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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“The authority of the Pope is not unlimited. It is at the service of Sacred Tradition. Still less is any kind of general ‘freedom’ of manufacture, degenerating into spontaneous improvisation, compatible with the essence of faith and liturgy. The greatness of the liturgy depends—we shall have to repeat this frequently—on its lack of spontaneity.”
— Josef Cardinal Ratzinger (2000)

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Literary Theology
published 9 March 2013 by Dr. Ronda Chervin

Back to old journals, I am sharing with you a long e-letter from a friend of the family, Gabriel Meyer, writer and journalist relating to some of the current problems in our family.

E SAID “The concept of ‘happiness’ keeps coming to mind. Popular American culture, from Gershwin to the soaps, keys people into the notion that personal happiness is the paramount aim in life to be distinguished from living a useful, productive life. Happiness in the modern sense is focused on the idea that another person can “save’ me; that another person can provide the basis for my own personal fulfillment, that a relationship with an ideal person will solve the problem of my life and place me in a new life condition of happiness and fulfillment. (i.e. through him or her, I will finally get what I really want)….

“But my experience is that happiness does not work that way. First of all, people can’t save each other. What they can do, and this is beyond price, is to help each other (the biblical ‘helpmate.’ How long it takes to realize that friends, not lovers, are the best things in life! And to have the possibility of both in their due and deepening seasons, as committed husbands and wives can…

“Secondly happiness is not a permanent or stable condition; it is a sense of well-being and beatitude, and, this side of the world to come, it is (in my experience, and by its very nature) partial and elusive (there on Tuesday, overwhelmed by events on Wednesday; glimpsed in a recalled memory or on a stroll; or in the satisfaction of some accomplishment, or in the delight of a beloved; but elusive, a perception, a gift, a ‘find,’, not a possession, not a state of affairs.

“Paraphrase – in marriage people need the stability of balance – artists need grounded practical people around. Otherwise if you try to find a similar person you come up with brief ecstasy of mutual identity and then chaos when neither is willing to do the dishes.”
I am still pondering a line I have read a thousand times from Night Prayer of Sunday from the hymn, “A quiet night to rest in you.” Somehow I never noticed that it meant that for Your children, Jesus, sleep is resting in You! How sublime – like a sort of rest in the Spirit, a phrase for going into a kind of trance after being prayed over that many of us charismatics experience from time to time.
From Poems of David Craig.

(My friend and former colleague at Franciscan University of Steubenville, is considered one of the best Catholic poets of our times. Google him as David Craig poet if you like these excerpts from poems of his that were in my journal.)

Lines from David Craig’s poems based on Gospel of Matthew:
“Our sin…starts to fall by degrees, though with Jungian shadows of Death that unclutch our wills so slowly you’d think the darkness charged a fee!

“He is what lasts, the sun will blink at His look; the stars, no doubt, will lean into Him and learn. But add to this – His power of speech, His deeds! Like he could defeat it all, without bruising a reed.

“In her (Mother Teresa) we saw Jesus feminine Albanian face, could stable there, in the Wounded Heart she bore. Self-consciousness had no place in her daily rounds. She wanted Jesus to be both fore and ground.”

“Let the work of dishonest men rumble past you with their engines. You have nothing they’d want to steal. They are you in better clothes. Love them, each new and cluttered landscape, a bane that keeps you real.”

“Hypocrites…they inspect their hands in the morning light, get used to wrinkles….How else will they ever get it right.”
(speaking of a priest who died) “The giants who go before us we seldom see. They’ve lost themselves in the masses at Calvary.”

“When our houses collapse, we break into a trot.” “And now nothing beyond the God who has us here. And duty? It sounds like jazz to wakening ears.” “Whoever spoke like this? Like the world was His own…He spoke, not about what might occur, but of things that would happen BECAUSE He spoke – in the face of lies.”

Now in 2013, my pastor, Fr. Jerome Karcher, told us today: Forgiveness is hard but non-forgiveness is harder because we have bitterness in our hearts – the remedy is to pray for them from our hearts.