Handel’s Advent Messiah: For Unto Us A Son Is Given

Thursday, December 24, AD 2015

The culmination of the Advent portions of Handel’s Advent Messiah.  Go here to listen to the earlier portions.

 

Handel heralds the coming of Christ with the immortal words of Isaiah Chapter 9, verse 6:

For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counselor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.

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One Response to Handel’s Advent Messiah: For Unto Us A Son Is Given

  • A beautiful rendition by the unmistakable Helen Watts of “Oh Thou that tellest good tidings to Zion,” but it brings back memories to me of Kathleen Ferrier in 1950.

    One of my earliest clear memories (earlier memories are mere snatches) is of the Messiah, with the London Philharmonic Orchestra, conducted by Sir Adrian Boult in 1950. My parents took me to London for it – I was five -and this it is this passage that stands out so clearly in my memory.

    Also burnt into my youthful memory is the sound of some 5,000 seats in the Royal Albert Hall, flipping up, as the audience stood, according to the British custom, for the Hallelujah Corus. So far from being a distraction, it was a strangely appropriate and impressive introduction.

Christ and History

Monday, March 31, AD 2014

 

 

You will find that a good many  Christian political writers think that Christianity began going wrong in  departing from the doctrine of its founder at a very early stage. Now this idea  must be used by us to encourage once again the conception of a “historical  Jesus” to be found by clearing away later “accretions and perversions,” and then  to be contrasted with the whole Christian tradition. In the last generation we  promoted the construction of such a “historical Jesus” on liberal and  humanitarian lines. We are now putting forward a new “historical Jesus” on  Marxian, catastrophic and revolutionary lines. The advantages of these  constructions, which we intend to change every thirty years or so, are manifold.  In the first place they all tend to direct man’s devotion to something which  does not exist. Because each “historical Jesus” is unhistorical, the documents  say what they say and they cannot be added to. Each new “historical Jesus” has  to be got out of them by suppression at one point and exaggeration at another  point. And by that sort of guessing (brilliant is the adjective we teach  humans to apply to it) on which no one would risk ten shillings in ordinary  life, but which is enough to produce a crop of new Napoleons, new Shakespeares,  and new Swifts in every publisher’s autumn list. . . . The “historical Jesus,”  then, however dangerous he may seem to be to us at some particular point, is  always to be encouraged.

CS Lewis, Screwtape Letters

 

 

 

 

Bart Ehrman, the New Testament scholar who transitioned from teenage evangelical, to liberal Christian, to agnostic, desperately wants to remake Christ in his own faithless image and therefore is popular with atheists and agnostics.  He has a very old act, as the argument that he makes, that the Resurrection never happened and that Christ was but a man, has been made by anti-Christians since the Crucifixion.    He puts old wine into a shiny new wineskin.  He isn’t really very good at it,  as Stephen Colbert, of all people, demonstrated several years ago.  Go here to Creative Minority Report to view that.

Christopher Johnson, a non-Catholic who has taken up the cudgels so frequently for the Church that I have named him Defender of the Faith, turns his attention to Ehrman:

 

All sorts and conditions of men turn up at this site from time to time.  Protestant, Roman Catholic and Orthodox Christians regularly comment here, disagree with one another’s theology now and then but do it, for the most part, respectfully.

That’s because of most of you, not me.  You guys set the tone for this joint a long time ago.  But if I do see what I consider to be disrespect in the comments, which happens, I’ll quietly edit the comment or remove it entirely.  And if things get too intense in a comment thread, which sometimes happens, I won’t hesitate to shut that thread down.

I honestly wouldn’t mind seeing atheists comment here a lot more often than they do.  I’m not talking about some douchebag whose default position is, “Christians are brain-dead morons” or who claims to collapse on his or her fainting couch at the mere sight of a Bible verse, a Christian Cross or any other Christian image.

I refer to that rare breed of atheist who doesn’t believe there’s a God but is comfortable with the fact that some people disagree and who doesn’t feel the need to insult or belittle religious believers.  I can respect and even be friends with a person like that.

What I can’t and, indeed, refuse to respect are those atheists who still pretend to be Christians but who think that they’ve finally discovered What Actually Happened Two Thousand Years Ago And What It All Means.  Guys like Bart Ehrman, say:

Jesus was a lower-class preacher from Galilee, who, in good apocalyptic fashion, proclaimed that the end of history as he knew it was going to come to a crashing end, within his own generation. God was soon to intervene in the course of worldly affairs to overthrow the forces of evil and set up a utopian kingdom on earth. And he would be the king.

Insert “but” here.

It didn’t happen. Instead of being involved with the destruction of God’s enemies, Jesus was unceremoniously crushed by them: arrested, tried, humiliated, tortured, and publicly executed.

