A Catholic Blog for Lovers

A celebration of beauty, truth, and goodness, and, of course, love...and perhaps a little nastiness

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Monday, November 15, 2004

Leaving shortly for a few days in Lancaster county, PA. home of the "Pennsylvannia Dutch". I lived in Lancaster for a few years and liked much of it (and disliked some of it).

My twin sister, Peg, and her husband, Richard, are joining us. Eager to share some good and fun time together and to feast on the high comfort food of the Amish and Mennonites.

No word yet on my precious left behind items on Carnival. No idea even if they were recovered it not. It's not that I haven't tried, believe me. I grow less and less hopeful that I will ever see these items again.

And for those concerned about my physical condition lately (thanks, Susan, for your warm and encouging email, which I won't have time to reply to today), I will be seeing my main doctor this Thursday, God willing. Let's hope for the best.





2603 The evangelists have preserved two more explicit prayers offered by Christ during his public ministry. Each begins with thanksgiving. In the first, Jesus confesses the Father, acknowledges, and blesses him because he has hidden the mysteries of the Kingdom from those who think themselves learned and has revealed them to infants, the poor of the Beatitudes.[48] His exclamation, "Yes, Father!" expresses the depth of his heart, his adherence to the Father's "good pleasure," echoing his mother's Fiat at the time of his conception and prefiguring what he will say to the Father in his agony. The whole prayer of Jesus is contained in this loving adherence of his human heart, to the mystery of the will of the Father.[49]

2604 The second prayer, before the raising of Lazarus, is recorded by St. John.[50] Thanksgiving precedes the event: "Father, I thank you for having heard me," which implies that the Father always hears his petitions. Jesus immediately adds: "I know that you always hear me," which implies that Jesus, on his part, constantly made such petitions. Jesus' prayer, characterized by thanksgiving, reveals to us how to ask: before the gift is given, Jesus commits himself to the One who in giving gives himself. The Giver is more precious than the gift; he is the "treasure"; in him abides his Son's heart, ; the gift is given "as well."[51]

The priestly prayer of Jesus holds a unique place in the economy of salvation.[52] A meditation on it will conclude Section One. It reveals the ever present prayer of our High Priest and, at the same time, contains what he teaches us about our prayer to our Father, which will be developed in Section Two.

2605 When the hour had come for him to fulfill the Father's plan of love, Jesus allows a glimpse of the boundless depth of his filial prayer, not only before he freely delivered himself up ("Abba . . . not my will, but yours."),[53] but even in his last words on the Cross, where prayer and the gift of self are but one: "Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do";[54] "Truly, I say to you, today you will be with me in Paradise", "Woman, behold your son" - "Behold your mother";[56] "I thirst.";[57] "My God, My God, why have you forsaken me?";[58] "It is finished";[59] "Father, into your hands I commit my spirit!"[60] until the "loud cry" as he expires, giving up his spirit.[61]

2606 All the troubles, for all time, of humanity enslaved by sin and death, all the petitions and intercessions of salvation history are summed up in this cry of the incarnate Word. Here the Father accepts them and, beyond all hope, answers them by raising his Son. Thus is fulfilled and brought to completion the drama of prayer in the economy of creation and salvation. The Psalter gives us the key to prayer in Christ. In the "today" of the Resurrection the Father says: "You are my Son, today I have begotten you. Ask of me, and I will make the nations your heritage, and the ends of the earth your possession."[62]

The Letter to the Hebrews expresses in dramatic terms how the prayer of Jesus accomplished the victory of salvation: "In the days of his flesh, Jesus offered up prayers and supplications, with loud cries and tears, to him who was able to save him from death, and he was heard for his godly fear. Although he was a Son, he learned obedience through what he suffered, and being made perfect, he became the source of eternal salvation to all who obey him."[63]

Mini clash of civilizations

"The Netherlands has long been Europe's most permissive society — everything from window-shopping in Amsterdam for scantily clad hookers (50 to 80 Euros for 15 to 30 minutes) to hashish aroma in marijuana smoke-filled cafes. The government and the sex workers union protect some 30,000 women. The pimps are landlords and the aging prostitutes are quickly replaced with a steady influx from the former Soviet republics and East European countries.

A Dutch brothel chain is suing the government for failing to green-light the "Yum Yum Caviar Club" at Schiphol Airport "to cater to stressed travelers in transit." The government responded that plans for an airport bordello were on hold pending new building and space in the departure areas.

