Commitment, Continuity, and Conversation

The particular spirituality of the Appalachian Riders For Our Lady is based on our three foundational principles of commitment, continuity and conversation in addition to the general Catholic evangelical counsels of poverty, chastity, obedience and stability adapted to a lay context. The Riders strive to promote a conversational culture, proclaiming Christ crucified, authentically Christian and Catholic, in the midst of a world largely lacking culture of any sort.  Our vows of commitment, continuity, and conversation do not necessarily mean that we have any natural inclination or talent in these areas. My booklist, which is in a way deep in history (each Rider, during their novitiate, settles on at most 24 books of primary importance), is:

  • Bible, unabridged Revised Standard Version
  • The Liturgy of the Hours, unabridged
  • The Confessions; by Saint Augustine
  • Summa Theologica; St Thomas Aquinas
  • Dante’s Divine Comedy; Anthony Esolen
  • Twenty One Plays;  William Shakespeare
  • Complete English Poems; John Donne
  • Collected Poems & Prose; Robert Frost
  • One Hundred Songs; by  Bob Dylan
  • Pride and Prejudice; by Jane Austen
  • Persuasion; a novel by Jane Austen
  • The Age of Innocence; Edith Wharton
  • A Burnt Out Case; by Graham Greene
  • Multivariable Calculus; Lax & Terrell
  • Advanced Programming; Richard Stevens
  • Geometry of Spacetime; James Callahan
  • The Parish Book of Chant, 2nd edition
  • Blood & Thunder; by Hampton Sides
  • Veritatis Splendor; Saint John Paul II
  • Compendium of the Catholic Catechism

The Appalachian Riders For Our Lady have a particular interest in the season of Ascensiontide, which we consider nearly as important as Advent and Lent.  My particular interest is: That ecclesial bodies with very different ecclesiologies seem to have very similar understandings of theology proper, e.g. the Trinity.  Emphasis on “seem”.

wasatch

Thomas Gwyn and MaryAlice Dunbar

Christian Perspectives

The foundation of everything is Christ Jesus, and him crucified. However, beyond the personal aspects of that, what are the implications for our social relationships?

I want to commend the Catholic perspective to you. Of course, that raises several questions:

  • Is it reasonable to speak of THE Catholic perspective?
  • Is my characterization of this perspective warranted?
  • Can one also speak of THE Protestant perspective, especially given the range of protestant ecclesial bodies?

I propose that the protestant perspective is that the Christian life is best lived and considered from the primary viewpoint of the individual or, at most, the congregation. On the other hand, I commend the Catholic perspective: the Christian life is best lived and considered from the primary viewpoint of the universal Church, the Bride of Christ, extended in spacetime and militantly subsisting in the Catholic Church whose chief steward is the bishop of Rome. Besides addressing those preliminary questions, I intend to commend the Catholic perspective in three aspects:

  • better able to cope with adversity
  • more resources for spiritual formation
  • closer alignment with the scriptural canon

All these points are controversial; however, I intend not to argue for them but rather to chew on them.  The difference between a primarily individual perspective and a primarily ecclesial perspective also has a significant political component since the State desires no competitor to its hegemony (see, for example, Alan Jacobs biography of The Book of Common Prayer which documents how this worked out in England) and hence is inclined to favor an individual perspective which it can divide and conquer.

I’m also assuming that the more alive an entity, the more applicable the principle that the whole is more than the sum of its parts. In addition, whenever possible I’d like to phrase matters sociologically rather than ecclesiologically. A major advantage of a perspective more social than individual is that one can “check one’s answers”– the boredom of, for example, discussion about end-time scenarios or sectarian doctrine being that one can not check one’s theory in one’s day to day life and interactions with others as one can, on the other hand, regarding ethics and how to live in community.

On a personal level, I think the core of the Protestant error centers on the attempt to place faith above love (see Luther’s commentary on Galatians) contra Saint Paul and the Catholic tradition.

The noted Evangelical scholar Mark Noll, in the book ‘Is the Reformation Over’, argues that Catholic and Protestant disagreements really come down to different understandings of the nature of the Church.  I don’t disagree; however, I very much disagree with the view that “well, maybe so but that’s not important to me..it’s my personal relationship with God that is important.”  The nature of the Church is essentially intertwined with the work of the Holy Spirit, as is reflected in the Nicene creed.  God is able to sustain what was initially established (..I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it) and it is wrong-headed to try to start over on one’s own.

 

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Uncovering Sin

Throughout Scripture, seems to me that it is the Holy Spirit who uncovers sin. The devil merely accuses.  Moreover, our own experience agrees with this. God’s uncovering of sin prompts us to repent and to seek our Redeemer.

