Archive for the ‘Pope’ Category

Holy Smoke, 137 Dead in Massacre After Papal Election

 Born in what is now Portugal in what was part of the Holy Roman Empire, Pope Damascus succeeded to the papacy amidst factional violence in 366 AD.

 On the death of Pope Liberius on September 24, 366, the Roman Catholic Church was highly divided. The lingering dispute had been over the doctrine of Arianism. During the previous papacy, Emperor Constantius II had banished Pope Liberius, installing antipope Felix II as his successor, because of the emperor’s view in support of Arianism. Damascus had followed Liberius into exile. When Pope Felix II died, Pope Liberius was re-installed as pope.

 (It is of note that Pope Liberius remains the earliest pope never yet canonized by the Church of Rome.)

 Himself the son of Laurentia and Antonius, a priest at the Church of San Lorenzo in Rome –when priests could marry– Damascus faced off against a rival who was elected Pope Ursinus at the same time, across town.   The former supporters of Pope Liberiius, both deacons and laity, had backed Ursinus. As  the Christian congregation of Rome grew in size, the acclamation of a new bishop of Rome was fraught with division.  

 Conclaves, as a place of concentration. Ghetto-like. The Ark of the Covenant and the elections of popes: when the movement of time was like the movement to a new place, with the love for an institution, like the Ark of the Covenant, transporting God from one generation to the next. When a generation itself was like the founding a new town. In the way of formation.

 Ursinus and Damascus were elected simultaneously, in this atmosphere of rioting, as violence and bloodshed followed. At the Church of San Lorenzo at Lucina, the son of a priest at the Church of San Lorenzo in Rome was elected pope. So at the time of the two rival conclaves, one group mainly of clergy supported Ursinus, while another group of upper-class partisans previously loyal to antipope Felix II supported the election of Damasus, at different locations in the city of Rome. In the beginning of October 366, the dissension climaxed with a riot as both sides clashed in the streets which led to a three-day massacre, with the rare intervention of Emperor Valentinian. Damasus prevailed, but only with the support of the city prefect.

 This other Pope Ursinus ruled for several months as the same time that Pope Damascus did, with certain class hostility. Could you feel the real post traumatic stress in the story, before reaching the acceptance level, long before Elizabeth Kubler-Ross met Judy Herman? Once he was securely consecrated Bishop of Rome, his men pursued Ursinus and his supporter who were driven to the outskirts of Rome where 137 were massacred in the Basilica of Sicininus. All of this happened in the early days of the Holy Roman Empire, less than thirty years after the death of Constantine the Great. In the ever changing church, with the theme of living under a dominant power.

 Church historians such as Rufinus and St. Jerome (biased as the secretary for Pope Damascus) championed Damasus. From Edward Gibbons’s Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire:  “The enemies of Damascus styled him Auriscalpius Matronarum, the ladies’ear-scratched.”

 

Note the disbelief in this story of blood shed, over themes of legitimacy, after the persecution of the Christians. At a synod in 378, Ursinus was condemned and Damasus exonerated and declared the true pope. The former antipope continued to plot for the next few years against Damasus, attempting unsuccessfully to revive his claim as pope on Damasus’s death.

 Damasus did face accusations of murder and adultery (despite having not been married in in his early years as pope). Later accused of murder before a perfect, Damascus was rescued from the charges by the personal interventions of the emperor. It is written that the neutrality of these claims has come into question, with some suggesting that the accusations were motivated by the schismatic conflict with the supporters of Arianism though the reputation of the Church of Rome did suffer from the events surrounding his election.

 As a post scripts, the theological dispute now known as Arianism was about the nature of Jesus in relation to the trinity. A priest in Alexandria Egypt named Arius disputed the concept that Jesus was “of one essence” with the Father. The controversy within the church over the two natures in one person of Jesus spread throughout the Christian world. At the time, Alexandria was considered the second-most important seat of Christianity next to Rome. At first, Bishop Alexander seemed unsure of what to do about the question that Arius was raising which had been left unsettled two generations previously. Today virtually all positive writings on the theology of Arius have been suppressed or destroyed. It is interesting that these latter day follower of Jesus worried about things that neither the Apostles like Mark who spread the faith in Egypt or Peter who spread the faith to Rome ever did — over who came first, Jesus or the Father.

 It is significant that Constantine the Great had been baptized only on his deathbed by the Arian bishop, Eusebius of Nicomedi. Constantine’s successors were all sympathizers to Arianism until Theodosius I who through imperial decree, persecution, and the calling of an ecumenical council in 381 AD effectively wiped out Arianism once and for all among the non-Germanic peoples of the Roman Empire.


