Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Outline of Leviticus

· Introductory Matters
According to the Documentary Hypothesis, Leviticus was a product of the Priestly school.
Questions still remain as to whether the provisions in Leviticus came before or after Deuteronomy Most scholars see evidence of very old material and practices in Leviticus
Continues the legislation begun in Exodus (Exod. 25-31, 35-40) and leads into the legislation in Numbers (Num. 3, 5-7) Name is the Latin form of the Greek name Levitikon referring to those matters which concerned the priests Predominantly a book concerning how to worship God in cult and life - worship is not confined to public worship but spills over into everyday life
Contemporary view of Leviticus Probably the most misunderstood and least appreciated book - considered by many to be boring and not applicable to faith today All of the words in Leviticus are portrayed as being from the mouth of God just as are the Ten Commandments - many people, however, who do believe God spoke the Ten Commandments, do not believe the words in Leviticus also came from the mouth of God - this view of "selective inspiration" is difficult to defend. An extremely important book because it provides insight as to how a person is to worship God - the detailed methods of worshiping God recorded in Leviticus may not be appropriate for contemporary religious practice but the spirit behind the methods is always appropriate Message of the Book Sacrifices (1:1-7:38) Describes five types of sacrifices
Whole burnt offering Grain offering "Peace" offering Sin offering Guilt offering These sacrifices meet the needs of both public and private worship
Sacrifices served two purposes:

Expiation
Apotropaic purposes

Despite the material in Leviticus about these offerings, it is difficult to understand them completely, exactly when they were offered, and precisely what they intended to accomplish
Emphasis Proper performance of the rituals - not legalism but the attempt to give God the best in the best manner - worship is not to be slipshod Give the best - offerings were to be the best a person could afford (thus the sliding scale from valuable animals to birds) - sacrifices were to be a sacrifice Consecration of the priests to the priestly office (8:1-10:20)

The priesthood was a prestigious and dangerous office - it was both a privilege and a chore to stand between people and God - such an office could not be entered lightly.

Leviticus 10 especially shows the dangers of being a priest
Laws regarding clean and unclean (11:1-15:33)
Clean and unclean animals (11:1-47)

Why were some animals unclean?

Ethical - the more blood consumed, the more bloodthirsty a person became - by limiting the animals that can be eaten, we limit our killing

Aesthetic - some animals do not look fit to eat
Theological - avoid animals that other nations used as sacrifices other than the typical animals (e.g., cattle, sheep, goats, birds)

Hygienic - some animals were difficult to prepare and cook so were avoided
Things that are mixed - do not eat animals that seem to have the characteristics of two environments or two species

Not domesticated - preferred animals raised by humans or found close by (e.g., deer)

Choose- animals who did not choose their own food carefully were avoided

Locomotion - animals that did not move appropriate to their environment were avoided - cloven hooves (like human toes) on land and scales and fins in the water were appropriate
May be a combination of the above - at this stage it is difficult to know precisely why some animals were avoided
Eating is important and not everything in God's creation is to be consumed by humans

Sexually-related discharges and birth of children (12:1-8)
The sexual processes, especially the birth of a child, were regarded by Israel and other nations as "unclean" because mysterious powers were at work - in childbirth especially the woman entered into God's activity of creation

Interestingly a woman is impure twice as long after giving birth to a daughter (12:5 - 66 days) than for a son (12:4 - 33 days) - perhaps this was because a daughter would have a greater role in human reproduction through carrying the child and giving birth than would a son
Leprosy (13:1-14:57)

No evidence of leprosy in the Ancient Near East exists until the time of Alexander the Great (late 4th century B.C.E.) Leviticus probably defined leprosy in humans as various skin diseases that refused to clear up within a reasonable time and led to flaking and in houses as various types of fungi . A person who had a skin disease was no longer whole and thus unfit to worship God in the official cult - any disease could make a person unfit to worship God in the official cult but skin diseases were very visible and thus were singled out Skin diseases and fungi, the difficulty in getting rid of them, and the fact that they sometimes spread made it imperative to confine the impurity until it was certain that it was gone .

Sexual discharges (15:1-33)

Day of Atonement (16:1-34)

Was and is the holiest day of the year Hebrew name is Yom Kippur
Significant elements Conducted by the chief priest who wore special vestments for the ceremony Performed rituals to remove his sin, the sin of the priestly family, and the sin of all Israel Only time during the year when anyone entered the Holy of Holies in the
Tabernacle/Temple - chief priest entered bringing some of the sacrificial blood and sprinkled some of the blood between the cherubim on the Ark of the Covenant Two goats were used
One goat was sacrificed The chief priest would place his hands on the head of the other goat and confess the sins of Israel Someone would lead the goat into the wilderness and leave it there beautifully symbolizing the sins being carried away . The mention that the goat went to Azazel (16:10,25) is interesting - Azazel was the demonic ruler of the wilderness - the rite may go back to pre-monotheistic times but certainly emphasized the sins being utterly removed Provided an annual experience of forgiveness for the community and individual Lasted for a full 24 hours - fasting was and continues to be practiced as an integral part of the day"Holiness Code" (17:1-26:46)

Some of the oldest legislation in the Hebrew Bible
Laws relating to how Israel should be a holy people under a holy God
Some elements Blood could not be eaten because the life of an animal (and a person) was in the blood (17:10-16) - one should not consume the life of another - blood was to be used only for making atonement Sexual conduct was carefully regulated (18:6-30)
Religious piety was to exhibit itself in daily behavior (19:1-37)
Each person was to treat every other person as a person of worth and do their best to ensure life for the other person (19:9-18) - the "Golden Rule" is in 19:18 although it can be read as applying only to fellow Israelites rather than to all people Prohibition against marrying close relatives Tempting because Israelites were not to marry outsiders and were to marry in their own tribe - the patriarchs had also found wives from relatives back in the home country (Gen. 24:15, 29:12) Yet incest was to be avoided.

Calendar of festivals (23:1-44)
Sabbath - every 7th day
Passover - 14th day of first month
Feast of Unleavened Bread - 15th day of first month and celebrated for 7 days
Feast of Weeks/Pentecost - 50 days after Feast of Unleavened Bread
New Moon - 1st day of seventh month
Day of Atonement - 10th day of seventh month
Feast of Booths/Tabernacles - 15th day of seventh month and celebrated for 7 days
Provision for gleaning (23:22)
§
Fields should not be completely harvested - some produce should be left for the poor and strangers to gather so they can feed themselves
Later Ruth would glean in the fields (Ruth 2:2)
Lex talionus (24:17-21)
§
Law of retaliation - what has been done to me, I can do the same (but no more) back to the perpetrator
Often in societies of the day, infliction of an injury would result in the death of the perpetrator
An "eye for an eye, tooth for a tooth" (24:20) was an improvement that curtailed such uncontrolled, awful vengeance
Special years (25:1-55)
§
Sabbath year
§
Every seventh year
Elements (25:1-7, Deut. 15:1-18)
§
Fields would lie fallow
Slaves would be freed
Debts would be forgiven
Jubilee Year
§
Every 50th year
Elements (25:8-55)
§
Fields would lie fallow
Slaves would be freed
Land would be returned to its original owner
These special years were never practiced in Israel
Concludes with a listing of the blessings of obeying God and the curses of disobeying Him (26:3-46)

Saturday, January 13, 2007

Leviticus

Leviticus is the third book of the Hebrew Bible, also the third book in the Torah (five books of Moses). Christians refer to the Hebrew Bible as the Old Testament. The English name is derived from the Latin Liber Leviticus which is from the Greek (το) Λευιτικόν (i.e., βιβλίον). In Jewish writings it is customary to cite the book by its first word, Vayikra ויקרא, "and He called". (Vayikra is also the name of the first weekly Torah reading or parshah in the book.) The main points of the book are concerned with legal rules, and priestly ritual. Despite the English title of the work, it is important to note that the book makes a very strong distinction between the priesthood, who are identified as being descended from Aaron, and mere Levites.

