The Divine Lamp

The unfolding of thy words gives light; it imparts understanding to the simple…Make thy face shine upon thy servant, and teach me thy statutes

Archive for May, 2007

NOTES ON ISAIAH 3:16-4:1

Posted by Dim Bulb on May 31, 2007

As I noted in my previous post on Isaiah, the prophet is describing in 3:1-4:1 the breakdown of the social order of Judah. Here, in 3:16-4:1, he turns his attention towards the wealthy woman of Judah (Southern Kingdom) and criticizes them for their shallow, expensive, ostentation (see also the scathing indictment of the women of Israel-Northern Kingdom- in Amos 4:1-3).

Vs 16 Thus says the Lord: Because of the haughtiness of the daughters of Zion, who walk with outstretched necks, with lusting eyes as the walk and mince along to the tune of the tinkling of their ankle bracelets,

Vs 17 the Lord will strike and scab the crowns of their heads, the Lord shall bare their scalps. (My translation)
This part of the prophecy is motivated Because of the haughtiness of the daughters of Zion. Haughtiness is the word gabahh; it means to be lofty or tall. Recall that in chapter 2 the prophet had said God would bring the lofty man down and be against all that is lofty and proud (2:11-12). Essentially, the woman are being condemned for the pride they take in their finery and looks. They lacked what St Peter called “the hidden character of heart, expressed in the imperishable beauty of a gentle and calm disposition, which is precious in the sight of God” (see 1 Pt 3:1-6). Rather, they walked with outstretched necks to call attention to themselves by appearing taller (?). With lusting eyes they were on the scout for men as they walked flirtatiously, their anklets tinkling and helping to grab masculine attention. Their heads will be rudely shaved of hair, an ancient sign of punishment for sexual indecencies.

Vs 18 On that day the Lord will take away their anklets, scarves and crescents;

Vs 19 the chains, the bracelets, and the veils,

Vs 20 the head-dresses, the leg ornaments, and the sashes; along with the perfume boxes and amulets;

Vs 21 the rings and the jewels in the nose,

Vs 22 their festival dresses, capes, coats, and purses,

Vs 23 their mirrors, fine linen, tiaras and shawls,

Vs 24 It will come to pass that instead of perfume they shall have stench; a rope shall replace the sash; the beautiful hair will become baldness; they will have sackcloth instead of fine clothes; their beauty shall be replaced with a brand

Vs 25 Your men shall fall by the sword, and your mighty ones by war;

Vs 26 Lamentation and mourning shall be at the gates, the city is an empty desolation sitting upon the ground.

4:1 On that day seven women will grab hold of a man, saying, our own bread we shall eat and our own apparel we shall provide; this alone we ask: let us be called by your name so that our disgrace may be taken away.

The list of fineries which the prophet details are not all known with certainty, this is why you may find differing items listed in various translations. One thing is certain, the luxurious life the women enjoyed will be no more. Their reversal will be complete. A brand, the mark of a slave, will replace their beauty. Their fine clothes and ornaments with which they enticed men will be replaced with the bare essentials necessary for a modest existence. The men they so carelessly teased for their own amusement and pride will become almost extinct, like the city of Jerusalem itself (see 1:8). And as they realize they are facing the covenant curse of spinsterhood and childlessness the men they once treated so casually will become all important to them. Any man will do. The city that once heard the rattling of their jewelry will hear the sound of their funeral dirges and mourning.

Posted in Bible, NOTES ON ISAIAH | Leave a Comment »

Flogging Archbishop Burke with moral stupidity

Posted by Dim Bulb on May 30, 2007

Over at THE CLOSED CAFETERIA there was a post up about an idiotic Washington Post piece concerning Archbishop Burke, who recently made headlines by objecting to the appearance of singer Sheryl Crow at a Catholic charity function.  In the combox a woman named Katherine wrote:

You are kind to Archibishop Burke by not posting his most embrassing comment in the [i] “What if, for instance, there were someone appearing who we discovered was openly racist and who made statements and took actions to promote racism? Do you think that I would let that go on?”[/i]

Gee, Archbishop Burke, why not? That exactly describes the man the hospital is named for, Archbishop Glennon. So much for backbone and courage.

