Semper Quaerens

A Motherhood of Grace

From the Office of Readings for the Solemnity of Our Lady, Help of Christians:

[The] motherhood of Mary in the order of grace began with the consent which she gave in faith at the Annunciation and which she sustained without wavering beneath the cross; it will last without interruption until the eternal fulfilment of all the elect. Once assumed into heaven, she did not set aside this saving role, but with her numerous prayers of intercession continues to win for us the gifts of eternal salvation.

From the Constitution on the Church of the Second Vatican Council.



Untidy Change

In an oral society, the embodiment of tradition can flexibly change to keep pace with the community and win people’s assent as remaining true to tradition and appropriate to the current climate. Ritual can change without necessarily being very concerned with change as such. In literate societies with written models, however, change itself easily becomes a problem that is viewed as a threat to tradition and authority. On the one hand, textually based ritual traditions can more readily forestall and control change because of the power of the authoritative text to act as a measure of deviance. On the other hand, the textual medium affords greater access to liturgical knowledge and more explicit challenges to its meaning, legitimacy, or originality; ultimately it helps to promote the rise of contending forms of expertise. In comparison to oral societies, therefore, change to literate societies is more apt to be deliberate, debated, ridden with factions, explosive, and concerned with fundamentals. In other words, in literate societies change can be very untidy. (p 204)


Catherine Bell, Ritual: Perspectives and Dimensions, Revised Ed. (New York: Oxford University Press, 2009). ISBN: 978-0-19-973510-5.

 



The Sending of the Holy Spirit

From the Office of Readings for the Solemnity of Pentecost Sunday:

When the Lord gave to the disciples power to confer rebirth into the life of God, he said: ‘Go, make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.’

He promised through his prophets that he would pour out this Spirit in the last times on his servants and handmaidens so that they would prophesy. And so the Spirit came down on the Son of God, who became the Son of man, and with him became accustomed to dwell in the human race and to abide in God’s creation, within men, working the Father’s will among them and making their old natures new with the newness of Christ.

From the treatise of St Irenaeus Against the Heresies.



The Church Speaks In Many Tongues

From the Office of Readings for Saturday of the 7th Week of Easter:

They spoke in every tongue. It was God’s will to demonstrate the presence of the Holy Spirit at that moment by enabling those who had received him to speak in every tongue. For we must understand, my dear brethren, that it is through the Holy Spirit that love is poured out in our hearts.

Now the love of God was to gather together the Church all over the world. Consequently, while a single man, if he received the Holy Spirit, could speak in every tongue, now the one Church in its unity, which is established by the Holy Spirit, speaks in every tongue.

From a sermon of an unknown African author of the sixth century.


Life Is More Complex

An interesting story below that highlights a tendency among some within the Church to want to reduce one’s status as a ‘good Catholic’ to one’s opinion, position, acceptance of just one issue.

Life is far more complex than that, and one’s status as a ‘good Catholic’ cannot be simplified in such a fashion.



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