The book is generally considered to consist of two large sections, both of which contain several mitzvot, and thus the work constitutes a major source of Jewish law.
The first part Leviticus 1-16, and Leviticus 27, constitutes the main portion of the Priestly Code, which describes the details of rituals, and of worship, as well as details of ritual cleanliness and uncleanliness. Within this section are:
Laws regarding the regulations for different types of sacrifice (Leviticus 1-7):
Burnt-offerings, meat-offerings, and thank-offerings (Leviticus 1-3)
Sin-offerings, and trespass-offerings (Leviticus 4-5)
Priestly duties and rights concerning the offering of sacrifices (Leviticus 6-7)
The practical application of the sacrificial laws, within a narrative of the consecration of Aaron and his sons (Leviticus 8-10)

Pointers for the Third Periodical Exam


Part 1: Evaluative Multiple Choice
Part 2: Biblical Interpretation
Part 3: Matching Type
Part 4: True or False
Part 5: Essay

Study on the following:

1. Introduction to Exodus
2. The Call of Moses
3. The Covenant
4. The first five commandments (more on this)
5. Introduction to Leviticus

Thursday, January 11, 2007

Israelites experience in the Desert (Wilderness)

After the escape from Egypt, Moses led the Israelites toward the burning bush locale so that they too could meet Yahweh. Moving on from the shore of the Reed Sea, they traveled toward Mount Sinai where Yahweh would make a covenant with them. Along the way they had numerous difficulties that tried Moses' leadership ability and patience, and tested the faith of the people. These troubles also served to test the resourcefulness of God and to reveal the character of the Israelites. When they arrived at an oasis the water was undrinkable, so the people complained to Moses, who changed the bitter water to sweet. When they lacked food, God rained down manna and quail.
Manna. Manna is called the "bread of heaven." It is described as thin flakes, white like coriander seed that taste like wafers made of honey. The term manna is given a folk etymology in 16:15, 31 based on the people's exclamation when they first saw it: man hu', "what is it?" Some seek a naturalist explanation for manna. Bodenheimer (1947) relates it to the honey-like secretion of a scale insect on tamarisk trees that are common to the Sinai.
When they came to Rephidim expecting to find water, they found none. The people again turned on Moses and blamed him for their predicament. God instructed Moses to strike a rock and water flowed. Then the Amalekites fought the Israelites. Joshua led the counterattack, and the Israelites prevailed as long as Moses' arms were raised to God. This episode is notable because it introduces the Amalekites, who are a persistent Israelite enemy. The Amalekites receive the honor of being the archetypal Israelite enemy because they were the first to attack this new nation. Always attentive to the worship dimension of Israel's experience, the Elohist notes that Moses built an altar there to commemorate the event and called it "Yahweh is my banner." Jethro, Moses' father-in-law, met the Israelites in the wilderness. Observing that Moses was exhausting himself by single-handedly administering the entire community, he convinced Moses to delegate all but the most difficult cases to subordinates. Jethro, called the priest of Midian, also made a most remarkable confession. He professed that Yahweh was greater than any other god because he delivered the people from Egyptian oppression. Then Jethro offered sacrifices to God. The Elohist is showing how outsiders, too, can perceive the greatness of Israel's God and worship him. The wilderness experiences of Israel related in these pre-Sinai stories, getting water from the rock at Meribah, manna and quails, and meeting Moses' father-in-law, are similar to the Israel's post-Sinai wilderness experiences. The repetitions form brackets, or what literary analysts call inclusions, around Israel's Mount Sinai experiences.

D. Covenant Breaking and Remaking (32-34)The section between chapter 24 (covenant confirmation) and chapter 32 (covenant breaking) is a collection of Priestly documentation on the tabernacle, the ark, and the priesthood (see below). When the narration of events resumes following this interlude we come to the dramatic and sad affair of Israel's worshipping an idol. This episode demonstrates that almost immediately after the covenant was ratified the Israelites were willing, even eager, to break it. But Yahweh is always faithful to them.

Exodus and Moses : Deliverance

The first half of Exodus is a narrative account of the Israelites' escape from Egyptian bondage and their journey to Mount Sinai. This deliverance account includes the story of Moses, Yahweh's chosen leader. Moses mediated a series of disasters that culminated in the Israelites' release. Overcoming all obstacles, including a great expanse of sea, the Israelites made their way through the wilderness until they came to the mountain of God, where the terms of the covenant were revealed to them through Moses.

B. The Early Moses (2-4)Moses was born to Amram and Jochebed from the tribe of Levi (6:20). After they were no longer able to conceal Moses, they placed him in a reed basket waterproofed with tar and set him afloat in the Nile. This was a deliberate ploy to win the compassion of Pharaoh's daughter who frequented the river to bathe. When she discovered Moses she took him to court and raised him there as a virtual grandson of the Pharaoh.
The name Moses. Pharaoh's daughter gave him the name Moses, moshe in Hebrew. The Hebrew Bible attaches a folk etymology to the name (2:10); the Hebrew verb "draw out" puns with Moshe. In reality Moshe is a name derived from the Egyptian verb msy, meaning "be born," and the noun ms meaning "child or son."
Though raised as an Egyptian, apparently it was through his birth-mother, hired as his wet-nurse, that he came to realize his Hebrew identity. Clearly Moses had a mixed Hebrew and Egyptian identity. This explains how he could on the one hand be knowledgeable of the royal court to negotiate the departure of the Israelites and on the other hand sympathize with the plight of the Israelites.

Sargon Birth Legend. The Mesopotamian birth story of Sargon of Akkad contains similarities to the Moses birth story. Sargon was the illegitimate son of a high priestess. To keep her position she needed to conceal the birth, so she placed Sargon in a basket of reeds caulked with tar and set him afloat on the Euphrates River. He was discovered downstream by Akki the water drawer, who adopted and raised him. Sargon rose to become the architect of the empire of Akkad. (see Pritchard 1969: 119; Longman 1991).

One day as Moses was surveying the royal projects, he rescued a Hebrew slave by killing his abusive Egyptian master. In danger of being exposed, Moses fled to Midian where he found refuge with Jethro, the priest of Midian. Moses eventually married one of his daughters and served as shepherd of his father-in-law's flocks.
Tale of Sinuhe. This Egyptian tale relates the adventures of an Egyptian court official who fled Egypt to live in Syria-Palestine (see Pritchard 1969). Sinuhe has some similarities to Moses, and the tale provides an interesting glimpse of Syria-Palestine, especially of its fruitfulness and desirability.