It was such Dutch tolerance, pragmatism and guilt about the country's colonial past that allowed hundreds of thousands of immigrants from Muslim Indonesia (a Dutch colony from the 17th century until World War II) to flood into tiny Holland. Today, Muslims are a majority among children under 14 in the Netherlands' four largest cities..."

Today in Christian history

November 15, 1280: German theologian Albertus Magnus, teacher of Thomas Aquinas and defender of his theology (as well as a brilliant writer and spiritual master), dies at age 87. Declared a doctor of the Church in 1931 by Pope Pius XI, Pope Pius XII proclaimed him the patron of natural scientists in 1941.

November 15, 1397: Thomas Parentuchelli, who would later take the name Nicholas V and is considered the best of the Renaissance popes, is born. As pope he led a blameless personal life, loved the new studies in arts and sciences, restored many ruined churches, and founded the Vatican Library.

November 15, 1791: Georgetown - the first Catholic men's university in the US, opens in Washington D.C.

November 15, 1885: Mwanga, ruler of Buganda (now part of Uganda), beheads recent Anglican convert and royal family member Joseph Mukasa. Mukasa opposed the massacring of Anglican missionary bishop James Hannington and his colleagues in October. The bloodbath continued through January 1887 as the ruler killed Mukasa's Christian pages and other Anglican and Catholic leaders.

Sunday, November 14, 2004
Anguished O'Malley explains fiscal crisis

In a dramatic plea for understanding, Archbishop Sean P. O'Malley yesterday described his effort to close parishes as "personally repulsive to me," but he also urged Catholics to understand that the sweeping reorganization of the Boston Archdiocese is necessary because of the shrinking number of priests and a financial crisis he described as "much worse than most people realize."

Facing unprecedented unrest from local Catholics upset by his plan to close 83 of the 357 parishes in the beleaguered archdiocese, O'Malley drafted a 1,500-word letter of explanation and sent it yesterday to all parishes and to the news media. The letter is part of an intensified effort by O'Malley to secure support for the parish closings, which have already resulted in the shuttering of 47 churches this year but have also led to the takeover of eight parishes by angry laypeople, the arrest of one parishioner for trespassing, two civil lawsuits, and multiple canon law challenges..."


"I am appealing to all Catholics to be Catholics first. I know that we all have a great love for our parish and parish church, but our first love must be for Christ and the Body of Christ which is the Church. Closing parishes is the hardest thing I have ever had to do in forty years of religious life. I joined the monastery knowing that I would have to do difficult things for the rest of my life, but I never imagined I would have to be involved in anything so painful or so personally repulsive to me as this. At times I ask God to call me home and let someone else finish this job, but I keep waking up in the morning to face another day of reconfiguration. So when people ask why I am doing this, I can only say it is because I love the Church and want to give my life to the service of the Church. If difficult decisions are not made now, the mission of the Church will be seriously compromised in the future..."

Today in Christian history

November 14, 565: Roman Emperor Justinian dies at 82. During his reign, he reunited the Eastern and Western empires politically and religiously, erected several new basilicas in Constantinople, including the "Great Church" of Hagia Sophia, and created the Justinian Code, which greatly influenced the development of canon law in the Middle Ages.

November 14, 1180: Death of Saint Lawrence O'Toole, Archbishop of Dublin who brought peace among the Ostmen and the Irish factions in medieval times.

November 14,1550 - Pope Julius III, following in his predecessor's shoes, reopens the Council of Trent, taking a seat on this landmark Council.

November 14, 1990: British journalist Malcolm Muggeridge dies at 87. After editorial stints at the Manchester Guardian and Punch and years as a BBC commentator, the cynical and licentious Muggeridge quietly converted to Christianity. It was his reporting on Mother Teresa that first brought her to the public's attention. He and his wife Kitty were received into the Catholic Church in 1982.

November 14, 1996 - Death of Cardinal Joseph Bernardin, advocate of "The Common Ground" project. Bernadin was controversial: praised by some, harshly criticized by some. But almost all agree that he faced his own death with dignity, courage, and faith.

