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Friday 23 May 2014

More on Manning Later

Having trouble with my eyes. Thanks for remembering me in your prayers.


The Wisdom of Cardinal Manning on The Holy Spirit and Scripture

Pursuing the reading of the book by Cardinal Manning on the Holy Spirit in the Church, I can see how much the teaching on the Holy Spirit is not something new at all, as some writers want to state, but part of the long tradition of the Church.

One of the themes in the book I have mentioned in previous posts this week, which is the application of the Attributes of God to the Holy Spirit within the Church. Cardinal Manning also looks carefully at the attributes of the Church, as one, holy, Catholic and apostolic, noting how the Holy Spirit is also present in the Church as one, as holy, as unifying and universal, and as in the unbroken line from the apostles.

But, what I want to emphasize today is the aspect of Reason with regard to the presence of the Holy Spirit in the Church's Canon of Scripture.

As I noted earlier this week, the rational basis for accepting the Catholic Church as the one, true Church having the long history of the presence of the Holy Spirit within guiding and teaching cannot be denied by those who are sincere about discovering the truth.

The problem with most Catholics is that they have been influenced by Protestant New Criticism with regard to the relationship between the Holy Spirit and Scripture, one of two gifts in the Church to the world, along with Tradition.

That it is reasonable to accept the role of the Holy Spirit in the creation of Scripture and Tradition has been set aside by those who follow in ways of New Criticism. I have written several times on this blog referring to both Dei Verbum, found here and Providentissimus Deus, found there.

Manning makes it clear that there is a danger of error when approaching Scripture regarding the terms inspiration, revelation, form and matter.

To be begin, one must start with the fact that there are no errors in Scripture. Also, we have the Doctors of the Church as guides, who are "the masters" as St. Augustine states. St. Augustine also writes that those who want to learn go to the masters. Obviously, those who do not want to learn, do not do so, or go to false teachers. This reference is in Providentissimus Deus.

Manning writes this with regard to Reason: "It may be truly said that the history of the human intellect in the last eighteen hundred years is the history of Christianity, and the history of Christianity is the history of the Catholic Church. It is in the Catholic Church that the human intellect has developed it activity and its maturity, both within the sphere of revelation and beyond it."

The systematic study of Scripture and Theology may be traced back to not only some of the Doctors of the Church, but most specifically through the great minds and hearts of SS. Anselm, Hugh and Richard of St. Victor, Bernard of Clairvaux and many others, as Manning elucidates.

To study is not to doubt.

The relationship between Reason and the study of Scripture becomes a problem for some feminist and Protestant scholars. Those who find themselves disagreeing with the moral and theological truths of Scripture pick apart the idea of Revelation and Inspiration so that these two truths no longer apply, in their minds, to the reading of the texts.

Revelation becomes merely one's own interpretation determined by cultural influences and inspiration merely becomes "creative writing".

Manning also points out that among the saints, there has been a solid agreement concerning the Truths of the Catholic Church, including the inerrancy of Scripture. This "consensus" of the faithful is not infallible per saint, but as Manning notes, the consensus of accepted truths is the consensus brought about by the Holy Spirit.

Therefore, those who hold with sola Scriptura depart from this consensus. To be continued...

A Petition to Stop Common Core

The Common Core is owned, and was developed by, private entities -the National Governors Association and the Council of Chief State School Officers- that were acting in response to money from other private entities.

On Happiness Today

Say a decade for Fr. Ripperger.  And a paraphrase from a soul in Purgatory--"I would rather stay an eternity in Purgatory, than spend a single instance in the sight of God with the slightest blemish on my soul."

"Real men set aside their pleasures...If you are living a life of pleasure, you are not man."

Tonight into Saturday-The Camelopardalids

A new meteor shower will begin tonight, Friday and go into Saturday morning. I hope to see this exciting event.

Sounds like this \kə-ˌme-lə-ˈpär-dəl-əs\

Pope Watching This Weekend

Novella Three Christine Part Eleven

One of Carl's calves lept in the late sunlight of a long May twilight. The calf bounded up and down the little hills on the far side of the loess hills. Golden clouds mirrored the golden hills as thin clouds raced across the sky moving towards the east. Several Black Angus stood in the cool copse of trees, worrying Scullery Maid, who did not like the intruders.