Tale of Sinuhe.
Moses' encounter with Yahweh at the burning bush in Exodus 3:1-15 marks a turning point in Israel's history. Here Moses learned the identity of the God who would deliver the Israelites from bondage. Moses would be his mediator. The full account is a mixture of Yahwist (J) and Elohist (E) material, with the Elohist predominating.
Moses at the Mountain (E)
1 Moses was tending the flock of his father-in-law, Jethro, the priest of Midian; and he led his flock to the west side of the wilderness, and came to Horeb, the mountain of Elohim. (3:1) Jethro is the name of Moses' father-in-law in the Elohist source, Reuel in the Yahwist source. Horeb is the name the Elohist (and Deuteronomist) applies to the mountain of God, whereas the Yahwist and Priestly sources call it Mount Sinai. Some authorities have suggested that Horeb and Mount Sinai are not the same place. According to such a view, Mount Sinai would be located in the Sinai peninsula and Horeb somewhere in Midian. Midian is notoriously difficult to pin down, too.

St. Catherine's Monastery is located at the base of Jebel Musa in the southern Sinai. According to post-biblical tradition this is where Moses saw the burning bush and received the Law from the hand of God.
Photo by Barry Bandstra

The Burning Bush (J)
2 The angel of YHWH appeared to him in a flaming fire out of the middle of a bush. As Moses watched, the bush burned but it didn't burn up. 3 Moses said to himself, "I'm going to stop and observe this amazing thing! Why doesn't the bush burn up?" 4 When YHWH saw that Moses stopped to observe . . . (3:2-4a) Verse 2a summarizes the story. Probably added later, it gives the story an explanatory framework so we will understand that Yahweh did not appear directly to Moses (as the story implies), but indirectly in the form of an angel or messenger. The word here translated "angel" can also mean "messenger." The "flaming fire" that is such a prominent part of this story is typical of a biblical theophany, or appearance of God. In Genesis 15 God appeared to Abraham in a smoking fire pot. Here he appears to Moses in a flaming bush. On Mount Sinai he appears in lightning, smoke, and cloud. In the wilderness he appears in pillars of cloud and fire.

The God of the Fathers (E)
. . . Elohim called to him out of the middle of the bush and said, "Moses! Moses!" He replied, "Yes, I'm here." 5 He said, "Don't get any closer. Take your sandals off your feet. The place where you are standing is holy ground. 6 He said, "I am the Elohim of your father, the Elohim of Abraham, the Elohim of Isaac, and the Elohim of Jacob." Then Moses hid his face, because he was afraid to look at Elohim. (3:4b-6) Whereas the deity is referred to as Yahweh in verse 4a, in 4b the reference changes to Elohim, indicating the return to the Elohist form. Note the similarity between this story and Genesis 22 (also an Elohist account) in the way God initiates the encounter, saying Abraham's name twice and him answering, "Here I am." Verse 6 explicitly associates the God of the exodus with the God of the ancestors, thus connecting Israel's deliverance with the history of and promises to the ancestors. The phrase "God of my/your/his father" is often found in Genesis and in Mesopotamian literature of a personal patron god and protector. It suggests a special relationship between the individual and his deity. Beginning with Moses the phrase becomes "God of our/your/their fathers," with the plural referring to the Israelites as a people. We are no longer dealing with the angel of Yahweh. Note also how the Elohist protects Moses from looking directly at God. Facing God directly is not allowed in Elohist theology; the fear of God is a prominent motif in the Elohist source.
Land of Milk and Honey (J)

7 YHWH said, "I have seen the hardship of my people in Egypt. I have heard their cry for relief from their oppressors. I know of their suffering. 8 I have come down to deliver them from the grip of Egypt and bring them up out of that land to a good and spacious land, a land flowing with milk and honey, to the place of the Canaanites, the Hittites, the Amorites, the Perizzites, the Hivites and the Jebusites." (3:7-8) As always in this source, Yahweh is a caring and compassionate God. He hates to see his people suffer and acts out of compassion. Not only will he relieve their suffering, he will bring them to the land promised to the ancestors. The land is described as "flowing with milk and honey." Obviously milk did not flow through the streams and honey did not ooze down the wadis; these images depict the wealth of the land. It supports cattle and all the flowering plants that support life. The six nations listed here are often cited as inhabiting Palestine (for example, see Genesis 15:18-21, where these and more are listed).
Moses the Mediator (E)

9 "The cry of the people of Israel has now reached me. I have seen the oppression with which the Egyptians mistreat them. 10 Go, I will send you to Pharaoh so that you can bring my people, the sons of Israel, out of Egypt." 11 But Moses said to Elohim, "Who am I that I should go to Pharaoh and bring the sons of Israel out of Egypt?" 12 He said, "But I will be with you. This shall be the sign for you to know that I have sent you: when you have brought the people out of Egypt, you shall worship Elohim on this mountain." (3:9-12) In contrast to the Yahwist above, here the focus is on the Egyptians' wrongdoing rather than on the Israelites' suffering. Characteristic of the Elohist, God acted through an intermediary, Moses in this case. He revealed his deep-seated feelings of inadequacy as mediator, humility being a sign of genuine godliness in God's prophets. The Yahwist source, which is not quite so adoring of Moses as the Elohist, later portrays him as putting up more resistance.

The Burning Bush: God Commands Moses to Lead the Israelites out of Egypt, by Francisco Collantes (1599-1656)
Musée du Louvre, Paris -- CGFA
The sign God gave him was not something that could give him assurance right then and there, but would be a later confirmation of his calling.
13 Then Moses said to Elohim, "If I come to the people of Israel and say to them, 'The Elohim of your fathers has sent me to you,' and they ask me, 'What is his name?' what shall I say to them?" 14 Elohim said to Moses, "Ehyeh-asher-ehyeh." And he said, "Say this to the people of Israel, 'Ehyeh has sent me to you.'" 15 Elohim also said to Moses, "Say this to the people of Israel, 'YHWH, the Elohim of your fathers, the Elohim of Abraham, the Elohim of Isaac, and the Elohim of Jacob, has sent me to you': this is my name for ever, and thus I am to be remembered throughout all generations." (3:13-15) Moses impertinently asked God for identification: Who are you? How can I identify you to the Israelite elders? In response God identified himself as the God of the fathers, later specified as the patriarchs Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. Then God in a cryptic manner said, "Ehyeh-asher-ehyeh" is my name, enigmatically translatable as "I am who I am."

The Divine Name. This revelation of the divine name has given rise to reams of research and speculation. Most authorities acknowledge that ehyeh is a Hebrew verbal form meaning "I am." The whole phrase means "I am who I am," or "I will be who I will be." When the first-person verbal form ehyeh is transformed into the third-person form it becomes yahweh, which can be translated "he is." It has also been translated "he causes to be." However, what this name really signifies remains a mystery, and probably deliberately so. At the same time God revealed his name he also concealed its precise meaning. We can only speculate what "I am" means. Perhaps God was suggesting he was the only self-existing one. Others, relating the name to the verb "to be" in a causal sense, have said it is a statement about God's creative power: "I am the one who calls into being." Whatever the deeper meaning of the divine name Yahweh, it is the name by which all the textual sources identify the God of Israel from now on. It is the name of Israel's patron deity, a name which is specifically associated with the covenant. From this point on, even the Elohist uses YHWH for the divine name, though not to the exclusion of the designation Elohim. The change of divine name is also noted in the Priestly source at Exodus 6:2-5 This account adds that the ancestors knew God as El Shaddai (probably meaning "God Almighty"), but through Moses and the exodus he made himself known as Yahweh.
Each of the three Pentateuchal sources has a specific point at which it begins to use the divine name Yahweh. See Table 3.B, the first use of the divine name Yahweh in the sources.

