Weigel Chapter 4, 5 and 6

Here are Margarita's reflections on the next three chapter of George Weigel's book Letters To a Young Catholic:

Chapter 4: The Dormition Abbey: Jersualem—Mary and Discipleship

1. The authority apostles and apostolic succession are formed in the image of Peter.
2. Discipleship: “the Church of discipleship—which is the basis of everything else—is formed in the image of a woman, Mary, who is the first of disciples and thus the mother of the Church.” P. 57
3. Vocation—being called. “a unique something that only you can do in the providence of God.” P. 62
4. Marian Piety—“True devotion to Mary necessarily points us to Christ, and through Christ (who is both son of Mary and Son of God) into the mystery of God himself, God the Holy Trinity.” P. 55
5. Witness—Mary points to her son “Do whatever he tells you” (John 2:5)
6. Trust—Mary’s fiat extends to taking her son down from the cross.
7. Assumption: Mary is the first disciple of Jesus on earth and the first to experience the fullness of being saved, including the bodily resurrection (the saints are in heaven but awaiting the bodily resurrection). Interesting tidbit: No one knows where Mary lived after the Resurrection or where she died. Unlike Peter, Paul, and many other apostles and saints, there is no pilgrimage spot to Mary’s grave, no relics of Mary.

New vocabulary
Cenotaph— monument erected in honor of a dead person whose remains lie elsewhere.
Dormition—the act of sleeping. Mary didn’t die, she “fell asleep” at Mt. Zion. This is formally defined as the doctrine of the Assumption.
Dominus Flevit—“The Lord Wept” (Lk 19:41-44).
Fiat—“be it done unto me according to thy word” (Luke 1:38)
Luminous Mysteries—Pope John Paul II “filling in” Jesus’ public life in the rosary.

Chapter 5: The Oratory, Birmingham, England—Newman and “Liberal” Religion

Famous Works by Cardinal John Henry Newman
Apologia Pro Vita Sua— His spiritual autobiography.
The Idea of a University— On the value of intellectual life and the unity of knowledge.
An Essay on the Development of Christian Doctrine- How his study of Church history led to his being convinced of Catholic claims.

Important Ideas
- A conversion story: from atheism to Evangelicalism to High Church Anglicanism to orthodox Roman Catholicism
- Embraced papal infallibility (on issues of faith and morals), which was later affirmed by Vatican II
- Named a Cardinal in 1879 at age 78, in his address in Rome he critiqued “liberal religion” with the following words:
“Liberalism in religion is the doctrine that there is no positive truth in religion, but that one creed is as good as another, and this is the teaching which is gaining force and substance daily. It is inconsistent with any recognition of any religion, as true. It teaches that all are to be tolerated, for all are matters of opinion. Revealed religion is not a truth, but a sentiment and a taste; not an objective fact, not miraculous; and it is the right of each individual to make it say just what strikes his fancy. Devotion is not necessarily founded on faith. Men may go to Protestant Churches and to Catholic, may get good from both and belong to neither. They may fraternize together in spiritual thoughts and feelings, without having any views at all of doctrine in common, or seeing the need for them.” (p. 70)
(in other words “religion-we-make-up”)
- Weigel uses the example of Cardinal Newman to emphasize that:
1. Liberal” religions are declining in membership
2. “Modernity” cannot stand in judgment of doctrine
3. Inter-religious dialogue does not have to be based on ideas of modernity and liberalism
5. Tolerance does not mean cultural relativity.

New Vocabulary
Laudatio—keyword address
Oratory/oratorians—“independent clerical kingdom”/people who live in community but have no founding purpose
Ex umbris et imaginibus in veritatem—From shadows and appearances into truth

Chapter 6: The Old Chesire Cheese, London—Chesterton’s Pub and a Sacramental World

Works by G.K. Chesterton
Orthodoxy (published 13 years before he entered the Catholic Church)

Some Chapter Topics
-Sacramental Imagination: “the core Catholic conviction that God saves and sanctifies the world through the materials of the world… the world was sacramentally configured by God ‘in the beginning’—and still is today (cf. everything around you.). p. 86-87 Some examples of the sacramental imagination are: the Eucharist, holy oil, the consummation of martial love, the anointing of the sick, and the Incarnation.
-Gnostic imagination—a heresy Chesterton and many others have critiqued for teaching that the material world is bad or a distraction.
-Many truths, like love and beauty are beyond scientific proof, but they are real.
-According to GKC, the 20th century was the “Age of Uncommon Nonsense”, or a “gnostic nonsense that takes everything in the human condition as infinitely malleable and infinitely plastic.” P. 98
- Catholics preach the world transformed, redeemed, through Christ. In other words, world history is salvation history. History is His-story.
-Catholics don’t deny the world, not even cigars, pubs, cheese. Worldly joys, in moderation, are “anticipations of the joy that awaits us in the Kingdom of God”(p. 99).

The Dormition Abbey on Mount Zion in Jerusalem

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