Which is why Jesus’ influence ended right then and there and is also why absolutely no one anywhere, with the exception of obscure Middle Eastern scholars, has any idea who Jesus of Nazareth was.  But for this bizarre reason, that’s not what actually happened.  Stop Bart if you’ve heard this one.

The followers of Jesus came to think he had been raised because some of them (probably not all of them) had visions of him afterwards. Both Christian and non-Christian historians can agree that it was visions of Jesus that made some of Jesus’ followers convinced that he was no longer dead. Christians would say that the disciples had these visions because Jesus really appeared to them. Non-Christians would say that (several of ) the disciples had hallucinations. Hallucinations happen all the time. Especially of deceased loved ones (your grandmother who turns up in your bedroom) and of significant religious figures (the Blessed Virgin Mary, who appears regularly in extraordinarily well-documented events). Jesus was both a lost loved one and an important religious leader. As bereaved, heartbroken, and guilt-ridden followers, the disciples were prime candidates for such visionary experiences.

Once the disciples claimed Jesus was alive again but was (obviously) no longer here with them, they came to think that he had been taken up to heaven (where else could he be?). In ancient Greek, Roman, and Jewish thinking, a person exalted to the heavenly realm was divinized – himself made divine. That’s what the earliest Christians thought about Jesus. After that a set of evolutionary forces took over, in which the followers of Jesus began saying more and more exalted things about him – that he had been made the son of God at his resurrection; no, it was at his baptism; no, it was at his birth; no, it was before he came into the world; no – he had never been made the son of God, he had always been the Son of God; in fact, he had always been God; more than that, he had created the world; and yet more, he was an eternal being equal with God Almighty.

That Kierkegaard quote’s on the top of this page for a reason.  That an alleged “scholar” can seriously advance a view so fundamentally unscholarly, so absolutely unsupported by anything remotely resembling actual evidence, convinces me that a great deal of “Christian scholarship” is, as the Great Dane observed, as monumental an intellectual scam as the world has ever known.

Where to begin?  Say what you want about him but Mohammed’s followers thought he was a prophet of God.  No doubt, the Buddha’s disciples intensely revered him.  Yet none of the followers of these two men, or any other great religious leader in world history, for that matter, ever invented a resurrection from the dead for their particular “prophet” and made that “resurrection” the basis of their religion.

Only the Christians did.

It seems to me that if you and all your associates somehow convince yourselves that you’ve seen the risen Jesus when you haven’t, you are, at some point, going to come down from your mass hallucinations.  At which point, you can either admit to yourself that you were wrong or continue with the charade and maybe get yourselves executed at an early age for something that you know deep down is a lie.

And did any of you happen to notice who Ehrman leaves out here?  I’ll give you a few hints.  A devout Jew, he was not only not connected to the Apostles and Christ’s early believers in any way, he was, by his own admission, actively hostile to the new movement, imprisoning many of Christ’s followers and having others killed.

He received authorization to travel to Damascus in order to do more of this sort of thing.  On the way there, he claimed that he saw a vision of the risen Christ, a claim from which he refused to back down to the end of his days, and began to preach Christ and Him crucified almost immediately.  When they heard of it, the Apostles and most of the disciples initially and quite understandably didn’t trust him.

The man’s claim compelled him to plant Christian churches all over the eastern Mediterranean and to write letters to many of these churches, encouraging and/or upbraiding their members as the need arose.  And this man’s claim about what he saw on that road to Damascus ended up prematurely costing him his Earthly life.

I’m pretty sure that the guy had a short name.  Don’t hold me to this but I think that it began with a P.  It’s right on the tip of my tongue.

I don’t know about you, Ehrman, but I can’t make myself die for an illusion.

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13 Responses to Christ and History

  • It has frequently struck me that those engaged in the quest of the historical Jesus lack an elementary sense of chronology.

    In the cathedral at Lyons, one can see a list of the bishops of that see. The third is St Irenaeus. He was born in Izmir in Turkey in 130 and died in 202. In 200, in point of time, he stood to the Crucifixion, as we today stand to Keble’s famous Assize Sermon that marked the beginning of the Oxford Movement. Bl John Henry Newman was present when that sermon was preached and I, who am not yet seventy, spoke in the 1950s to two old people in Birmingham, who remembered Newman.

    There is a close parallel in the case of St Irenaeus. As a boy in Izmir (then known as Smyrna) he had seen and heard the local bishop, St Polycarp (69-155) Now, both Irenaeus and Polycarp himself have left an account of how Polycarp was present, when Polycarp’s bishop, St Ignatius of Antioch “talked with John and with others, who had seen the Lord.”