Saturday, November 13, 2004
Today in Christian history

November 13, 354: Augustine of Hippo, convert, bishop, and Christian thinker, was born in Thagaste in North Africa. Of his many writings, two are still read widely: "Confessions" describes the circumstances leading to his conversion to the Christian faith, and "The City of God" was written as a Christian view of the sacking of Rome by the Visigoths in the year 410.

November 13, 867: Pope Nicholas I, one of the strongest proponents for Rome's primacy in the Church, dies. He is referred to, along with Popes Leo I and Gregory I, as "the Great."

November 13, 1618: The Dutch Reformed Church convenes the Synod of Dort to "discuss" the Arminian controversy. Of course, the synod's condemnation of Arminianism was a forgone conclusion—Arminians weren't even invited for another month. By April, 200 Arminian ministers (known as Remonstrants) were deposed by the Calvinist Synod, 15 were arrested, and one was beheaded for high treason.

November 13, 1938: The Catholic Church canonizes Francis Xavier Cabrini (1850-1917), founder of the Missionary Sisters of the Sacred Heart, the first saint who was an American citizen.

November 13, 1962: The name of Saint Joseph was added to the Roman Canon. It constituted the first alteration made to this canon since the seventh century.

Friday, November 12, 2004
Remembering our dead

The Reformation cut off the living from the dead. But Catholic prayers for the departed are not about fear, or appeasement. They form part of a web of love

Prayer request

It seems like several regulars of St Blog's are "under the weather" these days. I'm not exactly sure what's going on with me but sense I am not running at my usual and relative "one hundred percent." Some ominous signs (if they continue and get worse). I have a moved up appointment with my wonderful doctor this coming Thursday. I am planning a 2 night trip to Lancaster Pa. with my twin sister Peg and her husband and Father Michael - and seeing some friends, too, 2 sets of which just happen to be in Pennsylvannia Dutch country the same time as I happen to be passing through. And hopefully a few fun meals at places like "Good and Plenty" with its Amish style meals, plentiful indeed!

Things have been somewhat out of whack since returning from Paris. Since then something changed. Before that I used to envy those who could fall asleep at their desks and in cars and planes, etc. I couldn't. Now I have a hard time staying awake at my own desk!!! That's no big deal of itself, but combined with some water retention, congestion, and swelling in the akles - a matter of some concern. I don't write this to panic anyone. I am doing OK right now. But I am asking your prayers. And the fact that I have heard absolutely nothing from Carnival about my lost and priceless left behind items has not helped much either.





2598 The drama of prayer is fully revealed to us in the Word who became flesh and dwells among us. To seek to understand his prayer through what his witnesses proclaim to us in the Gospel is to approach the holy Lord Jesus as Moses approached the burning bush: first to contemplate him in prayer, then to hear how he teaches us to pray, in order to know how he hears our prayer.

Jesus prays

2599 The Son of God who became Son of the Virgin also learned to pray according to his human heart. He learns the formulas of prayer from his mother, who kept in her heart and meditated upon all the "great things" done by the Almighty.[41] He learns to pray in the words and rhythms of the prayer of his people, in the synagogue at Nazareth and the Temple at Jerusalem. But his prayer springs from an otherwise secret source, as he intimates at the age of twelve: "I must be in my Father's house."[42] Here the newness of prayer in the fullness of time begins to be revealed: his filial prayer, which the Father awaits from his children, is finally going to be lived out by the only Son in his humanity, with and for men.

2600 The Gospel according to St. Luke emphasizes the action of the Holy Spirit and the meaning of prayer in Christ's ministry. Jesus prays before the decisive moments of his mission: before his Father's witness to him during his baptism and Transfiguration, and before his own fulfillment of the Father's plan of love by his Passion.[43] He also prays before the decisive moments involving the mission of his apostles: at his election and call of the Twelve, before Peter's confession of him as "the Christ of God," and again that the faith of the chief of the Apostles may not fail when tempted.[44] Jesus' prayer before the events of salvation that the Father has asked him to fulfill is a humble and trusting commitment of his human will to the loving will of the Father.

2601 "He was praying in a certain place and when he had ceased, one of his disciples said to him, 'Lord, teach us to pray."'[45] In seeing the Master at prayer the disciple of Christ also wants to pray. By contemplating and hearing the Son, the master of prayer, the children learn to pray to the Father.