 

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Creeds

Memorial Day. Remembering the past. The great tradition. Amidst all this change.

Amidst the change. Searching for God. And searching for love. Amidst all the change.

Was there honesty in my prayer? In my words? Which reflected my actions? Amidst the change in equity. In my house. The changing valuations. The fluctuating currency value.

About that sanctity of marriage. How many times?
There were commissions involved with security. And exchange.

Movies. The Russian Revolution. History was not an illusion. Nor was God.

Real fear. As an export.

The currency. Amidst the change in equity. In my house. The changing valuations. The fluctuating currency value.

Equity markets. Falling equity in my home. When everyone felt secure with equity. It was as if equity was the purpose of life.

Memorial Day. Remembering the past. The great tradition. Amidst all this change.

Beliefs. Opinions. Memorial Day. Prayer.

History was not an illusion. Nor was God. Slavery. Sex. Gentleness. That Filipino guy the other night. That guy, wanting to have sex. Just sex. The nightclubs were filled with people like this. Without concern with equity in a relationship. Without concern for real love.

How to teach the souls of the young? Graciousness. Teaching the “gentle” part of “gentlemen.”

Choice. The choice beyond just having sex with someone in a relationship. The choice to marry someone.

As to those outward signs: you had to be looking. A lot of people passed them by without a clue as to what was going on.

Some got lost in the search and gave up.

Learning the kind of God to believe in through religious education.

Was there honesty in my prayer? In my words?

Opinions? Or beliefs? Communal beliefs.

The Ascension Gospel: Why are you standing there? Go! Spread the news of God’s love.

Communal beliefs in action were more than just opinions.

Spiritual, Not Religious

Giving EVERYTHING up. Giving up box STORES, restaurants, home.

The “No THERE” invading. With the uber generation. Giving up Church. Having NOTHING. Believing so much in abortion, I am sure they were right.

The suicides. Killing our kids, surrounded by the No THERE.

The most satisfactory meals of the week are generally eaten on the weekend, with family and friends. People generally do not get much satisfaction from eating alone. And so it goes with prayer. I had great meals during the week. I actually prayed during the week, but my best prayer was the one on Sunday with other people. When the Christian world stopped to come together.

I think man and woman were created in the image, and formed in the likeness of God. And in my view God had a social nature. There were a lot of “spiritual, not religious” people looking for mates on Match.com. They seemed to live in denial of their own spiritual nature, when it came to the community. A mate like that would scare me.

That same social nature in the natural selection process leads to intimacy. How can “spiritual, not religious” people find true intimacy and fit into the social fabric alone? Was this why the social studies of the new generation show so many people no longer bowl?

Ad limina visits occur every five years to Rome, by bishops. Those ad limina visits. According to canon law No 399, a bishop needs to report to the pope an account of the state of his diocese once every five years. The bishop delivers a written report on the state of his diocese as well as a renewal of his pledge of dedication to the Holy See. The Pope then delivers his own address to the bishop, offering his perspective on the challenges facing the Church in that diocese. (Those priests ordained after the late 1980s had the same kind of loyalty oath that priests ordained before them never had to take. And thus one reason for the conservative nature of so many young priests these days — the ones who tried to preach from a seat of authority with the New Evangelization, rather than teach the young and the old.)


Ad limina visits. When everything was supposed to look so good. Then the pope goes to Africa, and discovers the real world there, where things are not so hot for his priesthood. No one seemed to be studying it, except Jeffrey Anderson of St. Paul who has made countless millions, profiting from the mistakes of the priesthood.


Those ad limina visits were on hold. But the Vatican’s Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life had issued a decree on December 22, 2008 that it will begin an Apostolic Visitation or comprehensive study undertaken in order to look into the quality of institutes of women religious in the United States and the life of the members of these religious institutes. Visitations in a comprehensive study to review the quality of convents in the United States and the institutes of women religious. Yeah, the people in the convents.


March 18, 2009.

“On a day in which his focus turned largely to the inner life of the church, Pope Benedict XVI indirectly, yet unmistakably, demanded a halt to financial and sexual scandals that have recently tarnished the image of Catholicism in Africa, a continent that is otherwise perhaps the most compelling “good news” story for the church in the world in light of dramatic 20th century growth. Speaking to the bishops of Cameroon, Benedict XVI called for greater oversight of priests and religious. The church has also been hit by a number of sexual scandals, most involving reports of priests involved in either causal or long-term relationships with women, and, in some cases, having fathered children.

