Μεγαλύνει ἡ ψυχή μου τὸν Κύριον [Luke 1. 46b]

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Understanding this Bass Ackward Funhouse Mirror(souri)

   So, there I was last night watching SUPERNATURAL on HULU via my PC (a world wherein we use acronyms and abbreviations is very fallen indeed) instead of my usual meditations with Die Bekenntnisschriften…when the character Sam Winchester mutters a Latin incantation (in the wrong tense and not using Ecclesial pronunciation as I desire) to keep a demon from leaving its host body.   N.B.  this was an episode of some 6 weeks past as I have no cable and have fallen behind on my scary favorites.   Dean (Sam’s brother) says: “woa Sammy, HOW did you un-exorcise that demon?”  To which Sam replies: “I just spoke the Latin exorcism backwards.”

   So that’s how it works.  For I have been wondering now for many years HOW the LORD’s Verba, the very creative, elemental, ontologically consecratory word of “IS” can become null and void.  Now, I get it…the very learned and ‘language-gifted’ pastor loci simply speaks the Words of Institution backwards (has to be sotto voce, ‘cause I’ve never heard it) as the last table of crypto-Calvinists shambles un-piously back towards the pews.  That’s it then…the Blood of The God/Man Immanuel—the remainder still found in the bottom of the plastic shot-glasses is changed back into Mogen-David rot-gut.  Case Closed.

   This is a relief to my own scarred conscious, since I have never been able to get over what happened at an Installation I participated in several years back.  There in the vestry, as all of the participating brethren were putting on their cassocks, surplices, albs, jump-suits, track-suits, parachute pants, stoles, Kente scarves (to see Dr. Scaer’s maxim “Guys! This is the Missouri Synod…do whatever you want to!” live and in color, attend any installation or ordination) we all noticed the chuckling coming from one of the higher-up District payroll types in our midst.  My eyes instantly were drawn to the reddish (although to be fair, not noticeable really at a distance; kind of like George Costanza’s angora sweater flaw) stain right on the front of his alb.

   But what he said still burns my own piety (deficient as it can be at times).  This “constitutional” overseer who should actually be a prince of theologians amongst his juniors said:  “well, ha, ha, I guess I forgot to get this wine stain out after I spilled some on the alb during that last distribution.”

    Sure, we knew that RECEPTIONISM lives, grows and thrives amongst our un-catechized flocks.  But it still staggers one (of my sensitive nature anyway) to hear a pastor, a scholar, a seelsorger, so blithely and dismissively cancel out the Word of God.

   I immediately went back to my Nestle-Aland after the installation service to check where in Matthew, Mark, Luke, and Corinthians were the words wherein God explained how What IS His Body and Blood ceases to be so.  I need a bigger Bible.

    But, with the charismatic gifts laid upon my head last night in front of the glowing monitor, I have the truth that my floppy Bible did not manage to capture.  This jovial, loveable, and caring man of God, must have, indeed HAD TO HAVE, simply spoken the Words of Institution backwards (in his own head) every time the Chalice left a Grandma Schmidt’s mouth or the stacked trays of jiggers departed from parishioner “A” to parishioner “B.”

    That’s quick thinking on his part and even quicker backwards talkin.’  And I hear they can even talk out of BOTH sides of their mouth at one time.

     Thanks to Sam Winchester and SUPERNATURAL I now understand how something truly Divine can become something… ‘missourian.’


  1. You have four images of the Virgin Mary on your home page but not one of Christ. Are you trying to promote her veneration? Do you pray to her?

    I consider myself an Evangelical Catholic (Lutheran) as well, however, I believe we should keep the Virgin Mother in her proper place in our worship of God. She was one of the greatest Christians to ever live, we should give her great honor, but she is not someone to say our prayers to.

    I sincerely hope you share that view, Father.

  2. Thanks for noticing the beautiful pictures I have posted of the Ever Virgin! They along with the one I have of Saint Polycarp show two of my heroes. I've also always loved Saint Peter, John the Baptizer and Judas not Iscariot as well. I plan on having many more pictures of Gottes Mutter posted. But yes, I do need to have some pictures of Our Lord as well. I could not pray to Saint Mary as that would be unscriptural, but I am glad that she prays for me (in her prayer with all the translated Saints for the Church Catholic).