Whether or not the Bishop Glennon, who died about sixty years ago, was a racist is unknown to me.  What is clear is this woman’s fallacious logic.  In essence she is trying to argue that it’s okay for Ms Crow a pro abortion advocate to appear at a Catholic charity event named in honor of Glennon because Glennon was (allegedly) a racist.  In other words, his (alleged) wrong makes her support of Crow right, and Burke’s opposition wrong!

In response to her I wrote this:
Katherine, if you think racism is wrong would you nonetheless do a charity event with a known racist? If Archbishop Burke thinks abortion wrong then why should he give Miss Crow the time of day? Simply because others (such as yourself, apparently) are of lesser moral fiber? Just because other do or have done something wrong is no excuse for the current Archbishop (or you) to act in the same way.

To which she responded:


Heck, I have Thanksgiving Dinner with a known racist every year.

And then latter she gives this gem:

As for working with a racist to raise money for a hosptial named for a racist, why not?

Woe to you Katherine!  Hypocrite!  You raise money for children using a known advocate of baby killing and embryonic stem cell research while appealing to alleged racism to justify it.

Posted in Uncategorized | 2 Comments »

How to pimp a priestess

Posted by Dim Bulb on May 29, 2007

B.L.: Good morning and welcome to the Outer Darkness Radio Show here on WHEL, six point sixty-six on your FM dial. I’m your host B.L. Zebub. Here in the studio with me is my producer, whom you all know and love, Mister Judas Iscariot. Hello, Judie. How ya hangin’?

Judas: Not funny, BL.

BL: Sorry! I just couldn’t resist. Bah-dah-bing! Listen, we got a great show for our listeners today. First up is the big dog himself.

Judas: Really?

BL: That’s right. The Master of Machinations; the Maestro of Malignancy; the Emperor of the Inferno; the Sultan of Sulfur; the Lord of the Fourth Estate; He who holds the Kingdom of Death; the real Speaker of the House; the Ringmaster of the Ninth Circus Court of Appeals; the huge Dragon; the Ancient Serpent who is called the Devil and the Adversary; the Beast who put the bad in Abaddon; the one; the only; the incomparable; the unconscionable; Lucifer Satanus!

Satan: Dear me! thank you for that wonderful introduction.

BL: Certainly. Now, your infernalness, I know your time is short so lets get right down to business. You’re here to talk about your latest plan to undermine the Roman Catholic Church.

Satan: Yes. I call it “Operation Pimp a Priestess,” and I’m quite proud of it. Basically it’s a rehashing and refinement of my deception of Eve.

BL: What does Eve have to do with the priestess movement?

Satan: When what’s His name created the world He created it as a temple. And when He created that filthy thing called Adam He gave him priestly duties in that temple; He told the filthy thing to “guard and keep” the garden, which was sort of a Holy Place. I must give the human priest his due; he did guard and keep it and all within it admirably-that is until I showed up.

BL: Rather than go at the priest directly you went at him through the woman.

Satan: It was very subtle and very effective. Unfortunately, my time grows short, so the time for subtleties is over.

BL: What is your plan now?

Satan: As you noted in that wonderful introduction you gave me, I am Lord of the Fourth Estate…

BL: For all you dim bulbs out there, that means the secular media.
Satan: …Yes! My servants on that estate are some of my most trusted minions, as you know. I have engaged them in a campaign of disinformation and deceit against What’s His Name and his allies. By using the press I lose something of the up close and personal touch I enjoy but the end result is the same; souls taken from What’s His Name.

BL: Can you give us some details?

To be continued (maybe)

Posted by Dim Bulb

Posted in humor, stupid, Uncategorized | 6 Comments »

The Pope’s Other Book

Posted by Dim Bulb on May 28, 2007

While JESUS OF NAZARETH is at number 6 in its first week on the bestsellers list I think another book of his demands attention: VALUES IN A TIME OF UPHEAVAL.

