Wednesday, January 31, 2007
This is what our intellect does. When we see dogs we are able to abstract what is essential to all dogs. We are able to abstract the form dogginess. We are able to grasp what is common to all the dogs that we have seen and formed an sense image of in our mind (known as a phantasm).
This fact is related to proving the spirituality (and hence immortality) of the soul.
The Catholic mass is the final product of:
* The Old testament i.e. Judaism
* The inner purification of man's religious sense
* The human quest to reach God
* A Divine response from God
Man's gift from God in order to full fill his existence is the Holy Mass. To all those
people who are looking for a religion that encompasses all religions, they can look no further then Catholicism, because it does just that, not through visible appearance but through the base philosophy behind it. I will build on this in further posts.
With the mystery of the Eucharist we have two miracles occurring.
The first is that we have the accidents of the bread and the wine without any substance in which to inhere. An important point to grasp is that the perception of the accidents of bread and wine on the part of our senses is not an illusion. God is not deceiving us into thinking they are there when are not. On the contrary, they are there. The accidents of bread and wine really exist although now minus their substance.
The second miracle of the Eucharist is that the properties of Jesus' body and blood exist without our senses detecting them.
I'm using our discussion on form, substance and accidents to go into this topic because there is a misunderstanding that I have come across amongst devout Catholics.
It concerns the existence of the accidents of the bread and wine after the miraculous process of transubstantiation. Let me begin by saying that the word "accidents" tends to be avoided these days. With a modern audience the word is just as likely to evoke images of car smashes than anything else. The substitute put in it's place is usually the word "appearances."
Unfortunately "appearances" has it's own problem. The word "accidents" is a broader term covering more than just the appearances of a thing but also the properties that belong to it such as density and physical effects.
Now I have found that it isn't entirely uncommon to come across the idea that if a priest, hypothetically speaking, where to drink a very large amount of consecrated wine then he would not end up drunk on the pretext that it is the "blood of Christ." Indeed, it is the blood of Christ but we have here a perfect example of opposing one truth with another. The fact is, he would indeed become drunk. This also applies to people with an allergy to the gluten in bread. The consecrated host will have an effect on them because of the accidents proper to bread remain.
This goes to show how handy those philosophy concepts are.
Tuesday, January 30, 2007
It may have been noticed that the examples I provided came from the natural world - apples and trees.
Sometimes, when starting out, it isn't unusual for the concept of form to be explained by examples which consist in things made by man. Such as shoes or hats.
The form of shoes, as you would have no doubt guessed, is shoeness. Shoeness is what makes a shoe a shoe.
Now there is an important difference between the forms of appleness and shoeness. Shoeness is what we call an artificial form. Appleness, on the other hand is a substantial form as mentioned previously.
The other concept touched on briefly below was that of prime matter. Prime matter is what a substantial form unites itself to. When it does so it turns into a particular apple or tree.
Prime matter, as such, does not exist. Prime matter is matter without any form whatsoever. It is pure potency. That means it has potency for any form (potency is "lack but can have"). It can potentially be everything. But being potentially everything it is in fact, nothing. Matter cannot exist without form. It needs to be actualised by some form. Of course, matter actualised by a form still retains a limited range of things that it can turn itself into. It still has some potency. For instance a piece of wood is potentially a pile of ashes. But it isn't potentially a muddle of water. Unlike prime matter it has a limited range of potencies.
Restricting ourselves to a consideration of those things which are material, their substance is their substantial form united to matter.
Please note what is meant by "matter" here. In the Glossary to "Summa of the Summa" philosopher Peter Kreeft says:
"matter: the principle in a thing's being by which it is able to be determined by form; potency as vs. actuality. In modern parlance, the word refers to actual, visible, formed things (chemicals, molecules) but in Thomistic and Aristotelian parlance "matter" is not itself observable or even of itself actual. It not a thing but a metaphysical principle or aspect of things, which together with form explains change, as the actualizing (in-form-ing) of potency (matter)."
This is important to ensure the word "matter" is not bringing up the wrong connotations.
So for material things:
substance = substantial form + matter
Some substances such as angels are pure forms not united to matter but we may be getting ahead of ourselves.
A substance is something that exists of itself rather than in something else.
What do we mean by this?