    Impressive as this is, it cannot have been unique; there must have been any number of people in the first half of the 2nd century who remembered the apostles. Justin Martyr (100-165) would have grown up among such people in Syria and Palestine. Again, many at the end of the century would have remembered those first hearers of the apostolic teaching, witnesses scattered all around the Mediterranean sea. Now, this was the age that received and accounted as canonical the four gospels and no others; yes, there was early doubt in the West about John, just as there was early doubt about Revelation in the East, but it was settled in this period.

    The surviving testimony of the faith of the Nicene Church is abundant and beyond serious question; the evidence from the previous century, which was one of persecution is sparse in comparison, but the testimony of St. Irenaeus, St. Hippolytus, St. Cyprian, St. Gregory Thaumaturgus, St. Dionysius of Alexandria, and St. Methodius is all one way, in confirming a tradition from Ignatius to Nicea. Heretics, like Sabellius and Arius are individuals, representing no tradition (and contradicting each other) There is but one continuous tradition and it has no rivals.

    No less important, at this moment, Cardinal Barbarin sits in the chair of Irenaeus In Lyons, the last of an unbroken line of witnesses to the apostolic tradition “by saints proclaimed, by saints believed,” in that ancient and august see.

  • “It has frequently struck me that those engaged in the quest of the historical Jesus lack an elementary sense of chronology.”

    Exactly.

  • Ages ago in Analog I read a mock lecture by a future historian about a newly discovered cache of records of WW2. The story is obviously an apocryphal morality tale; the crimes describes are too horrendous to be believed; the very names show the power of religion (Church-hill), beauty (Rose-field) and industry (Man of steel) over a monster with a meaningless name.

    I only learnt about text criticism and its application to Scripture later and much of it strikes me as about the same level as the spoof in a SciFi pulp.

  • “Post-moderns” recognize that history is malleable and that truth is whatever people will believe.

  • “I only learnt about text criticism and its application to Scripture later and much of it strikes me as about the same level as the spoof in a SciFi pulp.”

    Indeed.

  • The Hypostatic Union, that Jesus is true God and true man is denied by the “historical Jesus”. Heresy is a half truth, the other half of which is used as a cudgel to oppress the Catholic church. If the “historical Jesus” is not God, none of us is saved.

  • “In ancient Greek, Roman, and Jewish thinking, a person exalted to the heavenly realm was divinized – himself made divine.”

    Jewish? JEWISH? Enoch was considered divine? Elijah? The Messiah wasn’t even considered divine by the Jews. The idea that a person could be divinized was blasphemy. (Actually, it was blasphemy to the Greeks too. Go around claiming it and you’ll find a bird pecking out your liver for eternity.) (For that matter, the Romans would consider it blasphemy. The emperors typically claimed divine ancestry, as did the Pharaohs and the Emperors of Japan. No one claims to become a god who doesn’t claim to already be partly divine.) (But that’s off the point. A Jew would never, ever claim that his rabbi became divine.)

  • “The idea that a person could be divinized was blasphemy”

    Which is why the Jews sought to stone Jesus when He said before Abraham was, I AM. To the Jews the idea that a Man could be God would have been considered the very essence of blasphemy. To the Greeks the idea that a dead Jewish carpenter was a God would have been an absurdity. To the Romans the idea that a man crucified by a Roman Procurator as a rebel against Rome could be divine would have seemed utter treason. All of these reactions are quite common in anti-Christian tracts during the rise of Christianity in the ancient world.

  • Thomas Collins

    As Mgr Ronald Knox said, “I do not so much mind the Germans applying the same critical methods to St. Mark which they apply to Homer; but I do object to their applying the same uncritical methods to St. Mark which they apply to Homer. And here steps in a very pestilent psychological influence. The lecturer who combats Kirchhoff, or exposes Ferrero, can do so without any imputation of narrow- mindedness. He has, in this instance, clearly no axe to grind. But if he be a Christian, and a fortiori if he be a clergyman, he is afraid of the imputation of narrow- mindedness if he takes up the same attitude towards Harnack or Spitta. When Mr. Cornford writes about Thucydides, Oxford historians cheerfully dispose of him in half a lecture, but when he writes about Christianity, Oxford theologians see cause for much searching of hearts and wagging of heads. But is there any reason for this difference, except that we are all in such craven fear of being thought illiberal?”

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  • “The idea that a person could be divinized was blasphemy”
    .
    To be “divinized” according to Zeus or Jupiter, made-up gods as the Caesars were is not the same as to be called into sonship with the true God. The Jews carried the prophecies about the Son of God, the coming Messiah.

  • In ancient… Jewish thinking, a person exalted to the heavenly realm was divinized – himself made divine.
    –Bart Ehrman

    I entirely missed the divinization of Enoch and Elijah in the Hebrew Scriptures. Where did Bart Ehrman find that–is he also a Muslim who claims the Jews and Christians altered the Scriptures?

