Monday, January 28, 2013

Things I like about our local Melkite parish V

41. Ineffable. I never knew this word before I started out at the local Melkite parish. Sometimes the unknown should be left unknown.

42."O Lord save your people and bless Your inheritance." This line from Psalm 28 is sung by the priest and/or deacon at every liturgy.

43. Bowing and repenting like the publican. Every Divine Liturgy the people bow and repent saying "Lord, have mercy on me a sinner."

44. Simple plastic playsets in the back. As this is about the local Melkite parish, I can't help but mention that I like the little four foot playsets in the back that my daughter insists on playing on when I am ready to go home.

45. Theophany. I have nothing against Epiphany, as a matter of fact it wasn't until I went to my first Theophany liturgy that I realized that Epiphany is celebrated to affirm Christ's divinity. However, I love celebrating  the revelation of the Triune God as the Father speaks, the Spirit descends as a dove and Christ is baptized.

46. Nicene Creed. I do not reject the Filioque. The reason I like that is that the surprise of it the first time and the confusion the next several times forced me to make that prayer more than just words I memorized years ago. I had to go back through and think about the words (the translation also uses slightly different wording) and ask the priest about it and do more reading and learning.

47. Icon of Saints Peter and Andrew. St Peter was of course the first Pope and St Andrew was the first bishop of Constantinople and the predecessor of the Ecumenical Patriarchate. Its a great picture to symbolize the reconciliation of the Melkites and other Eastern Orthodox Churches with the Catholic Church.

48. Icons are intentionally unrealistic. The point of the icons after all is to reflect Heavenly and not Earthly realities so they remain stylized in a way that Western art moved away from in the Renaissance.

49. Named for St Ignatius of Antioch. The patron saint was named specifically to show the ancientness of the faith and our connection to the faith of the Apostles.

50. Homilies. We've been blessed with great priests and deacons. Most homilies fade into the background because you've heard the same message before, its uninspiring, etc. I can remember only a handful of homilies from the 27 years before when I went to Latin Rite parishes. There are about ten homilies just from these last three years that stand out and I remember well. I'm not saying that this shows superiority of one over the other, but rather that this parish has been blessed with great priests and deacons.

May God bless all who read my ramblings,

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Friday, January 25, 2013

3 Questions that make you think

For some reason this morning I have had the latin question "Quid est veritas?" (What is truth?) stuck in my head. I was thinking that maybe I should write a post on it, but I already have.
Also, I was just now listening to Angele Dei by Cradle Catholic (heavy metal song with the Latin Prayer). Which led to me thinking on the Latin question "Quis ut Deus?" because I was thinking about angels and Michael is one and his name in Latin is "Quid ut Deus?" which means "Who is like God?".
Still with me?
Then I started thinking about questions in the Bible. There are just certain questions that stand out from the others. Sometimes a question that is left unanswered can be just as instructive as a parable or proverb. I thought about questions from the Bible that really make you stop and reflect. These are questions that reach to the core of our experience as Humans. I can think of three. If you can think of others, by all means feel free to add them in the comments. Really, I'd love to read your thoughts on this and anything you have to add.

Without further rambling, here are the three questions:

I actually heard a friend say once that the rest of the Bible is a response to this question:  "Am I my brother's keeper?"-- Cain Genesis 4:9
"What is truth?"-- Pontius Pilate John 18:38
"Who is like God?" The name Michael means "Who is like God?". It is a rhetorical rebuke to Satan who dared to declare himself God's equal.

May God bless all who read my ramblings,

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7 Quick Takes 25JAN2013

1. Last Sunday was the Sunday of the Pharisee and the Publican and this Sunday is the Sunday of the Prodigal Son. Lent is coming up fast!

2. Which means that Easter is also coming up soon!

3. I get to spend another weekend in a row with Princess.

 4. So even despite the crass language I enjoy the Epic Rap Battles of History Youtube series. Maybe its just me but I think it would be neat to have a Catholic Rap Battles of History. Perhaps St Nicholas v Arius? St Augustine v Pelagius? St Ignatius of Antioch v Martin Luther?

5. I was reading about the lady in Conyers, GA who claimed to have seen Mary on a number of occasions through the 1990s. I couldn't find any clear information on the Church's stance regarding this. Does anyone have anything to add?

6. I also saw that there is a Ukrainian Catholic Church adjacent to the area. There seems to be some implied support from the local eparchy. I thought that was random.

7. O Heavenly King, Comforter, Spirit of Truth, Who art everywhere present and fillest all things, Treasury of good things, and Giver of life: come and abide in us, and cleanse us from every sin, and save our souls, O Good One!