The very setting of the pope’s address to the bishops offered an ironic reminder of the point. Benedict met the bishops in a parish church rather than the main Yaoundè cathedral, because the cathedral is still undergoing renovations that were supposed to be completed well before the papal visit. Mass-goers and the local government had been asked to contribute funds so that the cathedral’s new bells would be in place to ring out when Benedict arrived. In fact, however, the bells never arrived, the work is not completed, and the former rector of the cathedral was recently replaced amid speculation about missing funds. The cathedral is not an isolated case. In September 2007, amid charges of embezzling church funds.

Bishop Immanuel Bushu, the bishop of the Buea diocese, read the letter of suspension during Mass in his cathedral, ordering a popular priest, Fr. James Ekwede, to vacate his rectory and seek refuge “anywhere he likes.” Similarly last January, Bishop George Nkuo of the Kumbo diocese had to step in after a spat erupted in a local parish, which had led to the pastor placing the entire parish community under interdict, refusing to say Mass or celebrate the other sacraments. In the background were accusations of embezzlement, and the peace deal negotiated by Nkuo involved an agreement that some $500,000 in parish money would be independently audited. In a nation where corruption and mismanagement of resources is widely regarded as pervasive, it’s perhaps not terribly surprising that there are echoes of it also within the church. Nevertheless, the cases have given the church a black eye.” –John Allen, in the National Catholic Reporter.

Time. The passing of the days. Building on the past. Formed in the classics, and then letting go to be absorbed in new lands. In new geographies. Growth and maintenance.

Ad limina visits, when everything was supposed to look so good. Then the pope in Africa discovering in the real world. “Dr. Livingston, I presume.” With the discovered mistakes of the priesthood, no one from the Vatican’s Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life dared talk about the loss of the money for corporal works of mercy from all the sexual abuse cases settled around the world. There was no comprehensive study undertaken in order to look into the quality of institutes of men religious, and why the numbers were allowed to fall off, and what might be done to change all of this. Despite the loss of money for corporal works of mercy, the spin doctors of the church were working to canonize John Paul II. All the king’s horsemen. The ones appointed by this pope and the last one.

Calendars measure time and the growth of a church. Time. The passing of the days. Solar and lunar calendars to start again each morning. Solar and lunar time was a lot alike, a little different, like men and women. Gregorian calendars, and carrying on, until the day when the Christian world stopped coming together because there would be no priests. The loss of money. That loss of Sunday prayer would hit Rome one day, with loss of revenues. When there were less practicing Catholics. There was a cost to poor leadership. The politics of the church might continue until none of us would be able to afford spiritual food. With other Catholic people as well as other people with belief, but not really belonging. The spiritual who felt so out of place.

People generally do not get much satisfaction from eating alone, and so it goes with prayer. The day might be ahead on the calendar when we all would be “spiritual, not religious,” having a lot less satisfactory meals. While popes wrote their theology books that no one read, and no one really oversaw the governing of the universal church.

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News from the East

 

There are mor than 10,000 religious denominations within the Christian religion.  One pretty large denomination is meeting this week to elect a patriarch of the Russian Orthodox Church.  About 700 hundred Russian Orthodox clergy, monks and lay people convened today in local council to start the process of selecting a new patriarch from the shortlist. 

 

The fear that in a world of 6 billion people, soon on the way to 7 billion, that the narrative was being diluted.  By the too well educated who all wanted great jobs.  Who wanted their own cars.  By too many religions.  Who wanted their own vehicles.  By the fight over earthly power and influence. 

 

According to the Moscow Times, in an interview published in the Trud newspaper yesterday, “Metropolitan Kirill said, ‘The position of the Russian Orthodox Church with regard to the possibility of a meeting between its patriarch and the Catholic pope remains unchanged.  A meeting between the patriarch and the pope will become possible only when there are conclusive signs of real and positive progress on issues which for a long time have been problematic for our relations.’   Kirill, 62, is a shrewd political operator, observers say, who has been careful not to appear too liberal for fear of alienating traditionalists in the church whose support he may need to win election as patriarch.   He does have close contacts with other Christian denominations.  Kirill won 97 votes at a first round of voting in the church’s Council of Bishops on Sunday.  

 

“Shortlisted with two other senior clergymen, Metropolitan Kirill is viewed as the candidate most open to contacts with the Vatican.  The next head of the Russian Orthodox Church will only meet the Roman Catholic pope if tensions between the two faiths are resolved, Kirill said. 