The Great I Am

Sunday, January 19, AD 2014

GK Chesterton once opined that “When men choose not to believe in God, they do not thereafter believe in nothing, they then become capable of believing in anything.”  Christopher Johnson, a non-Catholic who has taken up the cudgels so frequently for the Church that I have named him Defender of the Faith, gives us a perfect example:

The other day, Bob Wright, Georgia’s Episcopal pointy hat, opened a speech before some “interfaith” complete waste of time or other in this fashion:

Good afternoon. Greetings to you in the name of Yahweh the Almighty, in the name of Allah the beneficent and merciful. Greetings to you in the name of the Eternal One who gave the Buddha his great enlightenment, and in the name of the Hindus’ Supreme Being that orders the cosmos.

I guess I could thoroughly document all the ways that that’s not only wrong but actually kind of insulting to many more people than Christians.  But do you know how to tell when you’re just about finished with the Episcopalians?  When you read something like that and the only reaction you can come up with is to say to yourself, “Whatever, Bob.  And why do you hate Zoroastrians, bigot?”

Go here to read the comments.  The mindset of Mr. Wright infests many who call themselves Christians today, even within the Church.  It is hard for me to convey not only how mistaken this is, but how truly evil it is.  Christ and the Jews who did not follow Him gave us an example of what I mean:

[57] The Jews therefore said to him: Thou art not yet fifty years old, and hast thou seen Abraham? [58] Jesus said to them: Amen, amen I say to you, before Abraham was made, I am. [59] They took up stones therefore to cast at him. But Jesus hid himself, and went out of the temple.

John 8: 57-59

Jesus in this passage stated that He is God, the great I AM that revealed Himself to Moses.  The Jews who did not believe Him were ready to stone Him for this blasphemy.

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34 Responses to The Great I Am

  • Our God has a human face.
    The “Episcopal’s pointy hat” made me laugh so hard that my sides hurt.

  • Reminds me of the disregard shown by the people depicted in the first reading for Friday’s Mass. (I Samuel 8: 4 – 22)

    Samuel was getting old and the people wanted him to appoint a king to judge them. He prayed to the Lord, who answered him and, then, he delivered the message to the people. The Lord said to grant their request, “It is not you they reject, they are rejecting me as their king.” At the end of the message of the Lord to the people was a warning. “When this takes place, you will complain against the king whom you have chosen, but on that day the Lord will not answer you.”

    The happenings described in that message can be very well said about the enormity of current events and developments among the people.

  • per Pat, “It is not you they reject, they are rejecting me as their king.” Dare we hope that people will reject Obama as their king? 🙂

  • The absolute cacophony of lies and unbelief is deafening. Christian religious leaders no longer know who God is. Pat’s point is well taken– we are collectively rejecting what we do know of God, revealed, and drifting into some ideas of our own.

    … we’ve talked about part of this problem recently on TAC: about the confusion of Allah with God the Father. And confusion is understandable, after all, we have tried so hard to be nice and not triumphal about the great treasure of our religion. Be self effacing and demure about it.
    Our pope thought it important, with his limited time, to tell the world that God isn’t Catholic. (no accompanying catechesis) Why, some may wonder, be Catholic ? God Himself is not Catholic. The Almighty is way beyond that…probably He includes the whole pantheon of gods mentioned. It boggles my mind to much to try to think how God could encompass the non-god of atheism–the am not was not never will be.
    The pope seems to loosen the sense of order in the Church, opens the door to speculation about the authority of the Church to judge sinfulness. (that makes me wonder how a priest would ever know what to forgive and what to retain). And be less traditional (like the connection we have always seen of Christ washing feet of his disciples to the call of priests) (priests are nothing special) could’ve washed women’s feet, after all wouldn’t a loving Jesus do that?
    The church itself seems to have been picking away at the idea of hierarchy (order).. really should anybody actually be in charge? or should it just be what each one, (in good faith mind you) thinks is right? Primacy of Conscience. We should not identify who might be specially honorable priest unless they reach that arbitrary age of 64. Otherwise the people might know who the good shepherds are and go to them.
    The most important thing is to not be too hard on the people who kill innocent babies and sick or old people. Don’t be too strict about the meaning and purpose of sex, the unique gift to cooperate with God himself in generation
    Bishops and priests blur issues daily it seems, Why wouldn’t the world be confused; the Church sure seems to be.

  • The church most certainly is confused. I attended Protestant churches for 4 decades & can only recall hearing the Gospel (the death, burial, & resurrection of Jesus Christ) actually explained from the pulpit ONCE in 40 years!! Part of the comfort of attending mass is repeating what the Gospel is every service. Now I believe and understand the creed. But apparently there are many who are saying it who don’t have a clue what it means or are simply mouthing the words without any form of personal commitment or conversion.

