location, the videos run about 25 minutes. Our leader is happy to get out early so she doesn't have to rush to work. I don't mind it either, actually because lately I've been going to the bank on Thursdays to pay my housekeeper in cash (per her request!) So I make the extra side trip rather than run the risk of the money burning a hole in my pocket.

After an hour discussion, we took our customary five-minute break (though I suggested a leisurely 15-minute one!) and the new person waited at the door because she needed some guidance finding the refreshments. I escorted her down to the youth hall or chapel, whatever they call it, where another group of women were laughing their heads off at with Beth Moore or some other person.

I made conversation and asked her whether she attends on Sundays. She said they came from Calvery Chapel in Old Bridge. She and her husband were now attending here; the drive to Old Bridge was just too much. She asked whether I also attend and I said it's too far away, telling her approximately where I live. She said her sister used to live there before moving back to Louisiana last year. And what church do I attend. I told her and quickly filled the uncomfortable silence that followed with an awkward explanation, "Well, there are only two churches in town ... and a synagogue ... and the Presbyterian church has an incredibly small congregation." She said she was sure she could recommend a nearby church to me. So, I look forward to her suggestion, probably next week.

Things ran quick, then, and since it was the National Day of Prayer, I made my way to the sanctuary to see whether I could steal a few minutes for prayer before retrieving Ella from child care. And, unlike in previous years, the sanctuary was dark and the doors were locked. The child care staff said the pastor hadn't mentioned the holiday on Sunday at all and they had personally forgotten all about it. There was some unkind remark about the president not being behind it, so of course, how would anyone else be inspired without his public endorsement. Scapegoat. And I was way too early for the noon Mass at Queenship of Mary ... I mean, to sit there for 40 minutes with Ella before the service ... alone, no problem but, well ... it wouldn't be fair to her. So I just prayed my rosary on the way home. I mean, it's May, after all.

Wednesday, May 06, 2009

Isn't this how we like our men ... ( with a reprise of "C'est Moi." )

YouTube video of Lancelot's apres-joust miracle.

Sunday, May 03, 2009

There is, unfortunately, an audience for this sort of advice ... or at least ought to be. I've heard only a few of these points ... and I thought I'd heard it all:

Unsound sticks, or, Arguments Catholics Shouldn't Use - Pugio Fidei, via TMH @ BHT.

A couple of these have entered my mind, that is, I've been tempted by these considerations and have, on occasion, expressed them. They've gotten the better of me.

Like this one which is argued in Currie's book, the tendency to pit Jesus against Paul:
12. Do not descend into arguments over whether we should give priority to Jesus or St. Paul as our teacher of the doctrine of justification. Granted, some Protestants err in claiming that Jesus left it to St. Paul to teach the Church the theology of salvation. However, it is no sound rebuttal, but simply the photographic negative of the Protestant error, to boast that Catholics give primacy to the Gospels.
Currie actually goes on the draw a parallel with Marcion which is certainly out of bounds. However, undeniably, it results in a lopsided message.

Now, this one is difficult because there are errors of history in the Bible:
10. Never compromise biblical inerrancy in order to score points against Protestantism. For instance, Protestants will often allege that the books of Maccabees cannot be inspired Scripture because they contain contradictory accounts of the death of Antiochus Epiphanes. And unfortunately, sometimes Catholics, instead of defending the books of Maccabees by harmonizing their data, will retort that by that standard the books of Samuel and Chronicles cannot be inspired Scripture either since they contain contradictory accounts of the death of Saul. This defense is thoroughly inadmissible: it invalidates the authentic Catholic standard regarding the necessary characteristics of Scripture (one of which is inerrancy) just as well as Protestant standard.
And how Judas died. Obviously, the presence of textual inconsistencies is no reason to reject a work as a part of sacred Scripture.

I've had 2 Peter 1:20-21 quoted to me which, I guess, is arguing for the inspiration of Scripture? Fine, but right before that [vss. 16-19] is an appeal to accept apostolic teaching as genuine, based on first-hand testimony, presumably against others whose teaching wasn't so grounded in historical fact and personal experience.
17. Never ask, if a Protestant believes his salvation is eternally secure, what motivation he has to do good and avoid evil. The answer is obvious (and embarrassing to the Catholic who asked the question): the love of God.
We step in it all the time because, truth be told, we don't care how we come across. This isn't about us at all. That's where we are wrong, because our dialogue partner is sensitive, looking for clues to our integrity, reading our character as a testimony. We're already on thin ice simply by asking questions, challenging assumptions and suggesting alternatives. Breach any of these and there's no second chance. It's alot easier to dismiss you once you do. Yeah, I know it's tough, but they make the rules that you're just supposed to know.

This sort of ties in with this America article:
For as the council declared, “The bonds which unite the faithful are mightier than anything which divides them” (“Pastoral Constitution on the Church in the Modern World,” No. 92).
But I think the article overall exaggerates the problem.

Saturday, May 02, 2009

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Jesus' first miracle.

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