The long, long winter passed quickly once May came, and now the temperature soared to the eighties. Scullery Maid swished horse flies away with her long tail as she munched on the new green grass. In the distance, clouds of dust flew up into the air as a train of trucks rumbled down the gravel road at the edge of the farm, depositing new gravel for the summer. Uncle Jay once remarked that the county sure spent a lot of money on the four pick-up trucks and two cars one could see per week on the old road.

Uncle Jay walked slowly to Sunset Cottage. The door was locked and barred. Addie sniffed around the porch, but soon saw pheasants in the fields behind the little house and ran away chasing these majestic birds.

One flew up and for a minute, Uncle Jay wished he had his gun with him. But, then, it was not the right season for pheasant hunting and he was strict about his hunting practices. The only things one could kill at this time of year were spring turkeys and coyotes.

Uncle Jay opened the cottage latch, unlocking the bolt and went in. He looked around the walls as if searching for something. In Christine's old bedroom, on the duck-egg blue wall, he found the old painting of Lady Elizabeth Christine Magdalen Thatcham. Taking it off the wall, he wrapped it up in brown paper he had brought from the Big House and carried it out of the cottage. Then, he quietly and slowly locked up the cottage again. Addie, who had come back and followed Uncle Jay into the house came out with him but plopped down on the porch. The Sheltie looked up to Jay with its big eyes as if to say, "I am staying here for the rest of the day and you can't make me move. I just flushed out pheasants for you for no reason."

Uncle Jay left the dog there and walked back into the mud-room. Then, he changed his shoes, finally going into the kitchen, to the large stove to fix some coffee. He shook his head and used the matches to light the gas ring. One of these days, he thought, I shall have to clean out those holes.

Uncle Jay filled an old thermos full of the coffee, wrapped up the painting more securely in the brown paper, and went back to the mud-room, where he changed into his walking shoes.

Then, he slowly went in the direction of the cavern in the copse. He had grabbed his largest flashlight and a walking stick to use in the cave. In twenty minutes or so, Uncle Jay was standing in front of the iron lattice white gate, using the old key to open it up.  He laid the painting and thermos on a small table, moving slowly on the right to walk to the chapel. The chapel door was unlocked as there were three men praying the proper Liturgy of the Hours of the day. Fr. James, Tom, and Marcus said the prayers in antiphonal manner, in great reverence and calm. Uncle Jay knelt down in the last pew and joined them, after picking up an extra Breviary in the back when he walked in. In the cool air, the priest read the reading for the First Vespers of Sunday.

22 But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves.

23 For if a man be a hearer of the word, and not a doer, he shall be compared to a man beholding his own countenance in a glass.
24 For he beheld himself, and went his way, and presently forgot what manner of man he was.

Stay with us, Lord, alleluia. For it is getting towards evening, alleluia.

Then, Fr. James intoned a chant for the Magnificat anthem. 

Hitherto, you have not asked anything in My Name. Ask, and you shall receive. Alleluia.

The priest's thoughts went back to his discussion with Christine in January, when she confided her visions to him. He knew who was calling her by name. Christ wanted her for Himself, as His bride. She knew this as well, in the secret depth of her heart. Uncle Jay and Fr. James managed to take her to the nuns in Nebraska. Fr. James had never seen her so happy. She, indeed, looked like a young bride. She was accepted readily, despite being a year or so over the age limit. But, in the middle of her postulancy, in late April, soldiers broke into the convent and murdered all the nuns. There was an uproar, an investigation, but nothing happened to the perpetrators. Witnesses in the neighboring farm near the convent told other Catholics that the men were American Army soldiers. Some witnesses said the nuns were hiding priests, who were never found. My Lady, who had become, My Little Nun, was gone.

Fr. James added the name of Sr. Elizabeth Christine Magdalen to his list of souls for whom to pray in the back of his Breviary. But, the brother knew that the Church Militant hidden in the golden hills of Iowa was protected by a golden saint in heaven.
When he had the courage to do so, Fr. James looked up the history of Lady Elizabeth Christine Magdalen Thatcham. Here is what he read in an old book found in Iona's things in the small, tiny, attic of Sunset Cottage. Uncle Jay had known some books were there wrapped in paper, but had neglected to tell Christine. Some were from England and very old; in fact, crumbling into dust when one touched them.

