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Tuesday, 20 October 2015

In the World Yet Not Of the World

 Really thoughtful piece in First Things, by Robert Louis Wilken, regarding the "Church As Culture."
 Christ entered history as a community, a society, not simply as a message, and the form taken by the community’s life is Christ within society. The Church is a culture in its own right. Christ does not simply infiltrate a culture; Christ creates culture by forming another city, another sovereignty with its own social and political life.
Go read it.
One of the aspects of culture that he discusses is the ordering of time.
In Sunday school we've been talking about the whys of the Liturgy, of the liturgical calender, of the Ordo Missae, (though they inevitably think and speak of it as, "the missalette." Which reminds me, I said I'd post those lyrics.)

Nine and ten year olds have no trouble at all acknowledging the advantage of us all, "being on the same page."

Children are naturally liturgical beings and are naturally catholic.

They see the value of sharing a ritual, having a common focus of attention with persons of other places and of other times.

For all the fretting about the synod, which I admit to sharing with other right-minded Catholics, besides our surety that the gates of hell shall not, etc., I am encouraged at the constant reminders that the Truth is accessible not just to the great souls and deep thinkers among us but to any child with ears to hear and eyes to see a soul to perceive, and having perceived, love.
Or any middle-aged layabout as well, of course.
Aquinas can give me a headache, and I may become catatonic in the presence of one too many Greek theological terms, and my mind may wander when I think I'm engaged in spiritual reading, but whatever it is that is needed, I know that the Lord has created me, like every other human being ever conceived, enough of it to know Him and to love Him and to serve Him and ultimately be with Him.

I digress -- where I was really going with that was, whatever mess Catholic adults make make of things, however rough the sailing as we stupidly rush en masse to the starboard or the port railing, there are new little people all the time and the Barq will be righted.

And another aside, I know very little of this St. Isidore, and this intrigues me, (I spend a great deal of my time with a person whose use of language is imprecise to the point of random, said person's extreme tenderness of ego dates from damage in youth; I am never wholly successful in explaining that I am NOT correcting grammar or disagreeing with an expressed opinion, merely trying to ascertain what is being said - sorry, is that a yes or a no? do you mean done to them or by them? because of that or in spite of that? that sort of thing. But I digress from my digression.)
Isidore recognized that grammar, “the science of expressing oneself correctly,” is crucial not only for reading, writing, and speaking, but also for thinking and understanding. Grammar is knowledge of the way language works and of the rules that govern the relation of words and concepts. Without grammar there can be no transmission of the text of the Scriptures and no understanding of its content; hence, no grammar, no Christian culture.

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