2602 Jesus often draws apart to pray in solitude, on a mountain, preferably at night.[46] He includes all men in his prayer, for he has taken on humanity in his incarnation, and he offers them to the Father when he offers himself. Jesus, the Word who has become flesh, shares by his human prayer in all that "his brethren" experience; he sympathizes with their weaknesses in order to free them.[47] It was for this that the Father sent him. His words and works are the visible manifestation of his prayer in secret...

41 Cf. Lk 1:49; 2:19; 2:51.
42 Lk 2:49.
43 Cf. Lk 3:21; 9:28; 22:41-44.
44 Cf. Lk 6:12; 9:18-20; 22:32.
45 Lk 11:1.
46 Cf. Mk 1:35; 6:46; Lk 5:16.

Today in Christian history

November 12, 1651: Mexican poet, nun, and "feminist" Juana Ines de La Cruz was born.

Thursday, November 11, 2004

Summing up the first article in bite-size pieces, some perhaps appropriate for memorization:


2590 "Prayer is the raising of one's mind and heart to God or the requesting of good things from God" (St. John Damascene, De fide orth. 3, 24:PG 94, 1089C).

2591 God tirelessly calls each person to this mysterious encounter with Himself. Prayer unfolds throughout the whole history of salvation as a reciprocal call between God and man.

2592 The prayer of Abraham and Jacob is presented as a battle of faith marked by trust in God's faithfulness and by certitude in the victory promised to perseverance.

2593 The prayer of Moses responds to the living God's initiative for the salvation of his people. It foreshadows the prayer of intercession of the unique mediator, Christ Jesus.

2594 The prayer of the People of God flourished in the shadow of the dwelling place of God's presence on earth, the ark of the covenant and the Temple, under the guidance of their shepherds, especially King David, and of the prophets.

2595 The prophets summoned the people to conversion of heart and, while zealously seeking the face of God, like Elijah, they interceded for the people.

2596 The Psalms constitute the masterwork of prayer in the Old Testament. They present two inseparable qualities: the personal, and the communal. They extend to all dimensions of history, recalling God's promises already fulfilled and looking for the coming of the Messiah.

2597 Prayed and fulfilled in Christ, the Psalms are an essential and permanent element of the prayer of the Church. They are suitable for men of every condition and time.

Today in Christian history

November 11, 397 (traditional date): Martin of Tours, a bishop responsible for the evangelization of Gaul, dies. He is France's patron saint.

November 11, 1215: The Fourth Lateran Council opens. It officially confirmed the doctrine of transubstantiation—that the substance of Eucharistic bread and wine become the body and blood of Christ, with only the accidents (appearances of bread and wine) remaining. The council also prescribed annual confession for all Christians.

November 11, 1620: Forty-one Puritan separatists arrive in Plymouth, Massachusetts. They had hoped to settle further south, but as William Bradford wrote in his journal on December 19, "We could not now take much time for further search . . . our victuals being much spent, especially our beer".

November 11, 1855: Danish Christian philosopher Soren Kierkegaard, regarded as the founder of existentialism, dies at age 42. Trying to "reintroduce Christianity to Christendom," he believed that Christianity was far more radical and difficult than did his Danish contemporaries.

November 11, 1992: The Church of England voted to ordain women as priests.

Wednesday, November 10, 2004

Received this a few moments ago:

This is Chris, Karen Marie's sister from Pittsburgh, and I wanted to make you aware that Karen is in need of prayers as she is in the hosptial.

..Now she has pneumonia, cellulitis because of an infection in her leg. She is at St.Mary's hospital in Milwaukee, I would appreciate if you could put up a request for prayers on your blog for my sister..."

Karen's wonderful blog, From the Anchor Hold. O LORD, heal your servant and bring her home to us. Let her cling to Christ even as Christ clings to her. Thy will be done!


Still nothing on the status of the (precious) items left behind in my cabin after the 2 night cruise. Wish I didn't have the fears that sometimes emerge! Things should be relatively easily recoverable. But life has a way at times....

Carnival has a strict procedure in place. It strikes me as less than customer friendly. But I do get a sense that the staff so far involved with me are hoping for a full recovery and quick return. Prayers still very much appreciated.



ARTICLE 1 cont'd

Elijah, the prophets and conversion of heart

2581 For the People of God, the Temple was to be the place of their education in prayer: pilgrimages, feasts and sacrifices, the evening offering, the incense, and the bread of the Presence ("shewbread") - all these signs of the holiness and glory of God Most High and Most Near were appeals to and ways of prayer. But ritualism often encouraged an excessively external worship. The people needed education in faith and conversion of heart; this was the mission of the prophets, both before and after the Exile.

