Monday, June 20, 2016

The Offering Which Pleads for the Whole World

Viscount Halifax speaking 100 years ago today to an Anglo-Catholic audience:

 'How many feel when they are assisting at Mass that they are kneeling at our Lord's feet, beneath His Cross? That here is the offering which pleads for the whole world, for the sins of all, living and departed, the one offering of infinite worth we can make to "Our Father", the one offering which enables us to say with a sure confidence: "Look on the Face of thy Son, and only look on us as found in Him". Look on us who plead for the living and the dead that one Sacrifice offered by Him for all the sins of the world, past, present, and to come, that Offering by which Christ our Lord set Himself apart as the Victim for our salvation on the night of His Passion, that Offering completed on Calvary which is offered in all the plenitude of its power and efficacy wherever there is a priest to make the oblation of Christ's Body and Blood, and which has constituted the one great and abiding  Sacrifice of the Christian Church since the Day of Pentecost. When this is not realized, no wonder that the altars of the Church are deserted. "I, if I am lifted up, will draw all men unto Me". How, if there is no consciousness of that lifting up, no horror of the sins that necessitated so great an expiation, no sense of the need of the application of that expiation to ourselves, no perception that here and now the Lamb as it had been slain on Calvary is the one Offering that satisfies human needs and the cry of human souls? Surely, if there is any lack here, this is the point which most demands attention; surely here is the supreme object towards which all our efforts at improvement should be directed.'

h/t Fr. Hunwicke

Friday, June 17, 2016

Why We Should not Say, "The Catholic Church" to refer to the Roman Communion.

Why We Should not Say, "The Catholic Church" to refer to the Roman Communion.

The Church, according to the Scriptures, the Primitive Church, and the Fathers, is the body of which Christ is the head, and all the baptized are members.  She is also the bride of Christ, united in one flesh to him.  She is also the new family of God, by adoption into Christ, the New Israel, and the Kingdom of God in the process of being formed.  She includes the Church militant here on earth, the Church in purgatory, and the Church which has entered into the beatific vision before the presence of God, i.e., in heaven.

This Church is sacramentally (and thus really) present in the world, most particularly in the Eucharist.  Thus we speak of particular churches, celebrating in communion with their bishops, in succession to the apostles.

The Church is not just the church militant, nor a particular church, nor a group of particular churches in visible communion with each other.  It is certainly not an organization, juridical, or administrative structure in this world, although particular churches may rightly employ such this-worldly structures as part of their mission.

The Second Vatican Council says that the Church "subsists" in the "Catholic Church", meaning those particular churches in communion with the see of Rom. This is problematic because subsistences do not subsist in other subsistences.  Natures, essences, substances (ουσιαι) subsist in subsistences, but subsistences, being existent things, subsist in themselves.  Human nature subsists in human persons, for instance.  Thus to say that the Church subsists in something else, is to deny to the Church its own existence, since it must exist in something else.

Hence to use the term Church, as the Roman Communion now does so, ends in the logical denial of the fullness of the Body of Christ, and reduces the Catholic Church to only a this-worldly organization. It ends in a denial of that "One Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church" as defined in the creeds, and as understood catholically, and although I am sure that is not the intent, the consequences of this error in the exaltation of bureaucracy and misuse of organizational power in the Roman communion and other churches influenced by its model are most evident.

Monday, June 13, 2016

The Orlando Shooting: Stop the Hate

Let's not make this a matter of us vs. them.  The people who were killed did not deserve this because they were gay or lesbian.  The enemy is not Muslims.  The enemy is not gun owners.

Can we have a rational conversation about making it harder for hateful people to get the weapons to kill people?  We should, though we seem far from that right now.  But the enemy is not "them."

The enemy is the hate.  And until we deal with that, until we work to change people's hearts by loving them, until we make it our goal and whole purpose to love our neighbors and help them love one another, then we are doing nothing to stop the hate—and despite our best efforts to prevent them, people consumed with hate will continue to find the means to destroy the lives of others.

"We wrestle not with flesh and blood, but with principalities and powers..."