31 July 2010


July 31.
The Collect

O MERCIFUL God, by whose servant Joseph the body of our Lord and Saviour was committed to the grave with reverence and godly fear: Grant, we beseech thee, to thy faithful people grace and courage to serve and love Jesus with unfeigned devotion all the days of their life; through the same Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

The Epistle

Proverbs 4:10-18.
HEAR, O my son, and receive my sayings; And the years of thy life shall be many. I have taught thee in the way of wisdom; I have led thee in right paths. When thou goest, thy steps shall not be hampered; And when thou runnest, thou shalt not stumble. Take fast hold of instruction: let her not go: Keep her; for she is thy life. Enter not into the path of the wicked, And go not in the way of evil men. Avoid it, do not go on it, Turn away from it, and pass on. For they sleep not, except they have done mischief; And their sleep is taken away, unless they cause some to fall. For they eat the bread of wickedness, And drink the wine of violence. But the path of the just is as the shining light, That shineth more and more unto the perfect day.

The Gospel

St. Luke 23:50-56.
BEHOLD, there was a man named Joseph, a counsellor; and he was a good man, and a just: (the same had not consented to the counsel and deed of them;) he was of Arithamaea, a city of the Jews: who also himself waited for the kingdom of God. This man went unto Pilate, and begged the body of Jesus. And he took it down, and wrapped it in linen, and laid it in a sepulchre that was hewn in stone, wherein never man before was laid. And that day was the preparation, and the sabbath drew on. And the women also, which came with him from Galilee, followed after, and beheld the sepulchre, and how his body was laid. And they returned, and prepared spices and ointments; and rested the sabbath day according to the commandment.

29 July 2010


July 29.

The Collect

O GOD, who bestowest divers gifts and graces upon thy saints: We give thee humble thanks for the examples of thy servants Mary and Martha, the friends of our Saviour Jesus Christ; and we pray thee to give us grace to love and serve thee and others for his sake, who with thee and the Holy Ghost liveth and reigneth ever, one God, world without end. Amen.

The Epistle

Proverbs 31:10, 26-31.
WHO can find a virtuous woman? For her price is far above rubies. She openeth her mouth with wisdom; And in her tongue is the law of kindness. She looketh well to the ways of her household, And eateth not the bread of idleness. Her children arise up, and call her blessed; Her husband also, and he praiseth her. Many daughters have done virtuously, But thou excellest them all. Favour is deceitful, and beauty is vain: But a woman that fearech the Lord, she shall be praised. Give her of the fruit of her hands; And let her own works praise her in the gates.

The Gospel

St. Luke 10:38-42.
NOW it came to pass, as they went, that he entered into a certain village: and a certain woman named Martha received him into her house. And she had a sister called Mary, which also sat at Jesus' feet, and heard his word. But Martha was distracted with much serving, and came to him, and said, Lord, dost thou not care that my sister hath left me to serve alone? bid her therefore that she help me. And the Lord answered and said unto her, Martha, Martha, thou art concerned and troubled about many things: but one thing is needful: and Mary hath chosen that good part, which shall not be taken away from her.

27 July 2010

Considering Radner: Is the Church a "Chaste Whore?"

Considering Radner: Is the Church a "Chaste Whore?": "
Ecclesiologists and theologians who follow Radner would be prone to echo this term as a preferred mode of reference for the Church, with regard to the simultaneou reality of her total holiness even while her members persist in human sins. This fact is of course an important theologial problem, although the Catholic Church does not view it as a paradox; rather, as Pope John Paul II puts it in a decree for the Jubilee of 2000, 'the Church, strong in the holiness which she receives from her Lord, should kneel before God and implore forgiveness for the past and present sins of her sons and daughters.' (John Paul II, First Sunday of Lent 'Day of Pardon,' 2000).) The Church's definitive summary here bears witness to her identity as the creature which subsists unceasingly in her Lord alone, such that en toto she always enjoys, participates in, and extends His holiness without hinderance; and while her sons and daughters do commit sin, she exercises the authority that is hers in her very essence as 'bone of (Christ's) bone and flesh of His flesh' by interceding for them, representing them to their Judge to ask for pardon, and extending His remission of their guilt and punishment. In other words, sinners are within her; but she, by God's grace, stands over and above them in His own perfect righteousness.

However thorough the Protestant attempt to construe the holiness+sinfulness problem, the Protestant's persistent denial of the Church's authority and essential holiness before her Lord requires recourse to the paradox of two contradictory states with regards to the Church as a whole, such that she would be said to be, as Luther said of the individual baptized, 'simul justus et peccator,' at once justified and sinful- or, as Radner finds helpful, she might be said to be 'a chaste whore.'

Given the great reverence with which the Christian tradition has always treated the figure of the whole Church, regardless of the sins of her members, 'the chaste whore' reference needs to be qualified much more carefully, particularly since Hans Urs Von Balthasar, as the only contemporary Catholic theologian to utilize the term, refers strongly to its contradictory meaning as being “blasphemous” on its face in his work Sponsa Verbi, 'Bride of the Word.' (There is some suggestion that Hugo Rahner may have made reference to this term as well, but I've not yet found it if that is the case)

There are in fact two Patristic allusions to the Church as a casta meretrix, 'chaste whore,' but these references do not relate to the problem of the simultaneous 'sinfulness' and holiness of the Church. Both St. Augustine and St. Ambrose (In Lucam VIII) use the casta meretrix term with reference to the repentant Rahab, in order to illustrate the Gentile’s former status as idolaters, who have become a chaste body (and a whore no longer) in their reception of the sacraments, such that they have emerged from 'whoredom' into espousal with their Savior, and as such, they constitute His Body in the world as His chaste bride, just as the Gentile Rahab, who significantly provided her house as a place of refuge and protection for God's people was incorporated into Israel in her repentance. Apparently, it was in this regard of Gentiles' transition in time- from 'whores' prior to baptism and conversion, to saints afterwards- that Rahab was cast as a type of the Church by Justin, Clement, Cyprian, Irenaeus, and Origen. By the 9th century, Rabanus Maurus clarifies that “we are not saying that the Church remained a prostitute, but simply that she used to be.'