From the jacket blurb: “In the worldwide best seller Values in a Time of Upheaval, Joseph Ratzinger (now Pope Benedict XVI) passionately defends the role traditional Judeo-Christian values shoul play in a pluralistic society and a multicultural world. He examines such crucial contemporary issues as the moral foundations of a free society, the role of spiritual values in promoting human rights, current challenges to Western culture, and the place of faith and love of God in finding true peace. Joseph Ratzinger proposes a balance of faith and reason that avoids the extremes of fundamentalist theocracies and secular, relativist states.

Topics include: *Politics and morality* peace* the meaning of history* truth in a pluralistic world* The moral basis of democratic states* human dignity* the Christian basis for hope* bioethics* freedom* human rights and responsibilities* marriage and family* tradition and progress.”

The Chapter entitled WHAT IS TRUTH? The Significance of Religious and Ethical Values in a Pluralistic Society is reason enough to purchase this small book.

Posted by Dim Bulb

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St John, St Ignatius, and Pope Benedict on the Sacrament of Charity

Posted by Dim Bulb on May 28, 2007

“1. The sacrament of charity (1), the Holy Eucharist is the gift that Jesus Christ makes of himself, thus revealing to us God’s infinite love for every man and woman. This wondrous sacrament makes manifest that “greater” love which led him to “lay down his life for his friends” (Jn 15:13). Jesus did indeed love them “to the end” (Jn 13:1). In those words the Evangelist introduces Christ’s act of immense humility: before dying for us on the Cross, he tied a towel around himself and washed the feet of his disciples. In the same way, Jesus continues, in the sacrament of the Eucharist, to love us “to the end,” even to offering us his body and his blood. What amazement must the Apostles have felt in witnessing what the Lord did and said during that Supper! What wonder must the eucharistic mystery also awaken in our own hearts!”

These words open the encyclical and place its contents under the love of God towards man, shown in what Christ Jesus has done for humanity. Love is the motivating factor behind God’s salvific will towards man: For God so loved the world that He gave His only-begotten Son, that whoever believes in him might not perish but have eternal life (Jn 3:16).

This will of the Father which our Blessed Lord came to accomplish with a zeal he said “eats him up” (Katesthio, See Jn 2:17), it is the “work” which the father has given him to do and the “food” which sustains him: “My food is to do the work of him who sent me, and to accomplish his will” (Jn 4:34). This is the food which our Lord gives us and which can only rightly be consumed in faith: Labor not for the food that perishes but for the food which endures to eternal life, which the Son of Man will give…this is the work (labor) of God, that you believe in the one whom he has sent…Amen, amen, I say to you, whoever believes has eternal life. I am the bread of life…this is the bread that comes down from heaven so that you may eat of it and not die. I am the living bread that came down from heaven; whoever eats of this bread will live forever; and the bread that I will give is my flesh for the life of the world” (see Jn 6:27-51) I’ve never seen an explicit connection drawn between the food Jesus has to eat and the food he gives us to eat. Does it not stand to reason that the food the Father has given him to eat (i.e. the accomplishment of the Father’s salvific will) is the food he now shares with us (the salvific will of the Father now accomplished in his flesh by his passion, death, resurrection, and glorification)?

The connection between the Eucharist and charity (love) has a very long history. Consider some of the statements by St Ignatius of Antioch:

“Therefore, arming yourselves with gentleness, renew yourselves in faith, which is the Flesh of the Lord, and in charity, which is the Blood of Jesus Christ. Hold nothing against your neighbor” (Epistle to the T rallians, 8).

