Tag Archives: Christology

Saint Mechtilde of Hackeborn

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The Church celebrates two Benedictine friends in several days: Saints Mechtilde and Gertrude. By today’s standards of canonizations, neither were formally canonized by the Church; until recently Hildegard enjoyed a canonization status only observed in Benedictine communities. Her liturgical observance is recognized more universally today. Pope Benedict XVI spoke eloquently of Saint Mechtilde of Hackeborn at a 2010 Wednesday Office. The Pope gives a superb insight into the person of Saint Mechtilde that is extraordinarily helpful.

Saint Mechtilde (1240-1298), the sister of Gertrude of Hackeborn (not Gertrude the Great [celebrated on Nov. 16], thought there is great confusion about this relation) attended the monastery school where her sister was a nun and after graduation she entered monastic life. Like Gertrude the Great Saint Mechtilde was known as a serious and gifted student and teacher. Someone described her having a “voice of a songbird.” Her wonderful personality was an asset for her Benedictine community and it likely led to her being a 40 year abbess. As it turns out, Gertrude the Great was a student of Mechtilde’s. Both of whom had a profound love for the Sacred Heart of Jesus
Privacy issues today weren’t known in the 13th century. Mechtilde’s spiritual experiences were recorded by Gertrude. Though unnerved by the perceived violation of boundaries, the Lord assured her that it was OK. In time Gertrude’s work was the basis of Mechtilde’s “Book of Special Grace” or later known as “Revelations of Saint Mechtilde,” a book that is oriented to the liturgical year and focussed on Christology and Trinitarian theology. The Pope tells us that Mechtilde’s starting point is the sacred Liturgy and her mystical experiences relate us back to the liturgical experience through the lens of the biblical narrative. Saint Mechtilde ought to be one of the heavenly patrons of liturgical studies.
In several places you’ll read that Dante used Saint Mechtilde for his Donna Matelda of his volume of the Purgatorio, Canto XXVII. Whether is true is not yet known. That Dante’s Donna Matelda and Saint Mechtilde are mystics, one wonders if the saint is fictionalized.

Infinity Dwindled to Infancy –reviewed by George Weigel

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Over the summer Jesuit Father Edward Oakes published his latest book, Infinity Dwindled to Infancy.

I posted a blog piece about the Infancy here.

Father Oakes’ book was reviewed by George Weigel on First Things: read it (actually, read the review and the book).
You can now get the book in paper and on Kindle at Amazon.

Our Lady of the Rosary

OLR and St Dominic.jpgThe rosary is essential to the life of Christians. We ought to live the rosary.

The rosary is a practical study of sacred Scripture in the we remain faithful to the call to be close to Christ through constant a memory of the life, death, resurrection and ascension of the Lord. We call this the Paschal Mystery.
The rosary, popularly seen as a Marian prayer (connected to the Blessed Virgin Mary), but really it is a Christological prayer.
The supreme victory promised by God through the intercession of Mary is none other than being generated by love and the grace of conversion. Praying the rosary keeps us in touch with Christ, the Savior, the Good Shepherd.
Read more in the John Paul II teaching found in his apostolic letter, Rosary of the Virgin Mary, and a more of the feast today given by CNA.

Exaltation of the Holy Cross

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Consummatum est. It is completed — it has come to a full end. The mystery of God’s love toward us is accomplished. The price is paid, and we are redeemed. The Eternal Father determined not to pardon us without a price, in order to show us especial favor. He condescended to make us valuable to Him. What we buy we put a value on. He might have saved us without a price –by the mere fiat of His will. But to show His love for us He took a price, which, if there was to be a price set upon us at all, if there was any ransom at all to be taken for the guilt of our sins, could be nothing short of the death of His Son in our nature. O my God and Father, Thou hast valued us so much as to pay the highest of all possible prices for our sinful souls– and shall we not love and choose Thee above all things as the one necessary and one only good?

Blessed John Henry Newman

Meditation on the 12th Station

Infinity Dwindled to Infancy: A Catholic and Evangelical Christology, NEW book by Father Edward Oakes

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Infinity Dwindled to Infancy: A Catholic and Evangelical Christology (Eerdmans, 2011) is due to be released in July. If you pre-order now, there is a discount on Amazon.
Father Oakes utilizes a wide range of works taken from Scripture, theology and literature to explore the questions on the lordship of Jesus Christ. He’s attentive to the Magisterium. The concern is to know what the we, as Christians, believe and teach about who Jesus Christ is, and why. In this book the author is wants to answer this question: what does it mean for an infinite God to become man?
The title of this book is taken from a poem of Jesuit Father Gerard Manley Hopkins, “The Blessed Virgin compared to the Air we Breathe.” There the poet says:
“This air, by life’s law,
My lung must draw and draw
Now but to breathe its praise,
Minds me in many ways
Of her who not only
Gave God’s infinity
Dwindled to infancy
Welcome in womb and breast,
Birth, milk, and all the rest
But mothers each new grace
That does now reach our race.”
Infinity Dwindled to Infancy has three parts: the data, the history and the teaching on the identity and work of Christ. The work carries an Imprimatur from Francis Cardinal George, Archbishop of Chicago and the Nihil obstat from Capuchin Father Thomas Weinandy, theologian for the US Conference of Bishops.

Father Edward T. Oakes, SJ, is a professor of systematic theologian teaching at Mundelein Seminary. He is a member of the some time meeting of the Dulles Colloquium (a theological discussion group that was organized by Father Richard J. Neuhaus and Cardinal Avery Dulles) and he is a member of the ecumenical theological discussion group Evangelicals and Catholics Together. Oakes is a frequent writer for First Things and several other periodicals. Oakes is the author of Pattern of Redemption and a co-editor of The Cambridge Companion to Hans Urs Von Balthasar. There are several translations done by Father Oakes of Balthasar to note.

About the author

Paul A. Zalonski is from New Haven, CT. He is a member of the Fraternity of Communion and Liberation, a Catholic ecclesial movement, and an Oblate of Saint Benedict. Contact Paul at paulzalonski[at]yahoo.com.
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