Thursday, December 24, 2009

December 25 - The Nativity of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ

From lands that see the sun arise,
to earth's remotest boundaries,
the Virgin-born today we sing,
the Son of Mary, Christ the King.

Blest Author of this earthly frame,
to take a servant's form He came,
that liberating flesh by flesh,
whom He had made might live afresh.

In that chaste parent's holy womb,
celestial grace hath found its home:
and she, as earthly bride unknown,
yet call that Offspring blest her own.

A Merry Christ's-Mass to all readers!

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

The O Antiphons: O Emmanuel (Day 7)

Day 7: O Emmanuel
O Emmanuel, Rex et legifer noster,
Exspectatio gentium, et Salvator earum:
Veni ad salvandum nos, Domine Deus noster.

O Emmanuel, our King and Lawgiver,
The hope of the nations and their Savior:
Come and save us, O Lord our God!
Quotes for the day:
And YHWH added to speak to Achaz, saying, "Ask for yourself a sign from YHWH your God. Make it deep as Sheol, or make it high upwards."
And Achaz said, "I will not ask, and I will not test YHWH!"
And he said:
"Hear now, O house of David!
Is it a small thing for you to weary men,
That you weary my God also?
Therefore Adonai Himself will give you a sign.

Behold, the virgin is conceiving and is bearing a son
And will call his name Immanu-El.
Curds and honey he will eat,
For his knowing to reject evil and to choose good;
For before the boy knows to reject evil and to choose good,

Forsaken will be the land which you fear because of her two kings."

Isaiah 7:10-16

And of [Jesus] Christ, the birth was thus:
His mother Mary having been betrothed to Joseph, before their coming together she was found to have conceived from the Holy Spirit, and Joseph her husband being righteous, and not wanting to disgrace her, intented to divorce her privately.
Now on his thinking of these things, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, "Joseph, son of David, do not fear to take Mary as your wife, for that which in her was begotten is of the Holy Spirit; and she will bear a son, and you will call His name 'Jesus', for He will save His people from their sins."
And all this came to be that it might be fulfilled that was spoken by the Lord through the prophet, saying: "Behold, the virgin will conceive and bear a son, and they will call His name Emmanouel,' which translated is, 'With us is God.'"
And Joseph, having risen from the sleep, did as the angel of the Lord commanded him and took his wife, and was not knowing her until she bore her son - the first-born, and he called His name 'Jesus'.

-Matthew 1:18-25

"Tomorrow, I will come."

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

The O Antiphons: O Rex Gentium (Day 6)

Day 6: O Rex Gentium (O King of the nations)
O Rex Gentium, et desideratus earum,
Lapisque angularis, qui facis utraque unum:
Veni, et salva hominem,
quem de limo formasti.

O King of the nations, and their desire,
The corner-stone, who makes both one:
Come and save man,
which you formed from clay.
Quotes for the day:
And YHWH Elohim formed man - dust from the ground, and breathed into his nose the breath of life; and the man became a living soul.

-Genesis 2:7

A stone which the builders rejected has become a head of the corner;
From YHWH has this been, it is wonderful in our eyes!

-Psalm 118:22-23

And it will happen in the end of the days,
That the mount of YHWH's house will be established as the chief of the mountains,
And it will be lifted up above the hills,
And all the nations will flow into it.
And many peoples will come and say,
"Come, and let us go up to the mountain of YHWH,
To the house of the God of Ya'akov;
And He will teach us of His ways,
And we will walk in His paths."
For from Zion a law will go out,
And a word of YHWH from Yerushalaim.
And He will judge between the nations,
And will render decision for many peoples;
And they will beat their swords to plowshares,
And their spears into pruning-hooks,
Nation will not lift up sword against nation,
Nor will they learn any more - war.
O house of Ya'akov, come and let us walk in the light of YHWH!

-Isaiah 2:2-5

Therefore, hear a word of YHWH, men of scorning,
Ruling this people in Yerushalaim. For you have said,
"We have cut a covenant with death,
And with Sheol we have made a pact,
An overflowing scourge, when it passes by, will not come to us,
For we have made a lie our refuge,
And in deception we have hidden ourselves."

Therefore, thus said Lord YHWH,
"Behold, I am laying a foundation in Zion a stone:
a tested stone, a precious corner-stone, a settled foundation;
He who is believing will not make haste.
And I will make judgment the measuring-line,

And righteousness the plummet;
And hail will sweep away the refuge - the lie,
And the hiding-place will waters overflow.
And your covenant with death will be annulled,

And your pact with Sheol will not stand.
An overflowing scourge, when it passes by, you will be to it for a trampling-place.
From the fullness of its passing over it will seize you,

For morning by morning it will pass over - by day and by night,
And it will be only a trembling to understand the report."

-Isaiah 28:14-19

Therefore remember that you, once Nations in the flesh - who are called "Uncircumcision" by those called "Circumcision" made in the flesh by hands - that you were at that time without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers to the covenants of the promise, having no hope and without God in the world; and now in Christ Jesus you who once were afar off became near by the blood of the Christ.
For He is our peace, who has made the both one, and has broken down the middle wall of the enclosure, having inactivated the hostility in His flesh - the law of the commandments in ordinances, that the two He might create in Himself into one new man, making peace, and might reconcile both in one body to God through the cross, by killing the hostility in Himself. And having come, He did proclaimed peace to you who were far off and peace to those who were near; because through Him we have the access - we both - in one Spirit to the Father.
Now, therefore, you are no longer strangers and aliens, but fellow-citizens with the saints, and are of the household of God, having been built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus Himself being corner-stone, in whom the whole building, being joined together, grows into a holy sanctuary in the Lord, in whom also you are being built together for a dwelling-place of God in the Spirit.

-Ephesians 2:11-22

Monday, December 21, 2009

The O Antiphons: O Oriens (Day 5)

Day 5: O Oriens (O Rising Sun)

O Oriens,
Splendor lucis aeternae, et sol iustitiae:
Veni, et illumina sedentes in tenebris et umbra mortis.

O Rising Sun,
Splendor of light eternal, and sun of righteousness:
Come and shine on those seated in darkness and the shadow of death!
Quotes for the day:
Indeed there is no gloom for her, to whom there was anxiety for her;
Just as in earlier times He humiliated the land of Zvulun and the land of Naftali,
In the latter times He has honored the Way of the Sea, Beyond the Yarden, Galil of the nations.
The people walking in darkness have seen a great light,
Dwellers in a land of death-shadow - upon them light has shined.

-Isaiah 9:1-2

Arise! Shine! For your light comes, and the glory of YHWH has risen upon you!
For behold, the darkness shall cover the earth, and thick darkness the people;
And YHWH will arise over you, and His glory upon you will be seen.
And nations will come to your light, and kings to the brightness of your dawning.

-Isaiah 60:1-2

"For behold, the day will come, burning like a furnace,
And all the arrogant and all who do wickedly will be chaff.
And the day that comes will burn them up," said YHWH Tzevaot, "That it will not leave them root or branch."
"And to you who revere my name the sun of righteousness will rise, with healing in its wings,
And you will go out and skip about like calves from a stall,
And you will trample the wicked, for they will be ashes under the soles of your feet on the day which I am fashioning," said YHWH Tzevaot.
"Remember the law of Mosheh my servant which I commanded him in Chorev for all Israel - statutes and ordinances.
Behold, I am sending to you Eliyah the prophet before the coming of the day of YHWH - the great and the terrible;
And he will turn the heart of fathers to sons, and the heart of sons to their fathers,
Lest I come and strike the land with a ban!"

-Malachi 4:1-6

Now when [Jesus] heard that John had been handed over, He went into Galilaia; and leaving Nazara, He came and settled in Kapharnaoum by-the-sea, in the districts of Zaboulon and Nephtalim, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by Esaias the prophet, saying:
Land of Zaboulon, land of Nephtalim, the Way of the Sea, beyond the Iordan, Galilaia of the nations!
The people sitting in darkness have seen a great light, and on those sitting in the region and shadow of death light has dawned.

-Matthew 4:12-16

Sunday, December 20, 2009

The O Antiphons: O Clavis David (Day 4)

Day 4: O Clavis David (O Key of David)

O Clavis David, et sceptrum domus Israel,
Qui aperis, et nemo claudit,
Claudis, et nemo aperit:
Veni, et educ vinctum de domo carceris,
Sedentem in tenebris et umbra mortis.

