At the name of Jesus…

bow

bowIf you have ever visited an Eastern Catholic parish or Eastern Orthodox parish, you will have noticed that whenever the Trinity or any of the divine names are mentioned, the priest and people will cross themselves and incline their heads in a bow, even if only slightly.

This is a practice I really like and I’ve often wished that this would be more present at western parishes. Well, I recently found out that, at least in theory, it should happen there too…

The place where you discover this is the General Instruction of the Roman Missal (GIRM), which is basically a commentary on the Missal, explaining how Mass should be celebrated:

A bow of the head is made when the three Divine Persons are named together and at the names of Jesus, of the Blessed Virgin Mary and of the saint in whose honor Mass is being celebrated.
– GIRM 275

How about that?! I did a little more digging and found out that this practice has considerable antiquity. For example, in the 13th Century, the Fathers of the Council of Lyons seem to have been inspired by the epistle to the Philippians where St. Paul talks about how “at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on the earth and under the earth” (Philippians 2:9-10). Here’s what the Council said:

Each should fulfill in himself that which is written… that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow; whenever that glorious name is recalled, especially during the sacred mysteries of the Mass, everyone should bow the knees of his heart, which he can do even by a bow of his head.
– Council of Lyons II, Constitution 25

So, even if it’s not common practice in your parish, I’d invite everyone to follow the guidance offered to us by the GIRM and to honour the Lord, His Mother and His Saints with this small gesture of reverence.

Divine Jesus in the Gospels

 Bart Erhman is one of the most popular Scripture critics I hear quoted these days. In this video series below, Brant Pitre pits him against Anglican apologist, CS Lewis:

Calming of the storm

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Work is busy at the moment. In fact, “busy” doesn’t even come close to covering it. I don’t think I’ve ever been so stressed and overworked in all my career and it’s been like this since Easter.

As such, I’ll be taking a brief blogging sabbatical. Maybe see you in May?
CalmingOfTheStorm

Pray He finds figs

Cleansing

If you’ve ever had the chance to speak about the Christian faith with a Muslim, chances are that you will have heard the following objection raised to the divinity of Jesus (whom they call “Isa”):

“Does God know everything? Of course He does! If so, why did Isa (Jesus) not know when you can get figs? In Mark’s Gospel he goes to a fig tree looking for fruit, but he didn’t even know they weren’t in season! Isa therefore cannot be God”

If you’re a Christian who knows his faith, it’s tempting to laugh at such an objection and ignore it. However, today I would like to respond to this argument. I would like to do this for two reasons. Firstly, Scripture commands us to “be ready to give an answer” (1 Peter 3:15). Secondly, I think that the Biblical text being referred to here is really interesting and one upon which we would do well to meditate.

Fig Tree

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Napoleon on Jesus…

At the moment I’m just finishing up “Jesus among other gods” by Ravi Zacharias. In his chapter discussing Jesus’ interaction with Pontius Pilate, Zacharias tells of a really interesting incident in the life of Napoleon which I’d like to share. It’s a little long, but I really do encourage everyone to read it…

Napoleon

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