29 March 2011

New Lutheran Quote of the Day

The "apostolic church" is a poor church.  It has no marvelous new revelations, no knowledge of higher worlds, no possibility of proving its faith by reason.  It lives from the witness of a few men who were neither religious geniuses, nor ethical heros, nor religious thinkers.  The only authority for the unverifiable things they said was that Jesus Christ had sent them and that they were witnesses to His resurrection.  -- Hermann Sasse, *We Confess:  Jesus Christ* p. 99


Jeremy Loesch said...

Maybe it's because my boys kept me up last night and I'm not firing on all cylinders at 6:30am, but that quote has got to be the clearest, most concise understanding of the Church that I've read in a long time.

We are indeed a 'poor' church and thanks be to God for that. Which martyr was asked to produce the riches of the church by the king and he brought forward the poor and destitute members? Laurence?

A very fine submission this morning Will. Thanks.


Terry Maher said...

aka Past Elder, since I'm signed in as me.

Yes it was St Lawrence. As a deacon at the church in Rome, he was entrusted with the care of its physical assets. When the city prefect ordered him to turn over the treasures of the church, he spent three days giving them away to the poor, then presented the poor to the prefect.

Which is probably a Christian reworking of the influential Roman story of the Jewels of Cornelia. She was a daughter of Scipio Africanus, the hero of the second Punic War, who was active in politics and education and public life though a woman and did not dress in the style common to wealthy women. When confronted about this, she reputedly countered with her sons, saying they were her jewels. She was considered a model for Roman women and motherhood.

Lawrence also supposedly secreted away the Holy Chalice to his parents in Spain (Aragon, actually) which is now in the cathedral at Valencia. It has been used by JPII and Benedict, altering the words of consecration to reflect that particular chalice.

Which ain't the Holy Bleeding Grail. The one is supposedly the cup used by Jesus at the Last Supper, the first mass, the other is supposedly a cup used to collect blood that fell from Jesus during the crucifixion, sometimes and sometimes not supposedly the same cup.

So we have the historical Laurentius and the Laurentius of faith, the historical chalice and the chalice of faith, and even in the old Roman religion the historical Cornelia and the Cornelia of faith. Judas H Priest OSB.

Or the words of Sasse, exactly on the mark.

And anyway, growing up preconciliar RC, we heard more about the other legend of Lawrence, than when he was being burned he joked with his executioners, saying he was done on the one side so turn him over, as an example of joyfully accepting suffering for Christ.

Just ain't religion unless you get suffering in there. Stick with Sasse.

Terry Maher said...

Goot hilf mir seitlich if I don't now feel like calling in sick and spending the day listening to Parsifal. I'm totally wiped out after the first few bars of the Vorspiel anyway.

Erlösung dem Erlöser!

Anonymous said...

Yep, nothing like a bit of reworked Roman Catholic hagiography to obscure what should be most evident about the Gospel and the fact that in her poverty the catholic church is rich beyond measure.

Yes, I'll take Sasse, thank you.

As for PE calling in sick and listening to Parsifal, Gott hilf uns it's Lent for heaven's sake, no self-indulging allowed :)


Past Elder said...

Self-indulging? Are you bagging me?

Die Auskomponierung of the harmonic series in the Vorspiel is a work of unsurpassed musical genius, as Bret Hart would said (let him who knows, know) the best there is, the best there was, the best there ever will be, as well as being a shattering tone-statement of the human condition, to listen to which provides the highest spiritual experience.

I mean, it's not like I'm pulling over because the Vorpiel to Lohengrin is on the classical station and it seems the Holy Grail will break forth from the sky at any moment.

Although I've done that. And some thought I only listeded to the piano playing preacher from Baton Rouge since the Waffen SS of Vatican II descended upon the schola cantorum!