Saturday, August 31, 2013

Treasures of the Church - Relics

Here are some photographs from the Treasures of the Church exhibit I attended last month. Watch for the video in September.

Clothing from the Blessed Mother

Saint Francis of Assisi bone fragment

One of the largest relics of the true cross

Fragment of the Holy Lance

From the clothing of the Blessed Virgin Mary

Zuchetto of Blessed Pope Pius IX

Saint Thomas More bone fragment

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Thomas Aquinas College

Here are a few shots of Thomas Aquinas College. Currently I know 7 students enrolled that are from the Vancouver area.

My 10 year old.....a future student?

Friday, August 23, 2013

Christian Art at The Getty Center

The Getty Center  in Brentwood, Los Angeles

 Saint Margaret - circa 1420-1430
Here Saint Margaret is shown holding the chains of a beaten and subdues dragon while she blesses the donor's coat of arms.

The Nativity circa 1420-1422
Gentile da Fabriano

Images of Christ in the Liturgy circa 400

Christ in Majesty around 1188

The Mass of Saint Gregory the Great around 1510 - 1550
Adriaen Ysenbrandt

Saint Cyricus ( Child Martyr) around 1470 - 1480
Francesco Laurana

Virgin and Child around 1520-1525
Andrea Briosco

The Virgin and Saint John 1420

The Penitent Magdalene 1560's
Titian ( Tiziano Vecellio)

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Armchair Theology #3

A continuation on the development of the doctrine of the Holy Trinity.

After the Doctrine of the Trinity had been formulated Augustine played an important role in defending the Dogma against heretical formulations. Besides the popular one claim of worshipping three Gods, the greatest challenge came from the formulation of the Trinity by Arius, this became known as Arianism. This heresy pushed the idea that the Father was greater than the Son. The ideology was that since the Son is begotten, then He is created. With this understanding that would mean there was a time before the Son existed. Augustine set out to dispel this error. Augustine shows that God is love and to have love you need three essentials: A lover, a loved and the action of love itself. At the same time God is the object, the subject and the verb.

In his work De Trinitate, Saint Augustine many important concepts in the Trinity as a response to the errors of Arius and Sabellius. Augustine demonstrates the necessity in having an accurate concept of God if the Trinity is going to make any sense without falling into heresy. As we already stated God does not change, and what is said of one Person in the Trinity, must be said equally in all three. Augustine wanted to make clear the distinction between essence and person to fully understand God and His Triune Nature. The Father, Son and Holy Ghost are one in greatness, wisdom and power; they do not delegate these attributes separately. That is because the three Persons are one essence. Saint Paul refers to Jesus’ as the power and wisdom of God. (1 Cor 1:24) But this wisdom is not only to be applied to the son. All Persons in the Trinity are wisdom, if they were not, there would not be a full giving in the Trinitarian union. But how do we reconcile this teaching with the Son being referred to being the Image and Word of God? Does that mean that the Father is also the Image and Word of God? Thankfully Augustine illustrates that only the Son is the Word, Image, and begotten, while only the Father is the source and the begetter. This is because the Son is the Word in relation to the Father. These terms do not pertain to the Father and Holy Ghost. There is only one Son in the Trinity because only He is begotten and this relates to His Person and reveals to us His relation in the Trinity. Augustine is saying, while essence relates to the attributes or nature of God, person relates to the way of being God. The ‘What’ is God and the three ‘Hows’ are Father, Son, and Holy Ghost. Only the Son can be the image of the Father and only the Holy Ghost can be the gift of God. If essence in the Trinity pertained to relational things (Word, begotten, or gift) then God would not be one, for the Father was not begotten and neither was the Holy Ghost. The Persons in the Trinity are distinct; they are who they are (Begetter, Begotten, and Gift) with no change to their essence or compromise in their unity. These relations in the Trinity are how Augustine demonstrates the difference between Person and essence; each Person has the same essence and are absolutely equal.

The Holy Ghost is vital for understanding Triune love, in terms of the communion of the three divine persons, without the Trinity our Christian faith crumbles. The Holy Ghost has an inseparable relation with God and the Church. God reveals the Holy Ghost as the manifestation of love between the Father and Son in a third Person, while the Church reveals the role of the Holy Ghost as the sanctifier of the Church made possible because He is the very sanctity of God. Early Christians pondered the relationship between the Trinity and the body of the Church, which helped reveal the Holy Ghost’s crucial role in divine communion. One such example is the baptism of Our Lord in the Jordan (St. Matthew 3:16-17).
And Jesus being baptized, forth-with came out of the water: and lo, the heavens were opened to Him: and He saw the Spirit of God descending as a dove and coming upon Him. And behold a voice from heaven, saying: this is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleases.”

This is an ideal instance where Triune love points towards communion; the Father sends the Son, and the saving work of the Son is done in the Holy Ghost. Throughout the study of Trinitarian love theologians have continued to expand (not add to) the richness of the understanding.
The early Church faced many struggles in properly defining doctrine during an era when there were so many heresies and confusion regarding Trinitarian truth. Ergo. Much clarification was needed for understanding the role of the Holy Ghost. It is here where the Cappadocian fathers (Basil the Great, Gregory of Nyssa and Gregory of Nazianzus to name a few) made important contributions to illuminate the Person of the Holy Ghost as divine and distinct from the other Persons in the Trinity.

#4 coming soon enjoy....