    I know a Catholic family who took their child out of a Catholic girls high school because the unbelief of the nuns from whom she was receiving instruction was destroying the young girl’s faith.

    I attended a Methodist service once–emphasize once–because I knew that a very liberal political speaker would be making a presentation on a given Sunday morning. I had been in public meetings at our state Capitol with this political figure–I was there protesting her attempt to put reproductive health clinics in our public schools where children could get birth control including school bus trips to abortion clinics without their parents’ knowledge or consent. I attended the Methodist service just to hear what that idiot had the nerve to say from the pulpit of a church. Let me tell you–I was SHOCKED. And when the minister prayed it absolutely terrified me because he prayed to gods I had never heard of before–none of which were the God of the Bible. That service was filled with witchcraft. I couldn’t get out of that place fast enough.

    If you want to know how confused people who purport to be Christians truly are just ask them if they believe in absolute truth. Please be sure and take some nerve pills and/or blood pressure medicine or at least be sitting down before you listen to their answers!!!

  • When Christians say that other religious leaders and their “gods” are on a respectably level footing with Jesus, they are saying that his death on the cross and resurrection were not necessary. They stand with Peter at the transfiguration after Jesus told him about his impending death and resurrection: “He took Him aside and began to rebuke Him, saying, “God forbid it, Lord! This shall never happen to You.” But He turned and said to Peter, “Get behind Me, Satan! You are a stumbling block to Me; for you are not setting your mind on God’s interests, but man’s.” (Matt 16:22-23. That kind of inclusiveness is truly evil.

  • You know and I know the Truth.

    There’s no easy way to convince others of what we know confess and believe with All of our hearts. On the contrary our mission is a challenge. When we live an authentic Christian life our mission becomes much easier because we realize the He, Jesus, does all of the hard work. He guides our way and places the correct words in our mouth when we must speak.

    Let’s be constantly reminded of those who have gone before us..the Saints..the Martyrs and have confidence that our God, the one true God, will accomplish his work through us if we are humble and simple.

  • Anzlyne: Thank you and may God bless you for this. The trees have elected a thorn bush to rule over them, both in the White House and in the Vatican. “Our pope thought it important, with his limited time, to tell the world that God isn’t Catholic.” while Georgia’s Episcopal pointy hat, through the courtesy of Christopher Johnson and TAC, tells the world, that God is not human, that God is a thing, like praying to one’s couch: “and in the name of the Hindus’ Supreme Being that orders the cosmos.” The Supreme Sovereign Being is a Trinity of Sovereign Persons WHO order the cosmos, create the rational, immortal, human soul and endow the human being, man, with unalienable rights. No belief and worship of God, no unalienable human rights, for man is created by God to know, to love and to serve God. If man is a soulless thing, like “that” couch, man will be sat upon and discarded.
    Barbara Gordon: You have described what is happening in our culture. Let us remember that it is our sweat and blood, our tax dollars that enable this in our culture, this thorn bush is of our own making.

  • People are so frightened to be not politically correct. My daughter does ballet. And on opening night of the Nutcracker, the director came out & wished everyone, in this order, a Happy Hanukkah, a Happy Kwanzaa, a Happy Ramadan, and a Merry Christmas… really?? First of all, Nutcracker has a gigantic Christmas tree & party on stage for the first half, but I suppose that the politically correct crowd now calls it a holiday tree. Secondly, Ramadan, is in the summer.

  • Very good comments ALL! Missy, for our grade school “Holiday Program” an entire 15 minutes of the “Holiday Program” was a play called “What Would Martha Do?” Concerning the trials and tribulations of Martha Stewart getting ready for the “Holidays”. I thought I would die. As I looked over the crowd literally 99% of the families there were Catholic and should have their children in Parochial School including three of MINE! My son was so embarrassed but due to family conflicts his children are not in the Catholic school. I don’t think there was even “We wish you a Merry Christmas”. I do my own religious education with my grandchildren who go to the public school. We are in such trouble. Pray Pray Pray.

  • Something to take comfort in.

    You, We were born raised and graced to be in this moment. To be present in this struggle for souls. It’s very humbling to me but the Lord saw this time period.
    He had each of you in mind for this era.
    He knew that your talents and acceptance of his Grace would be sufficient and profitable for souls.
    God has great confidence in you!
    Martha Stewart Holiday skits and Coexist bumperstickers. It will continue on and on but no one can take your place in this era of Our Lord. All hell may very well be unleashed on earth but it’s not enough. Poor Satan. Can’t beat the lowliness of a poor Jewish girl who said Yes my Lord…let it be done..for “I am the handmade of the Lord.”