Earlier I mentioned accidents. Accidents are something's individual properties. It is a result of form being united to matter. All apples have the form of appleness but this particular apple may be such a shade of color or be a particular size or shape. No two apples are the same in other words. The matter individuates the form.
Accidents inhere (exist in) a substance. They are upheld or supported by the substance they exist in. An accidental change does not affect the substance. Putting a dent in the apple doesn't mean it ceases to remain an apple. However a change in substance will result in an change of accidents which inhere in the former. For instance if I burn a piece of toast I am making a substantial change (bread into carbon) with the necessary accompanying change in accidents.
A substance is of the opposite nature. It exists by its own being not in something else.
If you are thinking ahead you would have already noticed that the exception to this is the transubstantiation of the bread and wine into the body and blood of Christ in the Sacrifice of Mass. Two miracles are taking place here at the same time.
Monday, January 29, 2007
One topic I briefly raised was the matter of "form." You will come across this term regularly in the Summa Theologicae (yes, my name should have an "e" on the end and I hope to fix it if I can).
Firstly, what is mean by "form"?
Form is what makes something what it is. It is what makes a tree a tree and an apple an apple.
The worst mistake we can make in thinking of "form" is that is is the shape of the object.
Take apples for instance. There are many varieties of apples in the world and even those of the same variety differ amongst themselves in their precise features. Yet they are all apples.
The form of an apple is "appleness." Appleness is what makes an apple what it is. If you were to try and draw "appleness" (what is common to all apples) you would find it impossible to do so.
This helps us to see that form is not the shape or outline of the object.
In an actually existing material object form is united to matter. Matter is the individuating principle. It is what makes it this apple this apple and not the one over there or the one next to it.
"Appleness" is a substantial form. The individual features a particular apple has when its substantial form is united to prime matter are its accidents or accidental forms.
In our conversation Roman mentioned the word "science" in connection with a topic we were discussing. This lead us to talk about what science is.
I pointed out that "science" is a word that is used all the time by people without any concern for what, precisely, they mean by the word.
"Science" has unfortunately become equated to be one and the same with the "physical sciences." Placing the word "physical" in front of it implies (as I mean it to) that it is, in fact, only one branch of science.
Classically science is defined as "the knowledge of things in their causes." Another definition is "any systematized body of knowledge."
It is in this broader sense that Theology is said to be the "Queen of the Sciences" and philosophy its handmaid.
Of course, the first alternative definition, is also narrower than what the word commonly means today in the sense that it refers to certain knowledge of real causes.
In fact, some people think that "science" (i.e the physical sciences) provides more certain knowledge than philosophy (which is viewed as more "opinionated") which is quite false.
"Worship in 'spirit and truth' cannot dispense with a correct exterior rite. Thus, the Church has taken a long time to establish this rite. To produce a ceremony worthy of the sublime, everything must be considered important, each gesture, each vestment and each step. This is why respect for the rubrics is important. Rubrics have nothing to do with formalism or a cold legalism. The Holy Spirit created rubrics to become communicable thought the rite. The worship to God in spirit without an exterior rite is self contradiction. Where there is no rite, there is no adoration of God’s real presence, only chaos."
Friday, January 26, 2007
This calls for my favorite Chant.
Te Deum laudamus: te Dominum confitemur.
Te aeternum Patrem omnis terra veneratur.
Tibi omnes Angeli; tibi caeli et universae Potestates;
Tibi Cherubim et Seraphim incessabili voce proclamant:
Sanctus, Sanctus, Sanctus, Dominus Deus Sabaoth.
Pleni sunt caeli et terra maiestatis gloriae tuae.
Te gloriosus Apostolorum chorus,
Te Prophetarum laudabilis numerus,
Te Martyrum candidatus laudat exercitus.
Te per orbem terrarum sancta confitetur Ecclesia,
Patrem immensae maiestatis:
Venerandum tuum verum et unicum Filium;
Sanctum quoque Paraclitum Spiritum.
Tu Rex gloriae, Christe.
Tu Patris sempiternus es Filius.
Tu ad liberandum suscepturus hominem, non horruisti Virginis uterum.
Tu, devicto mortis aculeo, aperuisti credentibus regna caelorum.
Tu ad dexteram Dei sedes, in gloria Patris.
Iudex crederis esse venturus.
