22 October 2020

THAT Was a First

Never seen it happen before. Opa dealt the last hand of Liverpool (and I was across from him). Lois discarded, and I drew, and was able to lay down before Cindi or Opa even had a chance to play. Three runs of four or more. Wow. He gave me four or five jokers. Unbelievable.

Luther and Lewis

Out of love, Christ, with all His saints, takes on our form and fights with us against sin, death, and all evil, so that we, being kindled with love, take His form, trust ourselves to His righteousness, His life and blessedness, and so through the fellowship of the good that belongs to Him and the wretchedness that belongs to us, we become one loaf, one bread, one body, one drink, and all is common. Oh, what a great Sacrament this is, that Christ and His Church are one flesh and one bone.—Martin Luther, Sermon on the Sacrament of the Body of Christ, 1519

His [Our Lord’s] teaching therefore cannot be grasped by the intellect alone, cannot be ‘got up’ as if it were a ‘subject’. If we try to do that with it, we shall find Him the most elusive of teachers. He hardly ever gave a straight answer to a straight question. He will not, in the way we want, be ‘pinned down’. The attempt is (again, I mean no irreverence) like trying to bottle a sunbeam.—C. S. Lewis, Business of Heaven, p. 265.

Patristic Quote of the Day

A scribe is one who, through continual reading of the Old and New Testaments, has laid up for himself a storehouse of knowledge. Thus Christ blesses those who have gathered in themselves the education both of the law and of the gospel, so as to “bring forth from their treasure things both new and old.”—St. Cyril of Alexandria, Fragment 172 (on Matt 13:52)

Catechesis: Apology XXIII Sacerdotal Marriage

This love of one sex for the other is truly a divine ordinance. (Ap XXIII:7)

The Jurists have said wisely and correctly that the union of man and woman is by natural right. Now, since natural right is unchangeable, the right to contract marriage must always remain. (Ap XXIII:9)

Natural right is really divine right, because it is an ordinance divinely stamped on nature.... As we said, we are not talking about sinful lust but about the desire which is called “natural love,” which lust did not remove from nature but only inflamed. (Ap XXIII:12, 13)

Paul says (1 Cor. 7:2), “Because of the temptation to immorality, each man should have his own wife.” This is an express command, directed to anyone not suited to celibacy.... Paul’s command...binds all those who are not truly continent. It is up to each man’s conscience to decide this matter. (Ap XXIII: 14, 17)

21 October 2020

My new favorite verse from Wisdom...

For blessed is the wood whereby righteousness cometh. Wisdom 14:7 (Referring to the Ark of Noah, but STILL, impossible not to hear it about another Wood, no?). 

KJV again

There’s a great post up on Gottesdienst with a link to Anthony Esolen’s article on language. Outstanding. Once again, let me say that I am happy that THIS has become my preferred Bible:

Luther and Lewis

For there is one baptism, one Christ, one Sacrament, one meal, one Gospel, one faith, one Spirit, one spiritual body, and each one is a member of the other; no other brotherhood is so deep and so close.—Martin Luther, Sermon on the Sacrament of the Body of Christ, 1519

A man who was merely a man and said the sort of things Jesus said would not be a great moral teacher. He would either be a lunatic—on the level with the man who says he is a poached egg—or else he would be the Devil of Hell. You must make your choice. Either this man was and is, the Son of God: or else a madman or something worse. You can shut Him up for a fool, you can spit on Him and kill Him as a demon; or you can fall at His feet and call Him Lord and God. But let us not come with any patronizing nonsense about His being a great human teacher. He has not left that open to us. He did not intend to.—C. S. Lewis, Business of Heaven, p. 264.