It is useful to remember Rehoboam

It is also useful to remember the fate of the ten tribes.

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On Being Human

Someone tweeted a quote of Roger Scruton’s “A Political Philosophy”:

If you look at Western societies from the angle of traditional religion you will see a seemingly inexorable flood of desecration, directed not at religious symbols, but at the thing on which they all depend – the human body and the human face.
This reminded me of what Saint Paul says in 2 Corinthians 4:6:

For it is the God who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” who has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ.

And this leads me to reflect that
   Since in Christ God became human, to reject Christ Jesus is to reject being human. The consequences of that are playing out before our eyes.
and back to chapter 4 of 2nd Corinthians:

4 Therefore, having this ministry by the mercy of God, we do not lose heart. We have renounced disgraceful, underhanded ways; we refuse to practice cunning or to tamper with God’s word, but by the open statement of the truth we would commend ourselves to every man’s conscience in the sight of God. And even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled only to those who are perishing. In their case the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelievers, to keep them from seeing the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the likeness of God. For what we preach is not ourselves, but Jesus Christ as Lord, with ourselves as your servants[b] for Jesus’ sake. For it is the God who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” who has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ.

But we have this treasure[c] in earthen vessels, to show that the transcendent power belongs to God and not to us. We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not driven to despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed; 10 always carrying in the body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be manifested in our bodies. 11 For while we live we are always being given up to death for Jesus’ sake, so that the life of Jesus may be manifested in our mortal flesh. 12 So death is at work in us, but life in you.[d]

13 Since we have the same spirit of faith as he had who wrote, “I believed, and so I spoke,” we too believe, and so we speak, 14 knowing that he who raised the Lord Jesus will raise us also with Jesus and bring us with you into his presence. 15 For it is all for your sake, so that as grace extends to more and more people it may increase thanksgiving, to the glory of God.

16 So we do not lose heart. Though our outer nature is wasting away, our inner nature is being renewed every day. 17 For this slight momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, 18 because we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen; for the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal.

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The Information Technology Milieu

This short article is a reflection on the field of Information Technology from the perspective of the religious order with which I’m connected.  Information Technology (IT) is defined by programmers and sysadmins, and the management of that talent.

The Programmer

By programmer I don’t mean the writer of code snippets but rather the folks with the creative talent to develop programs that create entire industries. For example, Dennis Ritchie, Donald Knuth, and Larry Wall,  to pick a few examples.  The programmer is a writer, intellectually creative within a broader field that includes, say, Homer, Plato, and Shakespeare.  Besides writing, there are of course other creative fields: art, business, politics which have their own creative geniuses. Nevertheless, the programmer is the creative talent within Information Technology itself.

Rather than looking at this more and more specifically, one can also consider more generally and get down to basic biology.  Women give birth and that creative ability is appreciated by men. Or at least has been for millennia if they do not foolishly come to appreciate the creative act of sex more than the creation itself.

The Sysadmin

Speaking of appreciation, the sysadmin is a person who has the ability to appreciate what the programmers create.  While not as valuable as the programmer, this is also a rare talent and hence valuable whether administering Windows, Unix servers, databases, or F5 network software.  As with programmers, it perhaps is useful to place these folks within the broader category of appreciators of writers, for example: Samuel Johnson or Christopher Ricks.  By the way, I recognize that this name-dropping is a lazy shortcut; however, I’ll excuse it as a way of being concise. I’m a sysadmin, not a writer.

Speaking of appreciation there is also its evil shadow, jealousy, about which John Milton has written eloquently.  More broadly, if one considers the milieu of business rather than the field of writing, one of the main tasks is to distinguish between appreciation of talent and jealousy of talent when hiring upper management.

Management of Information Technology

I’ve contended that IT is defined by programmers and sysadmins. But what about management of IT? This becomes complicated unless one keeps in mind that Business is its own creative field, just like Writing, and the distinctions I apply to IT also apply to the it (pun intended).

It is perhaps useful to distinguish between the CIO (Chief Information Officer) and the CTO (Chief Technology Officer).  These are defined differently by different people. I think of the CIO as the person tasked with operationalizing IT, putting it into practice. This creative endeavor is hence closer to the programmer category than the sysadmin category and thus is the more valuable position within IT management.  The CTO, on the other hand, has the task of accurately appreciating new IT which is also valuable to Business, in general.

