Brief Commentary on Patriarchal Consensus & The Case of Vigilius

70Apostles

A Monk-Priest friend of mine and a member of the Eastern Orthodox Church sent me this statement made by the Council of Constantinople (553) , and made the point that it clearly supports the model of >collegiality-contra-Vatican1< . A group of voices representing the whole rather than one single infallible voice. I had some immediate thoughts (without looking at any texts other than the one cited) and here they are. Continue reading

Eric Mascall (1905-1993) on Nature’s relationship to Grace

Mascall, a Thomist for non-Thomists

Erick Ybarra

E.L.Mascall

When traversing through the thick of Mascall’s  The Openness of Being (which is a compilation of his ten Gifford lectures offered at the University of Edinburgh) and his efforts to explain how the supernatural grace of God relates and operates with human nature, one cannot help but sense this annoyance with the mundane Scholastic mantra of separating nature and grace as if they are walled off from each other entitatively. In his generosity, he makes it plain he does not think that what the Scholastics were trying to get at is, per necessity, at odds with the more Scriptural and Patristic doctrine of man’s participation in the saving action of God the Creator. One particular section worth sharing comes from the Third Appendix, Grace and Nature in East and West, where he gives a nice vivid description of this Scholastic tendency while explaining how it can be brought to…

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Customs on Receiving Holy Communion in 4th-Century Egypt

512px-Francisco_de_Herrera_(I)_-_St_Basil_Dictating_His_Doctrine_-_WGA11378

Without seeking to extract any implications from this as to modern discipline, I share this for interest’ sake.

St. Basil writes:

“It is good and beneficial to communicate every day, and to partake of the holy body and blood of Christ. For He distinctly says, He that eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life. And who doubts that to share frequently in life, is the same thing as to have manifold life. I, indeed, communicate four times a week, on the Lord’s day, on Wednesday, on Friday, and on the Sabbath, and on the other days if there is a commemoration of any Saint. It is needless to point out that for anyone in times of persecution to be compelled to take the communion in his own hand without the presence of a priest or minister is not a serious offense, as long custom sanctions this practice from the facts themselves. All the solitaries in the desert, where there is no priest, take the communion themselves, keeping communion at home. And at Alexandria and in Egypt, each one of the laity, for the most part, keeps the communion, at his own house, and participates in it when he likes. For when once the priest has completed the offering, and given it, the recipient, participating in it each time as entire, is bound to believe that he properly takes and receives it from the giver. And even in the church, when the priest gives the portion, the recipient takes it with complete power over it, and so lifts it to his lips with his own hand. It has the same validity whether one portion or several portions are received from the priest at the same time.” (Letter 93)