Religion: February 2005 Archives

Nicene Creed, deux

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Eutychus Fell posts
" I must say, I prefer "seen and unseen" to "visible and unvisible" -- the first puts the burden on us: God made things and if we can't see them, tough luck; the second (visible and invisible) puts the onus on God: God made things invisible -- ah, so why even bother to look if we already know we can't see."

look at the context here:
"maker of heaven and earth, and of all things visible and invisible."
God made ALL things. Even if we can't see them, He still made them.
Visible and seen, as you point out, do not have the same meaning. Visible is a state of being, seen is past tense. I am visible even if you don't see me. Seen and unseen subtly diminishes God and exalts humanity, and I am glad that we are going back to the more accurate translation.
The Church Fathers at the Council of Nicaea fought and argued every word, every point of grammar, and one phrase (the filioque clause) was a proximate cause of the schism between East and West. Words matter.

Have you ever read through the Latin for the Nicene Creed?
here is a great little bit of history and commentary on this creed.

I grew up reciting the 1549 English translation (raised Anglican, remember?) and was rather irked by the inaccurate translations foisted upon the english speaking Catholic parishes by the ICEL. (See my previous post on the topic) I am personally pleased that we will be returning to a more accurate (even if more complex language) translation.
The following is from the 1962 Missal
Nicene Creed (Latin first, then English)

Credo in unum Deum, Patrem omnipotentem, factorem coeli et terrae, visibilium omnium et invisibilium. Et in unum Dominum Jesum Christum, Filium Dei unigenitum. Et ex Patre natum ante omnia saecula. Deum de Deo, lumen de lumine, Deum verum de Deo vero. Genitum, not factum, consubstantialem Patri: per quem omnia facta sunt. Qui propter nos homines, et propter nostram salutem descendit de coelis. Et incarnatus est de Spiritu Sancto ex Maria Virgine: ET HOMO FACTUS EST. Crucifixus etiam pro nobis; sub Pontio Pilato passus, et sepultus est. Et resurrexit tertia die, secundum Scripturas. Et ascendit in coelum: sedet ad desteram Patris. Et iterum venturus est com gloria judicare vivos et mortuos. cujus regni non erit finis. Et in Spiritum Sanctum, Dominum et vivificantem: qui ex Patre Filioque procedit. Qui cum Patre, et Filio simul adoratur et conglorificatur: qui locutus est per Prophetas. Et unam, sanctam, catholicam et apostolicam Ecclesiam. Confiteor unum baptisma in remissionem peccatorum. Et exspecto resurrectionem mortuorum. Et vitam ventura saeculi. Amen.

I believe in one God, The Father Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth, and of all things visible and invisible. And in one Lord, Jesus Christ, the Only-begotten Son of God. Born of the Father before all ages. God of God, Light of Light, true God of true God. Begotten, not made, of one substance with the Father. By whom all things were made. Who for us men and for our salvation came down from heaven. (here all present kneel) And became incarnate by the Holy Spirit of the Virgin Mary: AND WAS MADE MAN. (here all arise) He was also crucified for us, suffered under Pontius Pilate, and was buried. And on the third day He rose again according to the Scriptures. He ascended into heaven and sits at the right hand of the Father. He will come again in glory to judge the living and the dead and His kingdom will have no end. And in the Holy Spirit, the Lord and Giver of life, Who proceeds from the Father and the Son. Who together with the Father and the Son is adored and glorified, and who spoke through the prophets. And one holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church. I confess one baptism for the forgiveness of sins and I await the resurrection of the dead and the life + of the world to come. Amen.

il papa

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is back in the hospital according to a news report I just heard on TV. Haven't found any links yet. Please pray!

An interface between medicine and religion




No Burger King theology, please

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Over at Open Book, I read a comment that basacally opined that the song "My Way" was the most anti-Christian song of the last several decades. I am inclined to agree.
For about 5 years in the 1980s I taught a name brand method of childbirth education that shall remain nameless here. (I am not interested in having the heirs to that name brand hunt me down and harass me for taking their TM in vain.) It's a very effective methodology, and I have no issues with its precepts (which btw are extremely politically incorrect). One of the things I remember from the main 'textbook' are quotes from two then-current TV ad campaigns. One was the margarine commercial "It's not nice to fool Mother Nature", and the other was the Burger King slogan "Have it your way". The basic concept of this childbirth method is that there is indeed a right way to go about the process of pregnancy and birth. If one subverts the process, bad things happen. I think that in Catholic circles, we would call this "Natural Law". God has written, on our very bodies, the truths of our humanity and how it relates to our eternal souls and our eventual destination.
The Pope has expanded on this in his monumental "Theology of the Body". I'm about 30% of the way through Christopher West's 10 CD set "Naked Without Shame" which is a weekend of teaching on the TOTB. It's dense, and I feel as if I am only getting maybe the top 10% of what I am hearing and am trying to learn. It has been a worthwhile struggle, though, and I recommend the 10 CD set to anyone who has long commutes.

What I learned about childbirth and have also tried to apply to the rest of my life (and it is indeed a struggle!) is that instead of seeking to have it "My Way" I should be seeking to have it God's Way. The (oft hidden and forgotten) truth is that there are absolute truths, and those who seek after knowledge are called not to invent but to discover. There are items that are a matter of taste but the more I learn about how intricately God has intertwined His creation, the more I realize how few decisions are simply taste rather than truth. For example, I may prefer lavender (calming) scent to citrus (stimulating), but the effects of each of these on my brain chemistry is profoundly different. And just because I happen to prefer to eat starchy foods swimming in butter does not mean that these are the healthiest foods for my body. Denying the truths that God has written in our bodies and on our souls will have consequences, often negative consequences, and it may be years or decades before I recognize the connection (if indeed I ever do).
Take music as another example. We are coming in to Lent, and that means that many of us will be subjected to the words and music of the 'hymn' "Ashes". Music, especially with a catchy tune, is a very effective way to burn memories on the brain. I bet that most of us learned the order of the alphabet by singing it, and there is a generation of adults that learned grammar and math facts from singing along with "Schoolhouse Rock". What is the message of "Ashes"? "We rise again from ashes" - sounds to me like the Phoenix legend, or possibly a version of re-incarnation. Not particularly Catholic or Christian, to my way of thinking. Compare that with my favorite Lenten Hymn, "Forty Days and Forty Nights". verse 2:
"Should not we thy sorrow share
and from worldly joys abstain,
fasting with unceasing prayer,
strong with thee to suffer pain?"
Is that not more in line with what we are called to do?
This Lent, let us "just say no" to the Burger King mentality. Dear Lord, grant us the grace to echo the words of Jesus in His passion:
"Not my will, Father, but Your will be done".

Pope in hospital

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please pray!

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About this Archive

This page is a archive of entries in the Religion category from February 2005.

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