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Friday, September 30, 2016

I Interrupt This Regularly Scheduled Programming

Do you ever just stop and think, "Maybe I have no idea what's going on here"? During Holy Mass, we heard the reading where God kindly tells Job to button his face, and I couldn't help but think that even venturing a guess as to how my life will go is rank presumption.

As long as we have breath, we should keep going. Keep looking for God, keep trying to go deeper. We are the reason it hasn't happened to the degree we want.

There are people who don't like striving in the spiritual life; they think it's some self-help heresy. But holy striving is fully in the light of who Christ is. It's not from terror, or human weakness. Agree with God about yourself. We cannot change ourselves, but we can allow him to change us.

Thursday, September 29, 2016

The Spirit Of The Liturgy: Chapter 10 (Part Three, Chapter 2)

There has always been an intimate relation between the saving acts of God, and liturgical music; namely, the former gives impetus to the latter. The recognition by Israel that their deliverance from the Egyptians, and the song that resulted was temporary produced the hope that pushed their ecclesial life forward. Although Christian faith possesses more in the form of realized hope, especially in the Eucharist and the other sacraments, hope is still quite vital on this side of the veil.

The Holy Spirit produces in the redeemed the songs of Heaven. The ancient Greeks had been aware of the power of music, to either elevate, or to denigrate man. Without going into an extended discussion of sacred music itself, the Christian community had been aware from the earliest days of the potential danger in the art form. Indeed, heresies were transmitted through Greek hymn forms.

So, one of the regulating influences for the Church is the biblical story, centered on Christ, the Word, (Logos) the summation of all reason. There is a sobriety in our liturgical music, or there ought to be, owing to Him we worship, and the purpose for which we come together.

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

The Spirit Of The Liturgy: Chapter 9 (Part Three, Chapter 1)

The main focus of this chapter is on how the Incarnation alters the Judeo-Christian reluctance to display God. (In fairness, it is an abhorrence to the Jewish mind, whose Scriptures from the earliest draw a sharp distinction between the Creator and the created.) But Ratzinger says that synagogue art took a softer line than might be supposed, owing to the theological inclination to make past events present through art.

And a large difference going forward lies in what the Incarnation means: it represents God's will to reveal Himself. In Christ, something of the mystery of God is made visible. An icon or image of Christ has three essential elements or reference points: His suffering, death, and resurrection. Any one image may emphasize one element over the others, but none may be denied.

The chapter seems to be a return to the earlier insight that everything comes from God and is returning to God. (Exitus-reditus) Paradoxically, we use our senses to transcend them, to be folded into the story of God redeeming mankind. History and eternity meet in the icons of the gospel of the Incarnate Word. For this reason, Ratzinger says that iconoclasm is inconsistent with Christianity.