2582 Elijah is the "father" of the prophets, "the generation of those who seek him, who seek the face of the God of Jacob."[30] Elijah's name, "The Lord is my God," foretells the people's cry in response to his prayer on Mount Carmel.[31] St. James refers to Elijah in order to encourage us to pray: "The prayer of the righteous is powerful and effective."[32]

2583 After Elijah had learned mercy during his retreat at the Wadi Cherith, he teaches the widow of Zarephath to believe in The Word of God and confirms her faith by his urgent prayer: God brings the widow's child back to life.[33]

The sacrifice on Mount Carmel is a decisive test for the faith of the People of God. In response to Elijah's plea, "Answer me, O LORD, answer me," the Lord's fire consumes the holocaust, at the time of the evening oblation. The Eastern liturgies repeat Elijah's plea in the Eucharistic epiclesis.

Finally, taking the desert road that leads to the place where the living and true God reveals himself to his people, Elijah, like Moses before him, hides "in a cleft of he rock" until the mysterious presence of God has passed by.[34] But only on the mountain of the Transfiguration will Moses and Elijah behold the unveiled face of him whom they sought; "the light of the knowledge of the glory of God [shines] in the face of Christ," crucified and risen.[35]

2584 In their "one to one" encounters with God, the prophets draw light and strength for their mission. Their prayer is not flight from this unfaithful world, but rather attentiveness to The Word of God. At times their prayer is an argument or a complaint, but it is always an intercession that awaits and prepares for the intervention of the Savior God, the Lord of history.[36]

32 Jas 5:16b-18.
33 Cf. 1 Kings 17:7-24.
34 Cf. 1 Kings 19:1-14; cf. Ex 33:19-23.
35 2 Cor 4:6; cf. Lk 9:30-35.
36 Cf. Am 7:2, 5; Isa 6:5,8,11; 1:6; 15:15-18; 20:7-18.

Today in Christian history

November 10, 1483: Controversial German religous figure Martin Luther is born in Eisleben, Germany.

November 10, 1899: Southern Fugitive poet and critic Allen Tate was born. He once observed that it was a shame that Southerners were so anti-Catholic because they loved ceremonials everywhere except in church and every Southern mother was a mater mediatrix.

November 10, 1908: Ten years after Samuel Hill and John Nicholson met in Boscobel, Wisconsin, to begin what would become Gideons International, the organization places its first Bible in a room at the Superior Hotel in Iron Mountains, Montana. Those "Gideon Bibles" are still everywhere to be found (and perhaps even used).

Tuesday, November 09, 2004
Bridgebuilder par excellence

Second from left, Bishop Seraphim (Sigrist) at St Benedict's Rectory, beautifully decorated by pastor Paschal Morlino, OSB, for after discussion "dessert"

Our local ecumenical group met this past Sunday and our guest speaker was Bishop Seraphim (Sigrist) of the OCA, former Bishop in Japan. This was +Seraphim's third visit to our group these past years and he never disappoints. Now here is a true bridgebuilder! I don't know if I've ever known anyone who is so consistently open minded and open hearted and who knows how to reach for commonalities rather than divisions. At times it can drive me crazy! But the longer I live the more I admire and revere this quality, so lacking in so many quarters today. Yes, Bishop Seraphim is to me like a breath of fresh air. You can check it our for yourself by reading his entres and comments in his Live Journal. I think you well see quickly what I mean. His journal can be accessed at:


The Basilica of Saint John Lateran: The Mother of all Churches

Inscription on its facade:


"The Most Holy Lateran Church, Mother and Mistress of all churches of the City and the World"

Today is the Solemnity of the Dedication of this great church, which is the cathedral church of the Diocese of Rome. Theologically and ecclesiologically perhaps the most important church in the Catholic world - if not the most popular or most used by the Popes. But it retains a special place and its Feast even superceded a Sunday 2 years ago. I prefer it myself to Saint Peter's as I do the other major Roman Basilica's of Saint Mary Major and Saint Paul's Outside the Walls.

Monday, November 08, 2004
Church struggles with change

A provocative piece in USA Today online regarding the state of the Catholic Church in the United States.