Moses raised excuses about why he should not go back to Egypt. In response God gave him signs to authenticate his calling, including a staff that could transform itself into a snake. When Moses claimed he was not eloquent enough to speak before Pharaoh God appointed Aaron, Moses' brother, to be his spokesman.

21 YHWH said to Moses, "When you return to Egypt, make sure you perform before Pharaoh all the miracles I have given you the ability to do. Yet, I will harden his heart so that he will not allow the people to leave. 22 You must say to Pharaoh: 'This is what YHWH says: Israel is my firstborn son, 23 I command you, "Let my son leave so that he may worship me." If you refuse to let him leave, I will slay your firstborn son.'" (4:21-23) Having received the revelation of the divine name, as well as his mission, Moses went back to Egypt and presented Yahweh's demand to Pharaoh. "Let my people go!" Pharaoh refused to budge. Only after a devastating series of disasters did he allow them, indeed urge them, to leave Egypt.

Friday, January 05, 2007

First Five Commandments

FIRST COMMANDMENT
“I am the Lord, your God. You shall not have strange gods besides me.”

Context in Israel: polytheism and idolatry.

Polytheism: For centuries before and after the Covenant with Moses, Hebrews believed in many gods.
i. Gods. Of fertility, harvest, war, nature.
ii. Carved images. In order to worship gods they can’t see, they carved idols from stone and believed that the spirit of the gods dwelt within them, and worshipped these objects.

Consequence of polytheism: religious beliefs were not consistent with each other, conflicting, paradoxical to the point of being ridiculous; and ultimately, disunity in the community. (Dangerous for their survival because of the wars they had to fight against invaders, and wars for which they needed unity more than anything else.)

Covenant: Worship only one God—who is the “God who saved you from the Egyptians through signs and wonders.”

Most practical consequence of Covenant: national unity, which proved crucial for the survival of the small Hebrew nation. Believing in ONE God brought all beliefs together in a consistent whole, no conflict or contradictions, resulting into unity in all levels of their nascent society.

Message of Commandment to Hebrews: The powerful God who saved you from the hands of the Egyptians is the real, and the only God who exists. It is he who chose you to become his own people and will do everything to protect you. But you’ll have to worship only him—and abide by his rules.

Today: “Idolatry” and “Polytheism” of the 21st Century

Idolatry of Images: Statues, rosaries, holy water, etc. People think that God inhabits inanimate objects such that they begin to have a life of their own, and that God can be materialized in the images we can portray of him.

i. Rosary around rearview mirror. Believed to assure safe trip (despite wreckless driving?)
ii. Brown Scapular. Believed to guarantee entrance into heaven (despite a wretched life?)


Superstitions:

i. Examples of Superstitions.
ii. Practical Explanation of Superstitions. Old wives’ tales.
iii. The Danger of Playing Around with the Spirit World. Possessions, what are authentic and what are cases of insanity.


The Value of Images and Religious Articles.

We are embodied spirits. We need sensual (that which we can see, hear, touch, etc.) symbols to help our non-sensual (spirit/soul/mind) selves to be able to worship, pray, think of God.

i. Examples. Candles, incense, music (Gregorian chant), mantra, lights, stained glass, pictures, etc.

Our culture is physico-symbolic. We are a symbolic people. We express ourselves more by dance, art, sculpture, songs, music, etc.

Filipino Tactility. We are a very tactile people: we hug when we’re happy or sad, we cry, we shout (unlike Japanese and Westerners), we put our arms around each other’s shoulders.

God Can Use Anything to Reveal Himself. In the OT, he revealed himself in signs and wonders of nature: in the whisper of the wind in Elijah, the thunder and lightning in Sinai, the rain and the flood, the waters of the Red Sea!

Jesus’ Ministry. Jesus himself used physical symbols to demonstrate that the Kingdom of God has come: bread, fish, soil, water, wine, etc.

Danger. The danger is when we begin to believe that our symbols are God himself instead of reminders of God. The principle is: TANTUM QUANTUM. Use it insofar as it helps you come closer to the Lord. If it helps you, use it; if it hinders you, rid yourself of it.

SECOND COMMANDMENT
“You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain.”

Context in Israel: Spellcraft and Superstition.

Yahweh: So Sacred, May Not Be Said. This gave birth to the word, “Adonai”, by which they read YHWH—because the human mouth is entirely unworthy to even mention God’s name. A person’s NAME represents the person HIMSELF.

In the name of gods. Yet, pagans use the names of their gods in to cast spells/curses upon other people.

Today: Commandment against Blasphemy, Cursing, and False Oaths.

Blasphemy. It consists in uttering against God, inwardly or outwardly, words of hatred, reproach, or defiance. It means speaking ill of God, failing to respect him in speech, and misusing his name.

Cursing. Calling down punishment upon others.

False Oaths. Using God’s name to confirm false statements. Taking an oath or swearing to God is to take God as witness to what we affirm. It means to invoke divine truthfulness as a pledge of our own truthfulness.

i. Priestly and Marriage Vows. Made in the name of God so it should not be broken.
ii. Expressions of False Oaths: “I swear to God I’m going to kill you.” “God strike me down if I’m not telling the truth.”

Anger at the Lord.

Why are people angry at God?. Mainly, because “God allowed this misfortune to happen to my family when we are very good people.”

Is it a Sin to be Angry with the Lord? Wrong question.

THIRD COMMANDMENT
“Remember to keep holy the Lord’s day.”

Context in Israel: Rest and Freedom.

The Seven Days of Creation. This was a literary device used by ancient authors to make sense of the beginning of the world; not to be taken literally. Its message is:
i. God is the Creator of everything that is.
ii. God has neither a beginning nor an end.
iii. The movement of God’s power is mainly to bring order to chaos.
iv. The most important creature in creation is the human being.

First Reason for the Sabbath: “And on the seventh day, God rested.” Not so much that God stopped creating on the seventh day, but that he created something new, something not there before: REST and CELEBRATION after creating everything. He therefore “created” peace, tranquillity, silence.

Second Reason for the Sabbath: A reminder of the freedom from the forced labor of slavery under Egypt—the central event in the Exodus.

Today’s Context: Worship and Rest

Sunday: From Sabbath to Sunday—because the Resurrection occurred on a Sunday.

Sunday Obligation. Is going to mass our obligation? Yes. We are children of God and it is our obligation to worship him. It is an obligation we willingly and happily do. It is God’s right to be worshipped.

Eucharist and Thanksgiving. We go to mass to thank the Lord for the blessings especially of his Son, and the graces we’ve received.

“Rest”: Is first, resting “IN GOD’S PRESENCE,” and second, resting and recreating with the family that God has given us.

Fr. Patrick Peyton. “The family that prays together stays together.” Very true. I never imagined my parents to succeed in staying together till old age since they were truly incompatible in every way. I do believe that what saved our family from disintegration was our having gone to Church every single Sunday, together, no matter what the cost, “in war or in peace time”!