Te ergo quaesumus, tuis famulis subveni: quos pretioso sanguine redemisti.
Aeterna fac cum sanctis tuis in gloria numerari.
V. Salvum fac populum tuum, Domine, et benedic hereditati tuae.
R. Et rege eos, et extolle illos usque in aeternum.
V. Per singulos dies benedicimus te.
R. Et laudamus nomen tuum in saeculum, et in saeculum saeculi.
V. Dignare, Domine, die isto sine peccato nos custodire.
R. Miserere nostri, Domine, miserere nostri.
V. Fiat misericordia tua, Domine, super nos, quemadmodum speravimus in te.
R. In te, Domine, speravi: non confundar in aeternum.
Let all hope for the best and aim for that 100th post.
Thursday, January 25, 2007
Here is Fr John Blessing the new novices.
Here is the presentation of the new novices.
Here are the sisters. See religious life is still good, 8 young postulants is very healthy especial compared to up here in Brisbane.
Even whole families have joined the Alliance and this family (minus Fr John) comes from my neigbourhood (let me tell you no vocations).
My advice to all those places suffering a lack of vocations is for them to start to listen to the Holy Father.
Tuesday, January 23, 2007
Take this retreat for example, we had to use a multipurose hall for the main area for the retrat, even for the celebration of Mass. Did we just have a small table covered with cloth for an altar? See for yourself.
Even though we had a secular hall for the Mass centre, we still had a dignfied altar and sancutary. Can this be said even of all churches?
We were lead in some of the best singing I've heard for a while by a combined choir of sisters and brothers.
Here is the entrance procession. These photos are from the Saturday even Mass of the retreat. The main celebrant was Fr Matthew Cassanova from the order of Christ the Priest. Now before you jump down my throat about the blue chasble, well the O.A.T.H. and whole Alliance of the Holy Family have directy permission from the Holy Father to use blue for marian feast days, somthing that Fr Joe down the street doesn't.
Here we have Fr John reading the Goespel.
At the Consecration.
Per ipsum. Also the Mass was Partially in Latin.
At the retreat everyone recived communion of the tounge and kneeling.
The procession out. Now you might ask why am I not in the photos as I usually am? Well there are two reasons 1) I was the sacristian and assistant to the liturgist of the order, which prevented me from serving, on the plus side I could run around in my Cassock the whole time.
2) I finally didn't have a biast family member as the photographer, but rather a friend, she really does know how to take great photos.
Now rest assured there will be more photos and posts.
Sunday, January 21, 2007
At this time of year questions and doubts are occasionally raised as to whether Jesus Christ knew that he was God when he was only a tiny little baby. To give you some food for thought or in case you have unfortunately heard otherwise here is a snippet from Pius XII's great encyclical letter "Mystici Corporis Christi."
"But the knowledge and love of our Divine Redeemer, of which we were the object from the first moment of His Incarnation, exceed all that the human intellect can hope to grasp. For hardly was He conceived in the womb of the Mother of God, when He began to enjoy the Beatific Vision, and in that vision all the members of His Mystical Body were continually and unceasingly present to Him, and He embraced them with His redeeming love. O marvelous condescension of divine love for us! O inestimable dispensation of boundless charity! In the crib, on the Cross, in the unending glory of the Father, Christ has all the members of the Church present before Him and united to Him in a much clearer and more loving manner than that of a mother who clasps her child to her breast, or than that with which a man knows and loves himself."
Monday, January 15, 2007
To say that she does not have the power, however, means that there is a radical incapacity on the part of the Church to ordain women. It's not even a possibility.
A good example of the Church not merely having the "authority" would be the stipulation of monogamy. Marriage between a man and more than one women isn't strictly against the natural law in that there are circumstances where, under natural law, it could be allowed. Say a comet hit the earth and a man several women were left alive. However Christ has decreed the sacrament of marriage is to be only between one man and one woman as that is God's orginal plan in the beginning.
Now with priestesses, not even God himself could permit it without first changing the entire structure of the Catholic religion (in which case it wouldn't be the Catholic religion anymore would it?). Because the priest acts in the person of Christ the Spouse of the Church then it would be no more possible for God to permit this than he could approve marriage between two men or two women. In other words the idea of priestesses is nothing short of an intrinsic evil in and of itself.
