I've not had too much to say recently here, and I'm not sure when I will. However, prayers are always appreciated.
27 minutes ago
The unity of the local church with its bishop celebrated in the stational liturgy was especially evident in the ancient practice called the fermentum (literally 'leaven'). Roman presbyters were obliged to celebrate the Eucharist on Sundays and feast days in their own churches (tituli) for those who could not take part in the solemn papal Eucharist. As a symbol of the communion shared between the Bishop of Rome and his flock--present and absent--the bishop broke off small pieces of his host at the time of Communion which would be given to each of the tituli for their own Eucharist that day. The small piece of that host was then carried by the acolytes or deacons back to those churches. At the moment of Communion, the presbyters would place the small fragment of the papal host in the chalice. Pope Innocent I attests to the practice in a famous letter sent to Decentius, Bishop of Gubbio, in the year 415. It is not clear when the custom was introduced, and after the seventh century, with the waning of the stational liturgy, it was only continued at the Easter vigil.Perhaps the holding of the paten in a humeral veil by acolytes and later subdeacon evolved from the bringing of the fragment of the fermentum from the papal liturgy to the various tituli. One can imagine that a minister would hold this paten with the papal fragment (which did not belong to them, but to the Pope) until it was time for the comingling (whose origin is certainly in this practice of the fermentum). At least, that's what I always imagine the historical provenance is when I'm at a Solemn Mass.
Can. 1148 §1. When he receives baptism in the Catholic Church, a non-baptized man who has several non-baptized wives at the same time can retain one of them after the others have been dismissed, if it is hard for him to remain with the first one. The same is valid for a non-baptized woman who has several non-baptized husbands at the same time.This canon is relevant mainly in pagan mission territories, of course, Africa and Papua New Guinea and the like. Still, as a Catholic, I actually have a lot fewer qualms about polygamy (polyandry is a bit more problematic; one man can impregnate several women at a time, but the reverse is not true) than about gay "marriage." For the unbaptized, I mean.
§2. In the cases mentioned in §1, marriage must be contracted in legitimate form after baptism has been received, and the prescripts about mixed marriages, if necessary, and other matters required by the law are to be observed.
§3. Keeping in mind the moral, social, and economic conditions of places and of persons, the local ordinary is to take care that the needs of the first wife and the others dismissed are sufficiently provided for according to the norms of justice, Christian charity, and natural equity.
If we look at the “ordinary” practice of Catholicism (or Christianity in general), we see that we are often caught up in externalities—the forms of being Catholic—and that the substance seems to be overlooked. Indeed, the radical core of the Christian message is often actively discounted: “Yes, scripture says X and the saints did Y, but what is really important for us is Z.” Far too often Christianity is functioning not as a liberation from the world, but as an ideological system that keeps Catholics chained to the world—in Zizekian terms, true faith is replaced by a Christian fantasy.To me this seems highly relevant to the whole "Renegade Trads" idea. Some of you may have noticed that I recently added to the description of the blog in the side-bar a rejection of identity-politics. Obviously part of the problem, of the "inauthenticity" that many people (both within and without the Church) see in modern Christianity, is this sense that (especially in its conservative or reactionary forms; political labels both) it is just another sort of identity-craft for many, an ideological masquerade. To paraphrase what I wrote in the comments:
The external forms that masquerade as “true Catholicism” depend on whether one is “liberal” or “conservative” (suggesting that there are at least two ideological fantasies in play in the Church today): devotion to “traditional Catholicism” or “the spirit of Vatican II”, rubricism, inclusiveness, pro-life activism, social justice work, etc. A commonality emerges if we examine them from a Zizekian perspective. The psychological attractiveness lies in the reassurance that if I believe/do/act in these ways, then I will be a “real” Catholic (in the sense of a totalizing identity) and, perhaps even more importantly, the other—the Pope, the institutional Church, my pastor, the other members of my parish, the beloved community—will love me and accept me.
