December 2007 – January 2008
Vol. XIII, No. 9
Table of Contents
News and Views — Music News | Cardinal Danneels Lectures on Liturgy
Beauty of Worship Bears the Truth and Light of Christ — Bishop Salvatore Cordileone
USCCB November Meeting — Bishops Approve Three Liturgy Items at Busy Baltimore Meeting — by Helen Hull Hitchcock
Encyclical Letter, SPE SALVI of the Supreme Pontiff, Benedict XVI to the Bishops, Priests and Deacons, Men and Women Religious and all the Lay Faithful, ON CHRISTIAN HOPE, November 30, 2007
FDLC: Changes – and Contrasts — by Helen Hull Hitchcock
Readers’ Forum — More on Digital Organs | Hosts from the Tabernacle | EMs — Again | Who Distributes Communion? | Chant in English | Translating Latin
How We Celebrate New Year’s Eve at the Monastery by Lucy Carroll
Cover: Adoration of the Magi – Giotto di Bordone (ca 1267-1337) – Fresco, 1304-06 — Scrovegni Chapel, Padua
Saint Paul to the Romans
We know that the whole creation has been groaning in travail together until now; and not only the creation, but we ourselves who have the first fruits of the Spirit groan inwardly as we wait for adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies.
For in this hope we were saved. Now hope that is seen is not hope. For who hopes for what he sees? But if we hope for what we do not see, we wait for it with patience.
Likewise, the Spirit helps us in our weakness, for we know not how to pray as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with sighs too deep for words.
— Romans 8:22-26
God Governs the Stars
Paul illustrates the essential problem of the religion of that time quite accurately when he contrasts life “according to Christ” with life under the dominion of the “elemental spirits of the universe” (Colossians 2:8). In this regard a text by Saint Gregory Nazianzen is enlightening. He says that at the very moment when the Magi, guided by the star, adored Christ the new king, astrology came to an end, because the stars were now moving in the orbit determined by Christ.
This scene, in fact, overturns the world-view of that time, which in a different way has become fashionable once again today. It is not the elemental spirits of the universe, the laws of matter, which ultimately govern the world and mankind, but a personal God governs the stars, that is, the universe; it is not the laws of matter and of evolution that have the final say, but reason, will, love — a Person. And if we know this Person and He knows us, then truly the inexorable power of material elements no longer has the last word; we are not slaves of the universe and of its laws, we are free.
— Pope Benedict XVI Spe Salvi, 5