“Faith and reason are like two wings on which the human spirit rises to the contemplation of truth; and God has placed in the human heart a desire to know the truth—in a word, to know Himself—so that, by knowing and loving God, men and women may also come to the fullness of truth about themselves.”–St. John Paul II Preface to Fides et Ratio
Fides et Ratio Reflections
As we observe the Annunciation of the Lord tomorrow (see more below), we can recall St. John Paul II’s philosophical reflection in Fides et Ratio on the Wisdom of God in “Jesus, Revealer of the Father.” Note his attention to both wings of faith and reason as he contemplates the profound nature of the Incarnation:
“Underlying all the Church’s thinking is the awareness that she is the bearer of a message which has its origin in God himself (cf. 2 Cor 4:1-2). The knowledge which the Church offers to man has its origin not in any speculation of her own, however sublime, but in the word of God which she has received in faith (cf. 1 Th 2:13). At the origin of our life of faith there is an encounter, unique in kind, which discloses a mystery hidden for long ages (cf. 1 Cor 2:7; Rom 16:25-26) but which is now revealed: ‘In His goodness and wisdom, God chose to reveal Himself and to make known to us the hidden purpose of His will (cf. Eph 1:9), by which, through Christ, the Word made flesh, man has access to the Father in the Holy Spirit and comes to share in the divine nature.’ This initiative is utterly gratuitous, moving from God to men and women in order to bring them to salvation. As the source of love, God desires to make Himself known; and the knowledge which the human being has of God perfects all that the human mind can know of the meaning of life” (No. 7).
Decades earlier, the Second Vatican Council’s Pastoral Constitution on the Church in the Modern World (Guadium et Spes), succinctly proclaimed the crucial significance of the Incarnation for humanity in an era desperately seeking meaning: “The truth is that only in the mystery of the Incarnate Word does the mystery of man take on light” (No. 22).
It’s About Time
At 4:24 pm on Monday, March 20, we observed the Spring (Vernal) Equinox here in Fargo. Astronomical Spring had little sway with Meteorological Spring, and the result was six more inches of soft, soggy snow Tuesday evening to Wednesday morning. As snow piles on snow, the challenge for us is where to put all the white stuff.
Nevertheless, the Spring Equinox is part of the puzzle of Easter’s date, since Easter Sunday is the first Sunday after the first full moon after the Spring Equinox.
That first full moon will occur here at 11:34 pm, Wednesday, April 5. The Sunday after that, April 9 this year, will thus be Easter Sunday.
High School Musical
Another sure sign of Spring is the Shanley High School Musical. This year’s high school musical is—let me check my notes—“High School Musical.”
Last night in the 56th Annual “First Nighter” Shanley dinner theater tradition, the high-energy and highly-entertaining stage adaptation of the Disney movie premiered in the Shanley GROW Auditorium.
The show will go on with performances at 7:30 tonight and tomorrow night and at 2:00 Sunday afternoon. For tickets and more information: ShowTix4U – Free Online Ticketing – Schools, Community, Regional
Congrats to the cast, crew, and directors on the great show—which I greatly enjoyed last night. Thanks, too, to the First Night Committee on the stellar pre-show dinner experience.
Solemnity of the Annunciation
Tomorrow—March 25 and nine months to the day before Christmas—we celebrate the Solemnity of the Annunciation of the Lord.
With the Virgin Mary’s free assent and by the power of the Holy Spirit, the Word became flesh.
Heaven and Earth were united. Time and place were vested with a new significance. The course of human history was changed forever in the Incarnation. I’ve noted before that we honor Our Lady on Saturday in the venerable tradition of the Church. That’s why you’ll find me wearing Marian blue on Saturdays. Tomorrow will be a double delight with the Solemnity of the Annunciation.
“There are many things that can only be seen through eyes that have cried.”–St. Oscar Romero
Hagstrom’s Attempt At Humor (HAAH!)
Sunday Psalm Sampler
Fifth Sunday of Lent (Year A)
“Everything written about Me in the Law of Moses and in the Prophets and in the Psalms must be fulfilled.”–Luke 24:44b
Lectionary Readings: Fifth Sunday of Lent | USCCB
Responsorial Psalm: Ps 130: 1-8
Responsorial Refrain: “With the Lord there is mercy and fullness of redemption.” (Ps 130:7)
Chris Brunelle’s YouTube recording: R&A Psalm Fifth Sunday of Lent, 2023 Cycle A Psalm 130 – YouTube
We know Psalm 130 as “De Profundis” for its first words in Latin, “Out of the depths.” One of the seven penitential Psalms, its penitential plea sincerely seeks the Lord’s mercy, forgiveness, and redemption.
As we begin this Fifth Week of Lent, there is an anticipation in us that aligns with the anticipation of the Psalmist for the Lord’s redemption. Our experience of any prolonged waiting period—at the grocery store check-out, while on hold for customer service, or in the line at DMV—resonates with that type of slow progression toward satisfaction: “More than sentinels wait for the dawn, let Israel wait for the Lord” (Ps 130:6-7).
“Out of the depths” of our longing for the redemption which the Lord alone can give—let us sing in anticipation of the coming Paschal Feast this week, “With the Lord there is mercy and fullness of redemption.”