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Sermons for the Autumn Season
On the anniversary of the dedication of the monastery church at Clairvaux, Saint Bernard spoke to the community to explain the meaning of the feast: “What sanctity can these stones have that we should celebrate their festival? They do indeed have sanctity, but it is because of your bodies. . . . Your bodies are holy because of your souls, and this house is holy because of your bodies.”The thirty-eight sermons in this volume carry forth this theme, revealing the holiness of the monastic life as monks alternate through the rhythm of the day and the year between the opus Dei and manual labor, journeying faithfully through life to death and the transitus to glory. The twelfth-century Ecclesiastica Officia of the Cistercian Order required abbots to speak formally to their communities in chapter on seventeen fixed days, mostly liturgical feasts. This volume witnesses to Bernard’s fulfillment of this requirement and includes sermons for the Assumption and Nativity of the Virgin and the Feast of All Saints, sermons devoted to the feasts of particular saints celebrated during the autumn months, sermons for the time of harvest, and funeral sermons that look forward to the eternal joy in the communion of saints.
History and Eternity in Henri de Lubac
Between Apocalypse and Eschaton examines the systematic theology of Henri de Lubac, SJ, one of the most significant Catholic theologians of the twentieth century. While much of the recent work on de Lubac centers on the controversies surrounding his theology of the supernatural, Between Apocalypse and Eschaton argues that eschatology is the key to de Lubac’s theological project and critical to understanding the nouvelle théologie, the group of theologians with whom de Lubac was associated. At the time, intra-Catholic controversies arose around the nouvelle théologie as part of a broader anxiety over the loss of the eternal in twentieth-century Europe. The German occupation of France in World War II was the backdrop for a renewed apocalyptic and eschatological thinking among French Catholics. The nouvelle théologie generated a debate over the meaning of “the end” that was critical to understanding the theological, spiritual, and political fissures in the postwar period. After World War II, de Lubac’s writings increasingly focused on the theology of history and eschatology. The present work returns focus to this often neglected aspect of de Lubac’s work.
Readings on the Liturgical Year
This anthology surveys the development and theology of the liturgical year in the order of its historical evolution: From Sabbath to Sunday"; "From Passover to Pascha" (Lent, Holy Week, Easter, and Pentecost); and "From Pascha to Parousia" (Epiphany, Christmas, and Advent). In addition, introductory essays on the meaning of the liturgical year and a short concluding section on the sanctoral cycle ("From Parousia to Persons") are also provided.While written as a companion to standard works in the field, beginning with graduate students in liturgy and seminarians, this book is intended for al - pastors, liturgists, catechists, religious educators - who seek to live according to the Church's theology of time as it is reflected in its calendar of feasts and seasons.Through feast and fast, through festival and preparation, the liturgical year celebrates the presence of the already crucified and risen Christ among us today. Between Memory and Hope shows that to live between past and future, between memory and hope, is to remember Christ's passion as we encounter his presence among us now and as we await his coming again in glory.Articles and their contributors are "The Liturgical Year: Studies, Prospects, Reflections," by Robert F. Taft, SJ; "Liturgical Time in the Ancient Church: The State of Research," by Thomas J. Talley; "Day of the Lord: Day of Mystery," by H. Boone Porter; "Sunday: The Heart of the Liturgical Year," by Mark Seale; "The Frequency of the Celebration of the Eucharist Throughout History," by Robert F. Taft, SJ; "History and Eschatology in the Primitive Pascha," by Thomas J. Talley; "The Origins of Easter," by Paul F. Bradshaw; "The Three Days and the Forty Days," by Patrick Regan, OSB; "The Veneration of the Cross," by Patrick Regan, OSB; "Holy Week in the Byzantine Tradition," by Robert F. Taft, SJ; "The Origin of Lent at Alexandria," by Thomas J. Taley; "Preparation for Pascha? Lent in Christian Antiquity," by Maxwell E. Johnson; "The Fifty Days and the Fiftieth Day," by Patrick Regan, OSB; "Making the Most of Trinity Sunday," by Catherine Mowry LaCugna; "Constantine and Christmas," by Thomas J. Taley; "The Origins of Christmas: The State of the Question," by Susan K. Roll; "The Appearance of the Light at the Baptism of Jesus and the Origins of the Feast of Epiphany," by Gabriele Winkler; "The Origins and Evolution of Advent," by Martin J. Connell; "On Feasting the Saints," by John F.Baldovin, SJ; "The Marian Liturgical Tradition," by Kilian McDonnell, OSB; "Forgetting and Remembering the Saints," by James F. White; "The One Mediator, the Saints, and Mary: a Lutheran Reflection," by Maxwell E. Johnson; and "The Liturgical Year: Calendar for a Just Community," by John F. Baldovin, SJ.Maxwell E. Johnson, PhD, is an ordained pastor in the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, and associate professor of liturgy at the University of Notre Dame. His articles have appeared frequently in Worship. He is the author ofLiving Water, Sealing Spirit and The Rites of Christian Initiation: Their Evolution and Interpretation published by The Liturgical Press."
