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Archive for January, 2009

st-paul

J.M.J.

“Light, Life, Love” Those three haloed words eternally bound to the mystery of the cross of Our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ beckon us to shine like Him, to live like Him and to love—even unto death—like Him.

They are our rallying cry to radiate true light to combat the darkness of this forsaken age, to inspire true hope in a future lived for and in God, and to foster true love that willingly offers itself up, so that others may have life.

As the Pro-life spectacle in the United States turns from very bad to even worse, we must seize this opportunity to claim the high ground, for it appears time is short.  We must provide all Christian soldiers with a centering ethic, a battle cry and a glorious flag to wave. We must be united in a common cause and witness to a common destiny.  We must try with all our might to teach without teaching, to chastise without chastising, and most importantly, to love those whose hate is persecuting Christ and His Church here on earth.

St. Paul the Evangelist bore witness to the fasces of Light, Life, Love.  His enduring legacy is clearly evidenced in sacred scripture.  While this epitaph might not have been packaged as such, it is hard to deny the triangle of truisms that drove St. Paul all the way to Rome, to his three fount martyrdom outside the walls.

Witness his most powerful light-filled conversion encounter with Jesus Christ:

As he was traveling, it happened that he was approaching Damascus, and suddenly a light from heaven flashed around him; and he fell to the ground and heard a voice saying to him, “Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting Me?”  And he said, “Who are You, Lord?”  And He said, “I am Jesus whom you are persecuting… Acts 9:3-5

Ponder what is arguably his most profound utterance of existential being, his new-found life:

I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me. Gal 2:20

Try as you will to emulate his most eloquent, poetic, brilliant description of human love:

Love is patient, love is kind and is not jealous; love does not brag and is not arrogant, does not act unbecomingly; it does not seek its own, is not provoked, does not take into account a wrong suffered, does not rejoice in unrighteousness, but rejoices with the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never fails… 1Cor 13:4-8

In 2 Corinthians 13, St. Paul appears to be answering our call for a fearless leader to rally a massed faithful remnant of today’s Church:

This will be the third time I am coming to you…Now I pray to God that you do no evil, not that we should appear approved, but that you should do what is honorable, though we may seem disqualified.  For we can do nothing against the truth, but for the truth.  For we are glad when we are weak and you are strong.  And this also we pray, that you may be made complete.  Therefore I write these things being absent, lest being present I should use sharpness, according to the authority which the Lord has given me for edification and not for destruction. Finally, brethren, farewell.  Become complete.  Be of good comfort, be of one mind, live in peace; and the God of love and peace will be with you.

Come St. Paul!

NOTE:  General Douglas MacArthur completes his famous Duty, Honor Country speech with these inspired words about the American soldier/ leader.  They seem to exemplify the life of St. Paul and we might do well to ponder them as we face a most uncertain future in this one time land of the free and home of the brave.

But when I think of his patience in adversity of his courage under fire and of his modesty in victory, I am filled with an emotion of admiration I cannot put into words. He belongs to history as furnishing one of the greatest examples of successful patriotism. He belongs to posterity as the instructor of future generations in the principles of liberty and freedom. He belongs to the present, to us, by his virtues and by his achievements.

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sun-anatomy

 J.M.J.

FACT 1:  The sun is made up of three physical components: the core, the radiation zone and the convection zone.

FACT 2:  Light from the sun travels at 3 x 108 meters per second (the speed of light) to reach the earth.

FACT 3:  The mass of the sun is about 333,000 times the mass of earth.

Now it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to recognize that the number three is physically associated with the origin, sustaining and purification of life here on earth.  No sun, no earth. No sun, no light/heat. No light/heat, no life.

Now if we take time to look at the spiritual side of reality we see an analogical pattern emerging, for the sun’s physical elements are associated with revealed truth about our Triune God. 

The Father“pure unapproachable light” (the core where nuclear fusion occurs converting mass to energy is the hottest spot in the solar system)

The Son—Jesus, the “light of the world” and “light from light” (the radiation zone were the sun’s energy travels out from the core and slowly cools)

The Holy Spirit—”the small still voice,” “that blows where it wills” (the convection zone where solar wind originates and is ejected into space for its eight minute trip to earth)

What if light traveled exactly 3 x 10m/s instead of 2.9979? Would it turn more than a few scientific heads?  If one researches the history of the origin of the metric system, he’d be surprised to find out just how arbitrary this number should be, for it was approximated by the English physisist James Bradley in 1720 (within 1% of its current value) well prior to the establishment of metrics in the Napoleonic France of 1790.

The mass of the sun is 333 x 103 that of the earth. This ratio should also be arbitrary. Doesn’t this number look just a little too contrived?

Those of us with eyes to see give thanks, for we see the handiwork of God in His good creation. 

The Triangle of Truisms once again…and if it is disregarded by man, there may be dire consequences.

