Miracles on St. Basel Avenue

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Mimika Avenue. Meet Mystic, an ex-con, home after a six year prison bid. Born and raised in Born and raised in St. Louis, Mystic has been on her own since the age of sixteen. Mystic thought that marrying a Marine would bring her the happiness she'd As a side remark, this conviction represents an alternative superiorto current reductionist trends which oppose creation, as a supernatural event, and evolution, as a natural phenomenon. Commenting on a selection of fragments from Hexaemeron 5, Meyendorff pertinently observed that, following in the footsteps of St Athanasius, St Basil believed in the natural generative capacity of created reality The creatures do not simply receive their form and diversity from God; they possess an energy, certainly also God-given, but authentically their own.

Meyendorff continued this line of thought by adding that, as earlier in St Athanasius and later in St Maximus, the Cappadocian believed in a continuous exertion of divine providence that both brings into being and maintains the universe in existence, 'but not at the expense of the world's own created dynamism, which is part of the creative plan itself. These crucial notes indirectly endorse the points I made in the previous two sections of the paper. Now, returning to the generative capacities latent within the world and their divine activation, the best illustration of this principle is perhaps St Basil's note on the phrase 'the earth was invisible and unorganised' from Genesis LXX : [The earth] was in painful labours cbSreoucra with the generation of all things through the power stored in it ivanortQticrav SiSvajuv by the demiurge, waiting for the auspicious times KaSrjKOTJTa; ypovovc, when, by a divine call, it would bring out into the open -rrpoa-ya-yj] This powerful metaphor both evokes and transfigures the ancient mythical imagery of the wedding of sky and earth in fact still bearing its powerful erotic connotations.

In St Basil's plastic depiction, God, somehow represented as a masculine principle, lovingly impregnates created As a result of this unfathomable interaction - which cannot be properly addressed without recourse to such poetical devices - matter's metaphorical pregnancy becomes the origin of the terrestrial ecosystem and the entire cosmos as well.

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With or without metaphors, it is obvious that the 'pregnant' matter has been endowed by the Creator with a generative potential which would remain inert if deprived of God's discrete energy. We encounter the same idea, clearly articulated, in the very beginning of the chapter, within a new refutation of what the author held to be Manichaeism. As already pointed out, these are not isolated notes. Presented by way of a different metaphor, the dynamic interaction between divine and cosmic energies recurs in the ninth homily, to which I shall soon turn, with an emphasis on the continuous 38 Phronema Volume 25, character of this unfolding event.

Nevertheless, before advancing to this different setting - referring the sixth hexaemeronic day - a further remark is in order, to strengthen the position of the principle of synergy within tradition. The pretext for this note is offered by the fact that it deals with the same context in the narrative of creation. Beyond the famous opposition between the supernatural and the natural, which ultimately led to the western clash of science and religion, the interactive or synergetic principle remains fundamental for the ecclesial worldview. A generation after St Basil, St John Chrysostom displayed a similar comprehension of Genesis yet with reference to the metaphor of the Spirit hovering over the waters.

The consensus between the two fathers is obvious. In fact, when addressing the same metaphor, St Basil applied an identical interpretation, only supported by his preference for a Syriac version that pictured the Spirit as an ecosystemic agent who Along with following St Basil's line of thought, Chrysostom clearly incorporated Basilian terminology e. In the light of and beyond these metaphors, the message conveyed by St Basil and St John is that the entire formation of the world unfolds as a continuous synergetic act, a dynamic convergence of created and uncreated factors.

Indeed, there is indication that St Basil seems to have taken both depictions - of the earth's pregnancy and the Spirit hovering over the waters - as applicable to any stage within the universe's complex unfolding between the Alpha and the Omega.

If this is the case, then Genesis does not only depict past events. Instead, it points to a universe still in the making, still journeying towards its eschatological horizon, the eighth day of creation. St Basil endorsed this interpretation in the ninth homily: 39 Christian Worldview: Understandings from St Basil the Great Think of the word of God running through creation Siot-rij; kvvxmx, Tpfyov , still active ivtpjovv now as it has been from the beginning ospi-ccjievov , and efficient until the end in order to bring the world to fulfilment lu; kv 0 KOfffiO?