O Key of David, and sceptre of the house of Israel,
Who opens, and no one shuts,
who shuts, and no one opens:
Come, and lead the bound from the prison house,
seated in darkness and the shadow of death!
Quotes for the day:
For a child has been born to us, a son has been given to us,
And the dominion is on his shoulder;
And he called his name Pele Yo'etz (Wonderful Counsellor), El-Gibbor (Mighty God), Avi-ad (Father-forever), Sar shalom (Prince of Peace).
To the increase of his dominion and of peace there will be no end,
Over the throne of David and over his kingdom,
To establish it and to sustain it with justice and with righteousness
Now and to the age.
The zeal of YHWH Tzevaot (YHWH of hosts) will do this.

-Isaiah 9:6-7

And it will happen on that day that I will call my servant, to Elyaqim ben-Chilqiah;
And I will clothe him with your robe,
And with your belt I will strengthen him,
And your dominion I will give to his hand.
And he will be a father to the inhabitant of Jerusalem, and to the house of Judah.
And I will set the key of the house of David on his shoulder;
And he will open, and no one will shut,
And will shut, and no one will open.
And I will fasten him - a peg in a secure place,
And he will become a throne of glory for the house of his father.
And they will hang on him all the glory of the house of his father, the offspring and the issue;

All the small vessels, from vessels of bowls to all vessels of jars.
"In that day" - a declaration of YHWH Tzevaot - "The peg that is fastened in a secure place will give way and will be cut off and fall, and the load on it will be cut off, for YHWH has spoken!"

-Isaiah 22:20-25

Thus says the God YHWH who created the heavens and stretched them out,

Who spread out the earth and its offspring,
Who gives breath to the people on it,
And spirit to those walking in it:
"I, YHWH, have called you in righteousness,
and have held your hand and protected you;
And I have given you for a covenant of people, a light to nations.
To open the eyes of the blind,

To bring out from the dungeon the bound one,
From the house of imprisonment those who dwell in darkness.
I am YHWH - that is my name!
And my glory to another I will not give,
Nor my praise to graven images.
The former things, behold, have come, and new things I declare;

Before they sprout up I cause you to hear."

-Isaiah 42:5-9

And to the angel of the church in Philadelpheia write:
These things says the Holy, the True, who has the key of David,
Who opens and no one shuts, who shuts and no one opens...

-Revelation 3:7

Saturday, December 19, 2009

The O Antiphons: O Radix Jesse (Day 3)

Day 3: O Radix Iesse (O Root of Jesse)

O Radix Iesse, qui stas in signum populorum,
Super quem continebunt reges os suum,
Quem gentes deprecabuntur:
Veni ad liberandum nos, iam noli tardare.

O Root of Jesse, who stand as a sign to the people;
At whom kings shall shut their mouths,
To whom the nations shall entreat:
Come to deliver us, and delay no longer.
Quotes for the day:

And there will come a shoot out from the stem of Yishai,
And a branch from his roots will sprout.

-Isaiah 11:1

And there will be, on that day, a root of Yishai
That will stand for a signal-flag of peoples;
To him nations will resort,
And his rest will be - glory.

-Isaiah 11:10

Behold, my servant will act wisely!
He will be elevated and lifted up, and will be very high.
(Just as many were astonished at you),
So disfigured from a man his appearance, and his form from sons of men,
So will he sprinkle many nations;
Because of him kings will shut their mouth,
For what had not been told them they will see,
And what they had not heard they will understand.

-Isaiah 52:13-15

Therefore receive one another, just as Christ also received us, to the glory of God.
For I say that Christ has become a servant to the circumcision on behalf of the truth of God to confirm the promises to the fathers, and that the nations glorify God for His mercy, as it is written, "For this reason I will confess you among the nations, and sing praises to your name."
And again he says, "Rejoice, O nations, with His people!"
And again, "Praise the Lord, all you nations, and let all the peoples praise Him."
And again Esaias says, "There will be a root of Iessai, and He who rises to rule the nations; in Him the nations will hope."
Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in the believing, that you may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.

-Romans 15:7-13

Friday, December 18, 2009

The Minor, Trivial Biblical Stuff, Part 1: Of Tallitot in Jesus' Time

Just as I have mentioned in this thread over at Catholic Answers Forums, by "minor stuff" I mean the small, 'trivial' things related to the Bible that never make it in serious high discussion - things such as the Israelites' houses or clothing habits or other such mundane things. The nitpicker that I am, I shall also critique some popular depictions of Biblical life.

You've probably noticed it by now, but this series will be taken from my posts in the CAF thread. Still, I plan to revise some things and to write some blog-original parts along the way - which I shall later post in the thread. ;)

December 18 - The Expectation of Our Lady and St. Mary of the O

December 18! For most of us, it's just a week before Christmas. For those who did their homework, today was the feast of the Expectation of the Blessed Virgin, one of the lesser-known Marian feasts and one which was unfortunately suppressed in the new rite. But for the Mozarabic Rite, this day meant something more: it's the feast of the Annunciation.

Well actually, it was actually one of two such feasts in the old form. The Mozarabic feastday commemorating the Lord's incarnation fell on this day, one of the feasts that fell within Mozarabic Advent*; the Missale Mixtum actually had both the Roman date and the Mozarabic date marked as the feast of the Annunciation, with the December date officially tagged as In Festivitate Annunciationis sancte Marie Virginis, que dicitur de la O ("in the feast of the Annunciation of the holy virgin Mary, which is called 'of the O'"). For the record, the new form of the rite has dropped the Roman date and keeps only the December feast.

The Catholic Encyclopedia says thus on its article of the Expectation:

Owing to the ancient law of the Church prohibiting the celebration of feasts during Lent (a law still in vigour at Milan), the Spanish Church transferred the feast of the Annunciation from 25 March to the season of Advent, the Tenth Council of Toledo (656) assigning it definitely to 18 December. It was kept with a solemn octave. When the Latin Church ceased to observe the ancient custom regarding feasts in Lent, the Annunciation came to be celebrated twice in Spain, viz. 25 March and 18 December, in the calendars of both the Mozarabic and the Roman Rite (Missale Gothicum, ed. Migne, pp. 170, 734). The feast of 18 December was commonly called, even in the liturgical books, "S. Maria de la O", because on that day the clerics in the choir after Vespers used to utter a loud and protracted "O", to express the longing of the universe for the coming of the Redeemer (Tamayo, Mart. Hisp., VI, 485). The Roman "O" antiphons have nothing to do with this term, because they are unknown in the Mozarabic Rite. This feast and its octave were very popular in Spain, where the people still call it "Nuestra Señora de la O".
In simple words: Because of the widespread custom of banning feastdays in Lent (since Lent is supposed to be a time of penitence), the church in Spain, just to play it safe, moved the commemoration of the Annunciation towards Advent, and later definitively in December 18 - a week before Christmas. Then ages later, when the custom was laxed, the Spanish church finally readmitted the March 25 feast; the problem is, since people are now attached to the December 18 date (with it now becoming a tradition of the Spanish church) it was decided that the two feasts just be kept together, producing two feastdays in the calendar which commemorate the same event.

Another Western rite which celebrates the Annunciation in a different date than most of Christendom is the Ambrosian Rite of Milan, which has it on the Sixth Sunday of Advent "for, since no fixed festivals are kept during Lent or Easter Week, it cannot be properly celebrated on 25 March, though it is found there in the Calendar and has an Office in the Breviary." There were two Masses for that day - one for the Sunday itself and one for the Incarnation feast proper.

* It also might be interesting to mention that there are SIX Sundays of Advent in the Mozarabic Rite (like the Ambrosian), as opposed to the Roman four.

The O Antiphons: O Adonai (Day 2)

Day 2: O Adonai

O Adonai, et Dux domus Israel,
qui Moysi in igne flammae rubi apparuisti,
et ei in Sina legem dedisti:
veni ad redimendum nos in brachio extento!

O Adonai, and Leader of the house of Israel,
who appeared to Moses in the fire of the burning bush
and gave him the law on Sinai:
Come and redeem us with an outstretched arm!
Quotes for the day:
And Mosheh was tending the flock of Yitro (his father-in-law) priest of Midyan; and he led the flock behind the wilderness and came to the mountain of Elohim, to Chorev. And a messenger of YHWH appeared to him in a flame of fire from the midst of the bush; and he saw, and behold, the bush was burning with fire, and the bush was not consumed.
And Mosheh said, "I will turn aside and see this great sight. Why does the bush not burn up?" And YHWH saw that he turned aside to see, and Elohim called to him from the midst of the bush and said, "Mosheh, Mosheh!" And he said, "Here I am."
And He said, "Do not draw near here! Take your sandals off your feet, for the place on which you are standing is holy ground." And He said, "I am the God of your father, God of Avraham, God of Yitzhaq, and God of Ya'aqov;" and Mosheh hid his face, for he was afraid to look at Elohim.