Particular Offenses Against the Lord’s Day.

Laziness. Not going to Sunday mass when one could’ve is sinful.

Deliberate Inattention. Being bored is different from deliberately staying outside, or far from your parents, or simply at the door in order to chat with a friend while the mass is going on.

Tokenism. “Going to church” but not really attending mass. Instead, making church/mass an occasion to date. (Ex. The young couple outside Sacred Heart Church, hugging and whispering and giggling in each other’s ears while the evening mass was going on.)

FOURTH COMMANDMENT
“Honor your parent/s.”

Context in Israel: Patriarchal Families and Qorban.

The Hebrew father more honored. When the father died, the mother was usually taken for granted, many times even abandoned.

Qorban. A grown-up’s obligation to his parents may be “waived” when one gives support to the poor. He can just declare, “What I would’ve used to support you, I have given to the needy.” But this was abused at the expense of the aged parents.

Context Today.

Parents are honorable as parents. Their worth doesn’t come from their productivity or age. This is why there is a positive and negative side to taking your aged parents to a nursing home.

i. Positive. If you have no money, the nursing home through the government’s support, can take care of old people better.
ii. Negative. You just want to get rid of them.

Respect of Parents: Indicative of an Excellent or a Despicable Culture. A culture in which parents are treated like ordinary individuals will have repercussions to the growth or decay of whole communities.

i. Respect for parents has consequences in respect for authority in general.
ii. The wealth of a country is not indicative of the moral integrity of its citizens.

Equitable Respect for Both Parents.

i. Love Equitably. Just as children want their parents to treat them fairly and love them equitably (not really “equally” as that is humanly impossible), children should also love their parents equitably.

ii. Bad Practice: When the father allows his kids to do something that the mother had already disallowed. Credibility suffers.

Parents must be HONORABLE to their children.

i. Neglect.
· Absenteeism: whether understandable or not, parents and children should be together especially during the formative years of the children’s lives.
· Lack of Discipline: Spoiling the child even in misconduct; lack of firmness and control of children (ex. Kids who play during the mass, kids who play with their food in the restaurant; etc.)

ii. Lack of Relationship.
· Emotional Absenteeism: Parent/s distant from kids; mostly fathers who “do not want to spoil,” or “don’t want their sons to turn into homosexuals,” who are themselves, relationship idiots.

iii. Over-control.
· Children as Fulfillment of Their Own Dreams: Even when the child has his/her own dream, the parents want them to turn out the way they want them to turn out—as fulfillers of their own frustrations.
· False Discipline: Fathers who run their families like boot camp “in order to prepare their children for life,” “to discipline them”. Some fathers even embarrass their children by calling them names, scolding them in public, etc.

iv. Generation Gap.
· Disconcerting Advancement of Technology. Contributes to opening up the world to each other’s cultures and brings an avalanche of information and lifestyles. This is something that our parents cannot cope with—and we’ll have to cope with their inability to cope with it!

FIFTH COMMANDMENT
“You shall not kill.”

Context in Israel:
Law of Hammurabi: “An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.”
Tribal Custom: Blood vengeance.
Human Sacrifice: Infants being killed in order to win a war; innocent people being burried along with a dead chieftain; slaves sacrificed to appease gods who cause natural disasters (famine, mostly.)

Context Today: Basis of the Extraordinary Value of Life

Absolute Power over Life and Death: God as Lifegiver. The extraordinary value given to human life issues from the fact that life can come only from God. God alone has absolute power over human life and death. Simple and absolute. (I don’t know what part of “God alone is the author of life,” can’t people understand.)

High Respectability of Human Life: Jesus came as Human. God sent his son to take on not just any kind of life, but a human life. (Analogy: John Paul II chose to come to SHS for Boys as his first stop during his Cebu visit—this was very telling of the great honor and respect he had of a Jesuit institution and its community.)

Jesus’ Principle: Intensification of Commandment. “The law of Moses says that anyone who kills his brother will be liable to judgment. But I say to you, anyone who is angry with his brother shall be liable to judgment.” Jesus intensifies the value of life by forbidding even anger. He goes to the root of murder: anger. Not only is Jesus against killing, he is against that which leads to killing.

Particular Offenses Against Life.

Direct

i. Substance Abuse. The most widespread abuse in the nation against physical well-being, especially alcohol and drug abuse, and to a lesser extent, smoking—also affects the community, starting with the family. (My asthma has become chronic because of my smoking grandfather and dad.)
· Fr. Montecastro’s drinking and smoking resulting to emphysema.
· Mrs. Formentera’s husband, now without cash for chemotherapy.
· Jake Azul before (religious, fanstastic personality) and after drug addiction (anxious, paranoid, foul-smelling, shifty.)

ii. Abortion. Abortion is the deliberate ejection of a fetus from the mother’s womb is equal to the killing of an innocent human person.
· Usual reasons given to justify abortion: disability to financially support the child; when the true reasons are really: shame/fear of dishonor, laziness/irresponsibility of both parents, profound greed and conceit.
· Statement of a Brainless Wimp:“Wala man nako gituyo nga makaboros sa girlfriend.” The sexual act is a deliberate act with full knowledge of the possibility of its consequences.
· Statement of a Brainless Bimbo: “Wala ko kahibalo nga maboros diay ko.”
· Victim: an innocent child who had absolutely nothing to do with the stupidity and brainlessness of his parents.

iii. Euthanasia. Means terminating the life of the handicapped and terminally ill, regardless of who decides. We must take ordinary means to preserve life such as medicines, treatments and operations that can be obtained and used without excessive sacrifice or expense, and when there is reasonable hope of benefit for the patient.
· However, when there is no real hope for a patient’s genuine benefit, there is no moral obligation to prolong life artificially by drugs and machines. In fact, using extraordinary means to keep brain dead patients artificially alive seems to lack objective moral validity, especially in a third-world society where the majority of the population cannot afford health care.

iv. Capital Punishment. Three traditional reasons for punishing criminals:

1. Retribution. Vindication of the victim’s rights. (But rather than vindicating victim rights, CP rather satisfies the spirit of vengeance—thus perpetuating the cycle of violence.)

2. Reform. Or rehabilitation of the criminal. (But how can CP reform a dead criminal?)

3. Deterrence. Or prevention or discouraging others from committing the same crime. (There’s been no conclusive proof that CP actually deters crime. Unfortunately, what can be shown is that hardened criminals, after release, again commit serious crimes against the community; and that heinous crimes still continue despite CP legalization.)

v. “Just” War. War is considered “just” when the all the ff. conditions are present (unfortunately, there has not been a war in which all of these conditions have been met):

1. A just cause.
2. Necessary to protect human rights and values equal to life.
3. For a good objective proportionate to human cost of war;
4. With reasonable chance for success;
5. Declared by legitimate authority;
6. Only as a last resort.

Indirect

i. Discrimination (vs. women, gays, poor, etc.) Effects on victim:
1. Anxiety. A sense of foreboding when coming out to the public.
2. Paranoia. A feeling that no company is safe.
3. Self-immolation. Blaming oneself for something of which one isn’t culpable.
4. Family Helplessness. Parents are affected and are left helpless.
5. Others? Ask students.

ii. Bullying and Extreme Teasing.
iii. Others? Ask students.