In his Epistle to the Romans-or so it seems to me- he is talking about accomplishing the Father’s will in his regard by dying a martyrs death. He speaks of these things in a passage loaded with Eucharistic overtones and references to love:

4. I am writing to all the Churches and state emphatically to all that I
die willingly for God, provided you do not interfere. I beg you, do not
show me unseasonable kindness. Suffer me to be the food of wild beasts,
which are the means of my making my way to God. God's wheat I am, and by
the teeth of wild beasts I am to be ground that I may prove Christ's pure
bread. Better still, coax the wild beasts to become my tomb and to leave no
part of my person behind: once I have fallen asleep, I do not wish to be a
burden to anyone. Then only shall I be a genuine disciple of Jesus Christ
when the world will not see even my body. Petition Christ in my behalf that
through these instruments I may prove God's sacrifice. Not like Peter and
Paul do I issue any orders to you. They were Apostles, I am a convict; they
were free, I am until this moment a slave. But once I have suffered, I
shall become a freedman of Jesus Christ, and, united with Him, I shall rise
a free man. Just now I learn, being in chains, to desire nothing.

5. All the way from Syria to Rome I am fighting wild beasts, on land and
sea, by day and night, chained as I am to ten leopards, that is, a
detachment of soldiers, who prove themselves the more malevolent for
kindnesses shown them. Yet in the school of this abuse I am more and more
trained in discipleship, although I am not therefore justified. Oh, may the
beasts prepared for me be my joy! And I pray that they may be found to be
ready for me. I will even coax them to make short work of me, not as has
happened to some whom they were too timid to touch. And should they be
unwilling to attack me who am willing, I will myself compel them. Pardon
me--I know very well where my advantage lies. At last I am well on the way
to being a disciple. May nothing seen or unseen, fascinate me, so that I
may happily make my way to Jesus Christ! Fire, cross, struggles with wild
beasts, wrenching of bones, mangling of limbs, crunching of the whole body,
cruel tortures inflicted by the devil--let them come upon me, provided only
I make my way to Jesus Christ.

6. Of no use to me will be the farthest reaches of the universe or the
kingdoms of this world. I would rather die  and come to Jesus Christ than
be king over the entire earth. Him I seek who died for us; Him I love who
rose again because of us. The birth pangs are upon me. Forgive me,
brethren; do not obstruct my coming to life--do not wish me to die; do not
make a gift to the world of one who wants to be God's. Beware of seducing
me with matter; suffer me to receive pure light. Once arrived there, I
shall be a man. Permit me to be an imitator of my suffering God. If anyone
holds Him in his heart, let him understand what I am aspiring to; and then
let him sympathize with me, knowing in what distress I am.

7. The Prince of this world is resolved to abduct me, and to corrupt my
Godward aspirations. Let none of you, therefore, who will then be present,
assist him. Rather, side with me, that is, with God. Do not have Jesus
Christ on your lips, and the world in your hearts. Give envy no place among
you. And should I upon my arrival plead for your intervention, do not
listen to me. Rather, give heed to what I write to you. I am writing while
still alive, but my yearning is for death. My Love has been crucified, and
I am not on fire with the love of earthly things. But there is in me a
Living Water, which is eloquent and within me says: "Come to the Father." I
have no taste for corruptible food or for the delights of this life. Bread
of God is what I desire; that is, the Flesh of Jesus Christ, who was of the
seed of David; and for my drink I desire His Blood, that is, incorruptible
love.

8. No longer do I wish to live after the manner of men; and this is what
will happen if you wish it so. Wish it, that your own wishes, too, may be
fulfilled. By this short letter I beseech you: do believe me! Jesus Christ
will make it clear to you that I speak the truth--He on whose lips there
are no lies, through whom the Father has spoken truthfully. Pray for me
that I may succeed. What I write to you does not please the appetites of
the flesh, but it pleases the mind of God. If I suffer, you have loved me;
if I am rejected, you have hated me!
Posted by Dim Bulb

Posted in Documents of Benedict XVI, fathers of the church, Quotes | Leave a Comment »

NOTES ON ISAIAH 3:8-15

Posted by Dim Bulb on May 28, 2007

It has been a while since I posted any notes on Isaiah and so I’ll begin by repeating the last summary I gave (on chapters 1 and 2) and add some details on 3:1-7 in order to help set the background for todays text.