-Exodus 3:1-6

"Therefore say to the sons of Israel: 'I am YHWH; and I will bring you out from under the burdens of the Egyptians and will snatch you away from their service; and I will redeem you by an outstretched arm and by great judgments.'"

-Exodus 6:6

And He gave to Mosheh, when He had finished speaking with him upon Mount Sinai, two tablets of the testimony: tablets of stone, written by the finger of Elohim...
...And Mosheh turned and went down from the mountain, and the two tablets of the testimony were in his hand, tablets written on both sides: on this and on that were they written. And the tablets were the work of Elohim, and the writing was the writing of Elohim, engraved on the tablets.

-Exodus 31:18; 32:15-16

Thursday, December 17, 2009

The O Antiphons: O Sapientia (Day 1)

Day 1: O Sapientia (O Wisdom)
O Sapientia, quae ex ore Altissimi prodiisti,
attingens a fine usque ad finem,
fortiter suaviterque disponens omnia:
Veni, ad docendum nos viam prudentiae.

O Wisdom, coming out from the mouth of the Most High,
reaching from end to end,
mightily and sweetly ordering all things:
Come, and teach us the way of prudence!
Quotes for the day:

YHWH possessed me in the beginning of His way, before His deeds of ancient times.
From the age I was appointed, from the beginning, from the ancient times of the land.
When there were no depths I was given birth, when there were no springs heavy with water.
Before the mountains were settled, before the hills, I was given birth,
when He had not yet made land and open places, or the beginning of the dry dust of the world.
When He fixed the heavens, I was there; when He inscribed a circle on the face of the deep,
When he made firm the clouds above, when the fountains of the deep grew strong, When He set for the sea His statute that the waters should not pass over His mouth, when He marked out the foundations of the earth,
Then I was beside Him as a master craftsman; and I was His delight day by day, rejoicing before Him at all times;
Rejoicing in His inhabited world, and my delights were with the sons of man.

-Proverbs 8:22-30

And there will come a shoot out from the stem of Yishai,
And a branch from his roots will sprout.
And the spirit of YHWH will rest on him;
A spirit of wisdom and understanding,
A spirit of counsel and strength,
A spirit of knowledge and fear of YHWH.

-Isaiah 11:1-2

Wisdom will praise her soul, and in the midst of her people she will boast.
In the assembly of the most High will she open her mouth, and before His power she will boast.
"I came out of the mouth of the most High, and like a cloud I covered the earth..."

-Sirach 24:1-3

[Wisdom] reaches from one end to the other with might, and with sweetness orders all things.

-Wisdom of Solomon 8:1

Christ did not send me to baptize, but to proclaim good news - and not with wisdom of words, so that the cross of Christ would not be emptied. For the word of the cross to those indeed perishing is foolishness, and to us - those being saved - it is the power of God, for it is written, "I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and the understanding of the understanding I will thwart."
Where is the wise? Where the scribe? Where the debater of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world? For since, in the wisdom of God, the world through the wisdom did not know God, it pleased God through the foolishness of the message preached to save those believing.
Since also Jews seek signs and the Greeks ask for wisdom - but we proclaim Christ crucified, to Jews a stumbling block and to nations foolishness, but to those who are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the Power of God and the Wisdom of God, for the foolishness of God is wiser than men, and the weakness of God is stronger than men.
For consider your calling, brothers, that not many were wise according to the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble. But the foolish things of the world did God choose to shame the wise, and the weak things of the world did God choose to shame the strong, and the low things of the world and the despised things did God choose, and the things that are not, that the things that are He may make useless, that no flesh may boast before God.
Of Him you are in Christ Jesus, who became for us Wisdom from God, and righteousness and sanctification and redemption, that, as it is written, "Let him who boasts boast in the Lord."

-1 Corinthians 1:17-31

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

The O Antiphons: Introduction

From Wikipedia:
The O Antiphons are antiphons used at daily prayer in the evenings of the last days of Advent in various liturgical Christian traditions.

Each antiphon is a name of Christ, one of his attributes mentioned in Scripture. They are:

December 17: O Sapientia (O Wisdom)
December 18: O Adonai (O Adonai)
December 19: O Radix Jesse (O Root of Jesse)
December 20: O Clavis David (O Key of David)
December 21: O Oriens (O Morning Star)
December 22: O Rex Gentium (O King of the nations)
December 23: O Emmanuel (O Emmanuel)

In the Roman Catholic tradition, the O Antiphons are sung or recited at Vespers from December 17 to December 23 inclusive...

The hymn O come, O come, Emmanuel (in Latin, Veni Emmanuel) is a lyrical paraphrase of these antiphons in reverse order.

The first letters of the titles taken backwards form a Latin acrostic of "Ero Cras" which translates to "Tomorrow, I will come", mirroring the theme of the antiphons.

According to Fr. William Saunders:
The exact origin of the "O Antiphons" is not known. Boethius (480–524/5) made a slight reference to them, thereby suggesting their presence at that time. At the Benedictine Saint Benedict Abbey of Fleury (now Saint-Benoît-sur-Loire), these antiphons were recited by the abbot and other abbey leaders in descending rank, and then a gift was given to each member of the community. By the eighth century, they were in use in the liturgical celebrations in Rome. The usage of the "O Antiphons" was so prevalent in monasteries that the phrases "Keep your O" and "The Great O Antiphons" were common parlance. One may thereby conclude that in some fashion the "O Antiphons" have been part of Western liturgical tradition since the very early Church.
The Benedictine monks arranged these antiphons with a definite purpose. If one starts with the last title and takes the first letter of each one—Emmanuel, Rex, Oriens, Clavis, Radix, Adonai, Sapientia—the Latin words ero cras are formed, meaning, "Tomorrow, I will come". Therefore Jesus, whose coming Christians have prepared for in Advent and whom they have addressed in these seven Messianic titles, now speaks to them: "Tomorrow, I will come." So the "O Antiphons" not only bring intensity to their Advent preparation, but bring it to a joyful conclusion.
...Although the antiphons and dates shown above have been fairly universally recognised throughout western Christendom, an alternative English medieval practice arose of moving all of the antiphons forward by one day (commencing therefore on 16 December) and adding an additional (eighth) antiphon on 23 December, with the acrostic thus becoming Vero cras, "truly, tomorrow". This is the antiphon O Virgo virginum (O Virgin of virgins).
So, from the 17th to the 24th, I'll try to post the respective antiphons for the day.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Forgive us our dust

Fret no more: I am still alive and well, even after a bout of (seasonal, thankfully) influenza and one gruelling test!

Now, an announcement: I apologize for not posting anything in such a long while and for making everyone worry. I'm rather busy these days, leaving me with no time to post properly and edit already existing posts - there are a lot of unfinished and unpublished blog posts waiting to see the light of day. Aside from that, there is also the dreaded writer's block - I'm rather uncertain what to post about these days, and how to post something that crosses my mind. If anyone has something you would like to see tackled on this blog, feel free to post in the comment box!

Saturday, October 24, 2009

"The Lord pushed back the sea with a strong east wind": the Parting of the Red Sea in the movies, Part 1

Anyone who has read their Bibles will surely be familiar with the following story:
And Pharaoh had drawn near, the sons of Yisrael lifted up their eyes, and look! The Mitzraim are marching after them, and they fear greatly. And the sons of Yisrael cry out to YHWH, and they say to Mosheh, "Is it because there are no graves in Mitzraim that you have taken us away to die in the wilderness? What is this you have done to us - to bring us out of Mitzraim? Is not this the word that we spoke to you in Mitzraim, saying, 'Let us alone that we may serve the Mitzraim?' because it is better for us to serve the Mitzraim than to die in the wilderness!" And Mosheh says to the people, "Do not fear! Stand firm and see the salvation of YHWH that He will do for you today; for the Mitzrim that you see today, you will no longer see again forever. YHWH will make war for you, and you can be still."YHWH says to Mosheh, "Why are you crying out to me? Speak to the sons of Israel that they might journey. And you - lift up your staff and stretch out your hand toward the sea and split it, and the sons of Yisrael will go into the midst of the sea on dry ground. And me - behold! I am about to harden the hearts of the Mitzraim and they will go in after them, and I will be honored over Pharaoh and over all his army, over his chariots, andover his horsemen. And Mitzraim will know I am YHWH when I have gained my honor over Pharaoh, his chariots, and his horsemen."