 

“The new patriarch will lead a church of about 165 million believers worldwide and determine whether to repair ties with the Catholic Church that have been strained since a schism in 1054 split Christianity into eastern and western branches.  The main obstacle to better relations between the two churches is the Russian charge that Rome has been trying to convert Orthodox believers to Catholicism since the end of communism, an allegation the Vatican denies. 

 

“Patriarch Alexy II, who died last month, resisted meetings with two successive pontiffs.  But some scholars of religion have predicted that Kirill, who met Pope Benedict in the Vatican two years ago, could be more open to the idea.  But Metropolitan Kirill said in a newspaper interview that the church’s position would not change.” 

 

If there was no real poverty, you could give up working hard.  More of us were fearing poverty this year. 

 

Without fear, you have no reason to work hard.  Without a sense of fear, you have no reason to find courage, for that matter.  Fear was the enzyme in the survival of the fittest.  Fear of hunger.  Fear of cold. 

 

Pessimism and fear:  fear of what?  Sometime it was the unknown that was the great motivator.  Fear of evil.  The temptations.  The loss of focus. 

 

Fear motivates us to work hard.  If there was no Devil, there would be no need to work hard at fighting crime.  Did anyone ever doubt the existence of evil?  And that those who were in search for the Truth were in a battle with evil every day?

There was a lot of politics with any religion.  And a lot of religion these day with any politics.   

 

In the Papal State

The end of the 19th Century was a turbulent time.  Monarchs were being challenged the world over, with ideas from the French and American Revolutions.  The first challenge came in 1848 all over Europe, which was known as Year of Revolution.  Those disturbences began with crop failures, new press popularity, and the technological change revolutionizing the working class.  The disturbances, not connected, were quelled and little changed for awhile.  The Communist Manifesto was published in 1848.  The Franco-Prussian War saw the unification of Germany.  Although proclaimed in 1861, various states of Italy were united into a nation by 1870.  Pope Pius IX then became a self-imposed prisoner inside the Vatican, with the loss of the Papal States.  

 

At the end of the 19th Century, woman wanted the right to vote in the United Kingdom.  By 1913, women were granted the right to vote in Norway and Denmark.  The rural traditons of nations were changing.   

 

It was about the time of the Russian Revolution that George Bernard Shaw wrote Pygmallion.  MY FAIR LADY recently came to Minneapolis.  This was the musical version of the 1913 play Pygmallion.  Professor Henry Higgins tells Colonel Pickering in Act I that he could turn the flower girl into a duchess.  The real theme of the show was the new paradigm that men were still learning, that women were still learning to deal with: the independence of women and how man tried to come to grips with the issue of equality of women, one hundred years ago.  Lovely ideas.  Lovely.   

 

It was also during this period of Pope Pius IX that the doctrine of papal infallibility was introduced in 1870.    

 

So how do men and women get along in the era when western women get their independence?  Equality always seemed to be a basic human right.  Independence was another matter.  George Bernard Shaw captured the New World fear of independence in 1900 that had evolved from the Old World fear of American Independence almost one hundred years before.   That search for a true soulmate has never been tougher.

 

In the last fifty years, there has been another challenge in the search for a soulmate in the Roman Catholic Church.  The Vatican was having a harder time each generation to recuit priests. The story to start this millennium is not that men failed in their dealing half the time with women, or that women failed half the time.  The real story was the missing priest to help in humankind’s struggle with their own independence.

 

This morning in church I heard the woman next to me substituting nouns for pronouns, refusing to use “He” in reference to God.  Yet I noticed that she did pray the “Our Father.”  Hers was a inner battle with the word of Jesus.  Yet I saw the same gender wars from her perspective.  Papa Ratzi was in France today.  Praying to Our Lady of Fatima, yet he never had been particularly good in engaging in discussion with living females on church issues of the day.  Guys with miters are not particularly any more inclusive in leadership decisions today than they were before woman had the right to vote.  I saw that Peter was married, with a cited mother-in-law, who was asked to lead this church.  If he was alive in 2008, he would automatically disqualified.  It would be difficult to ask a young man to work for this institutions with such apparent prejudices, however he felt called to serve His God. 