Taken in this way, it seems that these references do not directly pertain to the problem of the fomes of sin which remain in the Church’s structures and baptized members- and in light of Catholic theology’s post- Vatican II references to the Church as the present spouse of Christ, the “whore” language construed as a general reference seems... dialogically 'unhelpful.'

26 July 2010

ST. ANNE, Mother of the Blessed Virgin Mary

ST. ANNE, Mother of the Blessed Virgin Mary
July 26.
The Collect for the Day

O GOD, who didst vouchsafe to bestow grace upon blessed Anne, that she might become the mother of the parent of thy Only-begotten Son: Mercifully grant that we who celebrate her festival may be partakers with her of thy heavenly grace; through the same Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

The Epistle

Hebrews 12:1-2.
SEEING we also are compassed about with so great a of cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.

The Gospel

St. Matthew 25:31-40.
WHEN the Son of man shall come in his glory, and all the holy angels with him, then shall he sit upon the throne of his glory: and before him shall be gathered all nations: and he shall separate them one from another, as a shepherd divideth his sheep from the goats: and he shall set the sheep on his right hand, but the goats on the left. Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world: for I was an hungred, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in: naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me. Then shall the righteous answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, and fed thee? or thirsty, and gave thee drink? When saw we thee a stranger, and took thee in? or naked, and clothed thee? Or when saw we thee sick, or in prison, and came unto thee? And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the lease of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.

25 July 2010

Propers for Saint James the Apostle
July 25.

The Collect

GRANT, O merciful God, that, as thine holy Apostle Saint James, leaving his father and all that he had, without delay was obedient unto the calling of thy Son Jesus Christ, and followed him; so we, forsaking all worldly and carnal affections, may be evermore ready to follow thy holy commandments; through the same Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

The Epistle
Acts xi. 27, and part of Chap. xii.

IN these days came prophets from Jerusalem unto Antioch. And there stood up one of them named Agabus, and signified by the spirit that there should be great dearth throughout all the world: which came to pass in the days of Claudius Caesar. Then the disciples, every man according to his ability, determined to send relief unto the brethren which dwelt in Judaea: which also they did, and sent it to the elders by the hands of Barnabas and Saul. Now about that time Herod the king stretched forth his hands to vex certain of the church. And he killed James the brother of John with the sword. And because he saw it pleased the Jews, he proceeded further to take Peter also.

The Gospel
St. Matthew xx. 20.

THEN came to him the mother of Zebedee's children with her sons, worshipping him, and desiring a certain thing of him. And he said unto her, What wilt thou? She saith unto him, Grant that these my two sons may sit, the one on thy right hand, and the other on the left, in thy kingdom. But Jesus answered and said, Ye know not what ye ask. Are ye able to drink of the cup that I shall drink of, and to be baptized with the baptism that I am baptized with? They say unto him, We are able. And he saith unto them, Ye shall drink indeed of my cup, and be baptized with the baptism that I am baptized with: but to sit on my right hand, and on my left, is not mine to give, but it shall be given to them for whom it is prepared of my Father. And when the ten heard it, they were moved with indignation against the two brethren. But Jesus called them unto him, and said, Ye know that the princes of the Gentiles exercise dominion over them, and they that are great exercise authority upon them. But it shall not be so among you: but whosoever will be great among you, let him be your minister; and whosoever will be chief among you, let him be your servant: even as the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many.

22 July 2010


July 22.

The Collect
O ALMIGHTY God, whose blessed Son did sanctify Mary Magdalene, and call her to be a witness to his Resurrection: Mercifully grant that by thy grace we may be healed of all our infirmities, and serve thee in the power of his endless life; who with thee and the Holy Ghost liveth and reigneth, one God, world without end. Amen.

The Epistle

2 Corinthians 5:14-18.
FOR the love of Christ constraineth us; because we thus judge, that if one died for all, then were all dead: and that he died for all, that they which live should not henceforth live unto themselves, but unto him which died for them, and rose again. Wherefore henceforth know we no man after the flesh: yea, though we have known Christ after the flesh, yet now henceforth know we him no more. Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new. And all things are of God, who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ.

The Gospel

St. John 20:1, 11-18.
THE first day of the week cometh Mary Magdalene early, when it was yet dark, unto the sepulchre, and seeth the stone taken away from the sepulchre. But Mary stood without at the sepulchre weeping: and as she wept, she stooped down, and looked into the sepulchre, and seeth two angels in white sitting, the one at the head, and the other at the feet, where the body of Jesus had lain. And they say unto her, Woman, why weepest thou? She saith unto them, Because they have taken away my Lord, and I know not where they have laid him. And when she had thus said, she turned herself back, and saw Jesus standing, and knew not that it was Jesus. Jesus saith unto her, Woman, why weepest thou? whom seekest thou? She, supposing him to be the gardener, saith unto him, Sir, if thou have borne him hence, tell me where thou hast laid him, and I will take him away. Jesus saith unto her, Mary. She turned herself, and saith unto him, Rabboni; which is to say, Master. Jesus saith unto her, Touch me not; for I am not yet ascended to my Father: but go to my brethren, and say unto them, I ascend unto my Father, and your Father; and to my God, and your God. Mary Magdalene came and told the disciples that she had seen the Lord, and that he had spoken these things unto her.