  3. How could anyone *not* see Jesus all over these pictures (unless, of course, one is pro-choice)?

  4. LOL,
    well, to be sure Fr. Beane, I SEE JESUS in all the pictures, for like Elisabeth the Blessed Virgin's kinswoman, I see the Mother of my God and Jesus in her spotless womb. I most definitely DO NOT see the "Popes int the Pizza"*
    And also, it's MY blog...the title is a direct reference to Saint Mary's canticle NOT to 2 Kings 2.24 (wherein I would have lots of pictures of bald Elisha and smart-asses being torn by bears)...
    Thanks for stopping by Fr. Hollywood, now SIGN ON as a FOLLOWER.

  5. The Visitation? The Annunciation? Gary, these pictures, like the Blessed Virgin Mary's soul, MAGNIFY THE LORD. She is the Holy of Holies, the Ark of a Superior Covenant. She is, indeed, blessed among women. She is the very picture of the Church, because, like her, through hearing God's promise we become dwelling places for Christ. It is a shame that Mary has become such a scandal in these latter days, something I'm sure pleases neither her nor her Son. Nice choices, Fr. Watson!

  6. What Mike said!
    (or in the words from the old Nike commercial: "Be like Mike!"

  7. The reason I made the comment was that I recently visited Central America where in many Roman Catholic churches the statue of the Virgin Mary is the centerpiece of the altar, not a crucifix of Christ.

    Honoring the Mother of God is one thing, making her the focal point of your worship is quite another.

    God bless you, Pastor.

  8. The Evangelical Catholics (and here Gary does himself admirably and rightly, by using capitals; none of this timorous little "c" stuff, please and thank you) can serve our Lord's Body mightily, by showing others (even the Central American colleagues) how things are to be properly done, and all ... all ... to Christ's glory, of course.

    The Lutheran cannot do such service, if he or she locks the Theotokos into some sort of Calvin-and-Houdini box, to venture out (maybe) when the kids are through reciting their program-lines on December 24 at 7:00 PM. "Back you go, then; we've had our annual smiles. Your "Be it to me, as You will," the meditative pondering at Bethlehem, your trusting instructions to the servants at Cana ("Whatever He says, do it!"), and your faithfulness at the foot of the cross (when the big-boys, less one, were cowering behind locked doors, if not inside locked boxes) ... well, that carries no theological message for us today. Good-bye, dear, but count on us ... we'll put you on display with the oxen and the ass and the candy-canes, next year. Because we're Lutheran. We think Augist 15 refers to some Midwestern State Fair pie-eating contest, or the judging of calves."

    We cannot afford to be silent about Mary, or marginalize her, because the Word does not. For that matter, Dr. Luther himself preached at a church named ...hold onto your seats ... St. Mary's. The evidence of incarnational reality was in your face, then, everyday. Dr. Luther did not lobby for it to be re-named "Crucified Christ" ... or even "Christ Lutheran" ... to better focus the "point of your worship."

    The real question is this: How many of the excesses of Central America are due, in some part, to our refusal to acknowledge ... fully and comfortably ... that vessel which God selected to birth the Holy One of Israel, in the flesh?

    As Fr. Beane notes, in every instance the icons of our Lady, at this site, display a living and breathing Ark of the Covenant, one containing the Living Word ... the Living Word which stimulated the gestating John the Baptist to leap for joy. You may not see the Christ, hidden away in the blessed womb, but He IS there ... because the Word says it was so. The pictures are Christ-centered, if you have ears to hear, and eyes to see what the mundane (on the surface) fully means ... what the Scriptures themselves declare.

    Your (unworthy) servant,
    Herr Doktor SSP

  9. I'd enthusiastically say "SI" to Fr. Watson's observations, above, but I'm deathly afraid the intonation would cause this fine blog to suddenly disappear, or perhaps even make his ha-ha, receptionalist "constitutional overseer's" finery take on the appearance of the Emperor's garb.

    "Poof! There you go ... all gone!"

    Your (unworthy) servant,
    Herr Doktor SSP

  10. After that first comment of your Herr Doktor I wish to simply "give you the keys to this blog (Petros has the keys to the kingdom, sorry) and bid my farewell. In one comment you have epitomized what I hope this blog will say and mean. Thank you good sir.
    As to your second post, I can only smile and say: "but I didn't use any names, dates, or places..." Truthful? Apocryphal? Both? Neither? "This is Missouri gentlemen...do whatever you darn well please!" - -Dr. David P. Scaer. ;) let the reader understand.