In chapter 1 we saw God issue an indictment against his people for covenant infidelity. This infidelity was a rebellion against God (1:2-3). This rebellion manifested itself in two ways. 1) It manifested itself in hypocritical worship (1:10-15) and idolatry (1:29-31); and 2), it also manifested itself in sins against other men (1:15-16, 21-23). In other words, the people were disregarding the two greatest commandments: “You shall love the Lord, your God, with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the greatest and the first commandment. The second is like it: you shall love your neighbor as yourself. The whole law and the prophets depend on these two commandments.” (Mt 22:37-40)

In chapter 2, the prophet took a brief look into the future and saw a time when God would once again be worshipped and served rightly (2:2-5). This was then followed by an announcement of judgement against the people for their idolatry, which is an affront to the “greatest and first commandment” (2:6-22). Now, in the section we are about to begin examining (3:1-4:1) we will see an announcement of God’s judgement against the people for violating the second command, “you shall love your neighbor as yourself.”

Chapter 3:1-7 deals with the threat that God will take away the (real and imagined) things that make for a stable society. These things included food, water, military strength, and good rulers.

Notice: Due to a problem with a computer driver I cannot link to certain web sites without problems. This means I can no longer provide links in the text to the RSVCE. Instead, I am now linking to the Douay-Rheims Bible. If I can find a good, up-to-date translation online which is convienient to use I will do so.

Also, unless otherwise noted, the translation of Isaiah is mine. The user is encouraged to read whatever version he is comfortable with rather than my translation.

ISAIAH 3:8-15



Vs 8 For Jerusalem has stumbled, and judah has fallen, because their tongue and their deeds are against the Lord, provoking the eyes of his glory.

Vs 9 The very look on their faces gives witness against them as Sodom-like they vaunt their sin, hiding it not. Woe to them! They have done evil to themselves.

Vs 10The righteous shall be happy, it will be good for them, they shall eat the fruit of their deeds.

Vs 11 Woe upon the wicked man! All goes evil with him, for with the deeds of his hands he will be repaid.

Vs 12 My people–a suckling baby shall be their despot and women shall rule over them. O my people, your guides guide you astray, they eat up the way you should go. (literally, “the way of your paths).

Vs 13 The Lord rises up to accuse, He stands to judge his people.

Vs 14 The Lord enters into judgement with the elders of his people, and with the princes: “You, you have eaten up the vineyard; booty plundered from the poor is in your houses.

Vs 15 What is this you do? You press down my people, the faces of the poor you grind as they look to you,” says the Lord, the God of hosts.


NOTES


Vs 8: For Jerusalem/Judah has stumbled/fallen.

The word “for” that opens the section we are looking at serves as a conjunctive to the previous section (3:1-7). Recall that that section began with the prophet saying that God would take away “the stay and the staff from Judah and Jerusalem.” The removal of the stay and the staff of political and social stability are what is causing the city and nation to stumble and fall.

Vs 8 cont: Because their tongue/deeds ar against the Lord, Provoking the eyes of his glory.

“Because” gives the reason for the events being described. It is the peoples sins in both word and deed that have brought this upon them. In the bible the word tongue is often used in reference to malicious speech or blasphemy. Perhaps the prophet has in mind the hypocritical prayers of the people (1:15), or perhaps thier refusal to”take up the widows plea” (1:17, 23). The deeds may refer to the Idolatry mentioned in 1:29-31, or to what is said in 3:14-15.

For more on the sins of the tongue see James 3 and the Catechism of the Catholic Church.

The things they have done are described as provoking the eyes of his glory. To be before the eyes or the face of someone is a biblical way of describing presence, thus 1:12 reads literally: “When you come before my face, who asks these things of you.” As we saw in our notes on this verse this refers to coming into the lord’s presence in the temple. It was in the temple that the glory of the Lord, the visible manifestation of his presence dwelled. provoking the eyes of his glory is probably to be unerstood along these lines. Inspite of their sins in word and deed the people still go to the temple and offer hypocritical worship in his presence rather than repenting and once again acting righteous.