The angel of Elohim, who is going in the face of the camp of Yisrael, moves and goes behind them; and the column of the cloud moves from their face and stands behind them, and comes between the camp of Mitzraim and the camp of Yisrael; and there is the cloud and the darkness, and he lights up the night, and one camp had not come near the other all night. And Mosheh stretches out his hand toward the sea; and YHWH drives the sea back by a strong east wind all night, and makes the sea into dry ground, and the waters are split, and the sons of Yisrael go into the midst of the sea on dry ground, and the waters are for them a wall on their right and on their left. And the Mitzraim pursue and go after them - all the horses of Pharaoh, his chariots, and his horsemen - into the midst of the sea.
And it happen in the morning watch that YHWH looks down on the camp of Mitzraim through the column of fire and of the cloud, and throws the camp of Mitzraim into confusion, and turns aside the wheels of their chariots - and they drive them with difficulty. And the Mitzri say, "Let us flee from the face of Yisrael, for YHWH is fighting for them against Mitzraim!" And YHWH says to Mosheh, "Stretch out your hand toward the sea, and waters will return on the Mitzraim, on their chariots, and on their horsemen."
And Mosheh stretches out his hand toward the sea, and the sea returns, at the turning of the morning, to its perennial state; and the Mitzraim are fleeing into it, and YHWH shakes off the Mitzraim in the midst of the seam, and the waters return and cover the chariots and the horsemen and all the army of Pharaoh who are coming after them into the sea - not so much as one of them remain!
In this post, we'll try to compare the Biblical account and its depictions in the movies. As everybody pretty much knows, the shadows of DeMille and Chuck Heston loom large over most depictions of Moses that came after the 1956 film was released. The influence is such that we are still subconsciously influenced by it; in many instances, we find that we are more familiar with Mr. DeMille than the Bible when reading the book of Exodus. Here, we will compare six Moses films in particular scene-by-scene:

A: The Ten Commandments: a 1923 silent version by Cecil B. DeMille, with Theodore Roberts as Moses.
B: The Ten Commandments: the 1956 remake/extension of the 1923 silent film, also directed by DeMille, with Charlton Heston in the lead role.
C: Moses: a 1995 TV miniseries (a part of the so-called The Bible Collection) in two parts by Roger Young, starring Ben Kingsley.
D: The Prince of Egypt: a 1998 animated film produced and released by DreamWorks. Val Kilmer plays the title role.
E: The Ten Commandments (2006): Another TV series on the Exodus by Robert Dornhelm, with Dougray Scott portraying Moses.
F: The Ten Commandments (2007): A computer-animated film by John Stronach and Bill Boyce, starring Elliot Gould as the Lawgiver.

The aforementioned six films will henceforth be designated by their letters for purposes of convenience.
Without further ado, the step-by-step comparison.

1.) Egyptians Chasing (Exodus 14:6-9)

A: After a scene showing the Pharaoh and his soldiers riding on their chariots, we go back to the Israelites. Someone warns Joshua about the Egyptians, who then orders the Israelites to quickly disperse and run towards the sea. They do so, dismantling their tents in panic. The Egyptians follow after them, while we get to see some of the horses slipping on the sand dunes.

B: DeMille repeats very much the same formula for his 1956 version (minus the slipping horses) - only this time, the Israelites are apparently sitting quietly inside their tents. Here, Joshua spots the Egyptians himself and (with the help of sound!) sounds his horn as a warning signal.

C: The sons of Israel arrive at the seashore, when Moses receives a report that the Egyptians are half a day behind them. The 'settling' scene here is apparently merged with the parting of the sea (more on this later).

D: Moses and the people reach the shores, and we are shown some of the Israelites relaxing in some way, such as drinking water or sitting down. But all this is rather short-lived as the warning is sounded and the Egyptians appear, making the Hebrews run for their lives.

E: The Egyptian army spot the children of Israel in the middle of the desert and chase after them. The Israelites run away and eventually come by the shores of the sea, where Moses tells them to stop.

F: The people arrive at shore, where the pillar of cloud dissolves and Moses orders the people to camp. We then briefly cut to the Pharaoh, who regrets his decision to let the Israelites go and musters his army as a result, and then return to the Hebrews (the time now is around evening) who are now in panic because of the Egyptians.
All six films notably omit two things: specifically naming the place where the Israelites are camping (Pi-hahiroth between Migdol and the sea, in front of Baal-zephon; cf. Exodus 14:2, 9), and God commanding Moses and the sons of Israel to camp there (Exodus 14:1-2), though F does include Moses ordering the people. Only A, B, and F actually show the Israelites settling and having tents set up before the Egyptians arrive.

The Bible does not specify how long the Israelites camped at Pi-hahiroth and how long the Egyptians took to reach them, therefore the filmmakers are very much at liberty here. C and D apparently show the Israelites arriving in the shore somewhere around late afternoon to early dusk. E and F show them arrive at daytime (with F showing time pass by more clearly), while A and B are rather ambiguous (although the lighting for A may indicate daytime).

2.) Complaining Israelites (Exodus 14:10-18)

A: The title cards quote Exodus 14:11a (from the King James Version). One Hebrew (called "Dathan, the discontented" in the introductions) apparently speaks for the whole people.
B: Similar to A; the complainer is also called Dathan (though now an Egyptian collaborator than an ex-slave). Moses in addition speaks the words of verse 13a in reply (in comparison to A, where his line - via title card - is based on Exodus 15:16).

C: As in A and B, a spokesperson - here named Zerah - complains to Moses (the camera then shows reaction shots of the people, now driven to silence, looking uneasy), himself having a look of uncertainty on his face, who merely tells them that the Lord has shown the way to them and that they would be delivered if they follow Him.

D: Transposed after the pillar of fire blocks the Egyptians. There is no spoken complaint; here the Israelites merely stare at Moses.

E: As soon as the Israelites realize that Moses has led them into a dead-end, three Israelites berate Moses, exclaiming that he has led them into a trap and questioning his leadership. An already frustrated Moses silences them and goes to the shore, where God asks him whether he knows His voice, whether he knows who He is, and whether Moses trusts Him. To all this Moses says a yes.

F: The Israelites realize that the Egyptians are in pursuit, and three people, with short, stocky Dathan (clearly modelled after DeMille's character!) with them moans to Moses that "we can't fight Pharaoh". The army eventually arrives and stop at the ridge. Moses gets the people up and ready to go while Pharaoh finally orders his troops to charge ("Where's your God now, Moses?").
Most of the films (with the notable exception of E) take the dialogue of the Israelites almost verbatim from Exodus - the element common in five out of the above six films excluding D is that a mouthpiece (either one man or a group of men) voices the worries and complaints of the sons of Israel, that this 'mouthpiece' is often antagonistic to Moses, and that the complainer/s would also later be instrumental in leading the Israelites to the sin of the Golden Calf!

3.) The Angel of God and the Pillar of Fire (Exodus 14:19-20)

A: Moses raises up his hand, and a wall of fire pops up on screen, blocking the Egyptians' path while the title cards quote the appropriate passage. Dathan, now getting ready to stone Moses (he has a large rock in his hand!) relents when the others alert him to the miracle.

B: Here DeMille uses animation for the pillar of fire - which materializes before the Egyptians. Moses then gets the Israelites going while Dathan continues to grumble.

C: The equivalent scene here is transposed to after the sea was split open since it was only then that the Egyptians arrive at the shores, in contrast to the other films. Pharaoh orders his men to charge forward, during which the "fire" - interpreted here as bolts of lightning - strike down, frightening the horses and thus causing a few chariots to crash down.

D: When the Egyptians arrive on the scene, the sky immediately grows dark, clouds gather, and lightning strikes - very much like at the beginning of a storm. Then the gigantic pillar of fire comes out from within the sea, flies overhead above the clouds and swoops down before the Pharaoh's army, blocking their path in a zigzag motion (note that the pillar here is quite tornado-ish in its movements).

E: After Moses' "yes" to God, a tornado (the pillar of cloud) forms from the sea and goes to where the Egyptians are, scattering dust and sand and obscuring their view of the Israelites, confusing them.

