Tag Archives: Sin

The Eucharist

I wish I could tell you where this post is going, but I’m not altogether sure yet myself. I’ve entered the phase of reading a book (I’ve been reading The Eucharist by Alexander Schmemann) where some of its core ideas are really starting to make me think. Not just think about them to understand them, but make me compare them to my own ideas on the topic. To consider what is essential to the idea and what is extraneous.

There is plenty in the book that is unremarkable as Christian Theology: Jesus is the Savior, the bible is the revealed word of God, Jesus instituted the Lord’s Supper, the Holy Spirit is given to us as Christians, there is but one baptism for the forgiveness of sins, to name a few.

The concept that I’m digging through at the moment is this, that in the garden Satan did tempt Eve, but additionally he subverted language, he subverted words to do this. He lied and twisted God’s words. The meaning of words are subverted. We regularly dissect the meaning of words, trying to pinpoint what is exactly being said. Schmemann uses this idea to undergird one of his main assertions, that symbols are more powerful than words. Symbols join something together. A symbol points to something that mere words can falter with. I think instinctively of the Cross. Jesus said “and as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, so must the Son of Man be lifted up that whoever believes in him may have eternal life.” The image of the cross immediately brings to mind that sacrifice. That symbol has been imbued with a power beyond mere words. Likewise the bread and wine of communion have been imbued with power. Jesus said we must eat his flesh and drink his blood. Many of his followers left him after he said this and he never modified the statement. He then instructs his disciples in the institution of the Lord’s supper: Bread is the body and wine is the blood, do this in remembrance of me.

The son of God joined himself to sinful flesh and became joined to human flesh for eternity. He redeemed us on the cross. Fully God and fully man. God remembered us. It’s not like God forgets, this is an active engagement, he did something for us. The remembrance in the Eucharistic feast draws from this understanding of “remembering”. His body, broken for us. His blood poured out for us. Thus in taking the bread and drinking the wine we are joined to Christ, into his body and blood. AND, we are joined to each other as partakers of the divine mystery. And then to all who came before us in Christ and to all who are to join with Christ.

Ok, that’s enough mind blowing concepts for one sitting. I need a glass of wine.

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The Sexual Assault Scandal in the Roman Catholic Church

What an unholy mess

There is a lot of digital ink currently bleeding all over the internet regarding this topic. I will only add a little.

In the Old Testament there are multiple examples of men rending their garments (tearing apart their clothes off of their bodies) and then sitting in sackcloth and ashes to mourn a great atrocity. I don’t know what that looks like in the modern era, but it would be nice to see someone, anyone, in the clerical ranks try at least to rise to this level of mourning.

Please do not mistake my intent here. I grieve with the victims and their families. I grieve with the Church catholic (universal). I grieve for the clergy that must make some very difficult and painful decisions. But let us not forget, it was sin that got us here. And sin will always take us places we really don’t want to go. So, with renewed conviction, let us repent and believe the Gospel: Christ came to save sinners!

Some additional thoughts and links:

A Dominican priest and professor of theology offered his thoughts on cleanup. It’s a very practical list of basic principles without pretending it will be easy to implement.

The resignation of a cardinal is no small thing. For covering up years of sexual abuse and flagrant immoral behavior himself. Then there’s this monstrosity, a Florida diocese that was more like a gay sex club. Lord have mercy.

Soli Deo Gloria

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Sunday Morning Irish Musings

Christ Be With Me

– St. Patrick

Christ with me, Christ before me, Christ behind me,

Christ in me, Christ beneath me, Christ above me,

Christ on my right, Christ on my left,

Christ where I lie, Christ where I sit, Christ where I arise,

Christ in the heart of everyone who thinks of me,

Christ in the mouth of every one who speaks to me,

Christ in every eye that sees me,

Christ in every ear that hears me.

Salvation is of the Lord.

Salvation is of the Christ.

May your salvation, Lord, be ever with us

Amen


Oh my. Ireland. You have believed a lie. That to be free and strong you must destroy life. Cain murdered Abel. Pharaoh murdered the male children of the Israelites. Herod murdered the young boys of Bethlehem. Sparta left to die those children unfit for its vision of itself as a warrior city-state. Nation destroying nation, bloody civil wars and industrialized mass murder.

Let us ponder Mary:

Birth of Jesus Foretold

In the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God to a city of Galilee named Nazareth, to a virgin betrothed to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David. And the virgin’s name was Mary. And he came to her and said, “Greetings, O favored one, the Lord is with you!” But she was greatly troubled at the saying, and tried to discern what sort of greeting this might be. And the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus. He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. And the Lord God will give to him the throne of his father David, and he will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of his kingdom there will be no end.”

And Mary said to the angel, “How will this be, since I am a virgin?”

And the angel answered her, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; therefore the child to be born will be called holy—the Son of God. And behold, your relative Elizabeth in her old age has also conceived a son, and this is the sixth month with her who was called barren. For nothing will be impossible with God.” And Mary said, “Behold, I am the servant of the Lord; let it be to me according to your word.” And the angel departed from her.


Mary submitted to the will of God, at great personal risk. She could have be stoned to death. Her betrothed husband could have left her. Joseph had to have a dream to stay with her, at risk of his reputation as a good man. Ultimately, at great personal anguish to Mary when her son was whipped, scourged and nailed to a cross for the sins of entire world. Are we “moderns” such frail creatures that a baby is such a tragedy to our lives that the solution is to destroy that life? What coarseness does this bring to our souls and our society? In what insidious ways has it crept into the psyche of our culture? And who will the knife fall upon next when fleshly pleasures require it? My life is secure in Christ. My life rests on the life, death and resurrection of my Lord and Savior Jesus who is called the Christ. The finished work of Christ. I have faith that He can save me. I refuse to bend the knee to the prevailing culture. Abortion is wrong. It is evil. It’s a consumption of the frail and helpless while feeding the uncontrolled pleasures of the flesh. How long will God endure this injustice? May God have Mercy on us.

Soli Deo Gloria

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