The fragment leaves no room for doubt: St Basil represented the divine word or energy as an uninterrupted wave that pervades, like the ocean of neutrinos in contemporary cosmology, the entire space-time continuum, playing a vital yet discrete role in the universe's evolution.

Resurrectional Apolytikion in the Third Mode

We can infer that for him the metaphors in Genesis referred to a chaotic state of the cosmos on its way to higher organisation, implying the existence of a reservoir of potentialities whose content is actualised or realised gradually - throughout the history of creation from beginning to end. All things considered, we are led so far to a double conclusion: that St Basil believed in a humble or kenotic God who condescends to work through the natural possibilities of the universe, with which he endows it, and at the same time, that the cosmos exists and thrives only by being sustained by God's creative power.

The content of this ongoing process, interpreted as an interactive experience, came to be more thoroughly explored by St Basil in his treatise On the Holy Spirit, his last major published text in and a tremendously significant work on the meaning of tradition.

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According to St Basil and given the pneumatological focus of the work , the entire divine oikonomia concerning the world reaches fulfilment by means of the Holy Spirit, presented as a source of both life and holiness. There is no space within the confines of creation that is deprived of the Spirit's presence; there is no creature that does not have its origin in the work of the Spirit; there is no perfection of creation outside the life-giving and enlightening energy of the Spirit.

Co-worker with the Logos in the making of the universe, the Spirit immediately answers creation's thirst for the fullness of being, for life and holiness. This, in turn, indicates that nothing can attain natural perfection without the divine gift of the Spirit; the interactive or synergetic principle that pervades the Basilian works is thus confirmed.

Indeed, for St Basil, the organisation of the universe, of our earth and the life on it, is possible only in the active presence of the Logos and the Holy Spirit. Perfecting all other things, [ Again, St Basil adopted here the apophatic approach, pointing to the inexhaustibility of the Holy Spirit's gifts. Although the treatise's emphasis falls mainly on the eschatological dimensions of renewal and fulfilment, it is obvious that for St Basil the universe depends on the Holy Spirit's support throughout its entire duration. The theme of the synergetic character of reality opens up interesting avenues.

For instance, it leads to a necessary reassessment of the popular representation of divine activity in the world, the meaning of the philosophical construct of 'nature' and the origin of the pointless conflict of creationism vs. By way of concluding, let us briefly address these points, one by one.

Some Christian cosmologies imagine God as an omnipotent entity situated 'outside' creation, absolutely transcendent and wholly detached from both the universe and us. Furthermore, they accept as the only signs of this entity the world's creation and a series of arbitrary manifestations ex machina, that is, miracles, taken as events through which the laws of nature are abrogated. The complications entailed by this understanding cannot be treated here. What we learn from St Basil, however, is that the mode of God's activity in the world is not episodic but continuous; it does 41 Christian Worldview: Understandings from St Basil the Great not suspend the laws of nature but is an essential part of them; it is not an ostentatious manifestation of power but a humble or kenotic expression of a God that adapts himself to the weaknesses of his creation.

From this reinterpretation emerges a different understanding of nature. Usually represented as an autonomous reality existing outside God, nature is for St Basil a created entity, indeed, but by no means separated from its creator. It is true, the waves of divine energy that pervade creation to a great extent elude our measuring devices, but so are many of the subatomic ingredients of reality as theorised by contemporary cosmologists. It should be noted however that St Basil's depiction of the transformative experiences of the saints allows for an understanding of their bodies as accurate 'measurement tools' of the divine presence.

The first two points lead at last to a reconsideration of the premises of the painful warfare of creationism and evolutionism. At the origin of the conflict lie two basic concepts: the idea of Deus ex machina that sporadically suspends the order of a nature defended by creationists , and the idea of a nature completely autonomous and self-sufficient defended by evolutionists. St Basil's understanding of the Christian worldview points to a different aspect of reality.

The humble God of St Basil is permanently at work within and through the natural possibilities of a universe that ultimately remains open to, and dependent on, him. Both ideologies, therefore, namely creationism and evolutionism, build on premises that do not draw on ecclesial worldview. The purpose of this article was to make obvious the perennial and challenging character of his elaborations, which can encourage a fresh approach in the quest for meaning and purpose within a culture suffocated by nihilism and atheism.