F: This film attempts to combine elements in all the aforementioned five films. Here the pillar of fire does not form a barrier between the Egyptians and the Israelites as in A, B and D; rather, it just plunks itself in front of the Egyptians, and when Pharaoh orders his men to get around the almost-immobile pillar, the pillar then shoots out lightning!
In five out of the six films, some incarnation of the pillar of fire is shown (D is a notable exception because a fiery column would not really work in broad daylight). If we take the passage where the angel/pillar "moved and went behind them" literally, then only D and E follow this detail.

As an aside, verse 20 contains an obscure statement: "there is the cloud and the darkness, and he lights up the night, and one camp had not come near the other all night." Some have taken this to mean that both the pillar of cloud and fire were present at this time, and that it was the column of cloud that diverted the Egyptians, perhaps by disorienting them with a fog-like condition ("the darkness"), while the column of fire lit up the Israelites' way - after all, the time was somewhere around evening/night. All six films had never taken consideration of this idea and only show one or the other, however (the only film that shows something closest to the idea is E with its dust-gathering tornado/pillar).

Thursday, October 8, 2009

The 'Missa Graeca'

Recently, I came across something little-known, yet interesting.

It is a well-known fact that for the early centuries of Christianity, Koine Greek was the predominant language among believers, reflecting its status in the Empire as a lingua franca and the hold it has on the eastern areas (where Christianity originated). The same held true for the city of Rome itself (initially to the large number of Greek slaves in Roman households).
However, by the 4th century AD, Greek no longer held such dominance over Latin in the western Church, arts and sciences as it had previously, resulting to a great extent from the growth of the western provinces. As centuries went on, popular knowledge of Greek disappeared, save for the scraps which the liturgies of the West preserved (one of which is the familiar Kyrie Eleison). "Latin was enough of a problem by itself: it was no longer anyone's native language, but it was nevertheless indispensable as the language of the liturgy, political administration, scholarship, and most arts, and almost all energy expended on language learning was concentrated on Latin. Greek could at best be one's "second foreign language"-and thus only a very few medieval Westerners acquired the ability to understand a Greek text with unfamiliar content." (Walter Berschin, "Valuation and Knowledge of Greek")

Due to the scholarly interest in Greek, there circulated a fad of using the Greek language for the ordinary as well as the propers of the Mass at high feasts in a number of places during the Carolingian period (ca. 9th-11th centuries AD), which in turn survived in a few locales such as the Royal Abbey of Saint-Denis (which retained this tradition well into the French Revolution). These texts - usually showing the Greek in transliterated Latin characters - are collectively known as the Missa Graeca, the "Greek Mass". For example, three out of many variants of transliterating the Agnus Dei (along with the actual Greek version):

1: O Amnos tutheu, o eronthas amarthias tuchosmu, eleyson imas.
2: Ao amnos tutheu, oerronan tin amartias tu cosmu, eleison imas.
3: Oamnos tu theu, oerontas amartias tu kosmu, eleison imas.

ὁ ἀμνὸς τοῦ Θεοῦ, ὁ αἴρων τὰς ἁμαρτίας τοῦ κόσμου, ἐλέησον ἡμᾶς.
(O amnos tou Theou, o airon tas amartias tou kosmou, eleison imas).

Here, meanwhile is the Sanctus and the Gloria from an 9th-century missal from St. Denis (BN lat. 2290):

Doxa en ypsistis Theo ke epi gis irini en antropis eudokia enumen se eulogumen se proskunumen se doxologumen se eucharistumen se dia tin megalin su doxan Kyrrie basileu ep uranie thee Pater pentocrator kyrrie yie monogeni Iisu Christe ke Agion Pneuma. Kyrrie o Theos o amnos tutheu o yios tu Patros o eron tin amartian tu kosmu eleison imas oerontas amartias tu kosmu pros de ke tin deisin imon kathimenos en dexia tu Patros eleison imas oti sy i monos agios sy iomonos Kyrrios sy i monos ypsistos Iisus Christos syn Agion Pneumati is doxan Theu Patrosa. Amin.

Agios Agios Agios Kyrios pliris
ouranos ke igitis doxis
osanna entys ypsistys
eulogemenos o ercomenos
en onomati Kyrriu
osanna entys ypsistis.

Monday, August 17, 2009

"Our Lord God the Pope"...not: Part 2, the Postscript and Random Thoughts

Here are a few things I'd like to talk about for the moment:

1.) Mr. Hugo Mendez' (of Dies Domini) has linked to the first part of the series in his paper entitled, “Is the Pope God?" Correcting Popular Claims of Papal Blasphemy (very informative and more thoroughly well-written than my rantings!). So, if you're reading, Mr. Mendez, a tip of the hat to you. :)

2.) I did a Google search of the phrase "Lord God the Pope" (Yep, I lurk out often). As expected, many of the links go to sites or books where the red herring is repeated ad infinitum, but interestingly enough, when the site links to more sane articles, the words "Lord" and "God" are not even applied to the Pope; or, if a Pope's dialogue is recorded, he does not even apply the titles to himself. And some people still buy this. Go figure.

3.) Why the Pope? Why is he singled out as one claiming to be God? So far, I've never heard of "Lord God the Patriarch" - Patriarchs are, after all, the highest-ranking bishops in Eastern and Oriental Orthodoxy (the Pope himself was originally considered to be the Patriarch of the See of Rome)...;)

Finally, I'm still surprised that there aren't any complaints how "Lord God the Pope" is so chauvinistic/politically incorrect and suggest instead "Lady Goddess the Mama (Pope after all is from papa, father)" or "Creator Deity the High-leader".

Or just do away with the title: "Lord God" suggests that God is a male - another one of those efforts by the patriarchal society to keep women down. And what's up with "Pope"? Why is it that those who occupy the highest positions are all men? In fact, why is there a hierarchy in the first place? It's so unfair and unequal, I say. I therefore suggest that "Lord God the Pope" be abandoned as it reeks of hierarchism, inequality, and ignorance: we all have God within us do we not?
If anybody makes a complaint I shall throw "Judge ye not" in their direction.

*For the humor impaired: the latter half of no. 3 is all tongue-in-cheek. ;)

Saturday, July 18, 2009

"Our Lord God the Pope"...not: Part 2

Now, to continue this series - with all its snarkiness (LOL):

1.): "The Pope and God are the same, so he has all power in Heaven and earth."
-Barclay, Chapter XXVII, p. 218, "Cities Petrus Bertanous," attributed to Pope Pius V.
This seems to be another case of 'hiding behind the curtain of obscurity' as we are merely given the author's surname of Barclay, with no reference to a book title.

As for the identity of this mysterious 'Petrus Bertanous', this author personally tends to believe that this refers to a certain 16th-century Dominican named Petrus Bertanus Fanensis (aka Pietro Bertano; November 4, 1501, Nonantola-March 8, 1558, Rome), who once served as bishop (later cardinal) of Fano in Italy -- the present-day diocese of Fano-Fossombrone-Cagli-Pergola -- and who, among with other Dominicans, was apparently one of the leading prelates at the council of Trent and was an orator and advocate at that same council.

During the papacy of Pope Julius III (who reconvened the second period of the Tridentine council in 1551 after Pope Paul III died in November 10th 1549 at the behest of Emperor Charles V/Charles I of Spain), who entered into a league against the duke of Parma and Henry II of France (1547–59), the Emperor's party requested that Julius admit eight people into the college of Cardinals. Four of them are to be named immediately and the other four are to be reserved in petto until conditions became more favorable; one of those whom they requested to be named immediately is Bertano, who was a member of the imperial party. Eventually he, along with thirteen others, were made cardinals on November 20, 1551, as a sign of reassurance to Charles (especially considering that all fourteen were favorable towards him).

While at first glance this connection may seem plausible (considering that both Pius V and Bertano were both Dominicans), we have to consider the following:

1.) This quote is attributed to Pope Pius V by "Bertanous" (sic). However, Michele Ghislieri O.P. only ascended to the Chair of Peter in January 7, 1566, about eight years after Pietro Bertano died. How could someone who is not then a pope make a statement about the papacy, much less someone who was dead at the time Ghislieri became pope?
2.) Considering that at the time Fra Pietro is still alive, Fra Michele still does not have the power of pronouncing ex cathedra statements - as he was not pope yet - are there chances that his statement (let's suppose for a moment that his "words" are true and are either not a misquote, mistranslation, or just flat-out made up) are actually reflective of official Church teaching?
3.) Are there any more reliable and independent sources for this quote, if any, aside from this rather obscure (and badly-titled) one?

