Habemus Altare
Come you all: enter into the joy of your Lord. You the first and you the last, receive alike your reward; you rich and you poor, dance together; you sober and you weaklings, celebrate the day; you who have kept the fast and you who have not, rejoice today. The table is richly loaded: enjoy its royal banquet. The calf is a fatted one: let no one go away hungry. All of you enjoy the banquet of faith; all of you receive the riches of his goodness. Let no one grieve over his poverty, for the universal kingdom has been revealed; let no one weep over his sins, for pardon has shone from the grave; let no one fear death, for the death of our Saviour has set us free: He has destroyed it by enduring it, He has despoiled Hades by going down into its kingdom, He has angered it by allowing it to taste of his flesh.
St. John Chrysostom (via catholicsoul)


My Book of the Church’s Year by Enid M. Chadwick.




My Book of the Church’s Year by Enid M. Chadwick.


We often talk about the Table as the place we return to after conflict to remind ourselves what it looks like when we are united in this sacred meal despite the ways we have wronged one another. What a good and powerful truth but it is only half of the story. Holy Week reminds us that the Table is not only the end-place where we find healing and unity. The Table must also be where we start. It is there that we learn how to treat one another and how to see everyone as Christ sees us. Without the Table to teach us how to commune, we don’t even know what betrayal looks like. But once we have tasted the Kindom of heaven, we can no longer settle for the hierarchies, injustices, and domination we experience in the world. The Table reminds us of the radical truth that says we are all equally valued. When we do not carry that truth into the world and work to make it a political, religious, and economic reality, we become dangerously close to simplifying the meal to a momentary alleviation of guilt.
Souring the Table
Mary Ann Barclay (via coveredinsecurity)

It is not impossible that, having heard rumors of Jesus as the Messiah (the anointed king of the house of David whom many Jews were awaiting), Pilate wanted the Jewish authorities of the Sanhedrin to investigate him and so assisted in his arrest. Some of those authorities would have had their own religious worries about Jesus and antipathies toward him (for example, as a false prophet). Yet they could have told themselves that they were only carrying out orders in handing Jesus over to the Romans for further action, on the grounds that under interrogation he had not denied that he was the Messiah. (Notice, I say “not denied,” for the response of Jesus to the question of being the Messiah differs in the various Gospel accounts of the trial: “I am” in Mark; “That is what you say, but….” in Matthew; “If I tell you, you will not believe” in Luke; see John 10:24-25.) Religious people of all times have accomplished what they wanted through the secular authority acting for its own purposes.

Attention must be paid to such complications lest the liturgical reading of the passion narratives leads to simplistic accusations about guilt for the death of Jesus. As I shall point out when I discuss the individual passion accounts, both Matthew (“all the people” in 27:25) and John (“the Jews” throughout) generalize hostilely, so that participation in the execution of Jesus is extended beyond even the Jewish leadership. Reflective of this, some famous Christian theologians (Augustine, John Chrysostom, Thomas Aquinas, Martin Luther) have made statements about the Christian duty to hate or punish the Jews because they killed the Lord. Thus, modern apprehensions about the anti-Jewish impact of the passion narratives are not groundless. One solution that has been proposed is to remove the “anti-Semitic” passages from the liturgical readings of the passion during Holy Week, a type of “Speak no evil; see no evil; hear no evil” response. But removing offensive passages is a dangerous procedure which enables hearers of bowdlerized versions to accept unthinkingly everything in the Bible. Accounts “improved” by excision perpetuate the fallacy that what one hears in the Bible is always to be imitated because it is “revealed” by God, and the fallacy that every position taken by an author of Scripture is inerrant. In my opinion, a truer response is to continue to read unabridged passion accounts in Holy Week, not subjecting them to excisions that seem wise to us—but once having read them, to preach forcefully that such hostility between Christian and Jew cannot be continued today and is against our fundamental understanding of Christianity. Sooner or later Christian believers must wrestle with the limitations imposed on the Scriptures by the circumstances in which they were written. They must be brought to see that some attitudes found in the Scriptures, however explicable in the times in which they originated, may be wrong attitudes if repeated today. They must reckon with the implications inherent in the fact that God has revealed in human words. Congregations who listen to the passion proclamations in Holy Week will not recognize this, however, unless it is clearly pointed out. To include the passages that have an anti-Jewish import and not to comment on them is irresponsible proclamation that will detract from a mature understanding of our Lord’s death.

Christ in the Gospels of the Liturgical Year, Fr. Raymond E. Brown, SS (1928-1998) (Kindle Locations 2854-2873). Liturgical Press. Kindle Edition.
Fire and water do not mix. Neither can you mix judgment of others with the desire to repent.
Saint John Climacus (via gospelofthekingdom)
It is not very easy to offer a proof for something which is more instinctive than conceptual, in this case to prove that our modern church is ‘bourgeois’. The best proof is that the proletariat has turned away from the church, whereas the bourgeois (the petty official, the artisan and the merchant) have remained. So the sermon is aimed at relatively secure people, living adequately in orderly family circumstance, relatively ‘educated’ and morally relatively solid. So the sermon meets the need for having something fine and educated and moral for the free hours of Sunday. Hence the all-too-familiar type of sermon which is called an ’ address’, in which proof is offered o the preacher’s literary culture and the corresponding interest of the ‘public’. The danger of the church’s becoming a mere association is obvious.
Dietrich Bonhoeffer, The Communion of Saints (via itbefellinthedays)
From the very beginning I fell in love with the Blessed Sacrament and by the mercy of God have never fallen out.
J.R.R. Tolkien (via confessionsofsomeoneanonymous)


it’s f.d. maurice’s saint day

how unfortunate to die on April fools

but hooray for christian socialism


I’m reminded how bad liberal Christianity is at dealing with evil on the frequent occasions that someone uses an “addiction” framework to address anything that’s not an actual, real, chemical dependency.

I definitely think the praise/lament framework is a good way to get people to read more of the psalms, but I’ve come to think that the praise/lament framework is inadequate.

First, while the praise/lament framework does get people to read more of the psalms, it still leaves too much material unread. Second, the praise/lament framework can obscure the source and cause of the lament in the lament psalms. The lament psalms aren’t just sad songs, “the blues” as it were. The “sadness” in the lament psalms is very often of a particular sort.

For example, Winter Christians often turn to the lament psalms during times of grief and mourning. And yet, if you look at them, most of the lament psalms aren’t about loss and grief. Death isn’t what the lament psalms are about. And yet, that’s the way we tend to use the lament psalms, turning to them during times of mourning.

But here’s what we tend to miss in the praise/lament framework, where we have happiness on one side and sadness on the other. We miss “the enemy,” “the foe,” and the “oppressor.”

There are three main characters in the psalms. YHWH, the psalmist and the enemies.

The thing that strikes you about the psalms when you read them straight through is how oppressed and beleaguered is the psalmist. Enemies, hecklers, back-stabbers, two-faced friends, violent oppressors and economic exploiters abound.

This goes to the source of lament in the psalms. Rarely is the lament about, say, the death of a loved one. The lament is generally about oppression, about the victory of the oppressor.

The lament is about the bad guys winning and the good guys being trampled underfoot.