Indeed, his passionate approach to life, the world and reality - not to mention the powerful topic of the world as a school - might serve as an implicit exhortation for our culture to acknowledge creation as God's gift and to adopt a corresponding lifestyle. Finally, it can only be hoped that his contributions concerning the interactive aspect of reality will be further and seriously considered in the unfolding conversations between scientists and theologians.

The remaining shortcomings belong however, and exclusively, to me. Stephen M. It is worth mentioning here a series of collective volumes published in Romanian in , which I could consult only partially and whose focus - with one exception, the article by Adrian Marinescu, quoted below - was not on St Basil's contributions to worldview. See e. Rousseau, Basil of Caesarea, Peter C.

Apolytikion of Great and Holy Pascha in the Plagal First Mode

Rousseau, Basil of Caesarea, ; Paul J. Fedwick ed. T Kimbrough, Jr. Young, L. Ayres, A. Louth eds. Vasile eel Mare,' in E. Marinescu eds. For details on Theophilus' approach to Genesis and cosmology, see Bouteneff, Beginnings, This aspect is indicated at the end of the prologue; cf. Hexaemeron 1. See also Hexaemeron 2. In Hexaemeron 3. Bouteneff, Beginnings, See an analysis of this theme in Clapsis, 'St Basil's Cosmology,' Vasile eel Mare,' John D. David C. Ferngren ed. Quasten, Patrology, vol.

Lindberg, 'Early Christian Attitudes toward Nature,' On the Basilian appreciation for science and particularly astronomy, see Daniel F. Stavinschi eds. Petcu eds. In modern times, Lossky, The Mystical Theology, , intelligently reiterated the geocentric paradigm in terms of the geocentric condition of divine revelation. Hexaemeron For instance, a similar approach to nature was reiterated in the fourteenth century by St Gregory Palamas, who explicitly borrowed from St Basil.

Doru Costache, 'Queen of the Sciences? See more examples in Meyendorff, Byzantine Theology, Hexaemeron 2. Hexaemeron 3. Richard A. Norris, 'The Apologists' in F. See a similar criticism mHexaemeron 3. Theophilus, ToAutolycus 3. Precisely the things they said demonstrate their utter inconsistencies curb Renvoi and many among them demolished their own opinions rk 'iSia So-yfiara. For not only did they refute one another, but some even made null their own opinions. Thus, their reputation resulted in embarrassment and folly, being despised by those who understand.

The Epicureans are among these; they deny that there is any providence -rrpovoiav behind the evident and visible things. In his analysis of the Basilian Hexaemeron, Clapsis 'St Basil's Cosmology' has excellently pointed out the author's care not to impose to the congregation as dogma concepts borrowed from the 'outer wisdom. St Basil's faithfulness to the topic of creation leaves no room for speculations like those of Danezis, Theodossiou and Dimitrijevic 'The Hexaemeron of St Basil the Great,' , which suggest that he entertained the idea of an eternal matter.

Their interpretation is contradicted by the Basilian refutation of the concept of the uncreated matter in Hexaemeron 2. Rousseau, Basil ofCaesarea, On the Holy Spirit Nevertheless, this aWkpoucraXrjfi cannot be taken as a heavenly or disembodied reality. Hexaemeron 9. Hexaemeron 4.

For the scientific understanding of this aspect of the anthropic principle, see Barrow, The Constants of Nature, ; Thuan, La melodie secrete, ; Basarab Nicolescu, Nous, la particule et le monde, 2 edition Monaco: Editions du Rocher, , Bouteneff, Beginnings, , See the argument in Bouteneff, Beginnings, On the Origin of Humanity 1. Watson eds. Eerdmans Publishing Company, : Twomey eds. Much later, yet in the same vein, St Maximus the Confessor added that the mediation of Scripture toward an accurate natural contemplation is possible given that thelo-yoi, divine principles, of Scripture and creation coincide; see e.

Founded: Families: 69 North Deanery. Founded: Families: 70 South Deanery. Jules Church, Franklin South Deanery. Thu: AM to PM. Louis, Mississippi on May 23, Bishop Jeanmard's decision to accept the four African-American priests brought the Lafayette Diocese into a closer relationship with the Divine Word Missionaries who conduct the Bay St. Holy Mass was celebrated in the new church for the first time on the Fourth Sunday of Advent, December 23, , on which day a simple blessing of the edifice was made.