Some sources for this 'quote' add the following phrase: "Cardinal Cusa (i.e. Nicholas of Kues) supports this statement." Now, are there any contents from Cardinal Nicholas' work which support this quote? Here is a chronological listing of Nicholas of Cusa's works. If anyone can point out a paragraph or a sentence in his works (if anyone has them) which says very much the same thing as above (preferably the original Latin included), I'll be glad to put that up.
2.) "The supreme teacher in the Church is the Roman Pontiff. Union of minds, therefore, requires... complete submission and obedience of will to the Church and to the Roman Pontiff, as to God Himself."
Leo VIII, «On the Chief Duties of Christians as Citizens», Encyclical letter, 1890
We will ignore the minor typo (the pope at this time is supposed to be Leo XIII, not the VIII) and go straight to tackle this one.

The quote in the actual encyclical (called Sapientiae Christianae in Latin), paragraph 22, says the following:
Now, as the Apostle Paul urges, this unanimity ought to be perfect. Christian faith reposes not on human but on divine authority, for what God has revealed "we believe not on account of the intrinsic evidence of the truth perceived by the natural light of our reason, but on account of the authority of God revealing, who cannot be deceived nor Himself deceive."(24)
It follows as a consequence that whatever things are manifestly revealed by God we must receive with a similar and equal assent. To refuse to believe any one of them is equivalent to rejecting them all, for those at once destroy the very groundwork of faith who deny that God has spoken to men, or who bring into doubt His infinite truth and wisdom.
To determine, however, which are the doctrines divinely revealed belongs to the teaching Church, to whom God has entrusted the safekeeping and interpretation of His utterances. But the supreme teacher in the Church is the Roman Pontiff. Union of minds, therefore, requires, together with a perfect accord in the one faith, complete submission and obedience of will to the Church and to the Roman Pontiff, as to God Himself. This obedience should, however, be perfect, because it is enjoined by faith itself, and has this in common with faith, that it cannot be given in shreds; nay, were it not absolute and perfect in every particular, it might wear the name of obedience, but its essence would disappear. Christian usage attaches such value to this perfection of obedience that it has been, and will ever be, accounted the distinguishing mark by which we are able to recognize Catholics.
Admirably does the following passage from St. Thomas Aquinas set before us the right view: "The formal object of faith is primary truth, as it is shown forth in the holy Scriptures, and in the teaching of the Church, which proceeds from the fountainhead of truth. It follows, therefore, that he who does not adhere, as to an infallible divine rule, to the teaching of the Church, which proceeds from the primary truth manifested in the holy Scriptures, possesses not the habit of faith; but matters of faith he holds otherwise than true faith. Now, it is evident that he who clings to the doctrines of the Church as to an infallible rule yields his assent to everything the Church teaches; but otherwise, if with reference to what the Church teaches he holds what he likes but does not hold what he does not like, he adheres not to the teaching of the Church as to an infallible rule, but to his own will."
Even a cursory reading of the Encyclical would show that Pope Leo XIII refers to God as if He was a separate entity - quite unlikely if you're claiming to be God in human flesh!

Now, obedience to the pope "as to God Himself" may make some feel queasy. But once again, from a Catholic lens, this is not too surprising. After all, since Catholics believe that God commissioned the Pope as his visible vicar (representative) in the government of the Church, it would not be repugnant to render submission or obedience to him, just as it would not be repugnant to listen to a king's representative and obey what he orders in the king's name. Still, (contrary to what some may think) we need to stress once again that Catholics do not hold the Pope as being equal or even superior to God, as his title Vicar of Christ shows. Think about this for a moment. How can a vicar, or a representative be superior to the one who has sent him? "No servant is greater than his master" indeed.
3): "All names which in the Scriptures are applied to Christ, by virtue of which it is established that He is over the church, all the same names are applied to the Pope."
-On the Authority of the Councils, book 2, chapter 17
This one already appeared in 19th century anti-Catholic works, such as Theological discourses on important subjects, doctrinal and practical by James Thomson, 'Minister at Quarrelwood', and Letters in the Roman Catholic Controversy by William Brownlee, 'Of the Collegiate Protestant Reformed Dutch Church' in New York, where it is attributed to Cardinal Robert Bellarmine. By the way, for those seeking the work where all this appears - which is part of his famous Disputationes, it could be found in this link (which also contains all, or most of, Cardinal Bellarmine's work) under the title Controversiarum de Conciliis, Liber Secundis: Qui est de Conciliorum Auctoritate.

The quote - and the context in which it appears - can be found in chapter 17, entitled Summum Pontificem absolute esse supra Concilium, with the quote in bold. The English translation is courtesy of Mr. Edwin Woodruff Tait (to whom I owe a lot and would like to express sincere gratitude); his remarks within the text are enclosed in brackets.

Tertia Prepositio. << Summus Pontifex simpliciter et absolute est supra Ecclesiam universam, et supra Concilium generale, ita ut nullum in terris supra se judicium agnoscat. >> Haec etiam est fere de fide; et probatur primo ex duabus praecedentibus: nam si Papa est caput Ecclesiae universae, etiam simul congregatae, et Ecclesia universa etiam simul congregata non habet ullam potestatem ratione suae totalitatis; sequitur Papam supra Concilium esse, et supra Ecclesiam, non contra.

Secunde probatur ratione, in Scripturis fundata; nam omnia nomina, quae in Scripturis tribuuntur Christo, unde constat eum esse supra Ecclesiam, eadem omnia tribuuntur Pontifici. Ac primum, Christ est paterfamilias in domo sua, quae est Ecclesia, Pontifex in eadem est summus oeconomus, id est, paterfamilias loco Christi, Lucae XII: Quis est fidelis dispensator, et prudens, quem constituit Dominus super familiam suam, etc. Hic enim per dispensatorem, sive oeconomum, ut Graece habetur, intelligunt Episcopum. Ambrosius in hunc locum, et Hilarius, et Hieronymus in cap. XXIV Matth. ubi similis habetur sententia. Et quamvis Patres non loquantur expresse de Episcopo Romano, tamen sine dubio sententia Scripturae illa est; ut Episcopi particulares sunt summi oeconomi in suis Ecclesiis, ita esse Episcopum Romanum in Ecclesia universa. Unde Ambrosius in illud I. Tim. III.: Ut scias quomodo te oporteat conversari in domo Dei etc. << Domus Dei, inquit, Ecclesia dicitur, cujus hodie rector est Damasus. >> Et Chrysostomus lib. II De Sacerdotio circa initium, hunc ipsum locum: Quis est fidelis servus, etc. de Petro exponit.

Quod autem oeconomus summus sit supra familiam, et ab ea judicari, ac puniri non possit, patet ex hoc eodem loco, Dominus enim ait: Quem constituit Dominus super familiam suam. Et ibidem: Quod si dixerit servus ille in corde suo, moram facit Dominus meus venire et coeperit percutere servos, et ancillas, edere, et bibere, et inebriari, veniet Dominus servi illius in die, qua non sperat, et dividet eum, partemque ejus cum infidelibus ponet. Ubi vides Dominum servare suo judicio servum illum, et non committere judicio familiae. Idem etiam docet usus omnium familiarum; nulla enim familia est, in qua liceat inferioribus famulis etiam simul congregatis punire, vel expellere oeconomum, etiamsi pessimus sit, id enim ad solum Dominum totius familiae pertinet.

Alterum nomen Christi est Pastor, Joannis X: Ego sum pastor bonus, etc. Idem communicat Petro, Joan. ult., Pasce oves meas. Constat autem pastorem ita praeese ovibus, ut nullo modo ab eis judicari possit.

Tertium est, Caput corporis Ecclesiae, Ephes. IV idem communicat Petro, ut habemus in Concilio Chalcedonsi, act. 3. ubi legati sententiam pronuntiant in Dioscorum, et in epist. Concilii ad Leonem. Porro caput a membris regi, et non ea potius regere, contra naturam est, sicut etiam est contra naturam, quod membra sibi caput praecidant, cum forte graviter aegrotat.