 

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Remarkably True to his Word

Tony Abbott, MP, former Prime Minister of Australia writes:

Even 18 months into his presidency, the world is still having trouble coming to grips with Donald Trump, the most unconventional president ever. Still, he’s not a bad dream from which America will soon wake up, or a fool to be ridiculed.

For someone the legion of critics say is a compulsive liar, he’s been remarkably true to his word.

Especially compared with his predecessor, Trump doesn’t moralise. It’s classic Trump to be openly exasperated by the G7’s hand-wringing hypocrisy.

Unlike almost every other democratic leader, he doesn’t try to placate critics. He knows that it’s more important to get things done than to be universally loved; because all his life, he’s impressed people by doing deals, rather than by setting out to win them over.

,,,

http://tonyabbott.com.au/2018/07/taking-trump-seriously-address-to-the-heritage-foundation-washington-dc/

 

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Anglican Daily Office

 

Day 1 – Morning Prayer 001 |00:00:00| Blessed is the man 002 |00:02:37| Why do the heathen 003 |00:07:04| Lord, how are they increased 004 |00:09:51| Hear me when I call 005 |00:12:35| Ponder my words

Day 1 – Evening Prayer 006 |00:17:21| O Lord, rebuke me not 007 |00:21:20| O Lord my God 008 |00:27:08| O Lord our Governor

Day 2 – Morning Prayer 009 |00:29:37| I will give thanks unto thee 010 |00:34:37| Why standest thou so far off 011 |00:40:11| In the Lord put I my trust

Day 2 – Evening Prayer 012 |00:43:03| Help me, Lord 013 |00:46:21| How long wilt thou forget me 014 |00:48:21| The fool hath said

Day 3 – Morning Prayer 015 |00:51:36| Lord, who shall dwell 016 |00:53:58| Preserve me 017 |00:57:05| Hear the right

Day 3 – Evening Prayer 018 |01:02:33| I will love thee

Day 4 – Morning Prayer 019 |01:12:24| The heavens declare 020 |01:16:20| The Lord hear thee 021 |01:18:56| The King shall rejoice

Day 4 – Evening Prayer 022 |01:22:38| My God, my God 023 |01:29:48| The Lord is my shepherd

Day 5 – Morning Prayer 024 |01:32:38| The earth is the Lord’s 025 |01:35:11| Unto thee, O Lord 026 |01:40:23| Be thou my judge

Day 5 – Evening Prayer 027 |01:43:22| The Lord is my light 028 |01:48:04| Unto thee will I cry 029 |01:51:08| Bring unto the Lord

Day 6 – Morning Prayer 030 |01:53:51| I will magnify thee 031 |01:57:27| In thee, O Lord

Day 6 – Evening Prayer 032 |02:05:07| Blessed is he 033 |02:09:03| Rejoice in the Lord 034 |02:14:37| I will alway give thanks

Day 7 – Morning Prayer 035 |02:19:26| Plead thou my cause 036 |02:27:01| My heart sheweth me

Day 7 – Evening Prayer 037 |02:31:00| Fret not thyself

Day 8 – Morning Prayer 038 |02:41:28| Put me not to rebuke 039 |02:47:29| I said, I will take heed 040 |02:53:04| I waited patiently

Day 8 – Evening Prayer 041 |03:00:03| Blessed is he 042 |03:03:52| Like as the hart 043 |03:07:19| Give sentence with me

Day 9 – Morning Prayer 044 |03:09:29| We heave heard 045 |03:17:07| My heart is inditing 046 |03:23:49| God is our hope

Day 9 – Evening Prayer 047 |03:26:39| O clap your hands 048 |03:28:48| Great is the Lord 049 |03:31:53| O hear ye this

Day 10 – Morning Prayer 050 |03:36:37| The Lord, even the most mighty God 051 |03:43:01| Have mercy upon me 052 |03:47:30| Why boastest thou thyself

Day 10 – Evening Prayer 053 |03:50:40| The foolish body 054 |03:53:28| Save me, O God 055 |03:55:55| Hear my prayer

Day 11 – Morning Prayer 056 |04:03:16| Be merciful unto me 057 |04:06:35| Be merciful unto me 058 |04:10:05| Are your minds

Day 11 – Evening Prayer 059 |04:13:22| Deliver me 060 |04:17:45| O God, thou has cast us out 061 |04:21:10| Hear my crying

Day 12 – Morning Prayer 062 |04:23:28| My soul truly waiteth 063 |04:27:00| O God, thou art my God 064 |04:30:09| Hear my voice

Day 12 – Evening Prayer 065 |04:33:26| Thou, O God 066 |04:37:54| O be joyful in God 067 |04:43:48| God be merciful