Not terribly hopeful...

Memorial of Blessed Elizabeth of the Trinity

Blessed Elizabeth of the Trinity of the Carmel in Dijon

A contemporary of her better known sister in Carmel, St Therese of Lisieux, Blessed Elizabeth of the Trinity seems also to have been given to us by God to announce the Good News of His Love, entrusted with what Hans Urs von Balthasar calls a "theological mission."

Like St Therese, Elizabeth died at a young age, and left behind a rather slim corpus of writings. But how rich they are! Filled out with many letters written to family and friends, Elizabeth opens for us especially the riches of Saint Paul and Saint John the Beloved Disciple.

Her most sustained writings are contained in notes she kept during two Retreats - and in these reflections we are given a glimpse into a heart completely given to the Praise of Glory - heaven on earth, the heaven of the soul.

Receiving on earth her new name in heaven, Laudem Gloriae, The Praise of Glory, Elizabeth points us to the Mystery of Christ in our own midst, and the indwelling of the Most Blessed Trinity.

May she intercede for all of us that we, too, may live for the praise of God's Glory - which is His Love that stoops so low to raise us so high. I choose her as a special patron of my website, "A Catholic for Lovers", since she expresses so magnificently the hopes I have for these pages and for all who visit - to the praise of God's Glory (thus its very address: praiseofglory.com).

Blessed Elizabeth of the Trinity, Praise of Glory, pray for us and teach us the way of love, the way of praise of God's Glory... Amen!

A prayer of Elizabeth of the Trinity


J.M. + J.T.

O my God, Trinity whom I adore, help me to forget myself entirely that I may be established in You as still and as peaceful as if my soul were already in eternity. May nothing trouble my peace or make me leave You, 0 my Unchanging One, but may each minute carry me further into the depths of Your Mystery. Give peace to my soul; make it Your heaven, Your beloved dwelling and Your resting place. May I never leave You there alone but be wholly present, my faith wholly vigilant, wholly adoring, and wholly surrendered to Your creative Action.

0 my beloved Christ, crucified by love, I wish to be a bride for Your Heart; I wish to cover You with glory; I wish to love You ... even unto death! But I feel my weakness, and I ask You to "clothe me with Yourself," to identify my soul with all the movements of Your Soul, to overwhelm me, to possess me, to substitute Yourself for me that my life may be but a radiance of Your Life. Come into me as Adorer, as Restorer, as Savior. 0 Eternal Word, Word of my God, 1 want to spend my life in listening to You, to become wholly teachable that I may learn all from You. Then, through all nights, all voids, all helplessness, I want to gaze on You always and remain in Your great light. 0 my beloved Star, so fascinate me that I may not withdraw from Your radiance.

0 consuming Fire, Spirit of Love, "come upon me," and create in my soul a kind of incarnation of the Word: that I may be another humanity for Him in which He can renew His whole Mystery. And You, 0 Father, bend lovingly over Your poor little creature; "cover her with Your shadow," seeing in her only the "Beloved in whom You are well pleased."

0 My Three, my All, my Beatitude, infinite Solitude, Immensity in which I lose myself, I surrender myself to You as Your prey. Bury Yourself in me that I may bury myself in You until I depart to contemplate in Your light the abyss of Your greatness.

Two Sisters in the Spirit
by Hans Urs von Balthasar

In this great book, the theologian of theologians, Hans urs von Balthasar, learns at the feet of two "sisters in the Spirit", the little Therese and Elizabeth of the Trinity, the rich doctrine of Christ and of St Paul. Both of these Carmelites, von Balthasar believes, were given to the Church with a special "theological mission" to open up the treasures of God's Word to ordinary believers like you and me. Here we can take a short cut into the riches of von Balthasar's heart as well - unlike so many other theologians, he seems most at home with the saints. This is the book that endeared me, beyond any ability to articulate, to St Therese of Lisieux and revealed why she would become a Doctor of the Church and Blessed Elizabeth of the Trinity, whose name in heaven, given her on earth, is Laudem Gloriae, Praise of Glory - one of the patronesses of my own website which is for "the praise of glory!"

You can order it from Amazon here: Two Sisters in the Spirit

Today in Christian history

November 8, 1308: John Duns Scotus, the Scottish theologian who brillianlty posited Mary's immaculate conception (that she herself was born without original sin), dies in Cologne, Germany. Mary's immaculate conception was declared dogma by Pope Pius IX in 1854.