Quartum est, Vir, seu sponsus, Ephes. V: Viri diligite uxores vestras, sicut et Christus dilexit Ecclesiam, et seipsum tradidit pro ea, etc. Idem convenit Petro, nam in Concilio general Lugdunensi, ut habetur cap. Ubi periculum, de elect. in 6. loquens Concilium de electione Romani Pontificis: << Acceleret, inquit, utilis per necessaria totius mundi provisio; idoneo celeriter eidem Ecclesiae sponso dato. >> Est autem contra Apostolum Ephes. V et contra naturae ordinem, ut sponsa praesit sponso, et non potius subsit.


Third proposition: “The Supreme Pontiff is simply and absolutely over the universal Church, and over a general Council, so that he recognizes no judicial authority on earth over himself.” This is almost de fide, [necessary to be believed as a dogma of the faith] and is proved first of all from the two preceding points: for if the Pope is the head of the universal Church, even when it is gathered together at one time, and if the universal Church even gathered together at one time has no power by reason of its totality;[1] it follows that the Pope is over the Council, and over the Church, not the other way around.

It is proved by the second reason, based in Scripture: for all the names, ascribed to Christ in Scripture, from which it is determined that he is over the Church—those same names are ascribed to the Pontiff. [2] And first, Christ is the paterfamilias [male head of the household] in his own house, which is the Church. The Pope is the highest steward in the same house, that is, the household head in Christ’s place: Luke 12: “Who is the faithful and prudent dispenser, whom the Lord has set over his household, etc.” Here by “dispenser,” or “steward” [oeconomus], as the Greek has it, they [the Fathers?] understand the Bishop. See Ambrose commenting on this passage, and Hilary, and Jerome in chap. 24 of Matthew where there is a similar statement. And although the Fathers do not speak expressly about the Roman Bishop, nonetheless that passage of Scripture undoubtedly means: as the particular Bishops are highest stewards in their Churches, so the Bishop of Rome is in the universal Church. Whence Ambrose on that passage of 1 Timothy 3: “That you may know how you ought to act in the house of God,” etc, says: “The house of God, he says, is called the Church, whose ruler today is Damasus.” [Damasus, as you no doubt know, was the Pope in Ambrose’s day.] And Chrysostom in book 2 of On the Priesthood around the beginning, talking about this same passage: “Who is a faithful slave,” etc., expounds it as being about Peter.

But that the highest steward is over the household, and cannot be judged or punished by it, is evident from this same passage. For the Lord says: “Whom the Lord has established over his household.” And in the same place: “If that slave should say in his heart, ‘My Lord is delaying his coming,’ and should begin to beat the slaves and the maids, to eat, to drink, and to get drunk, then the Lord of that slave will come in a day in which he is not looking, and will cut him up and allot his inheritance among the unfaithful.” (Luke 12:45-46) Here you see that the Lord preserves that slave for his own judgment, and does not hand him over to the judgment of the household. The custom of all households teaches the same thing; for there is no household in which it is allowed for the inferior members of the household (even gathered together at one time) to punish or expel the steward, even if he should be a really bad one—for that pertains only to the Lord of the whole household.

Another name of Christ is “Shepherd” [Pastor]. John 10: “I am the good shepherd,” etc. He shares this title [literally “communicates the same thing”] with Peter in the last chapter of John: Feed my sheep. He thus establishes that the shepherd is over the sheep, so that in no way he can be judged by them.

The third is: “Head of the body of the Church,” Eph. 4. He shares this title with Peter, as we find in the third act of the Council of Chalcedon, where the legates pronounce sentence on Dioscorus, and in the letter of the Council to Leo. Further it is against nature for the head to be ruled by the members and not rather to rule them, just as it is against nature that the members should cut off their own head, even if it should perhaps be gravely sick.

The fourth is “Husband,” or “spouse,” Eph. 5: “Husbands love your wives, just as also Christ loved the Church, and handed himself over for her,” etc. This same title applies to Peter, for in the general Council of Lyons, chapter 6 “Ubi periculum” [Where there is danger] regarding election, the Council says with regard to the election of the Roman Pontiff: “Let the useful and most necessary provision be hastened on the part of the whole world; thus may a spouse be given quickly to the Church.” But it is against the Apostle (Eph. 5) and against the order of nature, that the wife should be over the husband, and not rather be subject.

[1] I’ve translated this in a woodenly literal way, because without the previous section I can’t be sure what he means. I think he’s saying that the whole Church can’t have authority over itself.

[2] I’ve translated this “all the names, ascribed to Christ in Scripture, from which” rather than “all the names which are ascribed to Christ in Scripture, whence” in order to make it clear that Bellarmine is talking about a particular category of names. He is not saying without qualification that we can say anything about the Pope that we say about Christ. He’s talking about the names of Christ that indicate His authority over the Church.

Note the difference between what Bellarmine actually says when his quote is in its proper context. Far from claiming that the Pope is God, Bellarmine is here emphasizing how the Pope occupies the highest rank in the Church as its "high steward" and "shepherd" representing the pater-familias and the Good Shepherd, our Lord Jesus. Also, take notice how a single translation can change the whole meaning.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Easter Sunday, part 2



(Psalm 97 [98]:1)

Save us, O Son of God, our Savior; Alleluia, Alleluia, Alleluia.
V: Sing to the Lord a new song, because He has performed wonders.
P: Alleluia.
V: Glory and honor to the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit forever and ever, Amen.
P: Alleluia.

(Revelation 1:1-8)

The revelation of Jesus Christ which God gave to Him, to make known to His bondservants what must shortly happen; and He made it known by sending His angel to His bondservant John, who testified to the word of God, and to the testimony of Jesus Christ, to everything that he saw. Blessed is he who reads and hears the words of this prophecy and keeps those things which are written in it; for the time is near!

John to the seven churches which are in Asia:
Grace to you and peace from Him who is and who was and who is to come, and from the seven Spirits who are before His throne, and from Jesus Christ – the faithful witness, the Firstborn from the dead, and the Ruler of the kings of the earth; who loved us and washed us from our sins in His blood, and has made us a kingdom and priests to His God and Father - to Him be glory and power to the ages.

Behold, He is coming with clouds,
And every eye shall see Him - even those who pierced Him,
And all the tribes of the earth shall mourn themselves because of Him.
Yes! Amen.

"I am the Alpha and the O[mega], the beginning and the end," says the Lord God, "who is, and who was, and who is to come - the Almighty!"


(Psalm 117 [118]:24, 16, 19)
This is the day that the Lord has made; let us exult and rejoice in it.
V: The right hand of the Lord has wrought strength; the right hand of the Lord has exalted me.
P: Let us exult...
V: Open the gates of justice to me.
P: Let us exult...

(Acts 2:29-39)
At that time, Peter stood in the midst of the people, and speaking to them, said:
Men brothers, let me speak freely to you about the patriarch David, that he both passed away and was buried, and his tomb is with us to this very day.
Therefore, because he was a prophet, and knew that God had sworn an oath to him, that of the fruit of his loins one who would sit upon his throne. He, foreseeing this, was speaking about the resurrection of the Christ, for He was neither left behind in the underworld, nor did His flesh see corruption. This Jesus God raised up, and of this we are all witnesses.
Therefore being exalted to the right hand of God, and having received from the Father the promise of the Holy Spirit, He poured this which you both see and hear. For David did not ascend into heaven, but he himself says,
'The Lord said to my Lord, "Sit at my right hand, until I make your enemies a footstool for your feet."'
Therefore let all the house of Israel know assuredly that God has made Him both Lord and Christ - this Jesus whom you crucified.
Now when they heard, they were pierced to the heart and said to Peter and to the rest of the apostles, "What should we do, men brothers?"
Then Peter said to them, "Repent, and be baptized - each one of you - in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of your sins; and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. For the promise is for you, for your children, and for all who are far away, whomever the Lord our God will call."

(John 20:1-18)
On the first day of the week Mary the Magdalene came to the tomb early, while it was still dark, and saw that the stone had been moved away from the tomb. So she ran and came to Simon Peter and the other disciple whom Jesus loved and said to them, "They have taken the Lord from the tomb, and we do not know where they have put Him!"

So Peter and the other disciple went out and were coming to the tomb. The two were running together, and the other disciple outran Peter and came first to the tomb. And he stooped down and saw the linen cloths lying there, but he did not go in. Then Simon Peter came, following him, and went into the tomb; and he saw the linen cloths lying there, and the face-cloth that had been around His head, not lying with the linen cloths but rolled up in a place by itself. Then the other disciple, who came first to the tomb, also went in; and he saw and believed (for as yet they did not understand the scripture, that He must rise from the dead). Then the disciples went away again, each by himself.