  • What the Episcopal ‘bishop’ did was inexcusable. Again, a sign that the Episcopal Church has taken in the slogan “the culture transforms the Church”.

    However, since Pope Francis’ quote “God is not a Catholic” has been quoted a couple of times I wonder if anyone really asked themselves what he really meant or just assumed we know what he meant. I know I ‘read’ this but do not see it in the same light as some here have. I read it as “Catholics” do not own God. In fact, the word “Church” in Greek is Kyriake, meaning “belonging to God”. We belong to Him; He does not belong to us. See what I mean?

  • One notable gems in the bishop’s address:
    “We realize that each tradition at its core and at its best agrees that the cosmos has a brilliant and benevolent bent and that all creation and every human being has worth and dignity that is non-negotiable.”
    The bishop supports a personhood amendment to Georgia’s constitution and perhaps he wanted to give the mayor something to think about. Also, while he invited atheists to work toward a better government, the bishop never stopped saying that God is real and active in our lives.

  • Instead of focusing on what the Episcopal “bishop” said, I would like to return to Donald’s comment at the end of this post: “Christ is the great I AM and the cavalier way in which Christians treat that great truth is a mortal sin that is eating away at Christianity”

    Jesus is “I AM”, each every time Jesus says “I AM” in John’s Gospel whether it be “Before Abraham was I AM” or one of the seven “I AM” statements: i.e. I AM the Way, the Truth and the Life; I AM the Light of the World; I AM the Bread of Life come down from heaven….; I AM the Good Shepherd; I AM the resurrection and the life, et al. Jesus is identifying Himself as the enfleshed (incarnated) I AM.

    When other New Testament authors and texts speak of the Jesus Christ as “LORD”, they are saying precisely the same thing. He is ‘the LORD’, the “I AM WHO I AM”. He is the fullest revelation of the “I AM”: “Whoever sees Me, see the Father”, Jesus says in John’s Gospel

    We are witnessing the rise of a neo-Arianism today, a denial of any substantial (remember He is consubstantial: homoousios with the Father) unity between the Incarnate Son/Word and the Father. For many Jesus is simply a great moral teacher, an example for us, to be sure, but not LORD and Savior

    As Catholics we need to ‘return to the sources’, in this case our wonderful Nicene-Constantinople Creed. Whether we profess it in the vernacular or Latin we need to return to that text and prayerfully reflect on what each phrase, each word means and to be able to give ‘reason for our faith’ as St Peter put it in his First Letter.

    Islam directly contradicts our confession of faith, that Jesus is “LORD”, the Great “I AM”. If we cannot go deep into what this faith means and what it means for us we will never be able to pass it on to a younger generation or any who come to us from outside the Church.

    However, there is another dimension of the Nicene Faith that does not frequently get mentioned. Who is over the Church?

    See the Arians new exactly what they were doing. In attempting to conform the Christian faith to the Greek Philosophical categories (instead of doing the opposite) the Arians were also secularizing the faith. if Jesus Christ is not the Son of God in the fullest sense of those words, then the Emperor (or whatever other high public office figure you have-such as President) is over the Church and the Faith. There is no real mediator or mediation between God and man; the ‘Emperor” represents God to the people.

    However, if Jesus Christ is truly LORD, homoousios, consubstantial with the Father, than it is the bishop in the image of Christ, who is over the Church (and the Bishop of Rome over the whole Church)

    The neo-Arianism we witness today is a great threat to the Church and her faith.

  • Yikes: typo: knew not ‘new’ sorry lol

  • Botolph: “God is not a Catholic”. Yes. God is Catholic. God cannot be otherwise, but Catholic. If Jesus were not Catholic how could Jesus found and institute the Catholic Church? Inclusivity of atheists, and all the rest, does not impinge on the Catholicity of God. God is Catholic for all people.
    The Real Presence on the altar and the Sacrament of Holy Eucharist are infinitely Catholic.
    If Pope Francis keeps throwing pearls before swine, they will turn on him and tear his to shreds.

  • Mary De Voe,

    And what was God before the Son was incarnate of the Virgin Mary?

  • Opps. What opps. “they will turn on him and tear him to shreds.”