 

The last few popes showed little if any inkling of how to deal with the urban world and independence of women.  I had mentioned a discussion with my 69-year old aunt, a former nun, who had been educated after high school with a class of 46, and those former classmates had gathered.  Of her classmates, 6 had died.  I asked how many had remained nuns their entire life.  The answer was 6.  That was a pretty good barometer how women felt about the state of women suffrage within the church.  When challenged by the times, Pope Pius IX relied on a new doctrine of papal infallibility.  But infallibility can be met with by silence.  And with what is this relatively new doctrine of papal infallibity, the wounds of the church have never been more visible.  

 

The wonder is that women, half the Catholic world, still care about their church that preached that the Truth would set them free and taught the importance of freedom of religion for all people as a basic human right.

That search for the Everlasting soulmate was never tougher when your boss, no matter how gracious, was infallible and did not have to listen.  When authority was based on love, it was easy to accept.  When authority seemed to be based upon power rather than authentic love, the battle seemed more like what that woman next to me was fighting, much more personal.  Those demons in holy institutions did not particularly interest me.  Not based upon the text. 

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THE DROUGHT & THE SHORTAGE OF SPIRITUAL FOOD

Rule number one in life, if you are good in your profession, people will seek you out. Until now when the parish priest was going to be worked to death.  There had been no leveraged buy-out, following by lay-offs of personnel.  There was just no support from above to the work load, and little support in the way of young men signing up for a new profession.  It was a job with little financial reward and no family life of your own.     

 

Thirty, forty and fifty years ago, this country was coming out of a Great Depression and World War II.  And that generation saw something maybe in a guy who had grown up in the same neighborhood, who had once been at a parish.   And parents and children identified with the priest as normal.  That did not happen so much any more.   Especially when the archbishops came from far away. One hundred year-old churches were given new names, without any appreciation of history in this community. The archbishop did not seem to care. They say all politics was really local.  So the church…..or it used to be.  Now it seemed indifferent, with leaders in Rome suggesting that it was the masses were indifferent.  The masses were menu selectors, spoiled.

 

To Be Professed in a Profession.  There were only 4 professions.  Medicine, Law, Teaching.  The Clergy.  What happens when you cannot keep your vows? Judas seemed to be the first who failed to come to grips with his own failure.  It was as if he left in the 7th inning of that playoff game in 1951 between the Giants and the Dodgers, with no idea of the ultimate outcome.  He missed the excitement of the death and Resurrection.  What happens today to a Catholic priest when he finds he no longer can be celibate?  When he really cannot be normal as every other man?  When it was your “profession” to the public?  Does it mean complete failure?  What happens when this career based upon your relationship with God comes in conflict with the required vow to be celibate?  When the vow seemed historically artificial?  What happens when a man faces professional failure, even when the priest’s desire to marry was what was usually considered the normal development of a man?  Why was this church law, which had not existed in the first millennium, considered paramount to priesthood, especially in lieu of every man, every woman’s struggle against loneliness?  Why was this church law considered to be just?

 

In baseball, when the supply did not equal the demand, you grew your own.  You developed a farm system.   You went to the Domincan.  In families you had kids.  When something was not working in the business world, managers were held accountable to find out why.  Otherwise people were going to quit coming out.  And then those managers would be looking for new work.  And now these rules were stacked against the home team.  It had not always been so.  Priest had been allowed to marry throughout the first millennium, although the folks in Vatican City did not want the people to know that.  The people in Vatican City seemed indifferent to church closings.  No consideration was being given to changes of the rules.  Nothing visible was being done to examine why men had quit signing up.  In South Africa they had a Truth & Reconciliation Commission to address wrongs of the past.  Government had to find a way to unite a fractured people.  When men and women long ago quit signing up, no one in Rome had sought to find out the truth about why.  Rather than playing the blame game, rather than close churches throughout the wold, it was time to show some authentic collegiality to break a communication problem that comes out of a dysfunction family that acts solely on issue of authority.  On the ultimate matters of faith, and sharing that faith through the Eucharist, the seat of Rome had failed to communicate with great honestly.  It was a failure to listen to the people, to respond in some way for at least 25 years, which would put the availability of the Eucharist at risk.    

 

The masses had never been better educated.  Especially by priests and nuns.  But not any more. The cost of parochial schools was eating into the financial statement of parishes.  And that dried up the reservoir from where many a vocation had come. Experience showed that it was hard to lead an educated group of people, and especially if you were not considered as one of them.  The new archbishop here was going to learn that lesson.