Saturday, November 25, 2006

More Ignatian Terms

The Examen
Ignatius left his Society two spiritual legacies: the examen, and the spiritual exercises. The examen (or, The Examen of Consciousness) is intended as a short daily period of reflection. St. Ignatius believed that he received the examen as a gift from God that not only enriched his own Christian life but was meant to be shared with others. The examen was a "method," a way to seek and find God in all things and to gain the freedom to let God's will be done on earth.
The Examen traditionally has five steps:
Recall you are in the presence of God. No matter where you are, you are a creature in the midst of creation and the Creator who called you forth is concerned for you.
Give thanks to God for favors received. Pause and spend a moment looking at this day's gifts. Take stock of what you received and gave. Notice these clues that guide living.
Ask for awareness of the Holy Spirit's aid. Before you explore the mystery of the human heart, ask to receive the Holy Spirit so that you can look upon your actions and motives with honesty and patience. The Spirit gives a freedom to look upon yourself without condemnation and without complacency and thus be open to growth.
Now examine how you are living this day. Recalling the events of your day, explore the context of your actions. Review the day, hour by hour, searching for the internal events of your life. Look through the hours to see your interaction with what was before you. Ask what you were involved in and who you were with, and review your hopes and hesitations. What moved you to act the way you did?
Pray words of reconciliation and resolve. Having reviewed this day of your life, look upon yourself with compassion and see your need for God and try to realize God's manifestations of concern for you. Express sorrow for sin, give thanks for grace, and praise God for the times you responded in ways that allowed you to better see God's life.

Love should manifest in words than in deeds- (contemplatio ad amorem)

Two Principles of Love: The two principles which St. Ignatius sets down at the beginning of the exercise summarize the accent he wants to place in cultivating the love of God. First is an insistence on effective charity as distinct from the merely affective. “Love” he says, “should manifest itself in deeds rather than in words.” A number of reasons suggest themselves for making such a distinction.
Since the love of God finds its best analogy on earth in human relations, say, in the love of husband and wife, it is imperative to see the latter in its substance and cleared of accidentals. Among these the most liable to be taken for true love are emotionalism and sentimentality, expressed in beautiful words and melody, but lacking the generosity of true sacrifice.
History is filled with examples of men and women who professed to love God, but their actions belied their words. Ignatius recognized that the human will can deceive itself into believing it loves God because it repeats a verbal formula, the while indulging in certain practices that are incompatible with true affection. “If you love Me,” Christ said, “keep My commandments” (John 14:15).
St. Ignatius does not deny that love consists also in words. But actions speak louder than words. In fact, they are words, thundering declarations which prove more eloquently than speech where a man’s affections really lie.
The basic principle of asceticism involved here is the relative emphasis on grace and free will. To love God in word may be perfectly sincere. “No one can say, ‘Lord Jesus,’ except by the Holy Spirit” (I Cor. 12:3). There may be no question of masking a false interior behind affectionate sentiments. It does make a difference, however, where we concentrate our efforts. It is not at all impossible, as Reformation theology proved, to stress faith and love so much that good works are overlooked or even despised. But we are not mere pawns in the almighty hands of God. We have to work out our salvation: with divine grace, of course, but work it out no less. And if we ask where human effort is more required: in verbal statements or in actual deeds, the answer is rhetorical.
St. Ignatius’ second principle stresses the mutuality and communication in true love of friendship, which consists in sharing what each one possesses. This clarifies the difference between love of concupiscence and the love of benevolence. “Love of concupiscence,” says Francis de Sales, “is founded on a hope of deriving some benefit from the object of our affection; love of benevolence produces affection for a person with no reference to our interests. To have a love of benevolence for anyone means to wish him well, to desire him every blessing and happiness.” [5] Therefore even our love for God, who has everything, must be disinterested to be perfect; must seek rather to please Him than satisfy ourselves, although objectively we derive the highest self-satisfaction in giving ourselves to God.

Ignatian Consolation
This workshop will explore the fruits of Ignatian prayer as found in the Autobiography,Spiritual Exercises, the Spiritual Diary and the Constitutions. Ignatian consolation is not necessarily being happy and doing the right or holy thing; rather it is allowing oneself to be drawn deeper and deeper into the Divine. This dynamic so consumes a person that Divine energy overflows into the living experience of this individual. This person while being divinized transforms the world into a sacred place.

Mary the Human Face of God: Foundation of Ignatian Spirituality
Ignatius’ devotion to Mary seems to be the occasion of many of his mystical experiences. It is through the heart and the spirit of Mary that Ignatius makes the heart and the spirit of Jesus and the Father his very own. At key moments in the Spiritual Exercises Ignatius offers Mary as our recourse. Mary's personal union with God in emptying her life to share in the divine work of salvation makes her our model and mother. Our devotion to Mary gives us an insight into our divine identity and helps us to live life in all its fullness.

The Meaning of Ignatian Indifference
Ignatian indifference is a quality of the will, and specifically the perfection of freedom from internal determination caused by an inordinate love or fear of created things. That is to choose the will of God rather than my own. To choose what will bring me closer to God.

Cura Personalis
Is rooted in the Ignatian tradition of “Men and Women for others” and “Cura Personalis” or care of the whole person. Cura Personalis is for individuals who possess openness to personal growth and challenges." ... Ignatius wrote into the constitutions that Jesuit teachers were to show cura personalis (personal concern ) for their students, getting to know them as individuals and being concerned about their total development as ... "

Monday, November 20, 2006

Ignatian Terms

A.M.D.G.--Ad Majorem Dei Gloriam (Latin) - "For the greater glory of God." Motto of the Society of Jesus.* [See "magis."*]

Cura personalis (Latin meaning "care for the [individual] person")--A hallmark of Ignatian spirituality* (where in one-on-one spiritual guidance, the guide adapts the Spiritual Exercises* to the unique individual making them) and therefore of Jesuit education (where the teacher establishes a personal relationship with students, listens to them in the proces of teaching, and draws them toward personal initiative and responsibility for learning [see "Pedagogy, Ignatian/Jesuit"]).This attitude of respect for the dignity of each individual derives from the Judaeo-Chrsitan vision* of human beings as unique creations of God, of God's embracing of humanity in the person of Jesus*, and of human destiny as ultimate communion with God and all the saints in everlasting life.

Discernment (also "Discernment of spirits")--A process for making choices, in a context of (Christian) faith, when the option is not between good and evil, but between several possible courses of action all of which are potentially good. For Ignatius* the process involves prayer, reflection, and consultation with others-all with honest attention not only to the rational (reasons pro and con) but also to the realm of one's feelings, emotions, and desires (what Ignatius called "movements" of soul). A fundamental question in discernment becomes "Where is this impulse from-the good spirit [of God] or the evil spirit [leading one away from God] ?" A key to answering this question, says Ignatius in his Spiritual Exercises* is that, in the case of a person leading a basically good life, the good spirit gives "consolation"--acts quietly, gently, and leads one to peace, joy, and deeds of loving service--while the bad spirit brings "desolation"--agitates, disturbs the peace, and injects fears and discouragement to keep one from doing good.

