Thursday, January 22, 2004

Wow, for the third day in a row I've remembered to upload pictures on Laura`s Mind: The Fotolog. I for one am impressed.
This is too funny. How can you tell if your cat has seen you naked? Turn on the sound and go here.

Wednesday, January 21, 2004

Laura`s Mind: The Fotolog has been updated. I'm getting better at this update thing.

I've been having a stimulating email discussion on the proper frequency for partaking of Communion. On of the persons appealed to tradition to support her position that Communion should be partaken of each time the church meets. I disagree. Scripture seems to have no command concerning the frequency of Communion. Anyhow, I decided to check on some tradition, just to see what was up, so I went to the online Catholic Encyclopedia. Here's a portion of the entry on The Blessed Eucharist as Sacrament.

Since Christ has left us no definite precept as to the frequency with which He desired us to receive Him in Holy Communion, it belongs to the Church to determine the Divine command more accurately and prescribe what the limits of time shall be for the reception of the sacrament. In the course of centuries the Church's discipline in this respect has undergone considerable change. Whereas the early Christians were accustomed to receive at every celebration of the Liturgy, which probably was not celebrated daily in all places, or were in the habit of Communicating privately in their own homes every day of the week, a falling-off in the frequency of Communion is noticeable since the fourth century. Even in his time Pope Fabian (236-250) made it obligatory to approach the Holy Table three times a year, viz, at Christmas, Easter, and Pentecost, and this custom was still prevalent in the sixth century [cf. Synod of Agde (506), c. xviii]. Although St. Augustine left daily Communion to the free choice of the individual, his admonition, in force even at the present day, was: Sic vive, ut quotidie possis sumere (De dono persev., c. xiv), i e "So live that you may receive every day." From the tenth to the thirteenth century, the practice of going to Communion more frequently during the year was rather rare among the laity and obtained only in cloistered communities. St. Bonaventure reluctantly allowed the lay brothers of his monastery to approach the Holy Table weekly, whereas the rule of the Canons of Chrodegang prescribed this practice. When the Fourth Council of Lateran (1215), held under Innocent III, mitigated the former severity of the Church's law to the extent that all Catholics of both sexes were to communicate at least once a year and this during the paschal season, St. Thomas (III:80:10) ascribed this ordinance chiefly to the "reign of impiety and the growing cold of charity". The precept of the yearly paschal Communion was solemnly reiterated by the Council of Trent (Sess. XIII, can. ix). The mystical theologians of the later Middle Ages, as Tauler, St. Vincent Ferrer, Savonarola, and later on St Philip Neri, the Jesuit Order, St. Francis de Sales and St. Alphonsus Liguori were zealous champions of frequent Communion; whereas the Jansenists, under the leadership of Antoine Arnauld (De la fréquente communion, Paris, 1643), strenuously opposed and demanded as a condition for every Communion the "most perfect penitential dispositions and the purest love of God". This rigorism was condemned by Pope Alexander VIII (7 Dec., 1690); the Council Trent (Sess. XIII, cap. viii; Sess. XXII, cap. vi) and Innocent XI (12 Feb., 1679) had already emphasized the permissibility of even daily Communion. To root out the last vestiges of Jansenistic rigorism, Pius X issued a decree (24 Dec., 1905) wherein he allows and recommends daily Communion to the entire laity and requires but two conditions for its permissibility, namely, the state of grace and a right and pious intention. [Emphasis mine.]

So, here are the key points as I see them in this paragraph:

1. There is no command regarding the frequency of Communion.
2. The frequency of Communion has changed much over the centuries.
3. For a considerable period, only the religious orders were allowed to partake of frequent Communion.
4. Daily Communion was recommended in the early 20th century to root out a theology with which the Catholic Church disagreed.

I have nothing against frequent Communion--and in fact would prefer that it be always available--but I do not think that my discussion partner has a leg on which to stand.

Any thoughts?

Tuesday, January 20, 2004

BIRD BY BIRD, by Anne Lamott

Her first chapter opens with these words:

The very first thing I tell my students on the first day of a workshop is that good writing is about telling the truth. We are a species that needs and wants to understand who we are. Sheep lice do not seem to share this longing, which is one reason they write so very little.

I'm on page 112 of 238 pages and I can say without reservation that I love this woman's writing. She lives up to her words. I saw her last year at the Emergent Convention and was impressed by her speaking--even though I can't remember the topic. Frankly, her spirit seemed more important than her words. That may be an aweful thing to say about a writer, but that's the truth--at least for the EC talk--and, hey, remembering her spirit led me to the books.

For Jesus Christ alone is our unity. "He is our peace." Through him alone do we have access to one another, joy in one another, and fellowship with one another.

I think TFB experienced some of this in our 8:45 am service yesterday. The song portion of worship was integrated with the sermon portion. From the view on stage, the faces--most, though not all--showed a connectedness, joy, and fellowship that I haven't seen in a while.

Pastor Charlie preached on our purpose. You can get the sermon notes over at the TFB College eNews.
Finally posted an update to What I'm Reading.
Another pop analysis. What can I say, I can't help myself...

"[To] serve God properly we must learn to give up our own wills, thoughts, and desires. Why?
Because otherwise we will be wise in our own conceits and will imagine that we can serve
God with this or that, and thus spoil everything."
You are John Calvin!

You're the most intellectual and thoroughly intense theologian on the block. You know what
you're talking about and you recommend people to ignore you at their own risk.
Yeah, baby, you know your stuff. You speak in riddles and confuse people for fun. Still,
this hurts your social skills a lot... and you end up always appearing arrogant and rude.

What theologian are you?

A creation of Henderson

Laura`s Mind: The Fotolog has a few new pictures.

(Los Angeles-AP) -- A chimpanzee that escaped from her enclosure Monday afternoon at the Los Angeles Zoo is back in her habitat...Lewis says the escape was Gracie's fourth since she was brought to the zoo in 1998.

Apparently Gracie does not wish to be in her enclosure. But then, I don't think I would want to live in an enclosure either.

Read the article here.

Good article, looking into possible ways to answer:
Mummy, where do babies come from?
Why don't I look anything like daddy?
Mum, is granny your mum?
Did you like the same things as I do when you were my age?
Will I ever be an old person like granddad or grandma?
Did you know when you were pregnant that I would be all right?
Am I against the law?
Why do children at school call me Frankenstein?
Why did you have me?

Cloning brings up lots of questions about personhood. Questions that our culture has been reluctant to confront. Apparently, the time is now.

Read the article here.

Sunday, January 18, 2004

It is Sunday.

God was here and we actually noticed.

Today was a good day!