Saturday, January 13, 2007
Thursday, January 11, 2007
Those that are well versed in chant can tell what chant it is, but to those of us who don't know it's the Gloria VIII from the Missa de Angelicus.
Tuesday, January 09, 2007
A S. Paolo Primo Eremita
Deciana Terret Multum
Liberumque dei cultumtota mente cupio,
Hinc pericla declinabo
Ac in silvis latitabo
Soli Deo serviens.
Ita Paulus Eremita
Familiae, pompis mundi,
Non moratur, sed festinat
Ad speluncam nemoris,
Neque curat sic suadentis
Vocem suae sororis.
Quorsum abis, nec moveris
Fater mi gemitibus.
Ah! Sororis tam sinceris
Nec paternam, inhumane,
Domum Paule desere,
Cum sorore , quaeso, ,mane,
Velis me protegere.
Tua caro delicata
Non est apta rupibus,
Nec talenta elevata
Sunt condenda montibus,
Te Thebaeum grandedecus
Horrenda facessit specus
Tale, quae nil ponderat.
Ast hic nemorum amator
Fletus, preces rejicit,
Mangnus sui Triumphator
Saecli pompam despicit.
Et Festino pergit gressu
Ad silvarum abdita,
Nil vult scire de regressu,
Nil de mundi orbita.
Cujus in Eremo vitam
Viam prius nunquam tritam
Solus degit, corpus nudum
Vestit palmae foliis,
Ejusdemque fructum crudum
Havet pro deliciis.
Fons erumpens reficit,
Ad servandam suam vitam
Curam mundi abjicit,
Membris fame fatigatis
Terra est pro lectulo,
Et haec praxis stricta satis
Durat ferme saeculo.
Sexaginta annis tamen
Corvus in edulium,
Et in virium levamen
Portat panem medium,
Quare precor, perge recta,
Fer ab Athanasio,
Pallium, quo ossa tecta
Redde terrae gremio.
Post quod Paulus ita fatur:
Quem quaerebas edulo,
Hic per mortem evocatur
Proximus est temulo,
Quare precor, perge recta,
Fer ab athansio,
Pallium, quo ossa tecta
Redde terrae gremio.
Lugens Pauli transitum,
Inter Choros Caelitum,
Ejus Animam Levari,
Videt et considerat.
An lugere, vel laetri
Opus sit, deliberat.
Moeret igitur de morte,
Sed de Pauli Gloria,
Et de Ejus fausta sorte,
Plenus est laetitia.
Corpus demum tumulando
Vestem Ejus vendicando
Qualem Paulus meruit,
Obstupesece quia talem
Mundus nunquam habuit.
Nam sepulchri fossam Ei
Per quod notam Viri Dei
Religosi et Fedeli
Sancte Pater nunc precamur
Nos ab alto respice.
Et ne a Te dividamur,
Tua prece effice.
Esto memor Tui gregis
Noli nos deserere,
Tecum Vultum caeli Regis
Fac in aevum cernere.
V: Ora pro nobis, Sancte Pater noster Paule Ie Eremita
R: Ut digni efficiamur promissionibus Christi.
Deus, qui beatum Paulum Paterm nostrum, spretis mundi pompis ad eremum confugere, ibique in contempltione tui Nominis vitae cursum perficere dignatus es, da nobis ejus intercedentibus meritis, ut et mundane despicere et caelesia sectari mereamur. Per Christum Dominum nostrum. Amen.
Monday, January 08, 2007
Part of the story that appeared in the published version is available online.
There is lots of clever sleight of hand in this article.
TOOWOOMBA Catholic Bishop William Morris would ordain single or married women and married men if church policy changed, he said yesterday.
Ordaining married men, in the broad sense of the term is a "policy" albeit an apostolic one. Ordaining women is an impossibility according to Church doctrine.
But he said he would not ordain people against the teachings of the Catholic Church.
This is the trickiest part. Because the teaching of the Church is that we cannot hold that ordaining women is even a possibility and Morris thinks that it is, he has already gone against Church teaching. That it would be a serious crime to go through the motions of attempting to ordain a woman - simulating a sacrament - (or validly but illicitly ordaining a married man without authorisiation) is a logical consequence of the teaching.
