Thursday, March 25, 2010

Happy Feast

Today we give thanks that the blessed Virgin Mary said "Yes" to the invitation to become the Mother of God. (I also give thanks that I can watch TV and eat chocolate today.)

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

The doctor will see you now

With the saturation of media coverage on health insurance legislation, one of my pet peeves is frequently catching my attention--the use of the word "doctor." The word, of course, means "teacher" so I find it somewhat annoying when it is so often used exclusively as a term for physician or surgeon or other medical specialist.

You might say that the first doctors were lawyers or philosophers, so they would most naturally deserve the term doctor in everyday use. The first academic degrees were all law degrees, either canon (church) law or Roman common law. The doctorate was originally applied to those who were revered for their learning or research and thus their ability to share their knowledge with others. The church has recognized some saints on the calendar whose special charism was to be a teacher of the faith or who made a significant contribution to the development of Christian theology. They are honored with the title of "Doctor of the Church." One of them, St. Anselm of Canterbury, was an Anglican. Perhaps some day John Henry Cardinal Newman will be recognized as such as well.

Doctors of the Western Church
St. Albert 11/15
St. Alphonsus Liguori 8/1
St. Ambrose 12/7
St. Anselm 4/21
St. Anthony of Padua 6/13
St. Athanasius 5/2
St. Augustine 8/28
St. Basil 1/2
St. Bede, the Venerable 5/25
St. Bernard of Clairvaux 8/20
St. Bonaventure 7/15
St. Catherine of Siena 4/29
St. Cyril of Alexandria 6/27
St. Cyril of Jerusalem 3/18
St. Ephraem of Syria 6/9
St. Francis de Sales 1/24
St. Gregory Nazianzus 1/2
St. Gregory the Great 9/3
St. Hilary of Poitiers 1/13
St. Isidore 4/4
St. Jerome 9/30
St. John Chrysostom 9/13
St. John Damascene 12/4
St. John of the Cross 12/14
St. Lawrence of Brindisi 7/21
St. Leo the Great 11/10
St. Peter Canisius 12/21
St. Peter Chrysologus 7/30
St. Peter Damian 2/21
St. Robert Bellarmine 9/17
St. Teresa of Avila 10/15
St. Therese of Lisieux 10/1
St. Thomas Aquinas 1/28

Thursday, March 04, 2010

A word of wisdom from a Methodist

In honor of the feast (yesterday) of Anglican priests John and Charles Wesley, here is a timely quote from the Rev'd David Gamble, president of the Methodist Conference in England. He recently addressed the General Synod of the Church of England on proposals for an Anglican-Methodist unity scheme, saying:

"Methodists approach the Covenant with the Church of England in the spirituality of that Covenant prayer. So when we say to God, 'let me have all things let me have nothing,' we say it by extension to our partners in the Church of England as well. We are prepared to go out of existence not because we are declining or failing in mission, but for the sake of mission. In other words we are prepared to be changed and even to cease having a separate existence as a Church if that will serve the needs of the Kingdom."

Ruth Glendhill has the rest of the story here.