  • Botolph. You gotta be kidding me? Right? “And what was God before the Son was incarnate of the Virgin Mary?”But, I see you are not kidding me. So, I will correct you. “And WHO was God before the incarnate of the Virgin Mary?”
    “I AM WHO I AM” is the name of God. “I AM” the Father and Creator, “I AM”, the Son, the Redeemer, “I AM” the name of the Holy Spirit, the Love between the Father and the Son, the Sanctifier, The Supreme Sovereign Being, existence, love, Three Supreme Sovereign Persons in one God.
    The Sovereign Person of God in Whom all mankind is made (mankind includes all women for women are kind of man) is referred to in all cases as a Sovereign Person “WHO”. Never, Never, Never, “what” or, “that” or “Which”
    Only the Catholic Bible refers to God as “WHO art in heaven” All the other translations reprint “which art in heaven” blasphemy, referring to God as a thing. I could never, never say Botolph, which sits in the chair, or Botolph that is on vacation, or Botolph what usurps God’s sovereignty, for God WHO is in heaven has graciously endowed Botolph with all unalienable rights, free will and intellect.
    Cecil B. DeMille’s film, The Ten Commandments refers to the God of Moses as “that”; “that” God of Moses. If man wishes to respond to his dignity, man must first respect and respond to his God as God is “I AM WHO I AM”.
    Note. Dr. Zeuss’s “The Grinch who stole Christmas” is an excellent study of all the little WHOs in WHOVILLE, Who had not yet achieved their knowses, read (noses). I must be adamant if not polite because man is created to know. to love and to serve God and God is WHO.

  • Mary De Voe,

    Mary I am not denying the Most Blessed Trinity-look at my post concerning neo-Arianism. I am not saying “the Son came into being at the Incarnation”. What I am trying to understand is how you can claim God to be a Catholic when it is we who belong to Him, not He to us.

  • Botolph: You just met my mother in me. You gotta love her.
    Notice in Michelangelo’s Pieta, Mary does not touch the Body of Jesus. There is cloth between Christ’s Body and Mary’s hand. Christ’s arm touches Mary’s hand. In the same way the cope touches the monstrance with the Real Presence.

  • What I am trying to understand is how you can claim God to be a Catholic when it is we who belong to Him, not He to us.
    Anyone who wills to belong to God wills to be Catholic. God wills to belong, and does belong, as our Creator and Redeemer and Sanctifier, to all people. But only the people who will to belong to God can be called Catholic. God is Catholic. It is we, the people, who are not Catholic. Let us stop blaming God for our lack of Faith.

  • Mary De Voe,

    To be honest, I had never noticed the fact that Mary’s hand does not touch the Body of Jesus. I first saw the Pieta at the New York World’s Fair in 1964 (?) might be off a year or two lol I have seen it several times back in its place of honor in Saint Peter’s in Rome-yet never noticed that. I do remember as a youth at the Vatican Pavilion at the NY World’s Fair of being moved to tears at both Michelangelo’s beautiful sculpture and at the “moment’ the sculpture was ‘attempting’ to portray.

    You are correct in your interpretation-that it is just like the priest’s vestment at Benediction prevents his hands from touching the Monstrance containing the Most Precious Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ

  • Catholic means of use and value to all people. Show me a man who does not exist and I will show you a man who does not need a Catholic God.

  • what an idea: anyone thinking they could own God. I wouldn’t think that. But I would claim to be in His family. If I was as as I would be, I would identify with HIm so closely you could see the resemblance.

    Some people would not say God is Catholic because they think Catholic is a human designation like a denomination. But is not. It is His Body. No denomination, nor even a non denomination can say that He belongs to them ( Methodist God, Hindu god, etc) because He doesn’t belong to them. Anyone who belongs to God belong to him through the auspices and works of His Church. Which is Catholic.
    I say God is Catholic, I don’t say He is a Catholic. Makes sense to me.
    Jesus is Christian…its His last name 🙂 Jesus is Christian. That makes God Christian.
    The pope’s comment may be read in different ways and he may be perfectly right: Jesuitical thinking – right and yet wrong.
    Pope’s comment “I believe in God, not in a Catholic God” was made to an atheist. Which probably made no difference at all to the atheist in his choice against God. What was the pope’s point? …did he think the atheist might consider accepting God if He is dissociated with the Church? Aaach… pope, pope, pope–what a representation of the Good News – all good all the time, no difficult teachings, no judgment. Don’t worry about that talk about vomiting the lukewarm or that if you are not with Him you are against Him..
    If Catholic is too hard, pick one of the gods listed by the Episcopalian bishop of this post– or make up your own.

    In the fog of the pope distancing God from His Church, Scalfari asked the pope, “ is there a single vision of the Good? And who decides what it is?”
    Our Catholic Pope answered: “Each of us has a vision of good and of evil. We have to encourage people to move towards what they think is good… That would be enough to make the world a better place.”

  • This comment – If Catholic is too hard, pick one of the gods listed by the Episcopalian bishop of this post– or make up your own. was not meant to be directed to the pope and I wish I hadn’t said it.

