Friday, January 27, 2012

And The Word Became Flesh...

Click here to go to beginning of book review

Et incarnatus est! "And the Word became flesh...". These true words should be enough for us... but unfortunately, due to sin... they are not enough for us.

All of the miracles that Our Lord performs for us in the Gospels have one astonishing thing in common: Our Lord in them, REQUIRES the cooperation of man when He performs the miracle. This is a great and incomprehensible miracle in and of itself. I'm reminded of something Mother Angleica used to say when asked about the absurd reality of the success of her endeavor to create a Catholic television and radio network with no budget, no business plan, no cooperation from most of the American hierarchy and no advanced degree. She would say "If we wish for God to do the miraculous... we must be willing to do the ridiculous". It may seem ridiculous for the blind man to have mud put on his eyelids and to be told to stagger across town to the Pool of Siloam... nevertheless, our Lord willed it.

He could have made it otherwise... but He didn't. This cooperation is at the very heart of what it means to be a Catholic. This is also at the very center of the dispute that Protestantism attempts to advance... namely the error of "justification by faith alone". The Protestant sees the passion as fixed in time. The Catholic knows that the passion is played out daily, lives on until the end of time, has always had merit for those that assist at Mass in a state of grace. To use the authors own words: "The Catholic conception of the Christian religion can be aptly described as 'incarnational'. Christ's means of applying the merits of His Passion is to continue the Incarnation throughout time until he comes again" (P7, Ch1).

God could have chosen some other means, besides cooperation with grace through Mary. But He DIDN'T! As Davies tells us, "Mary's fiat sets in motion a train of events..." Non Modernist Protestants and Catholics agree on the historical reality and the sufficiency of merit obtained via the crucifixion. But we disagree upon the dispensation of those graces... and upon the perpetual nature of the re-presentation of that reality. We disagree on the requirement of cooperation. It is one of the reasons that Mary presents such a psychological and spiritual problem for the revolter.

The Church maintains that there is an 'opus operatum' in the system of the seven sacraments when administered validly.

Sacred scripture is clear that the same Eucharist which is a blessing to the man in a state of grace can be a curse to the man who is knowingly not. How can this be unless there is indeed an opus operatum. The book has an excellent appendix which describes the opus operatum. It is worth getting the book for that simple appendix alone.

On to chapter two. I may add or tweak each as these summaries as I go, as family or friends discover omissions or errors. Check back if you wish. But I plan to move ahead. I have been given much to think about here... and I will be reading the offertory prayers more closely this Sunday in my old beat up but much loved 1957 Saint Joseph's Daily Missal.

Accept, O Holy Father, Almighty and eternal God, this spotless host, which I, your unworthy servant, offer to You, my living and true God, to atone for my numberless sins, offenses and negligences; on behalf of all here present and likewise for all faithful Christians living and dead, that it may profit me and them as a means of salvation to life everlasting...

We offer You, O Lord, the chalice of salvation, humbly begging of Your mercy that it may arise before Your divine Majesty, with a pleasing fragrance, for our salvation and for that of the whole world...

In a humble spirit and with a contrite heart, may we be accepted by You, O Lord, and may our sacrifice so be offered in Your sight this day as to please You, O Lord God... Come, O Sanctifier, Almighty and Eternal God, and bless, + this sacrifice prepared for the glory of Your holy Name.

After this and after the Lavabo (the washing of the hands) the priest says:
Accept, most holy Trinity, this offering which we are making to You in remembrance of the passion, resurrection, and ascension of Jesus Christ, our Lord; and in honor Blessed Mary, ever Virgin, Blessed John the Baptist, the Holy Apostles Peter and Paul, and of these, and of all the Saints; that it may add to their honor and aid our salvation...

And in the consecration itself we read: In like manner, when the supper was done, taking also this goodly chalice into His holy and venerable hands, again giving thanks to You, He blessed + it, and gave it to His disciples, saying: All of you take and drink of this: for this is the Chalice of my Blood of the new and eternal covenant: the mystery of faith: which shall be shed for you and for many unto the forgiveness of sins.

Make it a wonderful weekend. And remember... this is the last Sunday of Post Epiphany... so SAVOR that Alleluia.


And... NO... this is not me singing (I wish). This is credited to CC Watershed's ReneGoupil website... which has all the chants for the Novus Ordo and Tridentine Rite.

You won't hear Alleluia sung again until you hear the Easter Alleluia. Perhaps I'll post that Alleluia so you can hear it when the time comes if I'm still blogging.

IJM Pascendi

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