The Paschal Mystery
#1
So I read this article on the site.
http://www.sspxasia.com/Documents/SiSiNo...us_XII.htm
There's a way to embed links but I forget.

In the eastern church, I was taught that Christ trampled down death by death. So the obsession with the death of Christ and basically forgetting His Resurrection is something I find troubling. This is the reason why as a child I wondered why we didn't go to Mass on Friday instead of Sunday. (Also fun fact, I also thought we genuflected before the crucifix, not the tabernacle. )

I think those definitions about Christ's death need to be understood in context, and also, in the context of the resurrection and vice-versa.

Besides my quasi-libertarianism (anarcho-monarchism) and my non-Puritanism, it's one of the things that the toxic trads and I had in enmity with one another. Anyone like to discuss?
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#2
A few years ago there was  a thread about what the most important holy day of the year was.  I got into an argument with a few trads, who weren't even toxic, who insisted that Good Friday was the most important day of the year, eve more important than Easter.  Didn't matter that Good Friday is not a holy day of obligation, didn't matter that St. Paul said if not for the resurrection, our faith is for nothing.  Good Friday was the most important day for Catholics.  It's sad to see even some devout, traditional Catholics who are completely clueless about their own faith.
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#3
I admit that the article itself is a bit exaggerated, but isn't the Cross really the central salvific event, as they say? Isn't on the Cross that the New Covenant is made (from the offering of bread and wine to the vinegar and the “its finished”)? Isn't that what is taught in the Epistle to the Hebrews? And isn't that also the opinion of the Easterners, who see in the Cross the victory of Christ?
Of course the resurrection is important, and our faith is vain without it, but precisely because it finishes what began on the Cross (and earlier), isn't it? The problem is trying to separate one thing from another (even as the author seems to do).

But at the end of the day I don't know. I'm not really that good with these things pertaining to soteriology. I try to see it as one Mystery, since the Mysteries we enter at Mass are only possible because of the Cross, the Resurrection and the Ascension, being a participation on the heavenly Liturgy.

One extra doubt that comes to mind, though, is that in another thread people were quoting Aquinas saying that the Crucifixion was mainly a pedagogical act, serving as an example and a demonstration of love, but it had no more redemptive power than, say, the blood dropped in Christ's circumcision.
So, what's up with that?
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#4
I look at the Triduum as one continuous event not three separate holidays. My protestant church had a tendancy to ignore the passion and crucifixion focusing solely on the ressurection. They failed to recognise that in order to get to the ressurection you must go through the crucifixion.

The ressurection is simply the completion and culmination, not the main event.
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#5
I think what Renatus said in his second paragraph above this basically the point of "Paschal Mystery theology."  It's all important and a mystery.  Sure, we can make arguments about their ranking, but at the end of the day God provided for them all in His perfect wisdom. In the same Church, in different times and places, there has been more or less emphasis on each part, which we can see evidence of in our own traditional practices: from the Incarnation (we only genuflect then in the Creed), to the Passion and Death (the Cross is our emblem), to the Resurrection (Sunday is the most important day to worship on, Easter is the greatest feast, etc.).  Bl. Columba Marmion even makes the argument for the Ascension, since that's when Christ goes before the Father to offer Himself as the heavenly High Priest and when human nature is glorified.  There's a reason that the Mass speaks of them together as do traditional prayers, like the closing prayer Deus, cujus Unigenitus of the Rosary. While the Passion and Death certainly have a kind of first place in the Latin tradition, I don't think it's wrong to include the other aspects.

Renatus Frater Wrote:One extra doubt that comes to mind, though, is that in another thread people were quoting Aquinas saying that the Crucifixion was mainly a pedagogical act, serving as an example and a demonstration of love, but it had no more redemptive power than, say, the blood dropped in Christ's circumcision.
So, what's up with that?
St. Alphonsus Liguori makes a similar argument too in one of his books, saying even the discomfort Our Lord experienced in the crib, or even the very humbling of stooping to become man, was enough to make satisfaction for man (he uses the analogy of what it would be like for a man to become a worm). 

Personally, I think this is where the satisfaction theory of atonement, which I generally favor, is weak when taken to its logical conclusion since the actual death and resurrection of Christ can be overshadowed. There's a reason why the Church has permitted various atonement theories. Reason can point to different theories based on what has been revealed about the mind of God in this matter, and Scripture touches on various points, but ultimately, it is a mystery of faith and none of the theories are complete.  God of course can do whatever He wills, so the arguments ultimately surround the concept of what is most fitting, not what is absolutely necessary. 
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#6
I think it's mostly a matter of emphasis in the respective traditions. Traditional Roman rite Catholics have the tendency to conflate "the Latin Church" with "the Church," so they often unwittingly condemn the unbroken tradition of the East when they talk the way the article does (Easterners - particularly Byzantine triumphalists - can make the analogous mistake with respect to their own tradition).

