Archive for the ‘Teachings’ Category

The Hymn of Praise of Mar Babai the Great

May 11, 2015
This hymn of praise that is sung during the seasons of the Annunciation and the Nativity {the form on this page is for “the day of His birth”}, was written by Mar Babai the Great.  In this hymn, the Christology of the Church is plainly expressed in a manner that cannot be accused of any unorthodox language.  As the Church believes, so it also prays singing.
The Hymn of Praise of Mar Babai the Great
Blessed is the Merciful One who, in his grace,
   has provided for our lives through prophecy.
Isaiah saw with a spiritual eye the amazing child of virginity.
For Mary gave birth to Emanuel, the Son of God, without copulation.
From her the Holy Spirit fashioned the united body, as it is written,
to become a dwelling and an adorable temple
   for the Radiance of the Father in one Sonship,
and from the beginning of his incredible conception,
   unite it to himself in one adoration,
that everything that is His will be fulfilled in it
   for the salvation of the people,
   as is fitting for him.
The angels glorify him on the day of his birth,
   with their praises in the heights above.
The earthly also offer adoration with their offerings in one honor.
Christ is one – the Son of God, more honored than all, in two natures.
In his Divinity he was born of the Father,
   without beginning and above time.
In his humanity he was born of Mary, in the latter times with a united flesh.
Neither is his Divinity from the nature of the mother,
   nor his humanity from the Nature of the Father
The natures are protected in their qnome, in one Person of one Sonship.
And wherever there is divinity, there are three Qnome and one Existence.
Thus is the Sonship of the Son: in two natures, one Person.
Thus has the holy Church learned of the faith of the Son who is the Messiah.
We adore you, O Lord, in your Divinity
   and in your humanity which are without division.
Mar Babai the Great was a saint and teacher of our Chaldean Church at the turn of the 7th century.  In his works, he clearly defines the terminology of the Church of the East in Trinitarian as well as christological contexts.  This was an important undertaking in the context of the great christological controversies that had been at the center of the Western world since the 5th century and which had spilled over into the realm of the Persian Church.
Much scholarship and dialogue has taken place in the last half a century to defend the christology of the Church of the East fathers {refer to the Pro-Oriente unofficial dialogues among the Syriac Churches for the latest scholars from the respective Chaldean, Maronite, Syriac, Assyrian and other Churches}.   For a better understanding of the terminology, refer to Fr. Andrew Younan’s lecture.

 

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The Symbol of Faith – The Creed

May 4, 2015
The Creed is called “The Symbol of Faith of the Three Hundred and Eighteen Bishops” by the Chaldean Church.  By the 5th century, persecution of the Church of the East had subsided, and its isolation from its Western brethren within the Roman Empire was ended.  The Western bishop, Mar Maruta, the bishop of Maypherkat {in Modern Turkey}, had managed to gain access to our Church fathers through the Persian King Yazdegerd.  In 410 AD, Mar Isaac {Mar `Ishak}, the cathalicos in Seleucia-Ctesiphon was able to convene the first official council in which Mar Maruta presented “The Symbol,” which was accepted along with sweeping reforms, standardization, and the canons of the Church.
The Mesopotamian Church had until then used various creed formulations, but now would use the Nicene-Constantinopolitan Creed formulation.  Interesting enough, the Creed as recorded and recited in the Synod records did not match what was in the Roman Empire after the councils of Nicea, 325 AD, and Constantinople, 381 AD.  The Creed also evolved to take on more uniformity with the West by the 6th Century {cf Synod of Mar Isho Yahb I}.  An person familiar with the Creed in the West will realize a few points of difference in the currently recited form.

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Curtains in the Chaldean Church

January 15, 2014

The Chaldean Church, in authentic continuation in the tradition from apostolic times has always used curtains in its liturgy.  It is true that in churches that are smaller with less means, or for other reasons cannot tenably have the curtains, curtains were absent, but this was to be the exception and one can see in the liturgical books and the writings of the magesterium and the bishops that their usage was never dropped. (more…)

St. Ephrem on the midwives of Exodus

June 11, 2013

Because Pharaoh was careful not to pollute the river with corpses, he summoned the midwives in order to make them murderesses.  By his authority he made them the opposite of their titles, since he imagined he would turn physicians into executioners. (more…)

The Case for the Resurrection

April 17, 2013

If the Resurrection of Christ really happened, the whole Christian faith is true; if the Resurrection did not really happen, the whole Christian faith is false. Everything in Christianity is based on that one event.  If Jesus had just lived and died there would be no Christian faith and so, since that event is of vital importance to the life of the Christian, it is definitely worth examining very closely.  In this article we will look very critically at the evidence and reasons why Christians over the years have believed in the Resurrection and given their lives for it. (more…)

Into the Desert of Lent

April 3, 2013

And a voice came from the heavens, saying, “This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased.”  Then Jesus was led by the Spirit into the desert to be tempted by the devil.  He fasted for forty days and forty nights, and afterwards he was hungry.  The tempter approached and said to him, “If you are the Son of God, command that these stones become loaves of bread.”  — Matthew 3:17-4:3

If you are the Son of God… (more…)

The Lamb of the Everlasting Covenant

March 29, 2013

“Then came the day of Unleavened Bread, on which the Passover lamb had to be sacrificed” (Luke 22:7). In a high impacted section of  the gospel, that recounts our Lord’s last supper, this sentence  seems ordinarily simple in passing. The words, however, “on which the Passover lamb had to be sacrificed” offer a greater introduction than a reference to a date on the Jewish liturgical calendar. (more…)

Cryroom Choirs

March 3, 2013

“And she gave birth to her first-born and wrapped him in swaddling clothes.” The much awaited Christ had to be swaddled, clothed and laid to bed. This was the culmination of thousands of years of prophecy and theology perfectly intermingled with earthly life. Mary was a perfect example for all parents: while participating in God’s fulfillment she was fully aware of her earthly duties as a mother. To participate in heavenly worship, yet be mindful of earthly parental duties, is an exercise of meditation on the spiritual life of our most blessed Mother. (more…)

Antiochian vs. Mesopotamian

February 27, 2013

This post comes as a reflection based on thinking back on Fr. Andrew’s book {see Lenten readings post below}, and the book of John Moolan on the Annunciation, and is not fully developed, but just something thrown out there for discussion in case someone wants to discuss.

Many people go through life not realizing that there is a distinction in the Mesopotamian School and the Antiochian School.  Both are influenced by Semitic thought, and both are Eastern, and the Antiochian school had influence over the entire world: Theodore was read in Spain as much as he was read in Iran.  Theodore’s writings was accepted in the Mesopotamian Church because of the reputation of his person and his writing, and also because it was in line with its own system. (more…)

On The Incarnation Part 3… Soteriological – As an Example

August 8, 2012

In the previous part of this discussion, we reflected on the self-emptying of Christ.  St. Paul asks that his readers imitate that self-emptying.  The Catechism of the Catholic Church teaches that one of the reasons for the Incarnation of the Word is: (more…)