Vs 9 The very look on their faces witness against them as Sodom-like they vaunt their sins, hiding it not.

Some scholars see an allusion to Exodus 34:29: “As Moses came down from Mount Sinai with the two tablets of the commandments in his hands, he did not know that the skin of his face had become radiant while he conversed with the Lord.” This frightened Aaron and the people (due to their previous false worship of the golden calf, Exodus 32), and so Moses had to wear a veil every time he returned to the people after being in the presence of the Lord (see Exodus 34:27-35). The exact opposite is intended here. The people shamelessly appear before the Lord with their sins written on their faces.

Vs 9 cont. Woe to them! they have done evil to themselves.

Woe is a cry of grief in the face of punishment, adversity, or death. The prophet’s cry is motivated by the fact that the people have brought “woe” upon themselves.

Vs 10 The righteous shall be happy, it will be good with them, they shall eat the fruit of their deeds.

Notice that this statement is sandwiched between two cries of “woe” (vss 9 and 11). Unlike Sodom and Gomorrah, whose situation was hopeless in spite of God’s mercy (Gen 18:16-32), some righteous individuals can be found among God’s people. Or, the text may be seen as implying that some of the sinners will repent and return to the Lord. This second possibility is the one I think most likely on the basis of what was said in 1:18-20,

Come now, let us set things right, says the Lord: though your sins be like scarlet, they may become white as snow; though they be red as cimson, they may become white as wool. if you are willing and obey, you shall eat the good things of the land; but if you refuse and resist, the sword shall consume you: for the mouth of the Lord has spoken (NAB Translation)

This idea reflects the covenant theology of the Book of Deuteronomy which, as we saw in our earlier studies, plays a large role in the theology of Isaiah (see Dt 28:38-48).

Vs 10 cont. they shall eat the fruit of their deeds.

This also suggests deuteronomistic theology. Fruit and deeds are often associated in the bible (see Jer 17:5-10 and Luke 3:7-9). Just as a tree produces fruit so too does a man produce acts or deeds. The deeds of the righteous are like fruit that the righteous shall enjoy.
Vs 11 Woe upon the wicked man! All goes evil with him, for with the deeds of his hand he will be repaid.

The Hebrew text says literally that “with the recompense of his hand will he be repaid.” This is simply another way of saying “For the measure with which you measure will in turn be measured out for you” (Luke 6:38).

Vs 12 My people–a suckling babe shall be their despot and women shall rule over them.

The suckling babe is often taken as a reference to King Ahaz whose reign as king began when he was twenty years of age. His reign was marked by despotism and foolishness.

Ahaz seems at once to have struck out an independent course wholly opposed to the religious traditions of his nation. his first steps in this direction were the causing to be made and circulating of molten images of Baal, and the revival in the valley of Hinnom (i.e. Gehenna), south of the city, of the abominations of the worship of Moloch (2 Chron 28:2-3). He is declared to have made his own son “pass through the fire” (2 Kings 16:3); the chronicler puts it even more stronly:

he “burnt his children in the fire” (2 Chron 28:3). Other acts of idolatry were to follow. (From the Article “Ahaz” in The International Standard Bible Encyclopedia. Public domain text

More will be said on Ahaz when we come to chapter 7.

Women ruling over them may be a reference to the queen-mother Athaliah (see 2 Kings 11:1-16) who had ruled over Judah in the days of Elijah. She was the daughter of another queen, the infamous Jezebel, who exerted great influence over her husband Ahab in the kingdom of Israel (i.e. the Northern Kingdom). The disasters these two women brought upon the respective kingdoms would have been well known to the people of Isaiah’s day. My own opinion is that the reference to women prepares for 3:16-4:1. Just as they will have to put up with males unwise as babies, They will have to put up with shallow women.

