I have not been blogging so often these days. To be honest, if there is anything I would like to write about, I hesitate to write about it. I can only say that I have been keeping a lot to myself lately, and I am satisfied with that.
There is a time to speak, says Qoheleth, and a time to keep silent.
Meanwhile, I note that we really have to think about the culture of consumption that comes with our market economies. Advent is indeed a time to realize that all things will pass, especially whatever we have, and perhaps it is time to realign our priorities.
It is appropriate that the Gospel for last week was Matthew 25:31-46, in the lectionary shared by many Christian churches. It was, and still is, one of my favorite passages from the Bible. Those who are so concerned about abortion, or gay marriages, or questions of authority would do well to realize that often we are missing the point.
I have not gotten around to reading this until today, but this has prompted a reaction from Nicholas Lash, whose paper on Pelagianism in Heresies and How to Avoid Them was one of the best theological essays I read in years. I can suspect that these thoughts are lingering on the mind of some of our bishops around here, scions of the Old Establishment:
Educated Catholics have sown dissent and confusion in the Church.
I call them the “Old Establishment” because for more than 80% of our written history, they were the Church established by law, and these days, to get anything done, you still need their support. The New Establishment is something on which I will write in the future.
Besides, I think such opinions are rampant not only among bishops, but perhaps among a large proportion of clergy, etc. Such words may have been uttered in England, but it may express the secret thoughts of those around these parts who lament that the average Catholic can no longer just “pray, pay, and obey.” Especially the last two!
As these hopeful days continue, I can only say that… see the title.
Of course, there is nothing to do at some point, but that is another story entirely.
Some things to read and reflect upon this weekend would include the following:
1. William Cavanaugh’s thoughts on the Church and its relationship to the secular order are enough to make you wonder why some churches would fly national flags inside it or outside it. I am reading a shorter book of essays, Theopolitical Imagination: Discovering the Liturgy as a Political Act in an Age of Global Consumerism, which I would recommend as a good introduction to the key thesis of his theological reflections. Of course, for those who are more historically minded, his Torture and Eucharist is still the book to read—it has made me see the parallels between the Chilean and Philippine experience, but also the differences.
2. Derek the Aenglican and Christopher both write this weekend on a question of Anglican liturgical practice, and this reminds me of a point that has to be made: Anglicanism’s greatest liturgical gift to Christianity is the Office, and yet in recent years it has been deemphasized too much. It must be noted that the Office is celebrated publicly on weekdays only in two places: the local Episcopal seminary, and the chapel of Brent School Manila.
Finally, I saw something that reminded me of why one very recent return I made was a very good thing.