Elizabeth Christine Magdalen Thatcham, Canoness of the Order of  the Dames of St. Augustine, former Lady Thatcham. Martyred in Walsingham along with the sub-prior of the said Priory of Walsingham, while visiting the Augustinians of that sacred place  April 30, 1537, in Martyrs' Field.

Novella Three Christine Part Ten

Fr. James' story was long and sad.

"The little parish sat in small town near Nevada, toward the south of the state. Weekly, about three hundred people, mostly young families, came to the Tridentine Mass I had there. The congregation seemed friendly and content. Then, on the Fourth Sunday of Advent, as I was driving up to the church with the family with which I had been staying, we saw four state police cars outside the main gate which leads into the church parking lot. Martin Lutin, my driver just kept going past the church as if he going someplace else, and no one who was standing outside looked up to see us go by.

Then, Martin pulled into a gas station and filled up his tank. He told me he would drop his little family back home and take me all the way up to the farm. We started up the main highway. Martin could see barriers in the distance, so he veered off into a side road and we drove until he practically ran out of gas near the border of Andrew County. He then called a friend of his, Charlie Manly, who has a farm near the county line to bring him gas and food. We waited only a half hour for Charlie. Then, Charlie gave us some bad news. All the people who had been at the church already had been taken in for questioning as to the whereabouts of the visiting priest. Martin's wife called Charlie and told him that she wanted Martin back as soon as possible. Then, Mrs. Lutin told Charlie that I should not come back, ever.

We three discussed what to do. Charlie has a sister in Maryville and he offered to take me a bit out of the way and told me to stay there for a few weeks before making my way back to the hills and the farm.

This I did, staying with one of the bravest women I have ever met, who pretended I was a long lost brother from the past. I waited until after Christmas, and then, I just walked the rest of the way. I must have traveled over 600 miles. But, here I am. I can never go back to the Nevada area and I have no idea where all those good people are today."

Uncle Jay, who was up and fixing food again, nodded. "You are going nowhere. Your bishop made a mistake to put you in such an obvious place. But, does anyone know where you are from?"

Father James answered no and all in the room sighed.  "But, I am having problems with my feet," noted Fr. James. "I think I have frostbite in some of the toes."

Uncle Jay went into action. He knew something about frostbite, having helped John years ago with two fingers.

Fr. James patiently let Uncle Jay attend to his feet, which looked bad, indeed. Christine actually felt sick looking at the black toes.

"You will be alright. This is topical damage and some skin will peel off, but don't worry. I can make something out of horsetail as a remedy. Here have some coffee and wait a bit."

Christine sat down next to Fr. James. She was beginning to have little sister adoration for her brave brother. She knew that what he had to endure hinted at more and even worse to come. She decided to talk about her "visions" later. They would have enough time.

Uncle Jay spoke softly, "Fr. James, I want you to move into the cavern house for a month or so, just in case. There are enough provisions for four months at least. You need to seem dead to the world right now."

Fr. James laughed, "Well, I sure could sleep like the dead tonight. I am bushed. But, before I go into hiding, I want to talk to My Lady for a bit, in private, so can I hobble over to the cottage or do you want me to stay here?"

Uncle Jay said he would wrap up the feet in cloth soaked in hazel. Fr. James could wear old Sam's gigantic boots over the cloths. Then, Uncle Jay said he would bring sage tea to both of them over in the cottage.

Christine led the injured priest to Sunset Cottage and Addie decided to brave the snow and join them in the tiny rooms there.

Once in the cottage, Fr. James added to the story, "Do not tell Uncle Jay this, but some people were shot at the church. I did not want to cause him distress. Three men were wounded or died to distract the sheriff's men from our car. We are in the age of martyrs, My Lady."

Christine put her hands on her lap. "I know this, Fr. James, I know this." The two became silent for many minutes, then Uncle Jay came in with the sage tea. "I think you should go over to the cave before the next snow, which is supposed to happen tonight. I shall come back for you in an hour."

Leaving the mugs and pot on the small table, Uncle Jay walked back to the Big House. Addie stayed with the brother and sister. Then, Christine asked if she could share something she needed discernment about-her two visions and the person calling her name. Fr. James encouraged her to share all the details. After Christine  told him the calls she had heard, Fr. James became pensive. Then, he began to tell her what he discerned about the visions.

to be continued...