Longing for God in a Science-Dominated World
Confusing paradox surrounds the Bible.Some look to it as the definition of reality and deny science; others see science alone as the arbiter of truth and deny the Bible. Both extremes are merely symptoms of a still wider debate on the place of ancient spiritual wisdom in a science-dominated world. Following the Reformation and Enlightenment, the Western world gained great power but lost its spiritual bearings. This book draws on numerous sources, ancient and modern, to examine what the missteps were that have brought us to a point of such confusion, and in doing so argues cogently against the modern philosophy of scientific materialism. With the aid of biblical stories and imagery it suggests how we might find our way back to balance, where ancient wisdom and modern science can together shed light on humans and their encompassing reality.Vincent Smiles is professor of theology at Saint John's University, Collegeville, Minnesota.
A Selection from the Jesuit Relations
The Jesuit Relations, written by new world jesuit missionaries from 1632 to 1673 back to their Superior in France, have long been a remarkable source of both historical knowledge and spiritual inspiration. They provide rich information about Jesuit piety and missionary initiatives, Ignatian spirituality, the Old World patrons who financed the venture, women's role as collaborators in the Jesuit project, and the early history of contact between Europeans and Native Americans in what was to become the northeastern United States and Canada.The Jesuits approached the task of converting the native peoples, and the formidable obstacles it implied, in a flexible manner. One of their central values was inculturation,the idea of coming in by their door,to quote a favorite saying of Ignatius, via a creative process of syncretism that blended aspects of native belief with aspects of Christian faith, in order to facilitate understanding and acceptance. The Relations thus abound with examples of the Jesuits' thoughtfully trying to make sense of native-and female-difference, rather than eliding it. The complete text of the Jesuit Relations runs to 73 volumes. Catharine Randall has made selections from the Relations, some of which have never before appeared in print in English. These selections are chosen for their informative nature and for how they illustrate central tenets of Ignatian spirituality. Rather than provide close translations from seventeenth-century French that might sound stilted to modern ears, she offers free translations that provide the substance of the Relations in an idiom immediately accessible to twenty-first-century readers of English.An extensive introduction sets out the basic history of the Jesuit missions in New France and provides insight into the Ignatian tradition and how it informs the composition of the Relations. The volume is illustrated with early woodcuts, depicting scenes from Ignatius's life, moments in the history of the Jesuit missions, Jesuitefforts to master the native languages, and general devotional scenes.
New Orleans Interracialism, 1947-1956
Most histories of the Civil Rights Movement start with all the players in place--among them organized groups of African Americans, White Citizens' Councils, nervous politicians, and religious leaders struggling to find the right course. Anderson, however, takes up the historical moment right before that, when small groups of black and white Catholics in the city of New Orleans began efforts to desegregate the archdiocese, and the Society of Jesus (Jesuits) began, in fits and starts, to integrate quietly the New Orleans Province. Anderson leads readers through the tumultuous years just after World War II when the Roman Catholic Church in the American South struggled to reconcile its commitment to social justice with the legal and social heritage of Jim Crow society. Though these early efforts at reform, by and large, failed, they did serve to galvanize Catholic supporters and opponents of the Civil Rights Movement and provided a model for more successful efforts at desegregation in the ’60s. As a Jesuit himself, Anderson has access to archives that remain off-limits to other scholars. His deep knowledge of the history of the Catholic Church also allows him to draw connections between this historical period and the present. In the resistance to desegregation, Anderson finds expression of a distinctly American form of Catholicism, in which lay people expect Church authorities to ratify their ideas and beliefs in an almost democratic fashion. The conflict he describes is as much between popular and hierarchical models of the Church as between segregation and integration.