November 8, 1674: English poet John Milton, author of "Paradise Lost"(1667), "Paradise Regained"(1671), and many other works, dies at age 65.

Sunday, November 07, 2004
Today in Christian history

November 7, 739 (traditional date): Willibrord, a missionary monk who was trained in Ireland and traveled over northwestern Europe, dies. Called the "Apostle of Frisia," he was highly instrumental in the conversions of Germany and Scandinavia.

November 7, 1637: Anne Hutchinson is convicted of spreading heresy and banished from the Massachusetts Bay Colony. Her idea that believers are so united with the Holy Spirit that human categories (like moral law) are irrelevant, and her claim of direct revelation from the Holy Spirit rather than Scripture, caused many of her supporters (including influential minister John Cotton) to back off. Hutchinson was later killed in New York in an American Indian raid.

November 7, 1793: During the French Revolution, "Christianity" was abolished on this date. Reason was deified, and as many as 2,000 churches were afterward destroyed throughout France.

November 7, 1837: Presbyterian minister and abolitionist Elijah Lovejoy is murdered in Alton, Illinois. A newspaper editor whose press was destroyed by vandals three times, he was accused of inciting slaves to revolt when he defended a black man burned at the stake by a mob. When another mob tried to burn down his warehouse, Lovejoy was shot trying to save it. His death helped to galvanize the abolitionist movement.

November 7, 1918: Evangelist William ("Billy") Franklin Graham, Jr., is born in Charlotte, North Carolina.

Saturday, November 06, 2004
Jesuit Named Chairman Of Patristic Institute At Holy Cross, Orthodox Professors Passed Over

By Theodore Kalmoukos
Special to The National Herald

BOSTON - A Roman Catholic Jesuit priest has been named chairman of the newly established Orthodox Patristic Institute of Holy Cross Greek Orthodox School of Theology.

Rev. Robert J. Daly, professor emeritus of Theology at Boston College, was chosen by Holy Cross to organize the Institute. Archbishop Demetrios of America, Chairman of the School, and Holy Cross President Rev. Nicholas Triantafilou signed off on the decision.

The Stephen & Catherine Pappas Patristic Institute is named after its founders. The Pappas family has donated close to two million dollars.

The donation was made 13 years ago, when Metropolitan (then Bishop) Methodios of Boston was President of the School. Stephen Pappas has since passed away, but his wife Catherine continues to support the Institute.

The purpose of the Institute is "to promote and advance the study of the Fathers of the Church," Rev. Dr. Emmanuel Clapsis, Dean of Holy Cross, told the National Herald.

Roman Catholics and Protestants, along with Orthodox members, have been appointed to serve on the Administrative Board of the Institute, while Dr. George Bebis, professor of Orthodox Patristic Studies who taught at Holy Cross for more than 40 years, was completely ignored.

Among the Orthodox members of the Board are Rev. Dr. Theodore Stylianopoulos, professor of New Testament Studies, and Rev. Pavlos Koumatianos, who was appointed professor of Liturgical Theology this past May. Rev. Koumatianos has suddenly departed from Holy Cross (and from the U.S., as well), however, for unspecified reasons, thus far.

"The delay of establishing the Pappas Patristic Institute is due to a series of problems that the School faced which did not give Holy Cross a chance to develop all its programs and potentialities," Rev. Clapsis said.

On October 15-16, the Pappas Patristic Institute organized "Apocalyptic Themes in Early Christianity," its first conference, to which neither Dr. Bebis nor Rev. Dr. George Dragas, both well respected professors of Patrology, were invited to speak.

Rev. Stylianopoulos presented on Orthodox Patristic Theology and Thought.

"We invited all the experts that deal with Patristic Studies in New England," Rev. Clapsis said.

In response to the Herald's question how and why a Jesuit priest has been placed at the helm of an Orthodox Institute, Rev. Clapsis said that Rev. Daly "has experience in Institutes. He is one of the founders of the Boston Theological Institute, as well as the first Director of the Jesuit Institute at Boston College," adding that "we appointed a Roman Catholic to help us so our Institute is not a small grocery store, but to have a serious structure. We (the Orthodox) are only a handful, and sometimes there are personal sensitivities and animosities."