Pray for the Pope

during his visit to the Holy Land.

Novella Three Christine Part Nine

Christmas brought about illness in the Big House. Uncle Jay, Sam and Tom came down with some sort of flu. Christine and Marcus were busy playing nurses for those three. Fr. James had received a letter from the Bishop of Kansas City-St. Joseph via a person who hand delivered it at the door of the Big House right after Thanksgiving, calling the new priest to work in a parish of 300 people in southern Missouri.

Fr. James had consecrated Hosts for the family, blessed holy water and other sacramentals and promised a visit after Christmas. But, the denial of Mass and confession wore on the small band of Catholics. They prayed the rosary together daily. Fr. James was also missed in the fields and in the farm buildings. His strong hands made up for the aging ones of the old helpers. Tom's birthday on December 10th introduced him to his seventieth year. And Sam, who turned seventy-two on November 29th, seemed years younger than Tom.

Marcus was the "young' un" at a cool sixty-five, while the patriarch, Uncle Jay, cleared eighty the April before. Marcus and Christine had decorated a tree while the others were down sick. They had gathered small gifts for each man, like a new Nebraska hat for Jay, and a new shirt for Tom. Sam's present, pipe tobacco, lay unopened, as he was too ill to pay attention to it.

Christine marveled at the strength of body, mind and character of these four men. She knew that she would never see their likes again when they moved on to God's place for them. "Her" Michael had been cut from another die. His world consisted of business and urbanity. Maybe that is why she had been attracted to him in the first place, as he was so different from the rest of her family. But, now her world became the farm again, with Christine finding new skills for helping around the Big House. She knew how to sew and to cook, which helped Uncle Jay make time for the farm work now that Fr. James had left.

Christine felt the lack of Fr. James keenly, not only because he was her brother, but because he was of her generation. They shared many unspoken experiences and customs not shared with the older ones, four of whom would be Christine's parents' ages, if they had still been alive.

The day after Christmas came and then the next, followed by heavy snow for a week, and finally the beginning of the new year. No word came from the south of the state where Fr. James worked. Christine would slip out of the house and go to the cavern chapel to pray for him. She said over and over to God, "Thy will be done."

On January 4th, Sam died of pneumonia from complications of the flu. The doctor had come in through the snow and ice merely to declare him to far advanced to move or to live. Sam had been on the farm for over fifty years, and all felt his loss like that of a blood brother. Sam, Tom and Marcus were cousins, the only Brunderbergs left besides Uncle Jay, Fr James and Christine. The young woman watched the dying out of her family with a strange interest. She had never thought of families just ending, but here was proof that the Brunderberg line from Adam was disappearing into history. Objectively, Christine could see how the unmarried men led to this silent passing of a name. Subjectively, she felt a bit guilty that she had no children of her own to carry on at least some of the genes and blood.

This afternoon, the day after Sam's funeral in ______City, Christine tromped through the snow to the small stable to feed and water Scullery Maid. This had been Sam's job, as he had raised the horse from a colt. The mare seemed mopey, so Christine spoke gently to her and combed her long hair. While in the stable, Christine thought she heard a voice call her name softly. She looked up and saw no one. Then, she saw a strange scene, like a movie in front of her, superimposed on the wall. Someone was walking on a cliff by the sea and someone was calling her name.

Christine had seen this "vision" before, but could not make out who was calling her. Someone needed her, but she could not see a face. In fact, she only saw the shoes of someone on the cliff, as if she was in the place of the caller.

Christine stopped combing Scullery Maid and said a short prayer. "God, whoever this is who is calling my name, bless them. I do not know what to do but pray."

Then, she picked up the two empty pails and trudged through the snow back to the Big House. At four in the afternoon, darkness had swallowed up the farm, but the yellow lights of the kitchen beckoned like a beacon over a cold, white sea.

Christine then heard a voice she knew and loved. Fr. James had come home. Maybe he could explain her strange vision of the unknown person asking her for help. But, she wondered, why was he back so soon, less than a month after being assigned to that parish several hours south of the farm? Christine could hardly wait to see him, and she practically ran into the mud-room, tripping over Addie, who slept on the ledge between the door and the porch.

to be continued....