 

How do you minister to a church of one billion with a diminished priesthood? Pope Benedict had called the question in the modern era of what exactly Catholic identity was if it was not practiced in every day life.  The modern Catholic had become like the American Protestant who lived down the street 40 years ago.  They went to church maybe 4 times a year. In a sense, this frequency of worship casts doubt on the intensity of worship.   Pope Benedict had called the question in his recent travels to New York and Washington.  We now wait for his answer to the real crisis in the church as to how a true Catholic identity which desired the availability of the traditional Eucharist would be served by priesthood over the next 25 years? 

Aequum Est

It had been a morning of black bananas at my home when I entered St. Agnes. And I did not look really look forward either to what was inside this church, in the fortnight or less before another papal plane landed.  St. Agnes for me represented the side that had won the war within the church over the last 50 years.  As I did not expect much from a black banana in the way of taste, from what was inside, which might explain the lack of appeal of the Catholic Church to the generation after me. 

 

I had always thought of St. Agnes a lot like I did the Klu Klux Klan, a thing of the past, a relic of a bye-gone era that I could not quite grasp.  This was a place for people who were trying to hold onto something from history, a people out of touch with the present day.  And in one sense, it all seemed there initially:  priests turning their backs on the laity with the resulting refusal to recognize the voices, a refusal to recognize the authenticity of the female spiritual relationship with the divine, with the ensuing lack of institutional recognition of their work, their ministry.  This was the patriarchal interpretation of Salvation History.

 

Now I was at least 12 minutes late, after making a stop at the airport but I still had not missed the first reading.  This was one slow method of prayer.  In downtown Minneapolis, there was a monthly African Mass, reflecting a culture that had more time to celebrate on Sunday.  Americans were busier people.  Once inside, looking around, I was amazed at what I saw.  I never expected the splendor of the colors within this church in this part of town.  And as the Mass continued, I was amazed at the prayers the congregation knew that I did not.  And I had been schooled in Catholic institutions from the age of 5 through 22. 

 

I was amazed at the response of the congregation to the Latin, as a 4-year Latin student myself, as the last class of altar boys of the pre-Vatican II Latin Mass.  The worshipers were mostly younger than 50, working class people.  And somewhere there had been the preparation in a community, as in all communities to continue a tradition, how to teach prayer and how to pass the intangibles on.

       

The liturgy on this Sunday was about changed perception, recognizing Jesus in all things. And I was changed by what I saw.  Kneeling at the communion, in the days of old, did bring a renewed respect for what was happening. 

 

AND THE MUSIC of Mozart: that was why I had been invited.  Music reflected in the battle of traditional Christian churches, with an academic base, the factions within Christianity, in which something was created which happened over time, with various transitions, a symphony with very different movements.  Growth, acquisitions, transitions, with some attrition, yet still aiming at unity someday. Music was an art aiming at unity, and it was Mozart who showed any listener that it was right to give thanks and praise to this God.  I had heard a bit of Vivaldi’s Mass, Gloria in D Major, in the days since Easter.  Vivaldi witness vibrated the heart when the same music was used for the Gloria as for the Sanctus.  But for me Mozart brought a re-birth to what was going on.  AND IN THE MUSIC OF MOZART, what a performance.  Of people who live somewhere scattered among us.   

 

When I was a freshman in high school, I was taught a class by Bill Ozark with the name ”Salvation History.”  Of late, especially at Easter, I think often of that course. For me, there was an ever visible theme to world history.  And “Salvation History” seemed to include the infinite time when God lived alone in the heavens with His creative impulses.  And all along he kept trying.  When he formed man in his image and likeness, men and women kept trying.  And again and again, people failed.   

 

Resurrection consequentially is about forgiveness.  Resurrection was God’s divine way to demonstrate that all of history was about the attempt to keep trying.  Woman, Man, generation after generation of people.  People I have met and people I never knew, some related to me, have kept trying.  People of Ireland who tried to form a nation once again, on Easter.  People whose DNA I shared.  People who forgave and started over, with the resolve to try to do good.  Because we were divine, from age to age, from east to west, and we all were here to keep trying.   

 

Salvation History was that story about God, demonstrated in the tradition of Abraham who really had lived.  Moses was a true person.  David had actually ruled as king.  And Jesus had really lived and died.  I believed his story was not about how he was put to death, not another story about man’s inhumanity to man, but His life’s purpose was about the meaning of all history. On a morning that had started with black bananas, it seemed fitting and proper to hear this Latin of a different time, to hear Mozart in commemorating Dr. Sullivan, to recall people who had lived and died, to recall Bill Ozark, and to look at the next generation of Sullivans, in this Easter season of re-birth, resurrection. 

 

As they say at St. Agnes, Aequum est….to keep trying.