Sunday, January 8, 2023

Msgr. Ronald Knox on the Our Father - The Fatherhood of God

The Fatherhood of God | Msgr* Ronald Knox
Return To Tradition | 8 Jan. 2023

13:42 The observation does not detract from the theology he is giving, but is about a bad part of the intellectual background he had.

"and so it is with primitive peoples, to whom language itself was only a half familiar instrument"

That never existed or happened anywhere.

If Anthony Stine is only so "half" familiar with language "as an instrument" that he gives a computer translation of a sermon in Italian without bothering to check for inaccuracies from the fact that the computer only provides statistically likely correspondences, not understanding of language A, and formulating that understanding into language B, it is actually not about being "half" familiar with language "as an instrument" when it comes to using it, but because he's only half familiar with thinking about language.

Chomsky or any linguist would cringe at such a sentence. No language anywhere was primitive as a language, rudimentary as a tool. This applies in the Amazon Jungle as well as that of Papua New Guinea. There are rudimentary cultures. There are languages that lack words for things not found in their culture. If the speakers change culture, the language is perfectly capable (whichever one it may be) to incorporate new words to express that less rudimentary culture.

It was also not to his best credit to avoid mentioning God in Heaven as the throne room above the stars. It doesn't mean His absence here, it means that He reaches that high, which we do not. If you are a father, I think you said you were, hasn't any of your small children already told you "daddy, you reach up even to that high shelf" or sth?

But the citation of St. Teresa at least has the merit to show she was habitually in an alpha state when praying.

14:32 Spot on.

Romans had no repetitive prayers, but they did use long speeches to avoid missing the exact right invocation that a "god" might be wanting and to avoid missing the exact right "god" to adress for the matter at hand.

There is a very probable reason why the Romans didn't say grace before meal. Had they done so, they would arguably have been adressing the "gods" of each separate type of food item on the table, and it would have lasted at least ten minutes, and since hot food items would have gone cold, an extra prayer to the "god" of rehashing over fire ...

Hindoos are not the kind of gentiles that God's immediate twelve disciples in Galilee had acquantance with, and Romans had no mantras.

When you start the prayer over and over again over trying to find the right "god" because you are nervous, that's so like starting a sentence over and over again, over getting stuck at the first consonant. A k a stuttering. Which is exactly what "battologein" in the Greek of Mt 6:7 suggests, along with Syriac and Coptic. St. Jerome's "multum loqui" misses this metaphor but goes to the pagan practise in its bare and literal shape.

Here is his translation:

7 Moreover, when you are at prayer, do not use many phrases, like the heathens, who think to make themselves heard by their eloquence.

Here is his note:

The very rare verb which our Lord uses here probably means to ‘stammer’, to ‘hesitate’. The heathens used to address their gods by a series of titles, with the superstitious idea that the prayer would not be heard unless the right title was hit upon.

I am vindicated. This is the exact basis for my apologetics in relation to Lex Meyer or Pentecostals or whoever might wish to attack the Rosary on the repetition aspect.

Hogwash..... Romans had mantras .....what references are you using to back up your claims ? You taking chances here my friend 😜

@Hans-Georg Lundahl Its not " Hindoos "'s Hindus ....if you can't get that right much other hogwash you pushing here 😜

Hans-Georg Lundahl
@D A Romans had no mantras whatsoever.

I'm not taking chances, I know a thing or two about Roman Paganism.

@D A Here is History of Rome by Velleius Paterculus, Book II, chapter 131 (which is the last one), here:

"Let me end my volume with a prayer. O Jupiter Capitolinus, and Mars Gradivus, author and stay of the Roman name, Vesta, guardian of the eternal fire, and all other divinities who have p329 exalted this great empire of Rome to the highest point yet reached on earth! On you I call, and to you I pray in the name of this people: guard, preserve, protect the present state of things, the peace which we enjoy, the present emperor, and when he has filled his post of duty — 2 and may it be the longest granted to mortals — grant him successors until the latest time, but successors whose shoulders may be as capable of sustaining bravely the empire of the world as we have found his to be: foster the pious plans of all good citizens and crush the impious designs of the wicked."

Mantra? No. Speeches to diverse gods? Yes, exactly.

@D A Hindus and Hindoos are both extant spellings, by the way.

14:45 Wonder if Msgr. Knox' habit of calling Jews of the OT "elder brothers" was a leftover from his Protestant background before converting?

And wonder if, like certain in the V-II, he would have extended the phrase to those who now are in a religion called Judaism.

16:01 Ah, here Msgr. Knox does recall God's throne room.

That heaven in which He dwells ....

18:42 Excuse me, did you have any trouble understanding what he was saying?

This is pretty close to my regular intellectual diet, GKC, CSL, the theological passages in non-fiction writings of JRRT, Hilaire Belloc.

What he said of fathers in personal experience not being perfect copies of the origin of fatherhood is exactly what CSL a decade or two later was telling feminists (or women with bad husbands, not all of whom are feminists) of the quality of Bridegroom that belongs to Christ.

* I had previously heard references to this good priest mainly as "Father Knox" - perhaps this is from before he was made a Monsignor or by people unfamiliar with the title. So, in the comments I had originally written "Fr. Knox" rather than "Msgr Knox," not the least meant to put in doubt the legitimacy of the higher title, any more than of the lower. When I refuse certain "clergy" these days in the V-II Sect the titles that go along with priesthood or episcopacy it's about validity of their orders. From now, I'll prefer "Father Viganò" over "Viganò" since he was certainly ordained in 1968, that is before any newer rituals risked to make the orders invalid. I just looked it up.

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