Patristic Quote of the Day

Through the comparison of a treasure hidden in the field of our hope, Christ points to wealth that has been covered up, for God is discovered in humanity.—St. Hilary of Poitiers, on St. Matt. 13:7

Catechesis: Ap XXIII: Marriage of Priests

But they are not serious in their [the opponent’s] defense of celibacy. They know good and well how few practice chastity, but they use religion as a pretext to maintain their authority, which they think celibacy enhances... We cannot approve the law of celibacy put forth by our opponents because it clashes with divine and natural law and conflicts with the very decrees of the councils.—Ap. XXIII:5, 6

20 October 2020

Luther and Lewis

To [Christians] is given the Gospel, Baptism, and the Sacrament to convert the people, to win souls from the devil, to snatch them out of hell and death, and to take them up to heaven; and again to strengthen, comfort, and uphold the poor and instruct and advise the afflicted consciences in their sore temptation; and again to teach all people in all occupations how to do their work as good Christians.—Martin Luther, Expos. Jn xiv, xv.

One part of the claim tends to slip past us unnoticed because we have heard it so often that we no longer see what it amounts to. I mean the claim to forgive sins: any sins. Now unless the speaker is God, this is really so preposterous as to be comic.... But what should we make of a man, himself unrobbed and untrodden on, who announced that he forgave you for treading on other men’s toes and stealing other men’s money?—C. S. Lewis, Business of Heaven, p. 263. 

Patristic Quote of the Day

The Lord compared his reign with a grain of mustard seed... Its inherent potency is heightened under stress and pressure. Therefore, after this grain is sown in the field—that is, when it has been seized by someone and delivered up to death as though buried in the field by the sowing of its body—it grows up to become larger than any herb and surpasses all the glory of the prophets.—St. Hilary of Poitiers on Matt 13:4.

Catechesis: Ap XXII Both Kinds

The sacrament was instituted to console and strengthen terrified hearts when they believe that Christ’s flesh, given for the life of the world, is their food and that they come to life by being joined to Christ.—Ap XXII:10

19 October 2020

Homily for Trinity 19

Here’s a youtube of this week’s homily. Audio is okay; visual is not the best, from FB’s livestream. Thanks to Pete Slayton for making it happen!

I wonder

If Wisdom 10:1 is the first reference to Adam’s sin as “his fall”? 

She [that is, Wisdom] preserved the first formed father of the world, that was created alone, and brought him out of his fall.

Luther and Lewis

The mysteries of God are those hidden things which God gives and which dwell in God.—Martin Luther, Sermon upon Gaudete, 1522.

Among Pantheists, like the Indians, anyone might say that he was a part of God, or one with God: there would be nothing very odd about it. But this man, since He was a Jew, could not mean that kind of God. God, in their language, meant the Being outside the world Who had made it and was infinitely different from anything else. And when you have grasped that, you will see that what this man said was, quite simply, the most shocking thing that has ever been uttered by human lips.—C. S. Lewis, Business of Heaven, p. 262.

Patristic Quote of the Day

The seed of the one who is dense is snatched away, the seed of the intellect ought to be taken up and covered in the ground of memory, so that it may spread forth roots and may not be naked or snatched away by the spirits of wickedness.—Origen on Matt 13:20, 21

Catechesis: Both Kinds

There can be no doubt that the use of both kinds in the Lord’s Supper is godly and in accord with the institution of Christ and the words of Paul.—Ap. XXII:1

18 October 2020

More interesting parallels

Today’s first reading in the KJV schedule was Ecclesiasticus 51, and included:

I opened my mouth, and said, Buy her [Wisdom] for yourselves without money. Put your neck under the yoke, and let your soul receive instruction: she is hard at hand to find. Behold with your eyes, how that I have had but little labour, and have gotten unto me much rest. 

I wonder if our Lord was putting Himself in the place of Wisdom, then, when in Matthew 11 He invited us under His yoke to find rest for our souls!