Bishop Morris said he was grieved that he could not ordain people who wanted to serve the church but he was hopeful of change.
Apart from "poor thing" - no comment.
"If we keep dialoguing our understanding will grow," he said.
Another favorite dissenter line. Make an appearance of being open while actually being a one way street. Apart from the fact this is simply meaningless prattle I doubt that "our understanding will grow" refers to an increase in his understanding of why the Church cannot ordain women.
"I may not see it in my lifetime but the children of this age may see it.
Further proof that he dissents.
"I would ordain married men as priests if I could. Most bishops in the world would agree but we can ordain only single, celibate males by decree of the church since the 14th century."
False but unfortunately too much too go into in this post.
Brisbane Catholic Archbishop John Bathersby is overseas on leave and unavailable for comment but a spokesman for the diocese said the Archbishop's views would not differ from Rome.
He said ordination of women was not on the table for discussion and the most recent Synod in 2003 did not discuss the prospect even though ordination of women had been suggested as a topic.
Whoever suggested that is also a dissenter.
Bishop Morris has asked the 68,000 Catholics in his diocese west of Brisbane which encompasses 35 parishes to keep talking about alternative models for ministry.
In a pastoral letter to his diocese, Bishop Morris, 63, said the diocese was challenged by the ageing of its priests, most of whom would be eligible for retirement by 2014, leaving only six priests out of the full complement of 40.
After this the bishop went on to say that we should recognise the validity of the orders of other "mainstream" denominations. In other words there is no difference between a Catholic priest and say, a Methodist or Presbyterian minister ! That's sure to increase vocations !
It was a full blown Solemn Mass. We had 6 servers and I was the MC.
Here are the opening rites. Father wore a nice roman chasuble and final tested out his new monastic amice. He thinks the amice looks too sloppy, but I quite like it.
Here is the cencing of the altar. The monks set up a nice nativity sence in front of the altar, it's nice and small, not detracting from the altar.
Here is the cencing of Father. The Saturday before I was also at Marian Valley and we had a bit of trouble with the thirble, my favorite line of Father's was "It's buggered, Fix It".
The preface.After concesration. Here we have the two twins Chris and Greg as tourch bearers , Eddie with the boat and Br Luke with the thrible.
After coummunion we had the blessing of the chalk and a special hymn to st Paul the first hermit in Latin (it's part of a novena for the feast of St Paul the first hermit). I'll be sure to post a copy of it in the near future and have summa theolgica translate it into English.
After mass we had a nice meal with the large contingent of the alianice of the holy family and there religious brothers (the O.A.T.H).
Here is Brother Luke (left) Brother Dominic the mission superior of the O.A.T.H(Right) and I'm in the center.
On his last day in Brisbane he celebrated the mass of Paul the 6th (no tridentine mass due to not having an indult) at St Luke's. I had the great privilage of serving for him. Here are a few photo's of the mass.
The unveiling of the chalice. Sorry about the blue tint of it. Also notice the burse, I love burses they just add that extra shape to the chalice and not to mention take good care of the corporal.
We were going to use the high altar for an ad orientam mass, but Father arrived abit to late for us to move the "cammer table".
P.S. I only call somthing an altar only if it is dignifyed and either is a permanet altar or has aleast and altarstone.
Saturday, January 06, 2007
I think it was Arch. (later Card.) Freeman who was lecturing at the Gregorian Uni. years ago. His nickname among the students was "Bull". In one of his lectures he faced up to and claimed to
have solved a problem which had left St Augustine and St Thomas Aquinas stumped. The saying went around "Augustinus nescit; Thomas nescit; sed Bull scit". I hope that doesn't scandalise you, but, unlike you, I am a sinner.
Tuesday, January 02, 2007
Now for all my faithfully readers to do something for me, I have a favor to ask of my readers.
To my knowledge this alb and amice in these photos (see below) is the alb that was used in the Sarum rite. I have taken quite a fancy to it and was wondering if any of my readers might know
Here is the censing of the Gospel. I really dislike the “”hippy” fad of wearing the stole on the outside, especially with such an awesome traditional chasuble
Here is the procession out. You might notice that for the exit procession we used the two Acolyte candles. We should have had them for the procession in, but because we didn't get any Italian servers we had to juggle the jobs around (I hate juggling).