The Controversial Life of the First Catholic Priest Elected to Congress
Raymond Schroth's Bob Drinan: The Controversial Life of the First Catholic Priest Elected to Congress shows that the contentious mixture of religion and politics in this country is nothing new. Four decades ago, Father Robert Drinan, the fiery Jesuit priest from Massachusetts, not only demonstrated against the Vietnam War, he ran for Congress as an antiwar candidate and won, going on to serve for 10 years. Schroth has delved through magazine and newspaper articles and various archives (including Drinan's congressional records at Boston College, where he taught and also served as dean of the law school) and has interviewed dozens of those who knew Drinan to bring us a life-sized portrait. The result is a humanistic profile of an intensely private man and a glimpse into the life of a priest-politician who saw advocacy of human rights as his call. Drinan defined himself as a moral architectand was quick to act on his convictions, whether from the bully pulpit of the halls of Congress or from his position in the Church as a priest; to him they were as intricately woven as the clerical garb he continued to wear unapologetically throughout his elected tenure. Drinan's opposition to the Vietnam War and its extension into Cambodia, his call for the impeachment of President Richard Nixon (he served on the House Judiciary Committee, which initiated the charges), his pro-choice stance on abortion (legally, not morally), his passion for civil rights, and his devotion to Jewish people and the well-being of Israel made him one of the most liberal members of Congress and a force to be reckoned with. But his loyalty to the Church was never in question, and when Pope John Paul II demanded that he step down from offi ce, he did so unquestioningly. Afterward, he continued to champion the ideals he thought would make the world a better place. He didn't think of it in terms of left and right; as moral architect, he saw it in terms of right and wrong.This important book doesn't resolve debate about issues of church and state, but it does help us understand how one side can inform the other, if we are listening. It has much to say that is worth hearing.
Sayings of the Desert Fathers: The Systematic Collection
In the early part of the fourth century, a few Christians, mostly men and some women, began to withdraw from "the world" to retreat into the desert, there to practice their new religion more seriously. The person who aspired to "renounce the world" first had to find an "elder," a person who would accept him as a disciple and apprentice. To his elder (whom he would address as abba—father) the neophyte owed complete obedience; from his abba, he would receive provisions (as it were) for the road to virtue. In addition to the abba's own example of living, there was the verbal teaching of the elders in sayings and tales, setting out the theory and practice of the eremitic life. In due course, these sayings (or apophthegmata) were written down and, later, collected and codified. The earliest attempts to codify tales and sayings are now lost. As the collection grew, they were first organized alphabetically, according to the name of the abba who spoke them, in a major collection known as the Apophthegmata Patrum Alphabetica. A supplementary collection, the Anonymous Apophthegmata, followed. Later, both collections were combined and arranged systematically rather than alphabetically. This collection was created sometime between 500 and 575 and later went through a couple of major revisions, the second of which appeared sometime before 970. This second revision was published in an excellent new critical edition, with a French translation, in 1993. Now, in The Book of the Elders, John Wortley offers an English translation of this collection, based entirely on the Greek of that text.
Lacouturisme and the Folly of the Cross, 1910–1985
Contributing to the ongoing excavation of the spiritual lifeworld of Dorothy Day—“the most significant, interesting, and influential person in the history of American Catholicism”—The Bread of the Strong offers compelling new insight into the history of the Catholic Worker movement, including the cross-pollination between American and Quebecois Catholicism and discourse about Christian antimodernism and radicalism.The considerable perseverance in the heroic Christian maximalism that became the hallmark of the Catholic Worker’s personalism owes a great debt to the influence of Lacouturisme, largely under the stewardship of John Hugo, along with Peter Maurin and myriad other critical interventions in Day’s spiritual development. Day made the retreat regularly for some thirty-five years and promoted it vigorously both in person and publicly in the pages of The Catholic Worker.Exploring the influence of the controversial North American revivalist movement on the spiritual formation of Dorothy Day, author Jack Lee Downey investigates the extremist intersection between Roman Catholic contemplative tradition and modern political radicalism. Well grounded in an abundance of lesser-known primary sources, including unpublished letters, retreat notes, privately published and long-out-of-print archival material, and the French-language papers of Fr. Lacouture, The Bread of the Strong opens up an entirely new arena of scholarship on the transnational lineages of American Catholic social justice activism. Downey also reveals riveting new insights into the movement’s founder and namesake, Quebecois Jesuit Onesime Lacouture. Downey also frames a more reciprocal depiction of Day and Hugo’s relationship and influence, including the importance of Day’s evangelical pacifism on Hugo, particularly in shaping his understanding of conscientious objection and Christian antiwar work, and how Hugo’s ascetical theology animated Day’s interior life and spiritually sustained her apostolate.A fascinating investigation into the retreat movement Day loved so dearly, and which she claimed was integral to her spiritual formation, The Bread of the Strong explores the relationship between contemplative theology, asceticism, and radical activism. More than a study of Lacouture, Hugo, and Day, this fresh look at Dorothy Day and the complexities and challenges of her spiritual and social expression presents an outward exploration of the early- to mid–twentieth century dilemmas facing second- and third-generation American Catholics.