17 October 2020


Since this is the first Thanksgiving we’re hosting ALL my kids and grandkids, Opa, and maybe Aunt Sandy (and...), we just set it up and figured out we could totally seat 18-20 in the dining room, plus the baby the in high chair. Count me a happy camper! This will actually work!!! Tight dancing, of course, but, hey, you expect that on Thanksgiving, right? One table of 10 or 11 or 12; one table of 8. 

Luther and Lewis

For through the power that I shall have at the right hand of the Father, being of the same divine Majesty and openly transfigured and shown forth as very God and Lord over all creatures, I shall work in you who believe in Me and who, having received My Word, Baptism, and Sacrament, steadfastly abide in them. And as I am Lord over sin, death, the world, the devil, and everything, so shall you be also, so that you will be able to glory in the selfsame power, not that you will have it because of your worthiness or strength, but solely because I go to the Father. Through the Word and through prayer, My Word will work mightily in you.—Martin Luther, Exposition Jn xiv, xv.

Christians, then, believe that an evil power has made himself for the present time the Prince of this World. And, of course, that raises problems. Is this state of affairs in accordance with God’s will or not? If it is, He is a strange God, you will say: and if it is not, how can anything contrary to the will of a being with absolute power?—C. S. Lewis, Business of Heaven, p. 260.

Patristic Quote of the Day

The Lord also states that it is difficult for the rich to enter the kingdom of God, for riches choke the word of God and weaken the force of virtue.—St. Jerome on Matt 13:22

Catechesis: Invocation of the Saints, Apology XXI

Granted that blessed Mary prays for the church, does she receive souls in death, does she overcome death, does she give life? What does Christ do if blessed Mary does all this? Even though she is worthy of the highest honors, she does not want to put on the same level as Christ but to have her example considered and followed.—Ap XXI:27

16 October 2020

New post up at Gottesdienst

On a lovely prayer that is provided in The Chief Divine Service. I do believe I read reference to this prayer AGES ago in Dr. Herl’s notes, where I believe all he said was that a long prayer followed the Sanctus...and being a musicologist, he didn’t bother to write it down. I groused about it to him back then. Anyway, Lochner (through Carver) makes up for it right here: Gottesdienst.

You know

Some people don’t believe Pete is a saint. I’d like to know how they’d miss that nimbus!!!

Interesting Parallels

Between Wisdom 6 and Romans 13:

Hear therefore, O ye Kings...For power is given you of the Lord, and sovereignity from the Highest, who shall try your works, and search out your counsels. Because, being ministers of his kingdom, ye have not judged aright, nor kept the law, nor walked after the counsel of God... (Wisdom 6:1, 3, 4)

Romans 13:1-4 (KJV) 1 Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers. For there is no power but of God: the powers that be are ordained of God. 2 Whosoever therefore resisteth the power, resisteth the ordinance of God: and they that resist shall receive to themselves damnation. 3 For rulers are not a terror to good works, but to the evil. Wilt thou then not be afraid of the power? do that which is good, and thou shalt have praise of the same: 4 For he is the minister of God to thee for good. But if thou do that which is evil, be afraid; for he beareth not the sword in vain: for he is the minister of God, a revenger to execute wrath upon him that doeth evil.

For the very true beginning of her [that is, Wisdom] is the desire of discipline; and the care of discipline is love; And love is the keeping of her laws... (Wisdom 6:17, 18)

Romans 13:10 (KJV) Love worketh no ill to his neighbour: therefore love is the fulfilling of the law.

Advent Devotional!

Hot off the presses! Hey, folks, for any size contribution to my podcast: The Word of the Lord Endures Forever before the start of Advent, you can receive my Advent Devotions book. I wrote it in part out of frustration with other Advent devotions that were too long or that ignored the various days of the Church Year. I wrote these short daily devotions (each featuring a verse or two of Scripture, a hymn stanza, devotional thoughts, and a prayer) to be used ideally at the dinner table as you light the Advent Wreath. Want a copy? Send your donation to:

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I think the ESV might have missed the point here: Deut. 11:21

Deuteronomy 11:21 (ESV) that your days and the days of your children may be multiplied in the land that the LORD swore to your fathers to give them, as long as the heavens are above the earth.

