About this blogger:
Ronda Chervin received a Ph.D. in Philosophy from Fordham University and an MA in Religious Studies from Notre Dame Apostolic Institute. A widow, mother, and grandmother, she currently teaches philosophy at Holy Apostles College and Seminary in Cromwell, Connecticut. Write to her at chervinronda@gmail.com.
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“Although the Mass contains much instruction for the faithful, it has nevertheless not seemed expedient to the fathers that it be celebrated everywhere in the vernacular. The holy synod commands pastors and everyone who has the care of souls to explain frequently during the celebration of the Masses, either themselves or through others, some of the things that are read in the Mass, and among other things to expound some mystery of this most Holy Sacrifice, especially on Sundays and feastdays.”
— Council of Trent, XII:8 (1562)

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Ecumenical Conference Insights
published 10 April 2013 by Dr. Ronda Chervin

FTER A BREAK, I am back to editing my old journals. This was from 2006 when I was teaching at a Lutheran College in North Carolina. Every year they have a Luther/Aquinas Conference with Catholic and Lutheran theologians giving talks.

“Pastor Amy Schifrin is a liturgist and she sung parts of her talk to illustrate points about how hymns carry holiness. Here are some of the points I want to remember:

In the elusiveness of sound, the hidden god is not exposed as an object for display, for sound…reveals without sight…In the human voice, the Divine voice sounds…sung into His sounding, the community that simultaneously listens for His voice as it proclaims His voice experiences the holiness that belongs to God alone…leading into entering into the sounds beyond human experience of the angel’s at God’s throne.

The sound comes in to us closer than the words, like a baby’s cry. I related this to people praying the Latin Mass without knowing the meaning of everything.

The assembly’s voices are the sacramental material in which God’s glory/holiness is sounded. This happens in a different way when many sing together. (Ronda: another reason not to be a loner Christian?)

“Regis Martin, the great Catholic theologian from Steubenville said: ‘What is in common of Catholics and Protestants is the basic human hunger for God, for salvation; the sheer vertigo of the creature ordained by God to an end, a finality, he cannot obtain on his own. It is not a self-help thing, Not our charm, intelligence or even virtue can save us: only God.’”

Fr. Patrick Henry Reardon – a married orthodox priest, talked about how our strengths can be our doom. Especially type A personalities put the crusade, the work, the projects, above love, as did St. Paul before his conversion.

Thought of mine on a different topic: our desire that God give us only joy and no suffering: Suppose parents satisfied every whim of a child so he or she never wanted to leave; it wouldn’t be good; so we are prepared for heaven by foretastes but also by the weaning that comes from suffering in this life.