The poena damni, or pain of loss, consists in the loss of the beatific vision and in so complete a separation of all the powers of the soul from God that it cannot find in Him even the least peace and rest. It is accompanied by the loss of all supernatural gifts, e.g. the loss of faith. The characters impressed by the sacraments alone remain to the greater confusion of the bearer. The pain of loss is not the mere absence of superior bliss, but it is also a most intense positive pain. The utter void of the soul made for the enjoyment of infinite truth and infinite goodness causes the reprobate immeasurable anguish. Their consciousness that God, on Whom they entirely depend, is their enemy forever is overwhelming. Their consciousness of having by their own deliberate folly forfeited the highest blessings for transitory and delusive pleasures humiliates and depresses them beyond measure. The desire for happiness inherent in their very nature, wholly unsatisfied and no longer able to find any compensation for the loss of God in delusive pleasure, renders them utterly miserable. Moreover, they are well aware that God is infinitely happy, and hence their hatred and their impotent desire to injure Him fills them with extreme bitterness. And the same is true with regard to their hatred of all the friends of God who enjoy the bliss of heaven. The pain of loss is the very core of eternal punishment. If the damned beheld God face to face, hell itself, notwithstanding its fire, would be a kind of heaven. Had they but some union with God even if not precisely the union of the beatific vision, hell would no longer be hell, but a kind of purgatory. And yet the pain of loss is but the natural consequence of that aversion from God which lies in the nature of every mortal sin.Only this is inherently naturally unbearable. Every other sort of absence should be bearable, and indeed even in the abstract good, if we could rest our wills in even one little crumb or fragment of goodness. And, as long as we live, there is good all around us! Every rock and tree and sound is a good. Complaining because we are merely less happy than before (but still happy), that we have simply less good (but still plenty of good)...strikes me as rather ungrateful to God and spoilt (even though I know I do it all the time). The only truly repugnant evil is Hell. Our souls, in this life, are never filled with infinite Good (as they only can be in heaven), and yet the presence of even just some good is enough to make us relatively happy (though never, ultimately, to satisfy us).
“I don’t think I’ve given all the stuff on Quidditch yet. Men always ask me about Quidditch because the number of, and I love geeky people so I do not say this in a pejorative way, but the number of geeky men who have come up to me to argue with me about Quidditch – I’d be a lot richer if I had a quid for every one. They just think it’s illogical. But it’s not illogical and I had a speech by Dumbledore in the first book that never made it in explaining why Quidditch is not illogical, so at some point I will put that on the site. Thank you for reminding me.”I can't say what the "explanation" she will offer will be, but I can say that up until this quote got me thinking about the topic again today (and doing a little more research) I would have been one of those geeky men who thought Quidditch was illogical. However, I was helped to make a realization of how it might not be illogical (though I'm not sure it's the explanation she'll ultimately give.)
In the opinion of some, those animals which now are fierce and kill others, would, in that state, have been tame, not only in regard to man, but also in regard to other animals. But this is quite unreasonable. For the nature of animals was not changed by man's sin, as if those whose nature now it is to devour the flesh of others, would then have lived on herbs, as the lion and falcon. Nor does Bede's gloss on Genesis 1:30, say that trees and herbs were given as food to all animals and birds, but to some. Thus there would have been a natural antipathy between some animals.Outside sentimental attachment to animals and a sort of disturbing "creeping animism" in modern Christianity, traditional Christian theology has no reason to see their death as a problem, because in some ways animal death is only "death" by analogy. Since they don't have spiritual souls, animal death is basically just a material substance dissolving/changing forms, no more problematic than clay being molded into a different shape, or a glass shattering, or (more to the point) a robot or computer breaking down (animals being, traditionally, seen as something sort of like an organic robot; certainly, they don't experience qualia!)
The spiritual sense must be founded on the literal. But metaphor (properly understood) is part of the literal sense.No one should claim that the natural sciences "requires" a re-interpretation of the traditional theological essentials surrounding monogenism or original sin (in the Catholic tradition at least) in any sense of the word. They don't.
So, no, metaphors do not require us to affirm that the words are first meant historically...
For example: "The Lord is my rock" does not mean that there is an historical rock, which we then use as a metaphor for God.
The "history" behind the creation metaphor is that the angels really did come to know God's plan of creation.
The "history" behind the life-span metaphor [...] would be the real virtues that these real people had.
In the cases of the two "metaphors" that I have mentioned, there would be "real events taking place" -- the angels really did come to know the plan of creation, and creation really did happen (though not necessarily in the order or time of Genesis 1).
Adam and company really did exist and live some time (though not necessarily those long years).
To say something is a metaphor is very different from claiming it to be myth or legend -- you are quite right on this point: Genesis is not pure myth, it is real history (but sometimes the history is told through metaphors).
Hence, when it says that God "walked" in the Garden (Genesis 2 and 3)-- we are not to think that God became incarnate and literally/historically walked in a Garden. Rather, this is a metaphor for the historical fact that God was with Adam and Eve.