Peter Leithart: Wedding Sermon

Peter Leithart:  “Wedding Sermon” is just magnificent:

….As the Spirit joins Father and Son, so He joins fathers and sons across the gap of generations. No generation can be healthy if it is dominated by one spirit. A generation dominated by the spirit of sons breaks from the past in revolution, and a generation that drinks only of the spirit of the fathers is hidebound, and tyrannical. A healthy generation partakes of the spirit of the fathers and the spirit of sons, and must learn to join these spirits into one spirit. The Holy Spirit is the One Between who unifies the past and future. As the Spirit who proceeds from the Father and the Son, the Spirit joins the hearts of the fathers to sons, and of sons to the fathers….

….Our prayer for you, on this Saturday after Pentecost, is that the Spirit of the Father and the Son, the true Spirit of joviality, the One Between, will fill the gaps in you, in your marriage, and in your home, drawing you into the unity of the Son and the Father, from this day to your lives’ end. This is our prayer, because the success of your marriage depends entirely on the grace of God, the grace that is the Gift of God, the Gift that is the Spirit of God. You’ll find, if you are honest, that marriage is impossible, but our prayer is that that you will also find that with God the Spirit, the God in between, nothing is impossible.

The Real Soul-Mate

Quote Details: J. R. R. Tolkien: Nearly all marriages, even… – The Quotations Page

Nearly all marriages, even happy ones, are mistakes: in the sense that almost certainly (in a more perfect world, or even with a little more care in this very imperfect one) both partners might be found more suitable mates. But the real soul-mate is the one you are actually married to.

J. R. R. Tolkien,   Letter to Michael Tolkien,   March 1941

British scholar & fantasy novelist (1892 – 1973)

These Days are Fleeting

girl talk

I think moms need to stop apologizing for doing a full time job full time! I am not going to state that all moms must be stay at home moms but for those who are, they must stop feeling inferior for their decision. I am tired of the mentality that is becoming more and more prevalent that says women who stay at home raising their children are wasting themselves even as they serve to drag down the economy. That’s a lie. Women who are home raising their children should do so with gusto and no regrets. No one can love your children like you can. God made you to be their mother and no one else. Learn everything you can about how to be the best mom you can be by God’s grace. Hold your head high when you state that you are a mom—not “just a mom” but a mom full time. Love your job because the days are fleeting. Those precious little ones will be grown up sooner than you think. Motherhood is a high calling now just as it has always been. Those who think otherwise are deceiving themselves.

The Human Face is a Set of Liturgical Conventions

The Internet Monk is told he needs to smile more. Comments follow. I like mine the best:

Everyone is right, of course, to say that an insincere smile is bad, and right that just smiling alot is not a useful goal in itself. But there is a common assumption in all this that is not false but just not true enough — the assumption that your smile is true if you feel happy, false if you do not. No, it’s not always just about you.

Your face, I mean. It’s not just about you. It’s not just an instrument of self-expression; it is also an instrument of community. So a smile can be a sincere liturgical act even when you are inwardly sad. A liturgical act, I mean, in the sense of an authentic ritual performed to make a connection with another person.

WE — we post-evangelicals — have all had such awakenings in recent years that formal, planned acts in worship can not only be real, but can be blessed. The liturgy delivers us from the murk of our own subjectivity — Yeats’ “rag and bone yard of the heart” — into the clear, bracing air of the community. We pray what the church prays. We sing what the church sings. And then, like a grace, we disover we feel what the church feels. The act first, then the feeling.

Why is a smile any different?
We teach children to shake hands, don’t we? We teach them to open doors? Have you ever told your child to “smile at the nice lady, and say thank you”? What would you answer if he replied “I don’t feel it.”? A good father would say “I don’t care. It is an obligation of love. Smile, and mean it.”

In none of this am I defending Joel Osteen, car dealers, or other fake smilers. I hate fake smiles. But these fakers fail in their smiles not for smiling too much, but for smiling too superficial. Think final cause instead of material cause: just like a written, liturgical prayer can be become authentic if the one praying brings his whole intention into the act, so a smile, acted in the face first but sincerely, will lead to its final cause: a connection between persons.

So, maybe, Michael, what the lady at the post office is TRYING to say — admittedly, poorly — is “you are not connecting with me, and I’d like us to connect.”

Jesus smiled on us when we hated Him, and I very seriously doubt He “felt” it.

Modesty: the Awareness that Knowledge has a Time. | Liturgical Thinking

The destruction of time meant the destruction of shame and modesty: “Shame is the soul’s garment against arbitrary and untimely knowledge: because timing is the condition in which alone the eternal may be revealed.” It takes time for a bride to know her lover, and modesty is the veil over that permits this time to occur; there is a time lag between convictions we come to and the proper time to speak, and shame is the cover for words that are not yet ready to be spoken. The Counter-Reformation again, eh claims, hardened and sterilized shame and modest: “If shame is not the expression of growth, it turns into a loveless, asocial, hard and fast thing.” But life requires being gazed upon by loving faces, since “God’s countenance cannot fasten on us unless His delegates, loving faces, are recognized as gateways to His face.”

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“The other…embarks within the mind of the knower”

Peter Leithart, on Milbank on Maritain:

…knowledge pertains not to information, nor to representation, but rather to a particular state of being in which a creature, while remaining entirely within herself, is nonetheless so directly present to another creature that she in some sense becomes this other, while inversely, the other that was once materially embodied, embarks within the mind of the knower upon a new purely intellectual existence.