Vs 12 cont. O my people, your guides guide you astray, they eat up the way you should go.

The leaders of the people, including judge and prophet had gone astray (see 1:10, 23), and in turn were leading the people astray. How can the people Eat the fruits of righteousness if the way of righteousness is being consumed? (see vs 10)

Vs 13 The Lord rises up to accuse, He stands to judge his people.

Once again brings up the idea of the rib (pronounced reeb), the covenant lawsuit first mentioned in our notes on 1:1-9. The Lord, being God and not man, acts as both Prosecuting attorney and judge. The fact that the Lord rises up also calls to mind the Lord’s exaltation on the day he will act against idols and idolatry:

…the Lord alone will be exalted on that day. For the Lord of hosts will have his day against all that is proud and arrogant, …human pride will be abased, the arrogance of men brought low, and the Lord alone will be exalted on that day. The idols will perish forever. Men will go into caves in the rocks and hole in the earth, from the terror of the Lord and the splendor of his majesty, when he arises to overawe the earth. (2:9-22 NAB trans. See our comments)


Vs 14 The Lord enters into judgment with elders/princes.

Because they have had a major hand in leading the people astray (1:23; 3:12) when it was their duty to lead them rightly, they will be judged first.

Vs 14 cont. You have eaten up the vineyard; booty plundered from the poor is in your houses.

In several of the prophets we find this sort of thing condemned. Those in positions of authority and leadership were using their influence to take advantage of the poor; and all this for the aquiring of wealth. Eating the vineyard may be a reference to king Ahab who, under the influence of his wife Jezebel, aquired the vineyard of Naboth (1 Kings 21) by a gross miscarriage of justice. Justice for the poor and destitute and disenfranchised is a major concern of God, and should be a major concern of his people. (see Exodus 23:6-9; Deut 24:17-22). In chapter 5 Judah is called a vineyard which God will destroy.

Vs 15 What is this you do? You press down my people, the faces of the poor you grind as they look to you.

The poor looked to the leaders for justice but found only deceit and oppression. This verse reminds me of some passages from Amos, and earlier eighth century prophet who preached to the northern kingdom of Israel:

Thus says the Lord: For three transgressions of Israel, and for four, I will not revoke it (i.e. punishment); because they have sold the righteous for silver, and the needy for a pair of sandals. They seek the very dust that settles on a poor man’s head, the way of the humble they turn aside (2:6-7). (note: so greedy are they to aquire the land of the poor that they are said to desire the very dust of that land that has settled on the poor man’s head.)

Woe to those who turn judgement into wormwood and throw justice to the ground!… They despise the one who rebukes at the gate (i.e. a just judge), the one who speaks truth is an abomination to them…I know the number of your trangressions, the strength (perversity) of your sins: enemies of the righteous, you take bribes and turn the needy away from the gate (i.e. the city gate where public judgements were rendered).

Vs 15 cont. The faces of the poor you grind as they look to you.

Note the irony between this statement and verse 8 and the comments given their. The leaders provoke the eyes of his (God’s) glory by coming into his presence and vaunting their sins while at the same time seeking things from God. But when the poor come before them looking for help they grind them down. They refuse to help the poor and needy yet still expect God to help them! (See Amos 2:7; 5:11)File under Bible.

Posted by Dim Bulb

Posted in Bible, NOTES ON ISAIAH | Leave a Comment »

My posts on St Thomas and the Summa

Posted by Dim Bulb on May 27, 2007

I’ve relegated my posts on the Summa to the purgatory of “draft” status on my blog.  The reason for this is that I want to go through them, re-read and re-consider them.  I am trying to learn the Summa on my own, without the aid of formal instruction and I am concerned that some of my “takes” on the Summa are not in accord with his intentions.

Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment »

Answer 6

Posted by Dim Bulb on May 24, 2007

The answer is false.  The soul can be happy (i.e. enjoy happiness) without the body:

_On the contrary,_ It is written (Apoc. 14:13): "Happy [Douay:
'blessed'] are the dead who die in the Lord."

