These readings are about the merit available in
suffering. The reading from 2 Chronicles
includes a Deuteronomist revision and rereading of the First Testament to take
into account suffering associated with the Babylonian Exile. The 137th Psalm draws the history
2 Chronicles 36:14 points away from
2 Chronicles 36:22 carries a wonderful opening for
Gentiles of every stripe, where
In a book review for The American Historical Review, Mary Jo Weaver expressed the scandal of the current hierarchy.
The final chapter, from Vatican II (1962-1965) to Humanae Vitae, sets the stage for the battle between progressivism and the “unyielding claims of tradition” (p. 205). Lay voices were increasingly public, speaking openly of sexual frustration and lobbying for change. The losers in this battle were the priests and the bishops: the encyclical and its aftermath “was very bad for authority … many Catholics and their priests simply lost confidence in the Church’s leaders” (p. 263).
This is not to say in any absolute way that the Teaching Magisterium is wrong. The Teaching Magisterium is never absolutely wrong until it admits it. Maybe, yet, there is a way out. What this means is suffering for the Faithful, as they try to discern the holy will of God.
The antiphon from the 137th Psalm, Let my tongue be silenced, if I ever forget
you! works either as a result of
suffering, riches, or indifference. The
Faithful must make an effort to keep focused on God. Psalm 137:6 issues a call to place
Psalm 137 applies to the Black experience in the
special meaning for African-Americans. Some
scholars trace the spirituals to historic incidents, such as
The Faithful have to look closely to find the
resonance of the original eclectic Greek in Ephesians. There is some question about whether
Ephesians was written by
By mistake, I translated the Greek for Ephesians 2:3 that contrasts the nature of the Faithful with the nature of God, the former deserving the wrath of God, the latter full of mercy. The Greek is about the core of being. The very nature of humanity is to deserve wrath. The very nature of Divinity is mercy.
I have a problem translating the Greek for Ephesians
2:4. The Greek uses two words for love,
where the Lectionary only uses one.
The Vulgate has caritatem
and dilexit. King
James and the New
Jerusalem use love twice. With generous
and mercy the
Lectionary (1998): because of the great love he had for us
The Vulgate (circa 410): propter nimiam caritatem suam, qua dilexit nos
Douay-Rheims (1582-1610): for his exceeding charity wherewith he loved us
New American (1970): because of the great love he had for us
New Jerusalem (1985): through the great love with which he loved us
Ephesians 2:10 goes so far as to write in the Greek that the Faithful are created in Christ. The Greek carries a sense of finality about how the Faithful ought to live because of their new creation in Christ. God makes it possible for the Faithful to live his very life with him. Such a life includes and explains suffering.
To rise with
Is grace the
Holy Spirit? According to the dictionary
definition, grace is an unmerited divine assistance given humans for their
regeneration or sanctification.”
I regard that assistance as the very
life of God, common to all three persons of the Blessed Trinity, not simply the
Holy Spirit. I do think of the Holy
Spirit as a form of grace. I do not
Agneta Schreurs, the psychotherapist, approaches the problem as follows:
The meaning of the word `person’, for example, has since the arrival of Latin civilization on the world stage changed into its exact opposite. Its original meaning was `mask’ (for example the masks actors used when acting a part in a play), while in its modern meaning a `person’ refers to who somebody really is when he is not hiding behind a `mask’.
… a communication problem for religious and spiritual people. As illustrated above, they are more or less caught between the devil and the deep blue sea. On the one hand our dominant linguistic system offers them objective language which is as inadequate for conveying religious and spiritual meaning as it is adequate for scientific studies and procedures. On the other hand the religious traditions, which in themselves are so important to the believer, invite understanding in a language of symbols and metaphors which, while once adequate for the task, are no longer so. Many have lost or changed their original meaning and coherence. This exacerbates the communication problem between believer and non-believer, and can easily put a halt to any useful dialogue between the two.
The double meaning about lifted up carries over into John 3:14, so must the Son of Man be lifted up. Margaret
Waiting until Chapter 12,
It was the word “whosoever” [everyone] through which she saw herself joined to a common humanity through God’s love that ignited her determination and passion:
“Whosoever,” [everyone] it said. No Jew nor Gentile, no Catholic nor Protestant, no black nor white; just “whosoever.” [everyone] It meant that I, a humble Negro girl, had just as much chance as anybody in the sight and love of God. These words stored up a battery of faith and confidence and determination in my heart.
John does not leave the matter as a pie in the sky. John 3:19-21 insists that works have consequences culminating in whoever lives the truth comes to the light, so that his works may be clearly seen as done in God. This matter of living in the truth is especially meaningful to a college professor, even a retired one. This effort to write these Notes is such an effort to live the truth.
The truth is that suffering comes into every life, especially towards the end of life. 2 Chronicles shows that how one lives has consequences. The 137th Psalm laments the suffering that accompanies life, with a prayer to remember that God is God. Ephesians brings suffering and glory close together in the life of God himself. The Gospel closes with insistence that God does love the Faithful, beginning with Jesus Christ, through it all. There can be merit and glory in suffering.
For more on sources see the Appendix file. Personal Notes are on the web site at www.western-civilization.com/CBQ/Personal%20Notes
 Mary Jo Weaver, review of Leslie Woodcock Tentler, Catholics and Contraception: An American History in The American Historical Review, Vol. 111, No. 1 (February 2006) 218.
Wilma Ann Bailey, “The Sorrow Songs:
Laments from Ancient Israel and the African American Diaspora,” citing
Toni Craven, The Book of Psalms 27
in Yet with a Steady Beat: Contemporary U.S. Afrocentric Biblical
Interpretation, Randall C.
 Maximilian Zerwick, S.J., English Edition adapted from the Fourth Latin Edition by Joseph Smith, S.J., Scripta Pontificii Instituti Biblico—114—Biblical Greek (Roma: Editrice Pontificio Istituto Biblico, 1994) 43.
 Maximilian Zerwick, S.J., English Edition adapted from the Fourth Latin Edition by Joseph Smith, S.J., Scripta Pontificii Instituti Biblico—114—Biblical Greek (Roma: Editrice Pontificio Istituto Biblico, 1994) 57.
Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate ®
Dictionary: Eleventh Edition (
M Mauss (1938) `Une catégorie de l’esprit humain: la notion de personne
Margaret Barker, The Great high
Margaret Barker, The Great high
 Dennis M. Sweetland, review of Wai-Yee Ng, Water Symbolism in John: An Eschatological Interpretation in the Catholic Biblical Quarterly, Vol. 65, No. 1 (January 2003), 133.
 Benedict XVI, “Encyclical Letter: Deus Caritas Est of the Supreme Pontiff Benedict XVI to the Bishops, Priests and Deacons, Men and Women Religious and All the Lay Faithful on Christian Love,” http://www.vatical.va/holy_father/benedict_xvi/encyclixals/documents/hf_ben-xvi_enc_2... 1/30/2006 1/25.