Faber, Peter (1506-1546)--Latin and English version of Pierre Favre, University of Paris student from the south of France who roomed with Ignatius of Loyola* and Francis Xavier* and together with them and several others founded the Society of Jesus.* Much of his ministry was in Germany. There he drew up guidelines for ecumenical dialogue with Lutherans, but these were, sad to say, hardly put into practice. Among the early companions, he was known to be the finest guide for those making the Spiritual Exercises.*

Finding God in All Things--Ignatian* spirituality* is summed up in this phrase. It invites a person to search for and find God in every circumstance of life, not just in explicitly religious situations or activities such as prayer in church (e.g., the Mass) or in private. It implies that God is present everywhere and, though invisible, can be "found" in any and all of the creatures which God has made. They reveal at least a little of what their Maker is like--often by arousing wonder in those who are able to look with the "eyes of faith." After a long day of work, Ignatius* used to open the French windows in his room, step out onto a little balcony, look up at the stars, and be carried out of himself into the greatness of God.How does one grow in this ability to find God everywhere? Howard Gray draws the following paradigm from what Ignatius* wrote about spiritual development in the Jesuit* Constitutions: (1) practice attentiveness to what is really there. "Let that person or that poem or that social injustice or that scientific experiement become (for you) as genuinely itself as it can be." (2) Then reverence what you see and hear and feel; appreciate it in its uniqueness. "Before you judge or assess or respond, give yourself time to esteem and accept what is there in the other." (3) If you learn to be attentive and reverent, "then you will find devotion, the singualrly moving way in which God works in that situation, revealing goodness and fragility, beauty and truth, pain and anguish, wisdom and ingenuity."

Ignatian/Jesuit Vision, Characteristcs of the--Drawing on a variety of contemporary sources which tend to confirm one another, one can construct a list of rather commonly accepted characteristics of the Ignatian/Jesuit vision. It ...
sees life and the whole universe as a gift calling forth wonder and gratefulness;
gives ample scope to imagination and emotion as well as intellect;
seeks to find the divine in all things--in all peoples and cultures, in all areas of study and learning, in every human experience, and (for the Christian) especially in the person of Jesus*;
cultivates critical awareness of persoanl and social evil, but points to God's love as more powerful than any evil;
stresses freedom, need for discernment,* and responsible action;
empowers people to become leaders in service, "mean and women for others,"* "whole persons of solidarity,"* building a more just and humane world.
No one claims that any of these are uniquely Ignatian/Jesuit. It is rather the combination of them all and the way they fit together that make the vision distinctive and so appropriate for an age in transition--whether from the medieval to the modern in Ignatius' time, or from the modern to the postmodern in ours.

Ignatius of Loyola (1491-1556)--Youngest child of a noble Basque family fiercely loyal to the Spanish crown (Ferdinand and Isabella), he was named Inigo after a local saint. Raised to be a courtier, he was trying valiantly to defend the fortress town of Pamplona in 1521 when a French cannonball shattered his leg. During a long convalescence, he found himself drawn away from the romances of chivalry that had filled his imagination from an early age to more spiritual reading--an illustrated life of Christ and a collection of saints' lives.
After his recovery, he set out for the Holy Land to realize a dream of "converting the infidel." On the way he stopped in the little town of Manresa* and wound up spending nearly a year there during which he experienced both the depths of despair and great times of enlightenment.
Ordered to leave Palestine after being there little more than a month, Ignatius decided that he needed an education in order to be able to "help souls." In Barcelona, he went to school with boys a quarter his age to learn the rudiments of Latin grammar, then moved on to several other Spanish university cities. In each he was imprisoned and interrogated by the Inquisition, because he kept speaking to people about "spiritual* things," having neither a theology degree nor priestly ordination.
Finally, turning his back on his homeland, he went to the foremost university of the time, the University of Paris, where he began his education all over again and with diligence, after five years, was finally awarded the degree "Master of Arts." It was here at Paris that he changed his Basque name to the Latin Ignatius and its Spanish equivalent Ignacio.
While at the University, he had roomed with and become good friends with a fellow Basque named Francis Xavier* and a Savoyard named Peter Faber.* After graduation, these three, together with several other Paris graduates, undertook a process of communal discernment* and decided to bind themselves together in an apostolic* community that became the Society of Jesus.* Unanimously elected superior by his companions, Ignatius spent the last 16 years of his life in Rome directing the fledgling order, while the others went all over Europe, to the Far East, and eventually to the New World. And wherever they went they founded schools as a means of helping people to "find God in all things."*
IHS--The first three letters, in Greek, of the name Jesus. These letters appear as a symbol on the official seal of the Society of Jesus* or Jesuits.*

Jesuit--Noun. A member of the Society of Jesus.* The term was originally coined as a putdown by people who felt there was something terribly arrogant about a group calling itself the Company or Society of Jesus, whereas previous religious orders* had been content to name themselves after their founder (e.g., "Benedictines," "Franciscans," "Dominicans"). Later the title was adopted as a shorthand name by members of the Society themselves, as well as by others favorable to them.

Magis (Latin for "more")--The "Continuous Quality Improvement" term traditionally used by Ignatius of Loyola* and the Jesuits,* suggesting the spirit of generous excellence in which ministry should be carried on. [See A.M.D.G. - "For the greater glory of God."]

Men and Women for Others--In a now famous address to alumni of Jesuit schools in Europe (July 31, 1973), Pedro Arrupe* painted a profile of what a graduate should be. Admitting that Jesuit* schools have not always been on target here, Arrupe called for a re-education to justice:
Today our prime educational objective must be to form men-and women-for-others... people who cannot even conceive of love of God which does not include love for the least of their neighbors; people convinced that love of God which does not issue in justice for human beings is a farce.... All of us would like to be good to others, and most of us would be relatively good in a good world. What is difficult is to be good in an evil world, where the egoism of others and the egoism built into the institutions of society attack us.... Evil is overcome only by good, egoism by generosity. It is thus that we must sow justice in our world, substituting love for self-interest as the driving force of society.
Following up on what Arrupe had said, the current Jesuit head, Peter-Hans Kolvenbach,* challenged the 900 Jesuit* and lay* delegates from the 28 U.S. Jesuit colleges and universities gathered for "Assembly '89" to teach our students to make "no significant decision without first thinking of how it would impact the least in society" (i.e., the poor, the marginal who have no voice). And eleven years, speaking on "the faith that does justice" to a similar national gathering at Santa Clara University (October 6, 2000), Kolvenbach was even more pointed and eloquent in laying out the goals for the 21st-century American Jesuit university.