  • Botolph: “What I am trying to understand is how you can claim God to be a Catholic when it is we who belong to Him, not He to us.”
    God is espoused to us as a Catholic Bridegroom. God belongs to us as a Catholic Bridegroom because God wills to belong to us. “No one takes my life from me. I lay my life down and I take it up again” “My delight is to be among the sons of men.” Jesus, Himself, called Himself the “Son of Man”. In the Old Testament, there appeared in the furnace a fourth figure WHO looked like a man. In Revelation, God appears as a man seated on the throne. In the mystery of the hypostatic union, Jesus is true God and true man. God is indeed with us. God is Catholic. We, the people, belong to God through creation. God belongs to us through His willing it.
    and as Azlyne says: “I say God is Catholic, I don’t say He is a Catholic.” Thinking on that statement, God is Catholic and God is a Catholic for as Azlyne says Christ’s Church is Catholic. Christ’s Church couldn’t be Catholic if Christ was not a Catholic.
    “Our Catholic Pope answered: “Each of us has a vision of good and of evil. We have to encourage people to move towards what they think is good… That would be enough to make the world a better place.” almost sounds like the heresy that God and the devil are equal but opposite. At least the guy above called God “The Supreme Sovereign Being.” There can be no two Supreme Beings as one would preempt the other. Actually, two Supreme Beings would cancel each other out and then there would be no “Supreme Being”. makes sense?
    Azlyne, I appreciate you thoughts and the fine language you used to express the truths of our Faith.

  • Anzlyne, I appreciate you thoughts and the fine language you used to express the truths of our Faith. Is there any chance you would change your name to Mary. I know how to spell Mary.

  • “….we have to encourage people to move toward what they think is good.”
    Pope Francis-

    I’m still shaking my head.

    If the smoke of Satan had entered in to the Holy Church I am saddened to believe that our Holy Father inhaled some of it. A few days ago a commentator on this site suggested we “buckle up.” Oh boy. Buckle up indeed.
    This is only the beginning of Frankie’s wild ride. Relativism from our Leader.
    Who would of thunk it?

  • Mary De Voe, Anzlyne and Philip,

    As this discussion has progressed I began to realize the ‘source’ of these ‘statements’ from Pope Francis. They are from the pseudo-interview that Pope Francis had with the very liberal atheist Italian editor of the what in Italy wwould be similar to the New York Times. The editor is in his 80’s. While I know some very astute octagenarians, I believe this one is losing it.

    When he had the interview, he had no recording device, no notes, nothing. The interview did take place but what he published as the interview was completely reconstructed from his memory. That is terrible journalist practice at best. It has at this point been completely shunned by any and all who are truly interested in Pope Francis’ view etc, It is no longer considered to be a real interview of Pope Francis.

    I am on my part have two things to say. First, I believe the poor man is actually suffering from early signs of dementia. At Christmas he wrote up a big article saying Pope Francis had done away with sin-which of course is not only not factual but a complete fabrication. I believe that editorial nailed his proverbial journalistic coffin

    Secondly in my first responses with Mary De Voe, while I thought the statement, “God is not a Catholic” odd, even if explainable, I confess I didn’t do my homework and uncover the truth that it was actually the Italian editor’s comment not the Pope’s. I will be very careful from now on.

    Just forget this interview. We will never know what Pope Francis actually ever said. Be not afraid. The words are the words of an italian atheist.

  • In today’s Gospel, St. Mark 2:28 quotes Jesus Christ: “Therefore, the Son of Man is Lord even of the Sabbath.” Jesus Christ is one of us and a Catholic. God is Catholic.

  • “What I am trying to understand is how you can claim God to be a Catholic when it is we who belong to Him, not He to us.”
    Emmanuel: God with us.

  • “Greetings to you in the name of Yahweh the God who actually exists, in the name of Muhammad’s psychotic hallucination, in the name of the Eternal Death that Buddha preached, and in the name of Hinduism’s cosmic frat boys. Greetings to the fool who says ‘there is no God’.”

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For We Are Saved By Hope, Crucifix Survives Devastation in Haiti

Thursday, January 14, AD 2010

Catholic Relief Services have labeled the earthquake that has left Haiti literally in ruins as the Disaster of the Century.

As The American Catholic has posted about the 7.0 earthquake that hit Haiti and the devastation it has wrought, we should turn to Christ for hope.

Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering (for he is faithful that hath promised), And let us consider one another, to provoke unto charity and to good works: Not forsaking our assembly, as some are accustomed; but comforting one another, and so much the more as you see the day approaching. [1]  For we are saved by hope. [2]

Hope, O my soul, hope. You know neither the day nor the hour. Watch carefully, for everything passes quickly, even though your impatience makes doubtful what is certain, and turns a very short time into a long one. Dream that the more you struggle, the more you prove the love that you bear your God, and the more you will rejoice one day with your Beloved, in a happiness and rapture that can never end. [3]

To help our Haitian brothers and sisters in Christ you can donate to Catholic Relief Services here.

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