Extra Credit:

Absolute zero (0 Kelvin, -273.15 ºC) is associated with the zero state of energy in the cosmos.  It is curious to note that the cosmic background radiation of approximately 3 Kelvin (blackbody radiation) is universally agreed upon to be the heat remnant of the creation event (“Big Bang”).

The first sound that surely emanated from that primordial explosion travels at approximately 333 m/s (depending on temperature and pressure).

Since Jesus Christ died and rose again at age 33, is it any wonder that the sun maintains an eleven (11) year cycle for solar magnetic activity (sunspot maximums and minimums).

A Thought to Ponder:

LIGHT->LIFE->LOVE is a prime reality that links creation both to the Creator, Savior and Sanctifier and to the Blessed Mother who as “the Woman clothed with the Sun,” is a reflection of this Divine Glory.

ladysun

 

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Freiburg, Germany Cathedral

Freiburg, Germany Cathedral

J. M. J.

I came across this teaching several years ago and have offered it as food for thought to several classes of SOLT members as part of their Ecclesial Team training.  It may seem like ‘pretzel logic’ to some, but then again didn’t the pretzel have its origin in a monk’s kitchen as a way to communicate a truth of the Trinity by analogy?

Just double-click the link below and it should launch the 7 minute audio that is an extract from a sermon on the Trinity as revealed in creation.

http://www.upload-mp3.com/files/264951_lv2tz/TrinityTime.mp3.wav

Dr. Kennedy, a Presbyterian minister seems to be on solid ground here, but I do think his [Dr. Nathan Wood (1932)] analogy needs greater precision to square with the fullness of truth of Catholicism.  For example, he states that the Spirit proceeds from the Son but he could have also said from the Father and the Son.  There is probably other terminology that needs explanation.  Someday I will try to tackle this work.

What I really appreciate is the emphasis on the reality of the present as it relates to the Son.

Here is the complete transcript:

Or take the matter of time—of what does time consist?  Well obviously it consists of the past, the present and the future—those three.  And any time that we have ever known in this universe always consists of those three.  Now, usually we have the idea that we come out of the past, that that really is first cause that’s where we came from. Fact of the matter is that time comes from the future and we meet it head on. For example:  today, yesterday was called tomorrow and now it’s today. A week ago it was called next week and now it’s today. A year ago it was called next year. And so as time approaches us and we move through it, that’s what always happens.  Anything is first in the future, and then in the present and then it disappears into the past. That’s the way time always works. And that in itself is an amazing story when you examine it carefully: past, present and future.

 

Now, Dr. Wood gives a fascinating quote that is so remarkable I would like to read it to you. Now I realize when I do this, this is going to stretch your cranial capacity about to the utmost. Because to hear, it’s hard enough to see it and read it and understand it, it’s going to be more difficult to hear it, but I would challenge you to try to see if you can follow his drift here.

 

He is going to give a long paragraph and then he is going to give it again and he is simply going to change four words. And the four words are time, future present, and past. They are going to be changed into God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit. And you are going to find something you never knew before, that time, which you live by, which you look at constantly, in the way of clocks which you wind up every day, which you make your lives run by, that this is an incredible illustration of the Divine Trinity.

 

Listen carefully:

 

“The Future is the source! The Future is unseen, unknown, except as it continually embodies itself and makes itself visible in the Present. The Present is what we see and hear and know. It is ceaselessly embodying the Future, day by day, hour by hour, moment by moment. It is perpetually revealing the Future, hitherto invisible. The Future is logically first! But not chronologically first. For the Present exists and has existed as long as time exists, and was in the absolute beginning of time.

 

The Present has existed as long as time has existed. Time acts through and in the Present! It makes itself visible only in the Present. The Future acts and reveals itself through the Present. It is through the Present that time, that the Future enters into union with human life. Time and humanity meet and unite in the Present. It is in the Present that time, that the Future becomes a part of human life, and so is born and lives and dies in human life.

 

The Past in turn, comes from the Present. We cannot say that it embodies the Present, on the contrary, time in issuing from the Present into the Past becomes invisible again. The Past does not embody the Present, rather it proceeds silently, endlessly and invisibly from it. The Present therefore, comes out from the invisible Future. The Present perpetually and ever newly embodies the Future in visible, audible, livable form and returns again into the invisible time in the Past. The Past acts invisibly and continually influences us in regard to the Present. It casts light upon the Present. That is its great function. It helps us to live in the Present which we know, and with reference to the Future which we expect to see!”

 

Now that is an exact description of the way time operates. It is a perfect analogy. And I’m using analogy not in the common sense of the word that something is like something or a simile or a metaphor, but in the mathematical meaning of the word analogy which means it is an exact replica as far as every line, every angle, every corner is concerned.

 

Now let us replace the words. Time is replaced by God, the future with the Father, the present with the Son and the  past with the Holy Spirit and you will see that perfect analogy and you will see the Divine Trinity that you have been swimming in all your life.

