The Guéranger Blog

Welcome to the Gueranger Blog! You have stumbled across the notebook I use to record my thoughts as I read through Dom Prosper Gueranger's 15-volume set, The Liturgical Year. I do not have any special expertise in liturgy, but I have some general knowledge of Catholic theology and an enthusiasm for Gueranger's magnum opus. Think of it as the Liturgical Year fan site!

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Dom Gueranger on the Deluge

Canisius | 21 February, 2006 06:16

This may seem a bit too obvious to say, but I'll go ahead and make the remark: the meditations on the Fall and on the story of Noah and the flood--i.e., the meditations on the very beginnings of history--fit well with the way Gueranger has the season of Septuagesima mystically represent the history of mankind before the redeemer. Time begins again, so to speak, and so we reflect again on the beginnings.

The interpretation of the deluge in IV, 160-161 is quite interesting. I especially appreciate the image of Adam spending the rest of his years in penance, and the moral effect this must have had on his children. Very, very good thought.

Dom Gueranger identifies the "son of God" in Genesis 6:4 as the men of the line of Seth, and the "daughters of men" as women of the line of Cain--an ancient interpretation, dating to pre-Christian times, if I recall rightly. I'm not entirely sure that it's right, but it's as good a guess as any on a very difficult text.

He also quotes Revelation 13:8, "And all that dwell upon the earth adored him, whose names are not written in the book of life of the Lamb which was slain from the beginning of the world." A conversation with Louis brought it to my attention that a more likely translation of this verse would be speak of "every one whose name has not been written before the foundation of the world in the book of life of the Lamb that was slain." In other words, "before the foundation of the world" should probably go with "whose name has not been written" rather than with "the Lamb which was slain." This is more clear when you look at Revelation 17:8, which speaks of "the dwellers on earth whose names have not been written in the book of life from the foundation of the world."

Gueranger's point holds no matter what the translation, though. He says, "The merits of the Redeemer to come were even then present to divine justice, and the Lamb, slain, as St. john tells us, from the beginning of the world, applied the merits of his Blood to this as to every generation which existed before the great Sacrifice was really immolated." If we say that Revelation 13:8 refers not to the Lamb slain before the foundation of the world but to those whose names were written in the book of life before the foundation of the world, the point remains that the merits of the Lamb were applied to those who existed before the earthly ministry of Jesus. That, after all, is how their names came to be written in the book of life.

I must admit that all this meditation on the deluge, and on man's sinfulnes despite the availability of grace, is the more frightening as we live in an age of world-destroying technology and mind-numbing wickedness.


Comment Icon Warning against wickedness

Philip | 22/02/2006, 05:07

Canisius' comment on mind-numbing wickedness made me recall the comment of Our Lady at the time of the great miracle of Fatima:

At about 1:30 p.m., local time (noon, solar time), Our Lady appeared over the holm-oak, placing Her feet over the silk ribbons and flowers piously laid there the night before. This time Lucy seemed to fall into an ecstasy, her face becoming more and more beautiful and taking on a rosy tint.

Lucy again asked, "What does Your Grace want of me?"

"I want a chapel to be built here in My honor. I am the Lady of the Rosary. Continue to say the Rosary every day. The war will end soon and the soldiers will return to their homes."

The Blessed Virgin continued, looking very sad:

"People must amend their lives and ask pardon for their sins. They must not offend Our Lord any more for He is already too much offended."

Just as on September 13, the crowd could see the same cloud forming around the holm-oak, going up in the air before it disappeared.

As Our Lady ascended up into the sky, Lucy shouted: "She's going! She's going! ... Look at the sun!"

It was at this precise moment that the crowd witnessed the extraordinary spectacle of the "dance of the sun". The rain had suddenly stopped, the clouds were quickly dispersed and the sky was clear.

This was in 1917!! If God was already too much offended then, what about now????

Comment Icon Good reminder

Canisius | 23/02/2006, 05:23

Lent is coming up. Time to settle into some penance! Who knows, maybe if God finds at least fifty just men....

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