Day 13 – Morning Prayer 068 |04:46:42| Let God arise

Day 13 – Evening Prayer 069 |04:47:44| Save me, O God 070 |05:06:50| Haste thee, O God

Day 14 – Morning Prayer 071 |05:09:25| In thee, O Lord 072 |05:15:48| Give the King thy judgements

Day 14 – Evening Prayer 073 |05:21:33| Truly God is loving 074 |05:27:18| O God, wherefore art thou

Day 15 – Morning Prayer 075 |05:32:54| Unto thee, O God 076 |05:36:19| In jewry is God known 077 |05:39:08| I will cry unto God

Day 15 – Evening Prayer 078 |05:44:15| Hear my law

Day 16 – Morning Prayer 079 |06:02:17| O God, the heathen are come 080 |06:07:35| Hear, o thou Shepherd 081 |06:12:25| Sing we merrily

Day 16 – Evening Prayer 082 |06:17:12| God standeth 083 |06:19:28| Hold not thy tongue 084 |06:24:13| O how amiable 085 |06:27:38| Lord, thou art become gracious

Day 17 – Morning Prayer 086 |06:30:54| Bow downthine ear 087 |06:36:48| Her foundations 088 |06:38:51| O Lord God of my salvation

Day 17 – Evening Prayer 089 |06:44:41| My song shall be alway Day 18 – Morning Prayer 090 |06:56:37| Lord, thou hast been our refuge 091 |07:01:20| Whoso dwelleth 092 |07:05:32| It is a good thing

Day 18 – Evening Prayer 093 |07:10:26| The Lord is King 094 |07:12:21| O Lord God

Day 19 – Morning Prayer 095 |07:18:09| O come, let us sing 096 |07:21:55| O sing unto the Lord 097 |07:25:19| The Lord is King

Day 19 – Evening Prayer 098 |07:29:48| O sing unto the Lord 099 |07:31:31| The Lord is King 100 |07:34:08| O be joyful 101 |07:35:44| My song

Day 20 – Morning Prayer 102 |07:38:33| Hear my prayer 103 |07:45:55| Praise the Lord

Day 20 – Evening Prayer 104 |07:52:44| Praise the Lord

Day 21 – Morning Prayer 105 |08:01:07| O give thanks

Day 21 – Evening Prayer 106 |08:11:02| O give thanks

Day 22 – Morning Prayer 107 |08:20:26| O give thanks

Day 22 – Evening Prayer 108 |08:24:28| O God, my heart is ready 109 |08:27:44| Hold not thy tongue

Day 23 – Morning Prayer 110 |08:31:49| The Lord said 111 |08:34:10| I will give thanks 112 |08:36:56| Blessed is the man 113 |08:40:04| Praise the Lord

Day 23 – Evening Prayer 114 |08:42:14| When Israel came 115 |08:44:18| Not unto us

Day 24 – Morning Prayer 116 |08:48:42| I am well pleased 117 |08:53:30| O praise the Lord 118 |08:54:42| O give thanks

Day 24 – Evening Prayer 119 vv1-32 |09:00:59| Blessed are those

Day 25 – Morning Prayer 119 vv33-56 |09:08:15| Teach me, O Lord 119 vv57-72 |09:14:34| Thou art my portion

Day 25 – Evening Prayer 119 vv73-104 |09:18:25| Thy hands have made me

Day 26 – Morning Prayer 119 vv105-112 |09:28:12| Thy word is a lantern 119 vv113-136 |09:30:00| I hate them 119 vv137-144 |09:39:08| Righteous art thou

Day 26 – Evening Prayer 119 vv145-176 |09:39:37| I call with my whole heart

Day 27 – Morning Prayer 120 |09:46:40| When I was in trouble 121 |09:49:03| I will lift up 122 |09:51:29| I was glad 123 |09:53:58| Unto thee lift I up 124 |09:55:39| If the Lord himself 125 |09:57:36| They that put their trust

Day 27 – Evening Prayer 126 |09:59:41| When the Lord turned 127 |10:01:53| Except the Lord 128 |10:04:06| Blessed are all they 129 |10:06:37| Many a time 130 |10:08:59| Out of the deep 131 |10:11:25| Lord, I am not

Day 28 – Morning Prayer 132 |10:13:13| Lord, remember David 133 |10:18:42| Behold, how good 134 |10:20:02| Behold now 135 |10:21:16| O praise the Lord

Day 28 – Evening Prayer 136 |10:26:30| O give thanks 137 |10:32:40| By the waters 138 |10:36:00| I will give thanks

