SMC205H1 - Nov 3

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St. Michael's College Courses
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Giulio Silano

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SMC205H1F – November 3, 2011 (Julian) Christians defined by what they celebrate, the Eucharist but we do not see much mention of it but then we do with the women. Catherine, writing everything in Christ’s blood, taming authority of her time via Christ’s blood, reception of the Eucharist has become a very defining thing – focus everything around reception of the Eucharist.  Eucharist in Christian piety? – 19 century yes Eucharistic – this is what it may have appeared to been the meaning of being Christian – going th churchthnd receiving Eucharist… again this is a kind of speech of things we have not seen before – 12 and 13 century in which it arises, it remains important in the definition of Christian piety  In the greatest of these women there is no danger of Eucharistic piety becoming private – Catherina most prominent with this- by references to Christ she writes obligation first then rites, to tell what the consequences are for one’s life…  Women who only receive Eucharist but do not eat – book on this topic – on strength of union with Christ – she does it at all levels… two or three letters- telling them they are being old women in the way they have failed to address issues in the church- interesting gender portrayal  Then Catherine gives specific appointments for authority- identifies peoples responsibilities, tells what alliances should be made… then turn to followers and say who they are… then do a theology of marriage  Beautiful letter about young man going to be executed and how she had confidence in him, she accompanies him to execution, brought out his conversion, reconcile unjust faith, then she is drunk in the blood of Christ in this person, and has a glorious vision of this young men entering site of Christ, does graceful thing, turns around and he smiles at her, one who can gaze on Christ’s face and turns around and smiles = so again then she writes about the confessor… so you learn from this and you read this  Any suggestion these experiences are given for own private erotic satisfaction are quickly expelled by insistence – these women are read and received a having things to teach…  Catherine- eventually becomes doctor of church- writings considered theologically… for the church as a whole… What is the importance of mysticism in the life of the Church?  What should one think of this?  Like deciding what do you think of Christ’s miracles? Embarrassed or grateful? o These miracles are for others and themselves… Catherine- stigmatic and would fast (anorexia) – more than fasting because Catherine did not eat, which is different from fasting and if it was true, it would have only happened miraculously… stigmatic is suffering - Yes pain is involved, no question, but to what extent is joy also involved? If your deepest desire is conformity with Christ, then to what extent are these signs of conformity, the source of great joy… yes they are the source of great embarrassment too… stigmatic is embarrassing, Catherine begged them to be invisible when she died because she did not want that stigma… - Extreme evidence of union… these women in particular profess to desire between themselves in Christ – you are what you eat… Byron making – eat Christ become like Christ – but to what extent is this supposed to be meaningful for any Christian? - If you say you believe the Eucharist is Christ- what can you expect to happen from eating it? Should this be a question? - Frequent reception of Eucharist – is people giving up in the actual presence of Christ in the Eucharist- so those who wanted to keep the reception rare are not really wrong… there is no right answer to how often it should be received… - Do some people simply see it as a nice thing to do? – How many believe in the presence of Christ? - Language of symbol or language of real presence more prominent? – which one do Catholics believe - Sacrament is symbol, calling it a symbol does not make it less valuable… it is also the real thing - These women try to work out what it means to say to receive the real thing… if you are a Christian you say you became Christ in baptism, you took on Christ, and because you became Christ you partake of Christ’s body = are these just expressions? Or do they have a meaning? - Consequences of the statements they have made? - Raises question of gender- do women in part do this because this is what is open to them? Or is it particularly natural to women? Because Claire can be more open than Francis but does not have Francis’ freedom to go around all over the place. Catherine is an exception with travels while the other women are firmly fixed in place, they cannot stand up in Church, Paul says don’t let women preach, testify, give witness to faith… - Spousal language is more plausible from women, maybe though men can use the language like Nasturtiums but outside the monastery it sounds weird for men to talk this way where as it is plausible for a women to talk like that and it is okay to listen if either man or woman - So women can tell in their flesh these things men cannot talk about - Silano like when priests are criticized, doubt of Thomas becomes confirmation for all others, doubt of priest comes confirmation for all else, snicker at priest is good … - We affirm the Incarnation in such a way as to reduce it to nothing… is this true the Incarnation is important, where our salvation begins? Where our understanding of selves begins? That it means in some way men can become God? – theolosis – if God becomes man so we can bring our body to the table, well how do you bring your body to the table, Christians are not supposed to be merely spiritual but the whole person that is what it means with resurrection of the body, what is the effect of your body being the vehicle through which Eucharistic God comes to you… is there a better one than the bridal or spousal one. If God decides to become one with you in mystical ways, in assurance, - why be surprised? These images are bold and can be shocking, - What is astonishing- nothing unusual going on, this is what you should expect according to the writers - 12-13-14 century range of possible experiences that go with mystical, bridal and spousal…  Catherine- her experience, of being so brave and yet the letter is so striking because she does not seem her self – not like she is compelling herself to do something difficult, she feels privileged to be present at his marriage feast, she is heartened by his great courage, while he is in darkness and being condemned unjustly which adds to the power of the story so the way he accepts something so unfair radically is to Catherine a witness to her own and for her own, she comes out drunk of the Holy Spirit- high point is the notion the guy about be incorporated into Christ and finds the movement to turn around and smile at Catherine.  DANTE would reference this profound move by the man – would one take their glance away from Christ? This is what the man did – astonishing shows how good he is Question of the body is fascinating- revelation of St. John- there are precedence – the business of making the blood an object of devotion and making it a claim to authority to speak is an iffy kind of twist and Catherine does play with wine and blood business, normally one does not get drunk with blood… so for the drunkenness to work you need the wine and blood- substance changes but form remains- you can play with being god then… - “Holy drunkenness” notion - To what extent is Catherine more humanitarian? – These women are interested in dynamism in God, not about passionless- thus great mystery of calling God 3 – whenever you only have one description of something in the Church you have a problem - What extend do we love God- what is Catherine at the end of the day? Passions? - Richness of Catherine is astonishing- she writes with great ease which is interesting because it is one of the miracles she was not literalist – she was taught by God, she probably did not write but dictates, she did receive the gift of reading mystically. Catherine was incredibly articulate. It is done with a kind of spiritedness, verb, which would be hard to find in others, she is not afraid to ponder the highest, she talks about the creation in the highest way showing dynamism and love in a way the scholastic descriptions could not.  God creating by looking into himself- that is beautiful and makes perfect sense, it is profound – Silano  It is a difficulty, these miracles, our current understanding of miracle is too exclusively tied to cures from incurable illnesses which are a cultural problem, one of the effects it has is to forget where the word comes from and what the object of miracles is meant to be. Root of word miracle is “I wonder” miracles are literally occasions for wonder, religion must generate a lot of occasions for “wonder” – there is a spectrum of events which can generate such wonder, is it agreeable? That any tradition like this which did not cultivate wonder would it be worth much? Not really. IF wonder is to be part of religious experience, what are the occasions for wonder, what ext
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