 

 “The Father is the source! [every word the same but those four] The Father is unseen, except as He continually embodies Himself and makes Himself visible in the Son. The Son is what you see and hear and know. He is ceaselessly embodying the Father, day by day, hour by hour, moment by moment. He is perpetually revealing the Father, hitherto invisible. The Father is logically first, but not chronologically! For the Son exists as long as God exists, and was in the absolute beginning of God.

 

The Son has existed as long as God has existed. God acts through and in the Son! He makes Himself visible only in the Son. The Father acts and reveals Himself through the Son. It is through the Son that God, and the Father enters into union with human life. God and humanity meet and unite in the Son. It is in the Son that God, and the Father become a part of human life, and so is born and lives and dies in human life.

 

The Spirit in turn, comes from the Son. We cannot say that He embodies the Son, on the contrary, God in issuing from the Son into the Spirit becomes invisible again. The Spirit does not embody the Son, rather He proceeds silently, endlessly, invisibly from Him. The Son therefore, comes out from the invisible Father. The Son perpetually and ever newly embodies the Father in visible, and audible and livable form and returns into the invisible God in the Spirit. The Spirit acts invisibly. He continually influences us with regard to the Son. He casts light upon the Son. That is His great function. He helps us to live in the Son which we know, and with reference to the Father whom we expect to see!

 

That my friends is an exact mathematical analogy. That each of the portions of the Triunity of the universe are in themselves triune.

 

The Eternal Trinity, there never was a time when God the Father, Son and Holy Spirit did not exist.

+       +       +

“This triangle of truisms, of father, mother and child, cannot be destroyed; it can only destroy those civilisations which disregard it.” – G.K. Chesterton

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aquietmomentbronze1

J.M.J.

The book, The Superstition of Divorce from 1920 contains many timeless expressions of Chestertonian common sense.  The “triangle” appears twice on page 66 and page 80, and it is the basis for the blog. The fact that Christianity is build upon truisms that relate creation back to the Three-in-Oneness of the Triune God is worth pondering. It is casting out into the deep.

Page 66

All these are truisms but they are also truths, and truths that will return; for the present tangle of semi-official substitutes is not only a stop-gap, but one that is not big enough to stop the gap.

If people cannot mind their own business, it cannot possibly be made economical to pay them to mind each other’s business; and still less to mind each other’s babies. 

It is simply throwing away a natural force and then paying for an artificial force; as if a man were to water a plant with a hose while holding up an umbrella to protect it from the rain. 

The whole really rests on a plutocratic illusion of an infinite supply of servants.

When we offer any other system as a “career for women,” we are really proposing that an infinite number of them should become servants, of a plutocratic or bureaucratic sort. 

Ultimately, we are arguing that a woman should not be a mother to her own baby, but a nursemaid to somebody else’s baby.  But it will not work, even on paper.

We cannot all live by taking in each other’s washing, especially in the form of pinafores.  In the last resort, the only people who either can or will give individual care, to each of the individual children, are their individual parents.

The expression as applied to those dealing with changing crowds of children is a graceful and legitimate flourish of speech.

This triangle of truisms, of father, mother and child, cannot be destroyed; it can only destroy those civilisations which disregard it.

Most modern reformers are merely bottomless sceptics, and have no basis on which to rebuild; and it is well that such reformers should realise that there is something they cannot reform. 

You can put down the mighty from their seat; you can turn the world upside down, and there is much to be said for the view that it may then be the right way up.

But you cannot create a world in which the baby carries the mother.

You cannot create a world in which the mother has not authority
over the baby. 

Page 80

From its first days in the forest this human group had to fight against wild monsters; and so it is now fighting against these wild machines.  It only managed to survive then, and it will only manage to survive now, by a strong internal sanctity; a tacit oath or dedication deeper than that of the city or the tribe.

But though this silent promise was always present, it took at a certain turning point of our history a special form which I shall try to sketch in the next chapter.  That turning point was the creation of Christendom by the religion which created it.

Nothing will destroy the sacred triangle; and even the Christian faith, the most amazing revolution that ever took place in the mind, served only in a sense to turn that triangle upside down.

It held up a mystical mirror in which the order of the three things was reversed; and added a holy family of child, mother and father to the human family of father, mother and child.

Note:

“This short book was written in 1920, and in it Chesterton, with his usual wit and incisive logic, presents a series of articles defending marriage and indicating the weaknesses in divorce. He did this 16 year before the first Christian denomination in the world allowed its members to divorce. Till then Christendom was unanimous in standing against it. Chesterton saw clearly the trends of this time, and delivered this defense.”  — Wandering

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J.M.J.

It took a little while to learn the ropes of WordPress but it was well worth the effort.  I pray that God blesses this endeavor.

Light, Life, Love, those three haloed words.

Light, Life, Love, those three haloed words.

Welcome to my 2009 resolution to help others begin Contemplating the Trinity.

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