But Mary stood outside the tomb weeping. Now as she wept, she stooped down and gazed into the tomb. And she saw two angels in white sitting, one at the head and one at the feet, where the body of Jesus had been laid. And they said to her, "Woman, why are you weeping?" She said to them, "For they have taken away my Lord, and I do not know where they have laid Him!" Now when she had said this, she turned around and saw Jesus standing, and did not know that it was Jesus. Jesus said to her, "Woman, why are you weeping? Who are you seeking?" She, supposing Him to be the gardener, said to Him, "Sir, if you have carried Him away, tell me where you have laid Him, and I will take Him away."

Jesus said to her, "Mary!" She turned and said to Him, "Rabboni!" (that is to say, Teacher). Jesus said to her, "Do not touch me, because I have not yet ascended to the Father. But go to My brothers and say to them, 'I am ascending to my Father and your Father, and to my God and your God.'" Mary Magdalene came, announcing to the disciples, "I have seen the Lord, and these things He said to me!"

(Psalm 110 [111]:9)
The Lord has sent redemption to His people; He has commanded His covenant for all eternity. Holy and terrible is His name.
P: Alleluia.

(John 1:29; Psalm 106 [107]:2-3)
Behold the Lamb of God, who takes away the sins of the world, Alleluia.
V: Let those redeemed by the Lord speak; those whom He redeemed from the hand of the enemy.
V: Those gathered from the lands, from the rising of the sun and its setting, from the north and from the sea.
P: Who takes away...
V: Glory to the Father...
P: Who takes away...
Ad Accedentes

(Gaudete Populi)

Rejoice, you peoples, and be glad!
An Angel sat upon the stone of the Lord (cf. Matthew 28:2),
And to you did he proclaim the good news:
Christ arose from the dead -
The Savior of the world;
And filled all with sweetness;
Rejoice, you peoples, and be glad.
V: '
Now his appearance was as lightning,
And his clothing was as snow;
' (Matthew 28:3)
And he said:
P: "Christ arose from the dead..."
V: '
And the women went out of the tomb quickly,
With fear and in great joy,
running to announce to His disciples
' that He rose again (Matthew 28:8).
P: "Christ arose from the dead..."
V: Glory and honor to the Father...
P: Rejoice, you peoples, and be glad!


(Psalm 67:2-4a [68:1-3a]; 117 [118]:24)
Priest: Christ has risen from the dead,
Trampling down death by death,
and upon those in the graves bestowing life. (three times)
R: Christ has risen from the dead...(three times)

P: Let God arise, and His enemies be scattered, and let those who hate Him flee from before Him.
R: Christ has risen from the dead...
P: As smoke vanishes, let them vanish, as wax melts from before fire;
R: Christ has risen from the dead...
P: So let the wicked perish from before God, and let the righteous be glad.
R: Christ has risen from the dead...
P: This is the day which the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it.
R: Christ has risen from the dead...
P: Glory to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit;
Both now and ever, and to the ages of ages. Amen.
Christ has risen from the dead, trampling down death by death...
R: ...And upon those in the graves bestowing life.
First Antiphon

(Psalm 65 [66]:1-3)
V: Make a joyful noise to the Lord, all the earth!
R: At the prayers of the God-bearer, O Savior, save us.
V: Do make music to His name; give glory to His praise.
R: At the prayers of the God-bearer...
V: Say to God, 'How fearful are your works! Because of your great power your enemies shall play false with you.'
R: At the prayers of the God-bearer...
V: Let all the earth do homage to you and make music to you; let them make music to your name, O Most High."
R: At the prayers of the God-bearer...
Glory to the Father...Both now and ever...
At the prayers of the God-bearer...
Second Antiphon

(Psalm 66:2-4, 8 [67:1-3, 7])
V: May God have compassion to us and bless us, and make His face to upon us and have mercy on us.
R: Save us, Son of God risen from the dead, who sing to you: Alleluia!
V: That we may know your way upon the earth, among all nations your salvation.
R: Save us...
V: Let peoples acknowledge you, O God, let all peoples acknowledge you!
R: Save us...
V: May God bless us, and let all the ends of the earth fear Him.
R: Save us...
Glory to the Father...Both now and ever...
O only-begotten Son and Word of God, who is immortal yet deigned for our salvation to become incarnate of the holy God-bearer and ever-Virgin Mary, without change becoming man. You were crucified, Christ God - trampling down death by death, who are one of the Holy Trinity, together glorified with the Father and the Holy Spirit. Save us!
Third Antiphon

(Psalm 67:2-4a [68:1-3a]; 117 [118]:24, with Christ has risen from the dead)


(Psalm 67:27 [68:28])
Bless God in the assemblies; the Lord from the fountains of Israel.
Save us, Son of God risen from the dead, who sing to you: Alleluia!

Christ has risen from the dead...(Three times)

When those who were with Mary came before the dawn, and found the stone rolled away from the tomb, they heard from the Angel, "He who lives in everlasting light, why do you seek among the dead as a mortal man? Behold the grave clothes! Go and proclaim to the world: 'The Lord has risen! He has put death to death; for He is the Son of God, saving the race of man.'"
Although you descended into the tomb, O Immortal, you destroyed the power of Hades; and you arose as a conqueror, O Christ God, calling to the myrrh-bearing women, "Rejoice!" and giving peace to your Apostles, and offering resurrection to the fallen.
(In place of the Trisagion)

As many of you as have been baptised into Christ, have put on Christ, Alleluia (three times).
Glory to the Father...
Have put on Christ, Alleluia.
As many of you as have been baptised into Christ, have put on Christ, Alleluia.


(Psalm 117 [118]:24, 30)
This is the day that the Lord has made: let us rejoice and be glad in it.
V: Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good; for His mercy endures for ever.

(Acts 1:1-8)
The former account I made, O Theophilos, of all that Jesus began both to do and teach, until the day in which He was taken up, after He had by the Holy Spirit given orders to the apostles whom He had chosen, to whom He also presented Himself alive after His suffering by many convincing proofs, being seen by them during forty days and speaking of the things concerning the kingdom of God. While He was with them, He ordered them not to leave Jerusalem, but to wait there for "the promise of the Father, which you heard about from me. For John certainly baptized with water, but you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now."
Therefore, when they had come together, they began to ask Him, saying, "Lord, is this the time when you are restoring the kingdom to Israel?" And He said to them, "It is not for you to know the times or periods that the Father has set by His own authority. But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be my witness both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth!"

(Psalm 101:13, 19b-20 [102:14, 20b-21])
V: You will arise, Lord, and have compassion on Sion [, for it is the time to have compassion on her - for the time has come].
V: The Lord from heaven looked upon the earth [, to hear the groaning of the prisoners, to loose the sons of the slain].

(John 1:1-17)
In the beginning was the Word,
And the Word was with God,
And the Word was God.
He was in the beginning with God.
All things came into being through Him,
And apart from Him nothing came into being that has come into being.

In Him was life,
And the life was the light of men.
And the light shines on in the darkness,
And the darkness did not overcome it.

There came a man sent from God, whose name was John. This man came for a testimony, to bear witness of the Light, so that all through Him might believe. He was not the Light, but he came to bear witness about the Light.
The true Light which gives light to every man was coming into the world.

He was in the world, and the world came into being through Him,
And the world did not know Him.
He came to His own,
And His own did not receive Him.
But as many as received Him,
to them He gave power to become offspring of God,
to those who believe in His Name:

Who were born, not of bloods nor of the will of the flesh nor a man's decision but of God.

And the Word became flesh and tabernacled among us,
And we saw His glory, the glory as of the only-begotten of the Father,
Full of grace and truth.

John bore witness about Him and cried out, saying, "This was He of whom I said, 'He who comes after me is preferred before me, for He was before me.'"

For from His fullness we have all received, and grace upon grace.

For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ.


Receive the Body of Christ; taste from the immortal fount. Alleluia, Alleluia, Alleluia.
[V: Great is the mystery of your resurrection, O Christ!
R: Receive the Body of Christ...
V: From the supper the Immortal One comes willingly to the passion.
R: Receive the Body of Christ...
V: Then was Hades, who accounted and demanded of souls, embittered at the encounter.
R: Receive the Body of Christ...
V: Then was Mary, who anointed and worshiped God before the tomb, made glad. R: Receive the Body of Christ...
V: "Tell Peter and the other disciples that the Immortal One has risen from the dead!"
R: Receive the Body of Christ...]