Archive for April, 2012

Unde intellectus plus participans de lumine gloriae, perfectius Deum videbit. Plus autem participabit de lumine gloriae, qui plus habet de caritate, quia ubi est maior caritas, ibi est maius desiderium; et desiderium quodammodo facit desiderantem aptum et paratum ad susceptionem desiderati. Unde qui plus habebit de caritate, perfectius Deum videbit, et beatior erit.

Hence the intellect which has more of the light of glory will see God the more perfectly; and he will have a fuller participation of the light of glory who has more charity; because where there is the greater charity, there is the more desire; and desire in a certain degree makes the one desiring apt and prepared to receive the object desired. Hence he who possesses the more charity, will see God the more perfectly, and will be the more beatified. [Ia q. 12 a. 1 co]

St. Thomas Aquinas, Summa Theologiae

In charity, we love God and neighbor (as well as ourselves) in the same act. Our love for God must always include our love of self and neighbor, and our love for self and neighbor must always be ordered to our love for God. At first glance this might appear to be a strange teaching. When we are loving the infinitely lovable God, must we have in view our far less lovable neighbor, let alone ourselves? Aquinas sees this form an eschatological perspective; “The aspect under which our neighbor is to be loved, is God, since what we ought to love in our neighbor is that he may be in God. Hence it is clear that it is specifically the same act whereby we love God, and whereby we love our neighbor” [ST IIa-IIae q.25 a.1]. The same holds with our love of self. Aquinas’ perspective is also rooted in the theology of creation. We love our neighbors, including our enemies, because insofar as they exist, the participate in God the Trinity. We love them as creatures called to attain to the fullness of beatific participation in God the Trinity. Thus we can love them without loving their sins. (8)

Matthew Levering, The Betrayal of Charity

n., Christianity The theological virtue defined as love directed first toward God but also toward oneself and one’s neighbors as objects of God’s love.

[Middle English charite, from Old French, Christian love, from Latin cāritās, affection, from cārus, dear. cf., Gr. ἀγάπη]

Benozzo Gozzoli, The Glory of St. Thomas Aquinas (15th cent.)


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Et in hoc scimus quoniam cognovimus eum si mandata eius observemus qui dicit se nosse eum et mandata eius non custodit mendax est in hoc veritas non est qui autem servat verbum eius vere in hoc caritas Dei perfecta est in hoc scimus quoniam in ipso sumus.

Καὶ ἐν τούτῳ γινώσκομεν ὅτι ἐγνώκαμεν αὐτόν, ἐὰν τὰς ἐντολὰς αὐτοῦ τηρῶμεν. ὁ λέγων ὅτι Ἔγνωκα αὐτὸν καὶ τὰς ἐντολὰς αὐτοῦ μὴ τηρῶν ψεύστης ἐστίν, καὶ ἐν τούτῳ ἡ ἀλήθεια οὐκ ἔστιν· ὃς δ’ ἂν τηρῇ αὐτοῦ τὸν λόγον, ἀληθῶς ἐν τούτῳ ἡ ἀγάπη τοῦ θεοῦ τετελείωται. ἐν τούτῳ γινώσκομεν ὅτι ἐν αὐτῷ ἐσμεν·

We can be sure that we know God only by keeping his commandments. Anyone who says, ‘I know him’, and does not keep his commandments, is a liar, refusing to admit the truth. But when anyone does obey what he has said, God’s love comes to perfection in him. (2:3-5)

First Epistle of St. John

A lie [mendacium] may be in itself contrary to charity by reason of its false signification. For if this be about divine things, it is contrary to the charity of God, whose truth one hides or corrupts by such a lie; so that a lie of this kind is opposed not only to the virtue of charity, but also to the virtues of faith and religion: wherefore it is a most grievous and a mortal sin. [IIa-IIae q. 110 a. 4 co.]

St Thomas Aquinas, Summa Theologiae

n., the tendency to be untruthful

[from Late Latin mendācitās, from Latin mendāx untruthful]

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One who worships in spirit and in truth no longer honors the Creator because of His works, but praises Him because of Himself.

Evagrius of Pontus

n., a form or formulary according to which public religious worship, esp. Christian worship, is conducted

[Late Latin lītūrgia, from Greek λειτουργία, public service, from λαός, people + ἔργον, work]

Via Dolorosa, Church of the Holy Sepulchre, Jerusalem (2012)

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et ait ei egredere et sta in monte coram Domino et ecce Dominus transit” et spiritus grandis et fortis subvertens montes et conterens petras ante Dominum non in spiritu Dominus et post spiritum commotio non in commotione Dominus et post commotionem ignis non in igne Dominus et post ignem sibilus aurae tenuis.

And he said, ‘Go out and stand on the mountain before the Lord, for the Lord is about to pass by.’ Now there was a great wind, so strong that it was splitting mountains and breaking rocks in pieces before the Lord, but the Lord was not in the wind; and after the wind an earthquake, but the Lord was not in the earthquake; and after the earthquake a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire; and after the fire a sound of sheer silence.

Carmelo López, Foncebadón, a la vista del viejo peregrino. (1986)

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Aqua sapientiae potavit eos, Alleluia;
firmabitur in illis, et non flectetur, Alleluia;
et exaltabit eos in aeternum, Alleluia, Alleluia.
Confitemini Domino, et invocate nomen eius;
annuntiate inter gentes opera eius.


He gave them to drink of the water of wisdom, Alleluia:
it will become strong in them, and will not be changed, Alleluia:
and He will exult them forever, Alleluia, Alleluia.
Acknowledge the Lord, and call upon His name:
proclaim His works among the peoples.

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I bless the Lord who gives me counsel;
in the night also my heart instructs me.

I keep the Lord always before me;
because he is at my right hand, I shall not be moved.

Therefore my heart is glad, and my soul rejoices;
my body also rests secure.

For you do not give me up to Sheol,
or let your faithful one see the Pit.

You show me the path of life.
In your presence there is fullness of joy;
in your right hand are pleasures for evermore. (16.7-11)

The Book of Psalms (see Acts 2)

unknown artist, The Myrrh-bearing Women

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As we contemplate the mysteries of Christ’s passion and cross, I offer you the words of a friend, who in this last year lost one of her young sons. She beautifully finds her place before the cross of Christ next to His Holy Mother Mary, who too is trying to understand the mystery in the death of her Son.

I can hold the facts that I have about her life in the palm of my small hand. Yet I know that this woman, this saint, was also just a mother who buried her young son. And on this Good Friday, this is all I need to know to understand her deeply. As my eyes are fixed on that Cross and my heart drifts to this mother, in this most sacred moment, I whisper to her the only simple words that I know to say, “Me too. Yes, me too.” [read her full post here]

Mary, in your weeping before the cross, pray for us, now and at the hour of our death.

Lord, on your cross, hear our prayers.

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