May God bless all who read my ramblings,

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Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Interesting thought from new UGCC Bishop in France

“At the onset of a new millennium, after a century of ferocious persecution, Ukrainian Greek-Catholics have been dispersed globally by divine Providence not without a spiritual and ecclesial purpose... We hope that in secularized Europe the children of the martyrs can witness creatively and compellingly to that everlasting truth of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. We are grateful to the Holy Father, Benedict, Pope of Rome, to His Beatitude Sviatoslav, Father and Head of the Ukrainian Greek-Catholic Church, and to the Synod of the Ukrainian Greek-Catholic Church for the trust they place in the clergy, religious, and faithful of this new Eparchy.”
h/t to Byzantine Texas

May God bless all who read my ramblings,

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I haven't had any inspiration to write for some time. I apologize to those faithful few who still read my humble blog.
Now, for those who don't know "Filioque" means "and the Son" in English. The Nicene Creed originally stated a belief in the Holy Spirit who "proceeds from the Father, together with the Father and Son is worshiped and glorified". Filioque was added first at the Council of Toledo (589) to further assert the divinity of the Son against the Arian heresy.
The added word spread throughout the West and eventually caused much division between the Pope and the Ecumenical Patriarch. It was one the two main causes of the split between the Catholic Church and the Eastern Orthodox Churches.
Just as with the controversy of circumcision in the Acts of the Apostles, an Ecumenical Council was called and bishops from both East and West came together to resolve the dispute. In 1439 the Council of Florence declared :
For when Latins and Greeks came together in this holy synod, they all strove that, among other things, the article about the procession of the holy Spirit should be discussed with the utmost care and assiduous investigation. Texts were produced from divine scriptures and many authorities of eastern and western holy doctors, some saying the holy Spirit proceeds from the Father and the Son, others saying the procession is from the Father through the Son. All were aiming at the same meaning in different words. The Greeks asserted that when they claim that the holy Spirit proceeds from the Father, they do not intend to exclude the Son; but because it seemed to them that the Latins assert that the holy Spirit proceeds from the Father and the Son as from two principles and two spirations, they refrained from saying that the holy Spirit proceeds from the Father and the Son. The Latins asserted that they say the holy Spirit proceeds from the Father and the Son not with the intention of excluding the Father from being the source and principle of all deity, that is of the Son and of the holy Spirit, nor to imply that the Son does not receive from the Father, because the holy Spirit proceeds from the Son, nor that they posit two principles or two spirations; but they assert that there is only one principle and a single spiration of the holy Spirit, as they have asserted hitherto. Since, then, one and the same meaning resulted from all this, they unanimously agreed and consented to the following holy and God-pleasing union, in the same sense and with one mind.
In the name of the holy Trinity, Father, Son and holy Spirit, we define, with the approval of this holy universal council of Florence, that the following truth of faith shall be believed and accepted by all Christians and thus shall all profess it: that the holy Spirit is eternally from the Father and the Son, and has his essence and his subsistent being from the Father together with the Son, and proceeds from both eternally as from one principle and a single spiration. We declare that when holy doctors and fathers say that the holy Spirit proceeds from the Father through the Son, this bears the sense that thereby also the Son should be signified, according to the Greeks indeed as cause, and according to the Latins as principle of the subsistence of the holy Spirit, just like the Father.
And since the Father gave to his only-begotten Son in begetting him everything the Father has, except to be the Father, so the Son has eternally from the Father, by whom he was eternally begotten, this also, namely that the holy Spirit proceeds from the Son.
We define also that the explanation of those words "and from the Son" was licitly and reasonably added to the creed for the sake of declaring the truth and from imminent need.
Of course we know that the schism still continues and that the Eastern Orthodox still assert that the Filioque amounts to heresy. I don't know what happened after the Council of Florence, but apparently the declarations of the councils didn't stick.

“I do not ask on behalf of these alone, but for those also who believe in Me through their word; that they may all be one; even as You, Father, are in Me and I in You, that they also may be in Us, so that the world may believe that You sent Me." John 17:20-21

May God bless all who read my ramblings,

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Monday, January 07, 2013

Food for thought from the Russian Patriarch

"In the web space groups of church liberals and conservatives are appearing that are not looking for the truth, divine truth but a means of finding fault, stinging each other. This is a very sad tendency." Patriarch Kirill of Moscow

I'll admit that I have been guilty of this in the past.

h/t Byzantine Texas
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Tuesday, January 01, 2013

5 Top Posts from 2012

Here are my top five posts from this last year as judged by comments.

  1. Saint Quiz XVI
  2. 7 Quick Takes 3AUG2012
  3. 7 Quick Takes 27JUL2012
  4.  7 Quick Takes 27APR12
  5. Ever Virgin Mary

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Happy New Year!

Today in the Roman Church is the Feast of Mary the Mother of God. Today Mary is celebrated as the Theotokos.
I always love how during Orthros the Magnificat is sung with the following refrain:
More honorable than the cherubim, and more glorious beyond compare than the seraphim, without corruption you gave birth to God the Word: true Theotokos, we magnify you.

The bells you hear are from the censer as the deacon blesses the church with incense. Different Byzantine Catholic and Eastern Orthodox Churches have slightly different translations of the same original Greek.

I like how this feast, which declares through Mary that Jesus is human and divine, is fit in between Christmas which emphasizes His humanity and Epiphany (Theophany in the East) which declares His divinity.

Two Natures, One Person.

May God bless all who read my ramblings,

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