The Spiritual Exercises [capital S and E]--An organized series of spiritual exercises* put together by Ignatius of Loyola* out of his own personal spiritual experience and that of others to whom he listened. They invite the "retreatant" or "exercitant" to "meditate" on central aspects of Christian faith (e.g., creation, sin and forgiveness, calling and ministry) and especially to "contemplate" (i.e. imaginatively enter into) the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus.
Ignatius set all of this down in the book of the Spiritual Exercises as a handbook to help the guide who coaches a person engaged in "making the Exercises." After listening to that person and getting a sense for where he/she is, the guide selects from material and methods in the book of the Exercises and offers them in a way adapted to that unique individual. The goal of all this is the attainment of a kind of spiritual freedom, the power to act-not out of social pressure or personal compulsion and fear--but out of the promptings of God's spirit in the deepest, truest core of one's being--to act ultimately out of love.
As originally designed, the "full" Spiritual Exercises would occupy a person for four weeks full-time, but Ignatius realized that some people could not [today most people cannot] disengage from work and home obligations for that long a time, and so it is possible to make the "full" Exercises part-time over a period of six to nine or ten months--the "Spiritual Exercises in Daily Life." In that case, the "exercitant," without withdrawing from home or work, devotes about an hour a day to prayer (but this, like nearly everything in the Exercises, is adaptable) and sees a guide every week or two to process what has been happening in prayer and in the rest of his/her life.
Most of the time people make not the "full" Spiritual Exercises but a retreat in the Ignatian spirit that might last anywhere from a weekend to a week. Such a retreat usually includes either a daily individual conversation with a guide or several daily presentations to a group, as preparation for prayer/spiritual exercises.*
Ignatius had composed and revised his little book over a period of twenty-five or more years before it was finally published in 1548. Subsequent editions and translations-according to a plausible estimate--numbered some 4,500 in 1948 or about one a month over four centuries, the total number of copies printed being around 4,500,000. It is largely on his Exercises--with their implications for teaching and learning in a holistic way--that Ignatius' reputation as a major figure in the history of western education rests.

Xavier, Francis (1506-1552)--Native like Ignatius* of the Basque territory of northern Spain, Francis became a close friend of Ignatius at the University of Paris, came to share Ignatius' vision through making the Spiritual Exercises,* and realized that vision through missionary labors in India, the Indonesian archipelago, and Japan. He was the first Jesuit* to go out to people of non-European culture.

The First Principle and Foundation
The human person is created to praise, reverence, and serve God Our Lord, and by doing so, to save his or her soul.
All other things on the face of the earth are created for human beings in order to help them pursue the end for which they are created.
It follows from this that one must use other created things, in so far as they help towards one's end, and free oneself from them, in so far as they are obstacles to one's end.
To do this, we need to make ourselves indifferent to all created things, provided the matter is subject to our free choice and there is no other prohibition.
Thus, as far as we are concerned, we should not want health more than illness, wealth more than poverty, fame more than disgrace, a long life more than a short one, and similarly for all the rest, but we should desire and choose only what helps us more towards the end for which we are created.

Sources:

Do You Speak Ignatian?BY GEORGE W. TRAUB, S.J.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

For the FIRST REFLECTION PAPER (Third Grading)

Title: The Face of Poverty

Prenote: Poverty is real. It has a name, face and smell. Poverty is conquering the
whole world and diminishing the dignity of the human person.

Format: Bond paper; single space; times new roman. computerized; class number,
name, section and date should be encoded on the upper right corner of the
paper.

Guide Questions:
1. How do you define poverty?
2. What are the different faces of poverty?
3. Did you encounter people or community who are poor? How did you react?

How did you treat them?
4. As a Christian, How will you help in alleviating poverty in our
city/country?

Third Grading Course Outline



THE EXODUS (THE PENTATEUCH)

(1) The Book of Exodus tells the story of the central historical event in the entire Old Testament: God's deliverance of the Hebrews from slavery in Egypt. It is important to keep in mind from the beginning that while these narratives are grounded in historical events, their primary purpose is not just to record historical data. The essential aim of the book is theological; that is, to communicate something about God and how humanity is to respond to God. Therefore, attention to how the story is told is just as critical as the details themselves.
Students will be able to
1. explain the key event, the occasion, and the purpose of the book of Exodus.
2. identify the three major divisions of Exodus which correspond to Roman numerals I, II, and III in the outline.
3. discuss the early life of Moses, the significance of the law and the tabernacle.

Outline of Exodus
I. Israel in Egypt
A. Slavery in Egypt (DQ#1)
1. Causes of oppression
a. Change of leadership -- a new Pharaoh was not inclined to give favorable treatment to the Jews, (Ex. 1:8)
b. Security risk -- the presence of the Jewish nation on the Egyptian frontier posed a threat if the Jewish people should prove to be disloyal to Egyptian interests (Ex. 1:9)
2. Nature of the oppression
a. Bitter service (1:10-14)
b. Killing of Hebrew sons (1:15-22)
B. The deliverer, Moses (2-4)
1. His birth and early career
a. Birth (2:1-2)
b. Adoption by Pharaoh's daughter (2:3-10)
c. Killing of Egyptian and fight to Median (2:11-22)
2. The call
a. The burning bush (3:1-9)
b. The call (3:10)
c. Moses' four excuses (3:11-4:17)
1) God's name -- I AM
2) The signs -- the staff into a snake
C. Pharaoh's oppression of Israel (5:1-6:13) (DQ#2)
D. Genealogies (6:14-27)
E. The plagues and the Passover (6:28-12:36)
1. Water to blood
2. Frogs
3. Gnats
4. Flies
5. Cattle plague
6. Boils
7. Hail
8. Locusts
9. Darkness
10. Death of first-born (DQ#3 & 4)
II. The journey from Egypt to Sinai
A. The Exodus from Egypt (12:37-14:31)
B. The song of Moses (15:1-21)
C. The wilderness of Shur (15:22-27) -- God changed the bitter water of Marah into sweet.
D. The wilderness of Sin (16) -- God provided manna and quail.
E. The rock at Rephidim (17) -- God provided water from the rock. (DQ# 5 & #6)
F. Jethro and Moses (18)
III. Covenant and law at Sinai
A. Preparations for covenant (19) (DQ#7)
B. The Decalogue (20:1-26)
The covenant relationship was grounded in obedience to Yahweh through ethical behavior. The first four commandments clarify specific obligations of the covenant or toward Yahweh. The last six deal with his responsibility toward his fellow man. (DQ#8)
1. You shall have no other gods before me.
2. You shall not make yourself a graven image.
3. You shall not take the name of Yahweh your God in vain.
4. Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy.
5. Honor your father and your mother.
6. You shall not kill.
7. You shall not commit adultery.
8. You shall not steal.
9. You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.
10. You shall not covet
C. The covenant code (20:18-23:33)
D. Ratification of the covenant (24)
E. The Tabernacle (25-40) The tabernacle was a movable "dwelling" where Yahweh met his people.
1. Specifications (25-27)
a. The architecture of the tabernacle centered in the ark, the essential feature of the house of Yahweh, which was placed in the Holy of Holies, the inmost part of the sanctuary. (DQ#9)
b. A heavy veil separated the Holy of Holies from the Holy Place, the area of priestly ministry.
c. The tabernacle, constructed of strips of linen, goat's hair cloth, and animal skins, covered a rectangle approximately seventy-five by one hundred feet.
2. The priests (28-29) (DQ#10)
3. The furniture (30)
a. The ark of the covenant
b. The table of the bread of the Presence
c. The lampstand
d. The altar of burnt offering
e. The altar of incense
f. The bronze basin
4. The craftsmen (31:1-11)
5. The Sabbath (31:12-18)
6. Israel's breach of covenant with the golden calf (32)
7. Yahweh and Moses (33)
8. Covenant renewal (34) (DQ#11)
9. Construction of the Tabernacle (35-38)
10. The priestly garments (39)
11. Completion and dedication of the Tabernacle (40)