Patzelt delayed the solemn dedication until February 10, , four days after his 25th anniversary into priesthood. Although December 23, can certainly be considered the beginning of the parish, February 10, was the official opening. The little mission which began in a has grown into a very prosperous parish at the hands of many Divine Word Missionary priests and brothers, and the Sisters of the Holy Family. Founded: Families: South Deanery.

Founded: Families: Central Deanery Our Lady of Fatima church is vividly remembered by parishioners and visitors for the stained glass windows designed by the Tolleri Studios of Florence, Italy. For over 60 years, Fatima Parish has enriched the spiritual lives of countless Lafayette families and visitors from around the world. Lafayette is home to the largest Francophone French speaking festival in the United States. Know that you are always welcome to visit us when you come to Lafayette, LA.

Founded: Families: West Deanery. Jeanmard saw a need for a parish church in the Coteau area, and appointed Father Olan Broussard to help fill this need. Our Lady of Prompt Succor is unique in that it had never been a mission to any of the older rural church parishes. Founded: Families: Central Deanery.

Founded: Families: St. Confessions are heard half an hour before weekday Masses and on Saturday from p. Fri: AM to AM. Peter Church, Morrow North Deanery.

Bridget Church, Lawtell North Deanery. Founded: Families: South Region. Joseph Church, Plaisance North Deanery. Founded: Families: Central Deanery St. Anthony chapel was built for the convenience of the people in the Northern section of the Cathedral parish during the Fall of , through a donation from the Catholic Church Extension Society.

The parish of St. Anthony was canonically established in Father Roy Edwards, who had served the mission as an associate priest from the Cathedral parish, was named first pastor of the newly erected parish and remained pastor for the next thirteen years. Although there were a large number of Blacks living in the area, they mostly attended St.

Paul the Apostle Church. The area continued to develop to the extent that within two years, the parish opened the mission church of St.

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In the year , Bishop Schexnayder gave new boundaries to the parish and at that time assigned all Catholics within these boundaries as members of the parish of At. It was at that time that most of the Black people living within the boundaries began attending St. Anthony Church. Father Whitney LeBlanc succeeded Father Edwards and was assigned pastor in , but remained less than a year when he was faced with health concerns.

At that time, Father Edwin Bourg was named pastor and remained at St. Anthony until , and was succeeded by Father Arthur Warren under whose capable leadership saw the renovation of the CCD building. In , Bishop Gerard Frey asked the Divine Word Fathers, who were and to this day remain, very dedicated to their work with the African-American community in the Diocese of Lafayette, to assume the responsibility of staffing the parish.

This brought the direction and leadership of At. Father Dennis Flynn was pastor from and was replaced by Father Joseph Detig in June , who remained pastor for nine years. Father Frank Charles succeeded Father Detig in Joseph Church, Broussard Central Deanery. Founded: Families: Bernard Church honors the zeal and devotion of the bishops of the Diocese of Lafayette, the priests who have served St.

Bernard, the religious who served, and the thousands of unnamed and unknown laity who helped the parish develop from a mission parish in the 18th century to a thriving parish in the 21st century. Sat: PM to PM and anytime during office hours. David Chapel is a mission church of St. Peter parish. It was founded by long-time Pastor, Fr. Garneau in Mulvey, formerly known as the Marceaux community. Begun in and built with lumber from the recently dismantled chapel in the Florence community, St.

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Highway , which also serves as the eastern boundary of St. David Chapel provides a quaint place to worship in a quiet, rural setting which makes it perfect for its use by St. Father Henri Hamel, pastor of St. Martin de Tours in St. Martinville, was petitioned to have a Mass said on weekends in Coteau Holmes. A small mission chapel was built with funds donated by Ms. The chapel was named in honor of her.

From to , priestly ministry to the chapel was taken over by the La Salette Fathers of Loreauville. After that time, it returned under the jurisdiction of St. In , property was purchased for a church and cemetery, and the chapel was moved to its present location. In the following years, improvements were made to the structure and a rectory was completed. She served in this capacity from to In October , a petition was made to the Diocese of Lafayette to designate St. Elizabeth as an independent parish. After property boundaries were approved, St.

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Elizabeth Church was designated as a quasi-parish on December 23, He became St. Father Padinjarepeedika continues as pastor to the present time. Sun: PM to PM. Helena Church, Louisa South Deanery.