_I answer that,_ Happiness is twofold; the one is imperfect and is had
in this life; the other is perfect, consisting in the vision of God.
Now it is evident that the body is necessary for the happiness of this
life. For the happiness of this life consists in an operation of the
intellect, either speculative or practical. And the operation of the
intellect in this life cannot be without a phantasm, which is only in
a bodily organ, as was shown in the First Part (Q. 84, AA. 6, 7).
Consequently that happiness which can be had in this life, depends, in
a way, on the body. But as to perfect Happiness, which consists in the
vision of God, some have maintained that it is not possible to the
soul separated from the body; and have said that the souls of saints,
when separated from their bodies, do not attain to that Happiness
until the Day of Judgment, when they will receive their bodies back
again. And this is shown to be false, both by authority and by reason.
By authority, since the Apostle says (2 Cor. 5:6): "While we are in
the body, we are absent from the Lord"; and he points out the reason
of this absence, saying: "For we walk by faith and not by sight." Now
from this it is clear that so long as we walk by faith and not by
sight, bereft of the vision of the Divine Essence, we are not present
to the Lord. But the souls of the saints, separated from their bodies,
are in God's presence; wherefore the text continues: "But we are
confident and have a good will to be absent . . . from the body, and
to be present with the Lord." Whence it is evident that the souls of
the saints, separated from their bodies, "walk by sight," seeing the
Essence of God, wherein is true Happiness.
Again this is made clear by reason. For the intellect needs not the
body, for its operation, save on account of the phantasms, wherein it
looks on the intelligible truth, as stated in the First Part (Q. 84,
A. 7). Now it is evident that the Divine Essence cannot be seen by
means of phantasms, as stated in the First Part (Q. 12, A. 3).
Wherefore, since man's perfect Happiness consists in the vision of
the Divine Essence, it does not depend on the body. Consequently,
without the body the soul can be happy.

We must, however, notice that something may belong to a thing's
perfection in two ways. First, as constituting the essence thereof;
thus the soul is necessary for man's perfection. Secondly, as
necessary for its well-being: thus, beauty of body and keenness of
perfection belong to man's perfection. Wherefore though the body does
not belong in the first way to the perfection of human Happiness, yet
it does in the second way. For since operation depends on a thing's
nature, the more perfect is the soul in its nature, the more
perfectly it has its proper operation, wherein its happiness
consists. Hence, Augustine, after inquiring (Gen. ad lit. xii, 35)
"whether that perfect Happiness can be ascribed to the souls of the
dead separated from their bodies," answers "that they cannot see the
Unchangeable Substance, as the blessed angels see It; either for some
other more hidden reason, or because they have a natural desire to
rule the body."

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Answer 5

Posted by Dim Bulb on May 24, 2007

It is an action of the intellect:

_On the contrary,_ Our Lord said (John 17:3): "This is eternal life:
that they may know Thee, the only true God." Now eternal life is the
last end, as stated above (A. 2, ad 1). Therefore man's happiness
consists in the knowledge of God, which is an act of the intellect.

Thomas goes on to develop this considerably.

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Answer 4

Posted by Dim Bulb on May 24, 2007

The answer is false:

On the contrary,_ Happiness is man's true good...Furthermore, we must observe that human knowledge often fails,
especially in contingent singulars, such as are human acts. For this
reason human glory is frequently deceptive. But since God cannot be
deceived, His glory is always true; hence it is written (2 Cor.
10:18): "He . . . is approved . . . whom God commendeth."
The Apostle speaks, then, not of the glory which is
with men, but of the glory which is from God, with His Angels. Hence
it is written (Mk. 8:38): "The Son of Man shall confess him in the
glory of His Father, before His angels" [*St. Thomas joins Mk. 8:38
with Luke 12:8 owing to a possible variant in his text, or to the
fact that he was quoting from memory].

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