The Eastern Churches never adopted the satisfaction theory of the atonement, so the idea that the Passion might be the central event is completely foreign to their tradition. That said, though the East does not know the more "gruesome" meditations on the Passion (certain gory Spanish crucifixes come to mind), the Cross forms a very important part of worship. In the Byzantine rite, the Cross is commemorated in the services every Wednesday and Friday, and all of the various theotokia (hymns to the Theotokos) are replaced by stavrotheotokia (hymns about the Theotokos and the Cross). Byzantine thought and worship focuses less on the "crime and punishment" of sin and redemption and more on the wonder of the uncontainable God, once contained in the Virgin's womb, now willingly submitting to an ignominious death. This is of course to "trample down Death by death," so the Resurrection is always in view. That's also a cultural difference - the Eastern liturgies do not "compartmentalize" and meditate on one mystery at a time; rather, it is all in view at the same time. One of the most striking things for a Roman Catholic attending Lenten services in the Byzantine rite is the amount of times "Alleluia" forms part of the services - it is actually the chief characteristic of penitential days; the rubrics actually call them "Days of Alleluia." Lenten Sundays are still primarily about the Resurrection.

I think all of the theories have much to recommend them, and they are all true to some extent. I think this is an area where "both lungs" breathing can help more fully illuminate the mystery of Redemption.
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#7
(11-16-2015, 02:40 PM)aquinas138 Wrote: I think it's mostly a matter of emphasis in the respective traditions. Traditional Roman rite Catholics have the tendency to conflate "the Latin Church" with "the Church," so they often unwittingly condemn the unbroken tradition of the East when they talk the way the article does (Easterners - particularly Byzantine triumphalists - can make the analogous mistake with respect to their own tradition).

The Eastern Churches never adopted the satisfaction theory of the atonement, so the idea that the Passion might be the central event is completely foreign to their tradition. That said, though the East does not know the more "gruesome" meditations on the Passion (certain gory Spanish crucifixes come to mind), the Cross forms a very important part of worship. In the Byzantine rite, the Cross is commemorated in the services every Wednesday and Friday, and all of the various theotokia (hymns to the Theotokos) are replaced by stavrotheotokia (hymns about the Theotokos and the Cross). Byzantine thought and worship focuses less on the "crime and punishment" of sin and redemption and more on the wonder of the uncontainable God, once contained in the Virgin's womb, now willingly submitting to an ignominious death. This is of course to "trample down Death by death," so the Resurrection is always in view. That's also a cultural difference - the Eastern liturgies do not "compartmentalize" and meditate on one mystery at a time; rather, it is all in view at the same time. One of the most striking things for a Roman Catholic attending Lenten services in the Byzantine rite is the amount of times "Alleluia" forms part of the services - it is actually the chief characteristic of penitential days; the rubrics actually call them "Days of Alleluia." Lenten Sundays are still primarily about the Resurrection.

I think all of the theories have much to recommend them, and they are all true to some extent. I think this is an area where "both lungs" breathing can help more fully illuminate the mystery of Redemption.

Excellent analysis of this. As someone who has spent a lot of time with a foot in both the East and the West I can say with confidence that the Church needs both.  Both have slightly, sometimes drastically different styles and emphases, but when push comes to shove they both illuminate the mysteries of the Faith, kind of like shining light on a diamonds many facets.
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#8
(11-16-2015, 12:43 PM)Renatus Frater Wrote: I admit that the article itself is a bit exaggerated, but isn't the Cross really the central salvific event, as they say? Isn't on the Cross that the New Covenant is made (from the offering of bread and wine to the vinegar and the “its finished”)? Isn't that what is taught in the Epistle to the Hebrews? And isn't that also the opinion of the Easterners, who see in the Cross the victory of Christ?
Of course the resurrection is important, and our faith is vain without it, but precisely because it finishes what began on the Cross (and earlier), isn't it? The problem is trying to separate one thing from another (even as the author seems to do).

No, for the East, the resurrection is paramount.  It is by Christ conquering death that we have any hope of eternal life at all.  From the Eastern perspective, our hope is singularly in the resurrection.
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#9
Well, for the West the resurrection is also paramount.

But it was my impression that the East held to Christus Victor, the Cross was a victory over the power of the devil, etc.,--He conquered, defeated death by death (I remember this refrain was all throughout one of the Divine Liturgies I went to).

But anyway, I've expressed my opinions on the issue earlier and I don't care if it is Western or Easter if it is orthodox. Also, don't care to embark into yet another debate on West/East.
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#10
Both/and, fishfolk. The passion, cross, resurrection and ascension are to be viewed together.

We are catholic.  Kata  holou -- according to the whole.

This tendency to reduce and select is not good. It serves to "dissolve Christ," according to 1 John.

I honestly cannot understand the Orthodox polemics on this issue, because they ignore the Pauline epistles.

"For I judged not myself to know anything among you, but Jesus Christ, and him crucified. " 1 Corinthians 2:2
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