170 / #project365 – Trinity Sunday

Photo

A letter by St Athanasius.
Light, radiance and grace are in the Trinity and from the Trinity

It will not be out of place to consider the ancient tradition, teaching and faith of the Catholic Church, which was revealed by the Lord, proclaimed by the apostles and guarded by the fathers. For upon this faith the Church is built, and if anyone were to lapse from it, he would no longer be a Christian either in fact or in name.
We acknowledge the Trinity, holy and perfect, to consist of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. In this Trinity there is no intrusion of any alien element or of anything from outside, nor is the Trinity a blend of creative and created being. It is a wholly creative and energising reality, self-consistent and undivided in its active power, for the Father makes all things through the Word and in the Holy Spirit, and in this way the unity of the holy Trinity is preserved. Accordingly, in the Church, one God is preached, one God who is above all things and through all things and in all things. God is above all things as Father, for he is principle and source; he is through all things through the Word; and he is in all things in the Holy Spirit.
Writing to the Corinthians about spiritual matters, Paul traces all reality back to one God, the Father, saying: Now there are varieties of gifts, but the same Spirit; and there are varieties of service but the same Lord; and there are varieties of working, but it is the same God who inspires them all in everyone.
Even the gifts that the Spirit dispenses to individuals are given by the Father through the Word. For all that belongs to the Father belongs also to the Son, and so the graces given by the Son in the Spirit are true gifts of the Father. Similarly, when the Spirit dwells in us, the Word who bestows the Spirit is in us too, and the Father is present in the Word. This is the meaning of the text: My Father and I will come to him and make our home with him. For where the light is, there also is the radiance; and where the radiance is, there too are its power and its resplendent grace.
This is also Paul’s teaching in his second letter to the Corinthians: The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ and the love of God and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all. For grace and the gift of the Trinity are given by the Father through the Son in the Holy Spirit. Just as grace is given from the Father through the Son, so there could be no communication of the gift to us except in the Holy Spirit. But when we share in the Spirit, we possess the love of the Father, the grace of the Son and the fellowship of the Spirit himself.

________

Today’s second reading from the Office of Readings in the Liturgy of the Hours. See www.universalis.com.

163 / #project365 – Pentecost

Photo

Reading from ‘Office of Readings’ from ‘Liturgy of the Hours’
A treatise “Against the Heresies” by St Irenaeus
The sending of the Holy Spirit

When the Lord told his disciples to go and teach all nations and baptise them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, he conferred on them the power of giving men new life in God.
He had promised through the prophets that in these last days he would pour out his Spirit on his servants and handmaids, and that they would prophesy. So when the Son of God became the Son of Man, the Spirit also descended upon him, becoming accustomed in this way to dwelling with the human race, to living in men and to inhabiting God’s creation. The Spirit accomplished the Father’s will in men who had grown old in sin, and gave them new life in Christ.
Luke says that the Spirit came down on the disciples at Pentecost, after the Lord’s ascension, with power to open the gates of life to all nations and to make known to them the new covenant. So it was that men of every language joined in singing one song of praise to God, and scattered tribes, restored to unity by the Spirit, were offered to the Father as the first-fruits of all the nations.
This was why the Lord had promised to send the Advocate: he was to prepare us as an offering to God. Like dry flour, which cannot become one lump of dough, one loaf of bread, without moisture, we who are many could not become one in Christ Jesus without the water that comes down from heaven. And like parched ground, which yields no harvest unless it receives moisture, we who were once like a waterless tree could never have lived and borne fruit without this abundant rainfall from above. Through the baptism that liberates us from change and decay we have become one in body; through the Spirit we have become one in soul.
The Spirit of wisdom and understanding, the Spirit of counsel and strength, the Spirit of knowledge and the fear of God came down upon the Lord, and the Lord in turn gave this Spirit to his Church, sending the Advocate from heaven into all the world into which, according to his own words, the devil too had been cast down like lightning.
If we are not to be scorched and made unfruitful, we need the dew of God. Since we have our accuser, we need an advocate as well. And so the Lord in his pity for man, who had fallen into the hands of brigands, having himself bound up his wounds and left for his care two coins bearing the royal image, entrusted him to the Holy Spirit. Now, through the Spirit, the image and inscription of the Father and the Son have been given to us, and it is our duty to use the coin committed to our charge and make it yield a rich profit for the Lord.

“Flow” – is it time for me to un-ban it?

My A-level students, and doubtless some others, have had the experience at one point or another of me going berserk about someone using the word ‘flow’ to describe a piece of text, followed by my theatrically banning its use, usually to the accompaniment of a less than edifying toilet-based description of how ‘flow’ can take so many different forms from the trickle to the torrent that it’s pretty useless in any discussion that’s aiming at analytical precision.

Reading this the other day, led me back to the source whence it flowed, thereby reassuring me that it’s not only my ‘pet peeve’, but also confirming what I’ve always felt: that even though it’s not useful in itself as an analytical term, its use by students nearly always reflects the sense that they are grasping at something important and worth saying, but do not yet have the conceptual tools and critical vocabulary to define and describe adequately.
My A-level students will also notice that one of the examples used by David Jauss is an extract from D H Lawrence’s Odour of Chrysanthemums which uses stylistic techniques very similar to those used by Lawrence in a passage I nearly always use towards the beginning of the course (it’s the first paragraph here ), and which I contrast with extracts from Hemingway and Austen that use very different syntactical structures, and also ‘flow’ but in very different ways. (I think I first saw those extracts juxtaposed in an early English Language resource book called Some things to do with English Language.)
(Anyhow, both articles are well worth a read, I think.