In reference to the passing over of Dr. Bebis, Rev. Clapsis told the Herald that "he was my professor. I respect him, and I support him, as he supports me, but some choices had to be made."

Rev. Clapsis said he is assuming "personal responsibility for those choices, which were approved by the Archbishop and Father Triantafilou."

As far as the speakers of the Institute's inaugural conference, Rev. Clapsis said, "we are not looking how many are Protestants and how many Orthodox. We tried to find the best Patrologists who deal with that topic."

Dr. Bebis, on the other hand, in interview with the Herald, protested all that has transpired with the Pappas Patristic Institute at Holy Cross, so far:

Speaking about the appointment of Rev. Robert Daly as chairman of the Institute, Dr. Bebis said "for me, he does not represent the spirit of the Greek Fathers of the Church."

Dr. Bebis considers his virtually total jostling from the Institute and its recent Conference as "discrimination against me," he said. "I was surprised not to see my name on the Administrative Board. I see individuals who have contributed nothing special to the Patristic Studies at our Theological School and in the study of the Fathers."

As to why a Jesuit was appointed chairman of an Orthodox Institute at Holy Cross School, Dr. Bebis said, "I do not have any disfavor against Fr. Daly, but for me, he does not express the spirit of the Greek Fathers of the Church. I know he has written books related to Origen, but beyond that, I am not aware of any other contribution towards the study of the Fathers."

Dr. Bebis also disclosed that he has both verbally and in writing complained to the Archbishop, but nothing came of it: "His response to my verbal complaint was, yes you are right Dr. George, and he smiled. He never replied to my written complaint."

Asked if there is any Orthodox Theologian appointed as chairman in any Roman Catholic Institute, Dr. Bebis said that, "from whatever I know, there is none."

Professor Bebis refused to attend the Institute's inaugural conference last week.



ARTICLE 1 cont'd

David and the prayer of the king

2578 The prayer of the People of God flourishes in the shadow of God's dwelling place, first the ark of the covenant and later the Temple. At first the leaders of the people - the shepherds and the prophets - teach them to pray. The infant Samuel must have learned from his mother Hannah how "to stand before the LORD" and from the priest Eli how to listen to his word: "Speak, LORD, for your servant is listening."[26] Later, he will also know the cost and consequence of intercession: "Moreover, as for me, far be it from me that I should sin against the LORD by ceasing to pray for you; and I will instruct you in the good and the right way."[27]

2579 David is par excellence the king "after God's own heart," the shepherd who prays for his people and prays in their name. His submission to the will of God, his praise, and his repentance, will be a model for the prayer of the people. His prayer, the prayer of God's Anointed, is a faithful adherence to the divine promise and expresses a loving and joyful trust in God, the only King and Lord.[28] In the Psalms David, inspired by the Holy Spirit, is the first prophet of Jewish and Christian prayer. The prayer of Christ, the true Messiah and Son of David, will reveal and fulfill the meaning of this prayer.

2580 The Temple of Jerusalem, the house of prayer that David wanted to build, will be the work of his son, Solomon. The prayer at the dedication of the Temple relies on God's promise and covenant, on the active presence of his name among his People, recalling his mighty deeds at the Exodus.[29] The king lifts his hands toward heaven and begs the Lord, on his own behalf, on behalf of the entire people, and of the generations yet to come, for the forgiveness of their sins and for their daily needs, so that the nations may know that He is the only God and that the heart of his people may belong wholly and entirely to him.

26 1 Sam 3:9-10; cf. 1:9-18.
27 1 Sam 12:23.
28 Cf. 2 Sam 7:18-29.

Today in Christian history

November 6, 1315: Poet Dante Alighieri is sentenced to death, in absentia, by the magistrates of Florence. Dante, who was at the time working on his Divine Comedy in Venice, avoided the penalty by never returning to Florence, from which he had been exiled for political reasons.

November 6, 1789: The election of the Rt. Rev. John Carroll by Pope Pius VI to be the first Catholic bishop in the United States (the diocese of Baltimore), was confirmed. He was consecrated in England in 1790, and became an archbishop in 1808.

November 6, 1935: American revivalist Billy Sunday, a baseball player who became one of America's most famous evangelists before Billy Graham, dies at age 73. More than 100 million people heard him speak at his evangelistic crusades.

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