Deuteronomy 11:21 (KJV) That your days may be multiplied, and the days of your children, in the land which the LORD sware unto your fathers to give them, as the days of heaven upon the earth.

Here’s the LXX:
Deuteronomy 11:21 (LXX) ἵνα πολυημερεύσητε καὶ αἱ ἡμέραι τῶν υἱῶν ὑμῶν ἐπὶ τῆς γῆς ἧς ὤμοσεν κύριος τοῖς πατράσιν ὑμῶν δοῦναι αὐτοῖς καθὼς αἱ ἡμέραι τοῦ οὐρανοῦ ἐπὶ τῆς γῆς

And the MT:
Deuteronomy 11:21 (WLC) לְמַ֨עַן יִרְבּ֤וּ יְמֵיכֶם֙ וִימֵ֣י בְנֵיכֶ֔ם עַ֚ל הָֽאֲדָמָ֔ה אֲשֶׁ֨ר נִשְׁבַּ֧ע יְהוָ֛ה לַאֲבֹתֵיכֶ֖ם לָתֵ֣ת לָהֶ֑ם כִּימֵ֥י הַשָּׁמַ֖יִם עַל־הָאָֽרֶץ׃ ס

I think the KJV actually gets this one right: in the obedience of Israel to God’s law, summarized of course in the twin commandments of loving God above all and the neighbor as self, the children of Israel actually get a taste of the sweet savor of heaven itself right here upon the earth! 

And not just Israel. Heaven on earth is what Jesus came to bring (as announced by the angels at His nativity). How beautifully Jaroslav Vajda put it in his great Christmas hymn: “Before the marvel of this night”: Give earth a glimpse of heavenly bliss, a teasing taste of what they miss! Sing bliss, sing bliss, sing endless bliss, sing bliss, sing endless bliss.

“The kingdom of heaven is at hand” was our Lord’s message. And very much “at hand” with Him, who lived among us as the perfect fulfillment of the Law and so as the very gift of heaven walking the earth. He gave us days of heaven upon the earth, indeed, as Heaven’s King walked among us. And He established His Church to continue to offer in the liturgy via His saving Word and the Sacraments an ongoing participation in that Kingdom from above right here in this world, albeit hidden under great weakness. For through them He offers to us without ceasing His own life, His righteousness, His trust in His Father, His love to be our very own. 

Days of heaven upon the earth. Is that not what we long for, and what we pray for when we take on our lips the prayer He taught us: “Thy kingdom come; Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven”?

Luther and Lewis

Ye shall be hated by all for my name’s sake, and again, the time cometh when whosoever killeth you will think that he doeth God service. We must remember such sayings and fortify ourselves with them, that we may be made worthy to suffer for His Word. Remember that it has been revealed that at the time of the antichrist no man will be free to preach, and all who teach and hear the Word of God will be deemed accursed.—Martin Luther, Instruction to those Making Confession, 1521

When you are arguing against Him [God] you are arguing against the very power that makes you able to argue at all: it is like cutting off the branch you are sitting on.—C. S. Lewis, Business of Heaven, p. 261.

Patristic Quote of the Day

He teaches the blessedness of the apostolic times to those whose eyes and ears are fortunate to look upon and hear the salvation of God. These are the prophets and the righteous who have longed to see and hear the fulfillment of the expected times. They share in the joy of that expectation reserved for the apostles.—St. Hilary of Poitiers, On Matthew 13:3

Catechesis: Apology XXI Invocation of the Saints

We know that the merits of Christ are our only propitiation. Because of them we are accounted righteous when we believe in him, as the text says, “He who believes in Him will not be put to shame.” We must not believe that we are accounted righteous by the merits of the blessed Virgin or of the other saints.—Ap XXI:31