Day 29 – Morning Prayer 139 |10:38:35| O Lord, thou hast searched 140 |10:44:13| Deliver me 141 |10:47:23| Lord, I call upon thee

Day 29 – Evening Prayer 142 |10:50:44| I cried unto the Lord 143 |10:53:17| Hear my prayer

Day 30 – Morning Prayer 144 |10:57:24| Blessed be the Lord 145 |11:01:42| I will magnify thee 146 |11:07:12| Praise the Lord

Day 30 – Evening Prayer 147 |11:10:56| Praise the Lord 148 |11:15:19| O praise the Lord 149 |11:18:37| O sing unto the Lord 150 |11:20:45| O praise the God

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Psalms: Westminster Choir

From The Book of Common Prayer (1662 of course)

00:00:00 | Psalm 8 – O Lord our Governour
00:02:32 | Psalm 15 – Lord, who shall dwell in thy tabernacle
00:04:42 | Psalm 19 – The heavens declare the glory of God
00:08:39 | Psalm 22 – My God, my God, look upon me
00:15:54 | Psalm 23 – The Lord is my shepherd
00:18:01 | Psalm 24 – The earth is the Lord’s
00:20:42 | Psalm 27 – The Lord is my light, and my salvation
00:25:31 | Psalm 29 – Bring unto the Lord, O ye mighty
00:28:25 | Psalm 39 – I said, I will take heed to my ways
00:33:06 | Psalm 42/3 – Like as the hart desireth the water-brooks
00:38:46 | Psalm 46 – God is our hope and strength
00:41:42 | Psalm 47 – O Clap your hands together, all ye people
00:44:00 | Psalm 51 – Have mercy upon me, O God
00:48:36 | Psalm 61 – Hear my crying, O God
00:50:58 | Psalm 67 – God be merciful unto us
00:52:59 | Psalm 69 – Save me, O God
01:00:09 | Psalm 71 – In Thee, O Lord, have I put my trust
01:06:40 | Psalm 73 – Truly God is loving unto Israel
01:12:33 | Psalm 74 – O God, wherefore art thou absent
01:18:20 | Psalm 84 – O how amiable are thy dwellings
01:21:55 | Psalm 85 – Lord, thou art become gracious unto thy land
01:25:17 | Psalm 90 – Lord, thou hast been our refuge
01:30:07 | Psalm 91 – Whoso dwelleth under the defence
01:34:28 | Psalm 96 – O sing unto the Lord a new song
01:37:59 | Psalm 104 – Praise the Lord, O my soul
01:46:28 | Psalm 111 – I will give thanks unto the Lord
01:49:31 | Psalm 114 – When Israel came out of Egypt
01:51:43 | Psalm 115 – Not unto us, O Lord, not unto us
01:56:13 | Psalm 118 – O give thanks unto the Lord, for he is gracious
02:02:36 | Psalm 121 – I will lift up mine eyes unto the hills
02:05:05 | Psalm 122 – I was glad when they said unto me
02:07:39 | Psalm 123 – Unto thee lift I up mine eyes
02:09:29 | Psalm 130 – Out of the deep have I called unto thee, O Lord
02:12:01 | Psalm 137 – By the waters of Babylon we sat down and wept
02:15:28 | Psalm 139 – O Lord, thou hast searched me out
02:21:15 | Psalm 147 – O praise the Lord, for it is a good thing
02:25:43 | Psalm 148 – O praise the Lord of heaven
02:29:05 | Psalm 149 – O sing unto the Lord a new song
02:31:18 | Psalm 150 – O praise God in his holiness
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Knuth on Bible Study

In the introduction to his book “3:16 Bible Texts Illuminated“, Donald E. Knuth writes:

“There are two ways to read the Bible. Method 1: We can read it straight through, for context. By reading at normal speed, we can follow the flow of the ideas and get intuitive impressions, just as the first readers and hearers of these words might have done. Or, Method 2: We can single out isolated verses, for meditation and/or scholarly study.  By focusing on small details, it’s possible to understand the deeper significance of a passage.

Both of these ways are important. Method 2 is most satisfactory for group study, since Method 1 works best when a person can read at leisure and without interruption.”

Knuth’s book provides a stratified sample of the Bible by spending four pages on each 3:16 verse in the protestant version of the Bible: one page on the book as a whole, one page with calligraphy of the verse, and two pages on the verse in particular.

I’d like to be in a Bible study that used his book as a guiding text, supplemented by also looking at 1:6 and 6:13 verses and including the omitted books from the unabridged Bible.  This would be very different from any Bible study in which I’ve participated.

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